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From AntiWar Radio

Scott Horton Interviews Ray McGovern

Scott Horton, January 14, 2010
Courtesty of The NewInternationalist http://www.newint.org/issue167/keynote.htm

Courtesy of New Internationalist

Ray McGovern, a retired CIA senior analyst, discusses a number of subjects to include: the ignorance of the American people; how American Imperialism is behind acts of terrorism and not that terrorists are “jealous” of our democracy; how journalists no longer report ‘real’ news; the terrorist organization that makes up the state of Israel and how the American Imperialist government is firmly in bed with their terrorist actions; the alteration of true history to suit the elitists; the skewing of “intelligence” reports; the use of the word “homeland” and its Nazi connections; how oil, resources, money, and power rules; and much more.

Ray McGovern, a CIA analyst for 27 years, has published a number of articles in the Consortium News and Antiwar.com.

Those in the know are already familiar with all these themes but it is always interesting to listen to new perspective.

MP3 interview here.

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american_militias_minuteman_patch_2This agency has been causing quite a stir over the last few weeks, since March 13 that is. The MIAC collected information from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and other government agencies and compiled reports that, supposedly, helped their officers identify terrorists and militia members (Wikipedia). A report titled The Modern Militia, released under the Missouri Sunshine Law, revealed, among others, that supporters of Ron Paul, Bob Barr, and anti-abortionists tended to be militia members. Blogsites have been having a field day with the information ever since.

Today, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch announced that the director of MIAC has been reassigned. Reportedly The Modern Militia report was destroyed and apology letters sent to those it offended. For many, the reassignment and the report destruction still leaves problems unsolved. Libertarian Party spokesman Mike Ferguson believes that an investigation is warranted. He feels that the mentioning of specific third-party candidates names is unacceptable. Mid-Missouri ACLU President Dan Viets also had concerns and stated, “I just think they’ve gone too far here.”

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I hope that you get the same chuckle I did when I read this… Now the big question is:

Who is really telling the truth????

October 22nd, 2008
Posted: 02:50 PM ET

WASHINGTON (CNN) — The federal government’s terrorist watch lists are far smaller than has been reported, the secretary of homeland security said Wednesday.

Michael Chertoff revealed for the first time that 2,500 people are on the “no fly” list and only about 10 percent of those are U.S. citizens. Individuals on this list are barred from boarding an aircraft because intelligence indicates they pose a threat to aviation.

Fewer than 16,000 people are designated “selectees,” he said, and most are not Americans. These people represent a less specific security threat and receive extra scrutiny, but are allowed to fly.

The American Civil Liberties Union has estimated more than 1 million names have been added to the lists since the September 11, 2001, attacks on New York and Washington. The FBI, which manages the Terrorist Screening Database, said in August that there were about 400,000 people on its list, but that approximately 95 percent of those people were not U.S. citizens.
–From Jeanne Meserve, CNN Homeland Security Correspondent

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Indigenous activists battle for their own lives, and others, on US borders

Mike Wilson, Tohono O’odham, replaces missing water tanks for migrants on the southern border, while Mohawk publisher Kahentinetha Horn recovers on the northern border

By Brenda Norrell

BABOQUIVARI DISTRICT, Arizona – Mike Wilson, Tohono O’odham, has replaced two of his missing humanitarian water stations on the Tohono O’odham Nation. Wilson was ordered by Baboquivari District Chair Veronica Harvey to remove his water stations in August.

“No one should die for want of a cup of water,” Wilson said, after replacing two of the water stations that vanished last week. Wilson said he will continue to pursue dialogue with Tohono O’odham officials, but he will not back down on the right of the dying to water.Wilson did not remove his water tanks as ordered, but respectfully declined when the district order was delivered by tribal police. However, upon return to the water stations in Baboquivari District in September, he found three of the stations had been removed. Wilson replaced two of the stations.

Wilson pointed out the large number of migrants dying here in the desert. By US Border Patrol statistics, 83 migrants died during the first half of 2008 on the Tohono O’odham Nation. However, Wilson says the number is actually greater. Wilson maintains the water stations with Tohono O’odham David Garcia. Wilson also searches the O’odham desert for bodies, like two Mayan women from Guatemala who died walking to a better life with their children. The children survived.

During the Indigenous Peoples Border Summit of the Americas in 2006 and 2007, Wilson and other Tohono O’odham were joined by Mohawks from the north to demand a halt to the militarization of the US borders. Mohawks, including Kahentinetha Horn, publisher of Mohawk Nation News, observed the arrests of Indigenous Peoples on Tohono O’odham land and were outraged at the treatment of Indian people.

Then, in June, Kahentinetha was beaten by Canadian border guards and suffered a heart attack in a police stress hold. Now, recovering, Kahentinetha, who filed suit, said the stress hold was intensified as she was having a heart attack in police custody in a deliberate attempt to kill her.

Like Wilson, Kahentinetha and Katenies, Mohawk Nation News editor also beaten during the attack by border guards in June, said they will not back down on their demands for a halt to the militarization of their lands, carried out by corporate profiteers under the guise of national security.

On the southern border, Tohono O’odham Nation Chairman Ned Norris, Jr., has not made a public statement concerning the demand by Harvey for Wilson to remove his water stations. However, Chairman Norris did testify in Texas concerning the violations of federal law by Homeland Security and the border wall contractor Boeing.

Chairman Norris, testifying to a joint Congressional subcommittee in April, said human bone fragments were found in the tracks of machinery undertaking border wall construction in Arizona. Further, Norris pointed out that Homeland Security violated federal laws which protect endangered species and cultural artifacts.

However, Chairman Norris did not point out that O’odham ancestors were dug up from their graves, and later reburied, on the western portion of Tohono O’odham land in 2007 during border wall construction by Boeing.

Meanwhile, Wilson said he will continue maintaining his water stations, including those in Baboquivari District and one across the international border in Sonora. Mexico.

“It is a crime against humanity,” Wilson said of the Tohono O’odham Nation’s failure to respond with water for the dying.

More at: http://www.bsnorrell.blogspot.com

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LEARN MORE: Humane Borders   http://www.humaneborders.org/

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This stuff literally makes me laugh…

The Department of Homeland Security (the name of which totally nauseates me for a United States agency) wants U.S. citizens in Las Vegas, and other cities in the U.S. of A., to help IT find terrorists. According to this article DHS wants U.S. citizens to feel they are threatened and DHS wants YOU, as a U.S. citizen, to help them spot potential terrorists… (where’s the spooky music?)

Some of the signs of a terrorist working in your area are people who are:

1. using binoculars, taking videos or pictures;

2. asking directions to buildings and sites of interest;

3. looking at maps and taking notes;

4. walking up and down the same street.

So what DHS is REALLY saying is:

So beware, folks, as suspicious people could be lurking somewhere near you ready to cause mayhem and destruction! And they are probably wearing a DHS badge!  :o)

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From Global Research

by Stephen Lendman

May 27, 2008

It’s called “Plan Mexico,” or more formally the “Merida Initiative,” and here’s the scheme. It’s to do for Mexicans what Plan Colombia has done to that nation since 1999, and, in fact, much earlier. Since then, billions have gone for the following:

— to establish a US military foothold in the country;

— mostly to fund US weapons, chemical and other corporate profiteers; it’s a long-standing practice; in fact, a 1997 Pentagon document affirms that America’s military will “protect US interests and investments;” in Colombia, it’s to control its valuable resources; most importantly oil and natural gas but also coal, iron ore, nickel, gold, silver, emeralds, copper and more; it’s also to crush worker resistance, eliminate unions, target human rights and peasant opposition groups, and make the country a “free market” paradise inhospitable to people;

— it funds a brutish military as well; already, over 10,000 of its soldiers have been trained at the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (WHINSEC) – aka the School of the Americas (SOA) at Fort Benning, Georgia; its graduates are infamous as human rights abusers, drugs traffickers, and death squad practitioners; they were well schooled in their “arts” by the nation most skilled in them;

— it lets Colombia arm and support paramilitary death squads; they’re known as the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC); for more than a decade, they’ve terrorized Colombians and are responsible for most killings and massacres in support of powerful western and local business interests;

— it funds drug eradication efforts, but only in FARC-EP and ELN areas; government-controlled ones are exempt; trafficking is big business; laundering drugs money reaps huge profits for major US and regional banks; the CIA has also been linked to the trade for decades, especially since the 1980s; after Afghanistan’s invasion and occupation, opium harvests set records – mostly from areas controlled by US-allied “warlords;” the Taliban’s drug eradication program was one reason it was targeted; Colombia’s drug eradication is horrific; it causes ecological devastation; crop and forest destruction; lives and livelihoods lost; large areas chemically contaminated; bottom line of the program – record amounts of Colombian cocaine reach US and world markets; trafficking is more profitable than ever; so is big business thanks to paramilitary terror;

— it’s to topple the FARC-EP and ELN resistance groups; Latin American expert James Petras calls the former the “longest standing (since 1964), largest peasant-based guerrilla (resistance) movement in the world;” it’s also to weaken Hugo Chavez, other regional populist leaders and groups, and destabilize their countries; and

— it supports the “Uribe doctrine;” it’s in lockstep with Washington; its policies are hard right, corporate-friendly and militarized for enforcement.

Plan Colombia turned the country into a dependable, profitable narco-state. Business is better than ever. Violence is out of control and human rights abuses are appalling.

It gets worse. Two-thirds of Columbians are impoverished. Over 2.5 million peasant and urban slum dwellers have been displaced. Thousands of trade unionists have been murdered (more than anywhere else in the world), and many more thousands of peasants, rural teachers, and peasant and indigenous leaders have as well. Paramilitary land seizures are commonplace. Colombian latifundistas profit hugely. Wealth concentration is extreme and growing. Corruption infests the government. Many thousands in desperation are leaving. Colombia’s “democracy” is a sham. So is Mexico’s. Plan Mexico will make it worse. That’s the whole idea, and it’s part of the secretive Security and Prosperity Partnership – aka the North American Union.

It’s planned behind closed doors – to militarize and annex the continent. Corporate giants are in charge, mostly US ones. The idea is for an unregulated open field for profit. The Bush administration, Canada and Mexico support it. Things are moving toward implementation. Three nations will become one. National sovereignty eliminated. Worker rights as well. Opposition is building, but moves are planned to quash it. That’s the militarization part.

Business intends to win this one. People are to be exploited, not helped. That’s why it’s kept secret. The idea is to agree on plans, inform legislatures minimally about them, get SPP passed, then implement it with as few of its disturbing details known in hopes once they are they’ll be too late to reverse.

SPP is ugly, ominous and hugely people destructive. Hundreds of millions in three countries will be affected. Others in the region as well. Plan Mexico is a contribution to the scheme. Below is what we know about it.

Plan Mexico – Exploitation Writ Large

The plan was first announced in October 2007 as a “regional security cooperation initiative.” It’s to provide $1.4 billion in aid (over three years) for Mexico and Central America on the pretext of fighting drugs trafficking and organized crime linked to it. FY 2008 calls for $550 million for starters with about 10% of it for Central America.

In fact, Plan Mexico is part of SPP’s grand scheme to militarize the continent, let corporate predators exploit it, and keep people from three countries none the wiser. Most aid will go to Mexico’s military and police forces with its major portion earmarked back to US defense contractors for equipment, training and maintenance. It’s how these schemes always work.

This one includes a menu of security allocations, administrative functions, and special needs like software, forensics equipment, database compilations, plus plenty more for friendly pockets to keep our Mexican cohorts on board.

After failing on May 15, House passage will likely follow the Senate’s approval on May 22 – below the radar. It’s one of many appropriations tucked into the latest Iraq/Afghanistan supplemental funding request, and its purpose is just as outlandish. It will militarize Mexico without deploying US troops. It will also open the country for plunder, privatize everything including state-owned oil company PEMEX, give Washington a greater foothold there, and get around the touchy military issue by allowing in Blackwater paramilitaries instead to work with Mexican security forces.

Only privatizing PEMEX is in doubt thanks to immense citizen opposition. Thousands of “brigadistas” were in the streets, protesting outside the Senate and Chamber of Deputies, as lawmakers considered ending PEMEX state-control. They paralyzed debate and brought it to a halt – temporarily putting off a final resolution of this very contentious issue. Big Oil wants it. Most Mexicans don’t. The battle continues. Mexico’s military may get involved.

The US State Department describes them as follows:

— ….”impunity and corruption (in Mexico’s security forces are) problems, particularly at the state and local levels. The following human rights problems were reported: unlawful killings; kidnappings; physical abuse; poor and overcrowded prison conditions; arbitrary arrests and detention; corruption, inefficiency, and lack of transparency in the judicial system; (coerced) confessions….permitted as evidence in trials; criminal intimidation of journalists leading to self-censorship; corruption at all levels of government; domestic violence against women (often with impunity); violence, including killings, against women; trafficking in persons; social and economic discrimination against indigenous people; and child labor.”

Mexico’s military fares little better with promises Plan Mexico will worsen it. President Calderon now deploys troops around the country. People fear them when they come. They’re purportedly against drugs traffickers, but that’s mostly cover. Their real purpose may be sinister – a possible dress rehearsal for martial law when SPP is implemented.

Mexican soldiers are hard line. Their reputation is unsavory. People justifiably fear them. They commit flagrant human rights abuses and get away with them. The major media even report them. The New York Times, CNN, BBC, USA Today and others cite evidence of rape, torture, killings, other human rights abuses, corruption, extortion, and ties to drugs traffickers. Little is done to stop it. Government and military spokespersons often aren’t available for comment. They’re part of the problem, not the solution. Plan Mexico promises more of the same and then some. Billions from Washington back it.

Social protests in the country already are criminalized. Hundreds are filling prisons. Many languish there for years. Labor and social activists are most vulnerable. Injustice and grinding poverty motivate them. Plan Mexico ups the ante. Things are about to get worse.

Militarizing society is toxic. Police state enforcement follows. Accountability disappears. The rule of law no longer applies. Plan Mexico assures it. So does SPP for the continent. In classic doublespeak, the White House claims it will “advance the productivity and competitiveness of our nations and help to protect our health, safety and environment.” Its real purpose is to annex a continent, destroy its democratic remnants, lock in hard line enforcement, and secure it for capital.

SPP Backdrop of Plan Mexico

A detailed SPP explanation can be found on the 2007 article link. It’s titled The Militarization and Annexation of North America – http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=6359

Plan Mexico is part of SPP. It will militarize and annex the continent. It was formerly launched at a March 23, 2005 meeting in Waco, Texas attended by George Bush, Mexico’s President Vincente Fox, and Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin. They forged a tripartite partnership for greater US, Canadian and Mexican economic, political, social and security integration. Secretive working groups were formed to accomplish it – to devise non-negotiable agreements to be binding on all three nations.

Details are hidden. No public input is permitted. Pro forma legislative voting is approaching. It will try to avoid a NAFTA-type battle. Legislatures aren’t being fully informed. The worst of SPP is secret. It’s not a treaty, and the idea is to pass it below the radar and avoid a protracted public debate.

What’s known so far is disturbing, and considerable opposition has arisen but thus far too inadequate to matter. SPP, Plan Mexico, and a final continent-wide plan amount to a corporate coup d’etat against three sovereign states and hundreds of millions of people. It’s to erase national borders, merge three nations into one under US control, and remove all barriers to trade and capital flows. It’s also to militarize the continent, create a fortress-North America security zone, and have in place police state laws for enforcement. Billions will fund it. All for corporate gain. Nothing for public welfare.

SPP takes NAFTA and the “war on terrorism” to the next level en route to extending it further for more corporate plunder. It’s based on outlandish notions – that doing business, protecting national security, and securing “public welfare” require tough new measures in a very threatening world.

SPP bolsters US control. It enhances corporate power, quashes civil liberties, erases public welfare, and creates an open field for plunder free from regulatory restraints. It’s being plotted behind closed doors. A series of summits and secret meetings continue with the latest one in New Orleans from April 22 to 24.

Three presidents attended and were met by vocal street protests. They convened a “People’s Summit” and also held workshops to:

— inform people how destructive SPP is;

— strengthen networking and organizational ties against it;

— maintain online information about their activities;

— promote their efforts and build added support; and

— affirm their determination to continue resisting a hugely repressive corporate-sponsored agenda. Opponents call it Nafta on steroids.

Business-friendly opposition also exists. Prominent is a “Coalition to Block the North American Union.” The Conservative Caucus backs it. It has a “NAU War Room.” It’s the “headquarters of THE national campaign to expose and halt America’s absorption into a ‘North American Union (NAU)’ with Canada and Mexico.” It opposes building “a massive, continental ‘NAFTA Superhighway.’ “

It has congressional allies, and on January 2007 Rep. Virgil Goode and six co-sponsors introduced House Concurrent Resolution 40. It expresses “the sense of Congress that the United States should not engage in (building a NAFTA) Superhighway System or enter into a North American Union with Mexico and Canada.”

The April summit reaffirmed SPP’s intentions – to create a borderless North America, dissolve national sovereignty, put corporate giants in control, and assure big US ones get most of it. Militarism is part of it. It’s the reason for fortress-North America under US command. The US Northern Command (NORTHCOM) was established in October 2002 to do it. It has air, land and sea responsibility for the continent regardless of Posse Comitatus limitations that no longer apply or sovereign borders easily erased.

Homeland Security (DHS) and its Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) also have a large role. So does the FBI, CIA, all US spy agencies, militarized state and local police, National Guard forces, and paramilitary mercenaries like Blackwater USA. They’re headed anywhere on the continent with license to operate as freely here as in Iraq and New Orleans post-Katrina. They’ll be able to turn hemispheric streets into versions of Baghdad and make them unfit to live on if things come to that.

SPP maintains a web site. It’s “key accomplishments” since August 2007 are updated on it as of April 22, 2008. Its details can be accessed from the following link:

http://www.spp.gov/pdf/key_accomplishments_since_august_2007.pdf

It lists principles agreed to; bilateral deals struck; negotiations concluded; study assessments released; agreements on the “Free Flow of Information;” law enforcement activities; efforts related to intellectual property, border and long-haul trucking enforcement; import licensing procedures; food and product safety issues; energy (with special focus on oil); water as well; infrastructure development; emergency management; and much more. It’s all laid out in deceptively understated tones to hide its continental aim – enhanced corporate exploitation with as little public knowledge as possible.

Militarization will assure it, and consider one development up North. On February 14, 2008, the US and Canada agreed to allow American troops inside Canada. Canadians were told nothing or that the agreement was reached in 2002. Neither was it discussed in Congress or the Canadian House of Commons. It’s for “bilateral integration” of military command structures in areas of immigration, law enforcement, intelligence, or whatever else the Pentagon or Washington wishes. Overall, it’s part of the “war on terror” and militarizing the continent to make it “safer” for business and be prepared for any civilian opposition.

Congress may soon pass SPP, but with no knowledge of its worst provisions kept secret. It’s to assure enough congressional support makes it law. Nonetheless, federal, state and local opposition is building. It ranges from private activism to vocal lawmakers. In 2008, a dozen or more states passed resolutions against SPP. Around 20 others did it in 2007. Congress began debating it last year with opposition raised on various grounds – open borders, unchecked immigration, a NAFTA Superhighway System, and the idea of giving unregulated Mexican trucks free access to US roads and cities.

There’s also talk of replacing three national currencies with an “Amero.” Unfortunately, little is heard about trashing the Constitution or giving corporate bosses free reign. There’s even less talk about a militarized continent against dissent. SPP is a “new world order.” Companies are plotting to get it. People better hope they don’t. Disruptive opposition might derail them. It’s building but needs more resonance to matter. Time is short and slipping away. These schemers mean business. They want our future. We can’t afford to lose it.


Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.

Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to The Global Research News Hour on RepublicBroadcasting.org Mondays from 11AM to 1PM US Central time for cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests. All programs are archived for easy listening any time.

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=9059

Stephen Lendman is a frequent contributor to Global Research. Global Research Articles by Stephen Lendman

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From Narcosphere

Plan Mexico Passed

It’s official: Congress has approved Plan Mexico.

The House of Representatives approved the Merida Initiative, also known as Plan Mexico, last week by a vote of 256-166. Excelsior reports that 244 Democrats and 32 Republicans voted for the bill and 7 democrats and 159 Republicans voted against it. The Senate approved a slightly different version today, although the specifics of the Senate version are still unavailable.

While Pres. George Bush requested $1.4 billion for Plan Mexico over a period of three years, Rep. Howard Berman (D-CA) proposed a bill that would authorize up to $1.6 billion. Since Plan Mexico passed, legislative analysts say it’s unclear what will come of Berman’s archaic authorization bill, which is currently languishing in the House.

While Bush requested $500 million in funding for Plan Mexico in 2008, the House approved $400 million over the next two years, and the Senate approved $350 million. Analysts expected deeper cuts to Bush’s proposal, but Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Mexican Ambassador to the US Arturo Sarukhan rallied at the last minute, using the recent murder of Edgar Eusebio Millán Gómez, chief of Mexico’s national police force, the infamous Federal Preventative Police, as a pretext to argue for more funding for Mexico’s War on Drugs. Edgar Eusebio Millán Gómez was almost certainly killed by a drug cartel.

Plan Mexico will provide resources, equipment, and training to the Mexican government, police, and military. It will not give Mexico liquid funds. The US military, government agencies such as USAID, and US defense contractors such as mercenary firms and weapons manufacturers will receive funding to carry out Plan Mexico, Plan Mexico is yet another bill to line the pockets of the military industrial complex.

As passed by the House, Plan Mexico will provide $116.5 million over the next two years for training and equipment for the Mexican military, and for “strengthening of military-to-military cooperation between the United States and Mexico.” Bush’s request included eight helicopters and two airplanes for the Mexico military. While funding in this area was cut, Mexico can still expect a couple of new helicopters and/or airplanes.

While Plan Mexico specifically targets drug cartels, the initiative’s counterpart in Colombia, Plan Colombia, demonstrates that drug war equipment and training will inevitably be used against activists and insurgent organizations. Mexico has already demonstrated its propensity to use deadly drug war equipment donated by the US against insurgents and civilians. Following the Zapatista uprising in 1994, the Mexican military strafed Chiapan indigenous communities using helicopters donated by the US to combat drug trafficking and production.

Plan Mexico also includes $210 million over two years to expand the US’s draconian anti-immigrant policy to Mexico’s side of the border. Mexico is a portal to the US for undocumented Central American immigrants. The hope is that Mexico will detect and stop undocumented immigrants in Mexico before they reach the US. The $210 million will be used to modernize and expand Mexico’s immigration database and document verification system, establish secure communications for Mexican national security agencies, procure “non-intrusive” inspection equipment, and support interdiction efforts as well as institution building. $5 million of this money will be used to deploy US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) agents to Mexico to support and train their Mexican counterparts. Most alarmingly, at least $168 million of this funding is unspecified, meaning that the Democrat-controlled Congress waived its right to determine legislative policy in favor of giving Bush a free hand in Mexico’s immigration policies and police procedures.

House Democrats’ overwhelming support for Plan Mexico in the face of overwhelming Republican opposition is yet another example of Democrats’ refusal to stand up to George Bush, despite their mandate to do so as a result of the 2006 elections.

George Bush proposed Plan Mexico at the end of 2007 for two very apparent reasons:

Plan Mexico is an indispensable component of the Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP). Known as “NAFTA on steroids” or “NAFTA plus Homeland Security,” the SPP “calls for maximization of North American economic competitiveness in the face of growing exports from India and China; expedited means of resource (oil, natural gas, water, forest products) extraction; secure borders against ‘organized crime, international terrorism, and illegal migration;’ standardized regulatory regimes for health, food safety, and the environment; integrated energy supply through a comprehensive resource security pact (primarily about ensuring that the US receives guaranteed flows of the oil in light of ‘Middle East insecurity and hostile Latin American regimes’); and coordination amongst defense forces.”

“Over 300 policies and agreements have been scheduled and/or implemented to realize these corporate priorities. Some examples of these agreements are the integration of military and police training exercises, cooperation on law enforcement, and the expansion of the North American Aerospace Defense Command into a joint naval and land defense command. This also includes redesign of armed forces for combat overseas and greater cooperation in global wars as part of the ‘external’ defense strategy of the security perimeter.”

The SPP is NOT a legislative proposal; it is a plan hatched by the executive branches of Canada, the United States, and Mexico, and overseen by a board of corporate CEO’s. As such, the legislative branches of the three countries will never vote on the SPP as a policy.

  1. Mexican civil society organizations such as the Center for Economic and Political Investigation for Community Action (CIEPAC) in Chiapas oppose the SPP because they believe that “The United States is making it possible to force Mexico and Canada to change their laws, rules, and regulations in order to secure the economic (“prosperity”) and political (“security”) interests of its government and businesses… in order to appropriate our natural resources for themselves and to increase their profits.”
  2. Plan Mexico reflects the effort of one weak president, George Bush, to support another weak president, Felipe Calderon. George Bush can sympathize with Felipe Calderon. He knows what it’s like to steal an election and then have to rule a country with an iron fist while faced with enormous unpopularity. Seeing as though Calderon is one of only two friends George Bush has in Latin America (the other being Colombia’s President Uribe, also the recipient of mind-boggling military funding), George Bush had to act.When Felipe Calderon took office in 2006 despite massive protests against the electoral fraud that brought him to power, one of the first things he did was deploy the military to drug cartel-dominated states in the north, militarizing a large portion of Mexico without legislative approval. Mexicans and US organizations have argued that this strategy is Calderon’s attempt to bolster a weak president with a strong military alliance and warn that it could signal a return to the “dirty war” era. Plan Mexico represents the further militarization of Mexican society without legislative controls because it will provide US resources and training to the Calderon-controlled military without Mexican congressional approval.

Friends of Brad Will, the Center for International Policy, and Witness for Peace have criticized Plan Mexico for dumping more resources and controversial US training into the Mexican military and police. The Mexican military has a history of utilizing paramilitaries to terrorize leftists and communities in resistance. Paramilitaries in Chiapas are currently experiencing a renaissance unseen since the 1997 Acteal massacre that resulted in the violent deaths of 47 civilians, most of them women and children. The police’s report card is no better: in May 2006 police raped and sexually assaulted dozens of women they detained without charge during a protest in San Salvador Atenco against, ironically, police repression of the community. While some police were charged with “lewd conduct,” even these light convictions were overturned. US journalist Brad Will was murdered in October 2006 while working in Oaxaca City. He filmed his own assassination, and his video clearly shows that the shooters are off-duty police and government officials. After a “thorough” investigation, the Mexican government blamed his murder on Oaxacan activists.While Friends of Brad Will and their allies argue that no human rights safeguards will be adequate to justify US funding for Mexican military and police under current circumstances, Amnesty International fought for human rights safeguards to be included in the House version of the bill rather than opposing it outright. The safeguards approved by the House are painfully inadequate. The so-called “safeguards” require that none other than Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice certify that the Mexican military and police have initiated reforms, that serious investigations into the rape of prisoners in San Salvador Atenco and Brad Will’s murder are undertaken by the US and Mexican governments, and that statements obtained through torture not be used in a court of law. The House bill also states that no police or military unit that is corrupt or engages in human rights abuses will receive aid under Plan Mexico, a laughable and unenforceable standard. If Rice is unable to certify progress in human rights and anti-corruption, a mere 25% of military and police funding will be withheld, meaning that the House of Representatives thinks it’s acceptable to give 75% funding to military and police forces even if Condoleezza Rice believes they are corrupt and brutal.

But the problem with human rights safeguards in Plan Mexico isn’t that they’re inadequate. Legislators included human rights safeguards in Plan Mexico to make military aid from one brutal right-wing government, the United States, to another brutal right-wing government, Mexico, palatable to the US public. Despite irrefutable proof of systematic human rights violations and torture in Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo, the CIA’s use of “extraordinary rendition” to disappear and torture suspects in “black sites,” and unlawful and immoral drugging of deportees with overdoses of dangerous psychotropic drugs, the United States still likes to think of itself as the principal defender of human rights globally. But let’s not fool ourselves; the rest of the world does not share the same rosy view of the US. In an editorial criticizing the human rights safeguards in Plan Mexico as a pretext for further US-mandated structural adjustment in the form of mandatory “judicial and legal reforms,” Mexico’s La Jornada also notes the irony of the US “promoting” human rights in other countries: “The United States’ demand to verify respect for human rights in other nations constitutes a grotesque and absurd pretension, taking into account that, on a global scale, the superpower is the principal violator of such rights.”

But Plan Mexico’s human rights safeguards were never meant to be taken seriously. They’re an excuse to slip in a few US-mandated judicial reforms without Mexican Congress’ initiative nor approval, and more importantly, they allow US lawmakers to sleep soundly at night despite the fact that they’ve just unleashed a nightmare on Mexican citizens.

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