Latvia’s Economic Disaster: A Model for Europe and the US?

A generation ago the Chicago Boys and their financial supporters applauded General Pinochet’s anti-labor Chile as a success story, thanks mainly to its transformation of their Social Security into Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs) that almost universally were looted by the employer grupos by the end of the 1970s. In the last decade, the Bush Administration, seeking a Trojan Horse to privatize Social Security in the United States, applauded Chile’s disastrous privatization of pension accounts (turning many over to US financial institutions) even as that nation’s voters rejected the Pinochetistas largely out of anger at the vast pension rip-off by high finance.

Today’s most highly celebrated anti-labor success story is Latvia. Latvia is portrayed as the country where labor did not fight back, but simply emigrated politely and quietly. No general strikes, nor destruction of private property or violence, Latvia is presented as a country where labor had the good sense to not make a fuss when faced with austerity.  Latvians gave up protest and simply began voting with their backsides (emigration) as the economy shrank, wage levels were scaled down, and where tax burdens remained decidedly on the backs of labor, even though recent token efforts have been made to increase taxes on real estate. The World Bank applauds Latvia and its Baltic neighbors by placing them high on its list of “business friendly” economies, even though at times scolding their social regimes as even too harsh for the Victorian tastes of the international financial institutions.

Can this really be a model for the United States or Europe’s remaining social democracies? Or is it simply a cruel experiment that cannot readily be emulated in larger countries un-traumatized by Soviet era memories of occupation? One can only dream …

But the dream is attractive enough. In a page one The New York Times feature article accompanying that paper’s celebration of the Obama Administration’s Fiscal Cliff commitment to budget cutting, Andrew Higgins provides the latest attempt to applaud Latvia’s economic and demographic plunge as the “Latvian Miracle.” The newspaper thus has fallen in line with the surrealistic Orwellian attempts to depict Latvia’s austerity and asset stripping as an economic success as rendered in the brochures distributed by the Institute for International Finance (the now notorious Peterson bank lobby “think tank”) and international financial institutions from the IMF to the European Union banking bureaucracy. What they mean by “success” is slashing wage levels and leaving the tax burden primarily on labor and lightly on capital gains, without spurring a revolution or even Greek style general strikes. The success is one of psy-ops and engineering of consent Edward Bernays style, rather than of successful economic policy. …

Of course even the most finely tuned propaganda doesn’t suffice when people actually start going hungry, thus the need for the other prong of the skewer, paramilitary counterinsurgency, developed in vietnam and honed to an algorithm in latin america:

The recruitment of death squads is part of a well established US military-intelligence agenda. There is a long and gruesome US history of covert funding and support of  terror brigades and targeted assassinations going back to the Vietnam war. 

As government forces continue to confront the self-proclaimed “Free Syrian Army” (FSA),  the historical roots of  the West’s covert war on Syria –which has resulted in countless atrocities– must be fully revealed.

From the outset in March 2011, the US and its allies have supported the formation of death squads and the incursion of  terrorist brigades in a carefully planned undertaking.

The recruitment and training of terror brigades in both Iraq and Syria was modeled on the “Salvador Option”,  a “terrorist model” of mass killings by US sponsored death squads in Central America. It was first applied in  El Salvador, in the heyday of resistance against the military dictatorship, resulting in an estimated 75,000 deaths.

The formation of death squads in Syria builds upon the history and experience of US  sponsored terror brigades in Iraq, under the Pentagon’s “counterinsurgency” program. …

It doesn’t take a genius to see what’s in store for this country if the robber baron scam-masters get their way.

By Any Measure, the U.S. Is the Largest Sponsor of Terror

Preface: As a patriotic American – I was born here, lived here all of my life, and love this country – I want the best for the U.S.

Lawless actions are tearing my country apart.  I want my country to regain its vision, strength and moral compass.  Thomas Jefferson said that “Dissent is the highest form of patriotism”.  I criticize my country because I know we are better than this … and that if enough people know how far we have fallen, we can start to pull ourselves back and reclaim our greatness.

The director of the National Security Agency under Ronald Reagan – Lt. General William Odom said:

By any measure the US has long used terrorism. In ‘78-79 the Senate was trying to pass a law against international terrorism – in every version they produced, the lawyers said the US would be in violation.

(audio here).

The Washington Post reported in 2010:

The United States has long been an exporter of terrorism, according to a secret CIA analysis released Wednesday by the Web site WikiLeaks.

The head and special agent in charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles office said that most terror attacks are committed by our CIA and FBI. ….

Lawless actions are tearing my country apart.”  This is the glaring clue to the nature of the problem: criminals masquerading as public servants and acting with impunity, a “collectively autocatalytic” network of mutual back scratchers under the control of foreign and private interests.  It’s time to stop using terminology that implies their legitimacy.  Terms like “our government” or what “we” as a country are doing under their “leadership” are inappropriate here.  If someone showed up at your front door wearing a funny hat, claiming to be the emperor of your neighborhood and demanding your first born for his slave, would you oblige?  You’d laugh in his face.  But what if he had a WMD?  What if he threw a vial of plague through your window “for your own good” and STILL demanded your first born?  This is the state of affairs we have with with a “national government” which predictably and repeatedly acts against the national interest, actually wages an undeclared war against the people of this country. They’ve managed to ship much of our industrial infrastructure overseas.  Public education is a menace to be avoided or compensated for.  The FDA harms american children with dangerous drugs, vaccines and pseudo food.  The ATF smuggles guns to the same mexican drug gangs that the DEA launders profits for (  The CIA has been caught repeatedly smuggling heroin and cocaine into this country while its wall street controllers profit from slave shops in private prisons, and brazenly maintains a foreign legion (Al Qaeda) to terrorize americans into eternal war both here and abroad.  The nation’s children are being sucked into destitution, slavery or the military for private profit.  This hoax of a government only exists by a shared fear of pointing out the emperor’s clothes.

You can’t have a national intelligence agency smuggling drugs into its own country without raising the obvious question of whether it’s actually part of any government.  But it’s easy to prove the CIA isn’t part of the US government.  Go to the delaware secretary of state’s corporate registration web site ( and look up the CIA’s corporate registration under file# 4979825 .  They didn’t even bother to register it as a non-profit.  You can find the federal reserve registered there too, under file # 0042817, claiming to be a non-profit.  But of course the profits are made by its shareholders under the debt-money scam.

The delaware website has been sanitized, it used to give some details about the history of the CIA’s corporate charter:

Transfers: With the National Security Council to the Executive Office of the President by Reorganization Plan No. 4 of 1949, effective August 20, 1949; to independent agency status by EO 12333, December 4, 1981. Central Intelligence Group established under the National Intelligence Authority by Presidential directive, January 22, 1946, to plan and coordinate foreign intelligence activities. By National Intelligence Authority Directive 4, April 2, 1946, NIA assumed supervision of the SSU dissolution during spring and summer 1946, assigning some components to Central Intelligence Group at request of Director of Central Intelligence, and effecting incorporation of the remaining units into other War Department organizations. SSU officially abolished by General Order 16, SSU, October 19, 1946. Central Intelligence Group and National Intelligence Authority abolished by National Security Act, which created the CIA, 1947. SEE 263.1.

I saw this with my own eyes years ago.  More on Reagan’s EO 12333 (or rather GW Bush’s EO, Reagan was only in charge until his attempted assassination by Bush family friend John Hinckley.  After that he was kept doped up on meds)

“While the [Reagan] administration trumpeted its anti-terrorism policies to justify its alliance with repressive central american governments, it buried under the deepest kind of cover its campaign against hundreds of thousands of law abiding dissenters inside the US.

“According to a 1980 Heritage Foundation report [a policy white paper presented to president-elect reagan] compiled by an anonymous group within the intelligence community, “extremist political groups should be kept under surveillance, at first by reading and fileing publicly available information … the more serious surveillance can be carried out by the use of such intelligence techniques as wiretapping, mail intercepts, informants and, at least occasionally, surreptitious entries.” (5)

“The report noted that terrorist groups may be difficult to detect, since “clergymen, students, businessmen, entertainers, labor officials, journalists and government workers may engage in subversive activities without being fully aware of the extent, purpose or control of their activities.”  (5)

“Lamenting the weakening of law enforcement capabilities in the wake of the revelations by the church and pike committees in the 1970’s [these congressional investigations dealt with past abuses of the fbi and cia during the vietnam era], the report recommended “contracting with one or several of the many private groups that have specialized in providing and disseminating relevant information with legal complications.” [meaning illegally obtained information] (5)

“The group recommended scrapping the 1976 fbi guidelines instituted by then Attorney General Edward Levi [instituted in response to the above investigations].  It suggested exempting the fbi from the Freedom of Information Act.  And it called for the appointment of an attorney general and fbi director who “understand the nature of the threat and the professional tradecraft of internal security work.”  (5)

“Most of these recommendations found expression in an executive order (EO 12333) which reagan signed in december 1981.  That order permitted the fbi, among other things, to contract with private groups for intelligence gathering and to conceal the existence of such contracts; to engage in warrantless break-ins under certain circumstances (which remain classified); and to accept any material it received in the course of a counter-terrorism or coutnerintelligence investigation regardless of how the material was obtained.

“What is known today of the administration’s assault on the first amendment is vague, partly because the administration promulgated a series of directives which effectively pulled a blanket of secrecy over the government.  But despite the administration’s use of random polygraph exams, censorship agreements and legislation (passed with the consent of the aclu and the approval of congress) which adds dramatic restrictions to the freedom of information act, some clues exist as to the nature and scope of its campaign to silence dissent.” …

[FBI special agent Frank] Varelli spied on numerous groups opposed to central american policy.  He testified [to congress] that he was asked to visit the offices of cispes and the institute for policy studies, to check out the locations of filing cabinets, alarms, exits and fire escapes.  He was told that the work had been authorized by the NSC and the White House.  Soon after his visits, these offices were broken into.  In texas, he worked closely with members of Rev.  Moon’s church, who had been hired by the FBI to disrupt cispes events on the southern methodist university campus.  “Whenever CISPES mounted a lecture or demonstration, members of CARP (the collegiate arm of the Moon organization) were on hand to throw rocks and start fights.”

He also came to know a network of rightwing salvadoran spies financed and organized by a group of wealthy salvadoran exiles in the US. He arranged to provide the names of airline travelers enroute to el salvador to the fbi, which was able to look up their names in a database of leftist salvadorans provided to the fbi by death squad leader Roberto d’Aubussion. The FBI then alerted the salvadoran national guard to the arrival of suspected subversives. He arranged with the salvadoran consulate to get the names of american activists who were applying for visas to el salvador. He testified that much of the information stolen from activists offices in the US (including the names of salvadoran activists) had been provided to the salvadoran national guard, probably costing many salvadorans their lives.

(COINTELPRO in the ’80s: The “New” FBI.  Covert Action Information Bulletin, #31, (Winter ’89).

That doesn’t begin to scratch the surface of GW Bush’s war on central america (see the torture links in the reference section) which made it a haven for sweat shops that decimated american industries.  But at least back in those days they were embarrassed by such revelations, there was even talk of prosecuting the criminals.  Not any more.  Everything and anything can be done in the name of “national security” with a straight face.  They still work for foreign interests according to Sibel Edmond’s testimonial (, and they still wear funny hats, but the joke is wearing thin.  Let’s at least admit that they’re lying.

Excerpts of “Break-ins, Death Threats and the FBI; the covert war against the Central America movement” by the above author can be found here:

Also see the essential movie “Coverup, Behind the Iran Contra Affair” in the reference section for clues to their plans for disposing of the late great USA.