U.S. Police Get Brutality Training in Israel

When McKinney, TX police officer David Eric Casebolt brutally took down a teenage girl at a pool party in June, he was using a form of martial arts called Krav Maga in which he trained exclusively. These combat techniques were developed by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF).

This is a small reflection of a larger reality that exists in U.S. law enforcement, one that helps explain the brutality and militarization that now characterizes so many police forces.  Since 9/11, cops have been traveling abroad to learn from one of the most repressive and dangerous State forces in the world today—the Israeli military and intelligence apparatus.

Political commentator John Miranda recently stated that police brutality is directly linked to the training some officers receive in Israel.

“As for the increase in police brutality within the United States, I think this definitely can be pointed towards the Israeli training that the Department of Homeland Security is giving all of American police officers.

Some police officers are actually being flown to Israel for the training, not all of them but some, and then those that are flown to Israel, they come back home and they train the head officers in the training that they’ve gotten in Israel.

All these incidents, it is not just happening to African Americans. Police are literally being brutal with all Americans.”

At least 300 high-ranking U.S. sheriffs and police from all over the country, as well as FBI and US Customs and Border Protection agents, have traveled to Israel to learn first-hand the most efficient means of subduing populations.  The purported reason is counterterrorism, but protests and crowd control methods are commonly discussed.

Police are not learning from the Israeli criminal law sector that deals with Jewish residents.  U.S. police are learning from Israel’s military justice system, which controls Palestinians through paramilitary and counterinsurgency tactics.  Residents of Gaza and the West Bank live in what is essentially a giant prison camp, where oppression and brutality from the IDF is a way of life.  The use of excessive or deadly force for crowd control is rarely questioned.

Three organizations are responsible for sending U.S. cops to Israel for training—the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), the American Jewish Committee’s Project Interchange and the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs.  The ADL insulted victims of police brutality last month when it honored the St. Louis Police Department (SLPD) just days ahead of the anniversary of Michael Brown’s killing.  The SLPD was the first department to enroll in ADL’s training program.

The St. Louis Chapter of Jewish Voices for Peace issued a scathing statement in response: “We have cringed as the ADL positions itself locally as a champion of racial profiling legislation while sending US police – including former St. Louis County Police Chief Tim Fitch – to train on population control in Israel, an apartheid police state with more than 60 years of sophisticated expertise in racial profiling, mass incarceration, settler colonialism, and ethnic cleansing targeting the non-Jewish indigenous Palestinian people.

This occupation-style policing has made its way to U.S. cities and towns and has become standard operating procedure at any protest of government.  Also, the very same equipment used by Israeli military for crowd control—tear gas grenades, triple chaser gas canisters, and stun grenades—were used at demonstrations in Ferguson, Oakland and Anaheim.  The LRAD (long-range acoustic device) was also used by both Ferguson police and Israeli military forces. …


AFRICOM Now Controls Most African Militaries

Almost no one is asking about the fact that American troops are stationed in Africa at all. Few people realize that such a thing as the United States Africa Command (AFRICOM ) exists and that the military forces of most African nations have been under the de facto control of this country since the George W. Bush administration.

There is similar silence about the role that the United States played in bringing groups designated as terrorists into nations such as Niger and Mali. The decision to overthrow Muammar Gaddafi in Libya is directly responsible for Boko Haram and Al-Qaeda affiliate groups gaining a foothold throughout the region. Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and their NATO partners in crime were not just responsible for the deaths of thousands of Libyans, slavery in that country, and an ongoing humanitarian crisis. They are responsible for bringing state sponsored terror to the entire region.

Focusing on Donald Trump’s bad behavior is a sure path to confusion and accommodation. Instead of denouncing imperialism, otherwise sensible people are waving the flag and attacking Trump using right wing terminology. They use ludicrous terms like “gold star family” and make the case for continued American aggression around the world.

It is pointless to ask about the specific circumstances of Johnson’s death. He died along with three other soldiers in the murky circumstances that are to be expected in warfare. Any questions posed should be about America’s ever expanding empire and the determination to make war on as many places in the world as possible.

Black people should feel no need to validate themselves through military service or any other undertaking. As the people who have suffered through centuries of unpaid labor, Jim Crow apartheid and constant oppression, we should feel no need to uphold this system. Yet we have already proven a willingness to die for the interests of a corrupt and dangerous state. There is frankly no reason to show pride in Johnson’s death or to allow a member of the CBC to turn an important issue into nonsensical grandstanding versus Trump.

At this juncture in history all talk of patriotism is at best foolish and at worst a call for continued crimes and mass murder. It is also high time to end the deification of the American war dead, even when they look like us. They die because they are trying to kill other people. …


NIH Surveils Social Media for Vaccine Beliefs, Study Finds

Would it make you feel safer to know that your government is monitoring social media for your views on vaccines?  Studying us all like lab rats to isolate the anti-vaccine animals, to determine the nature of the beast, his habitat, his resources, his beliefs? That it is culling all this data to be used one day in large government programs to identify the perpetrators of unsafe opinion with ease and to silence them?

No? Well, it is underway.

A study published this month reveals that social scientists funded by the National Institutes of Health have monitored hundreds of thousands of personal tweets to document “trends of anti-vaccination beliefs” on Twitter and to “geolocate” the users of the social media platform and pigeonhole them in demographic categories. …


What, you don’t believe in the religion of trust in distant financially conflicted and corrupt hierarchies of authority?  But we have so much money!  How can you resist our tedious and monotonously soothing platitudes?   Don’t you want to be part of the herd?

Off with his head!


UNICEF Surveils, Defames Health Sites Over Vaccines

A stunning new report reveals that the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has been monitoring independent health sites and their users in an attempt to identify ‘anti-vaccine influencers’ and their effect on lackluster vaccine uptake.

A newly fashioned United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) working paper tracking “the rise of online anti-vaccination sentiments in Central and Eastern Europe” identifies independent health websites, including GreenMedInfo.com, Mercola.com, NaturalNews.com and VacTruth.com, as contributing to lackluster vaccine uptake.

The UNICEF report, titled “Tracking anti-vaccination sentiment in Eastern European social media networks,” obtained data using “state-of-the-art social medial monitoring tools,” and confirmed that parents are using social media networks to decide whether to vaccinate their children. …


War With Russia: A Bipartisan Agenda Masquerading as Partisan Politics

The Problem With The Clinton-Russia Collusion Narrative

So I’ve got some good news and some bad news. The good news is that the Republicans have finally found an answer to the dangerous Russiagate narrative which the Democrats have been using to pummel the Trump administration and help the US power establishment manufacture support for potentially world-ending escalations with a nuclear superpower.

The bad news is that their answer has been to create another Russiagate of their own.

I don’t expect this to be one of my more popular essays; the ones where I talk about the bullshit on both sides of the mainstream political debate seldom are, because I can’t rely on the manic energy of partisan politics to help circulate them. That said, the Clinton-Russia collusion narrative being eagerly embraced by Trump supporters everywhere lately presents some very serious problems that I’d like to bring into consciousness a bit, for those of you willing to indulge me a moment.

The problem with the new #ClintonRussia angle is not that the accusations being leveled by Trump supporters at Democrats are less legitimate than those being leveled by Democrats at Trump. The problem is that adding a new Russiagate scandal into the mix risks creating a bipartisan game of chicken which can cause the new cold war escalations to ramp up much faster than they already are.

Memories are amazingly short on the political scene, so people may have forgotten how this whole Russiagate thing got started in the first place. Dems started banging on about Russian hackers to distract from the revelations in last year’s WikiLeaks releases, which became exponentially more frantic following a CIA leak to the Washington Post in early December alleging that Russia had deliberately meddled in the November election with the intention of securing Trump’s victory. Democrats were fully on-board with the establishment Russia narrative from that point on since that nation was now married to the fear of Trump which had been instilled in them by the mainstream media, but it wasn’t until CNN reported in January on the existence of the Steele dossier (which Buzzfeed then published) that the Russia hysteria really kicked into fifth gear.

From that point on, any actions taken against Russian interests had the full-throated support of mainstream Democrats, from Sanders/TYT progressives to stalwart Blue Dogs, which worked out nicely for the unelected power establishment known as the US deep state. Increasing troop presence on the Russian border, aggressive sanctions, NATO expansionism, corporate internet censorship, and even Trump’s missile strike upon the Syrian government in April all enjoyed widespread support from Democrats across the spectrum. And now two nuclear superpowers are well into an ever-escalating new cold war, the consent for which was manufactured by the Russiagate hysteria under the pretense of “resisting” Trump.

After watching this very closely over the last year and writing about it extensively, I find it very concerning to see Trump and his supporters beginning to move in a very similar way: …