Friday, October 12

Right-Wingers Would Be Shocked to Learn That Islam Has Been Part of American History Since Its Founding

Homeland Security 'fusion' centers spy on citizens, produce 'shoddy' work, report says

The Department of Homeland Security has spent hundreds of millions of dollars on a network of 77 so-called “fusion” intelligence centers that have collected personal information on some U.S. citizens — including detailing the “reading habits” of American Muslims — while producing “shoddy” reports and making no contribution to thwarting any terrorist plots, a new Senate report states.

The “ fusion centers,” created under President George W. Bush and expanded under President Barack Obama, consist of special teams of federal , state and local officials collecting and analyzing intelligence on suspicious activities throughout the country. They have been hailed by Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano as “one of the centerpieces” of the nation’s counterterrorism efforts.

Right-Wingers Would Be Shocked to Learn That Islam Has Been Part of American History Since Its Founding
The Muslim faith is inextricably woven into the fabric of American history.

Islamophobia is back with a vengeance. Geller, a self-appointed hate czar, catapulted herself to racist celebrity back in 2010 with shrill denouncements of an Islamic community center in Lower Manhattan near the site of the World Trade Center. Since then, her repeat warnings of Islam’s foreign threat to America have resonated powerfully in a post-9/11 world where violent protests in the Middle East over a crude anti-Muslim film have triggered a fresh wave of anxiety.

It would undoubtedly shock Geller and her Islamophobic buddies to know that Muslims have been in America for so long they could almost have formed a welcoming committee to the Daughters of the Revolution.

It's Not About Religion: A Conversation With Author and Middle East Expert Gregory Harms
This conversation about Harms' new book places responsibility for US foreign policy on the US population - even as it undresses the propaganda that distorts Americans' perception of the people in the Middle East and turns them against Muslims at home.

Now, Harms is back with a timely, challenging and important book, It's Not About Religion (Perceval Press). Harms' new book effectively undresses the insipid and insidious propaganda that distorts America's perception of the people in the Middle East and often turns them against Muslims at home. In a succinct 90 pages, Harms educates readers on the history of the Middle East, how the West has prevented democracy from taking shape throughout the region, and how America has continually invaded its countries, interfered with its elections, and simultaneously managed to convince many Americans that all the aggression and intervention is innocently committed in defense of American lives. Harms shows how our perceptions of Islam are dangerously wrong and how our beliefs about US foreign policy are often naive.

Agent Orange on Okinawa: The Smoking Gun

Now, for the first time, a recently uncovered U.S. army report reveals that, during the Vietnam War, the United States stockpiled 25,000 barrels of Agent Orange on the Pacific island. The barrels, containing over 1.4 million gallons of the toxic defoliant, were brought to Okinawa from Vietnam before being taken to Johnston Island in the Pacific Ocean, where the U.S. military incinerated its stocks of the compound in 1977.

Contradicting decades of denial by Washington, the report is the first direct admission by the U.S. military that it stored these poisons on Okinawa. A series of photographs was also uncovered, apparently showing the 25,000 barrels in storage on Okinawa’s Camp Kinser, near the prefectural capital of Naha.

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