Closing Thought–28Jan19

What the Hell is DIA?

30 years ago very few Americans had evn heard of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA)….it was ultra secret and a bit shadowy…but recently the former head of DIA has made the news and a DIA contractor has been killed in Syria….so once again…what the Hell is the DIA?

DIA, provides military intelligence to warfighters, defense policymakers and force planners in the Department of Defense and the Intelligence Community, in support of U.S. military planning and operations and weapon systems acquisition.  We plan, manage, and execute intelligence operations during peacetime, crisis, and war.

Our diverse workforce is skilled in military history and doctrine, economics, physics, chemistry, world history, political science, bio-sciences, and computer sciences to name a few. We travel the world, and meet and work closely with professionals from foreign countries.

To this day few people know exactly what the DIA does…it came to be a thing when Obama fired the head of the DIA, Flynn…..but functions are still in the shadowy world of intelligence.

This is a new day and a new transparency…..

…the director of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), Lt. Gen. Robert P. Ashley Jr., gave a wide-ranging interview in which he discussed the DIA’s core mission. Ashley noted that the DIA is charged with producing foundational military intelligence for consumption by warfighters and senior leaders to avoid surprise and prevent or decisively win wars.

As a DIA veteran, however, I’ve always worried that descriptions of the agency’s core mission have typically been overly broad and never been quite so clear cut. Ambiguity over the DIA’s responsibilities prompted Congress to probe more deeply into the specifics of how the agency is charged with supporting U.S. national security and defense objectives. Specifically, Section 2432 of the latest proposed Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019 seeks “to prevent imbalanced priorities, insufficient or misaligned resources, and the unauthorized expansion of mission parameters” of the DIA. It further calls for “a repeatable process for evaluating the addition, transfer, or elimination of defense intelligence missions, roles, and functions, currently performed or to be performed in the future by the Defense Intelligence Agency.” Thus, a clearer explanation of what the DIA does and, more importantly, what it is supposed to be doing is in order, and I try to provide that here.

Just another cog in our National Security…..

Hopefully I help my reader understand the function and the necessity of this “agency” within our intel community.

Thomas Paine: America’s Founder

09 February 1737….the birth of Thomas Paine

Paine is a hero to me…..I was given a copy of Common Sense by my grandfather when I was 10 years old……and later he gave me his book on the collective works of Paine…… I was reading Paine at an early age and continue to do so today…..he is the one person on my list of famous people to have a beer with (if I ever get the chance). I am convinced that Jefferson wrote the DoI from notes given to him by Paine.

He is the original founder of the United States of America… a matter of fact he was the first person to use that title.

I have written several pots about Paine and his life…..

To say that Paine was a “Liberal” is an understatement as you have seen in the posts above… that is where I do not understand why many conservs and even Tea Party supporters use Paine as a icon or as their site name….he stood for the very things that they are always yelling about and condemning…..
Now that I have that off my chest….
The man that wrote the words that lead this nation to war with their mother nation is also a man that was later hated because of his views….confusing right?
When Thomas Paine’s ship pulled into Baltimore harbor on October 30, 1802, a large gathering of friends and admirers were waiting at dockside to welcome him back. Others stood by as well, some filled with loathing, merely to observe a famous figure. Since leaving the United States in 1787 to find a builder for his iron bridge, Paine had authored some of the most incendiary tracts of the 18th century, had been imprisoned and narrowly escaped Robespierre’s guillotine, and was widely reported to be a drunk and an atheist.

When he journeyed to Federal City on November 5 to pay his respects to the country’s third president, he found that he needed an alias and help from a presidential aide to get a room at Lovell’s, the city’s only hotel. As he later wrote a friend and future biographer, Thomas Clio Rickman,

“You can have no idea of the agitation which my arrival occasioned. From New Hampshire to Georgia (an extent of 1,500 miles), every newspaper was filled with applause or abuse.”

Paine will always be the person in history I most admire….so when I read about his treatment after the revolution just galls me….but it showed just how “one way” the American people can be.

Well Said!

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Dems Need To Speak UP

The saga of the fate of Venezuela is on-going….I have been waiting to see the response of the Dems to the policies coming up around Trump.

So far nothing…..those wanting my vote in 2020 need to get their butts in gear and formulate a response to Trump’s war drums……so far Tulsi and Bernie are the only ones that have a voice.

As President Donald Trump’s administration backed the overthrow of President Nicolas Maduro in Venezuela, Democratic senators and representatives in Congress were largely silent.

Some influential Democrats sided with Trump and expressed support for Juan Guaido, the right-wing opposition figure who declared himself interim president of Venezuela on January 23. But only three Democrats—Representative Ro Khanna, Representative Tulsi Gabbard, and Senator Bernie Sanders—spoke out against the decision by the U.S. government to give a green light to Guaido and the opposition to oust Maduro.

Representative Julian Castro, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, Senator Kamala Harris, and Senator Elizabeth Warren, all Democrats who have announced they will run for president in 2020, apparently had nothing to say about the right-wing coup attempt supported by the Trump administration.

The party that use to be a party that would buck any unnecessary wars….those were the days that are now dwindling with each new “war”…..

As the nation continued to reel from President Donald Trump’s shock decision last month to remove all U.S. troops from Syria, news came Wednesday that an unknown number of US soldiers were among at least 15 killed in a bombing in northern Syria. Amid such continued violence, one would think the president’s withdrawal would have ever more urgency. And yet, just about everyone in Washington has attacked his decision to pull out.

The reflexive hatred for Trump that dominates the national conversation is bad for the US, especially when it comes to foreign policy. This is not to say that the president isn’t a flawed figure; after all, I’ve spent the better part of two years critiquing most of his policies. Still, when the man demonstrates prudent judgment—as in his recent calls to pull US troops out of Syria and Afghanistan—he should be applauded. But that’s unlikely to happen in a divided America, as long as an interventionist, bipartisan consensus runs the show in Washington.

There are only minor voices in the DNC that oppose war…..hopefully the new Congress can change that…..

What Is The Military-Industrial Complex?

For years I have been writing about the “evils” of the military-industrial complex….how it controls our foreign policies….how it has a strangle hold on the members of Congress through massive donation to their election trunks……

Then I realized that I may not have given a clear definition of this situation…..yep a history lesson…..

The term “Military-Industrial Complex” was first used by Ike in his farewell speech…..

Now that you have heard the first use….let us go to the history books….

The term the”military-industrial complex” was made famous by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in his 1961 farewell address. Eisenhower warned:”In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.” Eisenhower (or his speechwriters) did not coin the phrase, but its previous usage referred to physical connections between industrial and military production, not political relationships. Eisenhower referred to a novel set of challenges facing the American polity in the Cold War, while other definitions refer to more general relationships between the military and industry.

One use of the term MIC refers to any set of relationships between military policy and industrial production. For example, scholars have examined the MIC in the former Soviet Union and in Latin American countries. Their concern is usually with the reciprocal influence of the military and industry on each other’s policies, rather than the hijacking of foreign policy by a collective interest in maintaining military-related production.

The only good to come out of this is jobs……everything else is just making a few extremely wealthy and use to start conflicts worldwide.

This is a slightly different look at the infamous M-IC…..

Military-Industrial Complex is an unofficial phrase used to signify the “comfortable” relationship that can develop between government entities (namely defense) and defense-minded manufacturers/organizations. This union can produce obvious benefits for both sides – warplanners receiving the tools necessary for waging war (while also furthering political interests abroad) while defense companies become the recipients of lucrative multi-million or multi-billion dollar deals.

“War for profit” is not an exclusive approach for modern times as it drove the best and worst of old Europe for many decades – perhaps best exemplified by the naval arms race seen between France, Spain and Britain. The driving force behind these initiatives was generally in out-doing a potential foe and, therefore, forcing the establishment of a large standing military force to counter the moves of the potential enemy. The modern interpretation of this, as it relates to the Military-Industrial Complex, is only slightly altered in that the established military force is now utilized to further global interests – the enemy is no longer another nation per se but any organization not in line with presented ideals.

Further Reading for those interested……

To illustrate how far the M-IC tentacles reach…..just look at the news of troop withdrawals issued by the president…..and the Dems are pretty silent even war-like in their response….

One month after President Donald Trump abruptly ordered thousands of troops to pull out of Syria and Afghanistan, only a handful of the Democratic Party’s likely 2020 presidential candidates have taken a stance on one of the most important U.S. foreign policy decisions in years.

The drawdown in Afghanistan and total withdrawal from Syria is expected to significantly alter the fight against the Islamic State militant group and potentially leave American-allied militias vulnerable as the U.S. begins to extricate its forces. The decision has also triggered backlash from the U.S. security establishment, including the resignation of top officials like former Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis.

The party use to be a reliable source of accountability…that has vanished.

The assault on the M-IC has gone into the land of activism…..

The MIC maintains itself through support from politicians across the right and the left enabled by policies and lack of accountability to public. Public awareness raising about the existence and harm of this system is step one. We have seen awareness raising and education turn the tide of war before, when it drastically shifted public favor against the Iraq war and propelled it to be a key voting issue in the 2008 presidential primaries. Important progress was achieved then but the wars continue and it’s time to organize for structural policy changes. Some examples include

Learn Stuff!

Class Dismissed!

Venezuela: Waiting For Gauido

While I was watching the Neocons go after Iran…….Venezuela appeared from behind the curtain…..

Before the US can move into violence mode they need to generate sympathy for such a move….we have done it for Iraq in 1991, Iraq in 2003, Libya, Syria, etc etc……

And now the US is got Venezuela in its sights….that is nothing new…they have been in those sights ever since the people of Venezuela elected Chavez as their leader.

Let me digress a bit…..we have this thing called the Monroe Doctrine…..a document that was released in 1823…. four basic points: (1) the United States would not interfere in the internal affairs of or the wars between European powers; (2) the United States recognized and would not interfere with existing colonies and dependencies in the Western Hemisphere; (3) the Western Hemisphere was closed to future colonization; and (4) any attempt by a European power to oppress or control any nation in the Western Hemisphere would be viewed as a hostile act against the United States.

Interesting and yet the US seems to be free to interfere any time they dislike the doings in the countries f the Western Hemisphere.

Okay digression is over……fast forward to the last couple of years….

Now that you are caught up…..after the most recent election in the country and the US has a message to the winner…..

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says the US is going to ignore Nicolas Maduro’s demand for all American diplomats to leave Venezuela within 72 hours—because the US no longer considers Maduro to be the president of Venezuela. Pompeo said in a statement after Maduro’s ultimatum that the US will conduct its affairs through Juan Guaido, who declared himself to be interim president on Wednesday. Reuters reports. “The United States does not recognize the Maduro regime as the government of Venezuela,” Pompeo said. “Accordingly the United States does not consider former president Nicolas Maduro to have the legal authority to break diplomatic relations.”

Maduro, who was inaugurated for a second term Jan. 10, said the opposition leader’s claim to the presidency was part of a US plot, the New York Times reports. “I am the only president of Venezuela,” Maduro said Wednesday. “We do not want to return to the 20th century of gringo interventions and coups d’état.” The US recognized Guaido as the troubled country’s new leader Wednesday, as did Canada and numerous Latin American countries, including neighbors Colombia and Brazil.

(Is the US using our diplomats as fodder against Maduro?)

The US says that  Juan Gauido is the president of Venezuela……who?

Let’s meet “el presidente”…….

(GPA— Now that the latest term of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has started and the western powers and their proxies refuse to recognize the Bolivarian government, the imperial states are in a mad dash to find a new face for the Venezuelan opposition. Now it seems that man has been found and the race is on, with state after state anointing the 35-year-old engineer Juan Guaidó.

Guaidó, now being called the “interim President” by everyone from Jair Bolsonaro, the Organization of American States (OAS), to Donald Trump and Justin Trudeau, is the current president of the Venezuelan National Assembly. However, according to the states looking for a regime change in Venezuela, Guaidó isn’t just head of the parliament but also the rightful leader of Venezuela.

Now that the US has chosen who will lead Venezuela they start with the chest thumping (a typical neocon tactic that Trump is embracing)……

It’s to the point where President Trump says “all options are on the table” against Maduro, with the immediate focus being some way to divert Venezuela’s money from oil exports to Guaido, instead of the Maduro government.

John Bolton was setting that out as a priority earlier in the week, though he conceded that officials weren’t clear yet how that would be accomplished. Citgo, Venezuela’s main foreign energy asset, is already gearing up for a fight, envisioning attempts at the company being taken over on behalf of the Guaido government, or otherwise trying to hijack their revenue stream before it gets back to Venezuela.


Battle lines being drawn……a video is call for…..

But for real the battle lines are being drawn…..

Below is a summary of support for the rival leaders.

And to make this a neocon threat of regime change Trump has sent a Ultra warhawk as special envoy…..

Elliott Abrams, a controversial neoconservative figure who was entangled in the Iran-Contra affair, has been named as a Trump administration special envoy overseeing policy toward Venezuela, which has been rocked by a leadership crisis.

Abrams’ appointment, announced Friday by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, is something of a surprise — President Donald Trump nixed his 2017 bid to be deputy secretary of State after learning that Abrams had criticized him.

What gives the US the right to decide who leads a country in South America?  The Monroe Doctrine has been used many times by the US for regime change….Guatemala, Cuba, Chile, Haiti, etc etc…….

The problem for the US is that other powerful country are not in the boat with the US……..Maduro still has the support of powerful countries including China, Turkey, Russia, and Iran, the AP reports. China urged the US to stay out of the crisis Thursday, saying it “opposes external intervention in Venezuela.”

All this faux bravado may be just idle words…..

Events in Venezuela shook the world on Wednesday, with many left wondering if January 23 was the beginning of the end for the government of President Nicolas Maduro and the beginning of a new chapter of U.S. interventionism.

Here are five reasons why it’s unlikely that this latest drama in the South American nation is the “endgame” that the mainstream media is hyping up.

But one cannot keep an accurate scorecard…..the players pro and con….

Below is a summary of support for the rival leaders.


* The top brass of Venezuela’s military has shown no sign of leaving Maduro’s side. Defence Minister Vladimir Padrino reaffirmed his support in a Tweet on Wednesday, saying Venezuela’s armed forces disavowed any self-proclaimed president.

* The Supreme Court, stacked with Maduro loyalists, has remained solidly behind the socialist leader, ruling earlier this week that all actions taken by the congress – led by Guaido – are null and void.

* Russia called Maduro the country’s legitimate president and accused the United States of trying to usurp power in Venezuela, warning Washington against military intervention.

* President Tayyip Erdogan said Turkey stood by Maduro, urging him to “stand tall”, Erdogan’s spokesman said.

* China voiced support for Maduro, saying it opposed outside interference in Venezuela and backed efforts to protect its independence and stability.

* State oil company PDVSA [PDVSA.UL], which accounts for most of Venezuela’s export earnings, stood by Maduro. “We have no other president” besides Maduro, said PDVSA President and Oil Minister Manuel Quevedo, a career military officer.

* A few left-leaning governments in the region, including Cuba and Bolivia, continue to back Maduro. Mexico, where leftist Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador took office last year, has dropped the previous government’s opposition to Maduro and said it will follow a policy of non-intervention.

* A diehard core of “Chavistas” in Venezuela, including armed gangs in poor urban areas, remain core to late leader Hugo Chavez’s exhortation to support Maduro come what may.

(ONe point “stacking the Supreme Court with loyalists… that not what the parties in this country do?)


* The United States recognised Guaido shortly after he proclaimed himself president, saying it would use its “economic and diplomatic power” to restore democracy in Venezuela.

* Numerous right-leaning Latin American governments, including Brazil, Colombia and Argentina, also recognised Guaido.

* The European Union’s executive called for new elections but declined to explicitly recognise Guaido as president. An EU statement urged authorities to respect his “civil rights, freedom and safety” and allow Venezuelans to freely determine their future.

* French President Emmanuel Macron saluted the courage of Venezuelans marching for freedom and called Maduro’s 2018 election victory illegal.

* A spokesman for British Prime Minister Theresa May said Maduro’s election was neither free nor fair, and expressed support for Guaido as national assembly head.

* The German government said Venezuela’s parliament had “a special role” to play in securing Venezuela’s “free future”.

* There are some signs that support for the opposition is expanding beyond its traditional middle- and upper-class areas. Several protests against Maduro have broken out in working-class neighbourhoods and slums this week.

* Some low-ranking military officers have expressed discontent with the government. The government on Monday said it suppressed a military revolt after a group of officers stole weapons, kidnapped officers, and demanded Maduro’s removal.

Watch This Story!  It will get worse before it gets better.

Further Reading…….

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