Black Agenda Radio Commentaries
News, analysis and commentary on the human condition from a black left perspective.

NSA, DEA and Local Cops Share Information Concealed From Judges & Defendants, But No Black Liberal Outrage

A Black Agenda Radio Commentary by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

The racist and hypocritical and failed war on terror has something in common with the racist, hypocritical and failed war on drugs. I mean, something new, not merely that they're both based on lies to propagate public fear, or that they're both great white holes politicians of both parties can shove billions of dollars into, making contractors wealthy and their own jobs secure.

A Monday morning Reuters news story confirms that the NSA shares unknown quantities of its vacuum cleaner surveillance of every American's electronic communications and whereabouts with the federal Drug Enforcement Administration, which duly passes it on to thousands of state and local police agencies in every jurisdiction.

Just as the power-mad generals at NSA pretends that everything they do is perfectly legal, DEA spokespeople also assure us that no laws are broken, even though their own manuals counsel local police to lie about their sources of information, and instruct them, where possible to fogey up so-called “reconstructive investigations” to yield material usable in court and free from annoying exculpatory evidence.

The information pipeline between the NSA, the DEA, your local police departments and assorted contractors is not overseen, even by legislators sworn to secrecy or clandestine courts. All oversight is in the hands of the Drug Enforcement Administration, a federal agencyt created for the express purpose of publicizing, politicizing and prosecuting the failed 40 years war on drugs. Given this complete lack of oversight, can we even begin to take seriously their declarations about the limits the information they pass on and the uses they put it to?

If the Bush-Cheney gang were still in the White House, the assurances of NSA generals and DEA cops, along with purported inquiries into the legality of these practices by a Department of Justice which recently pronouced that being profiled at a White House “Terror Tuesday” meetings was all the “due process” required before summary execution by drone – these assurances would be met with a relentless storm of disbelief and ridicule.

But in the upside down universe of liberals in this, the age of Obama, violations of due process, mass incarceration, vacuum cleaner surveillance of the digital lives and correspondence of all Americans, and passing the results of this unconstitutional surveillance on to local police are beneath the notice of black and white Democrats, and unworthy of comment, even by black leaders who claim to oppose mass incarceration.

It may have taken the Bush-Cheney gang to initiate the so-called War on Terror. But only Barack Obama., only a black Democrat in the White House could make it OK in the eyes of black and white liberals to bring that war home in the forms of border walls, universal surveillance, and the sharing of that surveillance data with local cops who conceal its origin at the same time they claim that everything they do is legal. And nobody even laughs.

For Black Agenda Radio,. I'm Bruce Dixon. Find us on the web at www.blackagendareport.com.

Bruce A. Dixon is managing editor at Black Agenda Report, and a member of the state committee of the Georgia Green Party. He lives and works in Marietta GA, and can be reached via this site's contact page or at bruce.dixon(at)blackagendareport.com.

Direct download: 20130807_bd_liberal_hypocrisy.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:52am EDT

Rwandan Warlord Kagame Threatens Neighbors and UN Force

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

Kagame must give up his delusional dreams of invading Tanzania.”

Paul Kagame, the minority Tutsi warlord of Rwanda, is in a dangerous mood. For 17 years, the United States armed Kagame’s military to the teeth as Rwanda and another U.S. ally, Uganda, plundered and destabilized the Democratic Republic of Congo, killing millions in the process. However, in the face of mounting international outcry, the U.S. reluctantly agreed to rein in its Rwandan warlord, first with a nominal cutback in military aid, and then late last month demanding that Rwanda halt its support for the Congolese Tutsi rebel group M23. It is no secret that M23 is an annex of the Rwandan military, an extension of Paul Kagame’s bloody hand in the Congo. M23 seized the Congolese city of Goma, on the Rwandan border, for two weeks last year, to show that Kagame’s military remains the strongest in the region. The United Nations, whose peacekeepers were chased away from Goma last year, responded by assembling a 3,000-man so-called “Intervention Brigade” with a mandate to use force against Rwanda’s rebel proxies. On August 1, the UN gave M23 an ultimatum to disarm. In defiance, the Tutsi guerillas are instead threatening to once gain capture Goma and its one million people, in a showdown with the United Nations combat brigade.

Such a conflict would constitute an escalation in the central African war. The UN brigade is made up of soldiers from South Africa, Malawi and Tanzania. Back in April, the M23 rebels issued a warning to Tanzania to withdraw its forces from the Intervention Brigade, or face unspecified consequences. No one doubted that the rebels were speaking for their boss, Rwandan President Kagame. Then, on June 30, just before President Obama touched down in Tanzania as part of his tour of Africa, Kagame issued an unmistakable threat against Tanzania and its president, Jakaya Kitwete. Kagame said that President Kitwete had “crossed a line that you should never cross…because I will wait for you at the right place and I will hit you!” When spoken by a warlord who has already killed millions, those are fighting words.

Kagame’s regime is inherently warlike and unstable.”

Tanzanian President Kitwete did not respond in kind, but one of his foreign ministry officials did, on July 12, saying Kagame “must give up his delusional dreams of invading Tanzania.” If Kagame persists, said the Tanzanian official, he “will be whipped like a small boy.”

Tanzania, like the Democratic Republic of Congo, shares a border with Rwanda and with Washington’s other mercenary client state, Uganda. The threat of invasion must be taken seriously. However, it is more like that Kagame will be tempted to take out his aggressions on the United Nations combat brigade – one-third of which is Tanzanian.

The United States believes it can control the little African Frankensteins it has created, like Paul Kagame. But Kagame’s regime is inherently warlike and unstable, because it is a dictatorship of an ethnic minority, the Tutsis, who make up no more than 15 percent of Rwanda’s population. It remains in power through sheer force and terror, a lawless regime that fears its own people and covets its neighbors’ resources. The U.S. may soon decide that Kagame is more trouble to the imperial enterprise than he’s worth. One thing is sure: Kagame is one criminal who won’t go out quietly.

For Black Agenda Radio, I’m Glen Ford. On the web, go to BlackAgendaReport.com.

BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at Glen.Ford@BlackAgendaReport.com.

Direct download: 20130807_gf_CONGO.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:25am EDT