Thirty Seconds to Midnight – The Final Wake-Up Call

By Filmmaker Regis Tremblay

A documentary that pulls no punches

This ambitious 90-minute film is now being shown around the country and abroad.  What follows is Tremblay’s introduction:

 

I have done my best to state what few others dare to say. Humanity is on the brink of extinction! Nuclear power is not safe. 48 of America’s nuclear power plants are leaking and there is no way to get rid of nuclear waste. America’s reckless provocations of both Russia and China, two nuclear-armed countries, risk a nuclear holocaust from which no one survives. Climate change and global warming, if not mitigated immediately, will end the human experiment on earth sooner rather than later.

 

A shocking documentary that traces the origins of U.S. genocides, military interventions and wars from the 15th century when the white, colonial explorers first came to the Americas to the very present. American Exceptionalism, Manifest Destiny, and the right to claim the earth and its resources as their own are the beliefs that are the foundation of American foreign policy in the 21st Century that has humanity on the brink of extinction.

 

Dr. Helen Caldicot, Ray McGovern, Chris Hedges, Ann Wright, Peter Kuznick, Bill McKibben,

David Vine, Bruce Gagnon, and other activists, scholars, and authors explain and clarify the crisis and threats to life on the planet.

 

The only real hope lies in the result of the epic battle for humanity’s survival between two contrasting worldviews. On one side is the unipolar, capitalist world-domination by the U.S. enforced by the most lethal military the world has ever seen.

 

On the other side is a view offered by Russia, China and the BRICS nations; why not a multi-

polar world based on respect, the sovereignty of all nations, international law, the equal value of all people, and cooperation.

 

The Doomsday Clock is a symbolic clock face that represents a countdown to a possible global nuclear catastrophe. It has been maintained since 1947 by members of a group called Chicago Atomic Scientists, who had participated in the Manhattan Project.  In 2015, they moved the hands to three minutes to midnight, reflecting Climate Change. In January 2017, they moved the hands 30 seconds closer to midnight. The clock is now at 2:30 to midnight.

 

Because of rising tensions between the U.S., Russia and China, the dangers of a nuclear catastrophe are worse now than during the Cold War. Compounding the situation is nuclear power, which is not safe. Fukushima, Chernobyl, and Three Mile Island are just the most recent nuclear disasters. Added to that, 48 of America’s 64 nuclear power plants are leaking radioactive material.

 

The third existential threat to life on the planet is climate change, which if left unmitigated will make life on Earth nearly impossible much sooner than anyone expected.

 

And so, I titled my new documentary Thirty Seconds to Midnight – The Final Wake Up Call to reflect the near-term extinction of all life on the planet. No one can predict just when extinction will happen, but the threat of a nuclear exchange and the expected consequences of climate change are pushing the Doomsday Clock closer to midnight.

 

So, here we are, humanity’s epic battle for survival. An old paradigm based on white, colonial domination and empire versus the shared vision of others who are working for a world based on justice, international law, cooperation and the prosperity of all people.

 

My goal for this film is to continue to educate and open the eyes of Americans and people around the world about the most pernicious and destructive global forces that are threatening life on the planet.

 

Regis Tremblay

Larry Johnson on President Trump’s Charge He Was “Wiretapped”

(7 and a half minutes)

 

Larry has several reliable sources with excellent access.  He was correct on the false-flag sarin gas attack outside Damascus on August 21, 2013 (aimed at mousetrapping Obama into doing “shock and awe” against Syria).  He is correct here, as well.  Small wonder the Fawning Corporate Media avoid him, and others of us VIPS, like the bubonic plague.

Bill Binney and Ray discuss the latest disclosures by WikiLeaks revealing a bizarre arsenal of offensive (in both senses of the word) cyber tools developed by geeks recruited for the CIA cyber center established by former director John Brennan.

 

Yep, “they” really are keeping track of all of us and what we are doing, and have developed computer technology that can do things like take control of your automobile.  On March 7, after the WikiLeaks release earlier that day, Bill and Ray discussed the release, and more, in a relaxed conversation moderated by WBAI’s Live on the Fly radio host Randy Credico.

 

WikiLeaks’s trove of information reflects an Orwellian obsession at CIA with cyber/snooping/warfare, but also shows that with respect to defensive measures, CIA’s cyber-warrior geeks are embarrassingly inept.  Small wonder that senior spook managers, White House denizens, and sleepy members of Congress do not like Julian Assange.  They do not like him – not one bit.

 

Did President Obama know of these activities?  Was his pal John Brennan acting on his own, or perhaps with a presidential wink and smile?  Were Congress’s Intelligence Oversight/Overlook Committees briefed?  And what’s with these rubber-stamp judges of the FISA Court?  Who the hell is running the country anyway?

 

Bill and Ray banter in a relaxed way on the latest news, adding anecdotes, from their own personal experience, about main players past and present (including those making big bucks serving servile media).  One focus is on the current turmoil in Washington where someone seems to have put something in the water.  It was probably the Russians!

 

 

 

We Warned the American People about Naked Surveillance, but No One Listened

What follows is an article written VIPS member Kirk Wiebe, a former senior NSA official and whistleblower and a true patriot embodying the character and integrity essential for a strong, free America.

 

We Warned the American People about Naked Surveillance, but No One Listened

BY KIRK WIEBE

 

 

I’m from a small town in Indiana, where we often passed on knowledge with this simple bit of farmland wisdom:  “If you plant onions, you’ll pretty much get onions.”  Another way of stating it, perhaps more eloquently, is “You reap what you sow.”

 

Still another fitting bit of wisdom in the context of what we are witnessing today would be found in “Live by the sword, die by the sword.”

 

Over a decade and a half ago, the NSA Four (Bill Binney, Ed Loomis, Tom Drake, and myself), together with House Intelligence Committee Senior Staffer Diane Roark pleaded for a surveillance system that protected the innocent, in order to prevent the destruction of individual privacy guaranteed us all by the U.S. Constitution.

 

Nobody listened.  No one cared.  No one took corrective action.

Today, we see unfolding before our very eyes a Constitutional crisis of monumental proportions, one that threatens the very foundations of our nation’s system of governance.

People hidden in the bowels of the United States Intelligence Community are leaking classified information taken from the private phone calls of innocent people – people who have not been accused of committing any crime – to the press for purely political reasons, reasons that include an attempt to take down our duly elected administration.

 

Had the approach we advocated over 16 years ago been used – one that featured a built-in capability that prevented the kind of access to, and disclosure of, private information we are seeing in the news – we would not be witnessing the abject abuse of authority that is unfolding before us.  President Obama’s order just before departing the White House that spread access to NSA’s intercepts to hundreds of additional people across all 17 agencies of the Intelligence Community would not have mattered. Innocent people’s private information would have been protected.

 

The questions remain – is anyone listening? Does anyone care? Indeed, Albert Einstein once said, “The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don’t do anything about it.”

Is anyone taking corrective action to prevent such leaks, even in the absence of identifying the individuals who are continuing to break the law?

 

It might take a week, maybe two, maybe even three, depending on the IT architecture involved, to put the data protections in place.

 

For the American People.  For the nation.

Ambassador to the USSR (and then Russia) Jack Matlock puts “notorious” contacts with Russian officials in perspective

March 4, 2017

http://jackmatlock.com/2017/03/contacts-with-russian-embassy/

 

There is no more knowledgeable a specialist on issues like this obscenely over-hyped one.  Even Michael McFaul, U.S. ambassador to Russia (Dec. 2011 to Feb. 2014), who made it a practice to cultivate and encourage everyone and his brother (and sister) who were strongly opposed to Kremlin leaders, and has been a Daily Beast favorite, has ridiculed the media witch-hunt pursuit of those who dare talk to Russians.  (Ray remembers reading, while in Palestine, of McFaul’s comments; strangely, Google seems unable to find them.)

“A Warning From the Middle East” – And “STANDING”

Stephen Kinzer, Boston Globe, March 2, 2017

https://www.bostonglobe.com/opinion/2017/03/02/warning-from-middle-east/N2fFmDKfVJxq3NLAtLitdP/story.html

 

It can happen/is now beginning to happen in the U.S:

 

“First they came for the Mexicans, then for the Muslims, then for those standing at Standing Rock, then …”

 

 

 

This brave man was convicted of leaking secrets because he blew the whistle on Israel’s nuclear bombmaking capabilities. He spend 18 years in prison, and he is not allowed to leave Israel. He’s also not allowed to meet with foreigners, unless it’s by chance, which this was.

 

Last night Ray got back from two and a half weeks in Palestine/Israel, with eight other Veterans For Peace, standing for justice for Palestinians.  Some of them were fresh back from icicled beards, standing with our Native American brothers and sisters at Standing Rock – and before that, standing with native Koreans against the U.S. Navy’s carving out a nuclear submarine base at Jeju Island, South Korea, and standing with the Mayor of Okinawa against the further U.S. militarization of Japan aimed at China.

 

A powerful witness to Ray – not only to be part of this non-flinching, but also nonviolent, group (our Palestinian friends and we were tear-gassed three times) – but also to be STANDING in the same human (even sacred) tradition as three “Dans,” to whom Ray owes so much:

Dan Maguire, fearless professor of moral theology at Marquette;

Dan Ellsberg, whose close friend/whistleblower-follower, Mordecai Vanunu, happened to spot a few of the VFP delegation in East Jerusalem and shared supper; and

Dan Berrigan, SJ, who pondered poignantly about “standing” in an unpublished poem Ray copied from the wall of the Catholic Worker Mary House, where Dorothy Day lived and died:

 

++++++++++++++++++++++++

 

SOME

 

Some stood up once         and sat down.

Some walked a mile         and walked away.

 

Some stood up twice       then sat down.

I’ve had it, they said.

Some walked two miles     then walked away.

It’s too much, they cried.

 

Some stood and stood and stood.

They were taken for fools

They were taken for being taken in.

 

Some walked and walked and walked

They walked the earth

They walked the waters

They walked the air.

 

Why do you stand          they were asked           and

Why do you walk?

 

Because of the children, they said, and

Because of the heart, and

Because of the bread,

Because

The cause

Is the heart’s beat

And the children born

And the risen Bread.

 

Daniel Berrigan, S.J.

 

“A tribute to my dear and honored friend, Eqbal Ahmed” Daniel Berrigan

 

The poem “Some” is © Daniel Berrigan, privately printed in Gaelic green in 2013 from hand-set type by the Larch Free Press of Ithaca, New York.

Confronting Settlers at Nabi Saleh, Occupied West Bank

By Ellen Davidson, Veterans For Peace Associate
Especially impressive was watching how well schooled in the difficult practice of nonviolence the younger VFPs, in particular, were.  Matt Hoh (former USMC) could easily have inflicted substantial harm, so to speak, on the settler cowards who attacked the women first, then the photographers/videographers, then women and men who were not as formidable targets as that presented by Matt.

And Mike Hanes, who sprang immediately to defend the women first attacked by the settler in the gray sweatshirt, showed incredible self-restraint and composure, when that settler pushed him over a rock.  Mike is former member of Marine equivalent of special forces.  Never mind that that particular settler wore a sidearm, Mike easily could have brought that settler to a “no-good end,” an expression the Chinese often use to describe — well, a no-good end.

Both Matt and Mike were among those VFPers who stayed that night (March 3-4) in Nabi Saleh, since it seemed very likely there would be a house-raid on Bassem’s house (which has already been earmarked for “demolition) after midnight, as is frequently the practice.  No raid took place.  Why? — perhaps because of the VFP presence; or perhaps because the settlers and soldiers prefer not to do such violent house raids on the Sabbath — religious folks that most of them are.

Let’s hope and pray there is no raid — and no demolition — now that the VFP delegation is back home in the U.S.  Asked about the risk incurred by Nabu Saleh residents’ periodic demonstrations against the illegal settlement nearby and the seizure of the spring, Bassem said matter-of-factly that the alternative is, in its own way, far more dangerous.  The alternative? –passive acquiescence and lost hope.  The courage of the Palestinians just won’t quit.

Veterans for Peace pics from Israel

We went over to the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv.

Demonstrating for Justice at U.S. embassy, Tel Aviv

 

The people across the street seemed perplexed by our banner.

Two Israelis ponder meaning of Veterans For Peace Banner

 

We go off to the beach. Here, Mike is drying his socks as he walks.

Tel Aviv beach: a good place to air out socks

 

Two young vets and…

 

An older and wiser vet

 

Writing love letters in the sand