Thursday, April 06, 2017

North Korea wasn't first to pursue nuke weapons on the Korean peninsula By The Wayne Madsen Report

North Korea wasn't first to pursue nuke weapons on the Korean peninsula
By The Wayne Madsen Report
North Korea was not the first power on the Korean peninsula to pursue the acquisition of nuclear weapons. That distinction goes to U.S. ally South Korea under the dictatorship of Park Chung Hee. Ironically, as the U.S. corporate media joins the Pentagon in rattling war sabers against North Korea, the daughter of the South Korean leader who gave the green light to a South Korean nuclear arsenal, Park Geun-hye, was recently placed in prison on criminal fraud charges following her impeachment and removal from the South Korean presidency.

Currently, U.S. news networks are sending crews to South Korea to file reports on the U.S. military readiness to repel an attack from the North. Along with those reports come advertisements from such war contractors as Northrop Grumman, Boeing, and Lockheed Martin.

A Confidential cable from the U.S. embassy in Seoul to Secretary of State Henry Kissinger on July 30, 1974, just a little over a week before the resignation of President Richard Nixon, set off quiet alarms in Washington. A South Korean official told the U.S. ambassador in Seoul that word reached Seoul that North Korea was preparing to ratify the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). While such a move would have been welcomed in the region as a step toward de-nuclearization of the Korean peninsula, the South Korean government waffled on whether it would follow Pyongyang's lead in acceding to the NPT.

In fact, as a series of U.S. State Department cables indicate, the South Koreans had no intention of following Pyongyang on ratifying the NPT. The reason was simple: the Park dictatorship had secretly been developing its own nuclear arsenal.

Seoul began letting its nuclear cat out of the bag in an editorial in the July 12, 1974, edition of the Korean Central Intelligence Agency (KCIA)-dominated newspaper Kyunghyang Shinmun. The editorial thought it unwise for South Korea to pursue non-proliferation under the American nuclear protection umbrella. The cable from Seoul to Kissinger stated that the editorial was unambiguous about Seoul's intentions: "the ROK [Republic of Korea] can no longer take a negative attitude on the spread of nuclear capability out of humanitarian or sentimental concerns." The cable contained a stark warning for Washington: "Most senior ROK defense planners desire to obtain capability eventually to produce nuclear weapons." The cable added that U.S. pressure on Seoul could be expected to be met by "growing independence" by South Korea on defense matters.

The year 1974 presented a "perfect storm" for South Korea to embark on a nuclear weapons program. The skyrocketing of oil prices that year propelled South Korea's nuclear power industry, which was bolstered by two Westinghouse nuclear power plants then under construction and contracts for Canada to supply South Korea with two CANDU reactors. In addition, Seoul was talking to Gulf General Atomics about obtaining three 800-megawatt reactors that used highly-enriched uranium fuel. Moreover, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), believing South Korea to be "loyal" to the cause of nuclear non-proliferation, heartily endorsed the South's obtaining additional nuclear power plants through 1985.

The highly-enriched uranium obtained by the South was also necessary for the development of nuclear weapons. South Korea also had a separate covert program to develop weapons-grade plutonium. As seen from its acquisition of "dual use" nuclear technology, Seoul's nuclear weapons program had gone far beyond the planning stages when the U.S. embassy in Seoul first alerted Kissinger about Seoul's nuclear ambitions.

The Canadian ambassador in Seoul informed his U.S. counterpart that Canada was aware that South Korea might decide to divert its CANDU nuclear reactor technology to nuclear weapons production. In August 1974, Park, obviously aware that Washington was preoccupied with the resignation of Nixon and was not looking closely at Korea, privately told South Korean journalists that he ordered South Korean scientists to develop atom bombs by 1977. The CIA then believed that South Korea could develop its own nuclear bomb by 1980 by diverting technology for its nuclear power plants and secretly acquiring nuclear fuel reprocessing equipment from France. Park's agents also approached McDonnell-Douglas to acquire 200-mile range ballistic missiles capable of reaching Pyongyang from South Korean territory.

Under tremendous pressure from the Gerald Ford administration, South Korea, which had signed the NPT in 1968, finally ratified it in 1975. However, it is believed that work never actually stopped on South Korea's nuclear weapons program. Like that of Japan, it was buried deep within the "peaceful" nuclear power program. During the Jimmy Carter administration, when it was announced that the U.S. would withdraw its ground troops from South Korea, Park resumed the covert South Korean nuclear weapons program by secretly trying to obtain nuclear fuel reprocessing technology and materials from France. South Korea was not the only country with nuclear weapons aspirations to have approached the French for reprocessing capabilities. The French were negotiating a similar agreement with Pakistan.

It was South Korea's pursuit of nuclear weapons that resulted in North Korea pressuring China and the Soviet Union for a similar capability. Pyongyang's intention of ratifying the NPT was a casualty of Seoul's intentions. There is no evidence that either Beijing or Moscow provided the North with nuclear weapons technology, decisions that prompted the North to look elsewhere.

In 1992, after the fall of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War, North and South Korea signed the "Joint Declaration of South and North Korea on the Denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula." Although the North had not signed the NPT, it agreed with Seoul to not seek to "possess nuclear reprocessing and uranium enrichment facilities." Furthermore, North and South vowed that they would not "test, manufacture, produce, receive, possess, store, deploy or use nuclear weapons." North Korea proceeded to violate the North-South accord by continuing to develop a nuclear weapons capability. It tested an underground nuclear weapon at the Punggye-ri Test Site in 2006.

In 2004, the South Koreans had a surprise for the IAEA. It declared to the agency that it had conducted uranium enrichment and conversion and plutonium separation experiments at the Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute (KAERI). The IAEA considered the South's breach a severe violation of the NPT. The South Korean government said the experiments had been conducted "without the knowledge or authorization of the government." In a structured society like South Korea, the claim by Seoul was laughable, if it had not been so serious a move to acquire weapons-grade nuclear material.

  N. Korea-Kim Jong Il & Sec of State Madeline Albright.jpg Former U.S. President Bill Clinton (R) meeting with North Korea's leader Kim Jong-il (L) in Pyongyang
It takes a certain amount of tact, patience, and experience to deal with North Korea: Jimmy Carter with Kim Il Sung, 1994 [left], Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and Kim Jong Il, 2000 [center], Bill Clinton with Kim Jong Il, 2009 [right]. Trump misses out on all three requirements.

Today, the war mongers inside the Trump administration are hankering for a military showdown with North Korea. Such brinkmanship comes at a potential deadly cost to the United States. There are over 130,000 American citizens, including military forces, living in South Korea. Most live within range of North Korean artillery, which, in the first stages of a military conflict, will rain down their shells on metropolitan Seoul.

The Trump administration appears to be as befuddled and incompetent on Korea as was the Ford administration. For example, a February 28, 1975, National Security Council memo to Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, who also served as National Security Adviser, stated that South Korea's "initial stage of nuclear weapons development . . . would have a decidedly stabilizing effect in Northeast Asia," when the exact opposite was the case.

South Korea's covert nuclear weapons program under Park came to a halt in 1979 after the South Korean president was shot to death by his own KCIA chief. Although the KCIA's founding organization, the U.S. CIA, denied any role in the assassination, it was noted that the normal CIA complement of between 40 and 50 agents at the CIA station in Seoul doubled to over a 100 just prior to the assassination. Most of the agents worked out of the U.S. embassy's 5th floor, in what was called the CIA's "Research Unit."

North Korea's leader, Kim Jong Un, is an unstable character. However, he was schooled in Switzerland and is the first in three generations of Kim leaders to have lived in a Western country, becoming familiar with Western "culture," good and bad. Kim's grandfather Kim Il Sung and father Kim Jong Il were experienced Communist Party functionaries and were capable of diplomacy while not always abiding by international agreements. Kim Il Sung met in Pyongyang in 1994 with former President Jimmy Carter. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright met with Kim Jong Il in 2000 in Pyongyang, a meeting that was followed by one between Kim Jong Il and former President Bill Clinton in 2009. Kim Il Jong's sudden death in 2011, which may not have been by natural causes, ended high-level contacts between Pyongyang and Washington.

Kim Jong Un is a loose cannon, as seen with his ordering the assassination by VX nerve agent of his half-brother, Kim Jong-nam, at Kuala Lumpur International Airport. However, even a loose cannon can be lured with the dangling of lucrative "carrots." However, the Trump administration and its neanderthal thinkers like CIA director Mike Pompeo lack the gravitas to come up with a unique way to deal with Kim Jong Un without setting the Korean peninsula ablaze with a nuclear fire.

One thing is for certain. Neither China nor Russia will permit the U.S. Pacific Command to extend its territory to the Yalu River border with China or the Tumen River border with Russia. Unlike West Germany's unification with East Germany, there is no great desire among most South Koreans to absorb North Korea. An exception is the very elderly who still have relatives in the North. Therefore, any move to eliminate Kim from the scene will only have the support of China and Russia if a new North Korean regime adheres to a strict neutrality, guaranteed by all the powers in the region, including Japan and the United States.

There is likely an anti-Kim faction within the North Korean military that would move against the Kims if they were guaranteed leadership of a neutral North Korea in return for abandoning the North's nuclear weapons program. The best the U.S. can hope for is the emergence of a North Korean version of Marshal Tito, someone that will keep his country stable as a strictly neutral power in exchange for a guarantee of non-aggression from all regional powers, including the United States and a rapidly re-militarizing Japan. However, the North will need an insurance policy and that is its continued possession of short- and intermediate-range conventional missiles, not the intercontinental ballistic missiles like the one just test-fired by North Korea.

Trump considers himself the ultimate deal maker. However, given the presence of James Mattis at the Pentagon, Pompeo at the CIA, and right-wing lunatic Stephen Bannon always at Trump's side, Trump will not be able to deal with Pyongyang because he frankly lacks the intelligence and education to carry off such a feat. While "only Nixon could go to China," Trump does not have the wherewithal to navigate his way back to New York on the New Jersey Turnpike. On the issue of North Korea, a Trump White House official was anonymously quoted as saying, "The clock has now run out [on North Korea], and all options are on the table." That is not incredibly original or insightful.

Tuesday, April 04, 2017

America Plagued with Fake News and Fake TV Experts by The Wayne Madsen Report

America Plagued with Fake News and Fake TV Experts 

by The Wayne Madsen Report

Note: WMR is running the editor's recent piece published at Strategic Culture Foundation, which appeared on a list of some 200 websites prepared by the dubious as a "fake news" site. rates Strategic Culture Foundation as "High" in factual reporting. PropOrNot includes on their list of 200 "fake news" sites several that have been declared "hate sites" by the fraudulent Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), which seeks to appropriate the name and acronym of the SCLC -- Southern Christian Leadership Conference -- founded by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., for reasons that have little to do with "southern poverty" or the "law." SPLC has only one mission: to increase its tax-free donations to be able to afford to buy more real estate like its "Poverty Palace" building in downtown Montgomery, Alabama.

America Plagued with Fake News and Fake TV Experts
The U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee recently held a hearing devoted, in part, to accusations that Russia initiated a massive «fake news» campaign against the United States during the 2016 election. It must be pointed out that the popularity of alternative foreign news sources for the American public came after the «dumbing down» of U.S. news consumers by a «infotainment» industry, headquartered in Los Angeles and New York, that dished massive amounts of «phony news» to America on a 24 by 7 basis.
When Russia Today (RT), China’s CCTVAl Jazeera, Latin America’s Telesur, and Iran’s Press TV happened upon the scene in the United States, they became instantly popular for providing actual news instead of incessant pabulum about maladjusted Hollywood celebrities. After the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, many Americans were tired of their foreign news being filtered through the lenses of the Pentagon, Central Intelligence Agency, and Council on Foreign Relations.
No sooner had many Americans started switching their televisions to RT, Al Jazeera, and other international satellite news networks, American politicians like then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, herself no stranger to issuing forth propaganda masked as news, and their puppets in the media, began complaining about «foreign propaganda» aimed at Americans. The term «foreign propaganda» has now been changed to «fake news» because the Latin word «propaganda» was seen by the U.S. intelligence news manipulators as too hard for dumbed-down Americans in the hinterlands of the nation to understand.
To demonize Russia and the Trump administration in a single fell swoop, the CIA and National Security Agency permitted several former employees to take to the airwaves on television, radio, and Twitter to lambaste Trump for alleged connections to the Russian government and relying on Russian-directed «fake news» trolls and bots during the 2016 campaign. When the CIA, NSA, National Security Council, and other U.S. intelligence agencies encourage their former employees and retirees to take to public media, it is to advance a U.S. intelligence agenda. CIA field operatives are trained to lie. However, that fact is lost on U.S. media networks that are happy to have such purveyors of false propaganda to rant and rave about Russia, Trump, foreign lobbyists, and other self-invoked «demons».
The biggest fraud is MS-NBC’s featuring a «U.S. intelligence expert» whose highest rank in the U.S. Navy was Senior Chief Petty Officer. This individual acts as though he enjoys access to all-source intelligence, something he would not have been authorized to view even on active military duty as an Arabic linguist for NSA. Chief Petty Officers, who are enlisted personnel and not officers, seem to have, at least for MS-NBC producers, been placed on par with two- or three-star admirals. This is but one example of the scarcity of individuals in the corporate media who have even a small degree of experience in the military or the intelligence community.
Another intelligence «expert» hired by CNN was transferred from the CIA’s Office of Gulf Affairs in early 2001 to the George W. Bush National Security Council. Yet, this chest-beating «expert», who rails against «Russian influence» over the Trump White House, was unable to ascertain that Saudi and Gulf money was being used in early- and mid-2001 to finance a group of Al Qaeda terrorists who would later take credit for the 9/11 attack.
Fox News uses the «expertise» of a former CIA operations officer whose post-CIA claim to fame has been to appear on «shock jock» radio programs of such New York-based hosts as Don Imus and Gregg «Opie» Hughes and Anthony Cumia («Opie & Anthony»). This particular former CIA officer has been a cheerleader for assigning all blame for Trump’s «Russia problems» on former national security adviser Michael Flynn, claiming that Flynn’s greatest «crime» was not being truthful with Vice President Mike Pence about previous lobbyist connections. Only in the minds of these professional purveyors of disinformation could lying to a creepy former Indiana talk radio host like Pence be akin to a «crime».
Former high-level U.S. intelligence officials, including acting CIA directors Michael Morell and John McLaughlin, CIA and NSA director Michael Hayden, and CIA general counsel John Rizzo, have not been shy about appearing on television deriding Trump and his officials for Russia contacts. This points to a new politicization of the U.S. intelligence hierarchy unseen in the past. By beating the path to every television studio willing to have them on the air calling for severe retributions for the Trump White House, these members of the intelligence shadow hierarchy give rise to allegations of a «deep state» conspiracy against the U.S. administration.
The bloviating hyperventilation about threats from «Russia», «China», «Russian banks», and the Trump White House coming from the lips of these hyped intelligence experts is nothing more than propaganda dictated by the information operations branches within the CIA, NSA, Office of the Director of National Intelligence, and the U.S. Cyber Command. These experts have been joined by members of Congress who are «bought-and-paid-for» by the CIA, NSA, and other agencies. These include House Intelligence Committee ranking member Representative Adam Schiff, Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Senator Richard Burr, Senate Intelligence Committee ranking member Senator Mark Warner, Arizona Senator John McCain, South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham, California Senator Dianne Feinstein, and Oregon Senator Ron Wyden.
The CIA’s sudden conversion to an agency concerned about «fake news» is laughable since its over six decades-long history is replete with examples of news manipulation designed to advance CIA disinformation and propaganda operations. The CIA’s OPERATION MOCKINGBIRD was premised on creating CIA intelligence carve-outs within major American newspapers, broadcasters, and magazine publishers to promulgate false information. In so doing, the CIA created fake news stories to cover up the agency’s overthrowing of governments in Iran, Guatemala, Syria, British Guiana, Iraq, Laos, Togo, South Vietnam, Brazil, Bolivia, Indonesia, Dominican Republic, Ghana, Cambodia, Chile, Australia, Chad, Suriname, Grenada, Fiji, Burkina Faso, Panama, Gambia, Rwanda, Haiti, Nepal, Thailand, Honduras, Paraguay, Libya, and Ukraine. The 1963 coup against President John F. Kennedy can easily be added to this list, as well as the 1972 Watergate operation involving some of the same Kennedy assassination conspirators that was designed to eventually depose President Richard Nixon.
The U.S. intelligence community is also orchestrating another McCarthy era in the United States. Former FBI agent Clint Watts, a newly-minted «cyber-security expert» who now works for the CIA-linked Foreign Policy Research Institute, founded in 1955 by anti-Communism crusader Robert Strausz-Hupé, was the star witness of a recent Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on Russian «interference» in the 2016 election. Parroting the 1950s-era anti-Russian propaganda of Senator Joseph McCarthy and Strausz-Hupé, Watts proclaimed, «Through the end of 2015 and the start of 2016, the Russian-influenced system began to push themes and messages seeking to influence the result of the presidential election . . . Russian overt media outlets and covert trolls sought to sideline opponents on both sides of the political spectrum with adverse views towards the Kremlin».
Watts told intelligence committee member Senator Marco Rubio that he was one such target. Watts would have the nation believe that Rubio’s questionable past as a Miami call boy male prostitute and his links to a Miami on-line gay pornography businessman were all the products of Russian «trolls». However, the political dirt on Rubio was of the senator’s own making and non-attributable to «Russian» or any other foreign sources. The same goes for Texas Senator Ted Cruz, who was less-than-forthcoming about his Cuban father’s activities in New Orleans in the summer of 1963 alongside one Lee Harvey Oswald.
In a word, the congressional investigation of Trump and Russia, «fake news», and the hyping of the coverage by the corporate media is all nonsense. If one wants a lesson in fake news, just read any legitimate history of the CIA, Operation MOCKINGBIRD, and the agency’s «Mighty Wurlitzer» of propaganda fed to a tongue-drooling and tail-wagging media.
There are a few other "fake experts" who are receiving illogical face time on corporate media outlets. Two, in particular, have cult followings among anti-Russian xenophobes who have resurrected the days of Joe McCarthy's political witch hunts.

Disgraced former Naval War College professor John Schindler, who has brought the polemical anti-Russian terms "Chekist" (the first Soviet-era secret police), "Kompromat," (compromising information), "P
rovokatsiya" (provocations)," "Konspiratsiya" (conspiracy), "Dezinformatsiya," (disinformation), "Mokroye delo," (wet affairs), and "Aktivniyye meropriyatiya" (active measures) to the readers of his regular column in The Observer, a newspaper that was, until recently, owned by Donald Trump's son-in-law and "Secretary of Everything" Jared Kushner, is a major purveyor of Cold War-era propaganda. Schindler should know a thing or two about compromising information. In 2014, he was suspended and later fired from his professorship at the Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island for texting a photograph of his penis to a woman he met on-line. Schindler certainly appears to have friends at the dubious Wikipedia website. They managed to pull down his Wikipedia entry amid internal criticism from other Wikipedia editors.    

Schindler has been resurrected as a legitimate "talking head," thanks to CNN's Jake Tapper, who has hosted Schindler on his afternoon panel, "The Lead." It's similar to Paul Reubens, who played "Pee Wee Herman," being asked to star as a leading actor in a major movie after his 1991 arrest in a Sarasota, Florida porn theater for masturbating in public.Schindler has his share of defenders who claim he was unfairly maligned as a result of his "sexting" incident. Herman had his defenders also. One said of Herman after his arrest for public wanking, "Whatever [Reubens has] done, this is being blown all out of proportion." The individual who said that about Reubens was Bill Cosby.

Schindler, who claims that Trump will spend the rest of his life in prison for espionage and treason, has a cohort in his anti-Russia hysteria Twitter campaign. Louis Mensch, born
Louise Bagshawe, is an ex-Member of the UK Parliament who represented the Conservative Party. A political chameleon in the finest tradition of all neocons, Mensch became a member of the Labor Party kin the 1990s to support Prime Minister Tony Blair. She reverted back to the Tories in 2011 and won a seat in the House of Commons. Her term in Commons was fixated on defending her friend and former employer Rupert Murdoch from charges of phone hacking in the News of the World tabloid scandal. After helping Murdoch avoid criminal charges in the phone hacking scandal, Mensch resigned her seat in Parliament and moved to New York to be with her husband, Peter Mensch, the promoter of Metallica, Def Leppard, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Smashing Pumpkins. Since taking up residency in New York, Mensch has become an ardent defender of the CIA and National Security Agency, often tweeting in support of both agencies in concert with Schindler.  Mensch declared herself a "Republican for Hillary" in the 2016 election.  
    Image result for john schindler cnn tapper      Image result for louise mensch bill maher
Corporate media "experts": Naval War College "sexter professor" John Schindler on CNN's "The Lead" with Jake Tapper [left] and the attention deficit drug-addled ex-Tory MP Louis Mensch on "Real Time" with Bill Maher [right].

Mensch has been diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), which is exemplified by an inability to pay attention and controlling one's personal behavior. Mensch also admitted to having had an alcohol and hard drugs problem in the past. Nevertheless, she had commanded a loyal following on Twitter with her "inside sources" who claim the Trump administration, along with its Russian infiltrators, are on their last legs. This hyperbolic nonsense recently resulted in her appearance on "Real Time" with Bill Maher on HBO. Maher is a producer of a major fake news site called Vice. Vice News's cable offering, "Viceland," is a cesspool for stories about junkies, pot heads, gay vacationers, illegal aliens, and prostitutes billed as "news."