‘When Apple and Google unveiled new encryption schemes last month, law enforcement officials complained that they wouldn’t be able to unlock evidence on criminals’ digital devices. What they didn’t say is that there are already methods to bypass encryption, thanks to off-the-shelf digital implants readily available to the smallest national agencies and the largest city police forces — easy-to-use software that takes over and monitors digital devices in real time, according to documents obtained by The Intercept.
We’re publishing in full, for the first time, manuals explaining the prominent commercial implant software “Remote Control System,” manufactured by the Italian company Hacking Team. Despite FBI director James Comey’s dire warnings about the impact of widespread data scrambling — “criminals and terrorists would like nothing more,” he declared — Hacking Team explicitly promises on its website that its software can “defeat encryption.”’
- Police Act Furious About Encrypted Phones But Still Love Them. Here’s Why
- FBI director attacks tech companies for embracing new modes of encryption
- Leaked Files: German Spy Company Helped Bahrain Hack Arab Spring Protesters
- You Can Get Hacked Just By Watching This Cat Video on YouTube
- Pakistani Man Indicted for Selling ‘StealthGenie’ Spyware App
- Italian spyware firm relies on U.S. Internet servers
- Hacking Team’s Government Surveillance Malware
- Mapping Hacking Team’s “Untraceable” Spyware
- FBI software cracks encryption wall
- Homeland Security Trade Show Deserted Even As Industry
- How Government-Grade Spy Tech Used A Fake Scandal To Dupe Journalists
- Phony WikiLeaks Tricks Activist Into Downloading Government-Grade Spyware
‘When the FBI applied for warrants this summer to raid three $25,000-per-night villas at Caesar’s Palace Hotel and Casino, it omitted some key investigatory details that eventually resulted in the arrest of eight individuals, including an alleged leader of a well-known Chinese crime syndicate, defense lawyers maintained in Las Vegas federal court documents late Tuesday.
The authorities built, in part, a case for a search warrant (PDF) by turning off Internet access in three villas shared by the eight individuals arrested. At various points, an agent of the FBI and a Nevada gaming official posed as the cable guy, secretly filming while gathering evidence of what they allege was a bookmaking ring where “hundreds of millions of dollars in illegal bets” on World Cup soccer were taking place.’
‘Even as the FBI warns US citizens that their personal data is increasingly likely to be hacked by criminals, the agency – without any public debate – is quietly ramping up its own abilities to hack anyone in the world. And, as we found out this week, their underhanded tactics are even ensnaring news organizations.
[...] In the six years since the FBI impersonated the Seattle Times and AP to hack a suspect, it’s only ramped up its exploits. Since at least 2007, the FBI has had what it calls a “Secure Technologies Exploitation Group” – which is a more polite way of saying they have a team that hacks computers.
In an extraordinary report published in August, Wired’s Kevin Poulsen detailed how the FBI has been setting up honeypots on certain websites to ensare all sorts of suspects. The websites deliver malware to every visitor of the website and will tell the FBI who has been visiting it – even if the Internet users are using anonymity tools like the Tor Browser. It’s one thing if this is being done for child porn websites – where even visiting the site is a crime – but this is yet another tactic that the FBI uses without telling us how often or against whom it’s aimed.’
- FBI demands new powers to hack into computers and carry out surveillance
- FBI created fake Seattle Times Web page to nab bomb-threat suspect
- FBI Director: If Apple and Google Won’t Decrypt Phones, We’ll Force Them To
- Justice Department Proposal Would Massively Expand FBI Extraterritorial Surveillance
- Visit the Wrong Website, and the FBI Could End Up in Your Computer
‘Last week, we learned that the GCHQ certainly isn’t engaged in mass surveillance — provided you redefine the meaning of “mass” and “surveillance” in unconventional ways. Now we discover that maybe it doesn’t really need to, since it can just ask the NSA and other secret services for access to their raw data without even needing a warrant, as a group of human rights organizations have discovered.
[...] Once again, we see evidence that intelligence agencies are happy to do the dirty work for each other so that they can all claim to have clean hands — just as the outgoing head of the GCHQ claimed when he said that people there would “walk out the door” rather than be involved in anything so sordid as mass surveillance. It also shows how even the weak safeguards and ineffectual oversight of spy agencies can be circumvented by this kind of mutual help, something pointed out by the organizations behind the latest information.’
- Secret policy reveals GCHQ can get warrantless access to bulk NSA data
- Departing GCHQ Boss Insists GCHQ Isn’t Engaged In Mass Surveillance… If You Define ‘Mass’ And ‘Surveillance’ The Way He Does
- UK Government Admits Spying On Innocent Citizens, Reveals Flawed Assumption Underlying ‘Collect It All’ Surveillance
- Secret UK Policy On Surveillance Of All ‘External’ Communications Revealed By Counter Terrorism Boss
- When Robots Take Over Most Jobs, What Will Be the Purpose of Humans?
- One in three jobs will be taken by software or robots by 2025
- What jobs will robots take over?
- Pew Research: AI, Robotics, and the Future of Jobs
- What we’ll be doing once the robots take our jobs
- Will robots take our jobs? Experts can’t decide
- Barkley: ‘Unintelligent’ blacks ‘brainwashed’ to choose street cred over success
- Charles Barkley and the Plague of ‘Unintelligent’ Blacks
- Charles Barkley Is Right on ‘Acting White’
- What Charles Barkley Gets Wrong About Race
- Russell Wilson is black enough, can overcome the criticism
- Charles Barkley comments on race worthy of serious discussion
‘The number of billionaires has doubled since the start of the financial crisis, according to a major new report from anti-poverty campaigners.
According to Oxfam, the world’s rich are getting richer, leaving hundreds of millions of people facing a life “trapped in poverty” as global “inequality spirals out of control”.
The report found that the number of billionaires in the world has more than doubled to 1,646 since the financial crisis of 2009, and Oxfam says is evidence that the benefits of a return to economic growth are “not being shared with the vast majority”.’
‘[...] The accepted version is that the neo-liberal right and the free market triumphed. But maybe the truth is that what we have today is far closer to a system managed by a technocratic elite who have no real interest in politics – but rather in creating a system of rewards that both keeps us passive and happy – and also makes that elite a lot of money.
That in the mid 1980s the new networks of computers which allowed everyone to borrow money came together with lifestyle consumerism to create a system of social management very close to Skinner’s vision.
Just like in the mental hospital we are all given fake money in the form of credit – that we can then use to get rewards, which keep us happy and passive. Those same technologies that feed us the fake money can also be used to monitor us in extraordinary detail. And that information is then used used to nudge us gently towards the right rewards and the right behaviours – and in extremis we can be cut off from the rewards.
The only problem with that system is that the pigeons may be getting restless. That not only has the system not worked properly since the financial crash of 2008, but that the growing inequalities it creates are also becoming a bit too obvious. The elite is overdoing it and – passive or not – the masses are starting to notice.’
‘Zambia’s Guy Scott became Africa’s first white head of state in 20 years on Wednesday after the president, “King Cobra” Michael Sata, died in a London hospital aged 77.
Scott, a Cambridge-educated economist born in Zambia to Scottish parents, had been Sata’s vice president. He will be interim leader until an election in three months, making him the first white African leader since South Africa’s F.W. de Klerk lost to Nelson Mandela in the 1994 election that ended apartheid.
Scott, 70, is ineligible to run in a presidential election because his parents were not born in Zambia, leaving defense minister Edgar Lungu and finance minister Alexander Chikwanda the most likely contenders for the ruling Patriotic Front party’s ticket, analysts say.’
- Guy Scott’s rise to Zambia’s presidency
- Zambian President Michael Sata Dead At 77
- Sata’s death puts IMF Zambia mission and much else on hold
- Zambian vice-president Guy Scott: ‘South Africans are backward’
- Zambia Tax Hike May Force Barrick to Close Copper Mine
- Glencore Suspends Zambia Copper Projects Over Tax Row
- UN Stats: Copper Mining Industry in Zambia
- Burkina Faso’s revolution 2.0
- African protesters launch ‘Black Spring’ in Burkina Faso
- Burkina army imposes interim government after crowd burns parliament
- Burkina Army Chief Announces Creation Of Transitional Government
- Burkina Faso opposition urges Compaore to quit
- Burkina Faso Leader Refuses To Quit After Day Of Violence
- Thomas Sankara, “Africa’s Che Guevara”
You Can’t Vote Out National Security Bureaucrats: And They, Not Elected Officials, Really Run The Show
‘A year ago, we noted a rather odd statement from President Obama, concerning some of the Snowden leaks. He more or less admitted that with each new report in the press, he then had togo ask the NSA what it was up to. That seemed somewhat concerning to us — suggesting that the administration wasn’t actually aware of what the NSA was up to until after it leaked to the press. Combine that with our more recent story of how James Clapper is basically ignoring the substance of President Obama’s called for surveillance reforms, and you might begin to wonder who really runs the show when it comes to surveillance. And, indeed, according to a guy who knows quite well, the national security bureaucracy basically calls the shots, and the President has little to no power. That’s the basic summary of an interview with Michael Glennon under the title Vote all you want. The secret government won’t change in the Boston Globe.
Glennon is the author of a new book called National Security and Double Government, as summarized by the Boston Globe.’
‘[...] As great as Edward Snowden’s leaks were for shedding light on the abuses of power within the NSA – and for actually getting them into the damn media for months at a time! – the problem of intelligence and federal law enforcement agencies doing whatever the hell they want dates back to the dawn of law enforcement and intelligence agencies.
This week, Techdirt pointed to a shiny new book by Michael Glennon which details the extent to which unelected bureaucrats are more in charge than the officials we elect every four or six years. The book is called National Security and Double Government, which is not an encouraging title at all. Glennon, who has plenty of non-tinfoil-hat-chops, is echoing comments by folks like John Kerry who say some of these spy apparatuses are “on autopilot.” Obama, too, may be purely Captain Renault shocked – shocked! – about the gambling going on, but a more frightening proposition than that is if the NSA really is handling its own accountability without even presidential oversight.’
- You Can’t Vote Out National Security Bureaucrats: And They, Not Elected Officials, Really Run The Show
- U.S. directs agents to cover up program used to investigate Americans
- FBI’s counterterrorism sting operations are counterproductive
- The F.B.I. Deemed Agents Faultless in 150 Shootings
- ICREACH: How the NSA Built Its Own Secret Google
- In Cold War, U.S. Spy Agencies Used 1,000 Nazis
- Five myths about J. Edgar Hoover
‘Eric Schmidt is an influential figure, even among the parade of powerful characters with whom I have had to cross paths since I founded WikiLeaks. In mid-May 2011 I was under house arrest in rural Norfolk, England, about three hours’ drive northeast of London. The crackdown against our work was in full swing and every wasted moment seemed like an eternity. It was hard to get my attention.
But when my colleague Joseph Farrell told me the executive chairman of Google wanted to make an appointment with me, I was listening.
In some ways the higher echelons of Google seemed more distant and obscure to me than the halls of Washington. We had been locking horns with senior U.S. officials for years by that point. The mystique had worn off. But the power centers growing up in Silicon Valley were still opaque and I was suddenly conscious of an opportunity to understand and influence what was becoming the most influential company on earth. Schmidt had taken over as CEO of Google in 2001 and built it into an empire.
I was intrigued that the mountain would come to Muhammad. But it was not until well after Schmidt and his companions had been and gone that I came to understand who had really visited me.’
‘The problem of special interests or lobbies was one of the foremost concerns of the Founding Fathers of the United States. In their day they were called factions. James Madison, who is considered the architect of the U.S. Constitution, devoted the entire tenth Federalist Paper (1787) to the problem. He defined a faction as “a number of citizens, whether amounting to a majority or a minority … actuated by some common … interest, adverse to … the aggregate interests of the community,” and believed that within the context of liberal republicanism, they could never be eliminated. However, he did feel they could be controlled. To this end he sought to create representative bodies with high numbers of delegates and a wide diversity of interests in the hope that they would counterbalance each other.
When George Washington delivered his famous Farewell Address in 1796, he too noted the problem. Washington warned of “combinations and associations” which attempt to “direct, control, counteract and awe the regular deliberation and action of the constituted authorities” and thereby substitute their own desires for the “delegated will of the nation.” As Washington’s continued concern implied, James Madison’s approach to controlling special interests or factions never proved adequate.’
‘The Federal Reserve and its bullion bank agents (JP Morgan, Scotia, and HSBC) have been using naked short-selling to drive down the price of gold since September 2011. The latest containment effort began in mid-July of this year, after gold had moved higher in price from the beginning of June and was threatening to take out key technical levels, which would have triggered a flood of buying from hedge funds.
The Fed and its agents rig the gold price in the New York Comex futures (paper gold) market. The bullion banks have the ability to print an unlimited supply of gold contracts which are sold in large volumes at times when Comex activity is light.
Generally, on the other side of the trade the buyers of contracts are large hedge funds and other speculators, who use the contracts to speculate on the direction of the gold price. The hedge funds and speculators have no interest in acquiring physical gold and settle their bets in cash, which makes it possible for the bullion banks to sell claims to gold that they cannot back with physical metal. Contracts sold without underlying gold to back them are called “uncovered contracts” or “naked shorts.” It is illegal to engage in naked shorting in the stock and bond markets, but it is permitted in the gold futures market.’
- Price-fixing on gold, oil and financial products to become criminal offence
- Insider Trading and Financial Terrorism on Comex
- FCA: ‘No evidence’ of gold price rigging
- British MPs urge watchdog to probe price-rigging in gold market
- Gold Price Manipulation Was “Routine”, FT Reports
- New concerns surround the way the world gold price is set
- Barclays slapped with $44 million fine over gold price fix
- FT’s Gold Price Manipulation Article That Was Removed
- Gold Fix Study Shows Signs of Decade of Bank Manipulation
- Metals, Currency Rigging Is Worse Than Libor, Bafin Says
- Matt Taibbi: The Biggest Price-Fixing Scandal Ever
‘Gold and currencies markets are starting to show their first nerves ahead of a referendum in Switzerland that could potentially force the country’s central bank to buy thousands of metric tons of gold and never sell it, complicating its so far credible policies to hold down the franc.
A ‘yes’ result in the so-called “Save Our Swiss Gold” vote Nov. 30 wouldn’t be the end of the matter, with the controversial measure facing several hurdles before it could ever be passed into law.
Still, a ruling in favor of the motion would force the Swiss National Bank to hold some 20% of its about $547 billion assets in the precious metal, returning to the weighting it last held in gold in 2008. This harks back to a time when Switzerland held a dominant role in global gold markets.’
- Gold price could benefit from Swiss vote
- Fed Ends QE? Greenspan Says Gold “Measurably” “Higher” In 5 Years
- Things That Make You Go Hmmm… Like The Swiss Gold Status Quo Showdown
- Currency traders eye Swiss vote on gold holdings
- How the central bank squandered Switzerland’s gold reserves
- Next big market shock can come from ‘Save Swiss gold’ movement
- Ron Paul: Switzerland Gold Referendum A Healthy Conversation
- Analyst: Switzerland Is Only Country That Would Vote For Bigger Gold Reserves
- “Save Our Swiss Gold ” – Game Changer For Gold?
- Gar Alperovitz: Nuclear Attack on Japan was Opposed by American Military Leadership
- If Hiroshima was unnecessary, how to justify Nagasaki?
- Photos: Hiroshima Atomic Bomb Anniversary
- “War Makes Everyone Crazy”: Hiroshima Survivor Reflects on 69th Anniversary of U.S. Atomic Bombing
- Japanese Newsreel Footage on Effects of A-Bomb Seized by U.S. 68 Years Ago
- Chomsky: From Hiroshima to Fukushima, Vietnam to Fallujah, State Power Ignores Its Massive Harm
- U.S. Ramping Up Major Renewal in Nuclear Arms
- John Oliver on America not taking very good care of its 4,800 nuclear weapons
- U.S. Says it Needs Nukes to Defend Against Asteroids
- The five biggest threats to human existence
‘Indonesia’s new president, Joko Widodo, has held his first Cabinet meeting amidst criticism from human rights activists for picking a new defense minister who once defended military killings of civilians. In July, the former Jakarta governor known as “Jokowi” defeated the U.S.-trained former army general Prabowo Subianto, who had been accused of mass killings when he headed the Indonesian special forces in the 1990s. While human rights groups hailed the defeat of Prabowo in July’s election, the new president is facing opposition for picking former Army Chief of Staff Ryamizard Ryacudu to be Indonesia’s new defense minister. Over the past decade, Ryamizard has defended the military’s actions in West Papua and Aceh and publicly claimed that civilians become legitimate army targets if they “dislike” army policy or have “the same voice” as anti-government rebels. We are joined from Indonesia by veteran investigative journalist Allan Nairn, whose dispatches shook up the presidential race when he reported on human rights abuses committed by Prabowo and the U.S.-trained general’s statement that Indonesia needs “a benign authoritarian regime” because the country was “not ready for democracy.” Nairn also discusses his latest major report, revealing that a top adviser to Indonesia’s new president has admitted “command responsibility” in the 2004 assassination of the country’s leading human rights activist, Munir Thalib.’ (Democracy Now!)
- West Papua: A no-go zone for foreign journalists
- Inside Indonesia’s Elections: The Burden of Brutal Global Neoliberalism
- Journalist Allan Nairn Threatened For Exposing Indonesian Presidential Candidate’s Role in Mass Killings
- Human Rights group calls on World Bank to acknowledge role in the mass killing of one million Indonesians
- William Blum: Getting your history from Hollywood
- East Timor: a lesson in why the poorest threaten the powerful
- General Suharto: Our model dictator
- Secret war against defenceless West Papua
- East Timor: the coup the world missed
- Death of a Nation: The Timor Conspiracy (Documentary)
Editor’s Note: Professor Leo Panitch is a distinguished research professor of Political Science at York University in Toronto, Canada and editor of the Socialist Register. He is also co-author of ‘The Making of Global Capitalism: The Political Economy of American Empire‘.
Editor’s Note: Michael Fox is a reporter for teleSur English and is co-author of ‘Latin America’s Turbulent Transitions: The Future of Twenty-first Century Socialism‘.
- Dilma Rousseff must now pull together a deeply divided Brazil
- Pepe Escobar: Re-elected Dilma wins in a Brazil broken in two
- Brazil’s Surprise Rate Rise Shows Rousseff Courting Markets
- What Lies Ahead for Dilma Rousseff’s Workers’ Party?
- What Brazil’s Dilma Rousseff Can Teach Hillary Clinton
- Moody’s gives Brazil’s Rousseff benefit of the doubt, for now
- Dilma Rousseff has a second chance to invigorate Brazil’s foreign policy
- Wall Street Will Not Be Kind To Brazil
- Brazil’s Rousseff Rebuffs Corruption Allegations Before Polls
- Brazilian Schoolgirl’s Brave Battle For Reform
- A stumbling giant: Is Latin America’s largest economy in danger of recession?
- Brazil presidential candidate Campos killed in plane crash
- Transforming Brazil: Al Jazeera interview with Dilma Rousseff
- Brazil’s Dance with the Devil: World Cup, Olympics, and the Fight for Democracy
- Brazil’s Petrobras investigated in alleged corruption probe
- Brazil’s government has set the favelas and middle classes against each other
- Hell Hole: 2010 Documentary on Brazil’s Brutal Prison System
‘The Federal Bureau of Investigation decided in 2007 that it didn’t need to be the Federal Bureau of Investigation to trick a teenager online. Instead, it acted as a local newspaper.
At the time, the FBI wanted to identify the owner of an anonymous MySpace account connected to bomb threats against a high school in Lacey, Washington. So the bureau created a fake news story about the bomb threats and ginned up an email appearing to come from the Seattle Times, which it sent to the MySpace account, according to documents obtained by the Electronic Frontier Foundation. Included in the email were links that appeared to point at the Times‘ website but which, in fact, linked to servers controlled by the FBI. Those servers, in turn, installed spyware on the target’s computer. The ruse worked: The owner of the account clicked on the links, compromising his identity as a 15-year-old student. He was subsequently arrested and convicted.’
Editor’s Note: Pierre Omidyar confirmed on Tuesday night that Matt Taibbi has now left First Look Media. And on Thursday an article was put out by The Intercept in an attempt to explain the situation further.
‘Matt Taibbi, the star magazine writerhired earlier this year to start a satirical website for billionaire Pierre Omidyar’s First Look Media, is on a leave of absence from the company after disagreements with higher-ups inside Omidyar’s organization, a source close to First Look confirmed today.
Taibbi’s abrupt disappearance from the company’s Fifth Avenue headquarters has cast doubt on the fate of his highly anticipated digital publication, reportedly to be called Racket, which First Look executives had previously said would launch sometime this autumn.’
‘Citing “law enforcement and intelligence sources who have been briefed on the case,” Michael Isikoff reports that the government has identified “the second leaker” — a source of information on drone targeting and terrorist watchlisting for The Intercept.
[...] Because it raises questions about whether the Administration has the “appetite” to prosecute another source for journalists, the article seems designed to generate pressure to do just that — to get Congress (among others) to demand that the Justice Department prosecute this source.
[...] While Isikoff outlines the content of The Intercept’s watchlist story, he leaves out several details that may make DOJ less interested in prosecuting this leak.’
- Feds have identified, searched suspected “second” intelligence leaker
- Feds identify suspected ‘second leaker’ for Snowden reporters
- The NSA’s Secret Role in the U.S. Assassination Program
- Barack Obama’s Secret Terrorist-Tracking System, by the Numbers
- Victory: No Fly List Process Ruled Unconstitutional
- In First, Government Officially Tells ACLU Clients Their No Fly List Status
- Frequent Flyer ‘Terrorist’ Who Blogs About TSA Troubles Was Watchlisted For Animal Activism
‘The White House has announced today that a long-standing plan to roll out a federal “Internet ID” authentication scheme that would be used to log in to all websites across the Internet will move forward, and the service will launch in six to twelve months.
“We simply have to kill off the password,” insisted White House Cybersecurity Coordinator Michael Daniel. The initiative began in 2011, with an eye toward public-private plans, but seems now to be centering on wearable authentication bracelets that Americans would apparently get instead of passwords.’
‘The billboard’s launch — asking “the $600 million question: What’s the CIA Doing on Amazon’s Cloud?” — marks the escalation of a campaign by the online activist organizations RootsAction.org and ExposeFacts.org. The groups are calling for accountability from Amazon in an effort to inform the public of serious privacy implications of the Amazon-CIA collaboration. (ExposeFacts.org is a project of the Institute for Public Accuracy.)
The positioning of the 48-foot-wide billboard on Amazon’s doorstep at Fairview Avenue and Valley Street in Seattle follows a RootsAction petition calling for Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos to make a legally binding commitment to Amazon’s commercial customers that it will not provide customer data to the CIA.
Amazon is the world’s largest online retailer. “The same company that stores vast quantities of customer records and even provides cloud storage services also stores the CIA’s surveillance data — yet the actual terms of the Amazon-CIA agreement are secret,” said Norman Solomon, executive director of the Institute for Public Accuracy and a co-founder of RootsAction.org.’
- CIA’s Amazon cloud goes live – firewalled and private
- The Details About the CIA’s Deal With Amazon
- How the CIA Partnered With Amazon and Changed Intelligence
- Why Amazon’s Collaboration With the CIA Is So Ominous — and Vulnerable
- What Jeff Bezos has to say about Amazon’s pursuit of CIA contracts
- The CIA and Jeff Bezos Bet on Quantum Computing
- WikiLeaks website pulled by Amazon after US political pressure
- The Black Budget
‘The draft law proposed by Orban’s government would levy a fee of 150 forints (£0.40; €0.50; $0.60) per gigabyte of data traffic. In the face of public outrage, ruling party Fidesz promised that the tax will be capped at 700 forints for consumers and 5,000 forints for businesses. However, this did not calm the angry protesters.
Sunday’s rally that drew thousands of people to the Hungarian captial’s city center. The peaceful protest became heated when some demonstrators marched to the Fidesz headquarters, and broke the windows of the building with old computers and peripherals.
This protest was arguably the largest anti-government demonstration since 2010, when Viktor Orban came to power. In contrast with other protests, the gatherings denouncing the internet tax were not organized by the weak, discredited and fragmented opposition.’
‘In a rare public accounting of its mass surveillance program, the United States Postal Service reported that it approved nearly 50,000 requests last year from law enforcement agencies and its own internal inspection unit to secretly monitor the mail of Americans for use in criminal and national security investigations.
The number of requests, contained in a 2014 audit of the surveillance program by the Postal Service’s inspector general, shows that the surveillance program is more extensive than previously disclosed and that oversight protecting Americans from potential abuses is lax.’
‘The notion that history tends to favor the hegemonies that would write it is nothing new. This is especially the case for the United States today. Take US-Latin American international relations, for example: they are indelibly stippled with gunboat diplomacy and seditious coups; even the many perverse trade agreements and subsequent growing poverty belie the neoliberal overtures that America continually makes. Yet, in spite of a most basic realpolitik approach to assessing America’s litany of hegemonic aggression, history is still quick to cite the anarchic nature of international relationships in general, and in doing so, it excuses fratricidal US ‘diplomacy’ throughout Latin America by simply referencing a manifest ‘self-help’ system amongst states.
America, in other words, is not to blame; rather, the anarchy of inter-state relationships is to be understood as a given, and its inherent culpability, understood.
This road, of course, is too easily taken. Though it may explain the what, it does not explain the why apropos general US meddling in Latin America. And while polemical inter-state issues between the US and its closest neighbors are well documented and investigated with some frequency, an “empire for empire’s sake” argument does not suffice as a believable impetus for such aggressive behavior in Latin America—at least, not any more than a phenomenon like self-interest can or does. No. To truly understand these international affairs, one must look beyond hackneyed tautologies. One must weigh the interest that runs the state, the lifeblood of the state’s moneyed organs, the whip that drives the imperial mule. Then, the raison d’être for America’s imposition and coercion in Latin America becomes clear.’