You are hereBlogs / Ralph Lopez's blog

Ralph Lopez's blog

Afghanistan: $2 Billion a Week for Hatred is Too Much, FBI Says Now It's Coming Here

I want a better deal on the hatred we are buying.  The subway service in my town (Boston) is about to increase fares, again, and cut back service in a semi-yearly ritual of crapping on the poorest in Gov. Duval Patrick's state, in a week when the US will toss another $2 billion at military operations in Afghanistan which seems only to keep generating more hatred for Americans.  

At $2 billion every week, I say that's too much.  I'm sure there are better deals on hatred.  And thanks to a fearlessly outspoken line officer, Lt. Col. Daniel Davis, we now know what we don't know about Afghanistan.  

Was Soldier-Shooter in Afghanistan Redeployed with PTSD?

The Army is keeping mum on whether the Army sergeant who went on a rampage in Afghanistan has ever been evaluated or asked for evaluation for PTSD, but it is well known that in recent years the culture of the military has been to sweep such problems under the rug, in order to redeploy as many soldiers as possible.  The Army has acknowledge that the soldier had been diagnosed with a "traumatic brain injury" after a vehicle rollover in Iraq.  The soldier was on his fourth combat tour.

Moreover, the base from which he deployed, Ft. Lewis-McChord, has been plagued with soldier suicides and stateside violence, and is under investigation for allegedly dismissing large numbers of legitimate claims of PTSD.

OccupyAIPAC Gives Iran War Lobby Raucous Times

The annual meeting of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the conservative lobbying group which favors "enshrining" in U.S. law that it is "U.S. policy to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons," was met with the full-blown Occupy Wall Street treatment last week by OccupyAIPAC, which seeks to stop the drumbeat for war with Iran which threatens to destabilize the world.  The media and congressional saber-rattling is opposed by a vast majority of Americans according to recent polls.  A CNN poll last month found that:

Child Malnutrition Rises in Afghanistan as Obama Renews "Commitment" to Rebuild

As the US continues to strenuously ignore and underfund the only development program in the country which works cheaply and effectively, the Afghan National Solidarity Program (NSP,) which is at arm's length from the Karzai government and which gets management help from the World Bank, and as it has instead wasted around $15 billion since 2001 on showcase projects that Afghans never asked for, using Washington-connected American contractors who take 40% or more in profit before the work ever begins, child malnutrition has edged up in the country from 54% in 2005 according to the World Bank to 60% according to Save the Children in a recent NBC News report. The grim statistic follows the recent freezing deaths of dozens of children under age five from the bitter cold in the squalid refugee camps in and around Kabul, the most secure area in the country.

With Mass Child Freezing Deaths, Proof of Mass Starvation, US in Violation of Geneva in Afghanistan

A little known aspect of World War II history is that immediately after the end of major hostilities, as Europe lay in ruins, millions of Germans in Ally-occupied Germany and people in other Axis nations descended into a spiral of humanitarian crisis, and faced the specter of mass starvation as Allies bickered over the spoils of war.  After a particularly harsh winter in 1946 - 1947, Assistant Secretary of State William Clayton reported to Washington that "millions of people are slowly starving."  With the infrastructure ruined, and with a shortage of coal, many Germans froze to death.

For UK: Locations Open for Donations of Blankets and Warm Baby Clothes for Afghans, Following Child Freezing Deaths



TELEPHONE: +44(0) 7 814399 646
EMAIL: info AT

TELEPHONE: 617-412-9438 (USA)
EMAIL: ralphlopez AT

MARCH 19, 2012

After a deadlier than usual Afghan winter for young children in which at least 40 children under age 5 have frozen to death, more than half of those in and around Kabul, the British Afghan Women's Society is ready to launch an air cargo of warm baby clothes, baby formula, and other items which is the result of an outpouring of sympathy by Britons and people around the world.  Londoners and others have responded overwhelmingly to calls for donations of such items last month, after it was reported in the media that many babies had frozen to death. 

Why Did Petraeus Fire the Auditor Charged with Stopping Flow of Pentagon Funds to Taliban?

The story which reared its head then dropped off the radar in summer of 2010 is still alive: that the major source of funding for the Taliban is likely the Department of Defense itself, estimated around $400 million per year, which is funneled to Afghan "security" companies as "protection payments," for allowing the massive and constant ground traffic of convoys of supplies for US bases to crisscross the country, unhindered by attacks.  So says a report, "Warlord Inc.," by a House subcommittee chaired by Rep. John Tierney.

In the Midst of $2 Billion Per Week Spending on War, Babies Freezing in Kabul for Lack of Food, Fuel, Blankets

It goes on and on and on, a black Theater of the Absurd.  NATO truck convoys laden with every comfort imaginable which US war contractor dollars can buy - bottled water, frozen  steaks, space heaters, air conditioners, new SUVs, anything really - roll into Kabul destined for military bases, embassies, and the universe of end-delivery points which comprise a major military occupation.  The "burn rate" for the occupation, the military's term for the rate of spending, is over $8 billion a month or $10 million every hour, making it the most expensive war in US history.  Along the way, the convoys pass in plain view of the refugee camps where 35,000 people fight day-to-day for barest survival, internally displaced persons or IDPs who have fled the fighting around their homes in other parts of Afghanistan.  

Where is Conyers with Impeachment Threats Against President for Iran Attack Now?

It may have been the one and only thing which prevented an attack on Iran during the Bush years. Chairman of the Judiciary Committee John Conyers spent years fending off nationwide calls to impeach George W. Bush over the invasion of Iraq, the shredding of the Constitution after 9/11, and other high crimes and misdemeanors culminating in a summer of 2008 "non-impeachment impeachment hearings," in which witnesses such as Rep. Brad Miller, Rep. Maurice Hinchey, Rep. Walter Jones, Rep. Dennis Kucinich, constitutional scholar Bruce Fein, former Rep. Elizabeth Holtzman, Vincent Bugliosi and many others came together to implore the committee to bring articles of impeachment.

Agreeing to Disagree on Much, Occupiers and Tea Party Stand Together Against NDAA.

Well almost standing together.  The Worcester Telegram and Gazette reported that Occupy Wall Streeters in Worcester, MA "mostly occupied the north end of the small Federal Plaza Park and Tea Partiers mostly the south" last Friday on Nationwide NDAA 2012 Congressional Protest Day.  The protest has been expanded to fall on the first Friday and Saturday of every month at congressional offices across the country. They gathered to protest the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012, which strips US citizens of their right to a jury trial when the government asserts that they are suspected of "support" for "forces" which are "associated" with Al Qaeda.  The NDAA allows the US military to detain citizens without charges, counsel, or any contact with the outside world, for life.

Obama Orders Military-Police Department Joint Exercises in Los Angeles, Other Cities.


Weeks after Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Chris Hedges filed suit against President Obama in Federal District Court for egregiously violating the U.S. Constitution by signing the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), the US military has been conducting joint exercises with city police departments.  An LAPD press release states:

Occupy Wall Street Descends on Congress, Says: Money Out of Politics!

It's a quid pro quo.  Only the most gullible rube ready to buy swampland in Florida could think otherwise.  The citizen's watchdog found that congressmen who voted for TARP, the "Troubled Assets Relief Program," received nearly 50 percent more in campaign contributions from the financial services industry (an average of about $149,000) than congressmen who voted no.  

Pulitzer Prize-Winner Sues Obama Over NDAA, Says Occupy Wall Street is the Target.

Noting that the national security establishment such as the NSA and FBI lobbied against the newly-signed  National Defense Authorization Act of 2011 (NDAA,) also known as the Homeland Battlefield Bill, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Chris Hedges has filed suit against President Obama in Federal District Court for egregiously violating the U.S. Constitution.  Count I of the official complaint states:

NDAA Military Detention of US Citizens Breaks Through to Major Media. Not American One, the BBC.

Please share.

MP3 sound file of interview, for low bandwidth.


Breaking the major broadcast news media's blackout on the most radical elimination of American rights in U.S. history, Professor of Law Jonathan Turley speaks to BBC on the National Defense Authorization Act of 2011 (NDAA), which allows for the indefinite military detention of US citizens without charge or trial in violation of the right to a jury trial guaranteed by the Constitution.

Much to Forgive: The Story of Bibi Sadia. By Kathy Kelly

Much to Forgive: The Story of Bibi Sadia. 

By Kathy Kelly

When Does "Support and Defend" the Constitution Become Enforceable?

At what point does "support and defend" become enforceable law? The Oath of Office of congressmen, military officers, and the president, required by Article 6 of the Constitution and, in the case of military officers, by an Act of Congress 13 May 1884, says in substance:

Can the US Government be Trusted as Judge and Jury in NDAA Indefinite Detention of U.S. Citizens?

Now that the issue has been thoroughly disposed of despite an all-out disinformation campaign led by Obama himself: that the National Defense Authorization Act of 2011  does apply to American citizens, it is time to ask: Who makes the determination, with no evidence or showing of probable cause required, without right to counsel or any contact with family or friends allowed, that you have "substantially supported...associated forces" of Al-Qaeda?  

To pre-empt the shills and disinfo artists who continue to attempt to proclaim that NDAA does not apply to American citizens, a simple boiler plate dissection of the key language you can share with the kids on your block: Shills for Obama on Whether NDAA Military Detention Applies to American Citizens.

Title and lead line: "Obama Signing Statement: The NDAA Doesn’t Apply To US Citizens":

In his signing statement attached to the NDAA, President Obama made it clear that the language about detentions does not apply to US citizens.

The website:, "Real Liberal Politics.  No Corporate Money.  No Masters."

The part about no masters will have to be changed because, previously a fairly reputable news source in that its biases are clearly stated and up-front, this report sadly undermines any credibility it may ever have had.  

Too bad.  I had no problem citing them as a source before now.

Obama Signing Statement: "Existing Law" is Jose Padilla.

Obama is playing a razzle-dazzle on the new NDAA allowance for the indefinite military detention of American citizens without charge or trial, which it takes a sports fan to truly admire.  Obama claims he is objecting to the very parts of a law which he asked Sen. Carl Levin, Chairman of the Armed Service Committee, to include in the first place, which allows for the indefinite military detention of Americans.  Sen. Levin puzzled on the Senate floor as the firestorm broke over the provisions:

Arrests at White House Over NDAA Military Detention of Americans, Occupy Wall Street Joins Fight.

Buried by the television news media but visible on Youtube, at least three days in a row of protests over NDAA law allowing indefinite military detention of American citizens without charge or trial have taken place recently, with at least 11 arrests confirmed so far.  

Fox News reported on its website:

WASHINGTON –  Several Occupy D.C. protesters will likely face charges after they were arrested in a protest outside the White House.

U.S. Park Police say 11 protesters were arrested Monday night because they ignored police orders to leave the grounds. The protesters included some Occupy D.C. participants, though it wasn't immediately clear if all those arrested were part of the Occupy movement.

Combating the Distortions Over NDAA Military Detentions, Does This Mean You? You'd Better Believe It.

Perhaps the only thing more worrisome than the recently passed NDAA provisions for the indefinite military detention of American citizens is the extent and sophistication of the efforts to distort their true meaning in order to lead people to believe that American citizens are excluded.  Rep. Justin Amash took a rare bare-knuckled swipe in this most collegial of institutions to say that the NDAA was “carefully crafted to mislead the public.”

That's the equivalent of calling some pretty powerful people whom you work with liars, on whose good graces passing your legislation may depend.  It's not done in this place unless it is something you feel very strongly about.  

What the "Enemy Combatant" Designation Really Means: More Due Process, Not Less.

The analysis in the following paper was written by Stewart Rhodes while at Yale Law School and was the winner of Yale’s Judge William E. Miller Prize for best paper on the Bill of Rights.  Rhodes is the founder of Oath Keepers which on Christmas Day announced its participation in a bi-partisan drive to recall all three of Montana's congressional delegation for "violation of the oath of office," by voting for the blatantly unconstitutional NDAA National Defense Authorization Act, which allows the indefinite military detention of American citizens without charge or trial.  Violation of the oath is one of the five narrow and specific grounds on which a recall in MT may be initiated.  

Montanans Launch Recall of Senators Who Approved NDAA Military Detention. Merry Christmas, US Senate.

Disclaimer: I am now a volunteer press contact for this campaign.

From the press release (last revised 12/28/2011):

Moving quickly on Christmas Day after the US Senate voted 86 - 14 to pass the National Defense Authorization Act of 2011 (NDAA) which allows for the indefinite military detention of American citizens without charge or trial, Montanans have announced the launch of recall campaigns against Senators Max Baucus and Jonathan Tester, and Congressman Denny Reberg, who all voted for the bill.

I Talked With an Algerian Last Night About NDAA, He Said Expect People to Start Disappearing

I recently engaged in a friendly but rather unsettling conversation with a man from Algeria who became visibly upset when I told him about NDAA, the new law allowing indefinite military detention of US citizens  without charge or trial.  He said he had come here to get away from  that sort of thing, which had happened in his country and was fresh in  his mind.  His description of what happened in Algeria during its  equivalent of Argentina's "Dirty War" was chilling and he kept shaking  his head about the new law here, visibly distressed.

Anonymous: Night Raid Equipment-Maker Lobbied for NDAA, Singles Out Sen. Rob Portman.

The geeks at Anonymous probably think they are having more fun publishing the Twitter handles of the 83 senators who approved the NDAA, National Defense Authorization Act, last Thursday, on Bill of Rights Day, which okays indefinite military detention of American citizens without charge or trial.  But buried in the information dump is a truly amazing piece of information, which could have been put together from public records, but which Anonymous actually brought to the fore.

Why is the Media Lying About New NDAA Power for Indefinite Military Detention of Americans?

At some point a sideshow to a story becomes so painfully obvious that it becomes the story, and this now should be: Why is the media taking such pains to knowingly and falsely claim that the new power of the military to detain and imprison people without charge or trial, for life, does not include US citizens?  We know what happened.  The Bill of Rights has been overturned.  And enough has been written on the deceptive language first warned of by Congressman Justin Amash, when he told The Grand Rapids Press that the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) was "carefully crafted to mislead the public," for newspaper editors to know better.

Why a Constitutional Law Professor Cannot Sign NDAA, Allowing Military Detention of Americans

There has never been a better time to take a close look at how we got here, with Obama, a former Constitutional law professor,  about to sign a law which overnight turns the U.S. into a Third World country, where anyone can be swept off the streets by the military to rot forever, or even be killed.  Some people say wearily that the new powers for the indefinite military detention of Americans are not new at all.  That this is nothing the government cannot, and has not, already done.  

What this misses is that the new government powers seek to codify, "hard-wire" if you will, an area of law which is in flux, and far from settled in the courts.  Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) proclaimed in his momentous speech on the Senate floor that:

Congress Pushes Through Military Detention of Americans in Time for "Bill of Rights Day."

Please send to every veteran you know. We need them now. Please submit a call for action Thursday to your OWS General Assembly.

Wasting no opportunity to display the kind of unbridled, almost exuberant arrogance which finally got Tunesian and Egyptian juntas driven out of the country, a House and Senate conference committee, deaf to any outcry, passed the National Defense Authorization Act yesterday with the treasonous overturn of the Bill of Rights still intact.  That's not even the good part.  


The lawmakers said they hoped the House and Senate could vote on the final bill by Thursday and send it to the president.

Thursday is December 15.  Bill of Rights Day.

Why Obama Will Not Veto NDAA Military Detention of Americans: He Requested It.

Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI) on Senate floor explaining it was Obama who requested the provision for indefinite military detention of American citizens without charge or trial.     Levin is a primary co-sponsor of the bill along with Sen. John McCain, and Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee.   Senator Diane Feinstein recently confirmed that she was unable to excise Section 1031 in an email:

Fact Sheet: New Law Allowing for Indefinite Military Detention for Americans Without Charge or Trial

For distribution at Occupy Wall Street and other events.  There is a media blackout so the word must be spread.  Copy and paste to create your own document or use below files ready to print.

Ready to print:   .pdf       .doc (MS Word)

Speaking Events



August 2-6: Peace and Democracy Conference at Democracy Convention in Minneapolis, Minn.


September 22-24: No War 2017 at American University in Washington, D.C.


October 28: Peace and Justice Studies Association Conference

Find more events here.


Support This Site


Get free books and gear when you become a supporter.



Speaking Truth to Empire


Families United


Ray McGovern


Julie Varughese


Financial supporters of this site can choose to be listed here.



Ca-Dress Long Prom Dresses Canada
Ca Dress Long Prom Dresses on

Buy Books

Get Gear

The log-in box below is only for bloggers. Nobody else will be able to log in because we have not figured out how to stop voluminous spam ruining the site. If you would like us to have the resources to figure that out please donate. If you would like to receive occasional emails please sign up. If you would like to be a blogger here please send your resume.
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Enter the characters shown in the image.