Continued from the previous entry, having watched the film from the beginning in its entirety with someone else….
NY schools test ‘panic button’ app in wake of Sandy Hook –Once the button is pushed, other school staff with the app are notified with instructions such as ‘lock down’ or ‘evacuate.’ 19 Jan 2014 Nassau County and a Manhattan private school are testing a new emergency-response “panic button” inspired by the Sandy Hook school massacre. The system, called School Safety Response, provides an instant link between schools and police and fire departments through an app installed on teachers’ smartphones. The app allows school staffers to touch a red “SOS” button on their phones in crisis situations, at which point an exact GPS location is sent to an emergency-response center, where a team can listen to what’s happening live at the scene.
July 23-24, 2012 — Aurora massacre: several links between James Holmes and U.S. government research
James Holmes, the 24-year old suspect in the mass shooting of Batman “The Dark Knight Rises” movie goers in Aurora, Colorado that left 12 people dead and 58 injured, has had a number of links to U.S. government-funded research centers. Holmes’s past association with government research projects has prompted police and federal law enforcement officials to order laboratories and schools with which Holmes has had a past association not to talk to the press about Holmes.
Holmes was one of six recipients of a National Institutes of Health Neuroscience Training Grant at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus in Denver. Holme is a graduate of the University of California at Riverside with a Bachelor of Science degree in neuroscience. Although Holmes dropped out of the PhD neuroscience program at Anschutz in June, police evacuated two buildings at the Anschutz center after the massacre at the Aurora movie theater. Holmes reportedly gave a presentation at the Anschutz campus in May on Micro DNA Biomarkers in a class titled “Biological Basis of Psychiatric and Neurological Disorders.”
Initial reports of Holmes having an accomplice in the theater shooting have been discounted by the Aurora police. However, no explanation has been given by police why the Anschutz campus buildings were evacuated after Holmes was already in custody in the Arapahoe County jail.
The Anschutz Medical Campus is on the recently de-commisioned site of the U.S. Army’s Fitzsimons Army Medical Center and is named after Philip Anschutz, the billionaire Christian fundamentalist oil and railroad tycoon who also owns The Examiner newspaper chain and website and the neo-conservative Weekly Standard. The Anschutz Medical Campus was built by a $91 million grant from the Anschutz Foundation.
In 2006, at the age of 18, Holmes served as a research intern at the Salk Institute at the University of California at San Diego in La Jolla. It is noteworthy that for the previous two years before Holmes worked at the Salk Institute, the research center was partnered with the Defense Advance Research Projects Agency (DARPA), Columbia University, University of California at San Francisco, University of Wisconsin at Madison, Wake Forest University, and the Mars Company (the manufacturers of Milky Way and Snickers bars) to prevent fatigue in combat troops through the enhanced use of epicatechina, a blood flow-increasing and blood vessel-dilating anti-oxidant flavanol found in cocoa and, particularly, in dark chocolate.
The research was part of a larger DARPA program known as the “Peak Soldier Performance Program,” which involved creating brain-machine interfaces for battlefield use, including human-robotic bionics for legs, arms, and eyes. DARPA works closely with the Defense Science Office on projects that include the medical research community. Fitzsimons was at the forefront of DARPA research on the use of brain-connected “neuroprosthetic” limbs for soldiers amputated or paralyzed in combat.
According to his LinkedIn profile, James Holmes’s father, Dr. Robert Holmes, who received a PhD in Statistics in 1981 from the University of California at Berkeley, worked for San Diego-based HNC Software, Inc. from 2000 to 2002. HNC, known as a “neural network” company, and DARPA, beginning in 1998, have worked on developing “cortronic neural networks,” which would allow machines to interpret aural and visual stimuli to think like humans. The cortronic concept was developed by HNC Software’s chief scientist and co-founder, Robert Hecht-Nielsen. HNC merged with the Minneapolis-based Fair Isaac Corporation (FICO), a computer analysis and decision-making company. Robert Holmes continues to work at FICO.
It has also emerged that Holmes, when he was 20, worked as a camp counselor at Camp Max Straus of the Jewish Big Brothers and Sister of Los Angeles. According to the Jewish Journal, among other tasks, Holmes helped to teach boys between the ages of 7 to 10 archery. In another unusual detail, the car Holmes used to drive to the Aurora movie theater had Tennessee plates. Holmes is originally from San Diego.
James Holmes is the grandson of Lt. Col. Robert Holmes, one of the first Turkish language graduates of the Army Language School, later the Defense Language Institute, in Monterey, California. Graduating from the Turkish language class in 1948, Holmes spent a career in the Army, which likely included more than a few intelligence-related assignments. Typically, U.S. military officers conversant in Turkish served with either the Defense Intelligence Agency or the Central Intelligence Agency at either the U.S. embassy in Ankara or the Consulate General in Istanbul, or both.
Terrence Sejnowski, the Francis Crick Professor at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies and the director of the Computational Neurobiology Laboratory, in an interview with Cognitive Science Online in 2008, had the following comment about recent studies of the human brain: “Alan Newell [cognitive psychology researcher at the intelligence community-linked RAND Corporation] once said that when AI [artificial intelligence] was founded not enough was known about the brain to be of any help and in the early 1980s, symbol processing was the only game in town. That has changed and we now know a lot about the brain, perhaps more than we need to know [emphasis added].”
More than we need to know!
The links between the younger and elder Holmes and U.S. government research on creating super-soldiers, human brain-machine interfaces, and human-like robots beg the question: “Was James Holmes engaged in a real-life Jason Bourne TREADSTONE project that broke down and resulted in deadly consequences in Aurora, Colorado?” In any event, if the Batman movies are now serving as a newer version of J.D. Salinger’s “Catcher in the Rye” subliminal messaging triggering mechanism, — Salinger’s novel was of interest to a number of American political assassins — keep in mind that August 10 is the opening date of The Bourne Legacy. It may be wise to skip that film in the theater for a while.
In speaking about the film’s storyline, Gilroy drew a distinction between the fictional programs in the Bourne film series:
On a practical level, the Treadstone program was about assassination. They’re basically assassins. They live in the world—you can see Clive Owen [in The Bourne Identity] as a piano teacher, they have covers—but they’re essentially assassins. There was nothing that would be described as espionage, [they’re] basically a kill squad. The Outcome program that Aaron [played by Jeremy Renner] is part of, [Oscar Isaac’s character] is one of them too… The conceit is that [Edward Norton’s character] is the mastermind of this entire franchise. We’re stepping back a little bit in time here, he’s been a developer, he’s been at the nexus of the corporate military and intelligence communities. There’s a very large corporate element, pharmaceutical corporate element…
July 25-26, 2012 — Aurora police chief’s dubious connections
As Aurora, Colorado police chief Dan Oates receives accolades from officials from President Obama to Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper, Oates’s past position with the New York Police Department is noteworthy as more details emerge of the connections between the alleged Century 16 movie theater shooter James Holmes and government-funded neuroscience research.
Oates retired from the New York Police Department in 2001 after a 21-year career. He served as safety services administrator in Ann Arbor, Michigan, the home of the University of Michigan, designated by former CIA director Richard Helms as one of the five top CIA-Advance Research Projects Agency (ARPA) [now known as the Defense Advance Research Projects Agency, or DARPA] “behavioral science” research campuses, along with Yale, M.I.T., U.C.L.A, and the University of Hawaii. In 2005, Oates left Ann Arbor to take up his present position in Aurora.
Oates’s last job with the NYPD was as the chief of the intelligence division. As a member of Police Commissioner Howard Safir’s executive staff, Oates’s prepared, according to The New York Daily News, a daily intelligence briefing for Safir, which lasted some two hours. Oates’s would have conceivably had access to a wide spectrum of intelligence information, including Drug Enforcement Administration, FBI, and other federal agency reports on the suspicious activities of a number of Israeli “art students” and “office movers” in the year leading up to the 9/11 attack on New York’s World Trade Center.
However, Oates apparently missed the critical intelligence or, if he passed it to Safir, it was ignored. Safir, who served as New York Police Commissioner from 1996 to 2000 and was appointed by Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, previously served as a federal Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs agent and in 10972, was one of two BNDD agents who arrested Harvard University researcher Timothy Leary, a proponent of LSD use. However, Leary had also conducted research, under the guise of the Harvard Psilocybin Project. the Concord Prison Experiment, and the Marsh Chapel Experiment, for the CIA’s MK-ULTRA mind control program. which was under the direction of CIA Technical Services director Dr. Sidney Gottlieb.
After Safir retired as police commissioner, he became the chief consultant to the CEO of ChoicePoint, Inc., the firm that was implicated in scrubbing voter rolls in Florida for the 2000 presidential election.
In December 2001, Safir became chairman and CEO SafirRosetti, a security firm that is a wholly owned subsidiary of Global Options Group, as well as CEO of Bode Technology, also a subsidiary of Global Options. Safir has also served as CEO of VRI Technologies LLC, a security investigations and data analysis firm; chairman of National Security Solutions, Inc., a counter-terrorism firm; chairman and CEO of the November Group Ltd, a strategic consulting firm headquartered in Annapolis, Maryland. In addition, he has served on the the board of directors of Implant Sciences Corp., an explosive trace detection sensor firm; and Verint Systems, Inc.
Verint was formerly known as Comverse/Infosys and the Department of Justice suspected the Israeli-owned firm, which had contracts to provide wiretapping systems to the FBI and Justice Department, of having significant links to Israeli intelligence. Comverse/Infosys, now known as Verint, was suspended from the New York NASDAQ index in 2007 over financial irregularities and money laundering brought about by the ex-CEO of Comverse/Infosys, Jacob “Kobi” Alexander, an Israeli national. Alexander fled prosecution for securities fraud in the United States and he now lives in the Namibian capital of Windhoek. Efforts to extradite Alexander from Namibia to the United States have been unsuccessful.
Verint provided the closed-circuit television surveillance system for the London Underground when the system was hit by terrorist bombs on July 7, 2005. A company called Visor Consultants was conducting a training exercise in which dummy bombs were used to simulate a terrorist bombing of the London Underground as the actual bombs were detonated. Giuliani, who appointed Safir as his polcie commissioner, happened to be staying in downtown London at the time of the bombings. Giuliani was staying and attending an economic conference at the Great Eastern Hotel, at which then-Israeli Finance Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was also present.
Netanyahu had expressed a certain satisfaction over the 9/11 attack on U.S. television in implying the attack would be “good for Israel.” The response to the 9/11 attack was severely affected by actual commercial airplane hijacking drills being run by the Pentagon during the actual attacks.
Ironically, Safir’s one-time intelligence chief, Oates, would also face the strange situation where an emergency medical drill in nearby Douglas County, on the outskirts of Aurora, that dealt with a gunman shooting up a movie theater, was being conducted during the actual shooting at the Batman movie in Aurora.
Oates, in remarks to the media after the massacre at the theater, immediately moved to quash rumors on the Internet. He also told CBS News Face the Nation: “All evidence we have, every single indicator is that it was all Mr. Holmes’ activity and that he wasn’t particularly aided by anyone else.” Oates was discounting anything other than a “lone nut” theory behind the mass shooting.
The Aurora police also revealed they were mistaken when they first reported that the car Holmes allegedly drove to the theater to conduct his shooting spree had Tennessee license plates. The alleged shooter’s father, Robert Holmes, worked in some capacity for the U.S. Navy Personnel Research and Development Center in San Diego in 1988. The elder Holmes wrote a technical report for the center and the work appeared to have spanned from 1988 to 1989. In 2000, the San Diego center moved to a remodeled new “lab space” at the Naval Support Activity in Millington, Tennessee, near Memphis. The center was re-named the Navy Personnel Research, Studies and Technology (NPRST) Department. The Millington center concentrates on behavioral and social sciences research and is funded mostly out of the Human Systems Department at the Office of Naval Research (ONR), the Navy research branch that works closely with DARPA and the CIA. NPRST also has close working relationships with two universities, the University of Mephis and the University of Mississippi.
It has also been revealed that Holmes spoke at the Salk Institute at the age of 18 on temporal illusions. Holmes explains that a temporal illusion is an illusion that allows one to change the past. One of slides shows the name of Terrence Sejnowski, Terrence Sejnowski, the Francis Crick Professor at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies and the director of the Computational Neurobiology Laboratory. In 2008, Sejnowski wrote that since early brain research conducted by the RAND Corporation in 1980, “we now know a lot about the brain, perhaps more than we need to know.” In 2001, Sejnowski worked with the CIA to develop a facial recognition and analysis system to detect whether someone is lying. Three files of Sejnowski’s research papers are located in Box 58 at the System Development Foundation (SDF) in Palo Alto, California. SDF has a rather complex and mysterious origin is said to have been created “in the 1950s” as a not-for-profit entity. SDF has an archival depository relationship with the RAND Corporation in Santa Monica.
RAND and Stanford Research Institute, two of the CIA’s top west coast research centers, were involved in temporal illusion research throughout the 1970s and 80s. The CIA and Defense Intelligence Agency projects had various code-names, including GRILL FLAME and STAR GATE. All dealt with remote viewing, and WMR learned from a recent participant in the same program, now under the supervision of the National Security Agency (NSA) in Fort Meade, Maryland, has dealt on numerous occasions with temporal remote viewing, i.e., remote viewing of past and future events. The NSA program involves Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore and the Monroe Institute in Faber, Virginia, according to the NSA source.
True Stories : Bourne Identity
Full version : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tZ4_ch…
Byer: We are the sin eaters. It means that we take the moral excrement we find in this equation and we bury it down deep inside of us, so that the rest of our case can stay pure. That is the job. We are morally indefensible, and absolutely necessary.
From the deeper archives:
Investigative reporter Seymour Hersh describes ‘executive assassination ring’
By Eric Black | 03/11/09
“…. After 9/11, I haven’t written about this yet, but the Central Intelligence Agency was very deeply involved in domestic activities against people they thought to be enemies of the state. Without any legal authority for it. They haven’t been called on it yet. That does happen.
“Right now, today, there was a story in the New York Times that if you read it carefully mentioned something known as the Joint Special Operations Command — JSOC it’s called. It is a special wing of our special operations community that is set up independently. They do not report to anybody, except in the Bush-Cheney days, they reported directly to the Cheney office. They did not report to the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff or to Mr. [Robert] Gates, the secretary of defense. They reported directly to him. …
“Congress has no oversight of it. It’s an executive assassination ring essentially, and it’s been going on and on and on. Just today in the Times there was a story that its leaders, a three star admiral named [William H.] McRaven, ordered a stop to it because there were so many collateral deaths.
“Under President Bush’s authority, they’ve been going into countries, not talking to the ambassador or the CIA station chief, and finding people on a list and executing them and leaving. That’s been going on, in the name of all of us.
“It’s complicated because the guys doing it are not murderers, and yet they are committing what we would normally call murder. It’s a very complicated issue. Because they are young men that went into the Special Forces. The Delta Forces you’ve heard about. Navy Seal teams. Highly specialized…..”
CIA’s darkest secret
By James Carroll
July 2, 2007
|What if the CIA, that is, has not been protecting us, but has been protecting itself from us?
|Ike appointed a secret commission to define the role of intelligence. Its chair, Jimmy Doolittle, the hero who had bombed Tokyo, issued his report in 1954:”It is now clear that we are facing an implacable enemy whose avowed objective is world domination by whatever means and whatever cost. There are no rules in such a game. Hitherto acceptable norms of human conduct do not apply. If the United States is to survive, longstanding concepts of ‘fair play’ must be reconsidered. We must develop effective espionage, and counter espionage services, and must learn to subvert, sabotage, and destroy our enemies by more clever, more sophisticated, and more effective methods than those used against us. It may be necessary that the American people be made acquainted with, understand, and support this fundamentally repugnant philosophy.”
24 June 2007.
Evolutionary Cognitive Neuroscience
Dual Use Discipline for Understanding & Managing Complexity and Altering Warfare
by John Stanton
The Evolutionary Cognitive Neuroscience (ECN) discipline, and its associated fields, may produce tools that advance humanity’s ability to understand and manage itself. Simultaneously, ECN may also yield brain-centric weaponry that drastically alters human warfare. The United States Department of Defense (DOD) may marshal significant resources–as it did during the 1941 to 1946 Manhattan Project—to drive ECN research, development and testing. DOD is the only entity in the United States with the capability to fully fund ECN programs. The DOD’s Defense Science Board and the United States’ Intelligence Community has recently suggested research thrusts into ECN and the merging of data-heavy sciences and social sciences. Success will ultimately depend on program directors and researchers’ acceptance of general Evolutionary Theory and, in particular, Evolutionary Psychology. Failure to do this will result in a mosh-pit of studies based on dated science and methodology.
The Evolutionary Psychology and Neuroscience disciplines are set merge into a unified field known as Evolutionary Cognitive Neuroscience or ECN. ECN may produce novel integrated micro, macro models of brain-behavior relationships based on the principles of general Evolution, Evolutionary Psychology and the findings of Neuroscience. Applications may range from predictive human behavior models to neuroweaponry.
Social science literature and United States’ Department of Defense (DOD) documentation also suggests that the time is ripe for an even larger merger between the data-heavy sciences and the social sciences. ECN may serve as both a conduit and foundation for this convergence particularly as the DOD recognizes its importance to national security. However, the entire effort will fail if program directors and researchers exclude general Evolution and Evolutionary Psychology from their methodologies.
Complexity (the number of ways-hows-and-whys a system can act) may become an anachronism as novel research demystifies consciousness reducing human complexity to a deterministic system. Biomachines that bypass time consuming conscious activity ultimately may be fielded by the DOD. The Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA) is already working towards this end. Through its Neurotechnology for Intelligence Analysts program, it has probed brain signals triggered when an analyst sees something interesting in a satellite image. The analyst’s brain registers the discovery long before the analyst becomes cognitively aware of it. “The brain can signal the discovery three times faster than the analyst can respond…My goal is to use these technologies to harness the speed of thought…I know it’s possible, especially if we confront these challenges not just as problems of biology and neuroscience but problems of physics, math, materials science and microtechnology.”
The DOD has a very aggressive interest in understanding and adapting to the Human Terrain (brain-behavior relationships in local, regional, national and global environments). With a budget of approximately $1.2 trillion ($US), and the ability to obtain additional funding, the DOD stands alone in its ability to accelerate research and development (R&D) programs in ECN, as well as catalyze the fusion of the data-heavy and social sciences. Such an effort may be as significant as the Manhattan Project (Atomic Bomb) or the development of Quantum Theory. There is historical precedent for thinking as much.
“I think the military is the place to do it…I think it is time for the Pentagon to do for human science what it did for chemistry in World War I, for physics in World War II and for computers in the post-Cold War era. I’m convinced that we’re fighting human wars now and that another stealth bomber, another battleship is not how to win these wars…”
This DOD R&D effort may certainly revolutionize warfare. In the process it may also transform the understanding and conduct of human affairs which in turn may present challenges to the legitimacy of long established, cumbersome institutions. For example, from a policy and organizational perspective, the United States may find it necessary to create some sort of DOD-Plus organization: one centralized defense and foreign apparatus that has a comprehensive capability to anticipate and respond to evolving threats in local, regional, national, and global environments. A secondary organization might be needed for post-response consequence and stability management.
Another side-effect of this R&D activity may be a significant shift in the way human beings view themselves nestled as they are on the outskirts of 1 of the estimated 125 billion galaxies in the known universe. Already, papers such as Quantum Physics in Neuroscience and Psychology: A Neurophysical Model of Mind-Brain Interaction offer intriguing insights and prospects. ECN encourages innovative thinking through progressive and tested science.
“Neuroscientists studying the connection of mind and consciousness to physical processes in the brain often assume that a conception of nature based on classic physics will eventually turn out to be adequate. That assumption would have been reasonable during the nineteenth century. But now, in the twenty-first century, it is rationally untenable. Quantum Theory must be used in principle because the behavior of the brain depends sensitively upon atomic, molecular and ionic processes, and these processes in the brain often involve large quantum effects.
The whole range of science, from atomic physics to mind-brain dynamics, has the possibility of being brought together into a single rationally coherent theory of an evolving cosmos that is not constituted by matter but by actions of agents. In this conceptualization of nature, agents could naturally evolve in accordance with the principles of natural selection, owing to the fact that their efforts have physical consequences. The outline of a possible rationally coherent understanding of the connection between mind and matter begins to emerge…A shift to this pragmatic approach that incorporates agent based choices as primary empirical input variables may be as important to progress in neuroscience and psychology as it was to atomic physics.”
In the United States, the ongoing obsession with national security and the enormous funding necessary to soothe a national psyche of fear and war is a key driver for enhancing security thereby eliminating the uncertainty of daily living. ECN may generate predictive and diagnostic biotechnologies to reduce tension. Such a development could eliminate much uncertainty and concomitant drama in human affairs by providing leaders with assets to manage the complexities in brain-behavior relationships. To get there though, reliable data on human beings, as they function as interconnected consumers, warfighters, enemies, refugees, diplomats, criminals, and citizens of their respective nations will need to be collected and assessed. The entire effort depends on the application of general Evolution and Evolutionary Psychology.
A comprehensive knowledge base of planetary ecosystems and how humans interface with those ecosystems will have to be constructed and meshed with the findings of brain-behavior functions. The dissection of the individual and global organism may lead to unprecedented forecasting capability The ultimate outcome may be the creation of biomachine systems that suggest procedures and diagnostics with which to anticipate and/or minimize a wide range of human problems. Biomachine tools that can suggest courses of action such as military intervention, diplomacy, containment, stability and consequence management operations, economic aid, covert operations, or a Pontius Pilate approach to nations that engage in internal self-destruction may become available.
Worldscape 2007: Savannah’s and Jungles
The United States diplomatic corps has made general use of standard psychology, game theory, and related social sciences to engage in diplomacy on behalf of the United States. Likewise, the Department of Defense (DOD) has used elements of the social sciences–especially psychology–to predict, for example, who will or will not earn pilot’s wings, or become a special forces operator.
Now, however, the DOD is moving far beyond its generalized use of the social sciences and is making a considerable effort to incorporate ECN and a bevy of related disciplines into its arsenal.
If approached correctly and conducted properly, this effort, and the technology and/or knowledge transfer from it, could be the catalyst for a certifiable revolution in human affairs. At the very least, DOD’s surge into these fields may produce unmanned and autonomous intelligence biotechnologies, warfighting and medical biomachinery (with civilian applications), along with thousands of terabytes of data on human behavior. In any other time this might be termed acceptable progress. Advancements in ECN and associated fields have changed what acceptable means.
Consider, for example, the Defense Advanced Research Agency’s (DARPA) Biologically Inspired Cognitive Architectures (BICA) program. “Recent advances in cognitive psychology and neuroscience have given us a much richer scientific understanding of how cognition works in the human brain. The BICA program is developing a new generation of cognitive architectures and computational models of human cognition based on that new understanding.” One BICA team consists of scientists from the University of Michigan, MIT Media Lab, AlgoTek, Dartmouth, Johns Hopkins, Harvard University and Rutgers University. They have developed TOSCA: A Comprehensive Brain Based Cognitive Architecture. According to the researchers,
“This organization [TOSCA] starts to answer the question as to where is the magic in human cognition…”
The United States’ national security establishment has determined that the study of the brain-behavior relationships–and its participation and interaction with the global organism–is essential to national security. Today, in the intelligence community, for example, the social sciences are being called upon to assist analysts in the development of new methods for educing information (interrogation) from prisoners of war and/or conflict.
Beyond contributions to United States’ national security, ECN and associated disciplines may offer new approaches and solutions to minimize violence and ethnic conflict; prevent or manage warfare, pandemics and poverty; protect the global commons; reduce income disparity; and negotiate the allocation of finite resources and space amongst nations and/or groups. New gear is required to help humanity manage that which is the source of its complexity: brain-human behavior relationships.
“We are at a crossroads of human existence: We possess the technical knowledge required to provide for the material needs of all of humanity without systematic plunder and extermination of others: yet, systematic plunder and genocidal extermination continue to thrive.”
“We used to wonder where war lived, what it was that made it so vile. And now we realize that we know where it lives, that it is inside ourselves.”
Humanity is one of the many children of evolutionary forces. ECN may play a key role in helping humanity relook its role on the planet. ECN may convince humans that they are agents in an interconnected local to global organism. The acceptance of this fact, this reality, may come just in time for humanity as it faces global instability. Such knowledge—and the practical application of it–now seems critical to the survival, stability and prosperity of our species and those that support us.
A key feature of homo sapiens’ evolutionary design has been the ability to forecast; to think ahead, to model and simulate multiple scenarios and outcomes for survival, stability and prosperity. Evolution seems to be working its magic as sections of the government, commercial organizations, academia, and the world’s public recognize that survival, stability and prosperity are very fragile realities. There seems to be a sense of urgency in developing new models to manage the future.
The human species faces global climate change; ethnic conflict in geostrategic regions; simmering immigration conflict in apparently stable democracies; intermittent warfare; disinformation; income disparity and employment insecurity, the mobility of corporations to roam the planet in search of low cost labor; the continued spread of weapons of mass destruction; and—significantly–a new era of global economic competition between individual powers like China, Basil, India, Russia, the United States, and consortium’s like the European Union, the South American Community of Nations, and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.
In local-to-global savannahs and jungles; nations, and groups that want to form nations, now have many choices for international support, recognition, and economic and military assistance. They can roam the globe via the Internet or by aircraft. They can openly appeal to national governments, covertly appeal to a government’s military-intelligence agencies and private security contractors, or to quasi-state groups for support. They have far more maneuverability to pit the larger global economic competitors against one another to get the best economic package, thwart a military intervention, or simply buy time to purse a policy. Iran, for example, in pursuit of regional influence, nuclear power and weapons capability, has conducted an impressive series of maneuvers that often match European Union, Chinese, Russian, Turkish, Pakistani and Indian economic needs against United States and Israeli interests.
Predators and Prey
On the flip side, larger nations can utilize smaller nations and quasi-state groups in an effort to pursue policies and destabilize competitors. With its military supremacy, the United States, like any upstanding, self-interested predator, has consistently made life and trade difficult for many intransigent nations and groups. But why do many nations prefer war? The phenomenon of removing the brakes on non-violent behavior and the promotion of war as a positive activity and economic engine is one of the most understudied issues in human history. ECN may be useful in understanding the war phenomenon as it relates to creation of dehumanized others and violence in general.
According to the United States’ Federal Bureau of Investigation, approximately 16,000 people are murdered each year in the United States. Nations and peoples around the globe are coping not only with “crime”, but with the fallout from conventional and guerrilla warfare in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, Chechnya, Pakistan, Turkey, Iran, Sudan, Colombia, Gaza, the West Bank, Lebanon, Kashmir, Nigeria, and Saudi Arabia. Refugees fleeing conflict, increased global fuel costs, the spread of disease, and the creation of slums that house next-generation insurgents are just a handful of the effects of today’s conflicts.
The United States’ generic response to much of this international activity has been to restructure military commands and build more military bases, embassies and consulates around the globe to encircle and contain conflict areas. In short, a sort of quarantine -based approach. This is particularly evident with countries and regions rich in natural resources and in close proximity to sea and land-based choke points. A recent example of this was the creation of a new Unified Combatant Command called AFRICOM. Coincidently, the United States government announced AFRICOM’s existence on February 6, 2007, in the midst of the Chinese government’s 12 nation tour of Africa.
Global climate change, in the most severe scenarios, threatens to alter large portions of the planet and in the process either exterminate or relocate many of the humans, plants and other creatures that subsist on it. With the most advanced predictive human behavior models available, humanity may still ignore data forecasting catastrophe. Federal, state and local officials’ response to Hurricane Katrina demonstrated that even with ample warning and time to prepare for difficult outcomes, ignorance stymied success.
Severe weather events may continue to destabilize densely populated coastal regions resulting in refugee populations and disruption of commercial and national security enterprises. Hurricane Katrina temporarily shut down United States’ Navy contractor Northrop Grumman’s shipbuilding operations in Pascagoula, Mississippi. Katrina has hampered Northrop Grumman’s ability to hire skilled workers and house them. Hence, it is no surprise that global climate change has been determined to be an urgent national security threat to the United States by the influential Center for Naval Analysis in Alexandria, Virginia.
Just as global climate change is inevitable, so too is an increase in the world’s population. By 2050 there will likely be 9 billion human beings occupying the globe with 60 percent of that number living in urban environments in close proximity to ocean littoral zones. Approximately 1 billion of the 9 billion will be relegated to slum life or coerced to migrate as displaced human beings in search of improved economic opportunity.
One Thing Affects Everything
According to Robert Jervis, “Garrett Hardin gets to the heart of the matter in pointing out that, contrary to many hopes and expectations, we cannot develop or find any highly specific agent which will do only one thing…We can never do merely one thing. Wishing to kill insects, we may put an end to the singing of birds…Seeking to protect the environment by developing nonpolluting sources of electric power, we build windmills that kill hawks and eagles that fly into the blades; cleaning the water in our harbors allows the growth of mollusks and crustaceans that destroys wooden piers and bulkheads…”
Jervis pointed out that it’s the same in politics. “In politics, connections are often more idiosyncratic, but their existence guarantees that here too, most actions, no matter how well targeted, will have multiple affects.”
This dizzyingly interconnected environment has confused, perhaps even frightened, today’s global leaders and their advisors whose worldviews were heavily influenced by the binary simplicity of the Cold War and the illusory post-Cold War dominance of the United States. More problematic is local-to-global leadership that tends to consult antediluvian belief systems and mythical beings in their decision making processes. Hence, leaders the world over—particularly here in the United States–are making decisions based on a Flatland approach, ignoring consequences, fallout, outcomes, and linkages. This mode of thinking rolls downhill to infect local, regional, national and global populations.
For example, the United States’ involvement in Iraq and elsewhere on the Asian continent provides an obvious example of cloudy judgment by leadership and the subsequent disastrous fallout. Additionally, once dominant institutions, and important tools of United States foreign and economic policy, are seeing their influence wane in the presence of simple geopolitical competition The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund are two organizations whose reach has been shortened by the inflexibility and predictability of United States’ foreign policy. The Chinese government has been courting alliances by disbursing large amounts of cash in the form of no interest loans and with minimal interference in the borrower’s internal affairs. This is in stark contrast to the World Bank and International Monetary Fund who demand painful economic reforms from their borrowers.
With $1 trillion (US) in cash reserves, and an energy-hungry economy, China is acting as one might expect: it is maximizing its prospects for survival. stability and prosperity.
Exploring and Dissecting the Human Terrain
“The increasing global interdependence implies an increase in complexity. However, the relationship that was discussed between this complexity and the internal structural changes that are taking place in social and economic systems provides us with an additional insight. The change from hierarchical to distributed control implies that the complexity of collective behaviors is not only increasing, it is already higher than that of a single individual. In this context, the traditional conflict between individual and collective good and rights should be revisited. This philosophical and practical conflict manifested itself in the conflict between democracy and communism. It was assumed that communism represented an ideology of the collective while democracy represented an ideology of the individual. The transition to a complex organism implies that this conflict has been resolved, not in favor of one or the other, but rather of a third category—an interdependent complex collective formed out of diverse individuals.
The traditional collective model was a model that relied on the uniformity of the individuals rather than diversity. Similarly, the ideology of the individual did not view the individual in relation to the collective, but rather the individual serving himself or herself. It should be acknowledge that both philosophies were deeper than their caricatures would suggest. The philosophy of democracy included the idea that the individualistic actions would also serve the benefit of the collective, and the philosophy of communism included the idea that the collective would benefit the individual.
Nevertheless, the concept of civilization as a complex organism formed out of human beings is qualitatively different than either form of government. There are two natural conclusions to be drawn from recognizing that human beings are part of a global organism. First. one can recognize that human civilization has a remarkable capacity for responding to external and internal challenges. The existence of such a capacity for response does not mean human civilization will survive external challenges any more than the complexity of an organism guarantees its survival. However, one can hope that the ability to prevent local disasters will increase…Second, the complexity of our individual lives must be understood in the context of a system that must enable its components (us) to contribute effectively to the collective system…The merging of disciplines in the field of complex systems runs counter to the increasing specialization in science and engineering [but] it provides many opportunities for synergies and the recognition of general principles that can form a basis for education and understanding in all fields.”
In February 2007, the Defense Science Board (DSB) released a little noticed report titled, 21st Century Strategic Technology Vectors. In the report the DSB recommended that military planners explore the Human Terrain in which US warfighters operate. To do this, the DSB suggested a radical approach: tap into the non-kinetic social sciences network for analytical data and marry future findings and applications to the military’s warfighting toolkit.
“Human, Social, cultural and behavior (HSCB) modeling…pushes the boundaries of DOD’s comfort zone the farthest. However, it is an area that DOD cannot afford to ignore. The DOD needs to become much more familiar with the theories, methods, and models from psychology, sociology, cultural anthropology, cognitive science, political science and economics in order to be able to identify those with real potential to add value to DOD’s toolkit. Coupling these to quantitative and computational modeling and simulation techniques from mathematics, physics, statistics, operations research, and computer science could lead to powerful new tools that represent complex human and social systems…One promising starting point for the application of HSCB models is to complement the more familiar physical network modeling with human/group behavioral models.
HSCB models are designed to help understand the structure, interconnections, dependencies, behavior, and trends associated with organizational entities. Macro HSCB models address nation states, socio-cultural regions, economies, and political systems. Micro HSCB models deal with religious and ethnic tribes, militias, insurgent and terrorist networks, and military units at the tactical level. Integrated models try to tie together the macro and micro models. A formidable challenge in modeling social and behavioral phenomena is to integrate and make coherent micro-macro models at multiple levels of data, granularity, and analysis, and across multiple disciplines of the social sciences, and to acquire and structure data that can be used to guide and test the models.”
Evolutionary Psychology: Some Basics
Evolutionary Psychology offers four linked, interdependent paths to understanding how brain-behavior relationships change over time in individuals and populations. Change and/or adaptation happens biologically through molecular development that affects the genetic substrates of behavior; psychologically through emotions, and conscious and unconscious mental activity; culturally through social life; and environmentally as behavior adapts to ecosystem and social system changes.
Evolutionary Psychology is an approach and a way of thinking. The mind is seen as a set of information-processing mechanisms designed by natural selection to solve adaptive problems faced by our hunter-gatherer ancestors during the Pleistocene era. There are five basic principles that form the foundation of Evolutionary Psychology.
1. The brain is a physical system. It functions as a computer. Its circuits are designed to generate behavior that is appropriate to your environmental circumstances.
2. Our neural circuits were designed by natural selection to solve problems that our ancestors faced during our species evolutionary history.
3. Consciousness is just the tip of the iceberg. Most of what goes in your mind is hidden from you. As a result, your conscious experience can mislead you into thinking that our circuitry is simpler than it really is. Most problems that you experience as easy to solve are very difficult to solve as they require very complicated neural circuitry.
4. Different neural circuits are specialized for solving different adaptive problems.
5. Our modern skulls house a stone age mind.
“Our species lived as hunter-gatherers 1000 times longer than as anything else. The world that seems so familiar to you an me—a world with roads, schools, grocery stores, factories, farms and nation-states—has lasted for only an eye blink of time when compared to our entire evolutionary history The computer age is only a little older than the typical college student and the industrial revolution is a mere 200 years old. Agriculture first appeared on earth only 10,000 years ago, and it wasn’t until abut 5000 years ago that as many as half the human population engaged in farming rather than hunting and gathering. Natural selection is a slow process and there haven’t been enough generations for it to design circuits that are well adapted to post-industrial life.”
Evolutionary Cognitive Neuroscience: Problem Solving Tool
ECN fuses Evolutionary Psychology and Cognitive Neuroscience into one unified theory of human behavior based on the foundations of evolutionary meta-theory. The fruitfulness of ECN and, hence, the DOD’s R&D efforts to divine the Human Terrain, depends largely upon the willingness of participants and practitioners to accept and apply the general principles of Evolution and, most particularly, the basic tenets of Evolutionary Psychology.
“Like Pre-Darwinian psychology and other social sciences, cognitive neuroscience without evolution will have difficulty accurately describing the functional workings of the human mind…A cognitive neuroscience approach to ultimate questions without evolutionary meta-theoretical guidance makes little sense…An evolutionary perspective provides a structure from which to guide empirical investigations and hypothesis generation about brain behavior relationships…
Evolutionary psychology assumes that an evolved psychological mechanism and its corresponding neural substrates is an information-processing module that was selected during a species’ evolutionary history because it reliably produces behavior that solved a particular adaptive problem. Evolved psychological mechanisms are understood in terms of their specific inputs, decision rules and outputs. The filter of natural selection operates on psychological mechanisms that produce behavior. Natural selection cannot operate on behavior directly, but on the genes associated with neural substrates that generate the psychological mechanisms that produce the behavior…Evolutionary Psychology is not post hoc storytelling: its practitioners often use a deductive approach moving from theory to data…
The majority of psychological mechanisms are presumed to be domain specific. The mind is comprised of content-dependent machinery—physiological and psychological mechanisms–that is presumed to have evolved to solve specific adaptive problems. Psychological mechanisms can also be expressed as cognitive biases that cause people to more readily attend to some pieces of information relative to others…A domain, when referring to a psychological mechanism, is a selection pressure, an adaptive problem. Domain, then, is synonymous with problem. A domain-specific mechanism refers to a problem-specific mechanism—a mechanism that evolved to solve a specific adaptive problem. Although evolutionary and cognitive psychologists use the term domain-specific, perhaps some confusion could be avoided if the more accurate term problem-specific were employed.
Why is ECN important? Without evolutionary meta-theoretical guidance, cognitive science will fail to describe with anything but superficial accuracy the human and animal mind. Cognitive science will simply explain proximate mechanisms (i.e., the “how”) or brain-behavior relationships (most often using theoretical models derived from standard social science models). This is only half the equation. The approach misses the ultimate (i.e., “why”) questions of brain behavior relationships.
By adopting the ECN approach and directly addressing ultimate questions about brain-behavior relationships, scientists will be in a position to better describe the cognitive processes and the neural correlates that they investigate. Likewise without cognitive neuroscientific methods, evolutionary psychology may not be able to adequately describe and understand the neurophysiological mediators to psychological adaptations and hence may never be able to accurately describe the evolved nature of the human mind. Without peering into the brain with techniques such as modern functional neuroimaging, evolutionary psychological investigations can only describe the cognitive processing of human mental characteristics.
Evolutionary Psychology can describe function but is limited in its description of structure, and thus has no ability to relate function to structure which might be important especially in comparative investigations of cognitive evolution. The relationship between structure and function is inherently a problem of evolutionary biology; .i.e., the genes that give rise to brain structure and its component nuclei and modularity, as well as its ability to process information, were the combined units of selection.
The need for an integrated science of the mind that utilizes evolutionary meta-theoretical guidance to cognitive neuroscience investigations is overdue, but beginning to flourish…By adopting an ECN approach, scientists will be in a position to think about uniquely human traits such as higher-level consciousness, theory of mind and self awareness.
It is likely that the most exciting advancements in technology for understanding the evolved mind are going to come from interdisciplinary collaborations…In fact, ECN might be the only approach that can give rise to such an understanding. Evolutionary cognitive neuroscience might be the newest science of the mind.”
ECN may be used to inform current studies of human activity by providing insights as to how 21st Century humanity graduated from multiple hunter-gatherer bands, tribes, chiefdoms, and kingdoms to become nation-states. This may provide insights to public policy makers of the future, particularly given that humanity may be now working its way from nation-state back to tribal-state as the accelerated global mobility of everything from insurgent groups and viral strains to ideas and corporations threatens slow-moving governing institutions. Already, ECN has tackled matters as varied as water pollution and fetal development; the role of women and men in society and conflict; violent crime; leadership styles; terrorism, law and sentencing; world government; drug use, and an array of other issues falling into brain-behavior relationships.
In the end, humanity should be its own best resource for researching and solving complexity since humanity itself is the root cause of its problems. ECN may lead humanity to figure itself out. In that process there may be a possibility that this discovery will show that the species is really not as complex as it is egotistical and dualistic by evolutionary design. Humanity may find that it does, indeed, occupy a special place–not in the known universe or some mythical after-life, but right here at home.
Neuroweapons may be an outcome of ECN R&D programs. It is likely that DOD may classify as Top Secret programs that seek to turn the speed of thought into a weapon, or programs that blur the line between human and machine. With classification, no one may ever know of the existence of such programs. Some in the scientific community have suggested that, beyond the development of neuro-biomachinery and genetic manipulation, non-traceable neuroweapons with viral genetic payloads may be used to disrupt the brain and central nervous system. As a result, the creation of neurosecurity advisory and/or ethics boards may be required to keep R&D and testing efforts in bounds.
July 31-August 1, 2012 — Holmes’s shrink’s government connections
WMR previously reported on the connections between accused Aurora movie theater shooter James Holmes and U.S. government-funded neuroscience research programs at the Anschutz Medical Campus at the University of Colorado and at the Salk Institute in La Jolla, California, in addition to his father’s research work on neural networks for the Defense Advance Research Projects Agency (DARPA). It has now emerged that James Holmes’s psychiatrist, Dr. Lynne Fenton, worked as a psychiatrist for the U.S. Air Force.
Aurora police seized a notebook, containing drawings of stick figures opening fire with weapons, that Holmes mailed to Fenton before he allegedly carried out the massacre of the theater audience at a screening of the Batman movie “The Dark Knight Rises.” Holmes’s defense attorneys are trying to obtain the notebook, which legal experts claim is privileged information between Fenton and Holmes, who was under her care during the time leading up to the shooting spree that killed 12 and wounded more than 58 others.
Fenton officially practiced Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation in Denver but she has specialized in the study of schizophrenia. Fenton has served as the Director of Student Mental Health Services at the Anschutz campus since 2008. Holmes was one of six students to receive a National Institutes of Health grant for neuroscience research at Anschutz, a program he suddenly withdrew from in May.
Fenton is a graduate of the Chicago Medical School in 1986 and did her residency at Northwestern University in 1990. Northwestern’s Department of Biomedical Engineering receives government funding to conduct research into neural engineering and rehabilitation, including restoration of human function, for example, neuroprosthetics, novel motor system therapies for stroke victims and assistive technologies for victims of neuropathologies, bio-inspired technologies for robotics, such as artificial sensor arrays, locomotion systems, sensory-feedback control algorithms. The former Fitzsimons Army Medical Center, whose facilities Anschutz now occupies, specialized in neuroprosthetics for veterans who lost limbs in combat.
In May, before he dropped out of his NIH-funded program at Anschutz, Holmes presented a paper on Micro DNA Biomarkers in a class on the Biological Basis of Psychiatric and Neurological Disorders.
The Salk Institute, where Holmes, an an intern, worked on temporal illusion projects, is part of the University of California at San Diego. The San Diego campus also hosts the Neural Engineering and Theoretical Neuroscience Laboratory and the Retina Engineering Center of the Department of Bioengineering at the Jacobs School of Engineering, which has a program funded by the U.S. Army Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center (TATRC), headquartered at Fort Detrick, Maryland, the home to a number of highly classified military medical research projects, incluidng weaponized anthrax research. One of the lab’s projects is the design of retinal implants to replace damaged photoreceptors in the eye by detecting light and properly stimulating neurons in the retina or, simply stated, a technology that would allow the blind to see.
Fenton was also the chief of physical medicine for the Wilford Hall U.S. Air Force Medical Center at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas, from 1990 to 1993.
On April 16, 2003, Air Force Colonel Philip Shue, a psychiatrist at the Air Force Medical Center, kissed his wife good-bye before driving to work. On his way to work, Shue was killed instantly in a crash in which the driver’s side was severely impacted. The Air Force, local, and state police determined that Shue committed suicide. End of story? Not quite.
Shue’s t-shirt was ripped open from his chest to his navel, with a six-inch vertical incision in his chest. Oddly, Shue’s nipples had been removed. Shue’s wrists were wrapped in duct tape. Investigators determined that Shue had suffered a psychological breakdown before mutilating himself and then committing suicide. A Kendall County grand jury later concluded that no foul play was involved in Shue’s death and no crime was committed.
Noted pathologist Dr. Cyril Wecht, who investigated the assassination of John F. Kennedy — determining there was more than one assassin — and other high-profile deaths, concluded that there was no way that Shue could have mutilated himself and that Shue fell victim to torture and homicide. A trial over payment of Shue’s USAA life insurance policy did result from the death but the presiding judge changed the cause of Shue’s death from suicide to homicide although he ruled in a “take nothing” decision that USAA was not liable in paying out Shue’s life insurance claim to Shue’s first wife. Nevertheless, the Kendall County Sheriff’s office refused to re-open the case as a homicide. And, like the trial of James Holmes in Aurora, the judge ruled that cameras were not permitted in the court room during the Shue trial. Subsequently, in a politically-motivated prosecution by the Bush administration, Wecht faced 84 criminal counts of misuse of his public office as Allegheny County medical examiner, including alleged misuse of an Allegheny County fax machine. In 2009, the Bush-appointed U.S. Attorney in Pittsburgh dismissed all charges against Wecht. However, the case left Wecht $8 million in debt.
Shue’s murder, deemed a “suicide” by authorities, fits a familiar pattern of the government eliminating witnesses to illegal activities and gross misconduct. Although Fenton preceded Shue by ten years at the Lackland psychiatric department, Shue’s suspicious death is an indication that he may have become aware of unethical activities at the medical center. Shue had also announced his decision to retire from the Air Force shortly before his death.
In 2005, Fenton received a reprimand from the Colorado medical board for prescribing Vicodin, Xanax, Lorazepam, and Ambien to her husband, her employee, and herself.
Interestingly, though no connection is clear or verified, Scott Creighton mentioned — back in May 2010 — a Robert Holmes who was well-connected to the Tampa/St. Pete Special Ops Command structure [ http://willyloman.wordpress.com/2010/05/16/in-the-mouth-of-madness/ ] :
“Richard Pack, CEO – Prior to joining International Media Ventures, Dick Pack was the Vice President of the Special Operations Support Division of L-3 Com, GSI, located in Tampa, Florida. The organization that he led served the Special Operations Community in a variety of locations, under several separate contracts including the U. S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) headquartered at MacDill Air Force Base.
Robert Holmes – Director of Stratigic Communications – Prior to joining International Media Ventures, Brigadier General “Bob“ Holmes was the Director, Inter-Agency Task Force, Center for Special Operations, Headquarters U.S. Special Operations Command, MacDill Air Force Base, Fla. Pior to his role at USSOCOM General Holmes was the Deputy Director of Operations, U.S. Central Command.
Marc Sherril – Director of Operations – Before accepting his current position with International Media Ventures, Marc Sherrill was a Senior Program Manager for IT Engineering Support to the Special Operation Resources Business Information Systems (SORBIS) for US Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) IMV About Webpage”
“As [Tom Burghardt] documented in “Unconventional Warfare in the 21st Century: U.S. Surrogates, Terrorists and Narcotraffickers” (Antifascist Calling, December 19, 2008), the Pentagon’s field manual (FM 3-05.130) titled Unconventional Warfare lays it out in black and white:
Irregulars, or irregular forces, are individuals or groups of individuals who are not members of a regular armed force, police, or other internal security force. They are usually nonstate-sponsored and unconstrained by sovereign nation legalities and boundaries. These forces may include, but are not limited to, specific paramilitary forces, contractors, individuals, businesses, foreign political organizations, resistance or insurgent organizations, expatriates, transnational terrorism adversaries, disillusioned transnational terrorism members, black marketers, and other social or political “undesirables.” (Unconventional Warfare, p. 1-3)
**** **** ****
Additional reading resources:
U.S. Government Can Execute Its Own Citizens With No Judicial Process And Based On Secret Intelligence
Phantom Ray UAV Capable of Completely Autonomous Operation
The Real World: Mercenaries, Murder and the American Way
Written by Chris Floyd
Wednesday, 05 August 2009
|“CONVERGING TECHNOLOGIES FOR IMPROVING HUMAN PERFORMANCE”June 2002424 pagesNational Science Foundation
Department of Commerce
The National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Department of Commerce
(DOC) organized a workshop on December 3-4, 2001. This report incorporates the views expressed at the workshop of leading experts from government, academia, and private sector, and detailed in contributions submitted thereafter by members of the U.S. science and engineering community.
‘…the combined role of nanotechnology, biotechnology, information technology in accelerating
advancement of mental, physical, and overall human performance.”
“Changing the societal “fabric” towards a new structure”
CONVERGING TECHNOLOGIES FOR IMPROVING HUMAN PERFORMANCE:
NANOTECHNOLOGY, BIOTECHNOLOGY, INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCE
Over 400 pages long and indexed…
| Expendable Elite: One Soldier’s Journey into Covert Warfare (new expanded edition)A special operations perspective on the Vietnam War and the truth about a White House concerned with popular opinion This true story of a special forces officer in Vietnam in the mid-1960s exposes the unique nature of the elite fighting force and how covert operations are developed and often masked to permit and even sponsor assassination, outright purposeful killing of innocents, illegal use of force, and bizarre methods in combat operations.Expendable Elite reveals the fear that these warriors share with no other military person: not fear of the enemy they have been trained to fight in battle, but fear of the wrath of the U.S. government should they find themselves classified as “expendable.” This book centers on the CIA mission to assassinate Cambodian Crown Prince Nordum Sihanouk, the author’s unilateral aborting of the mission, the CIA’s dispatch of an ARVN regiment to attack and destroy the camp and kill every person in it as retribution for defying the agency, and the dramatic rescue of eight American Green Berets and hundreds of South Vietnamese.
Daniel Marvin is a retired lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army Special Forces and former Green Beret who served in the Korean and Vietnam wars. He lives in Cazenovia, New York.
Visit http://expendableelite.com/ for more information about the book and its author.
From the recent past:
The U.S. military is already using, or fast developing, a wide range of technologies meant to give troops what California Polytechnic State University researcher Patrick Lin calls “mutant powers.” Greater strength and endurance. Superior cognition. Better teamwork. Fearlessness.
But the risk, ethics and policy issues arising out of these so-called “military human enhancements” — including drugs, special nutrition, electroshock, gene therapy and robotic implants and prostheses — are poorly understood, Lin and his colleagues Maxwell Mehlman and Keith Abney posit in a new report for The Greenwall Foundation (.pdf), scheduled for wide release tomorrow. In other words, we better think long and hard before we unleash our army of super soldiers….
In this possible mutant future, what enhancements should be regulated by international law, or banned outright? If an implant malfunctions or a drug causes unexpected side effects, who’s responsible? And if one side deploys a terrifying cyborg army, could that spark a devastating arms race as nations scramble to out-enhance each other? “Does the possibility that military enhancements will simply lead to a continuing arms race mean that it is unethical to even begin to research or employ them?” Lin, Mehlman and Abney wonder.
The report authors also question whether the military shouldn’t get give potential enhancement subjects the right to opt out, even though the subjects are otherwise subject to military training, rules and discipline. “Should warfighters be required to give their informed consent to being enhanced, and if so, what should that process be?” the researchers ask.
The ethical concerns certainly have precedent. In a series of experiments in the 1970s aimed at developing hallucinogenic weapons, the Pentagon gave soldiers LSD — apparently without the subjects fully understanding the consequences of using the drug. During the Cold War U.S. troops were also exposed to nerve gas, psychochemicals and other toxic substances on an experimental basis and without their consent.
Moreover, it’s theoretically possible that future biological enhancements could be subject to existing international laws and treaties, potentially limiting the enhancements — or prohibiting them outright. But the application of existing laws and treaties is unclear, at best. ”Could enhanced warfighters be considered to be ‘weapons’ in themselves and therefore subject to regulation under the Laws of Armed Conflict?” the researchers write. “Or could an enhanced warfighter count as a ‘biological agent’ under the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention?”
PRIVATE MURDERS VERSUS GOVERNMENT MURDERS
by Michael Tennant
December 24, 2012
The December 14 murder of 20 children and 6 women at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, has garnered vast media attention and caused countless people with no connection to the victims to grieve for them. This is not a new phenomenon: nearly all mass murders carried out by civilians generate the same type of coverage and response.
But what of the far more numerous incidents of government murder of innocents? Most of them hardly make the news at all; fewer still produce widespread outpourings of sympathy.
The George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton administrations deliberately sabotaged Iraq’s sanitation systems and prevented their repair through sanctions. That, too, was not widely reported, and neither president apologized for it. Quite the opposite: Clinton’s secretary of State, Madeleine Albright, told a reporter that “the price” — half a million dead Iraqi children — was “worth it” to oust Saddam Hussein from power, an objective the bombings and sanctions manifestly failed to achieve.
Under Clinton, too, federal agencies laid siege to the Branch Davidian compound outside Waco, Texas, and in the name of saving children from abuse killed 17 kids and another 59 adults inside the compound.
No government employees were ever brought to account for that incident, though some of the surviving Davidians were tried and convicted for daring to resist the feds’ assault on their home.
Going back even further, one could point to Harry Truman’s atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki or the Allies’ firebombing of German and Japanese cities, which also targeted first responders, under both Truman and his predecessor, Franklin Roosevelt. Even today those actions are justified by many Americans on the basis that “all’s fair in love and war”; and besides, they “saved American lives” — the only ones, apparently, that count.
The U.S. government, of course, is not alone in murdering innocent people. One thinks immediately of the great evils of Adolf Hitler’s National Socialists, who killed perhaps 11 million people, or the communist regimes of the Soviet Union, China, and elsewhere, responsible for the deaths of nearly 100 million. All told, governments killed more than 262 million people in the 20th century outside of wars, according to University of Hawaii political science professor R.J. Rummel. Add to that the war dead, also the responsibility of governments, and the figure becomes astronomical. The vast majority of instances of death by government are unknown to all except researchers such as Rummel. Those that are more widely known often have their apologists.
No sane person sticks up for the perpetrator of the Sandy Hook massacre. Likewise, it’s about time people stopped sticking up for governments that perpetrate far worse killings — and started prosecuting the people who order them and carry them out.
American Death Squads
Terrorism with a “Human Face”: The History of America’s Death Squads
The Establishment of Death Squads in Iraq and Syria
Prof. Michel Chossudovsky
4 January, 2013
The recruitment of death squads is part of a well established US military-intelligence agenda. There is a long and gruesome US history of covert funding and support of terror brigades ….
More Than Human?
The Ethics of Biologically Enhancing Soldiers
By PATRICK LIN
FEB 16 2012, 3:57 PM ET
“… As you might expect, there are serious moral and legal risks to consider on this path. Last week in the UK, The Royal Society released its report ” Neuroscience, Conflict and Security.” This timely report worried about risks posed by cognitive enhancements to military personnel, as well as whether new nonlethal tactics, such as directed energy weapons, could violate either the Biological or Chemical Weapons Conventions.
While an excellent start, the report doesn’t go far enough, as I have been explaining to the US intelligence community , National Research Council, DARPA, and other organizations internationally. The impact of neural and physical human enhancements is more far-reaching than that, such as to the question of torturing the enhanced. Other issues, as described below, pose real challenges to military policies and broader society…..”
America’s Death Squads
http://www.occupycorporatism.com/darpa-continues-human-experiments-to-create-military-super-soldiers/ [has some good embedded links]
Google the term “viral receptor mapping”. Scan the entries. If you can understand any of it, write a guest article.
“You ever seen a Cognitive Degrade, Marta?”
In 1976 George Wald, Nobel Prize winning biologist and Harvard professor, wrote:
Recombinant DNA technology [genetic engineering] faces our society with problems unprecedented not only in the history of science, but of life on the Earth. It places in human hands the capacity to redesign living organisms, the products of some three billion years of evolution…. It presents probably the largest ethical problem that science has ever had to face. Our morality up to now has been to go ahead without restriction to learn all that we can about nature. Restructuring nature was not part of the bargain…. For going ahead in this direction may be not only unwise but dangerous. Potentially, it could breed new animal and plant diseases, new sources of cancer, novel epidemics.
Ethical Dangers of Genetic Engineering
Monday, May 13th, 2013
Military Biotech: Genetically Engineered Animals for War
Excerpted from “Frankenstein’s Cat: Cuddling Up to Biotech’s Brave New Beasts” by Emily Anthes, published in March 2013 by Scientific American/Farrar, Straus and Giroux, LLC. Copyright © 2013 by Emily Anthes. All rights reserved.