Archive for February, 2012

RICK SANTORUM’S FREEDOM AGENDA

February 29, 2012

In Wall Street Journal on February 27, 2012, in an article Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum called for a bold tax reform, but Mitt Romney wants to tinker at the margins. Excerpts below:

America’s budget process is broken. Our economy and American families are struggling, and the country needs bold reforms and major restructuring, not tinkering at the margins. Obamanomics has left one in six Americans in poverty, and one in four children on food stamps. Millions seek jobs and others have given up.

By contrast, in my first 100 days as president, I’ll submit to Congress and work to pass a comprehensive pro-growth and pro-family Economic Freedom Agenda. Here are 10 of its main initiatives:

• Unleash America’s energy. I’ll approve the Keystone Pipeline for jobs and energy security, and sign an order on day one unleashing America’s domestic energy production, allowing states to choose where they want to explore for oil and natural gas and to set their own regulations for hydrofracking.

• Stop job-killing regulation. All Obama administration regulations that have an economic burden over $100 million will be repealed, including the Environmental Protection Agency rule on CO2 emissions that’s already shut down six power plants. I’ll review all regulations, making sure they use sound science and cost benefit analysis.

• A pro-growth, pro-family tax policy. I’ll submit to Congress comprehensive tax policies to strengthen opportunity in our country, with only two income tax rates of 10% and 28%. To help families, I’ll triple the personal deduction for children and eliminate the marriage tax penalty.

• Restore America’s competitiveness. The corporate tax rate should be halved, to a flat rate of 17.5%. Corporations should be allowed to expense all business equipment and investment. Taxes on corporate earnings repatriated from overseas should be eliminated to bring home manufacturing. I’ll take the lead on tort reform to lower costs to consumers.

• Rein in spending. I’ll propose spending cuts of $5 trillion over five years, including cuts for the remainder of fiscal year 2013. I’ll propose budgets that spend less money each year than prior years, and I’ll reduce the nondefense-related federal work force by at least 10%, without replacing them with private contractors.

• Repeal and replace ObamaCare

• Balance the budget. I’ll submit to Congress a budget that will balance within four years and call on Congress to pass a balanced-budget amendment to the Constitution which limits federal spending to 18% of GDP.

• Reform entitlements. I’ll cut means-tested entitlement programs by 10% across the board, freeze them for four years, and block grant them to states—as I did as the author of welfare reform in 1996. I’ll reform Medicare and Social Security so they are fiscally sustainable for seniors and young people.

• Revive housing. I’ll submit plans to Congress to phase out within several years Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s federal housing role, reform and make transparent the Federal Reserve, and allow families whose mortgages are “underwater” to deduct losses from the sale of their home in order to get a fresh start in difficult economic times.

I’ll work with Congress and the American people to once again create an economic environment where hard work is rewarded, equal opportunity exists for all, and families providing for their children can once again be optimistic about their future.

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SÅ ARBETAR KOMMUNISTPARTIERNA

February 28, 2012

Svensk Tidskrift publicerade i nr 2 1980 en recension av numera professor em. Birger Hagård av en bok av Bertil Häggman och Jon Skard, Så arbetar kommunistpartierna, som utkom år 1979. Numera kallar sig det största kommunistpartiet i Sverige Vänsterpartiet. Det har haft en del framgångar under 2012 i kölvattnet av den socialdemokratiska kollapsen. Det kan därför vara en god idé att köpa och läsa Häggman-Skards bok. Det är värdefullt för politiskt intresserade att ha en dokumentation om de svenska kommunisternas verksamhet under det kalla kriget och deras devota hyllningar av massmördarna Mao och Stalin.

Litteratur

BIRGER HAGÅRD:

Sådan är kommunismen

För det stora flertalet insiktsfulla medborgare har det sannolikt aldrig inneburit något större problem att av olika skäl – främst demokratiska – ta ställning till och avstånd från kommunismen. Länge stod också socialdemokratien för en betydande del av renhållningsarbetet åt vänster. Så kom Olof Palme och den nya eran, och därmed var inte frontställningen längre lika given. Vietnamrörelsen innebar en uppluckring av begreppen.

Överhuvudtaget kan det nog påstås, att den reella kunskapen om kommunismens sanna ansikte alltid varit dålig i västvärlden. Men olika väckarklockor har vid skilda tidpunkter spelat en betydande roll: tex Ungern 1956, Tjeckoslovakien 1968 och nu senast terrorn i Kambodja, Vietnams anfallskrig och Sovjetunionens invasion i Afganistan.

För många tedde sig decenniet 1965- 1975 prövande med bokförlagens ohöljda och okritiska utgivande av vänsterextremistiskt fårgad litteratur. Samtidigt var det ytterst svårt för icke-socialistiska författare att få sina alster utgivna. Nu har pendeln slagit åt andra hållet. I kommersialismens värld står inte längre något att förtjäna på marxismen, pseudomarxismen, neomarxismen eller vad det till äventyrs skulle vara fråga om.

Det är dags för de kritiska synpunkterna. Det är också med största tillfredsställelse man hälsar “Så arbetar kommunistpartierna” (Contra förlag) av Bertil Häggman och Jon Skard. Boken har tidigare i olika versioner utgivits i Norge och där rönt stor och välförtjänt framgång. Såväl Bertil Häggman som norrmannen Jon Skard har under en lång tid lagt ned ett oegennyttigt arbete på att dokumentera och avslöja olika kommunistiska aktiviteter. Frukten av deras gemensamma ansträngningar är i hög grad positiv. De har lyckats åstadkomma en handbok, utomordentligt lämplig för studiecirklar och för var och en, som vill sätta sig in i kommunistpartiernas teori, mål samt deras taktiska och strategiska arbete.

Boken är uppdelad i två delar. Den första handlar om kommunismen i Sverige och redovisar historiska fakta beträffande bokstavspartierna men tar också upp sabotage och skadegörelse i försvaret samt vilda strejker, attentat och sabotage inom industrien, där det icke sällan varit möjligt att konstatera ett direkt eller indirekt samband med olika kommunistiska sekter. Den andra delen tar upp den kommunistiska ideologien generellt och även kommunismens praktiska tillvägagångssätt.

På sitt sätt är det betecknande för stabiliteten i det svenska partisystemet, att det yngsta av riksdagspartierna, vpk, räknar sina anor tillbaka till 1917, då en utbrytning ur socialdemokraterna bildade Sveriges socialdemokratiska vänsterparti under ledning av Zeth Höglund. Partiet stödde bolsjevismen och anslöt sig till den kommunistiska internationalen.

Redan 1921 var det dock dags för den första partisprängningen; en del återvände till det socialdemokratiska moderpartiet, medan majoriteten bildade “Sveriges kommunistiska parti, sektion av kommunistiska internationalen”. 1924 skedde en ny sprängning. Höglund återvände till SAP.

Under 1920-talet skedde ännu en sprängning: Hugo Sillen och Sven Linderoth, Moskvatrogna, bröt sig ur partiet. Majoriteten under Karl Kihlbom och Nils Flyg arbetade vidare under det kommunistiska partinamnet till 1934, då de bildade det socialistiska partiet. 1937 uteslöts dock Kihlbom och hans anhängare, som återvände till SAP, medan det socialistiska partiet under Nils Flyg utvecklades i nationalsocialistisk riktning.

Efter andra världskriget upplevde kommunisterna en våldsam hausse. De fick vid valet 1946 så mycket som Il ,2% av rösterna. Efter Pragkuppen 1948 vände det dock även för kommunisterna i Sverige. 1967 kulminerade striderna mellan Sovjet och Kommunist-Kina i att maoisterna bröt sig ur partiet och bildade ett eget förbund, KFML (Kommunistiska förbundet marxist-leninisterna), dominerat av akademiker. Ur detta parti bröt sig sedan 1970 ut en minoritet, som satte till en bokstav, “r”, som stod för “revolutionärerna”. KFML (r) ombildades åter 1978 til KPML(r),Kommunistiska Partiet Marxist-Leninisterna (revolutionärerna). Partiet är maoistiskt och har bl a satsat på verksamhet bland de värnpliktiga. Bland dess anhängare märks den beryktade majoren Sture Karlsson. Partiet har tagit aktiv del i ett antal vilda strejker.

Resten av det KFML som återstod 1970 bytte 1973 namn till Sveriges Kommunistiska Parti (SKP) och stal därmed vpk:s gamla partinamn. SKP är ett hårt elitparti med ca 2 000-3 000 medlemmar. Partiet driver ett hårt arbete bland de värnpliktiga (strejker, kollektiv sjukmönstring) och på vissa nyckelföretag. Det har också stimulerat till aktivt deltagande i olika frontorganisationer som hyresgäströrelsen, Vietnamrörelsen, Palestinagrupperna och miljögrupperna. Clarte har tagits över av SKP och Folket i Bild/Kulturfront står partiet nära.

Författarna ger också en noggrann redogörelse för vpk. Den behöver knappast återges här. Det skall dock noteras, att partiet i och med 1972 års partiprogram, som innebar en återgång till leninismen, knappast kan betraktas som “demokratiskt pålitligt”. Detsamma gäller självfallet Moskvautbrytningen, apk.

Inte minst intressant är författarnas genomgång av den kommunistiska ideologien och kommunistpartiernas praktiskt politiska agerande. Att marxismen-leninismen inte har något med “vetenskaplig teori” att skaffa är i och för sig inte något nytt, men det noggranna gendrivandet av de “vetenskapliga” teserna inger respekt. Det är också betydelsefullt, att som författarna gör visa hur Kommunist-Kina inte har blivit ett dugg mindre terroristiskt eller mer demokratiskt på grund av missämjan med Sovjetunionen.

USA:s agerande, inte minst i försvarspolitiskt hänseende, ter sig många gånger mindre genomtänkt. De kommunistiska partierna har alltid lagt en särskild vikt vid att i de demokratiska systemen arbeta inom olika s k frontorganisationer, dvs sammanslutningar, som inte har öppet kommunistiska mål, men där kommunisterna kan göra en insats och försöka skapa good-will.

Tyvärr har det inte varit möjligt för författarna att närmare studera det kanske bästa exemplet på kommunistisk aktivitet i Sverige under senare tid, nämligen samgåendet med Linje 3 inför kärnkraftsomröstningen. Det kommunistiska spelet här är rent handboksmässigt. Det är förvånande, att centerpartiet så aningslöst låtit sig driva med i det hela. Må så vara, att majoriteten av centerpartisterna har en bestämd uppfattning i kärnkraftsfrågan, men de borde inte ha inlåtit sig i samröre med kommunisterna. Vpk har fått en helt oför- ~änt chans att framstå som demokratiskt och rumsrent. Det kan förutsättas, att Bertil Häggman och Jon Skard med stor intensitet studerar vpk-infiltrationen inför nästa upplaga av “Så arbetar kommunistpartierna”.

UTRIKESMINISTER BILDT OCH DEN AMERIKANSKA GEOPOLITISKA TANKESMEDJAN STRATFOR

February 28, 2012

Enligt Svenska Dagbladet den 27 februari 2012 säger utrikesminister Bildt om Wikileaks-mejlen: ”Löjligt”. Se urval ur artikeln nedan:

Wikileaks kommer med start den 27:e att publicera över fem miljoner mejl från Strategic Forecasting (Stratfor), USA. I materialet ska uppgifter finnas om utrikesminister Carl Bildt.

I materialet refereras till mejl som sägs komma från en svensk medlem av Europaparlamentet med ”mycket nära kontakter” med Bildt.

Tidningen Expressen rapporterade i förra veckan om planer inom Wikileaks på en kampanj mot Sverige, i samband med att Julian Assange eventuellt överlämnas hit som misstänkt för sexövergrepp. Kampanjplanerna kommenterades inte av företrädare för Wikileaks.

Bildt kommenterar …. uppgifterna via mikrobloggen Twitter.

”Wikileaks har släppt obskyra mejl som säger att jag är ‘väldigt lång, har fotografiskt minne och är väldigt smart’. Är inte detta lite löjligt,” skriver han.

Stratfors chef och grundare George Friedman sade i januari att epost hade stulits, men [att] det knappast finns något viktigt i materialet. ”Den som letar efter tecken på en stor konspiration blir besviken”, sade han.

Mejlen uppges vara från juli 2004 fram till december 2011. De ska avslöja företagets ”nät av informatörer, betalningsstruktur, penningtvätt-teknik och psykologiska metoder” heter det i Wikileaks pressmeddelande.

Stratfor beskriver sig själv som en säljare av geopolitiska analyser som bygger på information som hämtats in genom ett ”underrättelsebaserat tillvägagångssätt”.

FORMER CONGRESSMAN AND CIA-DIRECTOR PORTER GOSS ON GLOBAL AFFAIRS

February 27, 2012

http://www.rollins.edu on February 21, 2012, reported on a Winter Park Event, Rollins College, Florida, on national security. Excerpts below:

“We’re at war with a global network of fanatics who want to harm us, even kill us, just because of who we are,” began Porter Goss at the event. The former U.S. congressman and director of the CIA apologized in advance for bringing such a dark message to such a beautiful place.

“These folks have declared us the enemy,” Goss warned. “They have all matters of weapons, are not restrained by any sort of civil protocol; they kill civilians at will; in fact, they target civilians. They can do us lots and lots of damage and they’re trying hard.”

While Goss sees such threats as real and imminent, he expressed a deep disappointment in the country’s ability to address them. “Our leadership has not sufficiently pulled together our collective will to eradicate this threat,” said Goss, who described the government’s stance as being inconsistent and uncertain. “Every country in the worlds has an intelligence organization; if we don’t have the best, then shame on us.”

SUPPORT BUT NO ARMS FOR SYRIA’S OPPOSITION

February 26, 2012

Wall Street Journal on February 25, 2012, reported that Western and Arab nations recognized Syria’s main opposition group but didn’t agree to arm them, in a one-day summit that failed to bridge deep international divisions over how to stem Syria’s bloodshed. Excerpts below:

Capping hours of deliberations in the Tunisian capital, more than 60 governments backed an Arab League plan that asks President Bashar al-Assad to cede power. They also forged a plan for international aid agencies to set up “humanitarian operational hubs” in countries neighboring Syria to help deliver emergency aid.

The meeting, the first of a coalition dubbed Friends of Syria, was called after China and Russia vetoed a U.S. and Arab-backed United Nations Security Council resolution calling on Mr. Assad to step aside.

Even among countries that have called for Mr. Assad’s exit, divisions were deep. Saudi Arabia advocated arming the rebels, according to news reports, and said Mr. Assad had to be forced from power if necessary.

“There is no way out of crisis except for a transfer of power, either willingly or by force,” Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal said, before leaving the meeting.

That appeared to raise the pressure on Western nations to drop their public rejection of military intervention in Syria or military aid to opposition forces.

The meeting recognized the opposition Syrian National Council “as a legitimate representative of Syrians seeking peaceful democratic change,” singling out the group as a main vehicle for the Syrian opposition, nearly a year after protesters first took to the streets across Syria.

The SNC—which said Friday for the first time it has already started to receive nonlethal military aid from unspecified international parties to help support the dissident Free Syrian Army—called the meeting a disappointment.

Inside Syria, activists blasted what they called the meeting’s inaction. The Local Coordination Committees, an activist network, said 97 people were killed across Syria “while the Friends of Syria conference [was] being held.”

The Syrian opposition left with several requests unfulfilled, including for safe zones inside Syria along border areas, a financial support fund for the opposition and support for the Free Syrian Army, an umbrella for defected soldiers and local fighters.

Members of the Syrian opposition, however, said the issue of arms was on the table in most of their discussions at the meeting, including with Western officials, who asked for a clearer idea of the state of the armed opposition. The opposition leaders also said they were hopeful that steps taken to partially recognize the SNC would open the door for funds and eventually arms to flow to the opposition.

Earlier on Friday, SNC spokeswoman Bassma Kodmani said the provision of arms “is now a consensus” among the Friends of Syria group and said communications and defensive equipment, including bullet-proof jackets and knight-vision goggles, had already reached opposition forces inside Syria.

Instead, U.S. and European officials here said the focus of Friday’s meeting was finding ways to provide humanitarian aid, and boosting diplomatic pressure on the Syrian regime. One official called it “an intensification of what the international community is trying to do together.”

In Tunis, there was broad recognition among officials on the need to address a growing insurgency on the ground, but the group’s final statement made no reference to Syria’s armed opposition. That reflected, officials said, a focus on a political solution for Syria despite Arab objections.

The wrangling over the way forward on Syria was reflected in that final statement, in which the group committed to “a political solution to this crisis”—changed from wording in an earlier draft of “a peaceful, non-military solution.”

“All of these powers realize the Syrian conflict is more complicated than they thought and the options are more limited,” said Ayham Kamel, a Middle East analyst with political risk firm Eurasia Group.

The group said it would meet again after the Arab League convenes a meeting of Syria’s opposition around the Syrian National Council

SOVJETISK SPIONUTBILDNING

February 25, 2012

Den 15 februari 2012 publicerades en anteckning om sovjetisk spionutbildning på http://www.avhemligat.se. Här nedan återges delar av denna:

I ansedda Time Magazine och flera andra amerikanska tidningar kunde man våren 1959 läsa om hur Sovjetunionen utbildade de agenter som skickades till USA. Enligt tidningen fanns det i Ukraina en hel stad endast till för att förbereda agenterna så att de väl i USA skulle uppfattas som äkta amerikaner. Från de sovjetiska universiteten rekryterades stadens cirka 1000 invånare och dessa fick tillbringa 10 år i staden innan de kunde påbörja sina uppdrag. Staden i fråga, Vinnytsia, skulle vara en exakt kopia av en amerikansk småstad och agenterna fick här lära sig allt om livet i USA.

Lite anmärkningsvärt kom uppgifterna om staden från den svenska majoren Per Lindgren som annars var en mycket pålitlig källa. Major Lindgren (1901-1979) hade under andra världskriget tjänstgjort inom försvarsstabens underrättelseavdelning och på senare år författat åtskilliga böcker om spionage och sabotage. Som sakkunnig bistod han Carl Olof Bernardsson när han skrev den klassiska boken Spionpolisen går på jakt (1952) och i slutet av karriären skrev han tillsammans med Bertil Häggman boken Industrispionage i Sverige och i utlandet (1975). Totalt kom han att författa ett dussintal egna böcker inom ämnesområdet.

Lindgren-Häggmans bok Industrispionage i Sverige och i utlandet finns tillgänglig på Google Books. Boken finns recenserad i bland annat Norrköpings Tidningar (“När spionen lägger pussel”), den 26 november 1975 och i Helsingborgs Dagblad den 2 december 1975 (“Förbisett spionage”). “Kvällsposten har träffat Sveriges mesta spionjägare” publicerades i Malmötidningen Kvällsposten den 30 november 1975. Affärsekonomi publicerade i nr 12/1975 recensionen “Varning för industrispioner”.

‘FRIENDS’ AND UN PURSUE NEW TRACKS ON SYRIA

February 25, 2012

The Wall Street Journal on February 24, 2012, reported that the United Nations attempted to step up pressure on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime on on the 23rd, naming top international diplomat Kofi Annan as an envoy to Syria and targeting top Syrian officials for “gross human-rights violations.” Excerpts from the article below:

The efforts came on the eve of a meeting in Tunisia of the self-styled “Friends of Syria” group that will bring together Syrian opponents to Mr. Assad with some 70 nations and organizations. The group, which was formed to address Syria’s crisis outside the U.N., is expected to hear Syrian opposition pleas for military aid…

Syrian activists, meanwhile, characterized the city of Homs as a humanitarian catastrophe, one day after the deaths of two Western journalists in the week long shelling there drew international outrage. Regime attacks on Homs and other cities on the 23rd left at least 61 people dead across the country, according to the Local Coordination Committes, an activist network.

Syria’s offensive expanded to Deraa. Tanks began shelling from the city’s outskirts after opposition fighters, thought to be FSA soldiers, attacked a security checkpoint, a resident of the southern city said by Skype. “It lasted for four hours, and we know of four people who died,” he said.

The meeting in Tunis, the first formal gathering of the Friends of Syria, is expected to focus on forging a plan for emergency humanitarian aid to Syria.

“We look forward to concrete progress on three fronts: providing humanitarian relief, increasing pressure on the regime, and preparing for a democratic transition,” Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told reporters in London.

…technical or military aid to the dissident Free Syrian Army topped the agenda of Syrian opposition figures, some 50 of which had gathered on the 23rd in Tunis, these people said.

The Syrian National Council, the leading group representing the opposition at the meeting with Arab and Western officials, has also outlined a specific humanitarian aid plan that involves “safe passages” through three neighboring countries to Syria. Representatives from the Local Coordination Committees and other grass-roots activist networks are also attending.

The Tunis gathering will be very loosely modeled on the so-called Libya Contact Group that coordinated international efforts to aid Libyan rebels fighting government forces. But diplomats and analysts concede Syria’s opposition groups are much more fractured than the Libyan National Transitional Council that ousted Moammar Gadhafi.

The European Union is moving to ban trade with Syria’s central bank and to block the imports of Syrian gold and phosphates, according to European and U.S. officials. The EU is also considering banning Syrian firms from the global financial communications and clearing network, known as Swift.

The International Committee of the Red Cross is negotiating with Syria’s government and opposition forces for a two-hour daily truce to help get in emergency aid. The cease-fire proposal is the first from an international aid organization on Syria that appears to have gained broad support, with backing from Syria’s opposition, the U.S. and Russia.

U.S. CYBER COMMAND NEWEST DIVISION ON FRONT LINE OF CYBERSPACE

February 25, 2012

The Washington Times on February 22, 2012, reported on The Pentagon’s newest unified command is marshaling troops for a future war that some say already is being fought in the global communication and information networks that make up cyberspace. Excerpts below:

U.S. Cyber Command is housed within the headquarters of the National Security Agency on the Army’s sprawling base at Fort Meade, Md.

The command’s headquarters has 800 or so personnel, about equal parts civilian and military, plus a number of contractors.

But it has troops scattered across the globe, members of each of the four armed services. For instance, the Marine Forces Cyber Command – the smallest of the four – also is headquartered at Fort Meade and is about 800 troops strong, said Capt. Kevin Schultz, a Marine spokesman.

Then-Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates ordered the creation of Cyber Command in June 2009 after Pentagon brass had wrestled for several years over who should be in charge of military operations in cyberspace.

Mr. Gates‘ decision the following year to establish a multiforce Cyber Command under the director of the National Security Agency put the head of the nation’s super-secret electronic espionage effort in charge of the military’s activities in cyberspace.

The command became active in May 2010 and was fully operating by the end of October that year, its head, ArmyGen. Keith B. Alexander, told Congress last year.

The Pentagon budget request for fiscal 2013 seeks $3.4 billion for cybersecurity-related activities, compared with $3.2 billion this year.

Army Col. Rivers L. Johnson, the command’s spokesman, said Cyber Command has received $154 million for the current fiscal year, and the Pentagon’s 2013 request would include $182 million for the command.

The rest of the $3.4 billion is to be spent on systemwide security measures by other Pentagon agencies, such as the Defense Information Systems Agency, which provides the military’s vast global computer network.

The military’s spending on cybersecurity dwarfs the $674 million requested for civilian government cybersecurity through the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

“We are still discussing across the administration how to best defend against a ‘Cyber 9/11’ that affects our critical infrastructure,” Gen. Alexander said last year.

BLIND IDEOLOGY LEADS TO REDUCTION OF U.S. NUCLEAR FORCES

February 23, 2012

The Washington Times on February 21, 2012, published an article by Frank J. Gaffney Jr. on the risks that come with the reduction of U.S. nuclear forces. Excerpts below:

Last week, President Obama feted communist China’s Xi Jinping, the man who hopes to lead his country as it emerges as the world’s next superpower. Mr. Xi must have been delighted to see press reports that his host is poised to end America’s claim to such status – at least with respect to the traditional means of measuring it: nuclear weaponry.

According to a story first reported by the Associated Press, Mr. Obama has directed the Defense Department to come up with plans for reducing the U.S. nuclear arsenal by as much as 80 percent. He evidently is prepared to take such a step unilaterally in order to encourage by our example other nations to join in his long-standing ambition to “rid the world of nuclear weapons.”

The Obama administration continues to assume that the People’s Liberation Army has only a few hundred nuclear weapons – approximately the level to which our commander in chief would like to reduce the American arsenal. A radically different estimate was recently provided, however, in a Georgetown University study led by a former Pentagon strategic forces analyst, professor Phillip Karber. To the fury of arms controllers in and out of the U.S. government, Mr. Karber’s team concluded that, based on the vast infrastructure China has created to conceal its missiles, it may have as many as 3,000 nuclear weapons.

China is not the only nuclear state or wannabe that is engaged in a feverish buildup. Last week, Russia’s autocratic Vladimir Putin unveiled a $770 billion military modernization plan that he says would introduce 400 intercontinental ballistic missiles presumably equipped with state-of-the-art nuclear warheads.

Pakistan, North Korea and Iran are also among those who may wish us ill and are spurning Mr. Obama’s exemplary, unilateral efforts at nuclear disarmament. With the help of such regimes or in response to their threats, others in the Far and Middle East are likely to see the need for their own deterrents. That is especially true as confidence in the reliability of America’s security guarantees collapses along with its once-mighty “nuclear umbrella.”

So outlandish, so reckless is Mr. Obama’s ambition to disarm the United States that 34 members of the House of Representatives last week forcefully urged him to reverse course.

It is not just that Mr. Obama is blindly driving for ideological reasons the numerical evisceration of U.S. nuclear forces. As Mr. Turner pointed out this month in introducing legislation aimed at holding the administration to commitments made during the consideration of the New START treaty in 2010, the administration also is walking away from its promises to modernize what remains of [U.S.] deterrent.

Mr. Obama’s true colors are showing. His blind ideology is gutting America’s deterrent. That impulse, not newfound budget discipline, is the driving force behind his hollowing-out of the rest of the U.S. military, too.

It is an astonishing insight into the president’s commitment to “fundamentally transforming the United States of America” – in the worst sense of the phrase -that he is willing to take such steps in the midst of his re-election campaign. Imagine what he would do if the last vestiges of restraining accountability are removed in a second term.

WIKILEAKS PLANS TO SMEAR SWEDISH MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS CARL BILDT AS ‘U.S. SPY’

February 22, 2012

Thelocal.se on February 22, 2012, reported that WikiLeaks is planning a smear campaign against Sweden to halt the extradition of founder Julian Assange to the United States, including releasing documents allegedly showing that Swedish foreign minister Carl Bildt has acted as an informant for the United States since the 1970s. Excerpts below:

According to an internal WikiLeaks memo reviewed by Swedish tabloid Expressen, WikiLeaks plans to release more classified documents, organize blockades of Swedish embassies and consulates as well as boycotts of Swedish companies.

“This is going to hurt Sweden more than the debate about the Muhammad cartoons,” a source with knowledge of the matter told Expressen.

As Assange enters the final stages of his legal battle to avoid extradition to Sweden, his colleagues at WikiLeaks have begun preparing for how to prevent the Swedish government from extraditing the founder of the whistle-blower website to the United States.

“That the Swedish government doesn’t take this seriously but rather makes it easier for the American government means Sweden finds itself among the countries that don’t support transparency, the rights of the individual, and human rights,” the internal WikiLeaks memo reads.

WikiLeaks officials are convinced that Sweden has already made a deal with the United States that would see Assange extradited there to testify against Bradley Manning, the US soldier suspected of leaking thousands of classified US diplomatic cables to WikiLeaks.

There are also fears that Assange could be arrested and put on trial for espionage against the United States, WikiLeaks sources tell Expressen.

Among the documents WikiLeaks plans to make public is a US diplomatic report showing that Carl Bildt has served as an informant for the United States since the 1970s.

According to WikiLeaks, Bildt’s original contact is political consultant Karl Rove, a former adviser to President George W. Bush, and someone who Bildt has openly referred to as “an old friend”.

Swedish foreign ministry spokesperson Anders Jörle said Bildt had nothing to say about the claims.