What Obama’s Nominations Mean: The Military Is Being Downsized … But Covert Operations Are Gearing Up

George Washington's picture

 What Obamas Nominations Mean:  The Military Is Being Downsized ... But Covert Operations Are Gearing Up


Obama has nominated a veteran – not a chickenhawk – to serve as Secretary of Defense.  The Washington Post reports that Chuck Hagel:

… was deputy director of the Veterans Administration during the Reagan administration and later served as president of the United Service Organizations.

U.S. News and World Report notes:

The Vietnam War veteran and the recipient of the purple heart, Hagel would be the first enlisted soldier in the military to rise to the ranks of defense secretary.

Indeed, while all of the neocon warmongers are chickenhawks who dodged service to their country, many veterans and active-duty service men are opposed to the endless wars, which only weaken our national security and increase terrorism. See this, this, this, this, this, this and this.

No wonder Hagel is more moderate than those who want to start conflagrations all over the world.

U.S. News and World Report  continues:

While Hagel is a Republican, his views on foreign policy alarm some of his GOP colleagues. During his time in the Senate, Hagel was verbose in his opposition to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, he voted against sanctioning Iran on multiple occasions and has suggested Israel should negotiate with Hamas directly. Republicans and Democrats alike worry he’s not a strong enough friend to Israel …

The Washington Post reports:

Last year, Hagel endorsed a report by the advocacy group Global Zero that called for an 80 percent reduction in the U.S. nuclear-weapons arsenal. Such a cut could save $100 billion over 10 years, the group estimated.

On the other hand, Obama’s nominee for CIA director – John Brennan – endorsed torture, assassination of unidentified strangers without due process, and spying on all Americans. As Glenn Greenwald writes:

Brennan, as a Bush-era CIA official, had expressly endorsed Bush’s programs of torture (other than waterboarding) and rendition and also was a vocal advocate of immunizing lawbreaking telecoms for their role in the illegal Bush NSA eavesdropping program.




Obama then appointed him as his top counter-terrorism adviser…. In that position, Brennan last year got caught outright lying when he claimed Obama’s drone program caused no civilian deaths in Pakistan over the prior year. He also spouted complete though highly influential falsehoods to the world in the immediate aftermath of the Osama bin Laden killing, including claiming that bin Laden “engaged in a firefight” with Navy SEALS and had “used his wife as a human shield”. Brennan has also been in charge of many of Obama’s most controversial and radical policies, including “signature strikes” in Yemen – targeting people without even knowing who they are – and generally seizing the power to determine who will be marked for execution without any due process, oversight or transparency.

What do these two nominations tell us?

That the Obama administration doesn’t plan on fighting as many conventional wars with men in uniform – soldiers, sailors, pilots and marines – but does plan to crank up assassinations, drone strikes and other covert operations worldwide.


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Element's picture

No really, changing Sec Def will change everything else.

Because career spec-ops are increasingly voting with their brains.


sgt_doom's picture

Outstanding call, GW!  I believe you are on target, sir!

US News & World Report (Morty Zuckerman's rag, 'natch) of course got it exactly wrong.

"Hagel would be the first enlisted soldier in the military to rise to the ranks of defense secretary."

Hagel would be the first enlisted combat veteran to rise to SecDef, Caspar Weinberger, Reagan's appointee, was the first enlisted fellow to have that distinction.

How quickly they forget.....

Salon's picture


I didnt know How much I heart Hagel!

Neither the Dims or the Rethugs like him.

Money 4 Nothing's picture

Watch how they privitise our military arms and will have no alligiance to any flag. That's just around the corner.

Catullus's picture

Every pilot in the navy knows right now that they'd rather be the first wave attacking Iran if it happens, because then at least you know you won't be on a carrier when they sink one. If you're in the air, you at least have a chance to survive.

We'll find out how powerful the Israeli lobby is with the Hagel nomination. If anyone even gives pause to attacking Iran, the neo-cons immediately hate that person.

Money 4 Nothing's picture

It's all fear and panic theater. Think of it.. if they REALLY want to attack any Nation and hit them where it hurts, you take out all their sattelites. Nobody is trying to attack Iran, especially Barry Soetoro. Ahmadinjad and him have back channel chats, belive that.

Truth of the matter?it's really about posturing to take out Isreal.  And everyone is soo fooled, we do business with Iran directly. Mitt Romney has always been a big investor there. Lol, Your all getting Shamdy Hooked again. What you better be afraid of is this list.

Obama supplies hellfire and stinger missles to Al Queada, may be used against the USA.

Russia set up shop in Cuba and those arms are aimed at the USA.

Department of Defense walks Russian General through NORAD. 

Now you have a reason to be scared.

Debeachesand Jerseyshores's picture

"The Truth is the Enemy of the State"


                                                               Joseph Goebbels

cougar_w's picture

"Q: What do these two nominations tell us? A: doesn’t plan on fighting as many conventional wars but does plan to crank up assassinations, drone strikes and other covert operations."

I think your guess is probably correct GW. The conventional military has hit its limits. What served the expansionary needs of an earlier 3,000 year age of empire cannot go forward in a world that is filled to every corner, depleted and explosive. We're down to tactical plays for advantage, influence and control. Terror will be the tool of choice for resolving even minor conflicts. It is going to become very scary.

We have entered the age of the assassins.

Salon's picture


Italy 11th century.

Back to the future.
A scary age of intrigue it was.

DeficitAlchemist's picture

Agree with the conclusion... less last century conventional soldiering (Honest but dumb..mincing machine) more dirty tricks, false flags and x-Box assasinations by geeks on a different continent playing god.

Whilst this should mean possible substantial spending cuts, as Armies are cut in half and CIA and special forces make smaller gains.... however it wont because there is no such thing as cuts... Tech & snooping budget will fill the gap..

IamtheREALmario's picture

The mercenaries are in charge. Hope they enjoy that 20 pieces of silver.

Chupacabra-322's picture

The American government took the peoples tax money and gave it to the CIA who backed and funded Castro (in the late 1950's) before their several attempts at waging war on Cuba in the 1960's.

The CIA did the exact same thing with Saddam.
The CIA did the exact same thing with Osama and the Taliban.
The CIA did the exact same thing with Pakistan.
The CIA did the exact same thing with Panamanian dictator/CIA asset Manuel Noriega.

The CIA working for corporate America through both Democrat and Republican parties always, always, always funds and sets up the next enemy. That is the only way to ensure that the USA's number one business (WAR for PROFIT) can continue in perpetuity.

The Sheeple seem to be stuck in a simplistic unreal fantasy world where there is actually some difference between the Mafia Familys of the Dems and Repubs.

. Wall Street and the City of London declared war on the resource-owning world centuries ago. Nicaragua used to be called the "Republic of Brown Brothers". The CIA and the US military in general have staged coups in over 50 countries since WWII, successfully in over 35, all to facilitate the acquisition of their resources — armed robbery on the ultimate grand scale. These wars going on right now are for Middle Eastern hydrocarbons, though less to get than to deny China getting (for all the good it will do us — we're toast and China knows it.)

·   "The Association for Responsible Dissent estimates that from the CIA's inception in 1947 to 1987, 6 million people had died as a result of CIA covert operations."

Throw in another 2 million from 1987 to 2007, interpolated from the above estimate.

"At least 869,720 people have been killed in Afghanistan and Iraq since the U.S. and coalition attacks, based on lowest credible estimates." So let's call that another 1 million.


That makes 9 million total.

Radical Marijuana's picture

Yes, Chupacabra-322!

It is worthwhile to repeat the witty comment above by Buzzworthy:

"Covert ops = Fractional reserve banking by another means."

Towgunner spoke of "the difference between a patriot and a mercenary."

More & more, what is happening is the privatization of previous state powers.

Private military contractors, paid to be mercenaries, are taking over, because the processes of privatizing the powers to rob and to kill have already been almost 99% done. The government was corrupted enough to give away the power to make "money" out of nothing, as debts, to private banks. Those banks have built a global empire through those means. They appear to be moving towards consolidating their systems in a global government. The mass murders of millions done through the CIA were done for the banksters, because the banksters already took control over the government, and directed what the government actually did, which was go deeper and deeper into debt to banksters who were able to create the "money" out of nothing, as debts, to "lend" to governments, in order that governments could grow and grow, by going deeper and deeper into debt. The corporations that grew up around the banksters fiat money funding have become more powerful than the government! The theory and the reality have flipped around during history. Governments created privatized organizations which grew to become more powerful than those governments.

The growth of the government is becoming less than the growth of the privatized powers of government. We are witnesseing runaway transformations of the privatization of the power to rob and the power to kill. There is a combined money/murder system, since the debt controls depend on the death controls. More and more, that is being done covertly, and through increasingly crazy and out of control ways.  These days, I would not be too surprised to discover that the private mercenaries would be more able to assassinate those in the public military, rather than the other way around. There is a diverse plethora of privatized military contractors, working for the banksters, and their buddies, that have already more than 99% effectively privatized the powers to rob (tax) and to kill (murder to back up taxation). I tend to believe that the chain of command has already fragmented, we just do not yet see how much that has already happened.

I do not think that there are any "patriots" in the old-fashioned senses of that word, anymore. They have been by-passed and steamrollered by the runaway privation of the sovereign powers of states, which worked its way through the psychotic implementation of "national security" notions, until there is nobody left in coherent control. The covert operations have taken over, while the old-fashioned ideas about the chain of command, through the state apparatus, have been superceded by a motley array of organizations which no longer have a coherent structure, which could be directly designated.

In my opinion, this is all rushing towards the realization of science fiction dystopian futures becoming factually real. The powers to rob and to kill are going to get more and more privatized, and more and more automated, through technologies which no longer are going to have any coherent structure related to human beings, since they are no longer inside any coherent human society.  American systems have been already highjacked to massively subsidize private military contractors, of all kinds, who have advanced their own technologies, in ways which are on runaway tangents, in every crazy direction, and in every possible way.

We are witnessing the evolution of a new kingdom of life, with its own selection pressures directing its own development. We are headed towards out-of-control mass murders and robberies, done by covert organizations that no longer could be coherently controlled by any chain of command that could be comprehended.

The old truism that warfare was politics by other means HAS transformed through privatization of covert operations, backing up the banksters' corporations, looping around and around to subsidize diverse privatized military contractors. The governmental powers of sovereign states, to rob and to back that up with murder, have already become close to 100% privatized, which means that the realities of robbing and killing are no longer under public control, or public understanding. When we add the runaway advance of exponentially accelerating technologies into that privatization of the powers to rob and to kill, we are very rapidly headed towards the science fiction dystopias, where whole new systems of organized lies, operating organized robberies, are ascending, over which the vast majority of people are going to have no knowledge, and no effective ability to influence.

Covert operations by mercenaries, backing up the monetary systems, are going to become like "High Frequency Trading" equivalents manifesting as robbery and murder, done through increasingly crazy and fragmented ways. I see no reasons to believe that these runaway social insanities could ever be contained again. Every step that our human "leaders" took to advance these kinds of warfare (money/murder systems) were driving those towards jumping the rails towards no longer being under any coherent human understanding or controls.

Psychotic ideas about "national security" have enabled the massive subsidization of the privatization of "security," towards the most maximized psychotic insecurity possible. ... what goes around, comes around ... It appears only a question of time until automated drones are flying around, assassinating people, in ways which may make no sense, but simply were self-selected to become runaway systems.

Every step, from the militaristic patriarchy, to the fascist plutocracy, to the runaway, as yet unnamed emergence of covert, privatized, systems of robbery and murder, where those doing that are less and less human, appears to be driven by the previous steps taken, taking us closer and closer towards that all looping around back upon us again!

Obama is presiding over the evolution of a psychotic national security system, in which the "national" part is disappearing faster and faster, while psychotic insecurity is going to become the only thing left. That psychotic insecurity is going to become so automated and autonomous that only previously science fiction nightmare scenarios were able to approach an understanding of what that means.

It would take a series of political miracles for enough people to understand militarism and the monetary system, enough to take back coherent public control over those things. Tragically, I can not believe that will happen. Rather, the runaway privatization, into covert mercenary operations, through fragmented and out of control organized crime, amplified to astronomical sizes by advancing technologies, appears to me to be the actual path we are on.

Winston Churchill's picture

As AI will no doubt run the 'system' in the very near future, lets hope it

does not learn morality from its homo sapien creators.

A psychopathic Skynet,instead of one just trying to survive.

With that thought,maybe a warm bath ,while  slitting our wrists is in our future.

Time to make that directed EMP weapon I was researching.

A certain Govt, building under construction in Utah  needs to go, maybe one of the Tech

savy ZH readers will oblige us all.

Optimusprime's picture

Sounds as if you are describing what Joseph Farrell calls the "breakaway civilization."

Tortuga's picture

So, ah, since 1947 how many people have been murdered/enslaved in China, Russia, N Korea, India, Pakistan, Afgahnistan, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Egypt, Lybia, Syria, Mexico, Venezuela, Argentina, you know, the other places with Govt sanctioned murder. I'm just trying to keep an accurate record, don't you know.


harami's picture

Hey hey, we're just upset that they're better at it than us, but don't you worry, not for long!

mcl2177's picture

Read Dark Alliance by David Web who was assasinated immediatly after.

Winston Churchill's picture

Another "loose end" removed.

Knew an ex company man that was hiding out in Goa(long before it was touristy).

He told me he was big in the heroin smuggling chain of command durin Vietnam.

He got out, but was (I thought)totally paranoid that the company would come, and silence him.

Would only go out in the daytime, in a group.

He was found drowned at the bottom of a well some time later.

Story put out was he went out alone, on a moonless night,and stumbled over the three feet high well

coping Sober.

sgt_doom's picture

You reminded me of a mission I was on with USAF/ARRS during Vietnam, where we were transiting by, over the South China Sea (in a Jolly Green) when we observed an SR-71 plummeting into the ocean, and visually observed two chutes hit the drink as well.

We proceeded to pick up a pilot/colonel and pilot/lt.col. who were heatedly discussing something, sort of like arguing, about their mission.

I learned that they had been flying the exact same flight plan, the exact same timeframe, over Southeast Asia, and parts of North Vietnam, but it wasn't troop movements this two pilots realized they were filming, but illegal drug shipments from the Golden Triangle --- years later I realized/learned that it was "our side" involved in those drug shipments.


Omen IV's picture

the formative beginning of the cia was in central america early 1915 which was private enterprise based with United Fruit in Boston - check out the book

Guatemala / Honduras >banana business > United Fruit > Sullivan & Cromwell > the Dulles Brothers (Directors) >Dulles as first CIA Director  > first foray into taking over a country by private financed armies without usa > activities transferred to OSS and then CIA by the Dulles Brothers

The Fish That Ate the Whale: The Life and Times of America's Banana King - Samuel Zemurray arrived in America in 1891

Bollixed's picture

You mean Gary Webb.

On December 10, 2004, he was found dead from two gunshot wounds to the head. Sacramento County coroner Robert Lyons ruled that it was suicide, noting that a suicide note was found at the scene.

Two shots...who'd have thunk...

sgt_doom's picture

And Gary reported to friends several weeks prior that he believed he was being followed by teams of several men, for some reason.

Winston Churchill's picture

The new guy nominated is a workaholic.

Expect that death rate to escalate exponentially.

Buzzworthy's picture

Covert ops = Fractional reserve banking by another means.


pashley1411's picture

Like the military in most other countries, our military will gradually make the transition from protecting against foreign adversities, to protecting against domestic ones.   

Go short tanks and ships; go long cattle prods and electronic surveillance equipment. 

Towgunner's picture

This is highly politically incorrect, not like that should matter. But, as a veteran here are my observations about today's military. Never mind the private armies such as Blackwater, the incentive to join today is increasingly material in nature. Oh sure, there is no shortage of Oooh Rah motivation and genuine love of king and country, but, I've notice a distinct change as pay, benefits and bonuses went up. As such, when faced with multi-tours of duty in some third world crap hole and the prospect of loss of life limb sanity or all three all for the sake of an imperial war and fiat currency system, money and bennies versus patriotism become the primary incentive. This matters. Contrast to WWII our men fighting back then cared less about their pay and benefits, if at all, it was more about duty. To them warfighting was something they felt obligated to do, for the time being, their real lives waited at home during their tours. Of course, it stands to reason that an all volunteer military will need material incentive like everyone else, I don't deny that, but I take issue with how, more than ever, our military is basically a bunch of state-paid mercenaries. When I joined the saying was "don't do this for the money", today, I mostly hear about taking advantage of all the benefits, GI bill to veteran-preference hiring e.g. the money. People ask me how in the world can the us military fire on its own public, well, its not the us military you once thought it was. Today, you have a lot of people in it for the money, people like that, as we know, tend to have a cold indifference to anything else. Its the difference between a patriot and a mercenary.

Cathartes Aura's picture

echoing DaveyJones, your views are important particularly since they go against the way people were trained to think, and everyone could use an upgrade, appreciate your honesty.

for what its worth, I've had numerous conversations with folks who were deployed to Iraq/Afghanistan, and most echo what you posted. . . some of the stories they eventually shared were jaw-dropping, and I like to think of myself as rather jaded on the subject.

I feel for all who've been completely duped, and hope to prevent others from any future regrets.

DaveyJones's picture

Thank you for your input. Reality from those who do more than read it.

cougar_w's picture

As each national state in turn collapses and loses the ability to project power the threats needed to rally the mobs will of course have to be internal ones, or perhaps border neighbors. There will simply be no other capable enemy. And since an enemy is required to keep the people under terror alerts you will need to find one wherever you can.

I would say "keep your head down" but honestly I don't think that's possible anymore.

Winston Churchill's picture

Gradually ?

Looks like their going full 'apeshit speed ' ahead to me.

I am on to you's picture

What the hell,then there is cheap Cocain again!

Since when hasnt CIA not run the laundry,who was it the ran around on Central and South Eumerica.


The chain has completly come of the(i would have said,the Brain)but leaves it at The Lames.

A big step for a man,a giant leap for ,what Humans,an abe with no fur!

booboo's picture

Obama needs fall guys, Hagel has enough republican stamped on him to make it so easy for the press jackals and ObamaNation water heads in the public to turn on him when something goes "horribly wrong" The Mafia perfected "fall guys", people that would be fingered, take the rap, go down for a  ginney, when a made guy got tangled up in beating his girl friend to death or shooting some guy in a bar. Past is Prologue, no new thing under the sun. A government is feckless in everything except for perfecting corruption. ObamaDon, the last American mafia prince, Drugs, gun running, prostitution, paid protection racket, gambling, Unions. Is the picture getting clearer. 

earnyermoney's picture

Mr. Prince of Xe is smiling.

Cathartes Aura's picture

update of Xe Prince above. . .

also, Xe---->Academi, and they are embedded like a tick on the ass of amrka,

Ted Wright, president and chief executive officer, said Monday that the choice of the name Academi reflects an intent to refocus on training.

Wright heads a leadership team assembled by USTC Holdings, an investor-owned consortium that acquired Xe from founder Erik Prince a year ago.

The company has done nearly $3 billion in business with the federal government over the past seven years, mostly security contracts.

In a separate case, five former Blackwater executives face felony charges of conspiring to violate federal firearms laws.

The company is still a major provider of security services to the U.S. State Department in Afghanistan.

The new owners have strived to portray the company as dedicated to good governance, oversight and accountability. The seven-man board of directors includes former Attorney General John Ashcroft as an independent director.


there's your privatised military amrka, free to work it's magick on the homeland.

GAAPpreNixon's picture


Joebloinvestor's picture

IMO there is nothing wrong with terrorizing a terrorist.

Unconventional warfare?


Effective? Questionable, but it does eliminate the target (usually).

Drones are here to stay by the way.

TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

Joebloinvestor said:

IMO there is nothing wrong with terrorizing a terrorist.

So you're saying that you're cool with terrorist attacks against the US?

Dude, that's messed up. I suppose you can say that fair is fair, but you're talking about killing innocent people because they're "close enough" to the people you believe are your enemies. That pretty much falls under the category of murder.

PeaceLover's picture

One fact that seems clear.

The USA has lost it's moral compass, to even lower our self down to a terrorist's level?

What kind of idiot thinking are we using.

I understand Bush and Cheney. Listened to them many time's like I said  idiots.
The scary thing is Obama doesn't sound like a idiot but the behavior?

To even think there is any reason to kill with out a trial or declared war.
Just lowers you to a lower level than a terrorist. or is that copying them.

And what's our excuse being born in the richest country in the world and assess to info.


Winston Churchill's picture

This won't be a popular comment.

What moral compass ?

The one used to exterminate native peoples with smallpox infected

blankets.The one used to invade Mexican Territorys ?

Spanish ones,after the false flag Maine explosion?

Crippling sancations on Japan provoking an attack ?

Take another Red Pill,one wasn't enough.

Tijuana Donkey Show's picture

Yes, but who gets to name who is a terrorrist? I remember an idea of trials, innocent until proven guilty, etc, before all this. OWS is a terrorrist organization by USGOV standards, can we start hitting the upcoming spring protests with double tap strikes? 

1100-TACTICAL-12's picture

It's all bullshit, and I for one have grown tired of it.

pods's picture

Once you can take off the red white and blue glasses it is really sickening.

How can I fault someone from hating me because of where I live when all they have was taken from above without trial or warning?


Joebloinvestor's picture

You want trials?

Look at Guantanamo, see how well that works?

I just wish they would use them on the Mexico border and against all who choose to bring that kind death and destruction down upon themselves.

DRONES ARE HERE TO STAY and their useage isn't going to be dictated by the "rules of engagement".


By the way, the US is already experimenting with arial refueling of drones.

spinone's picture

Terrorist is just a word.  If they were serious about stopping terrorism, they would be prosecuted as criminals, with international law enforcement and according to the rule of law.  Don't you see that calling them terrorists and extrajudicial prosecution is wrong and UnAmerican.  We are a civilized nation of laws.  If we turn over our power to a group of unknowns meeting in secret, then no one is safe.  Aren't death panels the problem with national health care?  Then why is that OK with our national security?

TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

Joebloinvestor said:


...because that's just how cowards roll.

DaveyJones's picture

you're living up to your middle name

"death and destruction down upon themselves"

simple stories for simple readers