Bulletin N° 575




20 July 2013
Grenoble, France

Dear Colleagues and Friends of CEIMSA,

Our collective history is a series of failed revolutions and our existence is an accumulation of scar tissues produced by these dashed expectations. We have more in common than we are presently able to perceive, and what differences that do exist are trivial by comparison. We have been enticed into dead-end movements and programmed for exploitation and failure, left unable to reach out to one another for support and even inhibited from asking clearly for aid when we need it. Torn from any sense of community, our lives have become abstractions issuing from the ubiquitous calculations of predatory capitalist production. We’ve been screwed, and we know it.


A poem I recently read, entitled “Co-Workers,” expresses this acute state of alienation:


The Nose knows…

The Straw just sucks and blows;

The Imposter comes and goes;

The White Hare frets that everyone one may not like him,

While Cheesecake seems to think that something might be missing.


The lack of community, the lack of trust among co-workers, the paranoid fantasy that some omniscient being is constantly intruding into your life to misdirect your interests and to isolate you –this is the Kafkaesque world of work in western institutions buffeted as they are by economic crises since 2008.


Economic anthropologist, David Graeber, has written a radical account of the history of finance. In his book, Debt, The First 5,000 Years (2012), he discusses the controversy over money, whether it is a material commodity (e.g. gold, silver, etc.) or simply exists as a social convention, an abstract unit of measure, like a gram, a meter, or a fluid liter.


At the end of this 400-page essay, Graeber addresses the question of debt, and the widely shared sacred principle that “we must all pay our debts.”


   the principle has been exposed as a flagrant lie. As it turns out, we don’t “all” have to pay our debts. Only some of us do. Nothing would be more important than to wipe the slate clean for everyone, mark a break with our accustomed morality, and start again.

   What is a debt, anyway? A debt is just a perversion of a promise. It is a promise corrupted by both math and violence. If freedom (real freedom) is the ability to make friends, then it is also, necessarily, the ability to make real promises. What sorts of promises might genuinely free men and women make to one another? At this point, we can’t even say. It’s more a question of how we can get to a place that will allow us to find out. And the first step in that journey, in turn, is to accept that in the largest scheme of things, just as on one has the right to tell us our true value, no one hass the right to tell us what we truly owe.(p.391)


Graeber in this book and elsewhere has called for “a kind of Biblical-style Jubilee” where all people would be the beneficiaries of what now only the “too-big-to-fail” financial institutions have access to: namely, "wipe the slate clean.” His argumentation is well documented and convincing. It is a radical departure from many of the assumptions of world civilizations, but, on the other hand, his alternative vision is  not altogether unfamiliar . . . .



The 10 items below offer readers an opportunity to envision their own alternatives during this debacle of the American empire, “under surveillance.” Old answers to new questions are not sufficient, and the exclusionary measures implied in new answers in the face of limited growth are far from being acceptable. Readers are invited to evaluate the obstacles in their own lives: What are the micro-macro connections between the global political economy and our behavior in daily life? This may be the new domain of both aesthetic and social science research for the production of human liberation and social well being in an ever-prospering environment.


Item A., from Mark Crispin Miller, is an article by Alberto Riva on former US President Jimmy Carter’s assessment of  the state of US “democracy” today.


Item B., sent to us by Reader Supported News, is an article first published in the Guardian UK by Glenn Greenwald, on the tactics of the NSA.


Item C., sent to us by by Reader Supported News, is an article first published in Digital Journal, by Ralph Lopez, on illegal NSA spying on Americans before 9/11.


Item D. from Reader Supported News, is an article by Chris Hedges, first published in Common Dreams on the Aim of Spying: “Censorship


Item E., sent to us by CannonFire, is an interview with former NSA satellite technician, Russ Tice, on the Aim of Spying: “Blackmail.”

Item F., from Democracy Now! is an interview with Joshua Oppenheimer, the director of a groundbreaking new documentary called The Act of Killing.


Item G., from Moyers & Company, is an article by Greg Kaufmann on the US Congress pursuing “self-interests”instead of public interests.


Item H. , from GRITtv, is an interview with Ralph Nader, on his new book, Told You So.

Item I., from Jim O’Brien, is a list of current articles of interest selected by Historians Against the War.

Item J. is a discussion of Jeremy Scahill’s recent book, Dirty Wars and a short except from his film by the same name, documenting the desperate demise of empire in the 21st century.


And finally, we offer readers a look at the documentary film on “Astroturf  Democracy” and  the “Color Revolutions” :

Comment la C I A prépare les révolutions colorées





Francis Feeley

Professor of American Studies

University of Grenoble-3

Director of Research

University of Paris-Nanterre

Center for the Advanced Study of American Institutions and Social Movements

The University of California-San Diego







From Mark Crispin Miller :

Date: 20 July 2013

Subject: Former US President Jimmy Carter on US ‘democracy’.



Jimmy Carter: US “has no functioning democracy”


The former president weighs in on NSA and the future of Internet platforms like Google and Facebook

By Alberto Riva

Former U.S. president Jimmy Carter is so concerned about the NSA spying scandal that he thinks it has essentially resulted in a suspension of American democracy.

“America does not at the moment have a functioning democracy,” he said at an event in Atlanta on Tuesday sponsored by the Atlantik Bruecke, a private nonprofit association working to further the German-U.S. relationship. The association’s name is German for “Atlantic bridge.”

Carter’s remarks didn’t appear in the American mainstream press but were reported from Atlanta by the German newsmagazine Der Spiegel, whose Washington correspondent Gregor Peter Schmitz said on Twitter he was present at the event. The story doesn’t appear in the English-language section of the Spiegel website and is only available in German.

The 39th U.S. president also said he was pessimistic about the current state of global affairs, wrote Der Spiegel, because there was “no reason for him to be optimistic at this time.” Among the developments that make him uneasy, Carter cited the “falling of Egypt under a military dictatorship.” As president, Carter managed to get then-Egyptian president Anwar Sadat and Israeli prime minister Menachem Begin to sign the Camp David peace agreements in 1979.

Carter said a bright spot was “the triumph of modern technology,” which enabled the democratic uprisings of the Arab Spring; however, the NSA spying scandal, Carter said, according to Der Spiegel, endangers precisely those developments, “as major U.S. Internet platforms such as Google or Facebook lose credibility worldwide.”





From Reader Supported News :

Date: 15 July 2013

Subject: The Tactics of Surveillance.



The actual story that matters is not hard to see: the NSA is attempting to collect, monitor and store all forms of human communication.

The Crux of the NSA Story: 'Collect it All'


by Glenn Greenwald





From Reader Supported News :

Date: 15 July 2013

Subject: The Aims of Surveillance: 1) Intimidation.



Contradicting a statement by ex-vice president Dick Cheney on Sunday that warrantless domestic surveillance might have prevented 9/11, 2007 court records indicate that the Bush-Cheney administration began such surveillance at least 7 months prior to 9/11.


Bush-Cheney Began Illegal NSA Spying Before 9/11

by Ralph Lopez





From Reader Supported News :

Date: 15 July 2013

Subject: The Aims of Surveillance: 2) Censorship.



The security and surveillance state...has mounted a relentless and largely clandestine campaign to deny public space to any group or movement that might spawn another popular uprising.


Locking Out the Voices of Dissent

by Chris Hedges






From Cannon Fire :

Date: 13 July 2013

Subject: The Aims of Surveillance: 3) Extortion.


This was is summer of 2004. One of the papers that I held in my hand was to wiretap a bunch of numbers associated with, with a 40-something-year-old wannabe senator from Illinois. You wouldn’t happen to know where that guy lives right now, would you? It’s a big white house in Washington, DC. That’s who they went after. And that’s the president of the United States now.


Was Obama blackmailed? Was Cheney in charge?







From Democracy Now ! :

Date: 19 July 2013

Subject: The “Founding Fathers” of Fascism in Indonesia.



"The Act of Killing":

New Film Shows U.S.-Backed Indonesian Death Squad Leaders Re-enacting Massacres

"The Act of Killing": New Film Shows U.S.-Backed Indonesian Death Squad Leaders Reenacting Massacres





From Moyers & Company

Date: 16 July  2013

Subject: The US Congress in pursuit of self-interests.



Confronting Congressional Hunger Games


by Greg Kaufmann






From GRITtv :

Date: 30 March 2013

Subject: A Cure for Capitalism.



Ralph Nader: Developing a Civic Personality





From Historians Against the War :

Date: 19 July 2013

Subject: Recent articles of interest.




Links to Recent Articles of Interest

"Surveillance Blowback: The Making of the U.S. Surveillance State, 1898-2020"

By Alfred W. McCoy, TomDispatch.com, posted July 15

The author teaches history at the University of Wisconsin

"Demystifying the NSA Surveillance Program"

By John Prados, History News Network, posted July 15


"The Korean War: Forgotten, Unknown, and Unfinished"

By H. Patricia Hynes, TruthOut.org, posted July 12

"The Danger in Egypt Is Real"

By Juan Cole, History News Network, posted July 8

The author teaches history at the University of Michigan

"Still Preparing for Nuclear War"

By Lawrence S. Wittner, History News Network, posted July 8

The author is a professor of history emeritus at SUNY Albany

"Snowden Made the Right Call When He Fled the U.S."

By Daniel Ellsberg, Washington Post, posted July 7

"What Have Snowden and Greenwald to Do With Gandhi?"

By Suhankar Bannerjee, CommonDreams.org, posted June 30

"Daniel Ellsberg, the Original Big Leaker: Why a Decades-old Act of Defiance Still Hasn't Been Surpassed"

By Michael Kazin, The New Republic, posted June 26

The author teaches history at Georgetown University

"Obama's Informants"

By Melvin A. Goodman, CounterPunch.org, posted June 25

This article by a former CIA analyst discusses the use of informant networks, historically and in the Bush and Obama administrations

Thanks for Steve Gosch, Rosalyn Baxandall, and Larry Wittner for suggesting articles included in the above list.  Suggestions can be sent to





From Jeremy Scahill :

Date: 20 July 2013

Subject: Recording the Desperate Demise of Empire.


Noam Chomsky, Jeremy Scahill, and Amy Goodman discuss the book "Dirty Wars" (Full Speech and Discussion)

 “Dirty Wars" with and Goodman, Scahill , and Noam Chomsky



For an excerpt of the film, please see : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EqKQFcFT4TY