Week-end reading list
Paul Craig Roberts
The Man Who Usurped The Constitution
Just as you think the Republicans have destroyed themselves with their government
shutdown/default antics, along comes Obama and appoints a fascist murderer head of
RT http://rt.com/usa/obama-jeh-johnson-dhs-378/  reports that Jeh Johnson, a drone proponent and the Pentagon General Counsel who authorized the unconstitutional extrajudicial murder of American citizen Anwar al-Awlaki, has been nominated to head Homeland Security. Jeh Johnson is also the Pentagon lawyer who accused WikiLeaks of “illegal and irresponsible actions” and of giving aid to terrorists. Will Congress confirm this tyrant to police state power?
According to an Obama spokesperson, Jeh Johnson was picked to head Homeland Security because “during his tenure at the Department of Defense, he was known for his sound judgment and counsel” and “because he is one of the most highly qualified and respected national security leaders.”
So now we know what it takes to have “sound judgment and counsel” and to be a
“highly respected national security leader.”
De-Americanization Of The World
GlobalEurope http://www.leap2020.eu/GEAB-N-78-is-available-The-de-Americanisation-of-the-world-has-begun-emergence-of-solutions-for-a-multipolar-world-by_a14827.html  agrees with my conclusion that the power and prestige of the US government are on the wane. In public announcement GEAB # 78 on October 16 echoing the Chinese government, GlobalEurope reports: “Everyone is trying to free itself from American influence and let go of a United States permanently discredited by recent events over Syria, tapering, shutdown and now the debt ceiling. The legendary US power is now no more than a nuisance and the world has understood that it’s time to de-Americanize.”
Further indication of Washington’s declining influence comes from last month’s rulings by the European Court of Justice overturning EU sanctions against Iranian corporations and financial institutions that were pushed into implementation by Washington. http://www.mondaq.com/unitedstates/x/268742/Export+controls+Trade+Investment+Sanctions/The+European+Court+of+Justice+Overturns+Unfreezes+EU+Iran+Sanctions 
As Lawrence Stratton and I show in our book, The Tyranny Of Good Intentions, for a number of years the US has been abandoning “innocent until proven guilty” and adopting Jeremy Bentham’s totalitarian formulation of “pre-emptive arrest,” the arrest of people in the absence of a crime on the supposition that they might possibly commit a crime in the future. The European Court of Justice ruled that sanctions could not be imposed on Iranian business entities simply on the presumption that there was a risk that a business entity might provide support for nuclear proliferation in the future. In other words, punishment requires a crime, not the possibility that one might be committed in the future.
Washington, still overflowing with hubris and arrogance, will pay no attention to the EU court’s rulings. If the EU countries follow their court’s rulings, does this mean that
Washington will sanction the EU countries for not obeying Washington’s sanctions?
Are EU governments now caught between Washington and their own court?
Worse Is To Come
Matt Taibbi’s report on the looting of state and municipal pension funds in behalf of Wall Street’s financial gangsters heralds what is in store for our private pensions. http://www.globalresearch.ca/looting-the-pension-funds-wall-street-is-grabbing-money-meant-for-public-workers/5352934  American conservatives who are so pleased that “those damned bureaucrats who live on the public tit” are getting their comeuppance fail to see the precedent for their own private pensions.
As long ago as the Clinton regime, Alicia Munnell, an economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston who was appointed Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy, the position I had held in the Reagan administration, advocated confiscating 15 percent of private pension funds on the basis of the argument that the pensions had accumulated tax free.
The writing is on the wall for private pensions. Once the dollar becomes too weakened by the printing of vast amounts of them in order to finance Washington’s budget deficit and to support the solvency of “banks too big too fail,” QE will have to end. Desperate for money to fill the gap, Washington will turn to confiscation of private assets should any be left after the coming economic collapse.
Darth Vader In The White House
Meanwhile, rest assured. The US is not an empire and does not behave as one, so Obama assured the United Nations. The US, Obama said, is simply the one dominant power that can bring order to the world and prevent “a vacuum of leadership.” http://www.salon.com/2013/09/26/sorry_obama_america_imperialism_is_alive_and_well_partner/singleton/ 
Bin Laden’s “Killing”
Seymour Hersh, America’s famous investigative reporter, joins me in the ranks of “conspiracy theorist,” that is, a person who tells the truth. Hersh says that the dramatic
story of the murder of Osama bin Laden by US Navy SEALs in 2011 is “one big lie, not one word of truth in it.” http://www.theguardian.com/media/media-blog/2013/sep/27/seymour-hersh-obama-nsa-american-media 
I told you so, and so did Mohammad Bashir. http://paulcraigroberts.org/2013/10/16/original-pakistani-tv-bashir-interview-massimo-mazzuccos-911-documentary/