Hillary Clinton’s Business of Corporate Shilling & War Making

HILLARY CLINTONAs the circus of the 2016 presidential election grinds on, Hillary Clinton has posited herself as the candidate of the people. But not many “candidates of the people” have vacation homes in the Hamptons that cost $200,000 per month, or hang out with the world’s billionaires.

It’s hard to know who she is really–while once being a proponent of Donald Trump type positions, like building a wall at the Mexican border, supporting torture, and opposing same-sex marriage until 2013, today she presents herself as the anti-Trump, anti-Republican candidate.

There’s been a lot of outrage about the impression that the establishment has already anointed her as the Democratic nominee, and has carved out her path to the presidency.

But like in 2008, her guaranteed seat on the throne is being derailed by the unpredictable moods of the masses, and millions of young progressive voters. She continues to play her shape shifting game, morphing her positions to try to capture the support for her opponent, but the real Hillary is still inside.

In fact, every layer of Hillary’s career shows why, far from being a candidate of the people, she’s the top pick by corporations to do the real job of any US president: CEO of the Empire.

Digging deep into Hillary’s connections to Wall Street, Abby Martin reveals how the Clinton’s multi-million-dollar political machine operates. This episode of The Empire Files chronicles the Clinton’s rise to power in the 90s on a right-wing agenda, the Clinton Foundation’s revolving door with Gulf state monarchies, corporations and the world’s biggest financial institutions, and the establishment of the hyper-aggressive “Hillary Doctrine” while Secretary of State.


Abby Martin Exposes What Hillary Clinton Really Represents


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How the World Runs on Looting the Congo


Ten years ago, the US Empire honed its sights more intently on a profitable region of the world–the continent it once ravaged as a captain of the slave trade.

A new massive military command, AFRICOM was born. Its footprint includes an array of drone bases, camps and compounds, carrying out the American tradition of training and arming proxy militaries responsible for flagrant human rights abuses, and a variety of black ops. Far from a low-intensity war on the continent, AFRICOM averages several missions every single day.

Every Empire has longed for ownership of Africa for the same reason: it’s unimaginable treasure of minerals and raw materials. Much of that buried wealth is concentrated in Africa’s south, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. 

Taking into account it’s untapped minerals, it’s considered the richest country in the world, with reserves worth $24 trillion dollars. The DRC has 10% of the world’s copper, 30% of the world’s diamonds, and 70% of the world’s coltan. And it produces over 50% of the world’s cobalt.

Among Congolese who literally risk their lives working in cobalt mines, tens of thousands are children, working 12 hours a day for one dollar. Paying local militias to illegally dig, Western mining giants make millions off this criminal, enterprise, including Adastra Minerals and Bechtel Incorporated.

On this episode of The Empire Files, Abby Martin is joined by Kambale Musavuli, spokesperson for Friends of the Congo, to look at the DRC’s resource curse and how empires have pillaged the region for over a century.


How the World Runs on Looting the Congo


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9/11 And The Belligerent Empire

us armyThe so-called “Global War on Terror,” which has wreaked the globe in ceaseless warfare, has long been draped in the language of humanitarian imperialism. The United States has worked tirelessly in order to paint military invasions as liberatory efforts, using the 9/11 attacks as both a shield and a catalyst.

While men and women die fighting wars on behalf of US politicians, who admit that they cannot win the very conflicts they wage, patriotism is used to turn aimless combat into fundamental battles of legitimacy and self-security.

All the while, a US policy of aggression that spans democratic and republican administrations has ripped any sense of security out of the lives of Afghan and Iraqi civilians, among others. Afghanistan’s future was said to be democratic post-US invasion, but reality has been quite different. At the start, in order to combat Soviet influence in the region, not only did the US hand out millions of dollars and weapons in order to fund extremist groups, the mujahideen were warmly welcomed by White House officials. In Iraq the US employed sanctions in order to better decimate the country should politicians choose to divide it. That time came with the first salvo of the war on Iraq which turned the cradle of civilization into a bloody epicenter of cancer and orphans.

ISIS rose out of the ashes of the very death and chaos in the region that the US has created. US foreign policy, which is based on military and economic alliances, has given extremist forces the arms and the reason to continue in their brutalization of minority sects. But ISIS isn’t the only group arrogantly taunting civilians with death; Obama’s administration has turned the calm skies of places like Pakistan into nightmarish killing fields with his drone policy, and his drone program is only getting bigger.

Watch as Abby Martin delves into the lies of the US Empire and uncovers how the establishment media has distorted historic realities, and used 9/11 in order to fuel America’s two longest running wars.


9/11 and The Belligerent Empire


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Photo by US Army

Media Roots Radio – RIP Breaking the Set in the New Cold War

coldwarflickrigorputinaRobbie and Abby Martin discuss her departure from Breaking the Set, the establishment’s Cold War resurrection, the splintering of the left over Obama’s military policies on Syria/Ukraine and Netanyahu’s recent visit to Congress.

If you want to directly download the podcast, click the down arrow icon on the right of the soundcloud display. To hide the comments to enable easier rewind and fast forward, click on the icon on the very bottom right.

This Media Roots podcast is the product of many long hours of hard work and love. If you want to encourage our voice, please consider supporting us as we continue to speak from outside party lines. Even the smallest donations help us with operating costs.

Listen to all previous episodes of Media Roots Radio here.

Follow Abby @abbymartin & Robbie @fluorescentgrey

Photo by flickr user Igor Putina

Drone Wars Can’t Exist Without Decades-Long Genocide in Congo

DronebyFLICKRAKROCKEFELLERIn January of 2014, a UN surveillance drone crashed in Eastern Congo.

According to the UN, the drone was part of a surveillance operation to keep tabs on warring militias that have been fighting in the country since 1996.

Ironic, considering the manufacture of drones is entirely dependent on the bloody conflict taking place on the ground below. That’s because the source of cobalt, a vital mineral in defense technologies like drones, is one of the many resources rebel groups in the Congo are fighting to control. In fact, every death by way of drone can be traced back to the embattled history of this region.

For several decades beginning in 1908, the Congo was a Belgian colony. In 1960,  a nationalist movement led by young postal clerk Patrice Lumumba was successful in gaining the country’s independence. Lumumba was then chosen as the first democratically elected Prime Minister of the Congo that year.

However his popularity, driven by a commitment to the economic and political liberation of the country, dissatisfied former colonists in Belgium and their American allies. Only months after his election, Lumumba was deposed by Western-backed forces. Within a year, he was captured by those forces and subsequently executed by firing squad on January 17, 1961.

After several years of jockeying for power, in 1965 military strongman Mobutu Sese Seko came to power in a US/Belgium backed coup. A staunch anti communist, Mobutu used much of the Congo’s resources to his personal gain, amassing a multi-billion dollar personal fortune throughout his years of cooperation with western governments and corporations.

It was during Mobutu’s rule in 1982 that the Congressional Budget Office released a report entitled “Cobalt: Policy Options for a Strategic Mineral”. In it, the CBO outlines how cobalt is an essential mineral used in American aerospace and defense technologies. Because of its necessity, the CBO declares that if cobalt supplies were to shortfall, it would be of great concern for the US government and national security.

The CBO also points out that the greatest producer of cobalt is the Congo, at the time known as Zaire. The report determines that the greatest threat to cobalt production in the Congo would be political unrest and quote “guerrilla insurrection” against Mobutu’s hardline rule.

Fifteen years later, the threat of Mobutu’s overthrow became a reality.

When Mobutu was ousted in 1997, Congo fell into chaos from which it never recovered, culminating with the takeover of yet another pro-western dictator Joseph Kabila in 2001 – but the violence never stopped. Despite enjoying a cozy relationship with US leaders, it is estimated that somewhere between 5.4 to 6 million people have died under Kabila’s watch in the deadliest conflict since World War II. According to Friends of the Congo spokesperson Kambale Musavuli, the conflict can all be traced back to the “War on Terror”.

“The battle in the Congo has really been about who’s going to control Congo’s resources and for whose benefit,” he says. “Cobalt [is] a mineral very essential to modern technologies…found in aerospace, in drones, in airplanes, in nuclear reactors, and it is a strategic mineral to the so called war on terror.”

In 2011, Kabila gave approval for American Mining Company Freeport-McMoRan to expand its ownership of the Tenke Fungureme mine – the largest cobalt reserve in the world – to 56 percent, making him quite popular in Washington.

However, not everyone in the US government has turned a blind eye to the fact that minerals like cobalt come with a heavy human cost. That’s why a few members of Congress made an effort to classify some resources as “conflict minerals,” which would require companies to disclose the sources of their products.

In fact, hidden within the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Bill, “Section 1502” promises to “monitor and stop commercial activities involving the natural resources of the Democratic Republic of Congo that contribute to the armed activities of armed groups and human rights violations”.

Yet cobalt was not named among the four “conflict minerals” classified in the report, despite the fact that it’s the most strategic and abundant resource in the Congo.

Perhaps that’s no surprise, considering that the VP of International Affairs at Freeport (formally VP of Africa), Melissa Sanderson, was a Political Counselor to the State Department for over two decades before joining the company. Specifically, she was the Charge d’Affairs at the US Embassy in the Congo.

With the conflict of interest so entrenched and drone strikes replacing conventional warfare, it’s hard to imagine how any top-down policy could foster real change. Ultimately, Musavuli says that rather than count on governments and corporations to put peace before profits, the solution lies in the people.

“They need the people in Pakistan [and] Afghanistan who are being bombed day and night by drones to know that those drones would be able to be sending those missiles [into their] community if the western powers did not have access to minerals in the Congo,” he says. “[Minerals] such as uranium, such as cobalt…creating those alliances with people who believe in peace and freedom and human dignity will be a change maker as we continue to support those who are fighting on the ground [in the Congo].”

Indeed, while the struggle begins with democratizing the source of cobalt in the Congo, it won’t prevail without global solidarity. Yet until people realize the interconnectedness of these conflicts, such unity may prove to be its greatest obstacle.

Written by Anya Parampil, Follow me @anyaparampil

Photo by flickr user AK ROCKEFELLER

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