Press TV has conducted an interview with Scott Rickard, former intelligence linguist form Florida, about US President Barack Obama’s recent speech on the issue of use of drones and also the Guantanamo Bay prison.
What follows is an approximate transcription of the interview.
Press TV: We are going through some of the statements Obama made; one of them, America’s actions are legal; they are under domestic and international laws. Do you agree with what Obama said there?
Rickard: No, not at all. Obama is once again proving to speak through the size of his mouth. He has obviously committed war crimes as the president of the United States throughout the Middle East and across Africa.
This rhetoric is typical from the American administrations regardless of what party is in power and it is really driven by the military industrial complex and the financial communities that are lobbying and driving the Congressional and the Capitol Hill cruise that they own.
Now for Obama to say that this is legal, you know, obviously attacking other countries; it is not just Yemen and it is not just Pakistan, there is a lot of activity right now in Libya, there is a lot of activity right now even in Somalia; nobody is there to report it. These countries are far too volatile and there is no body on the ground. If you have noticed there has been very little information coming out of these regions.
So, no, it is an international war crime and as I said before in several interviews, unfortunately because between France, the UK and the US, basically dominating the world finances over the last two hundred years, they have never been held accountable for their war crimes.
Press TV: what is alarming about that is that there have been these casualties obviously civilians in the last one raid, I believe was obviously indicated might have been a child there, but we do not have the US come out and make any motions towards…, except Obama did make some admittance four US nationals have been killed and there are civilians that have been killed but not enough.
Why did he choose this moment in time to come out in this venue and pretty much getting to what has been deemed as classified not any more of these drone strike operations?
Rickard: Well, I think it has a lot to do with activities like activists, like myself and all of the independent reporters around the world.
You know we have folks that are starting to sort of break the last healing of the media control the governments have been so basically taking advantage of for several decades and you have a lot of folks just as the other speaker that said the policy is not really changing, it is just that it is more difficult for governments to be as subversive and as clandestine.
Every body is walking around with reporting devices, every body is communicating on a very regular basis now. We have excellent programs like RT and Press TV that are basically cutting through the rhetoric and speaking a lot of very controversial truth about these issues.
Now they have to come clean; so I do not think it is a policy change; I think it is just that you get caught red handed and you come with explanations and you know as well as I do that there is a censorship on Press TV, the censorship, you know and any kind of syndications across the Western media.
They are trying to quitle this type of communication because they realize that they are being held accountable for what is clearly international crimes that eventually, hopefully somebody is going to be held accountable for it.
Press TV: Scott Rickard, two statements that he said, I am going to put together, in order to get some explanation from you.
The US is at war with al-Qaeda Taliban and their associated forces and then he talks about how well these are the same forces that we need to stop; because the governments of no other country can stop terrorists. How do you put these two together in terms of what he is trying to say?
Rickard: Well, Obama might elect most administrations that have been the ruling classes of the NATO alliance and the Americans for nearly hundred years. They are consistently speaking out of the both size of their mouth.
On one point they are recruiting mercenaries to attack Libya and Syria and on the other point they are saying they are fighting mercenaries because those countries cannot control it.
There is a lot of illegal activity in say Afghanistan, in the heroin trade that is coming out of Afghanistan; that is easily USD 500 to 600 billion annual business. That is a business a size of a briefcase you can hold well over USD 1/5 million street value of a product as opposed to a barrel of oil being only USD 100.
So that business is well known, century-old business the UK had, at one point with shipping seventy thousand tons of opium to China during Chinese opium wars. Today the production around the world is only about thirty five, forty thousands tons.
So this is a part of a business that involved with the military industrial complex and the drug industry; and that drug industry and military industrial complex has tight back into the financial industry that this is not going to change.
There is a lot of money being made every time a drone flies and every time a drone drops. There is a lot of money being made every time somebody shoots the cruise missile and those things they want to make more. The Boeing is a very profitable company in the United States and they have hundreds and hundreds of lobbyists, just roaming the halls of Congress, roaming the halls of the Senate.
So until you kill the root of the problem, you know, this is really just speaking out of both size in their mouth and not telling the truth and there will be perpetual war. This is not going to stop and they are going to continue. I would say it is just a high value of business for a lot of businesses that should be really held accountable for their criminal activity.
Press TV: I am trying to squeeze out some hope from what President Barack Obama has said when he talked about how this perpetual war would prove soft defeating when he says beyond Afghanistan we must define our effort not as a boundless global war on terror for the past ten to eleven years, the image of the United States has been chipped away by each death that occurs especially on these drone strikes with of course countries that the US has involved in wars.
Do you think there is a shift away from this perpetual state of war that the US is involved in?
Rickard: I certainly do not see an end to it until the people actually would be the only thing that can change the government, has absolutely no intention of cutting their industries across the States.
The military industrial complex has been absolutely strategic at placing businesses across different districts, in congressional districts. So if you attack any kind of military programs basically you are taking jobs away from the people that they are working in your districts.
So it is a business and it is a horrific business, it is a killing machine business and it is highly imperialist. There is no end to it, I can see, until we have a larger amount of people.
I respect the other speaker’s opinion, calling the murderers of these horrific events in the Boston bombing and in London with the murder of the soldier, but unfortunately I would not consider those people ordinary.
There are a lot of people who have really been trained to think very negatively about Muslims in the United States; obviously there are very moderate individuals as well, but in a country of three hundred million people, I would say easily twenty percent of them are highly anti-Muslim.
I live in a state that is fearful for me to see what kind of prejudice that these individuals have and how little knowledge they have. But they are basically just parakeets for a lot of the media that comes out.