Archive for the ‘Bush's’ Category
By Kevin G. Hall, McClatchy Newspapers
WASHINGTON — One year after the near collapse of the, this much is clear: The financial world as we knew it is over, and something new is rising from its ashes.
Historians will look to September 2008 as a watershed for the U.S. economy.
On Sept. 7 , the government seized mortgage titans Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac . Eight days later, investment bankfiled for bankruptcy, sparking a global financial panic that threatened to topple blue-chip financial institutions around the world. In the several months that followed, governments from Washington to Beijing responded with unprecedented intervention into financial markets and across their economies, seeking to stop the wreckage and stem the damage.
One year later, the easy-money system that financed the boom era from the 1980s until a year ago is smashed. Once-ravenous U.S. consumers are saving money and paying down debt. Banks are building reserves and hoarding cash. And governments are fashioning a new global financial order.
Congress and the Obama administration have lost faith in self-regulated markets. Together, they’re writing the most sweeping new regulations over finance since the Great Depression. And in this ever-more-connected global economy, Washington is working with its partners through the G-20 group of nations to develop worldwide rules to govern finance.
“Our objective is to design an economic framework where we’re going to have a more balanced pattern of growth globally, less reliant on a buildup of unsustainable borrowing . . . and not just here, but around the world,” said.
The first faint signs that the U.S. economy may be clawing its way back from the worst recession since the Great Depression are only now starting to appear, a year after the panic began. Similar indications are sprouting in Europe , China and Japan .
Still, economists concur that a quarter-century of economic growth fueled by cheap credit is over. Many analysts also think that an extended period of slow job growth and suppressed wage growth will keep consumers — and the businesses that sell to them — in the dumps for years.
“Those things are likely to be subpar for a long period of time,” said Martin Regalia, the chief economist for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce . “I think it means that we probably see potential rates of growth that are in the 2-2.5 (percent) range, or maybe . . . 1.8-1.9 (percent).” A growth rate of 3 percent to 3.5 percent is considered average.
Therose to 9.7 percent in August and is expected to peak above 10 percent in the months ahead. It’s already there in at least 15 states. Regalia thinks that it could be five years before the U.S. economy generates enough jobs to overcome those lost and to employ the new workers entering the labor force.
All this is likely to keep consumers on the sidelines.
“I think this financial panic and Great Recession is an inflection point for the financial system and the economy,” said Mark Zandi , the chief economist for forecaster Moody’s Economy.com. “It means much less risk-taking, at least for a number of years to come — a decade or two. That will be evident in less credit and more costly credit. If you are a household or a business, it will cost you more, and it will be more difficult to get that credit.”
The numbers bear him out. The Fed’s most recent release of credit data showed that consumer credit decreased at an annual rate of 5.2 percent from April to June, after falling by a 3.6 percent annual rate from January to March. Revolving lines of credit, which include credit cards, fell by an annualized 8.9 percent in the first quarter, followed by an 8.2 percent drop in the second quarter.
That’s a sea change. For much of the past two decades, strong U.S. growth has come largely through expanding credit. The global economy fed off this trend.
China became a manufacturing hub by selling attractively priced exports to U.S. consumers who were living beyond their means. China’s Asian neighbors sent it components for final assembly; Africa and Latin Americasold China their raw materials. All fed off U.S. consumers’ bottomless appetite for more, bought on credit.
“That’s over. Consumers can do their part — spend at a rate consistent with their income growth, but not much beyond that,” Zandi said.
If U.S. consumers no longer drive the global economy, then consumers in big emerging economies such as China and Brazil will have to take up some of the slack. Trade among nations will take on greater importance.
In the emerging “new normal,” U.S. companies will have to be more competitive. They must sell into big developing markets; yet as the recent Cash for Clunkers effort underscored, the competitive hurdles are high: Foreign-owned automakers, led by Toyota , reaped the most benefit from the U.S. tax breaks for new car purchases, not GM and Chrysler .
Need a loan? Tough luck: Many U.S. banks are in no condition to lend. Around 416 banks are now on a “problem list” and at risk of insolvency. Regulators already have shuttered 81 banks and thrifts this year.
The. reported on Aug. 27 that rising loan losses are depleting bank capital. The ratio of to bad loans was 63.5 percent from April to June, the lowest it’s been since the savings-and-loan crisis in 1991.
For all that, the U.S. economy does seem to be rising off its sickbed. The latest manufacturing data for August point to a return to growth, and home sales are rising. Indeed, there are many encouraging signs emerging in the global economy.
It’s all growth from a low starting point, however, and many economists think that there’ll be a lower baseline for U.S. and global growth if the new financial order means less risk-taking by lenders and less indebtedness by companies and consumers.
That seems evident now in the U.S. personal savings rate. It fell steadily from 9.59 percent in the 1970s to 2.68 percent in the easy-money era from 2000 to 2008; from 2005 to 2007, it averaged 1.83 percent.
Today, that trend is in reverse. From April to June, Americans’ personal savings rate was 5 percent, and it could go higher if the unemployment rate keeps rising. Almost 15 million Americans are unemployed — and countless others are underemployed or uncertain about their job security, so they’re spending less and saving more.
A few years ago, banks fell all over themselves to offer cheap home equity loans and lines of consumer credit. No more. Even billions in government bailout dollars to spur lending haven’t changed that.
“The strategy that was stated at the beginning of the year — which is that you would sustain the banking system in order that it would resume lending — hasn’t worked, and it isn’t going to work,” said James K. Galbraith , an economist at the University of Texas at Austin .
Over the course of 2008, the nation’s five largest banks reduced their consumer loans by 79 percent,by 66 percent and commercial loans by 19 percent, according to FDIC data. A wide range of credit measures, including recent FDIC data, show that lending remains depressed.
Why? The foundation of U.S. credit expansion for the past 20 years is in ruin. Since the 1980s, banks haven’t kept loans on their balance sheets; instead, they sold them into a secondary market, where they were pooled for sale to investors as securities. The process, called securitization, fueled a rapid expansion of credit to consumers and businesses. By passing their loans on to investors, banks were freed to lend more.
Today, securitization is all but dead. Investors have little appetite for risky securities. Few buyers want a security based on pools of mortgages, car loans, student loans and the like.
“The basis of revival of the system along the line of what previously existed doesn’t exist. The foundation that was supposed to be there for the revival (of the economy) . . . got washed away,” Galbraith said.
Unless and until securitization rebounds, it will be hard for banks to resume robust lending because they’re stuck with loans on their books.
“We’ve just been scared,” said Robert C. Pozen , the chairman of Boston -based MFS Investment Management . He thinks that the freeze in securitization reflects a lack of trust in Wall Street and its products and remains a huge obstacle to the resumption of lending that’s vital to an economic recovery.
Enter the Federal Reserve. It now props up the secondary market for pooled loans that are vital to the functioning of the U.S. financial system. The Fed is to investors who’re willing to buy the safest pools of loans, called asset-backed securities.
Through Sept. 3 , the Fed had funded purchases of $817.6 billion in Ginnie Mae . In recent months, the Fed also has moved aggressively to lend for purchase of pools of other consumer-based loans.. These securities were pooled mostly by mortgage finance giants Fannie Mae , Freddie Mac and
Today, there’s little private-sector demand for new loan-based securities; government is virtually the only game in town. That’s why on Aug. 17 , the Fed announced that it would extend its program to finance the purchase of pools of loans until mid-2010. That suggests there’s still a long way to go before a functioning securitization market — the backbone of— returns to a semblance of normalcy.
The US Federal Reserve’s policy of printing money to buy Treasury debt threatens to set off a serious decline of the dollar and compel China to redesign its foreign reserve policy, according to a top member of the Communist hierarchy.
Cheng Siwei, former vice-chairman of the Standing Committee and now head of China’s green energy drive, said Beijing was dismayed by the Fed’s recourse to “credit easing”.
“We hope there will be a change in monetary policy as soon as they have positive growth again,” he said at the Ambrosetti Workshop, a policy gathering on Lake Como.
“If they keep printing money to buy bonds it will lead to inflation, and after a year or two the dollar will fall hard. Most of our foreign reserves are in US bonds and this is very difficult to change, so we will diversify incremental reserves into euros, yen, and other currencies,” he said.
China’s reserves are more than – $2 trillion, the world’s largest.
“Gold is definitely an alternative, but when we buy, the price goes up. We have to do it carefully so as not to stimulate the markets,” he added.
The comments suggest that China has become the driving force in the gold market and can be counted on to
buy whenever there is a price dip, putting a floor under any correction.
Mr Cheng said the Fed’s loose monetary policy was stoking an unstable asset boom in China. “If we raise interest rates, we will be flooded with hot money. We have to wait for them. If they raise, we raise.
“Credit in China is too loose. We have a bubble in the housing market and in stocks so we have to be very careful, because this could fall down.”
Mr Cheng said China had learned from the West that it is a mistake for central banks to target retail price inflation and take their eye off assets.
“This is where Greenspan went wrong from 2000 to 2004,” he said. “He thought everything was alright because inflation was low, but assets absorbed the liquidity.”
Mr Cheng said China had lost 20m jobs as a result of the crisis and advised the West not to over-estimate the role that his country can play in global recovery.
China’s task is to switch from export dependency to internal consumption, but that requires a “change in the ideology of the Chinese people” to discourage excess saving. “This is very difficult”.
Mr Cheng said the root cause of global imbalances is spending patterns in US (and UK) and China.
“The US spends tomorrow’s money today,” he said. “We Chinese spend today’s money tomorrow. That’s why we have this financial crisis.”
Yet the consequences are not symmetric.
“He who goes borrowing, goes sorrowing,” said Mr Cheng.
It was a quote from US founding father Benjamin Franklin.
Paul Joseph Watson
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
Actor and television star Charlie Sheen has publicly requested a meeting with President Barack Obama to urge him to reopen the official investigation into 9/11 in light of the fact that the majority of the 9/11 Commission members have now publicly gone on record to express their conviction that the government agreed to lie about the official story.
Sheen’s request takes the form of a letter to the President in the context of a fictional meeting between the two entitled “20 Minutes With The President,” published exclusively on radio talk show host Alex Jones’ Infowars.com and Prison Planet.com websites.
The letter cites evidence, backed up by a substantial online bibliography, that proves the official story behind 9/11 is a fraud and that this conclusion was also reached by the majority of the 9/11 Commission members, a fact that mandates President Obama to reopen the investigation into the terrorist attacks.
Sheen expresses his hope that President Obama will follow through on his promises of change, accountability and government transparency by using his executive powers to re-examine 9/11, adding that he voted for Obama with the understanding that he would follow a different course to the Bush administration.
However, as Sheen highlights in his letter, the course of Obama’s first year in office clearly indicates that he will do nothing to reverse policies crafted by the Bush regime, and in fact has sought to exceed outrages of the previous administration in areas such as warrantless wiretapping, rendition, detention without trial, and wars in the Middle East – all of which arrived as a consequence of 9/11.
Sheen’s letter is a public declaration demanding the truth behind 9/11 as America approaches its eighth anniversary since the tragic events of that day. His questions are shared by a majority of victims’ family members, according to Bill Doyle, the representative of the largest 9/11 families group.
The letter focuses around the fact that no less than 60 per cent of the 9/11 commissioners have now publicly stated that the government agreed not to tell the truth about 9/11 and that the Pentagon was engaged in deliberate deception about their response to the attack.
Sheen also presents a plethora of other evidence to illustrate how the official story is a fraud, including the revelations of whistle blowers like FBI translator Sibel Edmonds, who recently broke a Federal gag order to expose how Bin Laden and Al-Qaeda were working for the U.S. government right up until the day of 9/11.
The issues highlighted by Sheen do not represent idle speculation or conspiracy fodder, they are documented facts that have been deliberately ignored by strawman 9/11 truth hit pieces that are now doing the rounds again as the anniversary approaches, particularly last months’ 9/11: Science and Conspiracy which was aired by the National Geographic Channel and wasted little time in portraying people who have doubts about the official 9/11 story as extremist cranks, while failing to acknowledge that the majority of the members of the 9/11 Commission have publicly expressed similar concerns.
Charlie Sheen is once again using his prominent public platform in an attempt to expand a national debate about the disturbing unanswered questions behind 9/11, having first spoken out on the issue in March 2006. After he first went public, Sheen was asked to do more and now he is doing more as he feels there is a chance to get more traction behind a new investigation with a new President in the White House.
Sheen is directly appealing to Barack Obama to read his letter and to look into the lies surrounding 9/11 for himself.
Regardless of whether or not President Obama agrees to meet with him, Sheen is confident that his letter will serve as a catalyst from which questions surrounding 9/11 and other false flag events will be brought to national attention.
This is a call to action and a declaration of war on the lies of 9/11 that have formed the foundation of the endless wars abroad and the police state at home as the Republic falls. Sheen is demanding that truth activists and those who simply care about the future of the country stand up beside him and speak truth to power.
Sheen is now urging grass roots political organizations and individuals across the country, such as the town hall protesters and We Are Change groups, to go to press conferences and other public events and demand answers about the truth behind 9/11. As much awareness as possible around the issue of false flag terrorism needs to be generated in order to prevent tragedies like 9/11 from happening again. Sheen emphasizes in his letter that we cannot let 9/11 become ancient history, try and forget about it or just move on, because if a nation forgets its history then it is doomed to repeat it.
We cannot allow governments to continue to advance their political agendas by exploiting forged pretexts, argues Sheen, and the fact that big budget hit pieces against 9/11 truth are still being rolled out proves that the establishment is upset that the population is waking up to false flag terror.
Sheen will appear live on The Alex Jones Show on Wednesday and Friday to discuss the content of his “20 Minutes With The President” piece and how he plans to move forward with this exciting new initiative. You can listen free here or subscribe to prison planet.tv to watch live streaming video.
No matter what your views are on 9/11, Sheen is begging the thinking public to look at how manymembers of the 9/11 Commission itself have questioned the official story, along with the scores of other highly credible former and current government officials, intelligence professionals, military officials, scientists, structural engineers and architects, and legal scholars who have all publicly denounced the fraud that continues to masquerade as the official 9/11 story.
For media requests on this subject email email@example.com.
September 8, 2009
Since its inception in American homes in the late 1930’s, television has essentially given America it’s culture. Today, television watching is the most popular leisure activity as more and more people are choosing the fantasy world of TV over engaging with others in real communication and experiences. Where people once wanted to explore the wonders of the world and nature, now many explore the world outside their homes only through what they view on television. Once a vast majority is living the same reality through television, then they are more predictable and easily managed. The television does an excellent job placing everyone that watches it on the same page, all sharing the same views, worries, interests, and idols.
Through the television, we are trained from birth to death as to what to believe. Many studies have demonstrated that the young unquestioningly accept whatever reality is presented by television. Impressionable children will often spend hours in front of the television each day as it is used as a trust worthy babysitter. As they sit down for their daily intake of cartoons, children’s programming and commercials, many parents fail to realize what lessons the television is teaching their children. And so culture and norms of behavior are often more strongly influenced by what is on television rather than by what parents are teaching children. The parents of today grew up in front of the television as well and so the television is not often questioned and instead accepted as a part of the family’s daily life. Children who grow up in front of the TV learn to arrange their lives around TV programming and will likely grow up to be adults who get their entertainment, news, and information from it.
Heavy television watching is culturally accepted and expected in our society. In fact, the act of not watching TV can actually offend some people. With the average American adult watching more than 4 hours of television each day, the television plays a major role in continually creating the reality in which we live. Those who create the television programming- the 6 corporations and little over 100 board members who control all American mass media outlets shape this reality. The interests of these corporations and those who lead them are to make money for both the media corporations and those corporations that the board members have special ties to. Rather than creating television shows that engages critical thinking and keeps Americans well informed on topics that may affect their well being, the TV causes us to see ourselves as consumers who need to be entertained. Television is creating a culture of occupied minds- an apathetic and passive population only interested in being entertained by mindless trivia with no interest in analyzing information and instead relying on the TV for all answers.
TV has lead us into a world controlled by science and run by experts. In predicting a “Scientific Dictatorship,” Aldous Huxley, author of Brave New World and well known for his studies on the development of new techniques by which to control and direct human behavior, described a world run by experts, which isn’t hard to imagine when we’ve been trained through our television sets to always listen to experts. Major media promotes experts on just about every topic you can imagine while implying that the public is too dumb or uneducated to make their own decisions about such topics as vaccinations, financial management, and medical interventions. In this way, the television is creating in individuals a sense of learned helplessness, leaving us dependent on those given to us as experts to direct our decisions and actions.
The act of watching TV regularly is obedience to those in control. For total control in any system, everyone must be predictable. TV creates a collectivism society, where to be an individual is seen as an enemy to the peace within the collective society. Groupthink is essential in a society where everyone is to be controlled by those in power. Aldous Huxley once said, “It is possible to make people contented with their servitude. I think this can be done. I think it has been done in the past. I think it could be done even more effectively now because you can provide them with bread and circuses and you can provide them with endless amounts of distractions and propaganda.”
“It was the most humiliating thing that has ever happened to me, ever.”
“That is what this is all about. The TSA flight screening insanity, cops drawing your blood, not being able to take family photos in front of Washington D.C. landmarks, etc. It’s getting in your mind that YOU are the potential threat. It’s sick… really sick psychological warfare being committed by the same people who are creating this false terrorist threat. All in the guise of you and your kids safety. They’ve broke you down this far without a stink. Whats next… Forced Vaccinations? DUI anal probing? It’s totally fucking cool. It’s the new thing. You’ll learn to love it!”
-Fred Face 9/6/09
LAWRENCEBURG, Ind. — An Indiana man has filed a lawsuit claiming that police forcibly withdrew blood and urine from his body during a drunken driving arrest, WLWT-TV reported.According to the suit, police arrested Jamie Lockard, 53, on suspicion of drunken driving in March.A Breathalyzer test showed he was under the legal limit, but Officer Brian Miller doubted the findings. Lockard and his attorney claim in the suit that police took him to Dearborn County Hospital and forced him to submit to a urine and blood test.Police said they obtained a warrant, but Lockard’s attorney said his client was shackled to a gurney and had a catheter inserted against his will.”It has to be executed reasonably,” said attorney Doug Garner. “No one would say this is reasonable behavior. It’s reprehensible that anyone could think that this is appropriate.”The blood test showed that Lockard’s blood-alcohol level did not exceed Indiana’s legal limit, police said.Garner said the police officer did not apologize, but instead charged Lockard with obstruction of justice.”He took it too far. He thought he could do whatever to me,” Lockard said.The suit names the Lawrenceburg police department and Dearborn County Hospital, in addition to Miller and Dr. Ronald Cheek.”I would hate for this to happen to someone else,” Lockard said. “It was the most humiliating thing that has ever happened to me, ever.”
*WARNING* “Bored at work Editorial”
“This is fucked, (read story below). I can see it right now. Some C.I.A. backed (fake) terrorist blows up one of these blue night rider trucks. Then the story comes out how the identity of these trucks were released by “Freedom of Information Act.”
(So lets get the roll down of how this would benefit our insanely criminal U.S. government):
1. The government can have a lightning rod of an example for getting rid of the Freedom of Information Act.
2. They can use a “crazy white right-wing militia dude” (CIA op) terrorist as the mastermind of this attack. When asked his reason for carrying out the attack…. because he hates having a black president. Or they can go with the proverbial Arab terrorist… so they can continue to demonize another race of people, (and to keep Americans from “fully” caring), as our government commits nothing short of genocide in Iraq & Afghanistan.
So, how does this benefit the Government??:
3. They get rid of another tool, (Freedom of Information Act), that Americans with brains can keep (minimal) tabs on their retardedly corrupt government.
4. They have a new group to demonize… good white people who speak out about the current administration. (As all of you know, who have a brain & a spine… it’s not because the president is black but because he’s as corrupt & fucked as the last idiot). And yes, I understand that their are real actual racists people who exist but it is nothing like you are being spoon fed.
5. Thus.. sending out even more “chilling affects” through the media that you are a racist if you speak out against Obama. Creating more fear and delusion amongst these kind of people who buy into it, (people who are glued to the TV watching msnbc, Olbermann, and Maddow), you know… people who can’t grasp the concept that these liberal talk shows are just as slick at providing disinformation and dividing the American people. The same corporate fuck-nuts who fund the dumb liberal shows are happily bankrolling the dumber Republican shows. Keeping y’all bickering amongst each other all the while each party screws y’all decade after decade.
“Obviously I’m not saying this is what is really going to happen with the nuclear 18-Wheeler but it’s happening 10-folds with all of the retarded racial stuff for criticising Obama. And it’s no secret that our media is 100% corporate/pentagon funded. And most importantly to understand is the left/ right paradigm that has kept the people, of all America’s glorious diversities, from having any substantial change at all.”
-Fredrick Face 9/4/09
The idea of nuclear weapons being carted around in our highways, cities and neighborhoods doesn’t really put one’s mind at ease. However, the government has been transporting seriously dangerous stuff like enriched uranium and plutonium secretly without public warning. Friends of the Earth through the Freedom of Information Act has forced the Department Of Energy to release color photos of the trucks used to transport weapons. According to FOE, these are the first of such pictures that have been released in many years.
Tom Clements, Southeastern Nuclear Campaign Coordinator with Friends of the Earth in Columbia, South Carolina made the following statement about the importance of the release of the photos.
“The trucks carrying nuclear weapons and dangerous materials such as plutonium pass through cities and neighborhoods all the time and the public should be aware of what they look like. Release of these photos will help inform the public about secretive shipments of dangerous nuclear material that are taking place in plain view.”
“Why don’t you do humanity a favor for once and just stay home & do whatever it is you guys do that keeps you from accepting the horrendous nightmare that is your lives.”
The brother of one Republican president and son of another was in Indianapolis Wednesday to tout Florida’s education reforms to Indiana’s Education Roundtable. Bush says he’s not running for anything “right now.”
“I’m focused on my own private life and trying to help others continue their public service,” Bush says. “It’s a secondary role, not a primary role, and it’ll probably remain that way.”
Bush’s hedged denial of interest stands in contrast to the man at his side as he spoke, Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels. Daniels’ name has been floated by some Republican insiders — including Bush, who’s called him one of the GOP’s top leaders — but Daniels has been unequivocal in declaring he won’t run for president or any other elected office.
Bush praises President Obama for supporting some of the same education reforms Bush backed as governor, including charter schools. But he says he disagrees with the administration’s overall path.
“I’m just very disturbed by the rapid change of who we are as a nation, or the attempt,” Bush says.
Earlier this year, Bush passed up a chance to run for the Senate seat being vacated by Florida Republican Mel Martinez, who has since resigned. Bush’s successor as governor, Charlie Crist, is running for the post.
(Hit Play & Scroll Down)
Etc… Etc… Etc..
(This is just installment # One. There’s plenty more were that came from).
By Jerry Markon
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, August 29, 2009
The attorneys singled out Erik Prince, a former Navy SEAL who is the company’s owner, for blame in the deaths of more than 20 Iraqis between 2005 and 2007. Six former Blackwater guards were criminally charged in 14 of the shootings, and family members and victims’ estates sued Prince, Blackwater (now called Xe Services LLC) and a group of related companies.
“The person responsible for these deaths is Mr. Prince,” Susan L. Burke, an attorney for the plaintiffs, said in U.S. District Court in Alexandria. “He had the intent, he provided the weapons, he provided the instructions, and they were done by his agents and they were war crimes.”
Judge T.S. Ellis III expressed deep skepticism about the claims. “Are you accusing Mr. Prince of saying ‘I want our boys to go out and shoot innocent civilians?’ ” he asked the attorneys.”These are certainly allegations of not engaging in very nice conduct, but where are the elements that meet the elements of murder? I don’t have any doubt that you can infer malice. What you can’t infer, as far as I can tell, is intent to kill these people.”
Attorneysfor the former Blackwater company denied the allegations at the hearing, which was called to consider their motion to dismiss the lawsuit. Ellis said he would issue a ruling “promptly.”
The hearing — combative in its words but respectful in tone — was the latest fallout from Blackwater’s controversial actions in Iraq. The North Carolina company, which has provided security under a lucrative State Department contract, has come under scrutiny for a string of incidents in which its heavily armed guards were accused of using excessive force.
The deadliest was a September 2007 shooting in central Baghdad in which Blackwater guards opened fire on Iraqis in a crowded street, killing 17 civilians. The company has said the guards’ convoy came under fire. Five former Blackwater guards have been indicted on federal charges in 14 of those shootings. A sixth guard pleaded guilty.
The lawsuit cites that incident and other shootings to accuse the company of “lawless behavior.” A consolidation of five earlier lawsuits, it says the company covered up killings and hired known mercenaries. In sworn affidavits recently filed by the plaintiffs’ attorneys, two anonymous former Blackwater employees also say — without citing evidence — that the company may have conspired to murder witnesses in the criminal probe.
Attorneys for Blackwater say the lawsuit should be dismissed on a variety of legal grounds and that although the deaths were tragic, the guards were closely supervised by U.S. government officials. The allegations “go far beyond describing the harm allegedly suffered by Plaintiffs,” the Blackwater attorneys wrote in their motion to dismiss. “They include an encyclopedia of vituperative assertions.”
The Blackwater attorneys are also calling on the judge to strike the affidavits from the former employees from the court record, calling them “scandalous and baseless” and designed to get publicity. Ellis has yet to rule on that motion.
Xe-Blackwater warcrimes case: complaint, 2009
This complaint forms part of a lawsuit filed against the US mercenary firm Blackwater for war crimes, wrongful death, summary exectuion, and other matters. It is a public record, but currently only available for a fee from PACER.
There is an outstanding motion to seal two exhibits by anonymous Blackwater employees which contain reports about the company’s allegedly illegal actions.
Paul Joseph Watson
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
According to testimony given at a Missouri House of Representatives meeting yesterday, anarchists attempted to get other protesters to commit criminal acts during the End the Fed protests late last year, in what was a possible attempt to instigate chaos to justify a harsh crackdown on behalf of the authorities.
In March it came to light that the End the Fed protests, which took place at banks and regional Federal Reserve branches across the country on November 22, were being monitored closely by the United States Army Reserve Command, who implied that those protesting against the Fed and the bankster bailout were essentially terrorists.
On November 22, 2008, Alex Jones led a rally at the Federal Reserve Bank in Dallas Texas. The Dallas protest is specifically mentioned in the official Army document. Ron Paul’s brother was also in attendance.
During testimony given in response to the infamous Missouri Information Analysis Center (MIAC) report, a document authored by Missouri Highway Patrol and distributed to fellow law enforcement agencies that characterizes Ron Paul supporters, libertarians, people who display political bumper stickers, people who own gold, or even people who fly a U.S. flag as potential domestic terrorists, one of the organizers who attended the protests said that “anarchists” attempted to recruit followers and encouraged them to commit illegal acts.
“My group was at the End the Fed rally and there were a bunch of different groups there,” Cisse Spragin told the Missouri House of Representatives on Monday. “And there was this group of anarchists who started talking to us. And then they tried to recruit us or have us join their group. Then they started telling us what should we should write on our signs, and insisting on letting them re-write some of our signs. Later we overheard them saying they couldn’t even get us to jaywalk.”
Spragin’s testimony suggests that the anarchists were attempting to steer the nature of the protests in the opposite direction to guidelines published by End the Fed rally organizers before the protests which called for “Cooperation and respect for local laws and authorities,” and “No blocking of pedestrian or vehicular traffic.”
This wouldn’t be the first time that anarchist groups have been used as a tool with which to stir chaos. As we have documented before, the black bloc anarchist groups are routinely infiltrated and steered by authorities who use them to provoke disorder as a pretext to crack down on legitimate demonstrators.
During the April 2009 G20 summit in London, police stood back and watched anarchists attack banks and other buildings in an incident that had all the hallmarks of a staged event.
Following the SPP protests in Canada in 2007, Quebec provincial authorities were forced to admit that three rock-wielding black mask-wearing “anarchists” were in fact police infiltrators used to gather information on protesters.
Video shows two of the provocateurs pick up rocks and try to incite violence before they are outed as cops by legitimate demonstrators. The two thugs then tried to slip behind police lines before their fellow officers were forced to stage their arrest. Again, the fact that they were cops in disguise was later admitted by authorities.
Alex Jones’ film Police State 2: The Takeover exposed how the black bloc anarchists were completely infiltrated and provocateured by the authorities during the violent 1999 WTO protests in Seattle.
The authorities declared a state of emergency, imposed curfews and resorted to nothing short of police state tactics in response to a small minority of hostile black bloc hooligans. Police allowed the black bloc to run riot in downtown Seattle while they concentrated on preventing the movement of peaceful protestors. The film presents clear evidence that the black bloc anarchist group was actually controlled by the state and used to demonize peaceful protesters. Watch the video below.
At the WTO protests in Genoa 2001 a protestor was killed after being shot in the head and run over twice by a police vehicle. The Italian Carabinere also later beat on peaceful protestors as they slept, and even tortured some, at the Diaz School. It later emerged that the police fabricated evidence against the protesters, claiming they were anarchist rioters, to justify their actions. Some Carabiniere officials have since come forward to say they knew of infiltration of the so called black bloc anarchists, and that fellow officers acted as agent provocateurs.
At the Free Trade Area of Americas protests in Miami in late November 2003, more provocateuring was evident. The United Steelworkers of America calling for a congressional investigation, stated that the police intentionally caused violence and arrested and charged hundreds of peaceful protestors.
“They“, (being the real people who really run this country… not puppet Obama… though he sure ain’t helping), may use Blackwater like Hitler used his SS scum-fuck’s to help run this country in the ground. It’s a huge throbbing steroid of a possibility. This will be their army to carry out all the treasonous actions that 99% of real working-class service men & women would not carry out against their own country. They’ll use little yuppie toy soldiers from homophobic Erik Prince’s fairy stable. (If that sounds like the most ridiculous thing ever said then look into the companies history). These are the kind of people to worry about. Not fake middle-eastern or, (the media’s new one), right-wing American terrorists. These Blackwater guys are no good. Period.
“Well ok… they’ve done one good thing… you can thank Eric Prince for driving even more good American people into gun ownership.”
-Fred Face 8/31/09
August 31, 2009
Dear Friend of Liberty,
Our grassroots Revolution has set its sights on restoring a sound monetary policy to our nation, and every day we are awakening more of our countrymen to the dangers of Federal Reserve secrecy and its stranglehold on our economy.
A year ago, no one in the political establishment would have believed that a bill to thoroughly audit the Fed would have almost two-thirds of the House (including every Republican representative and nearly one hundred Democrats) and a quarter of the Senate on board.
Certainly, no one would have bet that three-fourths of the American people would supportsuch an audit.
As many of you may have heard by now, recent statements from Representative Barney Frank, chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, have indicated that the House will vote on Audit the Fed in the next few months.
However, rather than voting on HR 1207 as a standalone bill, many in Congress hope to roll it into the comprehensive regulatory reform package recently proposed by the White House.
This reform package grants new, more comprehensive powers to the Fed and strengthens the government’s control over our economy. C4L and other friends of liberty stand in opposition to this proposal, as well as any other attempt to convert this historic movement for transparency into yet another rubber-stamping of politics as usual.
It is imperative that Audit the Fed come before the House and Senate on its own merits.
The American people stand behind a thorough audit of the Fed, and we should not be adding additional powers when we don’t fully know what is being done with the ones they currently have.
Call Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office today at (202) 225-0100 and urge her to stand with the American people by giving the Audit the Fed bill full debate and a standalone vote on the House floor.
Click herefor contact information for your representatives and senators and ask them to get behind Audit the Fed if they have not yet done so. If they have already cosponsored, tell them to push for a roll call vote on HR 1207 and S 604 on the bills’ own merits.
Our movement has worked hard to bring transparency and accountability to one of the nation’s most secretive institutions. Audit the Fed has received a bipartisan level of support that is very rare in politics today.
Together, we can see a comprehensive audit of the Federal Reserve signed into law, but it should not be accompanied by more of the same interventionist legislation that helped create the current crisis.
P.S. Click hereto take action, and don’t forget to tell your family and friends about AuditTheFed.com, where they can view the coalition in support of transparency, sign a petition, and learn more about this historic effort.
Saturday, August 29, 2009 by: Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, NaturalNews Editor
(NaturalNews) Vaccines are the quackery of modern medicine. Mass vaccination programs not only fail to protect the population from infectious disease, they actuallyaccelerate the spread of disease in many cases.
Many website have cropped up over the last few years to counter the pro-vaccine propaganda put out by drug companies (who profit from vaccines) and health regulators (who serve the drug companies). One of those sites iswww.VaccinationDebate.com , which lists the following historical facts about vaccines:
• In the USA in 1960, two virologists discovered that bothpolio vaccines were contaminated with the SV 40 virus which causes cancer in animals as well as changes in human cell tissue cultures. Millions of children had been injected with these vaccines. (Med Jnl of Australia 17/3/1973 p555)
• In 1871-2, England, with 98% of the population aged between 2 and 50 vaccinated against smallpox, it experienced its worst ever smallpox outbreak with 45,000 deaths. During the same period in Germany, with avaccination rate of 96%, there were over 125,000 deaths from smallpox. (http://www.soilandhealth.org/02/020…)
The Hadwen Documents
• In Germany, compulsory mass vaccination against diphtheria commenced in 1940 and by 1945 diphtheria cases were up from 40,000 to 250,000. (Don’t Get Stuck, Hannah Allen)
• In 1967, Ghana was declared measles free by the World Health Organisation after 96% of its population was vaccinated. In 1972, Ghana experienced one of its worst measles outbreaks with its highest ever mortality rate. (Dr H Albonico, MMR Vaccine Campaign in Switzerland, March 1990)
• In 1977, Dr Jonas Salk who developed the first polio vaccine, testified along with other scientists, that mass inoculation against polio was the cause of most polio cases throughout the USA since 1961. (Science 4/4/77 “Abstracts” )
• In the UK between 1970 and 1990, over 200,000 cases of whooping cough occurred in fully vaccinated children. (Community Disease Surveillance Centre, UK)
• In the 1970’s a tuberculosis vaccine trial in India involving 260,000 people revealed that more cases of TB occurred in the vaccinated than the unvaccinated. (The Lancet 12/1/80 p73)
• In 1978, a survey of 30 States in the US revealed that more than half of the children who contracted measles had been adequately vaccinated. (The People’s Doctor, Dr R Mendelsohn)
• The February 1981 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association found that 90% of obstetricians and 66% of pediatricians refused to take the rubella vaccine.
• In 1979, Sweden abandoned the whooping cough vaccine due to its ineffectiveness. Out of 5,140 cases in 1978, it was found that 84% had been vaccinated three times! (BMJ 283:696-697, 1981)
• In the USA, the cost of a single DPT shot had risen from 11 cents in 1982 to $11.40 in 1987. The manufacturers of the vaccine were putting aside $8 per shot to cover legal costs and damages they were paying out to parents of brain damaged children and children who died after vaccination. (The Vine, Issue 7, January 1994, Nambour, Qld)
By PAMELA HESS and MATT APUZZO – THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
WASHINGTON (AP) — With just two weeks of training, or about half the time it takes to become a truck driver, the CIA certified its spies as interrogation experts after 9/11 and handed them the keys to the most coercive tactics in the agency’s arsenal.
It was a haphazard process, cobbled together in the months following the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington by an agency that had never been in the interrogation business. The result was a patchwork program in which rules kept shifting and the goals often were unclear.
At times, the interrogators went too far, even beyond the wide latitude they were given under the Bush administration’s flexible guidelines, according to newly unclassified documents released Monday. Interrogators took the simulated drowning technique of waterboarding beyond what was authorized. Mock executions were held. Family members were threatened. There were hints of rape.
If it was a terrifying process for the detainees, it was a bureaucratic nightmare for the interrogators. Until 2003, the agency provided its interrogators with rules on a case-by-case basis, sometimes giving permission by e-mail or even orally from CIA headquarters.
Despite the lack of clarity, interrogators were required to sign documents saying they understood the rules and would comply with them. Yet they were given ample room to improvise and make decisions about how much humanity to show to terror detainees.
While former Vice President Dick Cheney said the interrogation program was run by “highly trained professionals who understand their obligations under the law,” the newly released documents suggest otherwise, at least in the early months.
The interrogators slapped prisoners, held a handgun to one’s head, used power drills to make threats and left men shackled and naked in frigid rooms until they cooperated.
“How cold is cold?” one officer said in the 2004 CIA inspector general’s report released Monday. “How cold is life threatening?”
The CIA’s Counterterrorism Center began training interrogators in November 2002, two months after suspected terrorist Abu Zubaydah already had been repeatedly subjected to waterboarding.
But because the CIA had so little information about al-Qaida, CIA analysts could only speculate about what the detainees “should know,” hobbling the interrogators’ ability to ask meaningful questions and identify misleading or useful answers.
Some in the CIA correctly feared that the existence of the program would leak out someday. Others worried they’d be identified by name in news stories.
“One officer expressed concern that, one day, agency officers will wind up on some ‘wanted list’ to appear before the World Court for war crimes,” the inspector general wrote.
Another added, “Ten years from now we’re going to be sorry we’re doing this … (but) it has to be done.”
Even the Justice Department, which authorized the interrogation program, conceded in a 2004 memo that “at least in some instances and particularly early in the program,” the program appeared to have gone off track.
Attorney General Eric Holder appointed a prosecutor Monday to look into whether such incidents amounted to violation of federal law. He said nobody who operated within the framework of the Justice Department’s legal opinions will be charged.
But the program that the Bush administration’s Justice Department approved in the wake of the Sept. 11 terror attacks began to short-circuit almost immediately.
In August 2002, government lawyers said interrogators were not supposed to use harsh tactics until all other methods had failed. But three months later, when officials captured the terrorism suspect Abd al-Nashiri, believed to be behind the bombing of the USS Cole, interrogators immediately launched into enhanced tactics.
And the method of waterboarding used by the CIA did not always resemble the clinical, closely supervised process that the Justice Department approved. One official, explaining why interrogators were pouring excessive amounts of water over a detainee’s cloth-covered mouth and nose, said, “It is for real.”
Another interrogator repeatedly choked off the carotid artery of a prisoner, causing the detainee to pass out, then shaking him awake again. The interrogator had only recently been trained in interrogation tactics and had previous experience only in debriefing, the practice of questioning people already willing to cooperate.
As late as September 2003, the CIA was still sending mixed signals to its interrogators.
“No formal mechanisms were in place to ensure that personnel going to the field were briefed on the existing legal and policy guidance,” the report said.
It was a debriefer, not a trained interrogator, who threatened alleged al-Nashiri with a power drill and an unloaded gun. Such threats violate U.S. anti-torture laws.
It’s not clear from CIA reports whether waterboarding or other aggressive tactics made America safer, as Cheney has long claimed. CIA officials credited the detention and interrogation program with thwarting several terrorist attacks. But investigators said it’s less certain that waterboarding or other coercive tactics directly contributed to that success.
In one case, CIA officials staged a mock execution to terrify a detainee into cooperating. Mock executions are prohibited under U.S. law. But authorities believed the detainee was withholding information, and they felt they needed to get creative. So they pretended to kill another detainee in a nearby room.
It was an elaborate setup, complete with a guard playing a dead detainee.
But the scheme apparently didn’t work. A senior officer later said the effort was so obviously a ruse, it yielded no benefit to interrogators.
Here’s what Rockefeller said in 1994 at a U.N. dinner: “We are on the verge of a global transformation. All we need is the right major crisis, and the nations will accept the New World Order.”
They’re gaming us. Our country has been stolen from us.
Publisher of Hustler magazine and free speech advocate
The American government — which we once called our government — has been taken over by Wall Street, the mega-corporations and the super-rich. They are the ones who decide our fate. It is this group of powerful elites, the people President Franklin D. Roosevelt called “economic royalists,” who choose our elected officials — indeed, our very form of government. Both Democrats and Republicans dance to the tune of their corporate masters. In America, corporations do not control the government. In America, corporations are the government.
This was never more obvious than with the Wall Street bailout, whereby the very corporations that caused the collapse of our economy were rewarded with taxpayer dollars. So arrogant, so smug were they that, without a moment’s hesitation, they took our money — yours and mine — to pay their executives multimillion-dollar bonuses, something they continue doing to this very day. They have no shame. They don’t care what you and I think about them. Henry Kissinger refers to us as “useless eaters.”
But, you say, we have elected a candidate of change. To which I respond: Do these words of President Obama sound like change?
“A culture of irresponsibility took root, from Wall Street to Washington to Main Street.”
There it is. Right there. We are Main Street. We must, according to our president, share the blame. He went on to say: “And a regulatory regime basically crafted in the wake of a 20th-century economic crisis — the Great Depression — was overwhelmed by the speed, scope and sophistication of a 21st-century global economy.”
This is nonsense.
The reason Wall Street was able to game the system the way it did — knowing that they would become rich at the expense of the American people (oh, yes, they most certainly knew that) — was because the financial elite had bribed our legislators to roll back the protections enacted after the Stock Market Crash of 1929.
Congress gutted the Glass-Steagall Act, which separated commercial lending banks from investment banks, and passed the Commodity Futures Modernization Act, which allowed for self-regulation with no oversight. The Securities and Exchange Commission subsequently revised its rules to allow for even less oversight — and we’ve all seen how well that worked out. To date, no serious legislation has been offered by the Obama administration to correct these problems.
Instead, Obama wants to increase the oversight power of the Federal Reserve. Never mind that it already had significant oversight power before our most recent economic meltdown, yet failed to take action. Never mind that the Fed is not a government agency but a cartel of private bankers that cannot be held accountable by Washington. Whatever the Fed does with these supposed new oversight powers will be behind closed doors.
Obama’s failure to act sends one message loud and clear: He cannot stand up to the powerful Wall Street interests that supplied the bulk of his campaign money for the 2008 election. Nor, for that matter, can Congress, for much the same reason.
Consider what multibillionaire banker David Rockefeller wrote in his 2002 memoirs:
“Some even believe we are part of a secret cabal working against the best interests of the United States, characterizing my family and me as ‘internationalists’ and of conspiring with others around the world to build a more integrated global political and economic structure — one world, if you will. If that’s the charge, I stand guilty, and I am proud of it.”
Read Rockefeller’s words again. He actually admits to working against the “best interests of the United States.”
Need more? Here’s what Rockefeller said in 1994 at a U.N. dinner: “We are on the verge of a global transformation. All we need is the right major crisis, and the nations will accept the New World Order.” They’re gaming us. Our country has been stolen from us.
Journalist Matt Taibbi, writing in Rolling Stone, notes that esteemed economist John Kenneth Galbraith laid the 1929 crash at the feet of banking giant Goldman Sachs. Taibbi goes on to say that Goldman Sachs has been behind every other economic downturn as well, including the most recent one. As if that wasn’t enough, Goldman Sachs even had a hand in pushing gas prices up to $4 a gallon.
The problem with bankers is longstanding. Here’s what one of our Founding Fathers, Thomas Jefferson, had to say about them:
“If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issuance of their currency, first by inflation, and then by deflation, the banks and the corporations that will grow up around them will deprive the people of all property until their children wake up homeless on the continent their father’s conquered.”
We all know that the first American Revolution officially began in 1776, with the Declaration of Independence. Less well known is that the single strongest motivating factor for revolution was the colonists’ attempt to free themselves from the Bank of England. But how many of you know about the second revolution, referred to by historians as Shays’ Rebellion? It took place in 1786-87, and once again the banks were the cause. This time they were putting the screws to America’s farmers.Daniel Shays was a farmer in western Massachusetts. Like many other farmers of the day, he was being driven into bankruptcy by the banks’ predatory lending practices. (Sound familiar?) Rallying other farmers to his side, Shays led his rebels in an attack on the courts and the local armory. The rebellion itself failed, but a message had been sent: The bankers (and the politicians who supported them) ultimately backed off. As Thomas Jefferson famously quipped in regard to the insurrection: “A little rebellion now and then is a good thing. The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.”
Perhaps it’s time to consider that option once again.
I’m calling for a national strike, one designed to close the country down for a day. The intent? Real campaign-finance reform and strong restrictions on lobbying. Because nothing will change until we take corporate money out of politics. Nothing will improve until our politicians are once again answerable to their constituents, not the rich and powerful.
Let’s set a date. No one goes to work. No one buys anything. And if that isn’t effective — if the politicians ignore us — we do it again. And again. And again.
The real war is not between the left and the right. It is between the average American and the ruling class. If we come together on this single issue, everything else will resolve itself. It’s time we took back our government from those who would make us their slaves.
August 22, 2009
Here is a chart released by the government that claims to show the percentage of unemployed people in the United States as of July, 2009. It is a fictional snapshot of the actual number of unemployed and under-employed people.
As economics professor John Miller notes in an article posted on the Dollars&Sense website, the actual number of unemployed and — importantly — under-employed people is actually in the double-digits, probably twice the official figure. Miller writes that government figures
dramatically understate the true extent of unemployment. First, they exclude anyone without a job who is ready to work but has not actively looked for a job in the previous four weeks. The Bureau of Labor Statistics classifies such workers as “marginally attached to the labor force” so long as they have looked for work within the last year. Marginally attached workers include so-called discouraged workers who have given up looking for job-related reasons, plus others who have given up for reasons such as school and family responsibilities, ill health, or transportation problems.
The government figures also leave out out part-time workers looking for full-time work because part-time workers are “employed” even if they work as little as one hour a week, according the the bean counters and number crunchers in the district of criminals. “The vast majority of people working part time involuntarily have had their hours cut due to slack or unfavorable business conditions,” Miller explains. “The rest are working part time because they could only find part-time work.” Miller notes that “forced part-time work” is at an all-time high, going all the way back to 1956 and including the 1982 recession. In May 2009, 8.8 million workers were forced to work part time for economic reasons, in other words they were forced out of the job market by the banksters and their long-standing plot to turn the country into a third world cesspool (the latter was not stated by Mr. Miller).
During the last bankster engineered economic depression in the 1930s, the official unemployment rate was 24.9%. If we accept the premise that the actual unemployment rate is double the officially cooked figures, then the states in the above chart with 12 percent or higher unemployment are actually experiencing unemployment on par with the so-called Great Depression. If we accept the “or higher” on the chart, some parts of the country are suffering unemployment worse than the Great Depression.
The GDP is now floundering in negative territory — officially at -1.89% — which means massive job losses will continue. Conventional economic wisdom states that in order to maintain stable employment, the GDP must be around 2.5% per year and it must go much higher to make up for the catastrophic losses suffered since the “recession” began in November, 2007.
Once again, the government is playing a shell game with the numbers. The GDP numbers are distorted by manipulation of the money supply, which creates inflation. If you look at the Federal Reserve’s M3 data, you will see that GDP has decreased substantially since 1990. In order to hide this from the American people, the Fed stopped publishing the M3 monetary aggregate report on March 23, 2006. The discontinuation of the M3 “detracts from the transparency the Fed preaches and adds to the suspicion that the Fed wants to hide anything showing money growth high enough to fuel inflation, just so people won’t know how bad it is and possibly react and thus make it worse,” writes Bud Conrad for Financial Sense.
Or react and storm the castle with pitch forks and raised fists.
Earlier this month, the U.S. government told the one-worlders at the European Union that at the end of the third quarter it will not meet its forecast for the annual budget deficit and the forecast must be revised to a figure in excess of 10.75%. On Saturday, Obama’s budget office said the figure will be 11.2% of GDP, a staggering $1.8 trillion, the highest deficit as a percentage of GDP since 1945 when the people were obliged to pay for the last world war created by the banksters and their international minions.
In order to give this dire situation a somewhat softer and fuzzier glow, Obama’s folks removed from the 2009 budget deficit projection $250 billion given away to the banksters.
Even if the “recession” ends this quarter — and in the meantime, you may as well wish for a pony — Obama’s number crunchers admit unemployment will continue to skyrocket. “Unemployment has continued to rise for several months after six of the past seven recessions. That’s just what it does as a lagging indicator,” write the brain surgeons over at the CIA’s favorite newspaper, the Washington Post. “What we’ll be watching for, however, is whether the gap between the officially and unofficially unemployed continues to grow. If it does, this recovery will take even longer than people think.”
Of course, we shouldn’t expect the Grand Dame of Operation Mockingbird to level with us, even if her scribes realized the truth — the “economic crisis” is an engineered affair. It is the largest and most elaborate transfer of wealth from the people to the banksters in the history of mankind.
Back when Obama signed the so-called American Recovery and Reinvestment Act — absurdly called the “stimulus” bill — he said the plan would create three and a half million jobs over a two year period and that unemployment would be less than 8 percent — 16 percent? — by June of 2009. The corporate media is now turning somersaults over an officially reported drop in unemployment — from 9.5% in June to 9.4% (multiply by two) — but with the caveat that things will get worse before they get better.
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out things will get worse — much worse — and there will be no recovery at the end of the rainbow.
“There is no economy left to recover. The US manufacturing economy was lost to offshoring and free trade ideology,” economist and former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury Paul Craig Roberts wrote last month. “The real economy was traded away for a make-believe economy. When the make-believe economy collapsed, Americans’ wealth in their real estate, pensions, and savings collapsed dramatically while their jobs disappeared.” Americans are “over their heads in debt. Jobs are disappearing. America’s consumer economy, approximately 70% of GDP, is dead. Those Americans who still have jobs are saving against the prospect of job loss. Millions are homeless. Some have moved in with family and friends; others are living in tent cities.”
“Obama’s policy, like Bush’s before him, is keyed to the enrichment of Goldman Sachs and the armament industries,” Roberts concluded.
“Will Americans realize that they are not ruled by elected representatives but by an oligarchy that owns the Washington whorehouse?” the economist wrote more recently. “Will Americans ever understand that they are impotent serfs?”
At this late hour, it remains to be seen.
Cindy Sheehan’s Soapbox
August 21, 2009
“Hate begets hate; violence begets violence; toughness begets a greater toughness. We must meet the forces of hate with the power of love…” Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 1958
“There comes a time when silence is betrayal…” Dr. King, 1967
I remember back in the good ol’ days of 2005 and 2006 when being against the wars was not only politically correct, but it was very popular. I remember receiving dozens of awards, uncountable accolades and even was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.
Those were the halcyon days of the anti-war movement before the Democrats took over the government (off of the backs of the anti-war movement) and it became anathema to be against the wars and I became unpopular on all sides. I guess at that point, I could have gone with the flow and pretended to support the violence so I could remain popular, but I think I have to fiercely hold on to my core values whether I am “liked” or not.
Killing is wrong no matter if it is state-sanction murder or otherwise. Period. Not too much more to say on that subject, except what I quote above from Dr. King.
However, while the so-called left is obsessed over supporting a very crappy Democratic health care plan, people in far away countries are being deprived of their health and very lives by the Obama Regime’s continuation of Bush’s ruinous foreign policy.
I was never dismayed when the so-called right attacked me and called me names for protesting Bush. However, something inside me gets a little sick when I hear people who claim to be peace activists supporting the Obama Administration’s foreign policy, a policy that is not like Bush’s in the fact that it’s much worse.
I have been called a “racist” from the so-called left. In these people’s opinion, I was totally justified in protesting Bush, but I am a racist for protesting the same policies under Obama. When I opposed Bush’s policies, I was called traitor, anti-American, anti-Semitic, and other names I cannot print. Name-calling is a great way to shut down critical thinking and discussion. And, not to mention, I think the murder of innocent life in the Iraq-Af-Pak regions is racist and morally corrupt.
There are many people in this country who oppose Obama because they’re racist, but I am not one of them. I oppose Obama’s policies because they are wrong…again, period!
One cannot obfuscate when innocent lives are being destroyed, here and abroad. We cannot allow “political reality” to get in the way of morality. Human sacrifice is not worth the political reality. Violence, killing, war and more war are NEVER the solution to any problem. Period.
If Obama has violent shadow forces around him pulling him in the direction of violence, which begets more violence and more resistance; then we, especially people in the peace or anti-war movements need to gather and organize to pull him in the direction towards peaceful conflict resolution and solutions that aren’t based on exploiting people’s fears, anxieties or ignorance.
I am going to Martha’s Vineyard because we have the moral high ground. The war supporters aren’t going to protest Obama’s wars. They are strangely silent over his foreign policy, unless they are praising it.
I am going to Martha’s Vineyard because someone has to speak for the babies of Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan that do not deserve the horrible fate that has been handed to them by the US Military Industrial Complex. The voiceless need a voice, and even if I am called every name in the book by all sides, I will speak up for them.
I am going to Martha’s Vineyard because so many people have been blinded to the fact that the system has momentum that rolls on and over and around no matter who is the titular head of the system.
Let’s just pretend that elections are fair in this country and my candidate, Cynthia McKinney, won for president. If she wasn’t able to rein in the systemic violence, then I would be going wherever she vacationed to protest her policies, too. I guess at that point, I would not only be called “racist,” but I would be called a “self-hating female.”
In a recent conversation someone was trying to convince me that I should not be so stridently opposed to Obama’s policies and I responded that today 75 people were killed and 300 people were wounded in a bomb blast in Iraq and 26 mostly women and children were killed in a wedding party in Afghanistan this week and she said: “Oh, that wouldn’t be acceptable if it happened here.”
And that ‘s the problem: it’s not acceptable if it happens anywhere, to anybody, no matter who is President of the USA.
Not only is the death toll mounting for innocent civilians but also is once again climbing for our troops.
While the “festivities” are occurring on Martha’s Vineyard next week, there are families all over the world who will never again be able to fully feel festive. Ahhhh…. everyone should just stand down, relax and sip an Obamarita on the beach…Hope reigns once again in The Empire.
And, yes, we are going to Martha’s Vineyard to get attention. We vehemently want to call attention to all of the points I have made above.
Even though there is a small anti-war, peace movement in this country, there still is one and this movement has the moral high ground and punditry, personal attacks, glitzy marketing, or “political realities won’t drown us out.
Members of Dr. King’s own caucus tried to convince him not to publicly speak out against the Vietnam war, and that’s when he delivered his brilliant Beyond Vietnam speech at the Riverside Church in NYC exactly one year before he was assassinated. That speech was in response to the critics. Dr. King took the moral high ground when he said: “There comes a time when silence is betrayal.”
That time has now come, once again. By our silence we are betraying humanity.
Love the President or hate him, or anywhere in between, but we must speak out loudly and without any timidity against the institutional violence of the US Empire.
“Once again… scum Inc.”
Written by Farooq Hussain
by Prof. Peter Dale Scott
Former FBI translator and founder of the National Security Whistleblowers Coalition, Sibel Edmonds.
Against All Enemies
July 31, 2009
Sibel Edmonds on the Mike Malloy Show, hour 1
Sibel Edmonds on the Mike Malloy Show, hour 2
In the interview, Sibel says that the US maintained ‘intimate relations’ with Bin Laden, and the Taliban, “all the way until that day of September 11.”
These ‘intimate relations’ included using Bin Laden for ‘operations’ in Central Asia, including Xinjiang, China. These ‘operations’ involved using al Qaeda and the Taliban in the same manner “as we did during the Afghan and Soviet conflict,” that is, fighting ‘enemies’ via proxies.
As Sibel has previously described, and as she reiterates in this latest interview, this process involved using Turkey (with assistance from ‘actors from Pakistan, and Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia’) as a proxy, which in turn used Bin Laden and the Taliban and others as a proxy terrorist army.
Control of Central Asia
The goals of the American ’statesmen’ directing these activities included control of Central Asia’s vast energy supplies and new markets for military products.
The Americans had a problem, though. They needed to keep their fingerprints off these operations to avoid a) popular revolt in Central Asia ( Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan), and b) serious repercussions from China and Russia. They found an ingenious solution: Use their puppet-state Turkey as a proxy, and appeal to both pan-Turkic and pan-Islam sensibilities.
Turkey, a NATO ally, has a lot more credibility in the region than the US and, with the history of the Ottoman Empire, could appeal to pan-Turkic dreams of a wider sphere of influence. The majority of the Central Asian population shares the same heritage, language and religion as the Turks.
In turn, the Turks used the Taliban and al Qaeda, appealing to their dreams of a pan-Islamic caliphate (Presumably. Or maybe the Turks/US just paid very well.)
According to Sibel:
This started more than a decade-long illegal, covert operation in Central Asia by a small group in the US intent on furthering the oil industry and the Military Industrial Complex, using Turkish operatives, Saudi partners and Pakistani allies, furthering this objective in the name of Islam.
Of course, Sibel isn’t the first or only person to recognize any of this. Eric Margolis, one of the best reporters in the West on matters of Central Asia, stated that the Uighurs in the training camps in Afghanistan up to 2001:
“were being trained by Bin Laden to go and fight the communist Chinese in Xinjiang, and this was not only with the knowledge, but with the support of the CIA, because they thought they might use them if war ever broke out with China.”
And also that:
“Afghanistan was not a hotbed of terrorism, these were commando groups, guerrilla groups, being trained for specific purposes in Central Asia.”
In a separate interview, Margolis said:
“That illustrates Henry Kissinger’s bon mot that the only thing more dangerous than being America’s enemy is being an ally, because these people were paid by the CIA, they were armed by the US, these Chinese Muslims from Xinjiang, the most-Western province.
The CIA was going to use them in the event of a war with China, or just to raise hell there, and they were trained and supported out of Afghanistan, some of them with Osama Bin Laden’s collaboration. The Americans were up to their ears with this.”
Last year, Sibel came up with a brilliant idea to expose some of the criminal activity that she is forbidden to speak about: she published eighteen photos, titled “Sibel Edmonds’ State Secrets Privilege Gallery,” of people involved the operations that she has been trying to expose. One of those people is Anwar Yusuf Turani, the so-called ‘President-in-exile’ of East Turkistan (Xinjiang). This so-called ‘government-in-exile’ was ‘established‘ on Capitol Hill in September, 2004, drawing a sharp rebuke from China.
Also featured in Sibel’s Rogues Gallery was ‘former’ spook Graham Fuller, who was instrumental in the establishment of Turani’s ‘government-in-exile’ of East Turkistan. Fuller has written extensively on Xinjiang, and his “ Xinjiang Project” for Rand Corp is apparently the blueprint for Turani’s government-in-exile. Sibel has openly stated her contempt for Mr. Fuller.
The Turkish establishment has a long history of mingling matters of state with terrorism, drug trafficking and other criminal activity, best exemplified by the 1996 Susurluk incident which exposed the so-called Deep State.
Sibel states that “a few main Susurluk actors also ended up in Chicago where they centered ‘certain’ aspects of their operations (Especially East Turkistan-Uighurs).”
One of the main Deep State actors, Mehmet Eymur, former Chief of Counter-Terrorism for Turkey’s intelligence agency, the MIT, features in Sibel’s Rogues Gallery. Eymur was given exile in the US. Another member of Sibel’s gallery, Marc Grossman was Ambassador to Turkey at the time that the Susurluk incident exposed the Deep State. He was recalled shortly after, prior to the end of his assignment, as was Grossman’s underling, Major Douglas Dickerson, who later tried to recruit Sibel into the spying ring.
The modus operandi of the Susurluk gang is the same as the activities that Sibel describes as taking place in Central Asia, the only difference is that this activity was exposed in Turkey a decade ago, whereas the organs of the state in the US, including the corporate media, have successfully suppressed this story.
Chechnya, Albania & Kosovo
Central Asia is not the only place where American foreign policy makers have shared interests with Bin Laden. Consider the war in Chechnya. As I documented here, Richard Perle and Stephen Solarz (both in Sibel’s gallery) joined other leading neocon luminaries such as Elliott Abrams, Kenneth Adelman, Frank Gaffney, Michael Ledeen, James Woolsey, and Morton Abramowitz in a group called the American Committee for Peace in Chechnya (ACPC). For his part, Bin Laden donated $25 million to the cause, as well as numerous fighters, and technical expertise, establishing training camps.
US interests also converged with those of al-Qaeda in Kosovo and Albania.
Of course, it is not uncommon for circumstances to arise where ‘the enemy of my enemy is my friend.’ On the other hand, in a transparent democracy, we expect a full accounting of the circumstances leading up to a tragic event like 9/11. The 9/11 Commission was supposed to provide exactly that.
Sibel has famously been dubbed the most gagged woman in America, having the State Secrets Privilege imposed on her twice. Her 3.5 hour testimony to the 9/11 Commission has been entirely suppressed, reduced to a single footnote which refers readers to her classified testimony.
In the interview, she says that the information that was classified in her case specifically identifies that the US was using Bin Laden and the Taliban in Central Asia, including Xinjiang. In the interview, Sibel reiterates that when invoking the gag orders, the US government claims that it is protecting ” ’sensitive diplomatic relations,’ protecting Turkey, protecting Israel, protecting Pakistan, protecting Saudi Arabia…” This is no doubt partially true, but it is also true that they are protecting themselves too, and it is a crime in the US to use classification and secrecy to cover up crimes.
As Sibel says in the interview:
I have information about things that our government has lied to us about… those things can be proven as lies, very easily, based on the information they classified in my case, because we did carry very intimate relationship with these people, and it involves Central Asia, all the way up to September 11.
The bombshell here is obviously that certain people in the US were using Bin Laden up to September 11, 2001.
It is important to understand why: the US outsourced terror operations to al Qaeda and the Taliban for many years, promoting the Islamization of Central Asia in an attempt to personally profit off military sales as well as oil and gas concessions.
The silence by the US government on these matters is deafening. So, too, is the blowback.
An interesting ad in USA Today…
Source: Rolling Stone / Youtube
Matt Taibbi on how Goldman Sachs has engineered every major market manipulation since the Great Depression.
In Rolling Stone Issue 1082-83, Matt Taibbi takes on “the Wall Street Bubble Mafia” — investment bank Goldman Sachs. The piece has generated controversy, with Goldman Sachs firing back that Taibbi’s piece is “an hysterical compilation of conspiracy theories” and a spokesman adding, “We reject the assertion that we are inflators of bubbles and profiteers in busts, and we are painfully conscious of the importance in being a force for good.” Taibbi shot back: “Goldman has its alumni pushing its views from the pulpit of the U.S. Treasury, the NYSE, the World Bank, and numerous other important posts; it also has former players fronting major TV shows. They have the ear of the president if they want it.” Here, now, are excerpts from Matt Taibbi’s piece and video of Taibbi exploring the key issues.
From Matt Taibbi’s “The Great American Bubble Machine” in Rolling Stone Issue 1082-83
“This is pretty good.”
A former Justice Department official who wrote controversial memos authorizing the Bush administration to conduct torture was the object of a prank by an Australian comedian during one of his recent law class lectures.
John Yoo, a former deputy assistant attorney general who has faced intense criticism for authoring constitutionally-questionable memos justifying torture and the government’s warrantless wiretapping program, was confronted last week during a lecture he was giving on international law at Chapman University School of Law, a private school in Southern California.
After Yoo mentions the Constitution during his lecture, and asks the students if they have any questions, an Australian comedian from the show Chaser’s War on Everything is seen wearing a black-hooded robe and standing on top of his desk with his arms outstretched, recalling one of the most iconic images of U.S. torture captured in the now-infamous Abu Ghraib photos.
The comedian says, “Actually, professor, I’ve got one question. Uhm, how long can I be required to stand here ’til it counts as torture?”
Yoo cuts his lecture short and replies, “Unfortunately, I’m going to have to end class,” as he packs up his lecture notes.
As Yoo apologizes to the class for the interruption, the comedian replies, “If this is awkward for you, it’s very uncomfortable for me, I can tell you…. I’d love to move but every time I do my balls get buzzed.”
The students are heard complaining angrily to the interloper, and applauding their professor.
Yoo tells the comedian that he’ll give him “a certain amount of time” before he reports him to security, after which a stern woman is shown entering the class and ordering any non-students to leave, saying, “This is a private classroom.”
The comedian, still wearing the black hood, says, “OK. I’ll just go to the human rights class down the road, professor. I think you probably won’t be teaching there.”
The Chaser’s War on Everything is an ABC Australia show starring Chris Taylor, Julian Morrow, Craig Reucassel, Andrew Hansen, and Chas Licciardello.
In 2006, the team pulled a prank on Virgin Blue airlines staff at the Sydney Airport when they purchased online tickets for a flight from Sydney to Melbourne under the names Al Kyder and Terry Wrist. When the passengers failed to show up for the flight, Virgin Blue staff made a final boarding call over the airport PA system calling for the missing passengers, whose names sounded like Mr. Al Qaeda and Mr. Terrorist.
An airline spokeswoman said about the comedians and their stunt, “They obviously have Bart Simpson as a consultant and while we are happy to take the $282 taxpayer dollars they spent on the bookings, we don’t think in the current climate, their childish humor is appreciated by anyone.”
In 2007 in Sydney, they breached security during the Asian-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit by driving a fake motorcade up to the restricted zone where nearly two dozen world leaders were meeting. The convoy, consisting of three black cars, was waved through two security check points and drove within yards of former President Bush’s hotel before being stopped, at which point Licciardello, dressed as Osama bin Laden, stepped out of one of the cars and asked why he’d not been invited to take a seat at the APEC table. Authorities arrested 11 people from the team, who were wearing “insecurity” passes. The prank exposed vulnerabilities in the summit’s $250 million security operation.
“No less douche -ier than Bush was. Together they make a full well-rounded, healthy, douche bag. If you support douche bags than I don’t know what that makes you?”
-Fred Face 7/23/09
By Alex Spillius in Washington
A USA Today/Gallup survey suggested that six months into his presidency, his popularity was lower than George W Bush’s at the same stage of his tenure.
Amid rising unemployment and falling confidence in his economic plans, Mr Obama’s job approval rating has dropped by nine points since January to 55 per cent, a point below his predecessor in mid-2001.
Other polls by ABC News and the Washington Postalso showed Mr Obama’s job approval falling below 60 per cent for the first time since he was sworn in as the nation’s first black president, with a marked drop in the last month.
The president is facing criticism about how he is going to pay for $1 trillion plans to reform the US health care system. Half of respondents in one poll disapproved of his health care policy compared with just 44 per cent who approved.
Mr Obama admitted there was work to do and said he would not sign any of the bills currently being considered in Congress.
“Right now, they’re not where they need to be,” he told NBC. He has already admitted that his August deadline for draft legislation could “spill over” into the autumn.
Mr Obama is due to hold a prime time televised press conference on Wednsday designed to restate his case to an increasingly sceptical nation.
Whit Ayres, a pollster, said: “His ratings have certainly come back down to Earth in a very short time period.”
Mr Obama is said to be losing the most support among independent voters and moderate Democrats, whose votes were crucial in winning him swing states in November’s election. In those states, where congressmen face re-election next year, Democrats are already concerned.
Steve Glorioso, a Democratic strategist in Missouri, said devout Democrats were as enthusiastic as ever for Mr Obama but that the less committed were feeling disappointed.
“People are scared,” he said. “This is the worst economic time anyone under the age of 80 has ever experienced, and you can’t discount people being afraid.
“Now that we are in July, the fear is turning to disappointment that the president hasn’t fixed everything yet. I don’t know why they thought he could change everything by now, but some did.”
Although Mr Obama inherited immense economic troubles from Mr Bush, the economy is now seen as almost solely his responsibility.
Experts say that White House reassurances about “the green shoots” of economic recovery are sounding hollow as unemployment has now risen to more than ten per cent in 15 states,
Chris Redfern, the Ohio Democratic Party chairman, said: “When it’s the president’s economy, it’s the president’s trouble. Americans are eager for the change that they voted into office. They support him, they just want to see results sooner rather than later.”
Even Democrats have privately criticised the president for not taking firm control of health care reform. Congress is now working on three different bills but has been stuck on who to tax to pay for expanded coverage.
Eager to avoid the mistake made by the Clintons in 1993, who handed a vast health care bill to congress with little consultation, Mr Obama has been accused of straying too far in the other direction.
This week he has delivered a tough message on health care on a daily basis, reminding Congress that 47 million uninsured Americans cannot wait for reform.
John McHenry, a Republican strategist, said: “At some point he needs to decide if he is taking ownership of this or contracting it all to the Democratic congress.
“This autumn will tell if his honeymoon is well and truly over. He has been more popular personally than many of his proposals were, but there is only so long you can continue that.”
“This guys sits close to the top tier of the scum-fuck list. That’s right, scum-fuck list.”
By Stephen Foley in New York
The Bush administration and Congress discussed the possibility of a breakdown in law and order and the logistics of feeding US citizens if commerce and banking collapsed as a result of last autumn’s financial panic, it was disclosed yesterday.
Making his first appearance on Capitol Hill since leaving office, the former Treasury secretary Hank Paulson said it was important at the time not to reveal the extent of officials’ concerns, for fear it would “terrify the American people and lead to an even bigger problem”.
Mr Paulson testified to the House Oversight Committee on the Bush administration’s unpopular $700bn (£426bn) bailout of Wall Street, which was triggered by the failure of Lehman Brothers last September. In the days that followed, a run on some of the safest investment vehicles in the financial markets threatened to make it impossible for people to access their savings.
Paul Kanjorski, a Pennsylvania Democrat, asked Mr Paulson to reveal details of officials’ concerns, which were relayed to Congress in hasty conference calls last year. The calls included discussion of law and order and whether it would be possible to feed the American people, and for how long, according to Mr Kanjorski.
“In a world where information can flow, money can move with the speed of light electronically, I looked at the ripple effect, and looked at when a financial system fails, a whole country’s economic system can fail,” Mr Paulson said. “I believe we could have gone back to the sorts of situations we saw in the Depression. I try not to use hyperbole. It’s impossible to prove now since it didn’t happen.”
The Oversight committee is investigating the takeover of Merrill Lynch by Bank of America, a deal forged in the desperate weekend that Lehman Brothers failed, and which later required government support because of Merrill’s spiralling losses.
Mr Paulson defended putting pressure on Bank of America when it had last-minute doubts about the deal in December. Not to have done so could have rekindled the “financial havoc” the bailout had calmed.
In the absence of my being there in New York City to stand with the 9/11 families, first responders and survivors, I offer the following statement in support of your goal of a new investigation into the attacks of September 11th and the NYC CAN campaign to place it on the ballot for November.
At the time of 9-11, I had been an FBI agent for over 20 years. My main responsibilities by then were teaching criminal procedure to FBI agents and other law enforcement officers, mostly about 4th Amendment search and seizure, 5th and 6th Amendment law of interrogation, right to attorney and constitutional protection of rights to “free speech”, due process, habeas corpus, and against cruel and unusual punishment. A week before 9-11, I and the rest of the FBI’s ethics instructors were mandated (as a result of an earlier public FBI scandal) to give a one hour PowerPoint presentation, a form of remedial training on “law enforcement ethics” which I accomplished in a fairly perfunctory way, just reading the slides.
After 9-11, with the knowledge I had of the bitter internal dispute inside the FBI that was being hushed up but had kept some of our better agents from possibly uncovering more of the 9-11 plot before it happened, I couldn’t forget two of the slides in that Law Enforcement ethics curriculum: “DO NOT: Puff, Shade, Tailor, Firm up, Stretch, Massage, or Tidy up statements of fact.” And “Misplaced Loyalties: As employees of the FBI, we must be aware that our highest loyalty is to the United States Constitution. We should never sacrifice the truth in order to obtain a desired result (e.g. conviction of a defendant) or to avoid personal or institutional embarrassment.”
The official dissembling and excuse-making about the true causes and prior mistakes that gave rise to and allowed the terrorist attacks to happen, almost immediately ushered in the Bush-Cheney Administration’s egregious and lawless, post 9-11 “war on terror” agenda which bore no connection to the original causes and no connection to the goal of reducing terrorism and making the world safer. When I got a chance, about 8 ½ months after 9-11 to tell what I knew, I did so and my disclosures led to further investigation by the Department of Justice Inspector General and figured in the 9-11 Commission Report.
But it was way too late for this emerging bit of truth that has continued to leak out in dribs and drabs to have any impact. The laws themselves, especially the criminal procedure ones rooted in the Constitution that I had spent my career teaching to law enforcement, have largely gone up in smoke. Having seen the cost of remaining silent, I publicly warned, a few months after my first memo, against launching the pre-emptive invasion of Iraq. But false agendas had already filled the vacuum created by lack of truth. And we are still dealing with the disastrous consequences of these unjustified, pre-emptive wars.
Let me therefore simply repeat the request I made to the Senate Judiciary Committee in June 2002: “Foremost, we owe it to the public, especially the victims of terrorism, to be completely honest. I can only imagine what these crime and terrorism victims continue to go through. They deserve nothing but the complete, unfettered truth.”
Therefore, I fully support the 9/11 families, first responders, survivors and over 60,000 other New Yorkers who have endorsed a new 9/11 investigation in New York City as advanced by ballot referendum this coming November election.
Coleen Rowley is a former FBI staff attorney who turned whistle-blower after witnessing repeated failures within the bureau to properly investigate alleged 9/11 co-conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui. She was one of three Time Magazine Persons of the Year in 2002.
Wall Street giant Goldman Sachs on Tuesday posted second-quarter profit of 3.44 billion dollars, beating market expectations and possibly signaling recovery in the battered US financial sector.
Goldman Sachs, which has repaid a 10-billion-dollar US government bailout in full in the quarter, said its net profit soared 65 percent thanks to robust trading operations.
Goldman is the first of the “big guns” in the financial sector to report second-quarter results. It saw earnings per share of 4.93 dollars, besting analysts’ forecast of 3.54 dollars.
Investors are keenly awaiting the quarterly results to see whether massive public aid and better conditions in the stock market have put the ailing sector back on the road to recovery.
“While markets remain fragile and we recognize the challenges the broader economy faces, our second-quarter results reflected the combination of improving financial market conditions and a deep and diverse client franchise,” Lloyd Blankfein, chairman and chief executive, said in a statement.
The Wall Street investment giant said the results included its payback of government aid under the Treasury’s 700-billion-dollar Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP).
The bailout program was launched as the global financial crisis accelerated after the collapse of Wall Street investment bank Lehman Brothers in September.
The government has poured billions into the financial sector in an effort to unblock frozen credit and pull the economy from the worst recession since the Great Depression.
Last month Goldman was among 10 major US banks repaying the Treasury for the capital injections, in a sign of a stabilizing financial system.
The repayments came after the Federal Reserve and Treasury agreed to allow some banks to begin reimbursing a total of 68 billion dollars of aid.
The New York-based Goldman repurchased the 10 billion dollars in preferred shares taken by the government in October and paid a dividend of 425 million dollars.
Goldman said that excluding that dividend, it had second-quarter earnings per share of 5.71 dollars.
As widely anticipated by the market, trading was the key profit driver for the bank, which converted to a commercial bank amid the financial meltdown last year to gain access to Federal Reserve resources.
“Goldman Sachs is living up to every bit of its expectations on how it is routinely and systematically taking money out of the markets in its trading activities,” said Jon Ogg of 24/7WallSt.com.
For Charles Geisst, a finance professor at Manhattan College, the consolidation of the financial sector amid the crisis has been a boon to Goldman.
Fewer competitors exist today, he said, “allowing them more latitude in trading and underwriting.”
“Also, their appetite for risk never diminished and as a result, they were able to take advantage of the market which has some distinct bargains in it. They may not be that successful in the future, however, if the competition returns.”
Goldman’s gold-plated earnings came as investors fretted about the possible bankruptcy of CIT Group, a major player in industrial loans.
CIT, which operates in more than 50 countries and provides financial services to small and middle market businesses, said late Sunday it was in talks with regulators “to improve the company’s near-term liquidity position.”
In December, CIT Group won approval to change its charter to a bank holding company and received 2.33 billion dollars in TARP funds.
By SCOTT SHANE
The Central Intelligence Agency withheld information about a secret counterterrorism program from Congress for eight years on direct orders from former Vice President Dick Cheney, the agency’s director,Leon E. Panetta, has told the Senate and House intelligence committees, two people with direct knowledge of the matter said Saturday.
The report that Mr. Cheney was behind the decision to conceal the still-unidentified program from Congress deepened the mystery surrounding it, suggesting that the Bush administration had put a high priority on the program and its secrecy.
Mr. Panetta, who ended the program when he first learned of its existence from subordinates on June 23, briefed the two intelligence committees about it in separate closed sessions the next day.
Efforts to reach Mr. Cheney through relatives and associates were unsuccessful.
The question of how completely the C.I.A. informed Congress about sensitive programs has been hotly disputed by Democrats and Republicans since May, when SpeakerNancy Pelosi accused the agency of failing to reveal in 2002 that it was waterboarding a terrorism suspect, a claim Mr. Panetta rejected.
The law requires the president to make sure the intelligence committees “are kept fully and currently informed of the intelligence activities of the United States, including any significant anticipated intelligence activity.” But the language of the statute, the amended National Security Act of 1947, leaves some leeway for judgment, saying such briefings should be done “to the extent consistent with due regard for the protection from unauthorized disclosure of classified information relating to sensitive intelligence sources and methods or other exceptionally sensitive matters.”
In addition, for covert action programs, a particularly secret category in which the role of the United States is hidden, the law says that briefings can be limited to the so-called Gang of Eight, consisting of the Republican and Democratic leaders of both houses of Congress and of their intelligence committees.
The disclosure about Mr. Cheney’s role in the unidentified C.I.A. program comes a day after an inspector general’s report underscored the central role of the former vice president’s office in restricting to a small circle of officials knowledge of the National Security Agency’s program of eavesdropping without warrants, a degree of secrecy that the report concluded had hurt the effectiveness of the counterterrorism surveillance effort.
An intelligence agency spokesman, Paul Gimigliano, declined on Saturday to comment on the report of Mr. Cheney’s role.
“It’s not agency practice to discuss what may or may not have been said in a classified briefing,” Mr. Gimigliano said. “When a C.I.A. unit brought this matter to Director Panetta’s attention, it was with the recommendation that it be shared appropriately with Congress. That was also his view, and he took swift, decisive action to put it into effect.”
Members of Congress have differed on the significance of the program, whose details remained secret and which even some Democrats have said was properly classified. Most of those interviewed, however, have said that it was an important activity that should have been disclosed to the intelligence committees.
Intelligence and Congressional officials have said the unidentified program did not involve the C.I.A. interrogation program and did not involve domestic intelligence activities. They have said the program was started by the counterterrorism center at the C.I.A. shortly after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, but never became fully operational, involving planning and some training that took place off and on from 2001 until this year.
In the tense months after Sept. 11, when Bush administration officials believed new Qaeda attacks could occur at any moment, intelligence officials brainstormed about radical countermeasures. It was in that atmosphere that the unidentified program was devised and deliberately concealed from Congress, officials said.
Representative Peter Hoekstra of Michigan, the top Republican on the House intelligence committee, said last week that he believed Congress would have approved of the program only in the angry and panicky days after 9/11, on 9/12, he said, but not later, after fears and tempers had begun to cool.
One intelligence official, who would speak about the classified program only on condition of anonymity, said there was no resistance inside the C.I.A. to Mr. Panetta’s decision to end the program last month.
“Because this program never went fully operational and hadn’t been briefed as Panetta thought it should have been, his decision to kill it was neither difficult nor controversial,” the official said. “That’s worth remembering amid all the drama.”
Bill Harlow, a spokesman for George J. Tenet, who was the C.I.A. director when the unidentified program began, declined to comment on Saturday, noting that the program remained classified.
In the eight years of his vice presidency, Mr. Cheney was the Bush administration’s most vehement defender of the secrecy of government activities, particularly in the intelligence arena. He went to the Supreme Court to keep secret the advisers to his task force on energy, and won.
A report released on Friday by the inspectors general of five agencies about the National Security Agency’s domestic surveillance program makes clear that Mr. Cheney’s legal adviser, David S. Addington, had to approve personally every government official who was told about the program. The report said “the exceptionally compartmented nature of the program” frustrated F.B.I. agents who were assigned to follow up on tips it had turned up.
Mr. Addington could not be reached for comment on Saturday.
Questions over the adequacy and the truthfulness of the C.I.A.’s briefings for Congress date to the creation of the intelligence oversight committees in the 1970s after disclosures of agency assassination and mind-control programs and other abuses. But complaints increased in the Bush years, when the C.I.A. and other intelligence agencies took the major role in pursuing Al Qaeda.
The use of harsh interrogation methods, including waterboarding, for instance, was first described to a handful of lawmakers for the first time in September 2002. Ms. Pelosi and the C.I.A. have disagreed about what she was told, but in any case, the briefing occurred only after a terrorism suspect, Abu Zubaydah, had been waterboarded 83 times.
Democrats in Congress, who contend that the Bush administration improperly limited Congressional briefings on intelligence, are seeking to change the National Security Act to permit the full intelligence committees to be briefed on more matters. President Obama, however, has threatened to veto the intelligence authorization bill if the changes go too far, and the proposal is now being negotiated by the White House and the intelligence committees.
Representative Jan Schakowsky, a Democrat of Illinois on the House committee, wrote on Friday to the chairman, Representative Silvestre Reyes, a Democrat of Texas, to demand an investigation of the unidentified program and why Congress was not told of it. Aides said Mr. Reyes was reviewing the matter.
“There’s been a history of difficulty in getting the C.I.A. to tell us what they should,” said Representative Adam Smith, a Democrat of Washington. “We will absolutely be held accountable for anything the agency does.”
Mr. Hoekstra, the intelligence committee’s ranking Republican, said he would not judge the agency harshly in the case of the unidentified program, because it was not fully operational. But he said that in general, the agency had not been as forthcoming as the law required.
“We have to pull the information out of them to get what we need,” Mr. Hoekstra said.
Paul Joseph Watson
Thursday, July 2, 2009
Recent revelations concerning the U.S. importing Taliban members into Iraq to foster false flag terrorism is merely the tip of the iceberg when compared to the U.S. intelligence complex’s multi-decade history in sponsoring Sunni Al-Qaeda affiliated terrorist groups around the world.
Wayne Madsen recently revealed how Taliban fighters were being imported from Afghanistan into Iraq to attack civilians and U.S. soldiers, as well as how Muqtada al-Sadr’s al-Mahdi Army was being allowed to import materials to make IEDs.
However, this is just one aspect of how the U.S. has used terrorist groups as pawns on the global chessboard, moving them around the globe in line with their geopolitical objectives.
As is voluminously documented, the U.S. first worked covertly with Osama Bin Laden and Al-Qaeda to fight the Soviets in Afghanistan from 1979-1989.
Following this, the Al-Qaeda pawns were moved on to Bosnia shortly after the outbreak of war in 1992 to fight against Bosnian Serbs who were subsequently the target of NATO air strikes.
Following the end of the war, “hundreds of Bosnian passports were provided to the mujahedeen by the Muslim-controlled government in Sarajevo,” according to Lenard Cohen, professor of political science at Simon Fraser University. This all happened with the approval of the United Nations and the United States, who had brokered the peace deal to end the war.
“They also set up secret terrorist training camps in Bosnia — activities financed by the sale of opium produced in Afghanistan and secretly shipped through Turkey and Kosovo into central Europe,” reports the National Post.
Shortly before the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia in 1999, the Sunni terrorist groups moved into Kosovo, Serbia’s southern province, to aid the Kosovo Liberation Army, the Albanian terrorist faction that was being supported by the U.S. and NATO in its terror campaign against Serbs in the region.
“The United States, which had originally trained the Afghan Arabs during the war in Afghanistan, supported them in Bosnia and then in Kosovo,” reports the Post.
With the help of Bin Laden’s terror network, backed up by the U.S. and NATO, no less than 90% of Serbians were “ethnically cleansed” and forced to leave the region, while the international media played its role dutifully in portraying the Albanians as the “victims” of Serbian aggression.
As Professor Michel Chossudovsky writes, “The fact of the matter is that the Atlantic Alliance had been supporting a terrorist organization. The KLA was not supporting the rights of ethnic Albanians. Quite the opposite. The activities of this terrorist organization on the ground, in Kosovo, provided NATO and the US with the pretext to intervene on humanitarian grounds, claiming that the Serb authorities had committed human rights violations against ethnic Albanians, when in fact the NATO sponsored KLA was involved in terrorist acts on behalf of NATO, which triggered a response from the Serb police and military.”
Barely weeks before 9/11, former members of Al-Qaeda who had subsequently joined the Kosovo Liberation Army were airlifted out of Macedonia by U.S. paratroopers.
As German sources reported, “Samedin Xhezairi, also known as Commander Hoxha, joined the Kosovo Liberation Army when armed conflict in Kosovo began, fighting in three operation zones. He was a fighter in Chechnya, trained in Afghanistan and acted as the commander of the Mujahideen 112th Brigade operating in the summer of 2001 in the region of Tetovo [Macedonia]. In August of the same year 80 members of the 3/502 battalion of U.S. paratroopers evacuated him from Aracinovo [Macedonia], together with his Albanian extremists and 17 instructors of the U.S. private military company MPRI which was training the Albanian paramilitary formations.”
“In other words, the US military was collaborating with Al Qaeda, which according to the Bush administration was involved in the attacks on the WTC and the Pentagon. Yet, the US military was working hand in glove with “enemy number one” barely a few weeks before 9/11, and we are led to believe that the Bush administration is committed to waging a battle against Al Qaeda,” wrote Chossudovsky.
Following the invasion of Afghanistan, MSNBC reported that in November 2001, hundreds of Taliban and Al-Qaeda fighters were rescued from Kunduz and flown out on Pakistani air force cargo planes. This could not have possibly happened without the approval of U.S. forces who had secured the region.
With the U.S. now attacking targets in Pakistan under the pretext of going after the Taliban, the lineage of how this situation developed, with the U.S. moving their pawns around the globe at the most opportune times, can be clearly traced.
All the more revealing therefore were the comments of Qari Zainuddin, a former Taliban leader who defected to the Pakistani government, alleging that the Taliban were senselessly attacking civilian targets and that they were working with U.S. and Israeli intelligence. A few days after he dropped this bombshell, Zainuddin was shot dead.
Meanwhile, in Iran, A senior member of the Jundullah terrorist group confessed in an Iranian court case to being trained and financed by the U.S. and Israel.
Jundullah is a Sunni Al-Qaeda offshoot organization that was formerly headed by alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.
Under the 2007 program aimed at destabilizing Iran and fomenting regime change, the U.S. government is arming and bankrolling Jundullah to carry out terrorist attacks in Iran, such as the May bombing of a mosque in Sistan-Baluchestan which killed 25 people.
In addition, the fingerprints of another U.S. sponsored terror group, Mujahedin Khalq Organization (MKO), which was formerly allied with Saddam Hussein in Iraq, have been found in the recent election unrest in Iran. In addition to supporting terror groups from Iraq, the Anglo-American establishment has also staged terror attacks, such as the February 2006 Samarra mosque bombing.
And if there aren’t enough terrorists in supply, why not just dress up and pretend to be them? That’s what two British SAS members did when they were caught dressed in Arab garb with fake beards, driving a car full of explosives while shooting at Iraqi police officers in Basra in September 2005.
After the SAS men were caught in the act and taken to jail, U.S. and British forces launched a rescue operation, blowing up half the prison and allowing 150 inmates to escape.
All over the Middle East and the Balkans, from Afghanistan, to Bosnia, to Serbia, to Pakistan, to Iraq and to Iran, the United States, through black budget programs, has funded and armed Sunni Al-Qaeda terrorist groups to destabilize and topple regimes targeted by the Anglo-American establishment.
This documented fact debunks the “war on terror” as a cruel hoax and exposes how current events in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran are being carefully orchestrated while the media sells the public on the belief that manufactured sock-puppet enemies, and not geopolitical domination and control of resources and the global drug trade, are why these wars are being fought, when in reality groups like Al-Qaeda and the Taliban are firmly in the pocket of the U.S. military-industrial complex.
Source: Zero Hedge – Tyler Durden
In a move set to infuriate and send many Zero Hedge readers over the top, the NYSE has taken action to make sure that nobody will henceforth be able to keep track of the complete dominance that Goldman Sachs exerts over the New York Stock Exchange. This basically ends our weekly Program Trading updates disclosed every Thursday indicating that Goldman has singlehandedly captured all of NYSE’s program trading.
In an information memorandum released on June 24 (09-31), the NYSE Regulation team has announced the Decommissioning of the Daily Program Trading Report (DPTR).
“Well of course! Or connections with an outside country are much more vital interests to our criminal government than families who live in American and relatives were murdered by them. Duh?”
-Fred Face 6/29/09
The Supreme Court has rejected a class-action lawsuit against Saudi Arabia brought by 9/11 survivors and relatives of those killed in the attacks.
The court’s decision Monday not to allow an appeal of the case to go forward effectively ends an effort by some 6,000 9/11 relatives and survivors to sue the government of Saudi Arabia and several members of the Saudi royal family over the country’s alleged behind-the-scenes role in the September 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
Citing the 9/11 Commission report and numerous other documents, the plaintiffs had argued that Saudi royals were among the largest contributors to charities that funneled money to Al Qaeda, AP reported Monday.
In its decision, the Supreme Court let stand a federal appeals court’s ruling that “sovereign immunity” — the notion that a country can’t be sued in another country’s courts — means that the lawsuit cannot go forward.
That was more or less the position of the Obama administration as well, which sided with the defendants and urged the courts to dismiss the lawsuit.
Lawyers for the 9/11 families argued in a brief submitted to the court this month that the White House’s desire to end the lawsuit was an “apparent effort to appease a sometime ally” that is important to the U.S.’s energy security.
Last week, the New York Times ran a story outlining the evidence the 9/11 families had put forward, evidence the paper said showed “extensive financial support for Al Qaeda and other extremist groups by members of the Saudi royal family.”
Among the documents were a statement from an Al Qaeda operative in Bosnia who said the Saudi High Commission had funded the terrorist group in the 1990s, and evidence from the U.S. Treasury Department that a Saudi charity, the International Islamic Relief Organization, had been financially supporting Al Qaeda as recently as 2006.
As is typical when the Supreme Court declines to hear an appeal, the court did not give reasons for its decision, Reuters reports.
Jury for the Ed and Elaine Browns’ trial to be selected . They face 11 felonies from their standoff . If found guilty, they face virtual life sentences for their crimesJune 30, 2009
By Margot Sanger-Katz
For nearly nine months, Ed and Elaine Brown holed up in their fortified concrete Plainfield home, surrounded by supporters and supplies, and railed against the federal government.
They threatened law enforcement officials and accumulated weapons and bombs. They spoke frequently with news reporters and nearly daily on a radio show about an apocalyptic confrontation and possible revenge killings.
But the Browns were arrested bloodlessly by an undercover team of U.S. marshals who won their trust and brought them pizza.
Today, jury selection begins in a trial for 11 felonies the Browns are accused of committing during their standoff. If found guilty, they face virtual life sentences for their crimes.
The couple are accused of conspiring to impede federal officials, obstructing justice, failing to appear in court, and illegally possessing firearms and bombs. They have already been found guilty of a series of tax related crimes and are serving 63-month prison sentences.
The Browns were longtime anti-government activists and ran the New Hamsphire Defense Militia in the 1990s. Ed Brown, who became a prominent spokesman for the militia movement after the 1996 Oklahoma City bombing, later founded another political organization, the UnAmerican Activities Investigations Committee, and became the national leader of Constitution Rangers of the Continental Congress of 1777, an antigovernment group with chapters throughout the country.
The couple clashed with the law when they decided to test their long-held view that no law requires them to pay federal income taxes. When they were charged with tax evasion in 2006, they had already begun extensive renovations on their hilltop home, fortified with 8-inch-thick concrete walls, an underground bunker and a four-story watchtower.
At trial, the Browns represented themselves, contending that government officials had conspired to conceal the truth about income tax law. When they decided the case was unlikely to go their way, they fled to their home, and Ed Brown began sending e-mails to supporters and right-wing radio hosts, asking them to join him and warning them that his situation might turn into “another Waco.”
Elaine Brown ultimately returned to court and put on an unsuccessful defense; the couple were convicted of all charges. She joined her husband in Plainfield several weeks later after being freed on bail.
Both Browns promised violence if law enforcement agents tried to arrest them, and they made additional threats against the judge and prosecutor involved in their tax case.
“We don’t know how this will end. But there are only two ways we are coming out of here. Either as a free man and as a free woman or in body bags,” Elaine Brown said in a March 2007 radio broadcast. “That has not changed, and that’s the stand that everyone must take. Because if we come out in body bags, there’s going to be a few more, too.”
Their statements attracted broad publicity and supporters, who brought food, tactical supplies, communications devices and weapons to the Browns. The supporters comprised a motley crew of militiamen, anti-war demonstrators, anarchists and members of New Hampshire’s Free State Project, all attracted to the couple’s public attention and their willingness to resist the federal government.
Four of those supporters were found guilty last year of conspiring with the Browns to prevent their arrest. According to testimony at trial, investigators found the Browns’ home stuffed with bombs and guns, including 21 pipe bombs in the Browns’ bedroom closet, gunpowder grenades, exploding rifle targets hung from trees around the house and .50-caliber rifles positioned near upstairs windows. A forensic expert from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives testified that she found Ed Brown’s fingerprints on several pipe bombs and gunpowder grenades.
Lawyers for both sides have been barred from making any public statements about the case.
Defense filings suggest the Browns plan to argue that they assembled this arsenal because they feared federal marshals planned to kill them. During the standoff, the Browns made frequent mention of standoffs at Ruby Ridge, in Idaho, and Waco, Texas, where confrontations between extremists and federal agents resulted in multiple deaths. Randy Weaver, a Ruby Ridge survivor, visited Plainfield in June 2007 and told news reporters, “I ain’t afraid of dying no more.” Weaver is listed as a possible witness by Ed Brown’s lawyer, Michael Iacopino.
It appears the Browns will focus on an aborted attempt to arrest the couple earlier that month. Dozens of federal and local law enforcement agents swarmed around the property in tanks, helicopters and patrol cars, and a Brown supporter who encountered a hidden team of marshals was apprehended and questioned. That supporter, who was recently sentenced to 36 years in prison for his participation in the standoff, is currently listed as a possible prosecution witness.
“Now that we knew they were intent on killing us, we began to accept the offers of munitions in various places, in order that we may be able to defend ourselves,” the Browns wrote in a recent 38-page appellate filing, titled “Saga of Edward and Elaine.” “We knew conflict was imminent.”
In one recent filing, Bjorn Lange, Elaine Brown’s lawyer, asked the court to allow her to argue that “she came to believe that she faced serious bodily injury or death from officers and agents of the government,” and her subsequent possession of firearms was “justified by a well-founded fear that the government was prepared to use excessive, unlawful force against her.”
Ed Brown’s lawyer has filed motions making similar arguments.
The Browns’ cooperation with lawyers is new. Since their arraignments in February, they have filed repeated motions with the court challenging its authority, questioning the ethics of the U.S. attorney and demanding to be freed in exchange for promised bonds allegedly worth billions of dollars. They told the judge that they did not wish to attend their trial, rejected their court-appointed attorneys and refused to accept any prosecution discovery materials. But this month, after Judge George Singal described their legal strategy as “almost a suicide pact,” they reversed course and agreed to allow Iacopino and Lange to help them.
Jury selection will involve about 230 possible jurors, nearly triple the usual number for a trial with two defendants, the court’s clerk said. The large jury pool was arranged because of the heightened publicity surrounding the case and the large number of witnesses, he said.
The trial is expected to run 10 days and will begin Tuesday with summary testimony by U.S. Marshal Stephen Monier, who oversaw the investigation, a prosecution filing says. Monier won a national award from the U.S. Department of Justice for his handling of the case.
“No difference people! But fuck it, don’t listen to reason… listen to that voice that makes you a complacent, subservient sucker.”
Hersh reports on a secret Congress-approved plan for activities ranging from supporting dissident groups to spying on Iran’s nuclear program.
Congressional leaders agreed to a request from President Bush last year to fund a major escalation of covert operations against Iran aimed at destabilizing Iran’s leadership. This according to a new article by veteran investigative journalist Seymour Hersh in the New Yorker magazine.
The operations were set out in a highly classified Presidential Finding signed by Bush which, by law, must be made known to Democratic and Republican House and Senate leaders and ranking members of the intelligence committees. The plan allowed up to $400 million in covert spending for activities ranging from supporting dissident groups to spying on Iran’s nuclear program.
According to Hersh, US Special Forces have been conducting cross-border operations from southern Iraq since last year. These have included seizing members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, and taking them to Iraq for interrogation, and the pursuit of so-called “high-value targets” who may be captured or killed.
While covert operations against Iran are not new, Hersh writes that the scale and the scope of the operations in Iran, which involve the CIA and the Joint Special Operations Command, have now been significantly expanded.
Seymour Hersh is a Pulitzer prize-winning journalist. He joinedDemocracy Now! from Washington DC.
Amy Goodman: Start off by talking about how you learned this information.
Seymour Hersh: Well, that stops me for a second. Here’s the problem with that question: the problem is this is all very classified, and let’s just say that in general, there are a lot of people that are very loyal to the United States — military people, people in special operations, people elsewhere in the Congress offices people in the Executive — who are increasingly being made anxious (and I think frightened is a fairly good word, too) about what this president and the vice-president may do in Iran. And so, it was from that quarter, I was able to learn that, The problem, the problem with the finding, and the problem with the whole story, and the complication is, that almost the last people it seems to me to know exactly what our special forces are doing, particularly the Joint Special Operations Command, which is a very elite unit whose mission essentially is — this is a separate unit of the Special Operations Command called JSOC — their unit is to go find and kill and capture if possible high-value targets anywhere in the world. The whole world’s a free fire zone for them. When they get into a place like Iran, where they are, the Congress isn’t told. So, Congress did approve — and the words were very careful: “up to” because the president wanted as much as that (we just don’t know how much he’s taken at this point) — four hundred million dollars for operations. And then they discover that the operations they approved may go way beyond what they think they were approving. It’s sort of like the end of democracy in a way. We don’t know what the government is doing. People on the inside don’t know what the government is doing. It was from this sort of collective angst that people began to talk to me about the operations.
Goodman: Can you talk about the Democratic-controlled Congress and what exactly it approved late last year?
Hersh: Late last year, at the time of the — as many in the audience will remember — the National Intelligence Estimate was made public, in late November/early December. And that was a document that — I don’t know why, but it’s been totally devalued by everybody, including all of the candidates. Both the two Democratic candidates during the primary and McCain kept on talking about Iran as if it were on the edge of being nuclear. What the NIE said, and it was a really very carefully done document, it said that since 2003, the evidence is clear that Iran has not pushed a weapons program. There is no evidence they’re actually seeking weapons, as they’ve been saying. And that’s what the NIE said at this same time as we all know this president, and the vice-president, and the Secretary of Defense, and the National Security Advisor, and the Secretary of State, they’ve all disavowed it just as if it didn’t exist.
“Yes, it’s one big happy family.”
June 15th, 2009
Why not go all the way and detail Cheney’s role in 9/11? Or any of the dozens of other links between the regime and 9/11? Ah, because the same regime is in power!
How’s the Change working out?
This is from yesterday’s Washington Post:
During the presidential campaign, Barack Obama criticized the Bush administration for using state-secrets arguments dozens of times to stop lawsuits over warrantless surveillance, alleged abuse of terrorism suspects and other controversial subjects.
One day after the judges issued a sharply worded ruling in the rendition case, known as Mohamed et al v. Jeppesen Dataplan after the Boeing subsidiary that provided support for the overseas rendition flights, the president said he would direct his lawyers to develop a more “surgical” policy on state secrets. That effort continues, according to the White House and the Justice Department.
But yesterday’s court filing frustrated civil libertarians who said their hopes for a significant break from the Bush era on state-secrets policy had been all but dashed.
“This is a watershed moment,” said Ben Wizner, a staff lawyer at the American Civil Liberties Union’s National Security Project. “There’s no mistake any longer . . . the Obama administration has now fully embraced the Bush administration’s shameful effort to immunize torturers and their enablers from any legal consequences for their actions.”
Tracy Schmaler, a spokeswoman for the Justice Department, declined to comment.
In the government court filing yesterday, lawyers reported that the “highest levels of the Department of Justice” had reviewed the case and had sided with former CIA director Michael V. Hayden. He had twice submitted sworn statements warning that any release of information would cause “grave harm” to the agency’s intelligence-gathering efforts and its relationships with foreign leaders.
“It is the government’s position that allowing this suit to proceed would pose an unacceptable risk to national security and that the reasoning employed by the panel would dramatically restructure government operations by permitting any district judge to override the executive branch’s judgments in this highly sensitive realm,” the Justice Department filing said.
Wizner and other advocates for greater disclosure called the argument puzzling, because details about the rendition program have already emerged. European researchers have compiled documents tying Jeppesen to the CIA-commissioned flights, and one of the five men suing in U.S. court has recovered $450,000 from the Swedish government for its alleged role in his capture.
While the KosTards and other crackpot Left sites will woop it up, this nonsense below is just more theater and laudanum for people who are complicit in the regime’s atrocities.
CIA director Leon Panetta says it’s almost as if former vice president Dick Cheney would like to see another attack on the United States to prove he is right in criticizing President Barack Obama for abandoning the “harsh interrogation” of terrorism suspects.
“I think he smells some blood in the water on the national security issue,” Panetta said in an interview published in The New Yorker magazine’s June 22 issue.
“It’s almost, a little bit, gallows politics. When you read behind it, it’s almost as if he’s wishing that this country would be attacked again, in order to make his point.”
Cheney, who was a key advocate in the Bush administration of controversial interrogation methods such as waterboarding, has become as a leading Republican critic of Obama’s ban on harsh interrogations and his plan to shut the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
In a blistering May 21 speech, Cheney said Obama’s reversal of Bush-era policies were “unwise in the extreme” that would make the American people less safe.
Panetta called Cheney’s actions “dangerous politics.”
He told The New Yorker he had favored the creation of an independent truth commission to look into the detainee polices of former President George W. Bush. But the idea died in April when Obama decided such a panel could be seen as politically vindictive.
“Yoo is about as bottom as the barrel of shit as you can get.”
Former Bush administration attorney John Yoo was ordered on Friday by a federal judge in San Francisco to testify in an appeal brought by Jose Padilla, an American citizen who was held for more than three years and allegedly tortured while in U.S. military custody.
Yoo was one of several administration lawyers who authored legal memos which outlined a legal range for torture, a war crime under the Geneva Convention relative to the prisoners of war.
“Judge [Jeffrey S.] White denied most elements of Mr. Yoo’s motion and quoted a passage from the Federalist Papers that in times of war, nations, to be more safe, ‘at length become willing to run the risk of being less free,’” noted The New York Times.
Yoo, while at the Office of Legal Council in 2002, authored a majority of the department’s opinions on torture along with Jay Bybee, who now serves as a judge on the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, and Steven Bradbury, the former OLC chief who now practices law in Washington, D.C.
In a Wall Street Journal editorial, John Yoo, the OLC’s former Deputy Assistant Attorney General, explained that the Bush administration’s torture techniques were initially designed to outwit crafty defense attorneys.
“The first thing any lawyer will do is tell his clients to shut up,” writes Yoo. “The [Khalid Sheikh Mohammeds] or Abu Zubaydahs of the future will respond to no verbal questioning or trickery — which is precisely why the Bush administration felt compelled to use more coercive measures in the first place.”
Scott Horton, a contributing editor to Harper’s, said Yoo’s memos “freed [the Bush administration] from the constraints of the Bill of Rights” during wartime “with respect to anything [Bush] chose to label as counter-terrorism operations inside the United States.”
Attempting to explain his theory on executive power in wartime to a reporter, Yoo also agreed with an analysis which posited the hypothetical situation in which the president might order a boy’s testicles “crushed” in order to effect a response from his parents.
On the legality of such an order, Yoo said, “I think it depends on why the president thinks he needs to do that.”
Constitutional Law professor Jonathan Turley, speaking to MSNBC host Keith Olbermann, called Yoo’s memos “the very definition of tyranny.”
Currently a professor of law at Berkeley, Yoo has been hounded by members of his own profession and the Justice Department’s Office of Professional Responsibility, which hit Yoo and other Bush attorneys for “sloppily reasoned” legal analysis in the authorization of torture.
Jose Padilla was convicted in January, 2008 of conspiracy to aid terrorism and sentenced to 17 years, four months in prison. At his trial, the judge noted the government had not presented enough evidence to convict him for attempting to detonate a “dirty bomb” in the United States, of which he was originally accused. The judge also noted the American citizen’s imprisonment and subsequent “harsh” interrogations, saying it would be weighed in Padilla’s sentencing.
William N. Grigg
June 13, 2009
Dark Helmet, evil ruler of the Spaceballs: Before you die, Lone Star, there is something you should know about us.
Lone Star, intrepid if thick-headed space hero: What?
Dark Helmet (with triumphant menace): I … am your father’s, brother’s, nephew’s, cousin’s former roommate.
Lone Star (puzzled): What’s that make us?
Dark Helmet (after a beat): Absolutely nothing.
Fromin Mel Brooks’ 1987 satirical space epic, Spaceballs.
The tenuous, gossamer link of distant association described by Dark Helmet works as a piece of throw-away satirical comedy. Under the doctrine of collective guilt being promoted by our would-be cultural commissars, that relationship would also be sufficient to serve as a “ink” connecting Lone Star to the crimes committed by Dark Helmet.
|Partisan hack and hypocritical ideologue: During the reign of Bush the Lesser, Keith Olbermann routinely — and properly — condemned the Regime for inflating the threat of Islamic terrorism. Now he’s leading the chorus of alarm regarding the supposed threat of domestic “right-wing” terrorism.|
Lest it be thought that I’m exaggerating, consider KeithOlbermann’s effort to connect Ron Paul — a man devoted to peace and protecting the individual rights of everybody, a man who seems biologically incapable of malice — to James von Brunn, the troubled 88-year-old man accused of carrying out the murderous shooting rampage at the Holocaust Museum.
Olbermann, who looks like one of Eugene Levy’s SCTV caricatures and (to my disappointment) appears to have the soul of an East German prosecutor, grimly informed his viewing audience that “von Brunn switched his website domain on May 1 to a man who shares a phone number with a woman who was listed as the Michigan coordinator for former presidential candidate Ron Paul.”
What does that make the actual relationship between von Brunn and Dr. Paul?
As Dark Helmet would say: Absolutely nothing.
But this is a “link,” or at least can be forged into one by people whose reserves of silliness and dishonesty are adequate to that task, and Olbermann — who, like most pathologically self-important asses, has an apparently bottomless supply of silliness — easily qualifies.
A theory of collective guilt easily as silly as Olbermann’s dribbled down the chin — or at least oozed from the fingertips — of David Neiwert, a former professional associate of the degenerate fraud and racial ambulance chaser Morris Dees.
Niewert is author of the recent book The Eliminationists: How Hate Talk Radicalized the American Right. For the most part a porridge of self-contradictory partisan talking points, Neiwert’s book does offer the occasional useful disclosure.
For example, Neiwert points out (pg. 126) that during its revival in the early decades of the 20th century, the Ku Klux Klan acted as “an auxiliary police outfit” to enforce laws against bootlegging — which is to say that the Klan acted as government sub-contractors in carrying out the deranged policy of Prohibition. There’s a potent seed of an important realization here regarding the role of the state in cultivating hate groups. Regrettably, that seed requires fertile soil in which to flourish, and where such uncomfortable thoughts are concerned, Neiwert’s mind is barren and rocky ground.
Similarly, Neiwert provides a well-researched and detailed chapter on “Eliminationism in America” (no, it’s not devoted to matters of digestive tract health) which deals with the long and tragic history of the State’s war against the Indians, as well as other forms of State-enforced racial discrimination.
In that survey the author takes due notice of the depredations carried out against the Plains Indians by Union “war heroes” like Phil Sheridan and William Sherman. He then he spends the rest of the book excoriating “neo-Confederates.” That category presumably includes anyone who recalls with horror the eliminationist campaigns against the Shenandoah Valley and civilian populations in Georgia as a prelude to the crimes committed against the Indians.
One of the most useful passages in Neiwert’s book (see pages 97-98) is a critical treatment of the embittered, authoritarian nationalism that passes for contemporary conservatism.
What is “conservative,” asks Neiwert, about permitting “torture, rape, and the killing of civilians under the guise of interrogating prisoners in the nation we now occupy as a result of the Bush Doctrine?… Is it conservative to issue hundreds of `signing statements’ that place the president outside congressional purview and above the law? To blatantly flout federal surveillance laws nad proceed with the wiretapping of thousands of American citizens?” Is “conservatism” defined entirely by support for aggressive war abroad and presidential dictatorship abroad?
Movement conservatism, Neiwert concludes, “has come to resemble nothing genuinely conservative at all but rather something starkly radical: profligate spending and economic recklessness; incautious and expansionary wars, pursued unilaterally; exaltation of religious fervor and assaults on science; and the undermining of the civil rights of minorities.”
Although this is an incomplete and flawed summation, it’s a good place to begin in discussing the dangers of contemporary conservatism, as opposed to the genuine article.
That being the case, why does Neiwert go out of his way to implicate Ron Paul, who — but Neiwert’s analysis — would appear to be the only genuine conservative of any stature within the GOP?
In his book Neiwert accused Dr. Paul of helping to “mainstream” the ideas of the “Radical Right” — the same ideas, he insists on the same page (136, for those who are interested), that propelled “the rampages of Eric Rudolph, Buford Furrow, and … Jim David Adkisson.” This is because Ron Paul’s presidential campaign promoted what Neiwert dismisses as “classical Patriot monetary and taxation theories” — that is, an understanding of the need for hard money (gold and silver) and of the destructive influence of the Federal Reserve on our economic and social health as a country.
(Neiwert carefully avoided mentioning Dr. Paul’s emphatic and courageous stand against the Iraq War and the demented policy of “pre-emption,” including nuclear aggression against “rogue” countries. He likewise omitted mention of Dr. Paul’s eagerness to work with congressional Democrats — such as Dennis Kucinich and Barney Frank — on issues of common interest where this was compatible with his principles. Oversights of this sort attest to an abundance of bad faith on Neiwert’s part.)
Like a dog returning to its vomit, Neiwert returned to this smear against Dr. Paul in the wake of the Holocaust Museum shooting. Noting that von Brunn was arrested for attempting either a “citizen’s arrest” or kidnapping (depending on your perspective) ofPaul Volcker at the Federal Reserve Building in Washington, Neiwert wove a tangled skein of guilt-by-astronomically distant association:
“Von Brunn … was an adherent of the white-supremacist/far-right movement called, and was acting on those beliefs. More to the point, this is precisely the same belief system that today fuels the cottage industry in conspiracy theories — promulgated by the likes of Ron Paul and Alex Jones — that the Fed is part of a massive conspiracy of `international [read: Jewish] bankers’ to enslave Americans and destroy the country. It’s been around quite awhile, but lately it’s been gaining the patina of being regurgitated for mainstream consumption on right-wing media. ”
“If you think this is just some cute “slip of the tongue remark”… think a couple more times. It’s well crafted. We’ve had scum-bags for many decades running America’s reputation in the ground with the rest of the world because of our very questionable foreign policies. And now you’re suppose to feel bad and guilty about yourself and your country for the atrocities committed over the years by a group of people that 99% of all Americans have nothing humanly in common with. The American people have nothing to do with the ultra elite racist, war criminal, and murdering thieves who actually control the media, elections, and policy in this country. The only connection we have is our failure to seek out these people by name and have them all executed for high treason.
At this point after the blatantly outlawed behavior of the Bush administration, (and thats the way they wanted to sell it to you), anything a new well spoken and articulate President shoves in your face will look much better and easier to digest to the majority of the American public: iE::no clue of the actual world outside of television, spiritually dead, and kinda sorta’ brainwashed.
So when our newer smarter, hipper, and friendlier liberal government tries to pull things like mass thievery of the American public, (( iE:(bailout), continuing NAFTA, completely destroy our economy (by design), try to create the illusionistic need for a singular currency for North America, continued escalation of oppressive occupations overseas, continued mass murdering of innocent Iraqi civilians, continued spying on the American people, etc, etc, fuckin’ Et cetera…)), people will just sit there like cute little pinheads and say silly things like, “Well… at least it’s not Bush,” or “Obama can’t control every little thing that the U.S. Government does.” Whereas people used to blame Bush if their cat got sick.
They got you right where they want you… Afraid of offending. Afraid of your shadow. Or just plain old distracted.
Obama is just continuing Bushes policies 10 Folds. Snap out of it.
“Some solutions??,” you ask. Well this link may not be the answer for a utopia but it’s a start:
-Fred Face 6/8/09
By Jacob Hornberger
President Obama is in Cairo to deliver a major address to the Muslim world, which no doubt will explain that the U.S. government loves the people of the Middle East and is doing all sorts of good things to them.
Alas, President Obama, like his predecessor, just doesn’t get it. The reason that people in the Middle East are angry at the United States is because the U.S. government is over there. If the U.S. government wasn’t involved in the Middle East, that would bring an end to the U.S. foreign-policy woes in that part of the world.
Or as Ron Paul put it so succinctly, “They attack us because we’ve been over there; we’ve been bombing Iraq for 10 years. We’ve been in the Middle East. . . I’m suggesting that we listen to the people who attacked us and the reason they did it, and they are delighted that we’re over there.”
On the eve of Obama’s visit to Egypt, which one of the U.S. government’s authoritarian torture partners, Osama bin Laden released an audiotape warning of future terrorist attacks on the United States. In that tape, did bin Laden say that such attacks would be motivated by hatred for America’s freedom and values? No. He said that such attacks would be motivated by the U.S. government’s occupations and interventions in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan, which continue to kill, maim, and destroy.
Obama, like President Bush, thinks that it’s all just a public-relations problem. We just have to get the message out that U.S. officials love Muslims. Once they get the message, the U.S. Empire will be able to impose its will throughout the Middle East.
And that’s the core of the problem facing the American people. What business does the U.S. government have imposing its will on people who live thousands of miles away?
Indeed, what right did the U.S. government have to oust the democratically elected prime minister of Iran and replace him with an unelected dictator, the Shah of Iran?
What right did the U.S. government have to support Saddam Hussein and deliver weapons of mass destruction to him so that he could use them to kill Iranians?
What right did the U.S. government have to intervene in the Persian Gulf War, especially after signaling to Saddam Hussein that the United States had no interest in the border conflict between Iraq and Kuwait?
What right did the U.S. government have to impose brutal sanctions that took the lives of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi children?
What right did the U.S. government have to establish “no-fly zones” over Iraq, which killed even more Iraqis?
What right did the U.S. government have to invade and occupy Iraq, killing hundreds of thousands of more Iraqis, exiling millions more, and destroying the country?
This is what it’s all about. This is what Americans are sacrificing their rights, their freedom, and their financial and economic well-being for — the “right” of the U.S. Empire to impose its will on people thousands of miles away.
That’s also what the kidnapping, the torture and sex abuse, the renditions, the secret prison camps, the kangaroo prosecutions, and the torture-partners are all about.
How can Americans honestly believe that it’s worth it? Is empire so important that everything that Americans hold dear must be sacrificed to maintain it?
If Americans want perpetual war, perpetual fear, perpetual loss of liberty, perpetual terrorism, and perpetual economic and financial chaos, then all they have to do is continue supporting a pro-empire, pro-interventionist foreign policy.
On the other hand, if Americans wish to restore freedom, prosperity, and harmony to our land, the solution is there: immediately withdraw all imperial troops from around the world, especially in the Middle East, bring them home and discharge them, and restore a limited-government constitutional republic to our land. And free the American people — i.e., the private sector — to trade and interact with the people of the world, including those in the Middle East.
Copyright © 2009 Future of Freedom Foundation
Information Clearing House
June 3, 2009
I wonder how many of you have woken up to the fact that America’s latest leader is really a political Houdini … an illusionist on a presidential scale.
In front of our very eyes he has morphed from a gentle intellectual, and strong defender of human rights into a war-mongering bully who sponsors targetted assassinations and orders pre-emptive strikes with casual ease.
It took George W. Bush years before he dared to unveil his true intentions and invade Iraq, displacing three million people in a war which cost the lives of thousands of US soldiers and the slaughter of countless civilians.
Whereas the smooth-talking Obama has achieved the same in just a few months since he arrived in The White House by launching an illegal war on Pakistan … but he’s using someone else’s army instead of his own.
He is twice as clever as the previous White House incumbent and far, far more deadly. Obama is quite possibly one of the world’s most skillful manipulators and his greatest illusion so far is fooling the public as well as the media.
While blatantly using Pakistan’s army as a cheap source of military labour he holds the country’s leader Asif Ali Zadari in suspended animation, trapped helplessly in an almost hypnotic state, induced by the promise of millions of dollars and the support of the world’s biggest military machine.
Of course we must lay some blame at Zadari’s feet for allowing himself to be used like a magician’s assistant instead of acting with the dignity and honour his office, country and people demand.
Obama is far more lethal than his predecessor – and yet his transformation from Mr Nice Guy to something more sinister seems to have gone largely unnoticed by the world’s watching media which appears to be intoxicated by the powerful charisma emanating from his rich, but smooth seductive tones.
He has already reneged on promises over closing down Guantanamo, ending military tribunals and releasing to the public the entire archive of shame which captured the torture and abuse of the previous administration’s War on Terror in video and film from 2001 onwards.
Moazzam Begg, an ex-Guantanamo detainee remarked recently over one of his u-turns: “President Obama has recently granted immunity to CIA agents … if the desire to get at what went wrong is so blatantly covered up under cover of “national security concerns”, there will be no end to this. And once again, the warmongers will get away with another odious and criminal cover-up”.
He has the power to make Guantanamo’s vile prison disappear and for a few glorious weeks human rights activists across the world waited with baited breath for the cages of Cuba, Bagram and elsewhere to fly open.
Just how difficult is it for the media to dip into their own archives and remind Obama about the pledges he made on the campaign trail and hold him to account? His first promise on the White House website was that his administration would be the most transparent in US history. Sadly these grand statements have not been followed through.
But this journalistic amnesia is all too convenient – what happened to his determination to bring home all combat troops from Iraq within 18 months?
Is there no journalist from the White House lobby prepared to remind him of how he said during televised presidential debates that getting Usama bin Ladin was “our biggest national security priority”? Perhaps the hypnotic Obama Affect has wiped their computer hard-drives and their memories but if you listen to his very first TV interview as the Commander-in-Chief of America he said Usama was more than a symbol.
His actual words were: “He’s also the operational leader of an organization that is planning attacks against U.S. targets,” adding that “capturing or killing bin Ladin is a critical aspect of stamping out al-Qaida.”
Having secured the votes from red neck territory by saying Obama will get Usama, he now says that killing or capturing the al-Qaida chief is no longer necessary to “meet our goal of protecting America.”
However, American Armenians are not so gullible and quite a few were shocked out of their trance following the US President’s recent visit to Turkey when he executed with the greatest of ease yet another presidential flip flop.
“As President, I will recognise the Armenian genocide,” he declared loud and proud during his campaign, but when he arrived in Turkey he sort of muttered, when asked about the hugely sensitive subject: “My views are on the record, and everyone knows my views.” And then he refused to elaborate and state them!
“Sunlight is the best disinfectant” said Obama before he took the keys to the White House – may be that’s why, when I watch the US President perform under the glare of the spotlights on the world stage, I can see something of the night lurking around his presidential shadows.
There are a few of us who are immune to the charms of the new president. Like me, they believe that the sheep’s clothing has vanished and what we now have is a dangerous wolf stalking the corridors of power on Capitol Hill.
Yes, there’s a new act in the White House these days but while Harry Houdini built his reputation performing death-defying escapes and magic tricks his political Doppelganger is certainly the master of dark arts and mass illusion.
This president has gone from charming to harming and few have noticed.
Constitutionality aside, Barack Obama’s preventive detention proposal is “damn near criminally irresponsible” and “like lighting a match in a room full of gasoline.” The United States was founded on the principle that “lesser” or “dangerous” peoples should be “detained” for the good of the nation – on reservations or in slavery. Were it not for “rampant race hatred directed against Arabs and spilling over to all Muslims…there would be no serious discussion of preventive detention in the United States, today.” The nation’s first Black president is provoking a racial whirlwind.
“I loved this guy. This is someone who really didn’t have to do what he did. Like any trailblazer in the fight for freedom of all people he died an early death. They probably have a nice quick and discreet way to contaminate people with cancer down at the C.I.A. The damage is done though and Russo planted some very important seeds that will never go away.”
Paul Joseph Watson
Friday, May 29, 2009
Alex Jones’ latest DVD documentary release, Reflections And Warnings – An Interview With Aaron Russo, pays homage to maverick patriot Aaron Russo, who left this mortal coil in August 2007 after a long battle with cancer. The film is a 90 minute full version of Jones’ seminal interview with Russo, which took place months before his death.
This was Russo’s final videotaped interview before he passed away, but his legacy as the founder of the movement to end the power monopoly of the Federal Reserve makes the documentary more contemporary than ever before in light of how the Federal Reserve has increased its stranglehold over the American economy since the beginning of the financial crisis last year.
The DVD is interspersed with new footage of Jones highlighting the progression of many things that Russo warned were part of the ultimate agenda for the prison planet before he passed away.
Russo was perhaps best known for managing star of stage and screen Bette Midler, as well as producing Trading Places starring Eddie Murphy, but his last great work was undoubtedly the most important of his life – Russo’s groundbreaking exposé of the criminal run-for-profit Federal Reserve system, the documentary America: From Freedom to Fascism.
The interview opens with Russo talking about how he first started to become aware of the fact that something was very wrong in America, when cops set him up and raided his Chicago night club and later demanded protection money, mafia style.
The conversation on the DVD features many shocking revelations that were divulged by Russo’s one-time close friend Nick Rockefeller about the elite’s agenda for mankind.
After his popular video Mad As Hell was released and he began his campaign to become Governor of Nevada, Russo was noticed by Rockefeller and introduced to him by a female attorney. Seeing Russo’s passion and ability to affect change, Rockefeller set about on a subtle mission to recruit Russo into the elite.
During one conversation, Rockefeller asked Russo if he was interested in joining the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) but Russo rejected the invitation, saying he had no interest in “enslaving the people” to which Rockefeller coldly questioned why he cared about the “serfs.”
“I used to say to him what’s the point of all this,” said Russo, “you have all the money in the world you need, you have all the power you need, what’s the point, what’s the end goal?” to which Rockefeller replied (paraphrasing), “The end goal is to get everybody chipped, to control the whole society, to have the bankers and the elite people control the world.”
Rockefeller even assured Russo that if he joined the elite his chip would be specially marked so as to avoid undue inspection by the authorities.
In another conversation, Russo states that Rockefeller told him, “Eleven months before 9/11 happened there was going to be an event and out of that event we were going to invade Afghanistan to run pipelines through the Caspian sea, we were going to invade Iraq to take over the oil fields and establish a base in the Middle East, and we’d go after Chavez in Venezuela.”
Rockefeller also told Russo that he would see soldiers looking in caves in Afghanistan and Pakistan for Osama bin Laden and that there would be an “Endless war on terror where there’s no real enemy and the whole thing is a giant hoax,” so that “the government could take over the American people,” according to Russo, who said that Rockefeller was cynically laughing and joking as he made the astounding prediction.
“Eleven months to a year later that’s what happened….he certainly knew that something was going to happen,” said Russo.
In a later conversation, Rockefeller asked Russo what he thought women’s liberation was about. Russo’s response that he thought it was about the right to work and receive equal pay as men, just as they had won the right to vote, caused Rockefeller to laughingly retort, “You’re an idiot! Let me tell you what that was about, we the Rockefeller’s funded that, we funded women’s lib, we’re the one’s who got all of the newspapers and television – the Rockefeller Foundation.”
Rockefeller told Russo of two primary reasons why the elite bankrolled women’s lib, one because before women’s lib the bankers couldn’t tax half the population and two because it allowed them to get children in school at an earlier age, enabling them to be indoctrinated into accepting the state as the primary family, breaking up the traditional family model.
This revelation dovetails previous admissions on behalf of feminist pioneer Gloria Steinem (pictured)that the CIA bankrolled Ms. Magazine as part of the same agenda of breaking up traditional family models.
Rockefeller was often keen to stress his idea that “the people have to be ruled” by an elite and that one of the tools of such power was population reduction, that there were “too many people in the world,” and world population numbers should be reduced by at least half.
Russo talks at length in the interview about how any attempt at taking America back from the criminal elite needs to be focused around dismantling the private criminal enterprise known as the Federal Reserve, by returning America to a system where the government prints its own money backed by gold without having to be in debt and pay interest to a private cabal of elitists.
At the end of the interview, Russo describes how he had plans to further fight the new world order once he overcame his cancer, which unfortunately was not to be. However, Aaron’s legacy will live on through this interview, through his outstanding documentary America: From Freedom To Fascism and through the countless people in his life who he brought joy to by way of his engaging, warm and above all, innately human personality.
Watch the trailer for the documentary below.
Longer chip of AJ & AR interview:
Russo’s Documentary, “America: From Freedom To Fascism.”
Author, Summer of Blood
The anger in the air is palpable. The ordinary people hold the political class in contempt.
The government is failing, as war and economic catastrophe are dealt with in increasingly unconvincing fashion by second-rate public servants. There is, for the first time in a generation, a sense of revolution brewing.
This is not today’s Britain. It is England in 1381, the year that witnessed one of the greatest popular risings in our history: the Peasants’ Revolt.
Between May and November that year, England was seized by spasms of popular rebellion, provoked by poll taxes and a disastrous war, and underpinned by the common belief that the government was a pack of scoundrels.
Towns and villages from Somerset to Scarborough rose against their rulers, beating and sometimes killing MPs, lawyers, landowners and politicians, tearing down their homes and vandalising their land.
At the heart of the rising was a march on London on Corpus Christi weekend (Thursday 13 to Saturday 15 June).
Traditionally this was a time of mystery plays and festive processions. In 1381, the main procession consisted of villagers from the Thames estuary marching along the pilgrim road between Canterbury and London, burning houses and taking political prisoners as they protested against their venal, incompetent masters.
The peasant’s revolt ransacked London before it was put down
When the protestors, led by their general Wat Tyler and the maverick preacher John Ball, reached London, they found they had significant common cause with the townsmen.
The London populace bore long-held grudges towards their own ruling elites – which included the oligarchic, super-rich merchant traders in the City as well as the hapless courtiers who governed in the name of 14-year old King Richard.
Common fury with the state of lordship bound rural and urban rebels in a compact to clean up government.
So the town mice opened their gates to the country mice, and together they all set about the cats.
At first there were organised protests, attacks on specific, symbolic landmarks: the Savoy Palace, home of the powerful and unpopular duke of Lancaster, was burned to the ground; the Temple, home of the legal profession, was sacked. Prisons were broken open and the Tower of London, where the government had holed up, was besieged.
Demonstrations became riots. A chopping block was set up at Cheapside, where the street ran sticky with the blood of the condemned.
Kind Richard II was only 14 years old when faced with the rebellion
The Archbishop of Canterbury had his head hacked off on Tower Hill. The Treasurer was murdered, as – in Suffolk – was a Chief Justice.
Some 140 Flemish merchants and their families were butchered on the banks of the Thames, in a shocking xenophobic massacre.
But for the luck of the young king, Richard II, and the fortitude of a few good men around him led by Mayor of London, William Walworth, the City would have been burned to the ground.
Tyler and his mob were eventually defeated at Smithfield, but it took nearly six months to calm the rest of the country.
The summer of discontent left a profound mark on the English political consciousness.
A few lines written, prior to the rebellion, by the Kentish poet John Gower, were suddenly recognised as an important tenet of government.
“There are three things of such a sort that they produce merciless destruction when they get the upper hand,” he wrote.
“One is a flood of water, another is a raging fire and the third is the lesser people, the common multitude; for they will not be stopped by either reason or by discipline.”
I have thought many times during the past months that our politicians would benefit from revisiting the events of the Peasants’ Revolt.
In many ways it is a tale of mutual misunderstanding: the ordinary folk thought the worst of their politicians, and politicians saw their people as an economic resource, to be taxed and tormented as the necessities of government demanded.
The Black Death was a major factor in fermenting anti-government feeling
This government, like the government in 1381, has been caught out by a global crisis of unprecedented severity.
In the fourteenth century it was the Black Death, which killed 40% of Europe’s population.
The government’s reaction – to impose labour laws that stifled economic recovery but preserved the social hierarchy, was vastly unpopular, for it prevented ordinary people from improving their lives.
Now, it is the collapse in global credit which has brought a different sort of misery to millions.
No doubt there are many differences between 1381 and 2009. They were medieval, we are modern. And history never repeats itself as exactly as historians sometimes wish.
But if I were an MP today, I would make it my business to learn the course and the lessons of 1381 by heart. Then I would give thanks that there are no longer any chopping blocks at Cheapside.
Dan Jones is the author of Summer of Blood.
by Andrew Hughes
Never before had one witnessed such an accomplished use of manipulation, propaganda, imagery and public relations wizardry to sell the public a man who was to take the baton from Bush and run with it in the race to destroy the economy, the rights of the people and help birth a nation totally controlled by those who have always lurked in the shadows of power. “Change” was promised and was delivered in the form of a deepening of the already Dystopic nightmare.
Promises were broken with no apology, the same creative legalese that infested the Bush administration, in the form of John Yoo and Alberto Gonzalez, was again used to deny justice to the inmates of Guantanamo, It was used to justify more torture, more destruction of the Constitution and more illegal surveillance of U.S. citizens.
The President that extended the hand of peace to the Muslim world has murdered hundreds of Pakistani men, women and children. The President who promised accountability in Government has filled his staff with lobbyists, banksters and warmongers. His Attorney General refuses to prosecute some of the worst war crimes committed in modern history and continues to give legal cover to criminals who tortured with impunity.
The country has been further bankrupted by the continuing theft of taxpayer money as the Wall St. campaign donors receive their quid pro quo. Obama has stood by idly as Bernancke states that the private Federal Reserve is not answerable to either Congress of the American public. The U.S. taxpayer is now on the hook for $14.3 Trillion and rising. Foreclosures and unemployment are rising with no meaningful efforts by the administration to alleviate the symptoms, never mind the cause. The new image of America is one of tent cities, lengthening soup kitchen lines, sherrifs evicting countless thousands of young and old from their homes, once prosperous towns descending in to an eerie stillness and an increasingly disillusioned populace.
The “War on terrorism” has mutated in to a control grid for an increasingly aware population. The foundation for this had already been put in place by Bush with the Patriot Act, Patriot Act 2, Military commissions act and numerous executive orders that strangled what was left of Posse Comitatus and the Constitution.
Homeland Security now defines “Terrorists” as those who believe in the Constitution, the first, second and fourth amendments. Returning veterans are being targeted for a denial of their second amendment rights. A “Terrorist Watchlist” of more than a million and rapidly growing, is being used as the basis for denying citizens the rights to travel and to work.
Obama is now mulling over the idea of indefinite detention without trial for U.S. citizens. This, from a teacher of the Constitution ! Bills are in congress to criminalize free speech on the Internet via the Cyberbullying Act which will make hurting somebody’s feelings a felony. Just like the Patriot Act this will morph in to a criminalization of political free speech and any criticism of the Government.
“Cyberterrorism” is being used as a pretext to bring government regulation to the the last stronghold of unbiased information. Washington has realized that it’s getting harder to get away with their Fascist agenda and are moving to control the field. The populace have become more aware of just what kind of “Change” Obama intended to deliver.
There has been a growing resistance on a state level with several invoking their 9th and 10th Amendment rights in a valiant attempt to stop the Federal Vampire from draining the last drops of blood, the last vestiges of Freedom and Hope.
This is the Dystopic Nightmare that America finds itself in today and each day brings new assaults on Freedom and Sanity. The framework for total control of the citizenry, the economy and the media is being built upon in a relentless aggrandization of Govermental power. Obama sits atop his new Empire still smiling that sickeningly disingenuous smile surrounded by his seasoned courtiers who have worked for decades to bring America in to this new era of the New World Order.
President Barack Obama says he’s spoken with former President George W. Bush since taking office. But the current commander in chief is keeping mum about the details.
Obama says that even though he’s been president for only a few months, he thinks having a general policy of keeping confidence with former presidents is important.
Obama made the comment in an interview with C-SPAN that is airing Saturday.
Last Updated: 7:13PM BST 11 May 2009
The prevailing view amongst the commentariat (reflected in the recent deliberations of the G20) that the financial crash of 2008 was caused by market failure is both wrong and dangerous. Government failure had a leading role in creating the conditions that led to the crash.
- Central banks created a monetary bubble that fed an asset price boom and distorted the pricing of risk.
- US government policy encouraged high-risk lending through support for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (which had explicit government targets of providing over 50pc of mortgage finance to poor households) and through the Community Reinvestment Act and related regulations.
- Regulators and central bankers failed to use their considerable powers to stop risks building up in the financial system and an extension of regulation will not make a future crash less likely.
- Much existing banking regulation exacerbated the crisis and reduced the effectiveness of market monitoring of banks. The FSA, in the UK, has failed in its statutory duty to “maintain market confidence”.
- The tax and regulatory systems encourage complex and opaque methods of increasing gearing in the financial system.
- Financial institutions that have made mistakes have lost the majority of their value. On the other hand, regulators are being rewarded for failure by an extension of their size and powers.
- Evidence suggests that serious systemic problems have not arisen amongst unregulated institutions.
As such, no significant changes are needed to the regulatory environment surrounding hedge funds, short-selling, offshore banks, private equity or tax havens.
A revolution in financial regulation is needed. The proposals of the G20 governments and the EU are wholly misconceived. Specific and targeted laws and regulations could restore market discipline. These should include:
- Making bank depositors prior creditors. This will provide better incentives for prudent behaviour and make a call on deposit insurance funds less likely.
- Provisions to ensure an orderly winding up, recapitalisation or sale of systemic financial institutions in difficulty. Banks must be allowed to fail.
- Enhancing market disclosure by ensuring that banks report relevant information to shareholders.
This should be reinforced with central bank action to ensure that:
- Proper use is made of lender-of-last-resort facilities to deal with illiquid banks.
- The growth of broad money is monitored together with the build-up of wider inflationary risks.
Dr James Alexander, Head of Equity Research, M&G; Prof Michael Beenstock, Professor of Economics, Hebrew University of Jerusalem; Prof Philip Booth, Professor of Insurance and Risk Management, Cass Business School; Dr Eamonn Butler, Director, Adam Smith Institute; Prof Tim Congdon, Founder, Lombard Street Research; Prof Laurence Copeland, Professor of Finance, Cardiff Business School; Prof Kevin Dowd, Professor of Financial Risk Management, Nottingham University Business School; Dr John Greenwood, Chief Economist, Invesco; Dr Samuel Gregg, Research Director, Acton Institute; Prof John Kay, St John’s College, Oxford; Prof David Llewellyn, Professor of Money and Banking, Loughborough University; Prof Alan Morrison, Professor of Finance, University of Oxford; Prof D R Myddelton, Emeritus Professor of Finance and Accounting, Cranfield University; Prof Geoffrey Wood, Professor of Economics, Cass Business School.
M U R D E R and T H E F T and O B A M A and T H E A V E R A G E A M E R I C A N ‘ S C O M P L A C E N C YMay 11, 2009
“Your continued support of puppets like Obama & G.W. are contributing to the deaths of children just like these. Wake up out of your slumber before more are killed. I put these graphic photos up hear because this is reality. If the six O’clock news showed these images just for one night the war would be over. People would freak the fuck out. But until soccer moms & football dads stop eating up the false reality of our corporate/pentagon controlled media, they won’t do shit & they’ll fall for the likes of Obama hysteria as lives are literally flushed down the toilet. The majority of people in America have absolutely no idea of the massively huge fucking quantity of Iraqi civilian deaths. It’s really sad. Really.
Vote Ron Paul or 3rd Party. If not for yourself, do it in the memory of our U.S. soldiers… who contributed more to Ron Paul’s campaign in the last election, than any other candidates… yes, even Obama.”
-fred face 5/10/09
Number Of Iraqis Slaughtered In US War And Occupation Of Iraq “1,320,110“
Number of U.S. Military Personnel Sacrificed (Officially acknowledged) In U.S. War And Occupation Of Iraq 4,287
Cost of U.S. War and Occupation of Iraq
By Michael Boldin
The drug war is based on a repugnant assertion: that you do not have ownership over your own body; that you don’t have the right to decide what you’ll do with your body, with your property and with your life. The position of the drug warriors is that you should be in jail if you decide to do something with your body that they don’t approve of.
This is an abomination of everything that America is supposed to stand for. As long as this country continues the drug war, you are not free. At the root, then, those that force the drug war on you are enemies to your freedom.
If you are concerned at all about liberty, the economy, the Constitution and the power of the Federal Government — you cannot ignore the US government’s longest and most costly “war” — the War on Drugs.
But no matter how long it lasts, how much is costs, how many lives are disrupted, and how much it fails — the war rages on.
Why? Well, because Federal “authorities” don’t care what your local laws are, they don’t care what your personal choices are, and they don’t care what reason you have for your choices.
All they care about is their own power. Period.
In this ongoing drug war, you are always treated as a suspect and your neighborhood is much less safe. You are searched at airports and your bank accounts are spied on. While drug users who are no physical threat to anyone but themselves are put in jail, the prisons become more and more overcrowded, resulting in the early release of violent criminals on a regular basis.
If you love your freedom and you want your city to be safer, this psychotic war on drugs must be ended — now.
Understandably, many Americans are afraid that ending the drug war will result in countless drug addicts, including children. In reality, though, that’s just what we have now!
On top of it, we generally don’t even consider the people who are addicted to federally-approved drugs to be drug addicts. According to a 2004 CDC report, almost one-half of Americans use at least one prescription drug. It should be obvious, then, that the drug war has done nothing to reduce Americans’ use of drugs — it’s simply to control which drugs people use, and who can make a profit from them.
So what’s really going to be different — can our nation’s addiction to drug use get any worse? It’s doubtful that legalizing all drugs could make things any worse, but even if it does, then so be it.
People will always do plenty of things that are bad for them, and there’s no reason to put them in prison for it. Think about all the things that you do which are bad for your own health and well being — should the government outlaw those too?
People eat too much fast food and they forget to floss every day. They watch too much TV and they don’t count their calories. They stay up too late and they spend too much. And, guess what else? People swallow, snort, shoot and smoke drugs that are both legal and illegal — and it’s not going to stop. A free society just wouldn’t force you, under the threat of punishment, to be “good” to yourself all the time. That was the job of your parents — unless, of course, you want the feds to be your new “daddy.”
In all seriousness, though, if we are ever going to have a nation that respects the Bill of Rights, of which the Ninth and Tenth Amendments may be the most important, the DEA and the entire drug war must be eliminated.
If not, what’s going to be next? Orwellian telescreens in our homes and a state-mandated morning exercise routine? That would most assuredly keep the cost down on the coming national healthcare system.
Won’t that be nice?
Every day that the war on drugs continues is another day of injustice; another day of spending countless billions to lock people up that don’t behave the way the bureaucrats want them to behave.
It’s time to bring this multi-billion dollar attack on your liberty to an end.
Niels Harrit and 8 other scientists found nano-thermite in the dust from the World Trade Center.
He is interviewed on danish TV2 News.
People can see a full transcript, news, forum and the video in high quality here:
Another site in danish is encouraging people to stand forward demanding a new investigation here:
The full report from the scientists can be found here:
“Just more proof that your boy Obama is nothing more than a (very) long line of puppet chumps they place in the White House to play us all like a bunch of fools. Fools no more. Time for Revolution.”
The Obama administration on Thursday released top secret memos outlining the legal rationale used to justify the CIA’s torture of terror suspects, but vowed not to prosecute the torturers.
“It would be unfair to prosecute dedicated men and women working to protect America for conduct that was sanctioned in advance by the Justice Department,” Attorney General Eric Holder said.
Obama’s release of the memos is a commendable act of transparency.
At the same time, though, Justice Department lawyers are defending the previous administration’s top officials accused in federal court of authorizing and carrying out torture and other abuses. Threat Level examined that issue in February.
On Thursday, the administration extended its protection even further, and said it would defend, at taxpayer expense, other government officials or employees who find themselves before a congressional inquiry, in any court, federal tribunal or in “any proceeding” if they relied on the memos as a legal basis for their conduct.
Always good to recycle this one….
Published: Tuesday April 7, 2009
In a stunning defense of President George W. Bush’s warrantless wiretapping program, President Barack Obama has broadened the government’s legal argument for immunizing his Administration and government agencies from lawsuits surrounding the National Security Agency’s eavesdropping efforts.
In fact, a close read of a government filing last Friday reveals that the Obama Administration has gone beyond any previous legal claims put forth by former President Bush.
Responding to a lawsuit filed by a civil liberties group, the Justice Department argued that the government was protected by “sovereign immunity” from lawsuits because of a little-noticed clause in the Patriot Act. The government’s legal filing can be read here (PDF).
For the first time, the Obama Administration’s brief contends that government agencies cannot be sued for wiretapping American citizens even if there was intentional violation of US law. They maintain that the government can only be sued if the wiretaps involve “willful disclosure” — a higher legal bar.
“A ‘willful violation’ in Section 223(c(1) refers to the ‘willful disclosure’ of intelligence information by government agents, as described in Section 223(a)(3) and (b)(3), and such disclosures by the Government are the only actions that create liability against the United States,” Obama Assistant Attorney General Michael Hertz wrote (page 5).
Senior Staff Attorney Kevin Bankston at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which is suing the government over the warrantless wiretapping program, notes that the government has previously argued that the government had “sovereign immunity” against civil action under the FISA statute. But he says that this is the first time that they’ve invoked changes to the Patriot Act in claiming the US government is immune from claims of illegal spying under any other federal surveillance statute.
“They are arguing this based on changes to the law made by the USA PATRIOT Act, Section 223,” Bankston said in an email to Raw Story. “We’ve never been fans of 223–it made it much harder to sue the U.S. for illegal spying, see an old write-up of mine at:http://w2.eff.org/patriot/sunset/223.php –but no one’s ever suggested before that it wholly immunized the U.S. government against suits under all the surveillance statutes.”
Salon columnist and constitutional scholar Glenn Greenwald — who is generally supportive of progressive interpretations of the law — says the Obama Administration has “invented a brand new claim” of immunity from spying litigation.
“In other words, beyond even the outrageously broad ‘state secrets’ privilege invented by the Bush administration and now embraced fully by the Obama administration, the Obama DOJ has now invented a brand new claim of government immunity, one which literally asserts that the U.S. Government is free to intercept all of your communications (calls, emails and the like) and — even if what they’re doing is blatantly illegal and they know it’s illegal — you are barred from suing them unless they ‘willfully disclose’ to the public what they have learned,” Greenwald wrote Monday.
He also argues that the Justice Department’s response is exclusively a product of the new Administration, noting that three months have elapsed since President Bush left office.
“This brief and this case are exclusively the Obama DOJ’s, and the ample time that elapsed — almost three full months — makes clear that it was fully considered by Obama officials,” Greenwald wrote. “Yet they responded exactly as the Bush DOJ would have. This demonstrates that the Obama DOJ plans to invoke the exact radical doctrines of executive secrecy which Bush used — not only when the Obama DOJ is taking over a case from the Bush DOJ, but even when they are deciding what response should be made in the first instance.”
“Everything for which Bush critics excoriated the Bush DOJ — using an absurdly broad rendition of ‘state secrets’ to block entire lawsuits from proceeding even where they allege radical lawbreaking by the President and inventing new claims of absolute legal immunity — are now things the Obama DOJ has left no doubt it intends to embrace itself,” he adds.
Both the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the American Civil Liberties Union say the “sovereign immunity” claim in the context of the case goes farther than any previous Bush Administration claims of wiretap immunity.
Writing about the changes to the Patriot Act last year, the EFF asserted that revisions to the Act involved troubling new developments for US law.
“Unlike with any other defendant, if you want to sue the federal government for illegal wiretapping you have to first go through an administrative procedure with the agency that did the wiretapping,” the Foundation wrote. “That means, essentially, that you have to politely complain to the illegal wiretappers and tip them off to your legal strategy, and then wait for a while as they decide whether to do anything about it before you can sue them in court.”
Moreover, they said, “Before PATRIOT, in addition to being able to sue for money damages, you could sue for declaratory relief from a judge. For example, an Internet service provider could ask the court to declare that a particular type of wiretapping that the government wants to do on its network is illegal. One could also sue for an injunction from the court, ordering that any illegal wiretapping stop. PATRIOT section 223 significantly reduced a judge’s ability to remedy unlawful surveillance, making it so you can only sue the government for money damages. This means, for example, that no one could sue the government to stop an ongoing illegal wiretap. At best, one could sue for the government to pay damages while the illegal tap continued!”
The Obama Administration has not publicly commented on stories that revealed their filing on Monday.
“This blame game, false left right paradigm is all the government has to keep the American people from going absolutely ape-shit. When you realize that it is an absolute 100% FACT that there is no difference between the democratic & republican parties you’ll be well on your way to ape-shitting. It feels pretty fuckin’ good too.”
firstname.lastname@example.org | HuffPost Reporting From DC
A House oversight panel is investigating the role Bush administration officials and regulators played in the collapse of American International Group. The first step of the investigation begins Thursday, House Oversight and Government Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Towns (D-N.Y.) tells the Huffington Post, when the committee hears testimony from former AIG CEO Hank Greenberg.
In November 2004, the Bush Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission agreed not to prosecute AIG for allegedly helping companies fudge their books. In exchange, AIG agreed to host a government-appointed auditor in company meetings. At the time, Greenberg said it brought “finality to the claims raised by the SEC and the Department of Justice.”
Towns said that Greenberg should be able to identify Bush administration officials involved in the decision-making around the settlement. Towns added the committee wants to know what Bush administration regulators knew about AIG’s credit default swaps and other highly risky positions that brought the company down.
Asked if he would be directly pursuing Bush administration officials, Towns said: “No doubt about it. That’s the reason I want to talk to Greenberg first. He might even point some folks out. That’s of great interest to us.”
Towns said the committee will also examine the AIG collapse to determine what legislation might be needed to make another occurrence less likely. Greenberg stepped down in 2005.
“The committees have not talked to Mr. Greenberg. They’ve only talked to Liddy” — AIG’s current head Edward Liddy — “and Liddy has basically said, ‘It was Greenberg’s problem,'” Towns said.
“You can’t have an investigation just moving forward. You have to look back as well. And that’s what we’re doing,” said Towns.
The Bush administration’s preferred way of dealing with corporate scandal was to defer prosecution. The Wall Street Journal reported last week that Bush prosecutors made 103 deferred and nonprosecution agreements with U.S. companies between 2002 and 2009. While Clinton was president, meanwhile, only 11 such pacts were entered into.
Criminal charges could result from the investigation, Towns said.
“All kinds of things could happen depending on what we find. And we’re looking,” he said. “Our eyes are wide open. Wherever the road leads us, that’s where we plan to go.”
has their been a better opportunity to unit our melting pot of people under a common cause. Most of us admire each other and want to learn from one another. It’s our government and (government controlled) media that perpetuates the divide & the hate.”