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Sunday, February 22, 2009

10 key Rothschild agents in Obama administration...

Rothschild Agents Take 10 Key Posts
In Administration of Rookie President
By Michael Collins Piper

OUR GREATEST FOUNDING FATHER and first president, George Washington, probably wouldn’t be ready to celebrate his birthday on Feb. 22 if he were alive today. Having led the 13 colonies to independence from the British Empire in 1783, following the course of a difficult eight-year struggle by those freedom-loving American colonists who followed him, Washington (who lived from 1732 to 1799) would most assuredly be appalled to see that the liberties achieved from the American Revolution are now being flagrantly defied by a number of figures who populate the upper ranks of the administration of Barack Obama.

Six former Rhodes Scholars (educated at Oxford University in Britain) and four others associated with the London School of Economics are serving in key posts in the Obama administration. That’s not good.

Here are 10 of the key “British”—that is, Rothschild —operatives now ensconced in the Obama administration (more can be expected):

Susan Rice—ambassador to the UN; Michael McFaul—head of the Russian desk at the National Security Council; Elena Kagan—solicitor general of the United States; Anne-Marie Slaughter—State Department policy planning staff; Neal S.Wolin—deputy counsel to the president for economic policy; Ezekial Emanuel—senior counselor at the White House Office of Management and Budget on health care policy; Lawrence Summers—head of the National Economic Council; Peter Orszag—director of the Office of Management and Budget; Peter Rouse—senior advisor to the president; Mona Sutphen—deputy chief of the White House staff.

The truth about the Rhodes Scholarships is not known to the average American who is constantly told by the mass media that Rhodes Scholars (such as former President Bill Clinton) are among “the best and the brightest.”

The Rhodes Scholarships—awarded to Americans and students from other former British colonies—are funded by a trust set up by 19th Century British imperial figure Cecil Rhodes, whose intent was to indoctrinate these scholars with the theme that the American colonies should be reunited with the British Empire and that they should work through “public service” to achieve that goal.

But Rhodes wasn’t just some rich madcap dreamer. His ventures were underwritten by the international Rothschild dynasty operating from the financial district in London known as “The City”—the banking center of the Rothschild controlled British empire that also includes the London School of Economics.

So now a clique of internationalists trained in the idea of extinguishing American independence are ensconced in the Obama administration.

And another Rhodes Scholar, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, is widely touted as the great Grand Old Party candidate to “take back the White House” in 2012. Jindal doesn’t offer “change.” He—like the other globalists in the Obama administration—is part of the problem.

All of this is not a “conspiracy theory.” Rather, these facts are well known to those familiar with what the Rhodes scholarships are really about.

Secret report reveals how European MP's make millions...

February 22, 2009
Secret report reveals how MEPs make millions
Jonathan Oliver

A LEAKED internal report has revealed systematic abuses by Euro MPs of parliamentary allowances that enable them to pocket more than £1m in profits from a single five-year term, writes Jonathan Oliver.

The auditor’s confidential report, suppressed by the Brussels parliament, discloses the extraordinary frauds used by MEPs to siphon off staff allowances funded by taxpayers.

It shows that some claimed for paying assistants of whom no record exists, awarded them bonuses of up to 1½ times annual salary and diverted public money into front companies.

An investigation into the abuses of staff allowances worth up to £182,000 a year — many of which are paid by MEPs to members of their family — was delivered in January last year but was not published.

A copy of the 92-page report, prepared by Robert Galvin, the parliament’s head of internal audit, has been seen by The Sunday Times. It reveals:

- Payments were made to assistants who were not accredited with the European parliament and to companies whose accounts showed no activity.

- End-of-year bonuses worth up to 19½ times monthly salary were paid to assistants to allow members to use up their full annual allowance.

- Payments, supposedly for secretarial work, were made to a crèche whose manager happened to be a local politician from the MEP’s political party.

oPayments were made straight into the coffers of national political parties.

- Some assistants doubled their money by banking pay-offs from outgoing MEPs at the same time as receiving salaries from incoming ones.

- One MEP claimed to have paid the full £182,000 staff allowance to one person, suspected of being a relative.

The revelations come as British MEPs look forward to an inflation-busting pay rise this year that could see their take-home pay rising by almost 50%.

In his report, Galvin said that overpayments of allowances were common, adding: “Remuneration paid may not always be justified by the real costs of providing parliamentary assistance.” He warned that abuses exposed the parliament to “financial, legal and reputational risk”.

The report was based on a representative sample of 167 payments — out of a total of 4,686 — made during October 2004. It suggests that Galvin unearthed only a tiny fraction of the many corrupt practices employed by some of the 785 members of the 27-nation parliament. His analysis of the 2004 figures then took years to surface within the secretive Brussels bureaucracy.

New figures compiled by the TaxPayers’ Alliance reveal how MEPs can pocket more than £1m over five years by exploiting different allowances. The calculations were inspired by known abuses of the system, which Brussels insiders claim have been commonplace.

Over a full term, MEPs could easily bank almost £450,000 in staff allowances — even if they employed several genuine full-time assistants.

The campaign group estimates that MEPs claiming the maximum subsistence of £257 a day while staying in cheap accommodation could also pocket about £105,000 from this source over five years.

MEPs could make £217,800 in office expenses by claiming their home was also their constituency office. No receipts are required to receive this money.

The lack of any need to provide receipts to justify travel expenses means that MEPs could receive a £54,000 tax-free profit while still making regular journeys between Brussels and their home country.

MEPs also have a final salary pension scheme which is even more generous than the one provided to members of the Westminster parliament. The TaxPayers’ Alliance calculates that the cash value of this benefit would be about £350,000 over a full parliamentary term.

At current exchange rates the grand total profit over five years comes to £1,176,800.

That figure does not include an MEP’s salary, which is due to increase after the June European elections thanks to a “harmonisation” of MEPs’ pay.

British MEPs receive £63,291 a year, the same as Westminster MPs. After July their pay after tax could rise from about £46,835 to almost £69,000 a year, depending on the exchange rate and whether they can pay the lower European Union tax rate of 15%.

The existence of the Galvin report was first revealed last year when Chris Davies, a Liberal Democrat MEP who read the document, refused to sign a confidentiality agreement and disclosed some of its findings.

Davies’s revelations created EU-wide interest in the corruption of the Brussels parliament. Despite the embarrassment, MEPs voted to keep the report confidential.

In November Den Dover, a British Conservative MEP, was forced to pay back £500,000 in expenses after The Sunday Times revealed that he had been wrongly paying his EU allowances to a family firm.

It was the most outrageous of a series of expenses scandals that emerged last year.

The European parliament has announced a number of reforms to the expenses rules which will come into force this summer. These include ensuring that MEPs’ staff are paid directly by the parliament rather than via the members’ own “service provider”.

However, Davies said the reforms did not go far enough, insisting that many of the Galvin report’s recommendations had yet to be adopted.

“If five steps are needed, the parliament always seems to take only two,” he said.

“We are now better than the Italian system but a long way short of the standards of the House of Commons.”

A spokesman for the European parliament said: “The Galvin report is a study of potential weaknesses in the system of parliamentary assistance allowances. It has had important consequences. The result has been a complete overhaul of this system to enter into force after the June elections.”

Soros confirms 'oil as a weapon'...

Soros Confirms Lindsey William’s Assertion Oil is a Weapon
Kurt Nimmo
Infowars
February 20, 2009

If you scrub the above YouTube video to 3 minutes, 45 seconds, you will hear the globalist George Soros at the elite confab last month in Davos, Switzerland, admit that the price of oil is being used as a weapon against the “enemies of the prevailing world order,” i.e, the New World Order. Soros pegs these enemies as Venezuela, Iran, and Russia.

“Chavez,” declares Soros, “his days are numbered.”

In Iran, the price of oil will lead to the defeat Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and bring in a “more reasonable regime,” that is to say a regime that takes orders from the global elite.

In the case of Russia, Soros is worried. He believes the falling price of oil and the resulting social and political chaos in that country will prompt Putin and the Russian leadership into “some foreign adventure… to divert attention,” possibly in Ukraine or elsewhere in the neighborhood.

Soros confirms in spades the prediction of Lindsey Williams, who told Alex Jones on several occasions that the global elite have planned to drastically reduce the price of oil in order to take out the oil-producing states and also foment a world-wide economic depression. “America will see a financial collapse so great that it will take years to come out of it,” Williams told Alex Jones on November 21, 2008.

On February 18, Pastor Williams, appearing on Alex Jones TV, updated and added details to his prediction, based on insider information (see video below).

Listening to George Soros, one might get the idea that the radical drop in the price of oil is simply a result of market dynamics and a coincidental opportunity to deal a crushing blow to “enemies of the prevailing world order,” when in fact it is a carefully orchestrated event.

George Soros knows this, but he is not about to tell you.

Big Brother watching you shop...



Mall ads watch shoppers 1:37 Cameras inside ad displays gather advertising data about shoppers. KSDK’s Kasey Joyce reports. More blatant invasions of privacy!

Obama administration continues US military global dominance...

Barack Obama Administration Continues US Military Global Dominance
By Peter Phillips
February 18, 2009

The Barack Obama administration is continuing the neo-conservative agenda of US military domination of the world--albeit with perhaps a kinder-gentler face. While overt torture is now forbidden for the CIA and Pentagon, and symbolic gestures like the closing of the Guantanamo prison are in evidence, a unilateral military dominance policy, expanding military budget, and wars of occupation and aggression will likely continue unabated.

The military expansionists from within the Reagan, George H. W. Bush, Clinton, G. W. Bush administrations put into place solid support for increased military spending. Clinton's model of supporting the US military industrial complex held steady defense spending and increased foreign weapons sales from 16% of global orders to over 63% by the end of his administration.

The neo-conservatives, who dominated the most recent Bush administration, amplified this trend of increased military spending. The neo-cons laid out their agenda for military global dominance in the 2000 Project for a New American Century (PNAC) report Rebuilding America's Defenses. The report called for the protection of the American Homeland, the ability to wage simultaneous theater wars, to perform global constabulary roles, and to control space and cyberspace. The report claimed that in order to maintain a Pax Americana, potential rivals--such as China, Iran, Iraq, and North Korea--needed to be held in check. This military global dominance agenda required forward deployment of US forces worldwide and increasing defense/war spending well into the 21st century. The result was a doubling of the US military budget to over $700 billion in the last eight years. The US now spends as much on war/defense as the rest of the world combined, making Americans the highest war-tax payers in the world.

Barack Obama's election brought a moment of hope for many. However, the Obama administration is not calling for decreased military spending, or a reversal of US military global dominance. Instead, Obama retained Robert Gates, thus making Obama the first president from an opposing party, in US history, to keep in place the outgoing administrations' Secretary of Defense/War. Additionally, Obama is calling for an expanded war in Afghanistan and only minimal long-range reductions in Iraq.

The US military industrial complex is deeply embedded inside the Washington beltway. According to the most recent reports from OpenSecrets.org, 151 members of Congress in 2006 had up to $195.5 million of their personal assets invested in defense companies.

Major defense contractors were seriously involved in the 2008 elections. Lockheed Martin gave $2,612,219 in total political campaign donations, with 49% to Democrats ($1,285,493) and 51% to Republicans ($1,325,159). Boeing gave $2,225,947 in 2008 with 58% going to Democrats, and General Dynamics provided $1,682,595 to both parties. Northrop Grumman spent over $20 million in 2008, hiring lobbyists to influence Congress, and Raytheon spent $6 million on lobbyists in the same period. In a revolving door appointment, Obama nominated Raytheon's senior vice president for government operations and strategy, William Lynn, for the number two position in the Pentagon. Lynn was formally the Defense Department's comptroller during the Clinton administration.

The International Monetary Fund's prediction for global economic growth in 2009 is 0.5 percent--the worst since World War II. The United Nations' International Labor Organization estimates that some 50 million workers will lose their jobs worldwide this year. There are an estimated 62,000 U.S. companies expected to close in 2009, and while official unemployment is at 7 percent in the US, when you add people no longer looking for jobs and part-time workers, joblessness is closer to 14 percent. The military-industrial-political elite are worried about the potential of increasing global insecurity. The answer inside the Obama Administration is to continue high defense/war spending to insure military control of both domestic and foreign instabilities.

The military, industrial, congressional, and administrative elite profit from defense spending, both financially and ideologically. Insider profit taking from pentagon spending is widespread in Washington. But perhaps more important is the belief that this global military machine is seen as necessary for the protection of US corporate interests and the American upper classes in an increasingly destabilized world. Given that belief, the Obama administration is unlikely to change the defense spending policies of the previous US administrations without significant disruptive pressure from anti-war activists and global empire resisters.

Bad news from America's top spy...

Bad News From America’s Top Spy
Posted on Feb 16, 2009

Riots have become common occurrences in many countries as the financial meltdown continues. The U.S. military is preparing to quell civil unrest at home.
By Chris Hedges

We have a remarkable ability to create our own monsters. A few decades of meddling in the Middle East with our Israeli doppelgänger and we get Hezbollah, Hamas, al-Qaida, the Iraqi resistance movement and a resurgent Taliban. Now we trash the world economy and destroy the ecosystem and sit back to watch our handiwork. Hints of our brave new world seeped out Thursday when Washington’s new director of national intelligence, retired Adm. Dennis Blair, testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee. He warned that the deepening economic crisis posed perhaps our gravest threat to stability and national security. It could trigger, he said, a return to the “violent extremism” of the 1920s and 1930s.

It turns out that Wall Street, rather than Islamic jihad, has produced our most dangerous terrorists. You wouldn’t know this from the Obama administration, which seems hellbent on draining the blood out of the body politic and transfusing it into the corpse of our financial system. But by the time Barack Obama is done all we will be left with is a corpse—a corpse and no blood. And then what? We will see accelerated plant and retail closures, inflation, an epidemic of bankruptcies, new rounds of foreclosures, bread lines, unemployment surpassing the levels of the Great Depression and, as Blair fears, social upheaval.

The United Nations’ International Labor Organization estimates that some 50 million workers will lose their jobs worldwide this year. The collapse has already seen 3.6 million lost jobs in the United States. The International Monetary Fund’s prediction for global economic growth in 2009 is 0.5 percent—the worst since World War II. There are 2.3 million properties in the United States that received a default notice or were repossessed last year. And this number is set to rise in 2009, especially as vacant commercial real estate begins to be foreclosed. About 20,000 major global banks collapsed, were sold or were nationalized in 2008. There are an estimated 62,000 U.S. companies expected to shut down this year. Unemployment, when you add people no longer looking for jobs and part-time workers who cannot find full-time employment, is close to 14 percent.

And we have few tools left to dig our way out. The manufacturing sector in the United States has been destroyed by globalization. Consumers, thanks to credit card companies and easy lines of credit, are $14 trillion in debt. The government has pledged trillions toward the crisis, most of it borrowed or printed in the form of new money. It is borrowing trillions more to fund our wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. And no one states the obvious: We will never be able to pay these loans back. We are supposed to somehow spend our way out of the crisis and maintain our imperial project on credit. Let our kids worry about it. There is no coherent and realistic plan, one built around our severe limitations, to stanch the bleeding or ameliorate the mounting deprivations we will suffer as citizens. Contrast this with the national security state’s strategies to crush potential civil unrest and you get a glimpse of the future. It doesn’t look good.

“The primary near-term security concern of the United States is the global economic crisis and its geopolitical implications,” Blair told the Senate. “The crisis has been ongoing for over a year, and economists are divided over whether and when we could hit bottom. Some even fear that the recession could further deepen and reach the level of the Great Depression. Of course, all of us recall the dramatic political consequences wrought by the economic turmoil of the 1920s and 1930s in Europe, the instability, and high levels of violent extremism.”

The specter of social unrest was raised at the U.S. Army War College in November in a monograph [click on Policypointers’ pdf link to see the report] titled “Known Unknowns: Unconventional ‘Strategic Shocks’ in Defense Strategy Development.” The military must be prepared, the document warned, for a “violent, strategic dislocation inside the United States,” which could be provoked by “unforeseen economic collapse,” “purposeful domestic resistance,” “pervasive public health emergencies” or “loss of functioning political and legal order.” The “widespread civil violence,” the document said, “would force the defense establishment to reorient priorities in extremis to defend basic domestic order and human security.”

“An American government and defense establishment lulled into complacency by a long-secure domestic order would be forced to rapidly divest some or most external security commitments in order to address rapidly expanding human insecurity at home,” it went on.

“Under the most extreme circumstances, this might include use of military force against hostile groups inside the United States. Further, DoD [the Department of Defense] would be, by necessity, an essential enabling hub for the continuity of political authority in a multi-state or nationwide civil conflict or disturbance,” the document read.

In plain English, something bureaucrats and the military seem incapable of employing, this translates into the imposition of martial law and a de facto government being run out of the Department of Defense. They are considering it. So should you.

Adm. Blair warned the Senate that “roughly a quarter of the countries in the world have already experienced low-level instability such as government changes because of the current slowdown.” He noted that the “bulk of anti-state demonstrations” internationally have been seen in Europe and the former Soviet Union, but this did not mean they could not spread to the United States. He told the senators that the collapse of the global financial system is “likely to produce a wave of economic crises in emerging market nations over the next year.” He added that “much of Latin America, former Soviet Union states and sub-Saharan Africa lack sufficient cash reserves, access to international aid or credit, or other coping mechanism.”

“When those growth rates go down, my gut tells me that there are going to be problems coming out of that, and we’re looking for that,” he said. He referred to “statistical modeling” showing that “economic crises increase the risk of regime-threatening instability if they persist over a one to two year period.”

Blair articulated the newest narrative of fear. As the economic unraveling accelerates we will be told it is not the bearded Islamic extremists, although those in power will drag them out of the Halloween closet when they need to give us an exotic shock, but instead the domestic riffraff, environmentalists, anarchists, unions and enraged members of our dispossessed working class who threaten us. Crime, as it always does in times of turmoil, will grow. Those who oppose the iron fist of the state security apparatus will be lumped together in slick, corporate news reports with the growing criminal underclass.

The committee’s Republican vice chairman, Sen. Christopher Bond of Missouri, not quite knowing what to make of Blair’s testimony, said he was concerned that Blair was making the “conditions in the country” and the global economic crisis “the primary focus of the intelligence community.”

The economic collapse has exposed the stupidity of our collective faith in a free market and the absurdity of an economy based on the goals of endless growth, consumption, borrowing and expansion. The ideology of unlimited growth failed to take into account the massive depletion of the world’s resources, from fossil fuels to clean water to fish stocks to erosion, as well as overpopulation, global warming and climate change. The huge international flows of unregulated capital have wrecked the global financial system. An overvalued dollar (which will soon deflate), wild tech, stock and housing financial bubbles, unchecked greed, the decimation of our manufacturing sector, the empowerment of an oligarchic class, the corruption of our political elite, the impoverishment of workers, a bloated military and defense budget and unrestrained credit binges have conspired to bring us down. The financial crisis will soon become a currency crisis. This second shock will threaten our financial viability. We let the market rule. Now we are paying for it.

The corporate thieves, those who insisted they be paid tens of millions of dollars because they were the best and the brightest, have been exposed as con artists. Our elected officials, along with the press, have been exposed as corrupt and spineless corporate lackeys. Our business schools and intellectual elite have been exposed as frauds. The age of the West has ended. Look to China. Laissez-faire capitalism has destroyed itself. It is time to dust off your copies of Marx.

Swiss bank shares tumble as UBS tax probe widens...

Swiss bank shares tumble as UBS tax probe widens
Fri Feb 20, 2009 11:51am EST
By Lisa Jucca and Stephanie Nebehay

ZURICH/GENEVA (Reuters) - Shares in UBS hit record lows on Friday as Swiss bank stocks reeled on concern a widening U.S. tax probe will weaken strict privacy rules that underpin Switzerland's wealth management industry.

UBS, the world's biggest banker to the rich, led the fall in Swiss bank shares. It was down 12.5 percent at 10:14 a.m. EDT after hitting a fresh all-time low at 10.54 Swiss francs.

Shares in rivals Credit Suisse and Julius Baer, both large players in the private banking industry which has thrived thanks to Swiss bank privacy laws, were down 9 and 10 percent respectively.

Swiss banks were underperforming a fall in the DJ Stoxx index of European banks, which was down 5.4 percent. Bank worries also hit the Swiss franc, down almost 1 percent against the dollar and 0.6 percent against the euro.

Crisis-hit UBS late on Wednesday settled U.S. criminal charges that it had helped rich Americans to dodge taxes. But U.S. tax authorities said on Thursday they were still pursuing a civil lawsuit seeking to access details of 52,000 UBS clients.

"It is very unfair to see that the whole profession has been dragged through the mud," Ivan Pictet, senior managing partner and scion of one of Switzerland's largest private banks, said in an interview with the Geneva daily Le Temps.

"The reputation of the whole (Swiss) financial center has been tarnished by the fault of a single banking institution," he said. "It is a very annoying precedent for Switzerland."

Despite tough Swiss laws protecting bank clients, the government said on Thursday it had no choice but to let UBS hand over data to avoid U.S. criminal charges which could have threatened the bank's existence and hurt the Swiss economy, heavily dependent on the banking industry.

"The Swiss made a mistake, they believed that in caving in... that things would come to an end," Douglas Hornung, a Geneva lawyer who represents American clients of UBS who are under U.S. investigation, told Reuters.

"They have now discovered with shock that it continues and the whole Swiss financial center is in danger."

UBS agreed on Wednesday to pay a fine of $780 million and to disclose about 250 names of U.S. clients it said had committed tax fraud. But U.S. tax authorities now want thousands more names of its citizens it says are hiding about $14.8 billion in assets in secret Swiss bank accounts.

Latin America clamps down on Stanford banks...

Latin American regulators clamp down on Stanford
By JENALIA MORENO Copyright 2009 Houston Chronicle
Feb. 19, 2009, 11:21PM

From Bogotá to Quito, regulators have taken control of Stanford Financial Group’s Latin American affiliates as investors scramble to recoup their pesos, bolivars, dollars and soles.

U.S. regulators placed the Houston-based financial firm run by R. Allen Stanford in receivership and froze its assets on Tuesday, touching off a wave of panic and regulatory actions throughout Central and South America.

In one of the boldest moves so far, the Venezuelan government on Thursday announced plans to sell Stanford’s bank in Caracas, two days after customers began lining up to withdraw their money.

Customers took out
$93 million before the government seized the bank, which operated 15 branches in the South American nation, according to Venezuelan newspaper El Siglo, which also reported that the bank has 15,000 customers.

In addition to its business with Stanford’s bank, Venezuelans are big investors in the Antigua branch of his Stanford Bank International.

According to El Universal, Venezuelans have invested $2.3 billion to $3 billion of with the Antigua bank.

Elsewhere:

Colombia

The government on Tuesday announced that it suspended the activities of Stanford’s brokerage unit and restricted it to completing pending market activities.

A day earlier, Stanford had increased its capital by
$3 million, according to Colombia’s financial regulators. At the end of 2008, the Associated Press reported, the unit had $8.6 million in capital.

Ecuador

The Quito stock exchange suspended Stanford’s local brokerage house operations for one month on Wednesday.

Reuters reported on Wednesday that the house had $15 million under management.

“If the Dallas court says fraud has been committed, then the next step is canceling their operations,” Mónica Villagómez, the executive president of the exchange, told the Chronicle.

Mexico

The National Banking and Securities Commission is investigating Stanford Fondos. The commission is also accepting complaints on its Web site.

According to CNNExpansion.com, Stanford Fondos managed $43.7 million for 3,400 Mexican clients through November.

Panama

Bank regulators have seized control of Stanford Bank and shut it down.

After news of the SEC’s action against Stanford 
in the U.S. reached this Central American nation, bank customers rushed its two branches seeking to withdraw their money, according to Panamanian newspaper La Estrella.

According to government records, the Stanford Bank has $42 million in capital.

Peru

The national securities commission announced Thursday it suspended operation of Stanford Group Peru for 30 days, and according to Reuters, the Lima-based broker and dealer had
$2.1 million in assets.

Ex-CIA agent organized arms,diamond smuggling company...

Latvian Investigative Journalist Reveals Taylor, Ghadafi, Ex-CIA Agent Organized Arms, Diamonds Smuggling Company

A retired Italian agent of the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) joined then NPFL rebel leader Charles Taylor, and others, to organize an enterprise to smuggle weapons into the West African sub region. Roger D’ONOFRIO Ruggiero collaborated with Mr. Taylor, a representative of Libyan leader Muammar Ghadafi, eastern European arms smugglers and RUF’s Ibrahim Bah to organize the International Business Consultant Ltd. (IBC) to serve as a support for large weapons deal.

According to the transcribed testimony of Mr. D’ONOFRIO Ruggiero in 1995 before an Italian prosecutor presented Thursday to Liberia’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) by Mr. Immants Liepins, an investigative journalist of the Latvian Public Investigation Bureau, D’ONOFRIO, Taylor and others had shares in the company and the entity was also used to smuggle Liberian and Sierra Leonean diamonds in exchange for weapons.

The document revealed that the company entered into deals with a Bulgarian Company, Kintex, which supplied weapons and bullets to IBC and sold diamonds in return, camouflaged as oranges and olives with the aid of some Bulgarian companies in Zurich, Switzerland represented by a Swiss lawyer, Rudolf Meroni.

According to Mr. D’ONOFRIO’s transcript, in 1993 alone the company earned more the US$3 million dollars.“The company IBC is a Liberian Company de iure that was founded by me, Mr. Charles Taylor and Michele Papa, who was my representative in all deals with Libya, as he and Massimo PUGLIESE had trade relations with President Ghadafi,” the transcript said.

Mr. D’ONOFRIO told the prosecutor that he was introduced to Mr. Ibrahim John Bah, who posed as Liberia’s minister for mineral resources, saying, “these resources were diamonds, which Liberia sold widely and about which Libya has always shown a great interest.”

He said Bah collaborated with Libyan leader Ghadafi and Taylor to form a rebel group which was then operating in the Sierra Leonean jungle after fighting in Liberia.

Mr. D’ONOFRIO said Bah and an Italian national only identified as PORCARI also operating in Liberia had big business ventures in Liberia’s tropical timber and operated another bigger enterprise to conceal the criminal profits.

He said during a visit to Liberia he was taken to the town of Foya, Lofa County where he met Mr. Taylor and a representative of the US Government, Nill Taylor, not a relative of Taylor. “Nill Taylor, in fact was an ambassador, but in truth he was Nicolas OMAN’s friend.”

D’ONOFRIO said OMAN was a Slovenian weapons smuggler who was named Liberia’s honorary consul in Slovenia, while his son occupied similar portfolio in Australia.

He disclosed that he and Mr. Taylor offered equal amounts of diamonds to serve as guarantees for the arms deals.

Mr. Liepins made the presentation while testifying Thursday at the ongoing Economic Crimes Hearing of the TRC at the Centennial Memorial Pavilion in Monrovia. Liepins is an investigative journalist who previously worked for the largest media institutions in Latvia: Daily Business, Evening News, Independent Morning News amongst others before he founded the Public Investigation Bureau.

Imants is the author of two books, one on financial crime and corruption (2008). In 2006, he was voted for Best New Latvian Writer and this year was nominated to UNESCO as one of the candidates for the World Press Freedom Prize.

Under the theme: “Economic Crimes, Corruption and the Conflict in Liberia: Policy Options for an Emerging Democracy and sustainable peace,” the hearing is addressing the contribution of economic crimes to the conflict including corruption and the illicit exploitation of natural resources.

The hearing is also discussing the correlation between the extractive industry and the fueling of the conflict and appropriate policies aimed at reversing the unauthorized exploitation of the natural resources by individuals, groups and the government for purposes external to the national good.

Pursuant to the TRC Act of 2005, the commission is mandated to investigate gross human rights violations and violations of international humanitarian law as well as abuses that occurred, including massacres, sexual violations, murder, extra-judicial killings and economic crimes, such as the exploitation of natural or public resources to perpetuate armed conflicts during the period January 1979 to October 14, 2003.

The commission is mandated to determine whether these were isolated incidents or part of a systematic pattern; establishing the antecedents, circumstances, factors and context of such violations and abuses; and determining those responsible for the commission of the violations and abuses and their motives as well as their impact on victims.

Nigerian accused in scheme to swindle Citibank...

Nigerian Accused in Scheme to Swindle Citibank
By BENJAMIN WEISER
Published: February 20, 2009

Swindles in which someone overseas seeks access to a person’s bank account are so well known that most potential victims can spot them in seconds.

But one man found success by tweaking the formula, prosecutors say: Rather than trying to dupe an account holder into giving up information, he duped the bank. And instead of swindling a person, he tried to rob a country — of $27 million.

To carry out the elaborate scheme, prosecutors in New York said on Friday, the man, identified as Paul Gabriel Amos, 37, a Nigerian citizen who lived in Singapore, worked with others to create official-looking documents that instructed Citibank to wire the money in two dozen transactions to accounts that Mr. Amos and the others controlled around the world.

The money came from a Citibank account in New York held by the National Bank of Ethiopia, that country’s central bank. Prosecutors said the conspirators, contacted by Citibank to verify the transactions, posed as Ethiopian bank officials and approved the transfers.

Mr. Amos was arrested last month as he tried to enter the United States through Los Angeles, a prosecutor, Marcus A. Asner, said in Federal District Court in Manhattan.

Mr. Amos, who was charged with one count of conspiracy to commit bank and wire fraud, told a federal magistrate judge, “I’m not guilty, sir.” The judge, Andrew J. Peck, ordered him detained pending a further hearing. If convicted, he could face up to 30 years in prison, prosecutors said.

The fraud was uncovered after several banks where the conspirators held accounts returned money to Citibank, saying they had been unable to process the transactions, and an official of the National Bank of Ethiopia said that it did not recognize the transactions, according to a complaint signed by an F.B.I. agent, Bryan Trebelhorn.

A Citigroup spokeswoman said: “We have worked closely with law enforcement throughout the investigation and are pleased it has resulted in this arrest. Citi constantly reviews and upgrades its physical, electronic and procedural safeguards to detect, prevent and mitigate theft.”

A spokesman for the Ethiopian Embassy in Washington said, “We are aware of this unfortunate story.” He said the embassy was not involved in the legal proceedings, and declined further comment. Officials at the National Bank of Ethiopia could not be reached by phone for comment.

Prosecutors said the scheme began in September, when Citibank received a package with documents purportedly signed by officials of the Ethiopian bank instructing Citibank to accept instructions by fax. There was also a list of officials who could be called to confirm such requests. The signatures of the officials appeared to match those in Citibank’s records and were accepted by Citibank, the complaint says.

In October, Citibank received two dozen faxed requests for money to be wired, and it transferred $27 million to accounts controlled by the conspirators in Japan, South Korea, Australia, China, Cyprus and the United States, the complaint says.

Citibank called the officials whose names and numbers it had been given to verify the transactions, prosecutors said. The numbers turned out to be for cellphones in Nigeria, South Africa and Britain used by the conspirators.

Citibank, in its investigation, later determined the package of documents had come via courier from Lagos, Nigeria, rather than from the offices of the National Bank of Ethiopia, in Addis Ababa.

Citibank has credited back the lost funds to the National Bank of Ethiopia, said one person who was briefed about the situation.

Vatican,Hizbullah condemn Israeli tv show over Jesus and Virgin Mary joke...

Vatican, Catholic bishops and Hizbullah allied in condemnation of Israeli TV show
By Agence France Presse (AFP)

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Catholic bishops in the Holy Land expressed outrage on Friday over what they called "repulsive attacks" on Jesus Christ and the Virgin Mary after an Israeli TV program spoofed them. Hizbullah issued a statement on Thursday condemning the show. "We, the members of the Assembly of the Catholic Bishops in the Holy Land deplore and condemn with utter dismay the repulsive attacks on our lord Jesus Christ and on his mother, the blessed Virgin Mary, carried out on Channel 10 of the Israeli television," a statement by the bishops said.

Hizbullah said it was "deeply concerned with the insults against the blessed Virgin Mary and one of our great prophets Jesus Christ."

"Hizbullah puts this heinous offense in the hands of all defenders of human rights and freedom of belief," it said. "Zionists should put an end to their racism and their ridicule of religious symbols."

Earlier this week, the private channel broadcast a series of skits, one of which suggested the Virgin Mary "was impregnated at the age of 15 by a school friend." Another said Jesus died at a young age "because he was fat" and that his excess weight would have made it impossible for him to walk on water.

In the program, Israeli comedian Yair Shlein joked that since Christians "deny the Holocaust, then I want to deny Christianity." Following protests, he later apologized to Arab Israeli Christian dignitaries.

The bishops said they viewed "this recent incident in the larger context of continuous attacks against Christians throughout Israel over the years" and called for an official investigation.

"It is unconceivable that such incidents have to occur in Israel which hosts some of the holiest shrines of Christianity," said the statement, signed by the Latin patriarch of Occupied Jerusalem as well as Armenian, Chaldean, Greek, Maronite and Syrian Catholic bishops.

The pontiff is scheduled to visit Israel in May. But the Vatican said Friday it has formally complained to the Israeli government over what it called an "offensive act of intolerance."

A statement from the Vatican press office said its representative in Israel complained to the government about the show, which was broadcast recently on private Channel 10, one of Israel's three main TV stations.

The statement said the government quickly assured the Holy See that it would intervene to interrupt the transmission and get the broadcaster to publicly apologize. - AFP, with The Daily Star

100,000 protesters in Dublin over impact of recession...

100,000 protest in Dublin over impact of recession
By RAPHAEL G. SATTER – 1 day ago

LONDON (AP) — Around 100,000 people filled the streets of the Irish capital Saturday in protest at the government's handling of the country's economic crisis, police said.

The march through the heart of Dublin — organized by the Irish Congress of Trade Unions — was meant as a warning shot to the government, which wants to cut public sector pay even as it pumps billions of euros (dollars) into its troubled banks.

The government has argued that wage reductions are needed to keep Ireland's ballooning deficits under control and reassure international markets that Ireland isn't spiraling toward a default.

But the plan — which effectively docks 7 percent from the paychecks of 350,000 Irish workers — comes amid revelations of shady dealings and irresponsible lending at the banks now getting the taxpayers' help.

Ireland once had one of the fastest-growing economies in Europe, but boom turned to bust last year as shock waves from the subprime lending crisis in the United States spread across the globe.

Organizers originally planned the demonstration as a protest at the wage cutbacks, but later called on all Irish workers to turn out in a show of strength.

"Our generations yet unborn have been mortgaged in order to keep this banking system together," Congress of Trade Unions General Secretary David Begg told cheering crowds at Dublin's Merrion Square.

The trade unions are hoping the turnout will convince the government that organized labor is ready to strike if its demands are ignored.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Is Israel assassinating Iran nuclear scientists?

Is Israel assassinating Iran nuclear scientists?
By Yossi Melman, Haaretz Correspondent

Israel is assassinating Iranian nuclear scientists as part of a covert war against the Islamic Republic's illicit weapons program, the Daily Telegraph on Tuesday quoted Western intelligence analysts as saying.

The British daily said Israel's Mossad espionage agency was rumored to be behind the death of Ardeshire Hassanpour, a top nuclear scientist at Iran's Isfahan uranium plant, who died in mysterious circumstances from reported "gas poisoning" in 2007.

Other recent deaths of important figures in the procurement and enrichment process in Iran and Europe have been the result of Israeli "hits", intended to deprive Tehran of key technical skills at the head of the program, according to the analysts.
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The Telegraph also quoted United States intelligence sources as saying Israel is using sabotage, front companies and double agents to disrupt the regime's illicit weapons project as an alternative to direct military strikes.

Nevertheless, it should be noted that Israel has been carrying out similar covert activities for about a decade, ever since Iran was first suspected of seeking nuclear weapons. The U.S. journalist James Risen has written recently that the CIA and the Mossad have planned together a number of sabotage operations against the Iranian program, including damaging power lines to nuclear sites in order to cause harm to computer systems and equipment.

The Telegraph also quoted Israeli officials as privately acknowledging the new U.S. administration is unlikely to sanction an air attack on Iran's nuclear installations and that President Barack Obama's offer to extend a hand of peace to Tehran puts any direct military action beyond reach for now.

As such, the reported goal of Israel's covert campaign is to delay or interrupt the Iranian research program, without engaging in a direct confrontation that could lead to a wider war.

"Disruption is designed to slow progress on the program, done in such a way that they don't realize what's happening. You are never going to stop it," a former CIA officer on Iran was quoted as saying.

"The goal is delay, delay, delay until you can come up with some other solution or approach," he added. "We certainly don't want the current Iranian government to have those weapons. It's a good policy, short of taking them out militarily, which probably carries unacceptable risks."

Reva Bhalla, a senior analyst with Stratfor, the U.S. private intelligence company with strong government security connections, was quoted by the paper as saying the strategy was to take out key people.

"With co-operation from the United States, Israeli covert operations have focused both on eliminating key human assets involved in the nuclear programme and in sabotaging the Iranian nuclear supply chain," she was quoted as saying.

"As US-Israeli relations are bound to come under strain over the Obama administration's outreach to Iran, and as the political atmosphere grows in complexity, an intensification of Israeli covert activity against Iran is likely to result."

Monday, February 16, 2009

British and French nuclear subs collide in early February in Atlantic...

BLENDZ NOTE: Not to worry,they're only two weeks late with the news

British and French nuclear submarines collide in Atlantic
Two British and French nuclear submarines collided in heavy seas in the Atlantic.
By Aislinn Simpson
Last Updated: 7:02AM GMT 16 Feb 2009

HMS Vanguard and Le Triomphant are understood to have both been severely damaged in the underwater accident earlier this month.

Both are fitted with state-of-the-art technology aimed at detecting other submarines, but it apparently failed completely.

Although both France and Britain insist that security was not compromised during the collision and there was no danger of a nuclear incident, inquiries are now under way in both countries.

Each boat is a key part of their respective county's nuclear deterrent, ready to unleash their destructive weapons at a moment's notice.

French Navy sources confirm that Le Triomphant, one of four strategic nuclear submarines of the so-called "Force de Frappe", was returning from a 70 day tour of duty when the incident occurred.

It happened in heavy seas, and in the middle of the night between February 3 and 4, and left Le Triomphant's sonar dome all but destroyed.

The sonar dome should have detected the Vanguard but Le Triomphant's crew of 101 claimed to have "neither saw nor heard anything".

The French tried to play down the collision, with a Navy spokesman saying: "The collision did not result in injuries among the crew and did not jeopardise nuclear security at any moment."

The Ministry of Defence would not even confirm it had taken place. A spokesman said: "It is MoD policy not to comment on submarine operational matters, but we can confirm that the UK's deterrent capability has remained unaffected at all times and there has been no compromise to nuclear safety."

Le Triomphant took at least three days to limp back to her home port, while HMS Vanguard returned to her home base in Faslane, in Scotland.

With a complement of 135 crew, she is the lead boat of the Vanguard class of submarines which carry Trident ballistic missiles around the world.

Le Triomphant is also the lead ship in her own class of Triomphant nuclear submarines.

Each carries 16 M45 ballistic missiles, weighs 35 tons each, carries six warheads and has a range of around 5,000 miles.

France's Atlantic coast is notorious for being a "submarine graveyard" because of the number of underwater craft, mainly German U-boats, sunk in the area during the Second World War.

Guadeloupe strike leader: Police sent to kill protestors...

Guadeloupe Strike Leader:Police Sent To Kill Protesters
Sunday February 15th, 2009 / 15h32
("Strike Leader Says France Sends Police To Kill Guadeloupeans," published at 1219 GMT, in the third paragraph misstated the launch date of the strike as Jan. 26. The correct version follows.)

POINTE-A-PITRE (AFP)--The leader of a general strike crippling Guadeloupe has accused France of preparing to kill protestors to bring an end to the stoppage on the French Caribbean island.
"Today, given the number of gendarmes who have arrived in Guadeloupe armed to the teeth, the French state has chosen its natural path: to kill Gaudeloupeans as usual," Elie Domota told AFP on Saturday.

Domota is the leader of the Collective against Exploitation (LKP), which groups most of Guadeloupe's unions and political parties and which launched the general strike there on Jan/ 20 over low wages and the high cost of living.
His accusation came as some supermarkets and petrol stations, which have been shut for more than three weeks, reopened as police stood by to protect the premises against potential protests by strikers on the tropical island.

"Every time there have been demonstrations in Guadeloupe to demand pay rises, the response of the state has been repression, notably in May 1967 in Pointe-a-Pitre where there were 100 deaths, building workers massacred by the gendarmes," Domota said.
On Saturday thousands of workers marched through the town of Le Moule chanting "Guadeloupe is ours, it's not theirs."

They were referring to the "Bekes," the white minority which holds economic power on an island where most of the half million residents are descendants of African slaves.
Christiane Taubira, a French member of parliament for the overseas department of French Guiana on the south American continent, warned Sunday that the situation in Guadeloupe was "not far from social apartheid."
She said in an interview that "the leaders of the LKP are not anti-white racists.
"They are exposing a reality...a caste holds economic power and abuses it," she told Le Journal du Dimanche.

Most shops, cafes, banks, schools and government offices have been shut in Guadeloupe since the start of the strike. The neighbouring French island of Martinique began its own general strike more than a week ago.
The government has said it will not give in to strikers' demands for a monthly EUR200 increase in base salaries.

An interview with Kevin Ryan on 9/11...

Truth & Deception: An Interview with Kevin Ryan on 9/11
In this interview Kevin Ryan discusses the science and psychology of 9/11. He also mentions an upcoming paper that provides strong evidence of incendiary residues found in the World Trade Center dust. Ryan, who is one of the co-authors of the paper, says that it is "...much more conclusive than anything we've published before, and is supported by considerable physical testing."

American Buddhist Net News
2/14/09

ABN: Kevin, you have been a central figure in the 9/11 truth movement. What have you learned from that experience?

KR: The struggle for 9/11 truth has gone on now for over seven years, although I've been involved only since 2003. In that time I've learned a good deal about history and social inertia, and I've made some progress in my communications skills. Many people might think that speaking out publicly, against the wishes of authority like I did, risking one's career and public standing, can only be harmful to a person. But I've found that by showing that I was genuinely seeking a positive outcome, the opportunity to make such a sacrifice became a blessing. There were changes, of course, including a new job and moving to a new town, and a huge amount of work with my new "unpaid job", but it has been worth it. This is in part due to the fact that I've learned that there are many people in the world who feel as I do, that the events of 9/11 were paradoxically something of a gift to mankind. We don't all agree on the details, but in my view, 9/11 is a wake-up call that can be used for the purpose of realizing our own limitations, and thereby making adjustments to how we live and interact with each other, and how we prioritize the education of our children. Once we tap into this ongoing "inside job", we will have the power to make lasting positive change in our society.

ABN: Can you say more about what you mean by 9/11 being "something of a gift"? Do you mean that it has woken many people up to deeper levels of American political reality or something else?

KR: Yes, your point is correct but it is more than that. It's hard to see the positive in 9/11, and it became more difficult for me as I learned that the official story was not only false but that it was absurd, and that we had been deceived en masse. At first I subconsciously accepted the idea of "blowback" - that there were people who were so angry with us that they would do these incredibly violent things to make that anger known. It didn't occur to me that the terrorists just happened to live on the most strategically important lands in the world, and that overcoming our trillion dollar defenses would require much more than a few box cutters. But when I saw what happened as a result of 9/11, in the name of 9/11, the falsity of the official story and the need to investigate became more obvious. The reason 9/11 can be considered a gift is that so many people have been deceived for so long about what happened. This fact allows us to realize how such deception occurs, how the resulting self-deception can deeply affect our lives, and how it can go on for so long. So 9/11 has awoken us to deeper levels of political reality - deep politics as Peter Dale Scott says - but more importantly it can awaken us to awareness of our own deep psychology.

ABN: Some people say that 9/11 has led to a sort of "cold civil war" between those who support the official theory and those who do not. On the surface, it is hard to see why this should be so since both sides ought to be able to agree to do the obvious--undertake a new investigation and settle the matter once and for all. Of course, that is not how things are playing out. Mainstream news consistently ignores all the important questions, while many professional "skeptics" engage in some fairly vicious name-calling against those of us who want to have a new investigation. How do you see this social division playing out over the next year or two? Will this "cold civil war" become more serious or will it be forgotten?

KR: In my experience, there has not been much of a discussion between those who support the official story and those who do not. My colleagues and I have tried to get the official investigators to meet with us for discussion or debate, but with little success. My local group did meet with Lee Hamilton last year, since he was the congressman from our area and still keeps an office here in Bloomington. He gave us many excuses for why his 9/11 Commission report was not adequate, and has stated in his book that he felt he was set up to fail (see the revealing interview here http://www.cbc.ca/sunday/911hamilton.html). Mr. Hamilton also told us that he was not opposed to a new investigation, as long as it was not intended to simply find fault with his investigation. We have since invited him to several events but he has not agreed to join us in public. With the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the Commerce department agency that Underwriters Laboratories fired me for criticizing, the invitations we've made have been rejected in every case. Readers can find a basic outline of the discussion we would like to have with NIST in our paper "Fourteen Points of Agreement with Official Reports on the Destruction of the World Trade Center" (see the Open Civil Engineering Journal). But frankly, we've found that the only people who support the official story are those who created it, like NIST and Hamilton. Others have worked hard to put down any questions and to oppose any new hypotheses, but that doesn't mean they support the official story. Most people don't know much about the official story. That includes those who you call professional skeptics, and the mainstream media. The former group are often anonymous, or have no background of any kind, and spend a great deal of time and energy putting us down in blog entries or chat rooms where, as you said, they get pretty vicious. Unfortunately, I don't expect that kind of thing to stop anytime soon. In a way, such attacks can be seen as a useful indication that we are on the right track. There is much at stake, and I never expected that this would be easy. As for the mainstream media, we will just have to wait and see. I think that, as time goes on, people are more convinced that their own self-interest, no matter who they are, is entwined with the need for a more truthful society.

ABN: NIST released its final report on the collapse of World Trade Center Building No. 7 (WTC 7) in August 2008 followed by a very weak revision of that report in November. There are two things I want to ask you about this report. First, it seems to me that the release of the report was timed to coincide with the end of the Bush administration. This will allow Obama to bury further investigation into 9/11 by saying that the NIST report was good enough for him, time to move on, etc. Second, the report itself is stunning in that NIST has admitted that WTC 7 fell at freefall for over 2 seconds, while at the same time providing little or no evidence for their theory of why the building collapsed. Can you give us your views on both the timing of the report and its quality as a scientific document?

KR: The timing of NIST's WTC 7 report appeared to be scheduled for dual political purposes, to coincide with the sixth anniversary of 9/11 and to give the appearance of finished business at the end of the Bush Administration. That is not surprising, as the timing of NIST's other reports coincided with political events as well. The draft report on the towers in October 2004 - just before the election, the final report on the towers - just before the fourth anniversary of 9/11, and NIST's first "responses to FAQs" - just before the fifth anniversary, all appeared to involve politically motivated release dates. In each case, the dates allowed time for mainstream media articles to quickly present the official story while public interest was high, but did not allow time for critical questioning of the related documents, which were extensive and deceptive. With the WTC 7 report, the public was given just three weeks to comment on a report that was nearly seven years in the making. As for the quality of the report, I was really surprised at how weak it was. It seemed that NIST didn't even try to present a logical explanation for what happened, but simply relied on certain fawning media to help them close the discussion quickly and without thought. With some effort, I was able to get a response out on the sixth anniversary. In that essay (found here: http://911review.com/articles/ryan/NIST_WTC7.html), I pointed out that the WTC 7 report "contradicts the previous major claims by NIST, ignores the most important of the existing evidence, [and] produces no scientific test results to support itself." In other words, there is no science involved in the WTC 7 report from NIST, it is pure and quite transparent deception. In the future, people will learn a great deal from it, in terms of our present culture and the extent of our ability to deceive.

ABN: Kevin, in your paper /The Top Ten Connections Between NIST and Nano-Thermites /(http://www.journalof911studies.com/volume/2008/Ryan_NIST_and_Nano-1.pdf) you say "...despite a number of variations in NIST’s story, it never considered explosives or pyrotechnic materials in any of its hypotheses. This omission is at odds with several other striking facts; first, the requirement of the national standard for fire investigation (NFPA 921), which calls for testing related to thermite and other pyrotechnics, and second, the extensive experience NIST investigators have with explosive and thermite materials." Since publication of this paper in July 2008, what kind of feedback have you received on it? Have you changed any of your views since that time?

KR: In that paper, I began to look at the kinds of explosives that we are seeing in the WTC dust and how the related technologies are connected to the people who were involved in the NIST investigation. It turns out that there are quite a few surprising connections. These explosive materials are called nanothermites, energetic nanocomposites, and other names, and there are many ways of synthesizing them. I've made a few kinds myself, and compared them visually (and chemically) to the red-orange chips that scientists including myself have found in many WTC dust samples. You can view a slideshow here - http://www.flickr.com/photos/32512879@N05/sets/72157611572140729/. An important property of such explosive materials is that they can be applied by spraying or dip-coating onto the intended surfaces as opposed to the bulk packaging that people often imagine with explosives. The paper points out that several technologies were likely used in the deceptive demolition of the WTC buildings, and there are good reasons why nanothermites were almost certainly part of the operation. As for the people, I've written about such connections before, in terms of the pre-NIST stories and the contractors NIST used (http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=viewArticle&code=RYA20070...). It is truly amazing how many people with professional experience, or expertise, in explosives were employed in these investigations. Considering that none of the official stories ever had anything to do with explosives, the amazement quickly becomes disbelief.

ABN: It truly is amazing. As far as I know, we can also add to this mix the fact that NIST has not released to the public the computer models upon which it based its explanation of the collapse of WTC 7. Is that still the case? Have they still not released their computer models? Is there any precedent in any legitimate scientific research anywhere for a conclusion to be reached but the very ordinary (no national security here) process of reaching that conclusion is kept secret?

KR: No, NIST has not released the computer models. NIST has also not released the thousands of photo and video images that it collected, at taxpayer expense, during the investigation. Several FOIAs have been submitted to gain access to those documents but in the cases that I've seen, NIST has not complied, but instead asked for a search fee of approximately $20,000. Appeals have been made on some of these FOIAs and the work goes on, with Americans trying to get access to the basic information that NIST used to arrive at it's (ever-changing) conclusions. I'm not aware of another such precedent, at least in our country during my lifetime.

ABN: Have you ever wondered if we are living in a video game? We have an official government body producing a supposedly well-researched report on one of the most important events in modern US history, but they refuse to let anyone see the computer models on which their conclusions are based. That fact alone should force all rational people to demand a new investigation into 9/11 immediately. Generally speaking, there are several groups that either oppose a new investigation into 9/11 or remain deafeningly silent on the issue. The most important one is the government itself--government agencies, members of Congress, the president. Another very important group is, obviously, mainstream media--TV, newspapers, radio, magazines. A third group is scientists. Before we discuss the silence of the government and the media, would you share your thoughts on why more professional scientists have not publicly stated that the official story of 9/11 is not supported by good science? I realize that there are now hundreds of architects and engineers who have signed the AE9/11Truth petition calling for a new investigation, but it seems there should be even more. I understand professional courtesy, fear of job loss, and the "wisdom" of staying out of politics, but scientists are people too and, like the rest of us, they have personal honor, a commitment to truth, concern for the nation. Why have more not come forward? Especially now with this latest "final" report from NIST, why are we not hearing more strong voices loud-and-clear from the American scientific community?

KR: There are many scientists who are openly supportive of the call for more transparency, and who acknowledge that science conducted by the Bush Administration (i.e. NIST) was a farce. As I pointed out in my presentation of June 2006, in Chicago, "Bush Science" has been publicly denounced by tens of thousands of scientists, and the NIST WTC investigation was Bush Science. There are also many scientists who support the call for a new 9/11 investigation, and it seems clear that there are now more in this category than there are scientists who support the official versions of what happened that day (see AE911truth.org, STJ911truth.org, patriotsquestion911.com and so on). But your question is valid. Why do we not have widespread and open outrage at the falsity of the official reports, particularly with regard to NIST and WTC? This is partly due to the fact that most scientists get their information about public events from the mainstream media, which has failed us so miserably. Another important factor is that the funding for science is controlled by the federal government. Universities cannot survive without federal grants, which amount to tens of millions of dollars each year for an average university, and research scientists cannot survive without grant money that comes from the government or from major corporations. Here's an example. I spoke twice at the University of Michigan in the last few years. The last time I was there, we invited every member of the schools of science and engineering to come and discuss or debate the issues of 9/11. The only responses we got were from professors who said that they agreed with us but could not speak out for fear of losing their funding. The final reason is that scientists are people, just like you and I, who are as easily fooled by ego-based deception as any other people, and perhaps more so in some cases. Being right is vitally important to professional scientists, and the status quo is important also. I think it is not easy for some scientists in the US to accept that average citizens in our country could have noticed such extreme deception before they did. In other words, as a psychologist friend once told me, people like to be right, they like to be liked, and they like to be free, in that order.

ABN: I don't know if this interests you or not, but the way that "science" has responded to 9/11 is a very good example of the way science often actually works in the real world. It is frequently not objective, not based on evidence, and not rational. With 9/11, we can see this in both the NIST report and in the silence of so many American scientists. Another good present-day example is medical science, especially the Big Pharma-funded "science" behind some very shabby psychotropic drug research and marketing. Those are some bad examples. A good example of how science can be driven by emotion, political or ideological commitment, or a sense of personal ethics is you. Can you give us some insight into why you have decided to take so many risks to pursue the science of 9/11? Were you raised with a strong sense of ethics or strong religious beliefs? It may not seem like much to you, but I think it would be most instructive for others to understand why you have given so much time and effort to this as-yet thankless task. What are your core motives? How do you deal emotionally with the negativity of mainstream America concerning a real discussion of 9/11?

KR: Science is a way of learning, and a pursuit of truth primarily used for prediction, although some do it for the sake of its beauty alone. Unfortunately, in today's culture it has become confused with technology, or the application of scientific findings. To complicate matters, science is often misused by corporations and governments to support short-sighted financial or policy goals. Much of this has to do with presenting the appearance of good science, when obligatory studies and expert opinions are needed to promote what is going to be promoted anyway, like the next drug in the pipeline. People who are not comfortable with science or technology can be easily fooled by images of scientists in lab coats, scientific sounding language, or mathematical formulae. NIST became expert at such things during its WTC investigation. In a way, the science of manipulation has become far more advanced than other sciences. As for me, I'm kind of an idealist in that I feel that real science can be life supporting, and along with other fine human endeavors, science can help us survive in the long term. It's clear to me that deception and manipulation are fatal for the deceiver as well as the deceived. As time goes on, we are learning that we'll only survive as a species if we live more truthfully. How did I reach this understanding personally? I'm not sure. I was raised in a large Irish Catholic family. They were open minded and tolerant. When I was still relatively young I experienced some terrible emotional pain through the tragic loss of several close family members. It could be that I'm better able to keep the negativity in perspective because of that experience. But I've also had trouble, as many have. There is a book by Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche called The Myth of Freedom, in which he describes how to work with negativity. He says that dwelling on negativity is not good, especially "negative negativity", or that which self-justifies and is used to avoid pain. But he also says that basic honest negativity "can be creative in community as well as in personal relationships." With the issue of 9/11 we see both of these. We see many people working hard to ignore the truth in order to avoid pain and as a result becoming more and more negative toward "conspiracy theorists." We also see those who are willing to work honestly with the negativity and the truth of 9/11 in order to bring about lasting positive change.

ABN: Do you think it would be effective for people who want a new investigation into 9/11 to focus more of their energy on getting professional scientists to speak up? Rather than spend more time trying to break into mainstream media or getting a politician or two to say something reasonable, might it not be a better idea to focus on scientific groups and organizations? Earlier you mentioned scientists who are afraid to talk about 9/11 because they are dependent on government funding. Might that dependency not also work the other way around? That is, they take money from taxpayers ("the government") and so they owe it to the public to tell the truth? Maybe all they need is to have someone ask them to live up to their training. Many people are like that. They won't say anything on their own, but if you ask them, they will not lie. Would it be a good use of energy to approach university science departments or national groups like the Union of Concerned Scientists?

KR: Yes, I do think that would be effective. We are still very much a society that appeals to authority rather than thinking for ourselves. We've been trained to do that I think, through media and pop culture. That's why groups like Scholars for 9/11 Truth and Justice, and AE911Truth, have been so effective. People want experts to tell them that it's OK to say that the official story of 9/11 is untrue, despite the fact that anyone who spends a little time investigating the issues can see that fact for themselves. What we as truth seekers could do better, before reaching out to more scientists or other people, is explain how the false story of 9/11 has impacted us all personally. We need to reach people through enlightened self-interest. It has been the "war on terror" that has driven the US into bankruptcy and done so much other damage to our society, and therefore the fact that all of it was built on a false story helps everyone understand that it is vital for us to learn the truth about 9/11. There is fear at first, especially considering that we might very well have hired the terrorists to protect us from terrorism, and that those in control of our nation today cannot be unaware of the falsity of the official line on 9/11. But today many people are losing their jobs, as well as their rights, and legislation has been enacted to enable martial law. If we want our society to remain free and viable, we have to demand the truth now. Spelling all of this out in concise communications, and beginning to offer next step solutions - a critical need that has been unmet so far - will convince more people, including scientists, to call for the truth. I've reached out to the Union of Concerned Scientists myself, and to the Obama Administration, and I'll continue trying. We have a new paper coming out soon that will provide yet more compelling evidence for the WTC demolition theory. But the arguments must be made so that the audience will see their own self-interest in taking the risk to speak out. Simply answering questions truthfully is speaking out in today's society, and it is no longer just a career choice, it's a life choice.

ABN: What do you think are the best three or four points about 9/11 to raise with scientists or people with some training in the sciences? What parts of the official story are weakest?

KR: The first point that should draw the attention of anyone who has scientific background is the infinitesimally low probability that so many unprecedented events could have happened all on the same day. On 9/11, we had the first ever complete failure of our national air defenses (times four), while at the same time the first ever situation where all of the members of our chain of command were unavailable or incapable to respond to a national emergency, followed by the first three times that a skyscraper has fallen through the path of most resistance at nearly free-fall speed for any reason other than demolition, and so on and so on. The list of unprecedented events is staggering actually. And considering that all of that led us (emotionally) to the conclusion that we should invade the most strategically important lands in the world - lands that we already planned to invade anyway - the probability of such a scenario should be highly suspect, to make a gross understatement. Furthermore, scientists should look at the official explanations for how these things occurred, and note that these explanations changed dramatically several times, even contradicting each other. A second point for physical scientists is that the explanations given for the WTC destruction have all been completely unscientific, supported by no physical testing and ostensibly crafted by computer models that the public is not allowed to see. A third point is that there now exists a large body of evidence, including many witnesses and physical evidence, that supports the WTC demolition theory. Finally, as I said earlier, it is the psychology of 9/11 that is so tremendously important. When we realize that our nation, which was until recently the best educated in the world, was fooled so completely by such an incredibly weak story, our psychological biases and defense mechanisms come to light in a way that should immediately gain the attention of any psychologist or social scientist.

ABN: You and Dr. Steve Jones have done work investigating the presence of incendiary and explosive residues in the dust from the World Trade Center buildings. Can you say something about that? In your view, how strong is this evidence?

KR: The evidence is very strong. The new paper that I mentioned is much more conclusive than anything we've published before, and is supported by considerable physical testing. The team working on this project now includes scientists from around the world, and results have been replicated in different laboratories and different, independently obtained samples of WTC dust. I'll leave it at that for now, as I'm not the lead author on this next paper, which will be published soon in a mainstream peer-reviewed journal. Additionally, several FOIA requests are in the works that, depending on the transparency of the responses, could help explain exactly how such explosive materials might have been installed in the buildings, and when. As I mentioned before, I've also been making nanothermites myself and have shared some of this work (link above) in a way that allows people to visually see the similarities. That work of synthesizing different formulations, with the purpose of matching exactly what we've seen in the dust, will help to narrow down the list of suspects. In other interviews I've emphasized that we can do much, in conjunction with the science, to zero in on the culprits by considering the intersection of three paths. That is, 1- who had access to such technologies at the time that these explosives were likely to have been installed, 2- who had access to these highly secure buildings, and 3- who was involved in the cover-up investigations that followed? If we examine that short list and consider motives, I think we'll find those who actually committed the crimes of 9/11.

ABN: Wow. I did not expect that. That is a major piece of news that even the US media will not be able to ignore. One question comes to mind on this: Is the chain of custody for the dust good enough for a law case? Or, put another way, is undisturbed dust from the buildings still available for independent testing?

KR: I'm afraid that the mainstream media will be able to ignore it. What is already known about 9/11 is enough to bring the whole house of cards down, several times over. If the media can ignore that information, it can ignore anything. But to be clear, the mainstream media has reported bits and pieces of truth over the years. For example, one of the most successful 9/11 truth websites is one that is built entirely on mainstream media sources - The History Commons (http://www.historycommons.org/). What happens is that this information gets reported only once, and never gets brought together in a cohesive picture that allows readers to readily understand the implications. But back to your question - do we have chain of custody documentation on the samples? Yes, we have signed affidavits from each of the sample collectors, who in each case collected the samples and forwarded them directly to the person conducting the experiments. We're now using a customized version of a standard chain-of-custody form intended for typical environmental samples, which allows the information to be transferred in the same way every time. As with all good science, what we're trying to do is to provide a procedure by which other competent scientists can replicate the results. And to your second point, yes, there is a great deal of WTC dust still out there. Helping other honest investigators find samples will not be a problem.

ABN: I hope you are wrong about the media. It is true they have ignored so much, they no longer deserve to be called news media. But how can they ignore the fact that incendiaries have been found in WTC dust and that the finding has been replicated and can be independently confirmed? Anyway, we will know soon enough, I guess. Even if the mainstream media ignores the evidence, less-than-mainstream opinion-makers (Shermer, Cockburn, Chomsky, Zinn, Goodman, etc.) may find it more difficult to deny. Some time ago you debated Michael Shermer on 9/11 (see: "9/11 and Skepticism": http://www.americanbuddhist.net/9-11-and-skepticism). How do you think he will deal with the new findings? What about the others? Will they be forced to change their views?

KR: We should consider the fact that most of these people are just acting in their own self interest, and when groups of people act independently in their own self interest it is not a conspiracy, it is human nature. For example, Professor Chomsky has written a number of books that relate to the events of 9/11. In fact, he wrote a book with the title "9/11". All of this is based on the notion of "blowback but never managed blowback", which I wrote about in a recent essay. Therefore, if he were now to say that he suddenly believes that the alternative theories (e.g. managed blowback) might have merit, he would be essentially negating a large body of his own work. That is also true for Goodman, I think. But Howard Zinn has only recently started to say that we should move on from 9/11, that it is "in the past", which is a very strange thing for an historian to say. He was previously quite supportive, having written a blurb or two for David Ray Griffin's books. I don't know what made him change his mind, but if you have tried to fight for 9/11 truth you know that there can be tremendous peer pressure to quit asking those questions. It's a very painful subject, and can take a toll on a person. True compassion for people like Chomsky and Zinn would certainly help, in my opinion. Even more so, with 9/11 and with many other challenges we are facing, forgiveness will be a very important skill in the future. Shermer is a good example of where that will have to come into play. He is someone who has worked hard to put down any questioning of the events of 9/11, and there really aren't many people in that category. Most others, including mainstream media representatives, are just acting in their own self interest, to avoid their own pain and, in a futile effort, to avoid real change. Lasting positive change will require us to put away our heroes (e.g. Chomsky and Zinn) and our demons (i.e. those who just happen to live on the last oil-rich land). Lasting change will also require us to let go of many of our unnecessary beliefs and opinions, so that more truthful information can take hold. My colleagues and I are trying to supply that truthful information so that it is available when people are ready to make that change.

ABN: In this talk and in your writings, you have often emphasized such things as "human nature", our capacity for "self-deception", the "deep psychology" of human beings, and our need for more "truth" in society. These are also primary themes within the Buddhist tradition. From other communications with you, I know that you have more than a passing interest in Buddhism. In this interview, you also mentioned your Catholic upbringing. Can you expand on these themes a bit? How does your work on 9/11 affect you spiritually and how do your spiritual or moral beliefs affect your work on 9/11? Gandhi once said: "Those who say religion has nothing to do with politics do not know what religion is." How do you understand the intersection of religion, politics, and science?

KR: I've got great respect for people who sincerely pursue their religious convictions. That includes people of many faiths, including Buddhist, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim and Christian people. Buddhism is the religion that speaks to me most clearly, and the one that I work to learn the most about. I was raised Catholic, and Christian moral values remain with me although I don't practice the Christian faith formally. But these various designations are not important in my opinion, and I'm most compelled by the common goal of these religions, the perennial philosophy as it is sometimes called, to seek the underlying source of existence, our greater Self, and abandon the lesser self. We find this theme, that tells us to let go of our smaller self or our ego-based deception, throughout all the great religions. St. Francis was an inspirational Catholic leader who said "It is in dying to self that we are born to eternal life." All Christians know that "Pride goeth before the fall", and Buddhists focus on release from the attachment that creates suffering. Both the Qur'an and the Torah speak about self-deception, and the Talmud tells us that lies are the worst form of theft (theft of ideas), and so on. Of course we can see for ourselves that people who live more truthfully, being more honest with themselves, have the best chance at long term physical survival. And as I've said before, 9/11 is the best example of mass self-deception, and therefore the best opportunity for us to learn about such things, and move toward a better world. Mass self-deception is exemplified beautifully by the official story of 9/11, in which we of Western cultures accepted that dark-skinned demons committed completely irrational, violent acts for no good reason. The fact that those demons just happened to live on the most strategic lands in the world, lands that our "leaders" already planned to invade, did not occur to many people. The unconscious fear and rage, that the corporate media worked so hard to instill on the matter, kept us from realizing that Muslims could not have been involved in the crimes of 9/11 at all, because taking innocent life is against their religion. We might say that instead of being real Muslims, they were "nominally" Muslims, much like the leaders of our governments have called themselves Christians when everyone knows, from the fruits of their labor, they are as far from Christians as people can get. But those semantics are just excuses after the fact. We were deceived, and many of us went along with it for years. What will we do with this knowledge? Such a weak and unsupported lie cannot be maintained, for so long, without self-deception. So my work on 9/11 is part of an effort to seek greater truth, and to help others learn enough to survive and prosper both physically and spiritually. Politics is not something I know much about, and actually I've never considered what I do to be political in nature. But I might be wrong. I've still got a lot to learn myself.

ABN: I usually use the word "politics" to indicate power relationships in society and their interplay. Washington and all that then becomes a subset of American politics, which would also include media, public perception, propaganda, fake science, why it happens and so on. This definition is not so common though. Anyway, in this sense much of what you are doing is "political" because you are trying to make the public aware of how they are being deceived by proponents of the official story of 9/11. In this rough context, one thing about you and most of the other core 9/11 people that really stands out in my mind is you are using a model of "political" leadership that is quite rare in America today, but that is proving to be very effective. I am thinking of David Ray Griffin, Steve Jones, Graeme MacQueen, Barrie Zwicker, you, and many others--there is a selflessness, honesty, and quiet decency about all of you that is truly impressive. I doubt that your style was consciously chosen, and though it may be difficult for you to do, can you speak about this a bit? Does your way of doing what you do come from your education, from your sense of ethics, from your "spirituality," from the kind of truths you are talking about, or something else? What is it about 9/11 that has drawn in so many really decent people, people it seems that would never have sought a place in the public eye but for this event?

KR: It seems that the word politics has only negative connotations now, as does the word power. In the past, power was something good, like in the Tao Te Ching. But that was about lasting power, and I don't think there's much chance of Washington being in that category. Whatever lasts, resonates, and gives power is a conjugate of its natural environment. Both Tao and Darwin agree on this. That reminds me that you've listed some great people, but have forgotten the women. Some of the first and greatest 9/11 truth leaders were women. Cynthia McKinney, Indira Singh, Catherine Austin-Fitts, the Jersey Girls, and others are in that group. All of these people are examples of selflessness and decency, and I'd be honored to be mentioned in such company. But I think that selflessness and decency are actually more natural, and therefore not so much chosen as "just exactly so", as a Buddhist teacher might say. One such teacher that I admire is the late Dainin Katagiri, a Zen teacher from Minnesota, formerly from Japan. In his book "Returning to Silence", he taught about real knowing, and allowing yourself "to stand in the appropriate place." Since the book is written more for monks, not lay people like myself, I might be misinterpreting it. But Katagiri Roshi wrote that realizing the Truth is the same as being yourself honestly, and one cannot really live without being truthful and seeking an actualized realization of the truth for all beings. My answer then, is that the people listed above didn't just choose to speak out about 9/11, it's also that doing so is simply who they are. My feeling is that this is the case for most of the people who have stayed the course in seeking the truth about 9/11. They know how important it is for all of us to know what happened, but they really work for the truth simply because they cannot do otherwise. I'm not talking about those who have made a career of it, trying to make money from it, or those who have done it for the fame. Over the years, in the worst of the attacks and smear campaigns against us, I've told my colleagues that we have to decide first why we're doing this. If you can't say that you would still be working for the truth even if you never got any credit or reward for it, and even if you know that you might end up suffering greatly because of it, then you shouldn't be doing it. We should only seek the truth honestly, because we know it's the right thing to do and it will give everyone a better chance at survival, albeit maybe only for future generations. The people you mentioned are doing it for those reasons, and that's why they have succeeded. I don't know that all of them are religious, but they are all dedicated to honestly seeking the truth. This is because of their nature, and when they have other reasons, it's a matter of something greater than their own personal gain. Therefore they are a reflection of what is True and have the power to be part of something great.

ABN: Where do you see the 9/11 movement going over the next year or two? Will things be much different under Obama? Is there a better chance of gaining mainstream recognition or a new investigation now that he is president?

KR: People are becoming more open and accepting of the 9/11 truth movement as time goes on. Five or six years ago we didn't get any mainstream media coverage, even negative coverage. Things are different now. This is partly because the emotional trauma of 9/11 is more in the past, and because we've seen so many recognizable and admirable people speak out over the intervening years. We also see more openness because, as I said before, as things develop nationally and worldwide, people see more of their own self-interest tied to getting out the truth about the so-called War on Terror. The more welcoming environment is also a function of younger folks not being as tied to the official story as older people are. Last week I interviewed with a 12 year old girl who was doing a project for school on 9/11 truth. I asked her if she thought the subject would bring her grief due to peer pressure. She said no, everybody talks about it. Eventually, this will be the case, and everyone will know that 9/11 was an inside job and it will be considered obvious. The question that faces us today is whether or not we'll reach a critical mass awareness, one that will create insistent public demand for a new investigation, before people become so overwhelmed with the collapsing economy and other crises (e.g. new wars, martial law), that the truth will only be useful in hindsight, for future generations to learn from. For the truth about 9/11 to be useful to this generation, people will need to quickly recognize that 9/11 has been the driving force behind the wars and policies that expedited this economic collapse, as well as totalitarian legislation, and the destruction of our country's moral standing in the world. Once people accept the need for 9/11 truth, other urgent issues come to mind quickly. Why did our government, our mass media and our academic institutions not help us get the truth out? What really drives public policy - public opinion or corporate greed? These are important questions and the answers will be tremendously helpful to society. What are the odds that Obama will make this happen? To answer that we should take a look at what little we know about him now. First of all he is only one man, and there are no individual heroes that will make everything better, just as there are no demons that are responsible for it all. Lasting positive change will require far more than a few new laws, and Obama is fighting difficult battles just to pass his first bills in a Democrat led Congress. Secondly, he has said that he won't investigate the crimes of the Bush Administration, so he's not likely to investigate 9/11. Obama made an enormous number of promises to get elected, and he appears to be following up on a few. But he's working from within the exact same system as Bush and Clinton did, and he's hiring the same people too. As I said, I don't know much about politics, but there is evidence that the same financial interests control both parties, and all politicians like Obama need to be submissive to those interests or they cannot raise the needed campaign money let alone get elected. For an interesting evaluation of international financial interests and 9/11, I recommend a new book by author and activist Don Paul, for which I contributed the Introduction. The title of this book is "The World is Turning: "9/11", The Movement for Justice, & Reclaiming America for the World."

ABN: Thank you for your time and insights. Is there anything else you would like to say?

KR: Thank you, I hope the discussion was useful. It’s important for people to realize that understanding the events of 9/11, and the false official explanations given for those events, is a fundamental first step in solving the problems we’re facing as a society today. There are critical and species-threatening issues that need to be addressed immediately, and humankind is on the brink of a transition that will not leave much room for continuing errors. That’s why many of us are convinced that it is this “catastrophic and catalyzing” realization, that we’ve been deceived about 9/11, that can bring us together to work for lasting positive change.

Kevin Ryan is former Site Manager for Environmental Health Laboratories, a division of Underwriters Laboratories (UL). Mr. Ryan, a Chemist and laboratory manager, was fired by UL in 2004 for publicly questioning the report being drafted by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) on their World Trade Center investigation. In the intervening period, Ryan has completed additional research while his original questions, which have become increasingly important over time, remain unanswered by UL or NIST.

Through interviews, presentations, and his work as co-editor at the online Journal of 911 Studies, Mr. Ryan works to bring out the truth behind the events of 9/11/01 for the benefit of all people.

A list of his writings can be found here: Presentations and Writings

This interview was conducted by Tom Graham via email over the past few weeks.

Saving American politics from the present two-party system(Peter Dale Scott)

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