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Monday, November 30, 2009

WTO still parties like it's 1999: Bankers' scheme to re-open finance casino worldwide(Greg Palast)

on 10th Anniversary of the Battle in Seattle
Bankers' scheme to re-open finance casino worldwide
by Greg Palast for Air America's Ring of Fire

GENEVA — Apparently, one meltdown isn't enough for the World Trade Organization. They meet today in Geneva on the tenth anniversary of the "Battle in Seattle," the first mass protest against globalization.

In a special investigation for Air America's Ring of Fire, [listen to the report here or watch the 9-minute film here], I recently gained access to several documents from inside the file cabinets of the WTO, the World Bank and other centers of globalization.

According to one marked "Ensure This Text Is Not Made Publicly Available," the big banks, via official trade negotiators, are secretly demanding that emerging nations, starting with Brazil, open their markets to trading in derivatives, credit default swaps and other exotic—and toxic—financial products.

It's not enough that they have brought the US and Europe to their financial knees. Now banks, under the guise of the WTO's free trade treaty, want to expand the casino to the new big emerging powers with their trillion-greenback reserves. A derivatives crash in those markets could easily trigger a financial China Syndrome—a second meltdown from New York to Beijing to Brasília.

Here in Geneva, at the grand compound on the shore of Lake Geneva, I confronted the Director-General of the World Trade Organization, Pascal Lamy, about the secret demands of the world's biggest financiers. I asked how, after the disaster in the US economy in 2008, the prime movers of the globe's economy would go along with the world's largest banks to start up still more gambling operations in Brazil and India?

Lamy insisted that, "Trade is not the problem. The problem is whether what you trade is regulated or not."

The WTO chief did however admit that, were a nation to attempt to shutter any particular bank's trading desk, that nation would have to pay a hefty penalty under WTO rules. "There's a price to pay to claw back," said Lamy, himself a banker. (Lamy was Director-General of French giant Crédit Lyonnais.)

The exposure of the secret demand on Brazil to allow banks to go double or nothing on a second crisis runs counter to the public position of US and European governments. Paul Volker, President Obama's advisor on preventing another crisis, has called for re-regulating banks, and in particular, barring commercial banks from trading in derivatives and other risky financial instruments.

This contradiction between public position and private lobby for the banks infuriates Martin Khor, Geneva-based trade advisor to Brazil and 50 other emerging nations. Khor, known as the intellectual leader of the Seattle anti-WTO protests of 1999, told Air America, "If I were Mr. Obama or (British Prime Minister) Brown, I would tell my financial services organization, please lay off the developing countries; let's get our own act together."

But apparently, the banks and global-crats at the WTO want to party like it's 1999.

9/11 lawyer speaks out: Judges are breaking the law, detainees not getting the lawyers they want...

BREAKING: Scott Fenstermaker, the 9/11 Lawyer, Speaks Out: Judges Are Breaking the Law, Detainees Not Getting Lawyers They Want

Scott Fenstermaker has become the lightning rod for 9/11. He is the only defense lawyer mentioned in the upcoming trials of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and his four co-conspirators. Although he won’t be defending them in court, he’s been pilloried by the press for daring to suggest that these detainees have any legal rights.

I called him this weekend, and asked him why.

Scott Fenstermaker has represented Ali Abd al-Aziz Ali in various legal proceedings at Guantanamo Bay. Mr. Ali stands accused of conspiracy, murder, destruction of property, hijacking, and terrorism for his part in the September 11th attacks. I could not understand why Mr. Fenstermaker would not defend his client in court, so I began the interview by asking him to clarify this:

TP: Why won’t you represent Ali Abd al-Aziz Ali when he stands trial in New York for the September 11th attacks?

SF: The government would not let me represent him.

TP: Why not?

SF: Well, that’s a good question. The government goes crazy every time the detainees want me to represent them, and the government doesn’t like it.

TP: How does the government prevent you from representing the detainees?

SF: The government wants to control who represents the detainees. The government not only wants to, but it is. The government does this by controlling the judges. The judges are doing exactly what the government wants them to do in these cases. The judges ask what the government wants them to do, and then they do it.

Mr. Fenstermaker flew to Guantanamo Bay when he found out that Ali and four other detainees would stand trial in Federal Court for the 9/11 attacks. On November 21st he told the New York Times that Mr. Ali and his co-defendants will plead not guilty “so they can have a trial and try to get their message out”. Thus began last week’s media circus.

Bill O’Reilly called him “a weasel” on national television. David Horowitz anointed him a member of the “traitor class”. Even the highbrow Huffington Post accused Mr. Fenstermaker of “bringing his own politics to the case”.

Sam Stein wrote the hit piece for the Huffington Post. He quoted “an employee with an NGO working on national security issues”. But he did not name this mysterious employee, or the Non-Government Organization.

Stein’s source said that “Fenstermaker was causing a lot of trouble and was in no way qualified to be representing these guys but had managed to set up a relationship with these detainees”. I read parts of Stein’s essay to Mr. Fenstermaker, and he had no doubt about the NGO.

TP: Who is the Non Government Organization?

SF: The American Civil Liberties Union. They’re working with the government and the judges involved in the cases. The detainees know that the government appointed counsel is working to prosecute.

TP: You mean their Government appointed legal defenders would be working to convict them?

SF: Yes, that’s why they’ve rejected assigned counsel.

TP: Is that why they are going to represent themselves at trial?

SF: Yes.

We spoke at length about the ACLU’s collusion with the US Government to convict these men. In my opinion, this is why the Obama administration is so confident these alleged 9/11 conspirators will be convicted and sentenced to death. Since they will be representing themselves, the trial will be a sham, a show for the American People.

I asked Scott Fenstermaker a final series of questions to clarify his legal representation of Mr. Ali and the other defendants at the upcoming trial.

TP: Did you ask Mr Ali if you could represent him at the trial in New York?

SF: No.

TP: Do you plan to ask Mr Ali if you could represent him?

SF: No.

TP: What if Mr. Ali or one of the other defendants asks you to defend them in court?

SF: I would refuse to do it.

TP: Why?

SF: Because I think the international community may one day open up a war crimes investigation into the war on terror, and a lot of these judges and lawyers may be prosecuted themselves.

SF: It’s illegal, what we’re doing with these detainees.

Search engines censoring ClimateGate?

Search Engines Censoring ClimateGate?
Paul Joseph Watson
Prison Planet.com
Monday, November 30, 2009

A fantastic article written by Christopher Brooker of the London Telegraph exposing the climate change fraud rocketed to the very top of a Google News search for “global warming,” only to disappear hours later.

“What is going on at Google? I only ask because last night when I typed “Global Warming” into Google News the top item was Christopher Booker’s superb analysis of the Climategate scandal,” writes James Delingpole.

“It’s still the most-read article of the Telegraph’s entire online operation – 430 comments and counting – yet mysteriously when you try the same search now it doesn’t even feature. Instead, the top-featured item is a blogger pushing Al Gore’s AGW agenda. Perhaps there’s nothing sinister in this. Perhaps some Google-savvy reader can enlighten me.”

Another blogger noted how other versions of the article appeared, but the original had been “disappeared,” despite the fact that other London Telegraph articles showed up as the top ranked result when entering their headline.

“That is using the search string: “Climate change: this is the worst scientific scandal of our generation” – which is the full headline of the piece. It shows up where it has been quoted in full by other sites, but of the Booker column there is no sign,” writes Richard North.

In addition, searches for previous Christopher Brooker articles show up as top links – it’s only this particular article that has seemingly been targeted for censorship.

The same de-listing of the article is evident on other major search engine websites like Bing and Yahoo.

Despite the fact that Google has been caught gaming its search results in the past, this is more likely an “inside job” as it were.

It appears as if one of the editors at the Telegraph has gone into the backend of the Telegraph content management system and checked an option that prevents search engines from indexing a particular article.

“My guess is that this isn’t a Google issue. The problem probably lies closer to home – there looks to be an enemy in the camp, who has probably been using this, or something like it,” writes North, referring to a code that is inserted into a web page in order to block it from being ’spidered’. This is sometimes done to prevent site ripping and other hacks, but it also has the effect of barring search engines from being able to list the page in their results.

The fact that this has been applied to just this one article suggests that some higher-up at the Telegraph from the warmist camp was concerned about how the article had gone viral and wanted to contain its spread.

The fact that this attempt at sabotage has become a story within itself will probably only mean Brooker’s article will be read by more people, so the whole ruse has backfired.

Tea Party co-founder laments hijacking of movement...

Tea Party Co-founder Laments Hijacking of Movement
Kurt Nimmo
November 30, 2009

In an editorial posted on the CAIVN (California Independent Voter Network), Chad Peace, a co-founder of the original Tea Party movement, blasts the establishment Republican takeover of the movement.

Inspired by Rick Sabtelli’s now legendary rant on CNBC, Peace and a business partner set-up a tea party website. “Within days, we received tens of thousands of e-mails and passionate pleas for government accountability. Our vision was to change the political debate focused on general divisions to one centered on specific solutions. We asked our supporters to question party-line politicians and demand that our leaders take a more independent and reasoned stance on the issues facing our country,” writes Peace.

It didn’t take long, however, for establishment Republicans to muscle in and hijack the idea. “Knowing we had neither the financial means nor man-power to out-publicize political perverts, I was never-the-less convinced that this independent movement would not be overrun by golden idols,” Peace explains. He wrote to supporters and asked them “to be weary of old Republican figureheads like Newt Gingrich and current political strategists Patrick Leahy, hiding their identity behind make-shift ‘grassroots’ websites. I was hopeful that the same talking heads, like Hannity and O’Reilly, that asked us to bend over blindly to past leaders would not have enough credibility to grandstand in front of an independent-minded movement.”

It wasn’t so much Hannity and O’Reilly that compromised the movement. It was mostly Glenn Beck. His 9.12 Project stole much of the thunder of the original tea party movement and channeled it into a Fox News segment complete with adverts from Big Oil and Big Pharma.

Beck declared he was formulating “a 100 year plan… a book that will provide specific policies, principles and, most importantly, action steps that each of us can take to play a role in this Refounding.” He announced that on August 28, 2010, he will gather patriotic Americans “at the feet of Abraham Lincoln on the National Mall for the unveiling of The Plan and the birthday of a new national movement to restore our great country.”

Few seemed to notice the obvious contradiction — a corporate media network calling for a restoration of American ideals while simultaneously working against those ideals. Fox News is owned and operated by a political player who supported the neocons and their murderous wars and then backed the political campaign of the wife of a former president who was “anointed” for the presidency by the Bilderberg Group. Rupert Murdoch has played both sides of the fence and now one of his hirelings is calling for a restoration of the republic.

“Propelled by the moving mouths on TV and the talking heads of such ironically named organizations such as the ‘American Family Association’ (one must agree that for an admitted adulterer with three ex-wives heading the AFA is ironic, right?), the movement lost its focus,” Peace continues. “No longer were tea partiers upset with the bipartisan corruption in Washington D.C., they are mad at the socialists communists Hitler-like Democrats. No longer did Constitutionalism mean respecting the rule of law, it meant Obama is not really our president. A movement founded on the principles of independent analysis, it has become a yelling fest for punch-drunk cynics armed with incoherent talking points.”

Beck’s “new movement” was designed by the establishment specifically to destroy the threat posed by the original tea party movement. Glenn Beck’s rhetoric on “Marxist” Democrats is a cynical attempt to perpetuate the false right-left paradigm and steer patriotic Americans back into a political safety zone controlled by the elite. Obama and the Democrats are not Marxist. They are the flipside of the same political system supported and perpetuated by the Republicans. Obama’s advisers are from Goldman Sachs and Wall Street, not the Communist International.

“Slowly, I’ve lost some of my unrealistic idealism,” Peace admits. “As I pull back the blinders, I try to look at the tea party from the eyes of an outsider, the average American. What I see is a bunch of people reciting partisan political sermons, coddling fears, and perpetuating a superficial battle between ‘left’ and ‘right’; drowning the well intentioned idealists that remain.”

The coup d’état will be complete in February when the establishment holds its 1st Annual Tea Party Convention in Nashville, Tennessee. “Minnesota 6th District Rep. Michele Bachmann will burnish her conservative standing when she appears,” reports MinnPost. The event “also will feature former Alaska Gov. and vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin. City Pages says Bachmann will give a breakfast speech, while Palin is the keynote speaker at the Saturday evening main event Feb. 6.”

It will not be an event for ordinary Americans. “Tickets for the weekend convention are now on sale for $549 but don’t include accommodations at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel and Convention Center.” How many Americans — besieged by the bankers and witnessing their middle class lives slowly dissolving before their eyes — can afford to fork over several hundred dollars? More to the point, why would they want to spend that amount of money on a circus sideshow featuring a political hack groomed by the elite for higher political office?

“As the Tea Party Express makes its way across the country, Sarah Palin has emerged as a favorite daughter of the movement,” CNN reported in September. “So far, no politician has emerged as a leader of the Tea Party movement – and the question of just who might eventually take up the mantle is a hot topic on the bus. Nobody may be better positioned than Palin.”

“Palin is the ultimate small-town renegade rising from the frontier to do battle with the corrupt establishment. Her followers take pride in the way she has aroused fear, hatred and panic in the minds of the liberal elite,” writes David Brooks, who straddles both sides of the false right-left paradigm as a journalist for NPR and The Weekly Standard.

Palin is no such thing. She is merely a new face plastered on the Republican party as it struggles to regain power from the Democrats. Palin is more attractive than the old Republican stalwarts. But as they say, beauty is only skin-deep. Her “rogue” status is a carefully crafted establishment magic trick.

“As the battle rages, I have more faith than ever that an independent revolution will come,” Chad Peace concludes. “When the absurdity of our political process rises to the point where tea bags become a right wing rally cry and the left still manages to drop in the polls, there is a growing opportunity for the increasingly disenchanted to drive a stake right down the middle.”

We can only hope. However, before disenchantment can work in our favor, a few million Americans need to tune out Glenn Beck and Fox News. They need to see Sarah Palin for what she is — a creature groomed by the same global elite that sold us the Obama change mantra that turned out to be the same refried dogma offered up by the Bush administration.

America's new threat: It's own secrecy(Peter Dale Scott)

America’s New Threat: Its Own Secrecy — Peter Dale Scott
November 29, 2009
by NoLiesRadio.org

Interview with writer and researcher, Peter Dale Scott, on his book, “The Road to 9/11: Wealth, Empire and the Future of America”. We touch on a few of the subjects in this new book, including the Nixon and Ford administrations, Kissinger, Pakistan, Chile, Iraq, Continuity of Government and the increasing secret control of American foreign and domestic policy by fewer and fewer people.

This show was broadcast on No Lies Radio on November 29, 2009 and is now archived — Listen here.

New Jersey Governor-elect knew FBI paid Hal Turner for help...

Report: FBI paid controversial NJ blogger for help
(AP) – 23 hours ago

TRENTON, N.J. — A New Jersey blogger about to stand trial on charges he made death threats against federal judges apparently was paid by the FBI in its battle against domestic terrorism, according to a published report.

The Record of Bergen County reported Sunday that Hal Turner received thousands of dollars from the FBI to report on neo-Nazis and white supremacist groups and was sent undercover to Brazil.

Turner also claims the FBI coached him to make racist, anti-Semitic and other threatening statements on his radio show, but the newspaper also found many federal officials were concerned that his audience might follow up on his violence rhetoric.

The newspaper reviewed numerous government documents, e-mails, court records and almost 20 hours of jailhouse interviews with Turner.

He goes on trial Tuesday in New York, accused of making death threats against three Chicago-based federal appeals judges after saying in Internet postings in June the judges "deserve to be killed" because they had refused to overturn handgun bans in Chicago and suburban Oak Park.

The postings included the photos and work addresses of the judges — Richard Posner, Frank Easterbrook, and William Bauer — along with a picture of the Dirksen Federal Courthouse in downtown Chicago and notations indicating the placement of "anti-truck bomb barriers."

Turner's FBI connections began in 2003 with the Newark-based Joint Terrorism Task Force and continued on and off until this year, according to the newspaper. He claims his postings and other inflammatory statements were part of an undercover operation to ferret out violent left-wing radicals.

His lawyer, Michael Orozco, has subpoenaed Chris Christie, the former U.S. Attorney for New Jersey and the state's governor-elect, to testify on Turner's behalf.

In an affidavit filed with the subpoena, Orozco says Christie knew of Turner's activities between 2002 and 2008 while Christie held his federal post. Orozco says Christie issued a letter saying he would not prosecute Turner for his statements.

It was not known whether Christie would be called to testify.

He said last week that he had not yet seen the subpoena, but said "any advice I gave as U.S. attorney regarding prosecutions is something I am not going to talk about publicly."

Federal prosecutors and FBI officials declined comment on Turner's claims.

"We do not comment on matters before the courts, and will not address Mr. Turner's allegations in the press," said Weysan Dun, who runs the FBI's Newark field office.

Turner said he feels double-crossed by the bureau after his June arrest.

But other documents show federal agents growing more anxious about his extremist views while valuing his ties to right-wing hate groups, the newspaper said. It noted one memo that stated Turner "has proven highly reliable and is in a unique position to provide vital information on multiple subversive domestic organizations."

In a separate case, Turner was charged with "inciting injury to persons" for urging blog readers to "take up arms" against Connecticut lawmakers who proposed legislation to give Roman Catholic lay members more control over parish finances.

"A Hal Turner Timeline"

Venezuelan banks fail to extend credit to the poor,threatened with nationalization by Chavez...

Chavez threatens to nationalize Venezuelan banks
By Walker Simon – Sun Nov 29, 6:43 pm ET

CARACAS (Reuters) – Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said on Sunday he could nationalize private banks unless they comply with the law, adding he had "no problem with that because the banks don't want to extend credit to the poor."

In a broadcast from nationalized farmland in central Venezuela, he said: "To all the country's private bankers ... (I'm saying) he who slips up loses; I'll take over the bank, whatever its size."

"You want me to nationalize the banks?" he said during the broadcast of his weekly TV show "Alo Presidente."

"I have no problem with that because the banks don't want to extend credit to the poor, they don't comply, they don't want to comply with the bank's purpose for existence, and that is the law."

Chavez said the purpose of banks was not to enrich a small group of people but "should be to collect funds and savings to help aid the country's development by making loans, extending credits for housing."

In power for a decade, Chavez has nationalized broad swathes of the economy.

His banking nationalization threats on Sunday appeared to be broader in scope than his well-publicized warnings in recent years to nationalize Spanish-owned banks in Venezuela.

He repeatedly threatened to seize Spanish bank subsidiaries in Venezuela unless Spain's king apologized for telling him to "shut up" in November 2007 at a regional summit where Chavez branded a recent ex-Spanish prime minister a fascist.

But the only major private bank, foreign or Venezuelan, to fall into state hands under Chavez's rule was Spain's Banco Santander unit Banco de Venezuela, sold to Venezuela in July for $1.05 billion.

The government's last banking takeover was on November 20, when it seized four small banks, accounting for about 6 percent of Venezuela's deposits.

Finance Minister Ali Rodriguez then said the move stemmed from concerns about credit portfolios, problems explaining the source of funds and failure to comply with some obligations.


Chavez spoke Sunday from the countryside behind a table strewn with a jumble of books, maps and documents, against the background of farmland growing black beans.

Addressing the banking theme, he said unnamed bankers "are not complying, they do not want to comply with the function for which a bank should exist (such as) that is in the law.

"This is occurring right now with a group of private banks, that's a demonstration that those private banking sectors don't want to learn, they don't want to accept that there is a constitution ... and that there are laws."

Venezuela's banking sector is dominated by 10 banks that control 70 percent of the total funds.

Chavez said he ordered the nation's chief prosecutor to investigate why a state bank, Banfoandes, deposited "a giant amount of resources in private banks."

"How is it that state resources, which belong to the people ... end up being placed in private banks?" he asked in his broadcast. "This is counterrevolutionary."

The four banks seized on November 20 were Banco Confederado, Banco Canarias, Banco Provivienda and bolivar Banco.

On Friday, a court acting on prosecutors' request banned travel abroad of 16 executives -- eight from Confederado, six from Provivienda and two from bolivar Banco.

Chavez said if it were up to him, he would have jailed the 16 executives due to flight risk. "They have (their own) light aircraft and private airports and (can) leave."

Chavez also criticized what he termed as excessive spending by state entities in the private medical sector.

"We have made a gift of millions and millions of bolivares this year to the bourgeoisie, which owns the private clinics, the great insurance companies," he said. "Enough already."

He said those funds should go directly to "the people."

(Reporting by Walker Simon, additional reporting by Fabian Cambero, editing by Matthew Lewis)

Was convicted smog-credit swindler Anne Sholtz part of shady international 'money repatriation' schemes?

An Air of Deceit: Was Convicted Smog-Credit Swindler Anne Sholtz Part of Shady International ‘Money Repatriation’ Schemes?
By Chip Jacobs
Pasadena Weekly

The demise of Anne Sholtz’s once-grand life is evident in the smaller things. It’s there in the GPS-tracking bracelet — standard issue for felons in home detention — that looped around her ankle for a year, and in her near-dormant passport. It’s evident in her pillow, which rests today in leased home miles from the $5 million hillside estate that had broadcast her transformation from Caltech economist to business phenom.

Yes, the wreckage from that existence — the economizing, the isolation from connected friends who now shun her — is graspable.

Where the picture turns as murky as whisky-brown Southern California smog is how Sholtz, a then thirtysomething go-getter, was able to deceive the very air-pollution market she helped conceive, and the lessons that holds for keeping financial crooks out of the trillion-dollar, greenhouse-gas trading system that President Obama has trumpeted as a key to curbing global warming.

Unless you’re in the arcane field of emissions trading, chances are you’ve probably never heard of Sholtz. Last April, the former Pasadena entrepreneur was convicted in federal court of fraud relating to a multimillion-dollar deal for credits in Southern California’s novel smog-exchange. Despite pleas that she sock Sholtz with years behind bars, US Central District Court Judge Audrey Collins gave her just a year in home confinement.

Fortunate with that light sentence, Sholtz nonetheless sustained heavy losses. Most notably, she squandered her chance to build a unique and lucrative pollution-trading business, with access to Obama or Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger as an industry confidante. Those opportunities gone, she now drives her mother’s car, not the Mercedes or SUV she once did. Rather than expanding her ideas into climate change, she checks in with her parole officer.

Blown prosperity for Sholtz, it’s been no bonanza for others, either.

Between criticism over its secretive, mixed-bag prosecution of her and evidence of Sholtz’s role in a scheme to extract millions in overseas US aid assets with men purporting to be American intelligence and military operatives, the Department of Justice’s LA office probably wishes she would just fade away. Local smog regulators at the South Coast Air Quality Management District (AQMD), whose market-based regulation proved vulnerable to her deceptions, can relate.

The trouble is some events are just too big to disappear. And the Sholtz case, though little known and involving obscure and complex regulations, is important because it underscores the need for vigorous oversight of emissions markets against seemingly inevitable Wall Street-style chicanery.

Saying that she hopes to reconcile the events that dragged her from eco-visionary to convicted felon, Sholtz, 44, gave the Pasadena Weekly her first public comments in seven years. These days, she’s a freelance auditor examining white-collar fraud (ironically, for the federal court system that processed her case) and proclaims herself “happy” and “debt-free.”

Just don’t mistake that resilience for satisfaction, or expect to hear weepy remorse from her. Channeling other emotions, Sholtz said she’s “disappointed” in how prosecutors and bankruptcy officials treated her and is perplexed over why the whistleblower tips she furnished them about bank money laundering and environmental corruption seem not to have been pursued.

“Years ago I was depressed I’d made bad decisions, which led to one disastrous deal and my companies unraveling,” Sholtz said over lunch at a location she asked go undisclosed, fearing former associates she claims have threatened her. “I’ve never said anything about this whole experience until now. The only reason I’m speaking is because I’m tired of the misperceptions.”

If two Republican congressmen skeptical about Obama’s carbon-cutting plan have their way, Sholtz’s story may yet capture center stage nationally. This spring, US Rep. Joe Barton of Texas, the ranking member of the House’s powerful Energy and Commerce Committee, and Greg Walden of Oregon, ranking member of the House’s Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee, demanded the US Environmental Protection Agency provide a mass of information about the Sholtz case to them, based partly on the Pasadena Weekly’s coverage of her.

“We believe this case has great relevance in the context of the pending legislation on climate change,” Barton and Walden wrote in a statement, citing doubts that federal authorities have the money and legal punch to adequately police a national greenhouse-gas market.

It appears those doubts will be tested. An Obama-backed bill requiring industry and public utilities nationwide to buy and sell federally auctioned permits to emit carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases under a so-called “cap-and-trade” regimen narrowly passed the House in June. Formally titled “The American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009,” the legislation, which includes numerous new energy-efficiency standards and initiatives, represents the most substantial change in US environmental policy since passage of 1970’s Clean Air Act.

The 1,300-page bill, co-written by House Democrats Henry Waxman of Los Angeles and Edward Markey of Massachusetts, next goes to the Senate. The overriding objective is to reduce US greenhouse gases from 2005-baseline levels so that by 2020 aggregate levels are down 17 percent and by 2050 they’ve shrunk a colossal 83 percent. (Global warming is caused by the atmospheric buildup of carbon dioxide and other gases that reflect some of the Earth’s heat back towards the planet instead of being dispersed into space. Many scientists contend the phenomenon is imperiling the Arctic, biodiversity, food production and weather patterns.)

Hopeful as the White House is about cap-and-trade, even enthusiasts acknowledge that the complexities are jaw-dropping, with a market divided by geographic lines as well as industrial sectors. Roughly six billion tons of emissions could be traded yearly at first, estimated David Kreutzer, an economist at the conservative Heritage Foundation in Washington, DC. Entities discharging more than 25,000 tons of greenhouse gases annually — non-nuclear power makers, oil refiners, natural gas producers, coal-fired steel plants, among others — will participate.

Detractors believe with the money at stake, white-collar cheating is a certainty. Between now and 2035, greenhouse-gas permits may reach $5.7 trillion in value, Kreutzer said. Some investment houses are already gearing up to act as trade middlemen.

Oddly, the watchdog angle was barely touched on during congressional deliberations. Attention mainly focused on provisions allowing companies to soften emission damage offsite, even overseas, if it’s cheaper, and the initial giveaway of 85 percent of credits to carbon-heavy businesses and regions facing sharply higher energy prices.

As the bill stands, market oversight will be spread out among the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the EPA and several unspecified agencies. “Most of the people I talk to think [the market] will be set up for fraud,” said policy analyst Joel Kotkin. “There’s scamming and then there’s scamming.”

Simultaneously, seven Western states and parts of western Canada are considering launching their own regional cap-and-trade under a Schwarzenegger administration plan. It’s aimed at rolling back carbon dioxide emissions to 1990 levels by 2020. The Western Climate Initiative may be dissolved or modified if a national market is approved.

Until then, West Coast officials are studying how to ward off cheaters in areas such as insider-trading, excessive speculation and market manipulation.

Sometimes the threat hides in the open.


Why Zionists made deal with the Nazis...

Why Zionists made deal with the Nazis
Published: Thursday, November 5, 2009 5:20 PM EST

This article is excerpted with the author’s permission from an one that appeared in the Sept. 28 Jerusalem Post. Visit http://tinyurl.com/ykm9yd2 for the full article or www.transferagreement.com for more details.

On the afternoon of Aug. 7, 1933, at 76 Wilhelmstrasse in Berlin, on a day when well-dressed Jews in Germany could not step into the street without fear, when laboring kibbutzniks in Palestine proudly swept the midday perspiration from their foreheads, when anxious German businessmen worried the next telegram would cancel yet another order for increasingly unsellable Reich goods, when Nazi organizers throughout Europe gleefully reviewed statistics on Jewish populations and Jewish assets within their midst, when Polish blackshirts viciously beat Jews in town squares, when Jewish Palestinian exporters wondered nervously whether their biggest customer Germany would retaliate, when the prospects for Jewry in Europe seemed over, on this fateful day in the first summer of the Hitler regime, an official delegation of four German and Palestinian Zionists and one independent Palestinian business man were ushered into an Economics Ministry conference room. The Jews had been authorized by a combine of Jewish and Zionist bodies to negotiate with the Third Reich.

After hours of wrangled debate, Hans Hartenstein, director of the Reich Office of Currency Control, was about to call the meeting to an inconclusive close when a messenger from Deutsche Reichpost delivered a telegram from the German Consul in Tel Aviv. The telegram advised Hartenstein that a coalition of official and commercial Zionist interests in Palestine was the best way to break the growing Jewish-led worldwide anti-Nazi boycott that was crippling the Hitler regime in its first months. A deal with the Zionists would be necessary.

And so it was done. The Transfer Agreement was created.

There was no hard copy contract with names penned at the bottom. The agreement was actually an official Reich decree, 54/33, issued three days later, on August 10 by the Reich Economics Ministry. The decree authorized the Zionists to create two transfer clearinghouses, one under the supervision of the German Zionist Federation in Berlin, one under the supervision of Anglo-Palestine's trust company in Palestine. The office in Tel Aviv was called Haavara Trust and Transfer Office Ltd. Often called Haavara Ltd. for short, this corporation was organized under the Palestinian commercial code and operated by business managers. Its stock was wholly owned by the Anglo-Palestine Bank, which was renamed Bank Leumi.
Haavara, the Hebrew word for transfer, quickly became a synonym for transfer.

The bargain was this: Jews could leave Germany before being pauperized, and take some of their assets with them in the form of new German goods which the Zionist movement would then sell in Palestine and eventually throughout much of the world market. The proceeds would be given to the emigrants, with a portion reserved for statebuilding projects such as industrial infrastructure and land purchase.

Jews could not enter Palestine without a so-called “Capitalist Certificate” issued by the British proving they possessed the equivalent of $5,000. Transfer made this possible. Addressing more than just active emigrants, the Transfer Agreement allowed “potential emigrants” to protect their assets in these special bank accounts which again could not be accessed without purchasing and reselling German goods. Between the active and potential emigration accounts, the Transfer apparatus meant millions of reichsmarks—to both the Germans and Zionists.

The more goods the Germans sold, the more Jews would be permitted out of Germany and into Palestine, and the more money would be available to build the Jewish State. The price of this commerce-linked exodus would be the abandonment of the commercial war against Nazi Germany. It did not matter whether the anti-Nazi boycott could have succeeded in real terms. Boycott effectiveness is not measured in dollars and pfennigs but in ergs of fear. The Germans feared the mythical international Jewish conspiracy of global economic manipulation more than any other.

For almost three decades, the Transfer Agreement and the anguished details surrounding it were forgotten. Finally, in 1984, when the full story became known with the original publication of The Transfer Agreement, the book launched a fiery debate, a debate few were prepared to comprehend.

Glenn Beck's Nazi fans...

Glenn Beck's Nazi fans
By Alexander Zaitchik | Salon | Nov 20, 2009

It's been a busy week for Glenn Beck watchers. On Monday, the Anti-Defamation League released a report warning of the paranoia and stridency that increasingly define the conservative grass roots. It echoed an April report issued by the Department of Homeland Security, but unlike the DHS report, the ADL named names, and fingered Beck as the figure most responsible for the unhinging of the right.

"Beck has acted as a 'fearmonger-in-chief,' raising anxiety about and distrust towards the government [which] if it continues to grow in intensity and scope, may result in an increase in anti-government extremists and the potential for a rise of violent anti-government acts," the ADL wrote.

Amazingly, just after the ADL report's release, Sarah Palin responded to a question about a possible Palin-Beck ticket by refusing to rule out Beck as a running mate. She praised him effusively, describing him as "bold, clever, and very, very, very effective."

Effective at what, exactly?

Earlier this week, Sam Stein of the Huffington Post detailed several instances in which Beck has welcomed onto his shows guests with ties to groups that traffic in white supremacy, neo-Confederate secession, and anti-Semitism. Stein's reporting was a good start, but it would take a chalkboard the size of Idaho to fully map out Beck's racially paranoid guest list.

But Beck insists his critics are imagining things, that he does not engage in racial fear-mongering, that a string of guests with ties to hate groups do not form a meaningful pattern, and that he's not a racist. It occurred to me the other day that if you really want to know whether Beck and his guests are blowing racial dog-whistles, it's best to ask a dog.

I decided to reach out to Don Black, the avowed white nationalist who runs the Web site Stormfront.org, the country's leading "Discussion board for pro-White activists and anyone else interested in White survival." But Black hung up on me. I next tried to get in touch with David Duke, the former gubernatorial candidate and current head of the European American Unity and Rights Organization. Duke, too, had little interest in talking to me, likely because of my past association with the Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks the activities of white supremacist groups.

Unable to get through to the highest-profile spokesmen of the racist grass roots, I took a page from the other side and trawled their Web sites for insight. I scanned Davidduke.com and Stormfront.org to see what they had to say, if anything, about Beck. Admittedly, this method is not scientific, and certainly folks on the left don't like it when righties cherry-pick an extreme comment from Daily Kos or the Huffington Post and pretend the whole site can be summed up by such extremism.

On the other hand, Stormfront.org isn't a media organization but a self-described discussion board. And when it comes to Beck, the discussions are fairly positive. On both David Duke's Web site and Stormfront, Beck's July 28 claim that President Obama harbors a "deep-seated hatred of white people, or the white culture" was met with attention and appreciation.

Duke was heartened by the discussion it generated, and placed it in a larger context. "A lot of stuff is happening in the world of race relations and little of it points towards a post-racial society," Duke noted. "Beck is steadily losing advertisers, but his viewers seem to be sticking with him ... White desperation is manifesting itself in various forms."

Beck's charge that the president hates white people sparked a more expansive discussion at Stormfront.org. Some participants saw Beck as an important ally in the White Nationalist cause. Others were skeptical, viewing him as a clueless conservative version of Lenin's "useful idiot." But some of Stormfront's most active members generally agreed that, whether he was fully conscious or not, Beck was nudging his audience toward an embrace of racial consciousness.

"Glen [sic] Beck can be useful," said one frequent Stormfront contributor who posts under the name SS_marching. "When Glen beck said 'Obama Has A Deep-Seated Hatred For White People' he is able to reach a much wider audience than we can. They will [be] predisposed to the idea and the next time Obama pushes an anti-white policy they will see it as such."

Stormfront member PowerCommander agreed. Beck, he wrote:

"seems to have ignited a flame under the asses of some folks with similar ideas by pushing the right buttons. It appears as if the current regime [is] directly blaming GB and fox news for throwing a wrench in their machine. Is Beck's rambling getting America fired up and ready to fight? Has Beck told enough of the truth to start something bigger? Even an engine needs a starter to get fired off and go down the road."

Thor357, a Stormfront sustaining member who has posted on the site more than 3,500 times, had this to say:

"Glenn Beck and Alex Jones [a controversial conservative media figure who believes 9/11 was an inside job] are the front line in the war of Ideals we grapple with, they are far from perfect and are somewhat compromised. But every person in the last 2 years that I have introduced to the WN [White Nationalist] Philosophy have come largely from Alex Jones, Glen Beck and the Scriptures for America founder Pastor Pete Peters ... Baby steps are required for people like these, but the trio Beck, Jones, Peters are the baby food that feeds potential Nationalists… Glenn Beck is not far behind as his Mormon background indicates to me as most Mormons I have met are not friends of Jews like the Church was years ago. Most Mormons I know are arming themselves, with guns, bullets and food."

Later in the same discussion thread, Thor357 added:

"I have talked to 6 people in two days because Glenn Beck woke them up, it's amazing how angry they are. They are pissing fire over Obama, this is a good thing. Now I educate them. If out of 100 of the Glen Beckers I keep 20 then I have won 20 more to cover my back side. I never lost the 80 as they never were."

Carolina Patriot, whose member picture features a kitten aiming an assassin's rifle, was conflicted but admiring:

"Every now and again when an infomercial takes the place of hunting or fishing, I'll turn over to Glenn Beck if he's on and watch his show. Sometimes it is amusing, sometimes it is informed, and sometimes, I think he comes to SF [Stormfront] to steal show idea's"

UstashaNY offered up an analogy to substance abuse, with Beck as the soft-stuff hook:

"Beck, Dobbs etc. are like gateway drugs. If it wakes up one person to learn something about whats really going on and that person does the research, looks deeper and deeper into WHO and WHAT is behind all of this, then its a win for the movement. NOBODY in the msm is reporting the stuff Beck does, let him keep talking. It will wake people up, believe me… He is more of a help to us then you may think. Until we have a REAL voice in the msm, guys like him and Dobbs are a stepping stone right into our laps. Its only a matter of time..."

Even those who don't think Beck understands what he’s doing appreciate his instincts. According to WhiteManMarchesOn88:

"There is no doubt that Beck is not a WN [white nationalist], but I have to agree that he does raise a lot of really good questions that do promote White survival. I'm sure he would go a lot farther with a lot of his questions, but ZOG [Zionist Occupied Government] would more than likely kick him off television if he did."

ZOG or no ZOG, Beck is clearly doing something right from the point of view of the average white nationalist.

"By no means do I think [Beck] is aware of the racial issue, and for the moment that is ok," wrote Stormfront member QHelios. "He is stirring the pot, and I thank him for that."

Sunday, November 29, 2009

9/11: Pentagon aircraft hijack impossible...


(PilotsFor911Truth.org) - Newly decoded data provided by an independent researcher and computer programmer from Australia exposes alarming evidence that the reported hijacking aboard American Airlines Flight 77 was impossible to have existed. A data parameter labeled "FLT DECK DOOR", cross checks with previously decoded data obtained by Pilots For 9/11 Truth from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) through the Freedom Of Information Act.

On the morning of September 11, 2001, American Airlines Flight 77 departed Dulles International Airport bound for Los Angeles at 8:20 am Eastern Time. According to reports and data, a hijacking took place between 08:50:54 and 08:54:11[1] in which the hijackers allegedly crashed the aircraft into the Pentagon at 09:37:45. Reported by CNN, according to Ted Olson, wife Barbara Olson had called him from the reported flight stating, "...all passengers and flight personnel, including the pilots, were herded to the back of the plane by armed hijackers..."[2]. However, according to Flight Data provided by the NTSB, the Flight Deck Door was never opened in flight. How were the hijackers able to gain access to the cockpit, remove the pilots, and navigate the aircraft to the Pentagon if the Flight Deck Door remained closed?[3]

Founded in August 2006, Pilots For 9/11 Truth is a growing organization of aviation professionals from around the globe. The organization has analyzed Data provided by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) for the Pentagon Attack, the events in Shanksville, PA and the World Trade Center attack. The data does not support the government story. The NTSB/FBI refuse to comment. Pilots For 9/11 Truth do not offer theory or point blame at this point in time. However, there is a growing mountain of conflicting information and data in which government agencies and officials along with Mainstream Media refuse to acknowledge. Pilots For 9/11 Truth Core member list continues to grow.

The devastating truth about the Obama health plan...

The Devastating Truth About the Obama Health Plan
Jon Rappoport
November 29, 2009

We are at a defining and crucial moment in our history. A machine is in motion that will alter our future. If after you read this article, you agree with its main points, or at least feel they need to be heard, send it on to others. Find ways to make your voice count.

It is one thing to read and understand the details of the Obama Health Plan. It is another thing to grasp the kind of power this bill will create, and what that power, in the future, will mean and do.

I realize that many people reading this essay have no interest in alternative medicine. However, that field represents freedom of choice for millions of Americans, and if you want to deny that choice—because you have a mistaken notion about, and a misplaced faith in, how medical science actually operates—the medical facts I describe and cite below should bring about a new appreciation of what freedom looks like, and how important the job of protecting it is.

This might be the most important medical article I’ve ever written, and in 20 years as a reporter, I’ve written many.

As I begin this essay on Thanksgiving morning, I recall that, 15 years ago, I was preparing to challenge Henry Waxman for his seat in the US House, in the 29th District, Los Angeles. At that time, the issue was Health Freedom, the right of every American to choose how to maintain and improve his/her health. And here I am again, with the same issue—only this time, there is a gargantuan White House program in place to destroy that freedom from the top down.

And various alternative-health advocates, having lost their minds, are supporting it. Among them are people who actually believe the small affirmative nods from politicians, in the direction of alternative medicine, are signaling an enlightened age under the Obama Star.

Duped again. One more time.

I have never imagined Democrats or Republicans represented the American people. This time, it is the political Left, with their naïve belief in “science” and “humanitarian work” who are leading the country over a cliff.

In the same way climate-change researchers have recently been exposed as charlatans, manipulators, and elitists, the medical establishment has been laid open and flayed—only the revelations came nine years ago. And of course, the major media refused to chase down that story and shine a light on the criminals.

On July 26, 2000, the Journal of the American Medical Association published a landmark paper by Barbara Starfield (Johns Hopkins School of Public Health), “Is US health really the best in the world?” In it, Starfield revealed what many people inside the medical establishment already knew: every year, like clockwork, the medical system was killing huge numbers of people. This wasn’t a dream. It was too real. By all rights (but who cares about rights?) the game was up. The liars and the PR flacks and the public health agencies were going down. The drug companies were going to take a lethal blow. Hospitals all over America were going to have to confess their many sins. Of course, that never happened.

Each year in the US there are:

12,000 deaths from unnecessary surgeries;

7,000 deaths from medication errors in hospitals;

20,000 deaths from other errors in hospitals;

80,000 deaths from infections acquired in hospitals;

106,000 deaths from FDA-approved correctly prescribed medicines.

The total of medically-caused deaths in the US every year is 225,000.

This makes the medical system the third leading cause of death in America, behind heart disease and cancer.

In the wake of Starfield’s devastating report, other facts came to light: 2.1 million people in America, every year, are hospitalized as a result of reactions to FDA-approved medicines. Annually, 36 million serious adverse reactions to those drugs occur.

So, inclusive health coverage for many more Americans under the Obama Plan—with business as usual—means these horrendous figures will rise.

This is the dirty secret. This is what the political Left in this country, those avid defenders of “medical science,” must pretend isn’t there at all. And the Republicans are in the same position.

Obama and his allies are promoting a medical system that is the third leading cause of death in America. It’s that stark and it’s that simple.

This is where we begin, if we are to understand the Obama Plan.

The Plan involves appointing an “expert panel” to decide what treatments Americans should be given for what diseases, under the new regime.

Only a certified idiot would assume that, over time, alternative non-mainstream therapies would survive such an ongoing vetting. Hope may spring eternal, but common sense makes it easy to grasp the realities on the ground.

Alternative therapies will die out. They will be edged out. Those that remain will be permitted for a narrow range of conditions, or as adjuncts to standard drug treatments and surgery.

Chiropractors and acupuncturists, who are temporarily basking in the notion that Obama “really cares,” are in for a very rude awakening down the line. Their careers and practices will be significantly reduced. Not today, not tomorrow, but it will happen. Perhaps these practitioners only fret about the short-term. Perhaps they’re simply looking for a few scraps from the table as long as the meal lasts.

Veteran health and medical journalist Peter Chowka points out (http://tinyurl.com/gonzalex-obama) that Americans who want to take responsibility for their own health, who don’t want onerous medical insurance, would be drafted into the Plan, and they would pay for it. With no escape possible, their discretionary incomes would shrink, and many of them would no longer be able to buy the healthiest foods and the supplements they use to prevent illness.

This is another avenue along which alternative health would approach a dead-end.

There is also the strong possibility that doctors, under the Plan, will be telling patients they may not take nutritional supplements while in treatment. This will assume the status of an irreversible edict. In certain cases, “while in treatment” means years.

What happens to a person, conscripted into the mandated Plan, who is told by his doctor that he should/must receive a vaccine? Suppose this person says no? What are the consequences? Isn’t his refusal tantamount to saying he wants out from under the Umbrella? Will he then be labeled a defector? What penalties will he suffer?

Does a diagnosis of cancer imply a patient must submit to chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery? Can these treatments be forced upon him?

Perhaps, in the early days of the Plan, nothing untoward will happen. But then, as time passes, and the system assumes tighter and tighter controls, the hand of government will close around the recalcitrant patient’s neck.

Doctors, who are an integral part of the Plan, will surely be punished if they give unapproved (alternative) treatments to patients. Their licenses will be stripped.

And in order to make the Plan operate on a day-to-day basis, the records and bookkeeping data of every health-care practitioner in America will eventually be tracked on government computer networks.

Every person in America will have a traceable medical ID package. There is no way around it. The monitoring apparatus can’t work without it.

Orwellian consequences lie up the road in the field of psychiatric practice. In case you hadn’t noticed, the invention of “disorders” by committee is the preferred method for “discovering” more and more mental illnesses. Fairy-tale figures are thrown about by the American Psychiatric Association: 20% of Americans are clinically depressed; millions of children have ADHD and need a cheap form of speed called Ritalin.

To secure the future of the Global Village, people everywhere must agree that mental illness is no longer a stigma-label. Yet, the science is completely fraudulent. For evidence, consult the many works of psychiatrist Peter Breggin, who has done more than any other person to expose the guts of his own profession. Breggin establishes that mental disorders cannot be authoritatively diagnosed by a chemical or biological test. Conclusive tests do not exist. And worse, in this undefined and arbitrary territory, the drugs that follow diagnoses are killers. For example, 300,000 cases of motor brain damage, as a result of the administration of major tranquilizers.

Under the Obama Plan, you can bet your bottom dollar that psychiatric care will eventually become mandatory. A patient suddenly diagnosed with clinical depression or bipolar disease will be told he must take the drugs—and suffer their adverse effects.

Science will take a back seat to a “share and care” collectivist philosophy, in which the so-called mental health of the individual is said to improve the group, the community, the nation. Under this cover, the attack on the individual personality will expand. Very young children will be given more and more debilitating and dangerous brain drugs.

These are no Luddite predictions. This is about hard fact, and those who shy away from the psychiatric literature and its fraudulent pretensions are whistling in the dark, pretending they are humanitarians of the first order.

Under the Obama Plan, it will be very convenient to declare new pandemics every few seasons, because these phony non-epidemics provide an opportunity to herd the sheep into clinics and remind them who is running the show. The United States will eventually become a Medical State, and lessons will have to be imparted on training wheels: go here, take this vaccine; go there, take that drug; the epidemic is endangering the herd, and you must help your brothers and sisters.

These are the figures on the last several “epidemics.” They are not yearly; they are totals, to date; global totals, except in the case of West Nile (US only):

SARS: 774 deaths.

WEST NILE: 1159 deaths.

BIRD FLU: 262 deaths.

SMALLPOX: (terrorist threat): 0 deaths.

SWINE FLU: 7909 deaths.

To give perspective, 250 thousand to 500 thousand people die of ordinary flu-like illness every year.

Yet this astounding death rate accrues no interest as an epidemic. It is only the “teaching (brainwashing) moments” of the phony epidemics that are promoted by health agencies (e.g., CDC and WHO) and their pharmaceutical allies, who rake in billions by manufacturing new vaccines.

Yes, under the Obama Plan, there will be more declared health emergencies, and they will serve to cement the citizen to his new role as eternal patient in the medical march along bleak streets of the future.

Can you perceive the loss of individual freedom implicit in this universal system of health control, and can you see how the present bill before Congress is the gateway?

Do what you can to defeat the bill, and damn the torpedoes and syringes.

If you believe the US medical system is a beautiful thing in all its parts, and you want in, consider that other human beings don’t. You can have your wish, and you can help guarantee that your fellow citizens, who decline, can have theirs, too.

This country tends to run on slogans, and “healthcare for all” is the punch line being used to spread the word of a new era. But slogans don’t inform, they persuade. We’re at a moment when we need to see through the lie. The consequences are dire. The fake saints and prophets and their followers are preaching a message that contains a bomb.

Vast public ignorance about the US medical cartel and its true human effects is the delivery system for that bomb.

9/11 Commission Director Zelikow's 'What do i do now?' memo found...

Zelikow's 'What Do I Do Now?' Memo Found
Posted at the History Commons Groups
by Kevin Fenton
November 27, 2009

We have found the famous "What Do I Do Now?" memo drafted by 9/11 Commission Executive Director Philip Zelikow on March 2, 2003. The memo advised staffers newly hired by the commission what they should do after starting work.

The memo was found by Erik at the National Archives and uploaded to the 9/11 Document Archive at Scribd.

Philip Shenon's The Commission highlighted the memo and one controversial section in particular. The section says:

Interactions with commissioners can be helpful to you and them. If you are contacted by a commissioner with questions, please contact Chris [Kojm, Zelikow's deputy] or me. Consulting with the Chair and Vice-Chair, we will be sure that the appropriate members of the Commission staff are responsive.

Shenon called this provision, channelling contacts between the staff and the commissioners through Zelikow and his deputy, "unusual" and "worrying to the staff." He added:

It occurred to several of the staff members, especially those with experience on other federal commissions, that Zelikow was trying to cut off their contact with the people they really worked for–the commissioners. Democratic commissioner Jamie Gorelick saw a copy of Zelikow's memo and was furious. Through an arrangement with her law firm, she intended to spend nearly half of her work week on commission business, and she was not going to have Zelikow telling the staff that they could not speak freely with her–that they had to wait to get his permission to return her phone calls. She called [Commission Chairman Tom] Kean and [Commission Vice Chairman Lee] >Hamilton.

"This is totally unacceptable," she told them. "I'm going to have free access to the staff."

[Commissioner] Max Cleland said he was worried from the start that Zelikow was trying to "stovepipe" the investigation. It was ironic, said Cleland; it seemed Zelikow was going to duplicate just the sort of information bottlenecks that had plagued the FBI and the CIA and made them unable to "connect the dots" before September 11.

"It violates the whole spirit of an open look at what the hell happened on 9/11," he said.

Zelikow was forced to rescind that portion of the memo; the commission's staff would be permitted to talk to the commissioners.

That's from pages 84-85 of Shenon's book.

It was certainly good to find the memo after hearing about it. Naturally, we'll continue looking for other stuff.

Israel to recognize elections in Honduras...

Israel to recognize elections in Honduras

Israel became the fifth country to officially announce that it would recognize the results of Sunday's elections in Honduras, the Honduran TV has said.

Many countries and international bodies have warned they would not recognize election results if the Honduran polls are held under Roberto Micheletti's presidency. The interim leader announced on Wednesday he was temporarily stepping down to "guarantee free, spontaneous and transparent" elections.

"The government of Israel hopes that the voting would go on in a calm atmosphere and, in this case, it will recognize its results and the legitimacy of the elected president," Israel's ambassador to the Central American state, Eliahu Lîpez, has said.

The U.S., Peru, Panama and Costa Rica have so far announced they would to recognize the results.

The diplomat said that his country saw the elections "as the most acceptable way to overcome the political crisis."

President Manuel Zelaya was bundled out of Honduras on June 28 by the military, acting on instructions from the Supreme Court and parliament, over efforts to seek an unconstitutional second presidential term. He was flown to Costa Rica, and his place was taken by Micheletti, the parliamentary speaker.

Talks to end the crisis have so far failed even though the sides signed a U.S.-brokered accord, and began to form a national unity and reconciliation government. Zelaya and his supporters later quit the agreement and were not present when Micheletti formed the reconciliation government, saying that their main demand — to reinstate Zelaya ahead of national elections — was not met.

'Permanent' Arctic ice vanishing...

'Permanent' Arctic ice vanishing
Satellite images misled shocked scientists
The Canadian Press
Published On Sat Nov 28 2009

WINNIPEG–One of Canada's top northern researchers says the permanent Arctic sea ice that is home to the world's polar bears and usually survives the summer has all but disappeared.

Experts around the world believed the ice was recovering because satellite images showed it expanding. But David Barber says the thick, multi-year frozen sheets crucial to the northern ecosystem have been replaced by thin "rotten" ice that can't support weight of the bears. "It caught us all by surprise because we were expecting there to be multi-year sea ice. The whole world thought it was multi-year sea ice," said Barber, who just returned from an expedition to the Beaufort Sea.

"Unfortunately, what we found was that the multi-year (ice) has all but disappeared. What's left is this remnant, rotten ice."

Permanent ice, which is normally up to 10 metres thick, was easily pierced by the research ship, said Barber, who holds the Canada research chair in Arctic science at the University of Manitoba.

The team finally reached what it thought was stable ice, only to watch a crack appear just as researchers were preparing to descend onto the floe.

"As I watched, over the course of five minutes, the entire multi-year ice floe broke up into pieces," Barber said. "This floe was 16 km across. Something that's twice the size of Winnipeg, it just broke up right in front of our eyes."

The ice is unable to withstand battering waves and storms because global warming is rapidly melting it at a rate of 70,000 square kilometres each year, he said.

Multi-year sea ice used to cover 90 per cent of the Arctic basin, Barber said. It now covers 19 per cent. Where it used to be up to 10 metres thick, it's now 2 metres at most.

The findings, soon to be published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, come as a shock to experts worldwide.

Although northern sea ice hit a record low in 2007, researchers believed it was recovering because of what they were seeing on satellite images.

But the images the experts relied on were misleading because the rotten ice looks sturdy on the surface and has a similar superficial temperature, Barber explained.

"The satellites give us only part of the story. The multi-year ice is disappearing and it's almost all gone now from the northern hemisphere."

Switzerland bans minarets on Muslim mosques...

Switzerland votes to ban minarets
November 30, 2009 - 5:49AM

Switzerland on Sunday voted to impose a blanket ban on the building of minarets across the country, backing an initiative by far-right politicians.

A clear majority of 57.5 percent of the population and 22 out of 26 cantons voted to ban the towers or turrets attached on mosques from where Muslims are called to prayer.

Far-right politicians celebrated the results, while the government sought to assure the Muslim minority that a ban on minarets was "not a rejection of the Muslim community, religion or culture."

The Swiss People's Party (SVP) -- Switzerland's biggest party -- had forced a referendum under Swiss regulations on the issue after collecting 100,000 signatures within 18 months from eligible voters.

Having won a double majority -- both in terms of cantons and absolute numbers, the initiative will now be inscribed in the country's constitution.

"The Federal Council (government) respects this decision. Consequently the construction of new minarets in Switzerland is no longer permitted," said the government, which had firmly opposed the ban, in a statement.

Justice Minister Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf said the result "reflects fears among the population of Islamic fundamentalist tendencies."

"These concerns have to be taken seriously... However, the Federal Council takes the view that a ban on the construction of new minarets is not a feasible means of countering extremist tendencies," she stressed.

She also sought to reassure the Muslim population, saying: "Today's popular decision is only directed against the construction of new minarets.

"It is not a rejection of the Muslim community, religion or culture. Of that, the Federal Council gives its assurance."

But the Muslim community, which makes up 400,000 out of 7.5 million people in Switzerland, was dismayed.

"The most painful for us is not the minaret ban, but the symbol sent by this vote. Muslims do not feel accepted as a religious community," said Farhad Afshar, who heads the Coordination of Islamic Organisations in Switzerland.

The Christian community also expressed dismay, saying it was "inadmissible that the religious minority now have to subject to unequal treatment."

For Amnesty International, the minaret ban is a "violation of religious freedom, incompatible with the conventions signed by Switzerland."

"The initiators (of the referendum) have unfortunately managed to exploit fears towards Islam and stirred up xenophobic sentiments, it's regrettable," said Daniel Bolomey, who heads the Swiss chapter of the rights group.

Meanwhile, SVP Vice-President Yvan Perrin cheered the fact that his party had won the vote "without difficulty."

He told Radio Suisse Romande that Swiss companies should not worry about suffering from a possible backlash from Muslim countries.

"If our companies continue to make good quality products, they have nothing to worry about," he said.

Noting that the Swiss had made their decision after fervent debate on the issue, he said: "We won respectably."

Dubai looks to oil-rich neighbor for possible aid...

Dubai looks to oil-rich neighbor for possible aid
By BRIAN MURPHY (AP) – 21 hours ago

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — As world markets absorbed the shock of Dubai's debt crisis, the ruler of the once-booming city-state left town for an important meeting in a desert palace. His hosts: the leaders of neighboring Abu Dhabi whose balance sheets are flush with oil revenue.

It's not known what promises were made inside the halls in Al Ain during the parade of visitors for an important Islamic feast day on Friday. But their new relationship is clear. Abu Dhabi has the cash and cachet to be Dubai's white knight — in a Gulf version of a too-big-to-fail bailout or to help calm markets with promises to intervene if Dubai's fiscal mess deepens.

The direction Abu Dhabi takes will likely set the tone for the coming week as analysts try to sort out what banks and institutions have the most at stake in the money crunch — which has suddenly shifted Dubai's image from a desert dream factory of indoor ski slopes and a "seven-star" hotel to a reckless spender sideswiped by the recession and unable to pay its bills.

Just this month, Dubai's ruler, Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, assured international investors that all was well with Dubai's finances and told media critics to "shut up."

"Depleting market confidence in Dubai carries serious risks for Abu Dhabi," said Hani Sabra of Eurasia Group, a U.S.-based research firm that assesses political risk for foreign investors in Dubai and the Gulf.

"Differences between the two city-states remain on how to approach the economy and the financial crisis," Sabra added. "But now Abu Dhabi is obviously the more dominant emirate."

Dubai's empty pockets — mostly drained by collapsing real estate prices and overambitious development plans — touched off panic selling across world markets on fears that the reckoning from the global recession is not over.

In a surprise announcement Wednesday, Dubai said it seeks a six-month delay in paying creditors on nearly $60 billion in debt held by its main development arm, Dubai World, whose holdings range from port operations around the world, Dubai's iconic palm-shaped island and the luxury retailer Barneys New York. The next tranche was a $3.52 billion bond due Dec. 14 by Dubai World's troubled real estate division, Nakheel.

On Friday, the Dow Jones industrial average suffered its biggest drop in nearly a month — closing down 154.48, or 1.5 percent, to 10,309.92, in a shorted trading day because of the Thanksgiving break. Asian exchanges fell sharply for a second day, but European markets bounced back on confidence the Dubai damage would not spread to other Gulf economies.

Dubai and other Middle East financial markets reopen Monday after an Islamic holiday.

But much attention will remain on Abu Dhabi's response. It stepped in earlier this year with a $10 billion bailout for Dubai when the first blast of the recession hit. Dubai ruler Sheik Mohammed has stressed the close bonds between the two most powerful emirates in the UAE, which celebrates its national day on Wednesday and offers a perfect forum to display unity.

An editorial in The National newspaper — which is bankrolled by Abu Dhabi and closely reflects the opinions of its rulers — said Dubai's infrastructure is sound and pointed out General Motors' revival after receiving a U.S.-backed bailout in comments that suggested an unchecked Dubai meltdown could harm the entire country.

"Confidence is a fragile commodity," said the Friday editorial.

Yet Abu Dhabi's largesse may be reaching some limits. On the same day that Dubai announced its debt payment "standstill," two Abu Dhabi-controlled banks bought $5 billion in Dubai bonds for a stopgap cash infusion, but went no further.

"I guess Abu Dhabi is saying there will be no blank check for Dubai," said Jane Kinninmont, a London-based specialist on Gulf economies at the Economist Intelligence Unit.

What Abu Dhabi could get for its money, however, is greater long-term influence over Dubai's development policies. That would essentially mean giving the wealthy and more conservative rulers in the UAE's capital the task of trying to rein in Dubai after years of living beyond its means.

Dubai crash-landed about a year ago as the global economic downturn ended a sizzling property boom, which saw prices skyrocket and investors lining up for new projects. The state-backed Dubai World led the charge with a catalog brimming with ever-bigger ideas and the bold motto: "The sun never sets on Dubai World."

Some were completed before the bubble burst, such as the Palm Jumeirah island that included a Hollywood A-list opening of the Atlantis resort in November 2008. But dozens of major projects, including entire mini-cities in the desert, have been shelved.

Abu Dhabi has moved ahead with more caution — comfortable in the fact it has vast oil wealth that Dubai does not enjoy.

Its rulers have concentrated on what they see as attempts to gain global stature as a hub for culture and innovation: funding an alternative energy research center and building satellite museums for the Louvre and Guggenheim. The Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund is constantly on the hunt for new investments, including U.S. companies such as Citigroup Inc.

Abu Dhabi's strategists are expected to dig deeper into Dubai World's books before deciding their next move, analysts say.

Dubai officials said plans to restructure Dubai World will not include its profitable ports management division, DP World, which has a presence in nearly 50 facilities around the world. The main retooling will be to Dubai World's battered real estate units, led by Nakheel.

A report from Goldman Sachs said the lenders HSBC Holdings PLC and Standard Chartered PLC could have the most exposure to Dubai debt, but the potential credit losses appeared relatively small. The deeper risks could directly hit Emirates' banks and investment firms.

Christopher Davidson, an expert in Emirate affairs at Britain's Durham University, wondered if Abu Dhabi wanted to become too deeply involved in lifting Dubai from its fiscal wreckage.

"There is no point throwing good money into Dubai's black holes," Davidson said. "These are mistakes of Sheik Mohammed and he needs to deal with them."

Associated Press Writer Barbara Surk contributed to this report.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Declassified documents show CIA, State Dept. had foreknowledge of Jesuits' murder in El Salvador...

EL SALVADOR: Declassified Docs Shed Light on Jesuits' Murders
By Edgardo Ayala

SAN SALVADOR, Nov 27 (IPS) - Thousands of pages of declassified U.S. documents shedding light on the 1989 murders of six prominent Jesuit clerics, their housekeeper and her 16-year-old daughter in El Salvador could give a new twist to the case that opened in the Spanish courts in January.

The documents, which were presented to Spain's National Court by attorneys representing the victims' families, provide new clues that could lead to an increase in the number of people accused of the murders, Spanish lawyer Almudena Bernabeu, who is representing the organisations that brought the case, told IPS in a telephone interview from Madrid.

The declassified documents from the late 1980s and early 1990s indicate the CIA (U.S. Central Intelligence Agency) and U.S. State Department had foreknowledge of the Salvadoran military leadership's plan to kill the then-rector of the José Simeón Cañas Central American University (UCA) in San Salvador, along with four other Spanish priests and a Salvadoran priest on Nov. 16, 1989.

The documents, which include cables to Washington from U.S. embassy, military and CIA officials, "provide important, compelling elements," said Bernabeu, without entering into detail, because the case is in the hands of the justice system.

The lawsuit was filed in Spain's National Court - the high court - in November 2008 by the Spanish Association for Human Rights (APDHE) and the California-based Centre for Justice and Accountability (CJA).

Fourteen Salvadoran military officers and soldiers are under investigation, and former president Alfredo Cristiani (1989-1994) himself was accused of cover-up and obstruction of investigation.

The 14 members of the military include generals and colonels accused of planning the crime, such as the then minister and deputy minister of defence, the general chief of staff, the air force commander, the deputy minister of public security, the commander of the first infantry brigade, and the director and assistant director of the military academy.

Officers, non-commissioned officers and soldiers of the U.S.-trained Atlacatl counterinsurgency battalion have been charged with committing the murders.

Although presiding Judge Eloy Velasco did not accept the charge against Cristiani because covering up a crime against humanity does not fall under the principle of universal jurisdiction - which permits prosecution of the worst atrocities no matter where they were committed - "the judge left open the possibility of including him in the future, if new evidence arises," said Bernabeu.

The CJA decided to file the legal action in Spain because that country has an extradition treaty with El Salvador, and because Spain’s judges admit the principle of universal jurisdiction, already applied by Spanish Judge Baltasar Garzón for the 1998 arrest in London of the late former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet (1973-1990).

The documents, which the Washington-based National Security Archive helped bring to light, were reported on by the El Mundo newspaper in Spain on Nov. 16, the 20th anniversary of the murders of the six clerics and two women.

One of the documents shows, for example, that in a meeting of the military brass a few days before the murder, then chief of staff General René Emilio Ponce gave the order to assassinate UCA rector Ignacio Ellacuría, and specifically stated that no witnesses were to be left.

There are also records of a meeting between Cristiani and then defence minister Humberto Larios the night before the killings.

Ponce and other officers had already been blamed for the murders in the 1993 report by the U.N.-sponsored Truth Commission created by the 1992 peace agreement that put an end to the 12-year civil war between the Salvadoran military and the left-wing Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN), which claimed the lives of some 80,000 people, mainly civilians killed by the security forces and allied death squads.

But Salvadoran society had never seen any hard evidence of Ponce's participation in the murders.

The killings of the Jesuits were committed during the first major military offensive to be carried out in the capital by the FMLN - which became a political party after 1992 and is now governing the country for the first time ever, led by President Mauricio Funes, who took office in June.

The military chiefs used the opportunity to kill the Jesuits, highly respected intellectuals who were viewed by the Salvadoran right as instigators of leftist subversion for their advocacy of "liberation theology" - a progressive current in the Catholic Church that declares a "preferential option for the poor" and fights for social justice - and their opposition to the war.

Immediately after the murders, the Cristiani administration and the armed forces accused the FMLN of killing the priests.

But under heavy international pressure, especially from Washington, the Salvadoran courts brought nine members of the military to trial for the massacre in September 1991.

However, only two were found guilty, and sentenced to 30 years in prison: Colonel Guillermo Alfredo Benavides, the director of the military academy, and Lieutenant Yusshy René Mendoza - despite confessions from several of the other defendants.

Both of them were released under a 1993 amnesty law.

"I believe it is here in El Salvador that the case should make more progress, and what is being done in Spain underscores the need for justice in this country," Benjamín Cuéllar, director of UCA's Human Rights Institute (IDHUCA), told IPS. "We are going to continue the battle here, through domestic institutions or the inter-American system of human rights."

IDHUCA and the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits) filed a petition before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights in Washington in 2003.

The El Mundo newspaper also reported that according to experts who were consulted, everything indicated that the Spanish intelligence agency of the time, CESID, was also fully aware of the information in the hands of the CIA.

But other newspaper reports in Spain said CESID officials had pulled out of Spain in March 1989, eight months before the Jesuits were killed.

The Salvadoran on-line journal, El Faro, reported that William Walker, U.S. ambassador to El Salvador at the time of the killings, sent a cable to the State Department in November 1989 reporting that members of the then-governing right-wing Nationalist Republican Alliance (ARENA) had met the day before the murders, to plan the crime.

According to the publication, Walker states in the cable that information in his possession led to a disturbing conclusion: that the murders of Ellacuría and the seven others could be traced back to a Nov. 15 meeting among Roberto D'Aubuisson and his closest followers in COENA (ARENA's national executive council).

Army Major D'Aubuisson, the founder of ARENA, was widely considered to have been behind the death squads that abducted, tortured and killed thousands of students, trade unionists, teachers and leftist political leaders and activists in the 1970s and 1980s.

The Truth Commission determined that D'Aubuisson ordered the 1980 assassination of Archbishop Oscar Arnulfo Romero, who was shot by a sniper while saying mass.

D'Aubuisson died of cancer in 1992, without ever having been brought to trial.

Ricardo Valdivieso, a member of COENA at the time and a friend of D'Aubuisson's, told IPS that Walker's claims in the cable to the State Department were "absolutely ridiculous, absurd. That was just part of the gossip at the time, which the ex-ambassador could have heard."

Valdivieso added that he knew Walker before he was named ambassador and that he considered him a friend. But he said the U.S. diplomat was prone to being drawn in by unconfirmed information.

At a ceremony on Nov. 16, the 20th anniversary of the killings, President Funes honoured the Jesuit clerics "for extraordinary service to the nation."

"Today, 20 years after their cruel murders, putting in the hands of their families and colleagues…the highest award granted by the country, the Orden José Matías Delgado, signifies for me pulling back a heavy veil of darkness and lies, to let in the light of justice and truth," said the president.

"We want this to be an act of recovering our collective memory," added Funes, a former TV host and journalist who was educated by the Jesuits, like so many of his fellow Salvadorans. (END/2009)

Black Panthers from Omaha targets of secret police task force...

Black Panthers: Omaha Two were Targets of a Secret Police Task Force Codenamed "Domino"
Michael Richardson
Progressive Examiner | November 24, 2009

The Omaha Two, Ed Poindexter and Mondo we Langa (formerly David Rice), were leaders of the Black Panther Party chapter in Omaha, Nebraska. Today both men are serving life sentences for the 1970 bombing murder of an Omaha police officer, Larry Minard, and deny any involvement in his death.

Secret government documents, only uncovered after the trial that convicted the two Panther leaders, establish the Federal Bureau of Investigation National Crime Laboratory withheld a report on the identity of the anonymous caller that lured Minard to his death on Omaha's newly installed 911 system with a false report of a woman screaming.

The secret files disclose that the Omaha FBI office Special-Agent-in-Charge, Paul Young, had been under orders from FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover to be "imaginative" in developing illegal tactics against the Panthers and that several plans were concocted and implemented under Operation COINTELPRO in the months before the bombing.

Hoover's hidden war on political activists he didn't like was national in scope but kept secret from outsiders, including the Attorney General and members of Congress. The secretive COINTELPRO directives forbid working with other federal agencies and fostered a bitter rivalry with agents of the Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms Division of the Internal Revenue Service.

In the months before the flawed murder investigation, both Panther leaders were targeted by the Omaha Police Department, Hoover's COINTELPRO operatives, the U.S. Attorney and ATF agents. Both men were constantly harassed by local police with frequent traffic stops and verbal abuse. Mondo was fired from his job with the Greater Omaha Community Action Agency and hauled before a grand jury. Ed was the victim of bogus letters to Omaha newspapers and an anonymous phone campaign.

The police campaign against the two Panthers was coordinated by a secret task force codenamed Domino, according to retired ATF Special Agent James Moore. Moore worked in the Kansas City ATF office and busted Black Panther Pete O'Neal on a firearms charge. Moore had worked closely with his counterparts in the Omaha office and followed the efforts to get the two Panther leaders.

Moore discloses the bitter rivalry between the FBI and ATF and breaks the code of silence about the secret Domino task force in his book Very Special Agents. Endnotes in the book explain Moore got his information primarily from ATF agent Thomas Sledge and the supervisor of the Omaha ATF office, Dwight Thomas. Moore learned details from Sledge and Thomas contemporaneously and in later conversations and interviews.

"Most law enforcement officers wanted to believe that the FBI lived up to its motto: 'Fidelity, Bravery and Integrity.' For some, disillusionment solidified in Omaha."

Moore describes how Sledge worked a 12 year-old girl as his informant to obtain a federal search warrant of Panther headquarters in Omaha looking for Russian machine guns and dynamite only to have the Justice Department cancel the search because of the unreliability of the witness.

The U.S. Attorney, Richard Dier, had no comment on the matter at the time and speculation centered on the U.S. Marshal's office as the probable source of the Justice Department intervention. However, Moore fills in the details with a different version, presumably telling the story from Sledge's account.

"Sledge gathered enough corroboration to obtain a search warrant. Assistant U.S. Attorney J. William Gallup, United States Attorney Richard Dier and a federal judge agreed. Sledge summoned ATF agents, Omaha police, and U.S. marshals to plan a raid."

While Sledge briefed the strike force, Dier called the FBI for information on any fortification of the Panther headquarters. Hours later Dier got a call from the Justice Department in Washington cancelling the raid. When Dier asked the reason the warrant was quashed he was told, "The FBI informs us it's based on questionable evidence."

"While the task force cooled its heels in the federal building, FBI agents went door-to-door in the Panthers' neighborhood asking everyone whether there were weapons or explosives inside the headquarters."

The Domino task force convened in a special meeting after the killing of Larry Minard, unaware that Assistant Chief of Police Glen W. Gates had already agreed with the FBI to let the unknown caller go in order to make a case against the two Panther leaders.

"Overcast skies reflected the morning mood of deputy sheriffs, police detectives, state troopers and federal investigators assembled for a special meeting of Domino--an informal Omaha venture hosting regular monthly meetings of lawmen to discuss problems and foster interagency cooperation. This meeting had one mission: to catch the cop killers."

As the Domino team zeroed in on the Black Panthers as the targets of investigation, the FBI made a sudden announcement.

"The FBI representative stood up. 'We have excellent informer coverage of the Panthers,' he said, 'and our key source advises us that two white males were observed running from the scene shortly before the blast.'"

The killer of Larry Minard who made the 911 call was never identified nor were the "two white males" cited by the FBI to the Domino group.

Ed Poindexter and Mondo we Langa are serving life sentences at the maximum-security Nebraska State Penitentiary in Lincoln. Both men, targets of COINTELPRO and Domino, have continuously denied any involvement in the crime.

The CIA asked to destroy torture tapes on same day they claimed they didn't torture...

The CIA Asked to Destroy Torture Tapes on Same Day They Claimed They Didn’t Torture
By: emptywheel Tuesday November 24, 2009 11:15 am

As William Ockham has noted, there is a new–very informative–Vaughn Index and Declaration out. I’ll have much more to say about these. But for now, look at what documents 3 and 4 from the Vaughn Index tell us about the timing of the torture tape destruction.

November 1, 2005: Bill Frist briefed on torture.

November 1, 2005: Dana Priest reveals the use of black sites in Europe. In response, CIA starts moving detainees from the countries in question.

November 3, 2005: Leonie Brinkema inquires whether govt has video or audio tapes of interrogations. CIA IG Report on Manadel al-Janabi’s death completed.

November 4, 2005: Member of Congress writes four page letter to CIA IG.

November 8, 2005: CIA requests permission to destroy torture tapes. CIA reaffirms March 2005 statement that all interrogation methods are lawful. Duncan Hunter briefed on torture. Pete Hoekstra briefed on torture.

November 9, 2005: CIA confirms destruction of torture tapes. Doug Jehl article on spring 2004 CIA IG report on interrogation methods appears.

November 14, 2005: Govt tells Brinkema it has no audio or video tapes.

That is, the CIA requested to destroy the torture tapes in email on November 8, 2005They confirmed the destruction on November 9. Not surprisingly, after Leonie Brinkema had asked about videotapes. But also right in the middle of debates about McCain’s Detainee Treatment Act. And note that briefing for Crazy Pete Hoekstra–but not the other Dems in Intelligence Committee leadership–on the same day that CIA started asking to destroy the torture tapes.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Flashback: Head of FDIC says 'the FDIC will never go broke'...

Flashback: Head of FDIC Says ‘The FDIC will never go broke’
Mac Slavo
November 27, 2009

Flashback: On January 15, 2009, the head of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Sheila Bair, insisted that deposits in American banks were secure:

“The FDIC will never go broke. We are still running at a surplus, our reserves seem to be quite fit for the projected closure activity that we have,” Bair said.

Bair said the FDIC won’t rule out that in the future they may need to borrow from the Treasury, but added: “At this time it doesn’t look like we will have to do that.”

Flash-forward: To Sheila Bair we say “Good Call!” As of today, November 27, 2009, the FDIC is not only broke, but $8.2 Billion dollars in the red:

It’s official: the overwhelming number of bank failures since the onset of the nation’s financial crisis have pushed the FDIC’s insurance fund into negative territory. The agency said Tuesday that its reserve used to protect consumers’ deposits when a financial institution goes under is $8.2 billion in the hole.

For another flashback, we direct you to the first full day of the Obama administration being in office. In an interview with CNBC on January 21, 2009, Ms. Bair rejected predictions that the banking system is facing ruin:

“It needs to be emphasized and re-emphasized that these banks are solvent, they’re well capitalized, overwhelmingly.”

“At the end of the 3rd quarter [2008], 98% of all banks are well capitalized, representing 99% of all assets.”

Flash-forward: As of today, 122 banks have been listed on the FDIC’s Failed Bank List since the date of Ms. Bair’s CNBC interview. There are roughly 8099 commercial banks operating in the United States, which means that thus far, 1.5% of all banks have failed. If we were to stop counting today, and say the crisis is over, 98.5% of banks out of the original 8099 since Ms. Bair’s interview, would be considered well capitalized. But, today is Bank Failure Friday, so it is almost assured that more banks will be going down tonight. If we lose just 40 more banks, we will hit Ms. Bair’s 98%. Given these numbers, does anyone really believe that 98% of all banks are well capitalized? Considering the fact that 552 banks are now on the FDIC’s problem list as of the end of September 2009, it doesn’t take an economist to figure out that 98% of banks are not well capitalized. We will experience an acceleration in bank shutdowns from going forward, especially if the coming wave 2 meltdown of residential real estate and the soon-to-be mainstream commercial real estate crisis is taken into account.

Why does this whole “we predict everything is going to be ok” situation seem so oddly familiar?

Oh yes, that’s right. It was our President and Federal Reserve Chairmen who said we would not exceed 8% unemployment because of the stimulus and bailouts, and all of a sudden, as of this month, the official unemployment rate is at 10.2%, and unofficially at around 22%.

Does it seems like our elected and appointed leaders are lying to us? Or are they so incompetent that they did not see any of this coming. Whether it is the former or the latter, they are obviously not fit for the job.

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again. If you are expecting the crisis to end because someone in the White House, Congress, Treasury or The Fed says it is going to end, then you are setting yourself up for a fall. The system is not well capitalized, the housing market is not recovering, and the money in your bank is not safe. There is another wave coming, and even the mainstream has begun talking about a double-dip recession. In our opinion, this is not a double-dip, it is simply the next leg down in the Greatest Depression.

TVNew Zealand's 'Close Up' interviews Richard Gage...

'Terrorist attacks or controlled demolitions?' TVNew Zealand's 'Close Up' with Richard Gage, AIA
8:12PM Friday November 27, 2009

Close Up’s Michael Holland:

No one can ever forget those horrific images of 9/11. Remember them? The planes smashing into those buildings on a sunny New York Day.

And then, of course, the collapse of not just two but three World Trade Buildings. You remember Tower 7, as it was called? It collapsed in the afternoon of September 11 but it failed to gain notoriety because it was never hit by a plane, but it still came down, of course. And that's what troubles internationally respected architect Richard Gage. He's causing a stir at the moment in the US claiming the buildings were destroyed by controlled demolitions with explosives. The planes were simply a distraction.

Now, I spoke with Richard Gage a short time ago and asked him, "Is it as simple as looking at the collapse and the collapse of the building tells a story?"

Gage: It can be that simple, Mike. The building number 7, the third high-rise to collapse -- it collapses in the afternoon of 9/11 -- descends immediately, suddenly, straight down, symmetrically into its own footprint almost in about six and a half seconds. Now as you're seeing, this is almost free fall acceleration.

In fact, NIST, the agency tasked with explaining this collapse to us, says that it did come down at free fall for the first 100 feet or so. That means the structure has to have been removed. They acknowledge this but they do not acknowledge how the structure might have been removed. And in fact, we have evidence of very high tech explosives in all the dust throughout lower Manhattan of this building -- nanothermite.

Holland: They say also normal office fires. You rule out normal office fires. That's not possible?

Gage: No, it's not possible. Normal office fires would start a large, gradual deformation. The building would tip over. It wouldn't go straight down through the path of greatest resistance, the 40,000 tons of structural steel designed to resist any such collapse. This is why we have almost 1,000 architects and engineers now throughout the world, mainly in the US, demanding a real investigation that includes this evidence that was not included in any of the three investigations that we've had. Actually, they're just building performance assessment reports; they're not investigations at all.

Holland: All right. Well, let's have a look at the second clip which involves your comparison So you've got -- on one side of the screen you've got a regular building and this is a demolition of a building and that's how it falls. And on the other side we have got Building 7. So let's look at this.

Gage: Yes. As you can see, Building 7 at 5:20 in the afternoon, not hit by an airplane, descends straight down in the exact manner of a classic controlled demolition -- straight down, smoothly, suddenly, symmetrically into its own footprint. Every architect, engineer and many others understand immediately and intuitively that this is clearly a classic controlled demolition, not something that -- you didn't even see fires enveloping that building. There's only eight to ten small office fires, in fact.

Holland: The question is if you're right, how do you load enough explosive into a building to do that three times in the three buildings, the Twin Towers plus Building 7?

Gage: Well, one would have to have access to the core areas because in order to bring a building down like this we have to take out the 24 core columns in Building 7, for instance, within a fraction of a second of each other. Any deviation in that pattern, the building begins to tip.

Now in the case of the Twin Towers what we're seeing is the building -- the South Tower is hit about 30 floors down and it does begin to tip but this whole upper story section, which we're told drove the rest of the building down, begins to disintegrate into an incredible pulverization of concrete, a cloud that's symmetrical, as the fireman, the first responders describe, 'like a belt' all these explosions. They're hearing sounds of explosions, seeing flashes of light. There's well over 100 eyewitnesses of explosions. None of these made it into the official report.

And this building descends straight down, almost at free fall acceleration -- this turns out to be two-thirds of freefall -- straight down through 80,000 tons of structural steel designed to resist any collapse like that and it's three to five times stronger than it needed to be.

Holland: Why can't they see it?

Gage: Why can't they see it? Why won't they tell us about any of this evidence that we've been discussing so far? We don't know. This is why we need a new investigation, one that includes all of the evidence found at the crime scene, not just the evidence provided by officials such as evidence of the airplane impacts, evidence of fires, evidence of hijackers.

Holland: Let me ask you about the planes. If they put the bombs in the building -- and the Twin Towers as well, went down that same way -- does that mean the planes were superfluous? They were for show? They could have blown up the building anyway and they didn't need a plane?

Gage: Indeed, the explosions occur as the collapse is starting. That's when we have the evidence for explosive controlled demolition.

Holland: If you are right, is it conspiracy or is it incompetence on the officials' part?

Gage: Well, conspiracy theories are a term that's used when we have a lack of substantiated information. What we're providing is evidence. The evidence is based on fact.

Holland: You must admit that to put bombs into a building, the sort of explosive you would need to bring three towers down, to do that without being detected is almost inconceivable isn't it?

Gage: Well, not really. For instance, in the nine months prior to 9/11 we had the largest elevator modernization in history going on in the towers. Ace Elevator had this contract. It would have given them the possibility, the plausibility, of setting those explosives without being suspected by any of the tens of thousands of inhabitants. Of course, they would need access through security so we're looking for an investigation that includes elevator companies, security companies, etc.

Holland: All right. Architect Richard Gage.



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