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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

"Wachovia, it turns out, had made a habit of helping move money for Mexican drug smugglers. Wells Fargo & Co., which bought Wachovia in 2008, has admitted in court that its unit failed to monitor and report suspected money laundering by narcotics traffickers -- including the cash used to buy four planes that shipped a total of 22 tons of cocaine."

Banks Financing Mexico Gangs Admitted in Wells Fargo Deal
By Michael Smith - Jun 29, 2010

Just before sunset on April 10, 2006, a DC-9 jet landed at the international airport in the port city of Ciudad del Carmen, 500 miles east of Mexico City. As soldiers on the ground approached the plane, the crew tried to shoo them away, saying there was a dangerous oil leak. So the troops grew suspicious and searched the jet.

They found 128 black suitcases, packed with 5.7 tons of cocaine, valued at $100 million. The stash was supposed to have been delivered from Caracas to drug traffickers in Toluca, near Mexico City, Mexican prosecutors later found. Law enforcement officials also discovered something else.

The smugglers had bought the DC-9 with laundered funds they transferred through two of the biggest banks in the U.S.: Wachovia Corp. and Bank of America Corp., Bloomberg Markets magazine reports in its August 2010 issue.

This was no isolated incident. Wachovia, it turns out, had made a habit of helping move money for Mexican drug smugglers. Wells Fargo & Co., which bought Wachovia in 2008, has admitted in court that its unit failed to monitor and report suspected money laundering by narcotics traffickers -- including the cash used to buy four planes that shipped a total of 22 tons of cocaine.

The admission came in an agreement that Charlotte, North Carolina-based Wachovia struck with federal prosecutors in March, and it sheds light on the largely undocumented role of U.S. banks in contributing to the violent drug trade that has convulsed Mexico for the past four years.

‘Blatant Disregard’

Wachovia admitted it didn’t do enough to spot illicit funds in handling $378.4 billion for Mexican-currency-exchange houses from 2004 to 2007. That’s the largest violation of the Bank Secrecy Act, an anti-money-laundering law, in U.S. history -- a sum equal to one-third of Mexico’s current gross domestic product.

“Wachovia’s blatant disregard for our banking laws gave international cocaine cartels a virtual carte blanche to finance their operations,” says Jeffrey Sloman, the federal prosecutor who handled the case.

Since 2006, more than 22,000 people have been killed in drug-related battles that have raged mostly along the 2,000-mile (3,200-kilometer) border that Mexico shares with the U.S. In the Mexican city of Ciudad Juarez, just across the border from El Paso, Texas, 700 people had been murdered this year as of mid- June. Six Juarez police officers were slaughtered by automatic weapons fire in a midday ambush in April.

Rondolfo Torre, the leading candidate for governor in the Mexican border state of Tamaulipas, was gunned down yesterday, less than a week before elections in which violence related to drug trafficking was a central issue.

45,000 Troops

Mexican President Felipe Calderon vowed to crush the drug cartels when he took office in December 2006, and he’s since deployed 45,000 troops to fight the cartels. They’ve had little success.

Among the dead are police, soldiers, journalists and ordinary citizens. The U.S. has pledged Mexico $1.1 billion in the past two years to aid in the fight against narcotics cartels.

In May, President Barack Obama said he’d send 1,200 National Guard troops, adding to the 17,400 agents on the U.S. side of the border to help stem drug traffic and illegal immigration.

Behind the carnage in Mexico is an industry that supplies hundreds of tons of cocaine, heroin, marijuana and methamphetamines to Americans. The cartels have built a network of dealers in 231 U.S. cities from coast to coast, taking in about $39 billion in sales annually, according to the Justice Department.

‘You’re Missing the Point’

Twenty million people in the U.S. regularly use illegal drugs, spurring street crime and wrecking families. Narcotics cost the U.S. economy $215 billion a year -- enough to cover health care for 30.9 million Americans -- in overburdened courts, prisons and hospitals and lost productivity, the department says.

“It’s the banks laundering money for the cartels that finances the tragedy,” says Martin Woods, director of Wachovia’s anti-money-laundering unit in London from 2006 to 2009. Woods says he quit the bank in disgust after executives ignored his documentation that drug dealers were funneling money through Wachovia’s branch network.

“If you don’t see the correlation between the money laundering by banks and the 22,000 people killed in Mexico, you’re missing the point,” Woods says.

Cleansing Dirty Cash

Wachovia is just one of the U.S. and European banks that have been used for drug money laundering. For the past two decades, Latin American drug traffickers have gone to U.S. banks to cleanse their dirty cash, says Paul Campo, head of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s financial crimes unit.

Miami-based American Express Bank International paid fines in both 1994 and 2007 after admitting it had failed to spot and report drug dealers laundering money through its accounts. Drug traffickers used accounts at Bank of America in Oklahoma City to buy three planes that carried 10 tons of cocaine, according to Mexican court filings.

Federal agents caught people who work for Mexican cartels depositing illicit funds in Bank of America accounts in Atlanta, Chicago and Brownsville, Texas, from 2002 to 2009. Mexican drug dealers used shell companies to open accounts at London-based HSBC Holdings Plc, Europe’s biggest bank by assets, an investigation by the Mexican Finance Ministry found.

Following Rules

Those two banks weren’t accused of wrongdoing. Bank of America spokeswoman Shirley Norton and HSBC spokesman Roy Caple say laws bar them from discussing specific clients. They say their banks strictly follow the government rules.

“Bank of America takes its anti-money-laundering responsibilities very seriously,” Norton says.

A Mexican judge on Jan. 22 accused the owners of six centros cambiarios, or money changers, in Culiacan and Tijuana of laundering drug funds through their accounts at the Mexican units of Banco Santander SA, Citigroup Inc. and HSBC, according to court documents filed in the case.

The money changers are in jail while being tried. Citigroup, HSBC and Santander, which is the largest Spanish bank by assets, weren’t accused of any wrongdoing. The three banks say Mexican law bars them from commenting on the case, adding that they each carefully enforce anti-money-laundering programs.

HSBC has stopped accepting dollar deposits in Mexico, and Citigroup no longer allows noncustomers to change dollars there. Citigroup detected suspicious activity in the Tijuana accounts, reported it to regulators and closed the accounts, Citigroup spokesman Paulo Carreno says.

Criminal Empires

On June 15, the Mexican Finance Ministry announced it would set limits for banks on cash deposits in dollars.

Mexico’s drug cartels have become multinational criminal enterprises.

Some of the gangs have delved into other illegal activities such as gunrunning, kidnapping and smuggling people across the border, as well as into seemingly legitimate areas such as trucking, travel services and air cargo transport, according to the Justice Department’s National Drug Intelligence Center.

These criminal empires have no choice but to use the global banking system to finance their businesses, Mexican Senator Felipe Gonzalez says.

“With so much cash, the only way to move this money is through the banks,” says Gonzalez, who represents a central Mexican state and chairs the senate public safety committee.

Gonzalez, a member of Calderon’s National Action Party, carries a .38 revolver for personal protection.

“I know this won’t stop the narcos when they come through that door with machine guns,” he says, pointing to the entrance to his office. “But at least I’ll take one with me.”

Subprime Losses

No bank has been more closely connected with Mexican money laundering than Wachovia. Founded in 1879, Wachovia became the largest bank by assets in the southeastern U.S. by 1900. After the Great Depression, some people in North Carolina called the bank “Walk-Over-Ya” because it had foreclosed on farms in the region.

By 2008, Wachovia was the sixth-largest U.S. lender, and it faced $26 billion in losses from subprime mortgage loans. That cost Wachovia Chief Executive Officer Kennedy Thompson his job in June 2008.

Six months later, San Francisco-based Wells Fargo, which dates from 1852, bought Wachovia for $12.7 billion, creating the largest network of bank branches in the U.S. Thompson, who now works for private-equity firm Aquiline Capital Partners LLC in New York, declined to comment.

As Wachovia’s balance sheet was bleeding, its legal woes were mounting. In the three years leading up to Wachovia’s agreement with the Justice Department, grand juries served the bank with 6,700 subpoenas requesting information.

Not Quick Enough

The bank didn’t react quickly enough to the prosecutors’ requests and failed to hire enough investigators, the U.S. Treasury Department said in March. After a 22-month investigation, the Justice Department on March 12 charged Wachovia with violating the Bank Secrecy Act by failing to run an effective anti-money-laundering program.

Five days later, Wells Fargo promised in a Miami federal courtroom to revamp its detection systems. Wachovia’s new owner paid $160 million in fines and penalties, less than 2 percent of its $12.3 billion profit in 2009.

If Wells Fargo keeps its pledge, the U.S. government will, according to the agreement, drop all charges against the bank in March 2011.

Wells Fargo regrets that some of Wachovia’s former anti- money-laundering efforts fell short, spokeswoman Mary Eshet says. Wells Fargo has invested $42 million in the past three years to improve its anti-money-laundering program and has been working with regulators, she says.

‘Significantly Upgraded’

“We have substantially increased the caliber and number of staff in our international investigations group, and we also significantly upgraded the monitoring software,” Eshet says. The agreement bars the bank from contesting or contradicting the facts in its admission.

The bank declined to answer specific questions, including how much it made by handling $378.4 billion -- including $4 billion of cash-from Mexican exchange companies.

The 1970 Bank Secrecy Act requires banks to report all cash transactions above $10,000 to regulators and to tell the government about other suspected money-laundering activity. Big banks employ hundreds of investigators and spend millions of dollars on software programs to scour accounts.

No big U.S. bank -- Wells Fargo included -- has ever been indicted for violating the Bank Secrecy Act or any other federal law. Instead, the Justice Department settles criminal charges by using deferred-prosecution agreements, in which a bank pays a fine and promises not to break the law again.

‘No Capacity to Regulate’

Large banks are protected from indictments by a variant of the too-big-to-fail theory.

Indicting a big bank could trigger a mad dash by investors to dump shares and cause panic in financial markets, says Jack Blum, a U.S. Senate investigator for 14 years and a consultant to international banks and brokerage firms on money laundering.

The theory is like a get-out-of-jail-free card for big banks, Blum says.

“There’s no capacity to regulate or punish them because they’re too big to be threatened with failure,” Blum says. “They seem to be willing to do anything that improves their bottom line, until they’re caught.”

Wachovia’s run-in with federal prosecutors hasn’t troubled investors. Wells Fargo’s stock traded at $30.86 on March 24, up 1 percent in the week after the March 17 agreement was announced.

Moving money is central to the drug trade -- from the cash that people tape to their bodies as they cross the U.S.-Mexican border to the $100,000 wire transfers they send from Mexican exchange houses to big U.S. banks.

‘Doesn’t Stop Anyone’

In Tijuana, 15 miles south of San Diego, Gustavo Rojas has lived for a quarter of a century in a shack in the shadow of the 10-foot-high (3-meter-high) steel border fence that separates the U.S. and Mexico there. He points to holes burrowed under the barrier.

“They go across with drugs and come back with cash,” Rojas, 75, says. “This fence doesn’t stop anyone.”

Drug money moves back and forth across the border in an endless cycle. In the U.S., couriers take the cash from drug sales to Mexico -- as much as $29 billion a year, according to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. That would be about 319 tons of $100 bills.

They hide it in cars and trucks to smuggle into Mexico. There, cartels pay people to deposit some of the cash into Mexican banks and branches of international banks. The narcos launder much of what’s left through money changers.

The Money Changers

Anyone who has been to Mexico is familiar with these street-corner money changers; Mexican regulators say there are at least 3,000 of them from Tijuana to Cancun, usually displaying large signs advertising the day’s dollar-peso exchange rate.

Mexican banks are regulated by the National Banking and Securities Commission, which has an anti-money-laundering unit; the money changers are policed by Mexico’s Tax Service Administration, which has no such unit.

By law, the money changers have to demand identification from anyone exchanging more than $500. They also have to report transactions higher than $5,000 to regulators.

The cartels get around these requirements by employing legions of individuals -- including relatives, maids and gardeners -- to convert small amounts of dollars into pesos or to make deposits in local banks. After that, cartels wire the money to a multinational bank.

The Smurfs

The people making the small money exchanges are known as Smurfs, after the cartoon characters.

“They can use an army of people like Smurfs and go through $1 million before lunchtime,” says Jerry Robinette, who oversees U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement operations along the border in east Texas.

The U.S. Treasury has been warning banks about big Mexican- currency-exchange firms laundering drug money since 1996. By 2004, many U.S. banks had closed their accounts with these companies, which are known as casas de cambio.

Wachovia ignored warnings by regulators and police, according to the deferred-prosecution agreement.

“As early as 2004, Wachovia understood the risk,” the bank admitted in court. “Despite these warnings, Wachovia remained in the business.”

One customer that Wachovia took on in 2004 was Casa de Cambio Puebla SA, a Puebla, Mexico-based currency-exchange company. Pedro Alatorre, who ran a Puebla branch in Mexico City, had created front companies for cartels, according to a pending Mexican criminal case against him.

Federal Indictment

A federal grand jury in Miami indicted Puebla, Alatorre and three other executives in February 2008 for drug trafficking and money laundering. In May 2008, the Justice Department sought extradition of the suspects, saying they used shell firms to launder $720 million through U.S. banks.

Alatorre has been in a Mexican jail for 2 1/2 years. He denies any wrongdoing, his lawyer Mauricio Moreno says. Alatorre has made no court-filed responses in the U.S.

During the period in which Wachovia admitted to moving money out of Mexico for Puebla, couriers carrying clear plastic bags stuffed with cash went to the branch Alatorre ran at the Mexico City airport, according to surveillance reports by Mexican police.

Alatorre opened accounts at HSBC on behalf of front companies, Mexican investigators found.

Puebla executives used the stolen identities of 74 people to launder money through Wachovia accounts, Mexican prosecutors say in court-filed reports.

‘Never Reported’

“Wachovia handled all the transfers, and they never reported any as suspicious,” says Jose Luis Marmolejo, a former head of the Mexican attorney general’s financial crimes unit who is now in private practice.

In November 2005 and January 2006, Wachovia transferred a total of $300,000 from Puebla to a Bank of America account in Oklahoma City, according to information in the Alatorre cases in the U.S. and Mexico.

Drug smugglers used the funds to buy the DC-9 through Oklahoma City aircraft broker U.S. Aircraft Titles Inc., according to financial records cited in the Mexican criminal case. U.S. Aircraft Titles President Sue White declined to comment.

On April 5, 2006, a pilot flew the plane from St. Petersburg, Florida, to Caracas to pick up the cocaine, according to the DEA. Five days later, troops seized the plane in Ciudad del Carmen and burned the drugs at a nearby army base.

‘Wachovia Knew’

“I am sure Wachovia knew what was going on,” says Marmolejo, who oversaw the criminal investigation into Wachovia’s customers. “It went on too long and they made too much money not to have known.”

At Wachovia’s anti-money-laundering unit in London, Woods and his colleague Jim DeFazio, in Charlotte, say they suspected that drug dealers were using the bank to move funds.

Woods, a former Scotland Yard investigator, spotted illegible signatures and other suspicious markings on traveler’s checks from Mexican exchange companies, he said in a September 2008 letter to the U.K. Financial Services Authority. He sent copies of the letter to the DEA and Treasury Department in the U.S.

Woods, 45, says his bosses instructed him to keep quiet and tried to have him fired, according to his letter to the FSA. In one meeting, a bank official insisted Woods shouldn’t have filed suspicious activity reports to the government, as both U.S. and U.K. laws require.

‘I Was Shocked’

“I was shocked by the content and outcome of the meeting and genuinely traumatized,” Woods wrote.

In the U.S., DeFazio, who had been a Federal Bureau of Investigation agent for 21 years, says he told bank executives in 2005 that the DEA was probing the transfers through Wachovia to buy the planes.

Bank executives spurned recommendations to close suspicious accounts, DeFazio, 63, says.

“I think they looked at the money and said, ‘The hell with it. We’re going to bring it in, and look at all the money we’ll make,’” DeFazio says.

DeFazio retired in 2008.

“I didn’t want anything from them,” he says. “I just wanted to get out.”

Woods, who resigned from Wachovia in May 2009, now advises banks on how to combat money laundering. He declined to discuss details of Wachovia’s actions.

U.S. Comptroller of the Currency John Dugan told Woods in a March 19 letter his efforts had helped the U.S. build its case against Wachovia.

‘Great Courage’

“You demonstrated great courage and integrity by speaking up when you saw problems,” Dugan wrote.

It was the Puebla investigation that led U.S. authorities to the broader probe of Wachovia. On May 16, 2007, DEA agents conducted a raid of Wachovia’s international banking offices in Miami. They had a court order to seize Puebla’s accounts.

U.S. prosecutors and investigators then scrutinized the bank’s dealings with Mexican-currency-exchange firms. That led to the March deferred-prosecution agreement.

With Puebla’s Wachovia accounts seized, Alatorre and his partners shifted their laundering scheme to HSBC, according to financial documents cited in the Mexican criminal case against Alatorre.

In the three weeks after the DEA raided Wachovia, two of Alatorre’s front companies, Grupo ETPB SA and Grupo Rahero SC, made 12 cash deposits totaling $1 million at an HSBC Mexican branch, Mexican investigators found.

Another Drug Plane

The funds financed a Beechcraft King Air 200 plane that police seized on Dec. 29, 2007, in Cuernavaca, 50 miles south of Mexico City, according to information in the case against Alatorre.

For years, federal authorities watched as the wife and daughter of Oscar Oropeza, a drug smuggler working for the Matamoros-based Gulf Cartel, deposited stacks of cash at a Bank of America branch on Boca Chica Boulevard in Brownsville, Texas, less than 3 miles from the border.

Investigator Robinette sits in his pickup truck across the street from that branch. It’s a one-story, tan stucco building next to a Kentucky Fried Chicken outlet. Robinette discusses the Oropeza case with Tom Salazar, an agent who investigated the family.

“Everybody in there knew who they were -- the tellers, everyone,” Salazar says. “The bank never came to us, though.”

New Meaning

The Oropeza case gives a new, literal meaning to the term money laundering. Oropeza’s wife, Tina Marie, and daughter Paulina Marie deposited stashes of $20 bills several times a day into Bank of America accounts, Salazar says. Bank employees got to know the Oropezas by the smell of their money.

“I asked the tellers what they were talking about, and they said the money had this sweet smell like Bounce, those sheets you throw into the dryer,” Salazar says. “They told me that when they opened the vault, the smell of Bounce just poured out.”

Oropeza, 48, was arrested 820 miles from Brownsville. On May 31, 2007, police in Saraland, Alabama, stopped him on a traffic violation. Checking his record, they learned of the investigation in Texas.

They searched the van and discovered 84 kilograms (185 pounds) of cocaine hidden under a false floor. That allowed federal agents to freeze Oropeza’s bank accounts and search his marble-floored home in Brownsville, Robinette says. Inside, investigators found a supply of Bounce alongside the clothes dryer.

Guilty Pleas

All three Oropezas pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Brownsville to drug and money-laundering charges in March and April 2008. Oscar Oropeza was sentenced to 15 years in prison; his wife was ordered to serve 10 months and his daughter got 6 months.

Bank of America’s Norton says, “We not only fulfilled our regulatory obligation, but we proactively worked with law enforcement on these matters.”

Prosecutors have tried to halt money laundering at American Express Bank International twice. In 1994, the bank, then a subsidiary of New York-based American Express Co., pledged not to allow money laundering again after two employees were convicted in a criminal case involving drug trafficker Juan Garcia Abrego.

In 1994, the bank paid $14 million to settle. Five years later, drug money again flowed through American Express Bank. Between 1999 and 2004, the bank failed to stop clients from laundering $55 million of narcotics funds, the bank admitted in a deferred-prosecution agreement in August 2007.

Western Union

It paid $65 million to the U.S. and promised not to break the law again. The government dismissed the criminal charge a year later. American Express sold the bank to London-based Standard Chartered PLC in February 2008 for $823 million.

Banks aren’t the only financial institutions that have turned a blind eye to drug cartels in moving illicit funds. Western Union Co., the world’s largest money transfer firm, agreed to pay $94 million in February 2010 to settle civil and criminal investigations by the Arizona attorney general’s office.

Undercover state police posing as drug dealers bribed Western Union employees to illegally transfer money, says Cameron Holmes, an assistant attorney general.

“Their allegiance was to the smugglers,” Holmes says. “What they thought about during work was ‘How may I please my highest- spending customers the most?’”

Smudged Fingerprints

Workers in more than 20 Western Union offices allowed the customers to use multiple names, pass fictitious identifications and smudge their fingerprints on documents, investigators say in court records.

“In all the time we did undercover operations, we never once had a bribe turned down,” says Holmes, citing court affidavits.

Western Union has made significant improvements, it complies with anti-money-laundering laws and works closely with regulators and police, spokesman Tom Fitzgerald says.

For four years, Mexican authorities have been fighting a losing battle against the cartels. The police are often two steps behind the criminals. Near the southeastern corner of Texas, in Matamoros, more than 50 combat troops surround a police station.

Officers take two suspected drug traffickers inside for questioning. Nearby, two young men wearing white T-shirts and baggy pants watch and whisper into radios. These are los halcones (the falcons), whose job is to let the cartel bosses know what the police are doing.

‘Only Way’

While the police are outmaneuvered and outgunned, ordinary Mexicans live in fear. Rojas, the man who lives in the Tijuana slum near the border fence, recalls cowering in his home as smugglers shot it out with the police.

“The only way to survive is to stay out of the way and hope the violence, the bullets, don’t come for you,” Rojas says.

To make their criminal enterprises work, the drug cartels of Mexico need to move billions of dollars across borders. That’s how they finance the purchase of drugs, planes, weapons and safe houses, Senator Gonzalez says.

“They are multinational businesses, after all,” says Gonzalez, as he slowly loads his revolver at his desk in his Mexico City office. “And they cannot work without a bank.”

Those who profited from deficit spending should be focus of fiscal commission(Kevin Zeese)

Those Who Profited From Deficit Spending Should Be Focus of Fiscal Commission
Jun 30, 2010

KZeese Testimony of Kevin B. Zeese, Executive Director, Prosperity Agenda
June 30, 2010

The United States can be fiscally responsible and meet the urgent necessities of the American people by stopping corporate welfare to concentrated industries, taxing the wealthiest that profited from three decades of tax breaks and reigning in weapons and war spending. Expanding Medicare to cover all Americans will save money and improve health. And, Social Security is essential to most Americans and is a contract between the government and the people that should not be broken.

Solving America’s fiscal problems requires reviewing the priorities of government, its spending and sources of funds. It is an opportunity to re-make government so that it meets the necessities of Americans in a cost-effective way while stopping taxpayer subsidies to concentrated corporate interests and finding new sources of more equitable government funding.

Before considering cuts to Social Security and Medicare, the country's most important social programs that every American will rely on for their health and well being, this Commission should focus on where wealth is concentrated as well as cuts in discretionary spending. To do so means confronting the true sources of U.S. debt: two wars on borrowed money, uncontrolled military spending, hundreds of billions in corporate welfare, tax cuts for the wealthiest and corporations as well as deregulation of banks that led to the financial collapse that destroyed vast wealth and required massive bailouts.

The vast majority of the income gains in the United States over the last three decades have gone to the richest 5% of the population with the greatest gains in the top 0.5%. This funneling of wealth to the top came as a result of policies that were explicitly designed to redistribute income upwards. In fact, during the economic expansion from 2002-2007 the top 1% captured two-thirds of income growth. Now, the top 1% has 70% of the wealth of the nation. To balance the budget, the Commission needs to go where the money is. As a result, it is far more appropriate to tax the richest that have prospered rather than the broad middle class which have suffered.

The funneling of wealth to the top has been due to tax payer subsidies, tax breaks and corporate welfare to concentrated corporate interests and tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans. This is a major source of the national debt. From 2001-2008, tax cuts for the wealthy cost the U.S. Treasury $700 billion, all adding to the national debt. This Commission should be looking to those who have profited from government policies – policies that have been a major source of fiscal problems you are facing – as a source for bringing the federal budget under control.

There are 7,500 households in the United States with annual incomes over $20 million. Over the last two and a half decades, this is the group that has profited from a tax system designed to favor the wealthiest. America’s highest earners – the top 400 – have seen their share of income paid in federal income tax plummet from 51.2% in 1955 to 16.6% in 2007, the most recent year with top 400 statistics available. Congress should boost the top tax rate to 50% on annual incomes over $5 million and to 70% on incomes over $10 million. This would generate an additional $105 billion, going a long way toward getting our fiscal house in order.

One hundred years ago, President Theodore Roosevelt urged Congress to address the concentration of wealth by instituting a “graduated inheritance tax.” The failure to retain any estate tax during 2010 will cost an estimated $14.8 billion in revenue losses. This Commission should endorse the Responsible Estate Tax Act (S.3533) which was introduced by Sens. Bernard Sanders (I-VT), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI). The legislation would exempt over 99.75% of Americans from paying any estate tax whatsoever. This legislation would exempt the first $3.5 million of wealth in an estate from federal taxation ($7 million for couples) as a result the tax is only paid by multi-millionaires and billionaires, fewer than one in 350 estates. The tax is graduated, i.e., an estate between $3.5 million and $10 million would pay a 45% rate, the same as the 2009 level. The rate on the value of estates above $10 million and below $50 million would be 50%, and the rate on the value of estates above $50 million would be 55%, the top rate in 2000. The bill also imposes a10% surtax on the value of an estate above $500 million ($1 billion for couples). According to Forbes, there are only 403 billionaires in the United States with a collective net worth of $1.3 trillion. As Bill Gates Sr. has written an estate tax “is a means by which wealthy people pay back the society and the commonwealth that has made their wealth possible.”

The Commission should look to where the money is and urge a tax on financial speculation. A modest tax on financial transactions could easily raise more than $150 billion a year. A modest .5% tax on stock trades .02% on trades of futures and credit default swaps would have almost no impact on ordinary investors. The United Kingdom raises $40 billion a year by just taxing stock trades. The much larger and wealthier United States would raise much more. Over 200 economists have endorsed the financial transactions tax as a means to raise money and slow short-term financial speculation which is more akin to gambling than investment in the real economy.

This Commission should also be looking at discretionary spending that is bloated or inconsistent with current government objectives.

More than half of the discretionary spending of the federal budget goes to weapons and war. The Commission must look to this budget if it is to restrain government spending. One challenge you face is that the DoD budget, and many of the expenditures on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, have been un-auditable. The Commission should recommend reforms that ensure that taxpayers know where weapons and war budgets go. In 2008, the Government Accountability Office found that 95 major weapons systems have exceeded their original budgets by a total of $295 billion, bringing their total cost to $1.6 trillion. Out of the annual $700 billion DoD budget, about $400 billion is devoted to weapons and services provided by private contractors. Making reforms to the weapons procurement system so that cost overruns are no longer acceptable would be a major source of balancing the budget. This is just one area where cuts are possible in the military budget. In addition, the United States should be constantly reviewing the closure of some of the 1,000 military bases and outposts around the world. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are projected to cost $2 trillion – all in borrowed money. The war in Afghanistan – where it costs $1 million to keep one solider for a year – is costing $7 billion per month in borrowed dollars. Wars should no longer be fought on debt.

Another area where this Commission should conduct an in-depth review is corporate welfare. This is any action by local, state or federal government that gives a corporation or an entire industry a benefit not offered to others. It can be an outright subsidy, a grant, real estate, a low-interest loan or a government service. It can also be a tax break – a credit, exemption, deferral or deduction, or a tax rate lower than others pay. Corporate welfare is unfair, destroys incentive, perpetuates dependence and distorts the economy in favor of concentrated, near monopolistic, corporations. In 1998, TIME Magazine concluded that Federal Government alone gives $125 billion a year in corporate welfare after an 18 month investigation. No one knows how much is spent on corporate welfare today, estimates range in the hundreds of billions – not counting the bailouts of Wall Street and the auto industry. Corporate welfare funnels money to the top, providing billions of dollars to the already wealthy and concentrating power in the hands of a few. As TIME concluded “One role of government is to help ensure a level playing field for people and businesses. Corporate welfare does just the opposite. It tilts the playing field in favor of the largest or the most politically influential or most aggressive businesses.”

Some corporate welfare works against the goals of government. Today, one goal is break American addiction to oil. Yet, while the oil and gas industry is experiencing record profits, the Green Scissors Campaign reports the industry is set to receive at least $33 billion in handouts from taxpayers over the next five years. These companies stand to gain at least $23.2 billion from tax loopholes, $3.8 billion in royalty rollbacks, $1.6 billion in direct subsidies for research and development, and $4.3 billion through accounting gimmicks. Corporate welfare to the oil and gas industry is one example among many. A detailed review of corporate welfare would greatly explain the deficit spending of the federal government.

Social Security and Medicare have become even more important as a result of the economic collapse. The loss of wealth suffered by older Americans in the economic collapse has left people in their late 40s and older with almost nothing other than Social Security and Medicare. These two very popular and successful programs should not be cut, indeed, they should be expanded.

The discussion of Social Security has been filled with inaccurate information about the stability of the Social Security fund. Cutting Social Security will not reduce the deficit. Social Security has accumulated a massive surplus—$2.5 trillion now, rising to $4.3 trillion by 2023. This vast wealth was collected over many years from workers under the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) to pay in advance for retirement. The money Americans have paid to Social Security will keep it solvent through 2043, and after that 80% funded. These funds do not belong to the government; they belong to the people who paid for it. FICA is not a tax but an involuntary retirement savings – a contract that must be respected. Merely raising the cap on income taxed for Social Security will ensure its survival and allow its growth. Indeed, in the years that follow the current baby boom generation Social Security will return to full solvency as the birth rate has dropped from the current 2.7 rate to 2.1 children per couple. Thus, Social Security will be paying benefits to fewer people.

Regarding Medicare, this Commission should recommend that Medicare be improved and expanded to cover all Americans. This will greatly reduce future deficits. Health care is the driving cost of future budget shortfalls. If the per person cost of health care was the same in the United States as in any other wealthy country, rather than seeing deficits the United States would experience surpluses. This Commission should use its platform to urge the removal of the profit-driven health insurance industry from the equation. This will save Americans $400 billion in annual health care expenditures and reduce government deficits. This basic fact is central to understanding the long-term deficit that this Commission is wrestling with.

The goal of fiscal responsibility and meeting the urgent necessities of the American people are not inconsistent. But, to meet those twin goals this Commission needs to look to who has profited from the creation of debt, where discretionary funds are being spent in unnecessarily and counterproductive ways and tax concentrated wealth created by three decades of government policy.

Kevin Zeese is executive director of Prosperity Agenda, www.ProsperityAgenda.US Contact: KBZeese@gmail.com or 443-708-8360.

Why are police abusing the elderly?

Why are Police Abusing Elderly?
Matt Ryan
June 30, 2010

Stories of police crossing the line between reasonable and unjustified physical force are commonplace in our modern news cycle. Years ago Rodney King became a household name and a verbal symbol of injustice at the hands of law enforcement. This story captivated the nation and shed a light on what normally would be a small blurb in the back pages of national media. Thanks to a rise in independent and social media, stories like these are no longer buried as deeply.

Police brutality is a phrase used to describe excessive use of force by a police officer on a citizen that may not pose a clear and immediate threat. Regulations typically state than an officer may only use a level of force equal to that of the threat, keeping them from becoming the offender rather than the peace keeper. Sadly, these regulations have been tossed aside thanks to the widespread adoption of the stun gun.

Stories of elderly at the receiving end of this “non-lethal” device come out regularly, and in many of the cases an officer is supported by their superiors for inflicting the electric jolt on citizens. Below are a couple examples of such actions.

Kathryn Winkfein – Routine Traffic Stop

An example would be the 72-year-old woman in Travis County, Texas during a routine traffic stop on May 11, 2009. The woman, Kathryn Winkfein, was going 60mph in a construction zone with a 45 speed limit. The officer wrote her a ticket and she refused to sign, indicating she would rather go to jail than sign a ticket she did not agree to.

The officer asked her to get out of the car and she complied, but when he told her where to stand in the road she used profanity against him. This was enough for him to justify using his stun gun on her multiple times. She was unarmed, and though she may have been disobedient towards the officer posed no physical threat to him. During the administration of the electric shock he ordered her to put her hands behind her back. This is an impossible feat for someone to accomplish while they are being tased.

Lona Varner – In Bed on an Oxygen Machine

An 86-year-old grandmother and civilian veteran of WWII was tasered while laying in her bed and breathing with assistance of an oxygen machine in El Reno, TX. Lona Varner is seeking $75,000 in a lawsuit against the city of El Reno.

Here is a link to the lawsuit.

Police intially responded to a call from her grandson stating that when he asked her if she had taken her medication and when she was unable to respond, he summoned 911 to request an ambulance. Instead of an ambulance, however, almost a dozen police officers arrived and forced themselves in to the woman’s apartment.

Raw Story reports that when they walked in to her bedroom she asked them to leave and pulled a knife from under her pillow indicating she would defend herself if they came any closer or tried to disarm her. Ignoring the obviously bedridden state of the woman the commanding officer, Thomas Duran, decided to order officers to taser the elderly woman. Her grandson asked the officers not to tase his grandmother and, according to the lawsuit, they threatened to tase him as well.

According to the police report, Lona Varner said, “If you try and get the knife, I will stab you and kill you. I killed four Japs in World War II and I would not bat an eye killing you.” This statement, along with an alleged change of posture in her bed apparently caused the officers to use their tasers on her again causing her to pass out.

Her lawyer says police treated the frail woman brutally, ripping the flesh on her arms as they grappled with her. Reports out of KOCO News indicate that her wounds include a laceration from her elbow to her wrist received when officers controlled her arm to remove the knife from her hand. In addition, the report indicates that the officers stepped on her oxygen tube causing her severe oxygen deprevation during the arrest.

The lawsuit states that the officers acted outside of the 14th ammendment, causing her physical harm, humiliation and emotional distress.

G20 Toronto police rape threat and strip search protesters(Video)

Ecuador threatens to cut off diplomatic ties with Colombia over spy plot...

Ecuador threatens to cut Colombia ties over spy plot
Tue Jun 29, 6:36 pm ET

QUITO (Reuters) – Ecuador's President Rafael Correa threatened to break off diplomatic ties again with Colombia on Tuesday over accusations that its agents wiretapped top Ecuadorean officials, including the leftist leader.

Difficult relations between Colombia and its neighbors are one of the top foreign policy challenges facing Juan Manual Santos, Colombia's incoming president-elect. A diplomatic spat with Venezuela is also affecting billions of dollars of trade.

Ecuador broke off diplomatic ties with Colombia in 2008 after a Colombian bombing raid on a FARC guerrilla camp on the Ecuadorean side of the border. Relations were partially restored in November, but not to the level of ambassador.

Agents of Colombia's DAS intelligence service tapped telephone conversations of Correa and his top officials after the 2008 raid, an Ecuadorean newspaper reported on Monday.

"It would not only be an obstacle to the re-establishment of bilateral relations. We would have to go back and break relations. This is extremely serious," Correa told reporters.

Colombia had no immediate comment on Correa's statement.

The two countries currently have lower level diplomats or charges d'affaires in place and had held encouraging talks in recent months about restoring full relations.

Colombia's Administrative Security Department, known by its Spanish initials DAS, denies the accusation of spying. The charge is being investigated by Correa's government.

The DAS has been hit by a string of scandals, including allegations of illegal wiretapping of judges, journalists and opposition politicians in Colombia.

The United States cut off aid to the agency amid charges that Uribe's advisers directed some of the abuses from the presidential palace. Uribe has said his government will disband the DAS and create a smaller, better-controlled agency.

(Reporting by Santiago Silva, editing by Anthony Boadle)

Russian 'spy ring' labelled nutty and feckless by former CIA agents...

Russian 'spy ring' labelled nutty and feckless by former CIA agents
Current and former US intelligence officials have expressed their bemusement at details of an alleged Russian spy ring uncovered by the FBI.
Published: 7:00AM BST 30 Jun 2010

Eleven "secret agents" have been arrested amid claims that the group have been operating undercover in the US for more than ten years.

Russian officials have confirmed that some of the group were Russian citizens, but said that "they have not committed any actions directed against US interests."

As the details of their double lives emerged, US intelligence experts voiced their amazement that the team had been allowed to work for so long and seemingly deliver so little.

Frederick Hitz, former inspector general of the CIA, said that the suspected Russian operation was "nutty".

"It just struck me as a throwback to the Cold War at a time when the Russians and the United States have so many forward-looking kinds of issues," he told the Washington Post.

"It looks as if it got going at the end of the Soviet era and just continued, even though it wasn't clear what the immediate goals of these people were."

Mark Lowenthal, a former senior CIA official, branded the operation "feckless".

"So many of the things they seemed to be after you can find out by listening to the right radio station or reading the right newspaper... It doesn't say a lot about the smarts of the SVR [Russia's foreign intelligence service]."

Even Russian experts were surprised by the methods employed by the team.

"It sounds preposterous to me," Mikhail Lyubimov, a writer and former member of the SVR, told the paper. "We've never used illegals like this," he said, referring to spies posing as ordinary citizens instead of diplomats. "And it's a comedy to have 10 of them connected."

UN report calls for abandoning US dollar...

Scrap dollar as sole reserve currency: U.N. report
Louis Charbonneau
Tue Jun 29, 2010 4:56pm EDT

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - A new United Nations report released on Tuesday calls for abandoning the U.S. dollar as the main global reserve currency, saying it has been unable to safeguard value.

But several European officials attending a high-level meeting of the U.N. Economic and Social Council countered by saying that the market, not politicians, would determine what currencies countries would keep on hand for reserves.

"The dollar has proved not to be a stable store of value, which is a requisite for a stable reserve currency," the U.N. World Economic and Social Survey 2010 said.

The report says that developing countries have been hit by the U.S. dollar's loss of value in recent years.

"Motivated in part by needs for self-insurance against volatility in commodity markets and capital flows, many developing countries accumulated vast amounts of such (U.S. dollar) reserves during the 2000s," it said.

The report supports replacing the dollar with the International Monetary Fund's special drawing rights (SDRs), an international reserve asset that is used as a unit of payment on IMF loans and is made up of a basket of currencies.

"A new global reserve system could be created, one that no longer relies on the United States dollar as the single major reserve currency," the U.N. report said.

The report said a new reserve system "must not be based on a single currency or even multiple national currencies but instead, should permit the emission of international liquidity -- such as SDRs -- to create a more stable global financial system."

"Such emissions of international liquidity could also underpin the financing of investment in long-term sustainable development," it said.


Jomo Kwame Sundaram, a Malaysian economist and the U.N. assistant secretary general for economic development, told a news conference that "there's going to be resistance" to the idea.

"In the whole post-war period, we've essentially had a dollar-based system," he said, adding that the gradual emission of SDRs could help countries phase out the dollar.

Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz, who previously chaired a U.N. expert commission that considered ways of overhauling the global financial system, has advocated the creation of a new reserve currency system, possibly based on SDRs.

Russia and China have also supported the idea.

But Paavo Vayrynen, Finland's Foreign Trade and Development Minister, told reporters that he doubted it was possible "to make any political or administrative decisions how to formulate the currency system in the world."

"It is based on the markets," he said. "I believe that the economic players in the market are going to have the decisive influence on that issue."

European Union development commissioner Andris Piebalgs said it would be a bad idea to dictate what the reserve currency should be.

"It is markets that decide," he said. "Any intervention would just create additional challenges and make things even less predictable."

Petraeus and Russian spy capture(Video)

Israeli nuclear espionage: The art of keeping America at risk for fun and profit

Israeli Nuclear Espionage: The Art of Keeping America at Risk for Fun and Profit
26. May, 2010

This week, newspapers around the world received reports and signed documents from South Africa. The reports said that, in 1975, Israel agreed to sell South Africa nuclear weapons. South Africa then released an arms agreement signed by current Israeli President Shimon Peres. This is the document “heard round the world.”

Meetings are being held in New York to set up a conference for 2012 to guarantee that the Middle East is nuclear free. Israel has been informed that it will not be able to hide behind denials and that the nuclear arsenal put on the sale block by Israel in 1975, and nobody knows how many times since, has to go. When Israel was finally caught, it changed at least one part of a game, but the game will go on.

What does it mean? Neither South Africa nor Israel is admitting that the nukes were delivered. General beliefs are that they were, a real shock to Nelson Mandela when he took office, from prisoner of apartheid to commander of a nuclear power. What is proven by this is that Israel was, even 35 years ago, a nuclear state, in direct violation of numerous international treaties. It also proves that Israel offered nukes to South Africa, a rogue nation under sanctions that covered not only any weapons but trade as well. This made Israel a criminal state and Mr. Peres a war criminal.

More than that, it makes any aid America gives Israel illegal. If Israel is nuclear, which is now official, and in violation of international treaties, just as with Iraq and Iran, then America has to demand inspections and disarmament. There is no choice. This is the law. Law for Iran, law for Iraq is also law for Israel. Israel has expected this day for years. The US can’t give or sell arms to any country with an illegal nuclear arsenal. Worse than this, we are sworn to defend the world from any nation that would spread nuclear weapons, a charge made by the South African government, one that has been made before, but can no longer be ignored.

How did Russia get the bomb? Americans gave Russia the technologies, not just Americans but Zionists: Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, Morris Cohen, Martin Sobell, David Greenglass, Klaus Fuchs and Harry Gold. This was a couple of years before the establishment of the State of Israel or we would have called them all Israeli-Americans. They believed that America couldn’t be trusted and that infamous mass murderer Josef Stalin could. From this point on, spying against America, everything from secret weapons to defense plans, everything America depended on to stay safe was stolen and sold to Russia, China or North Korea by spy organizations run out of Israel.

The Rosenbergs died, executed for their crimes. They were communists and believed in what they were doing. Today this isn’t the case. America’s military secrets are being peddled around the world for money, to keep the world on edge and have built Israel into a military superpower based on stolen American technology and, we are told, a nuclear arsenal built from stolen American designs and fueled with 2.5 tons of “misplaced” plutonium, one of the great secrets of our era.

America’s nuclear program, Livermore Labs, Oak Ridge, Hanford, Rocky Flats, Fernald, Pantax, Portsmouth, Mound, Pinellas, Savannah River, Sandia Labs, Los Alamos and more, needed to enrich uranium, design and fabricate nuclear weapons is vast, covering enough area to encompass some states. Tens of thousands of employees, hundreds of billions of dollars and physical facilities so large they could be seen from the moon are involved. Yet, by 1975, not only was Israel armed to the teeth with nukes, a tiny country, but had so many they could sell them on the open market like gumdrops.

The only possible answer was that America was supplying Israel with weapons grade fissionable material, plutonium or uranium 235. A number of investigators and whistleblowers have tracked these shipments to NUMEC in Pennsylvania and to France. I have spoken with some who were involved in the investigation. No report has been made. Everyone involved has been discredited or silenced. Is it a rumor or did Israel kill the Kennedys for trying to create a “nuclear free” Middle East? As this is the only very strong motivation for the assassinations that has never been made into a movie or filmed in a TV series or documentary, I am putting my money on this. John F. Kennedy may have signed his own death warrant when he sent the final demand to Israeli President David Ben Gurion on July 5, 1963 demanding inspection of the Dimona nuclear facility. Ben Gurion resigned rather than receive the letter and before a new demand could reach Tel Aviv, Kennedy was dead.

The world is a funny place. With 95% of the world’s weapons design and development being done in the US, why is it that American technologies show up in enemy hands continually? Could the long history of Israeli spying against the US be involved?

Every advanced technology given by the US to Israel is reverse engineered and peddled to Venezuela, North Korea, China or the highest bidder. Any technology not offered is stolen. The game? Just as with peddling nukes to South Africa back in 1975, it is all about business.

The only reason Israel is on our radar is that their “games” played on the American stage with their puppet networks like Fox News and their political hacks, McCain, Lieberman, Waxman, Schumer and so many more, countless more, are ready to send a generation of American kids to war against Iran on the word of a proven liar, Israel, proven liar over peddling nukes, proven liar over settlements in Palestine, proven liar over Iraq’s nuke program—lies told and retold by the master storytellers who daily reinvent themselves as victims.

Maidhc Ó Cathail is an educator and widely published writer, based in Japan.

George Carlin and Bill Hicks tell it like it is(Video)

Attack on Iran imminent, warns Fidel Castro...

Attack On Iran Imminent, Warns Fidel Castro
June 29, 2010 by politicaltheatrics

As I was writing every one of my previous Reflections, and a catastrophe was quickly zeroing in on humanity, my major concern was to fulfill the primary duty to inform our people.

Today, I feel more relax than 26 days ago. As the situation evolves, I can reiterate and expand on the information to the national and international public.

Obama has committed to attend the quarterfinals match on July 2, if his country’s team makes it to that stage. He supposedly knows better than anyone that the quarterfinals will not be contested because very serious developments will take place before that; or at least he should know.

Last Friday, June 25, an international press agency known for the attention to details in its reports, published a statement by the “…Navy Commander of the elite Corps of the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution General Ali Fadavi…,” warning “…that if the United States and its allies inspect Iranian ships in international waters ‘they will have their response in the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz.’”

The information was taken from the local news agency Mehr of Iran.

According to the press dispatch, said news agency reported that “Fadavi added that ‘the Navy of the Revolutionary Guardians currently has hundreds of vessels equipped with missile launchers.’”

The information, produced approximately at the same time of what Granma published or perhaps before, seemed at some points an exact copy of the Reflections elaborated on Thursday June 24th and ran by that paper on Friday 25th.

The coincidence can be explained by the simple use of a logical reasoning. I was completely unaware of what the Iranian local agency had published.

I have absolutely no doubt that as soon as the American and Israeli warships are deployed –alongside the rest of the American military vessels positioned off the Iranian coasts– and they try to inspect the first merchant ship from that country, there will be a massive launching of missiles in both directions. At that moment exactly the terrible war will begin. It’s not possible to estimate how many vessels will be sunk or from what country.

Knowing the truth timely is the most important thing for our people.

It doesn’t matter if almost everybody, I’d dare say 99.9% or more of my compatriots, instinctively cling to hopes and agree with my sincere wishes to be wrong. I have talked to people close to me, and I have also received news from many noble, selfless and hardworking people who have read my Reflections and do not challenge my considerations in the least but rather absorb, believe and swallow my reasoning through a dry throat; however, they immediately go back to the tasks to which they devote their energies.

That is precisely what we expect of our compatriots. But it would be worse to suddenly become aware of extremely gave events without having heard as much as a news about such possibility. Then there would be confusion and panic, and that would be unworthy of our heroic Cuban people, which was very close to becoming the target of a massive nuclear strike on October 1962, and still did not hesitate for a second in discharging its duty.

Our brave combatants and the military chiefs of our Revolutionary Armed Forces taking part in heroic internationalist missions were close to becoming the victims of nuclear strikes against the Cuban troops deployed close to the Angolan south border from where the South African racist forces –at the time positioned on the Namibian border– had been expelled after the battle of Cuito Cuanavale.

The Pentagon, with the consent of the President of the United States, supplied the South African racists through Israel with about 14 nuclear bombs, more powerful than those dropped on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, as we have indicated in previous Reflections.

I am neither a prophet nor a fortune teller. Nobody told me a word of what was to happen. It has all been the result of what I today describe as a logical reasoning.

We are neither new to this complicated issue nor are we meddlesome.

It is possible to predict what will happen in the rest of the Portuguese and Spanish speaking Americas during the nuclear post crisis.

Under such circumstances, it will not be possible to talk of capitalism or socialism. A stage will open that will see the management of the available goods and services in this part of the continent. Certainly, every country will continue being ruled by those who head the governments today, some very close to socialism and others euphoric over the opening of the world market to fuels, uranium, copper, lithium, aluminum, iron and other metals being sent to the developed and rich countries today that will suddenly disappear.

An abundance of food exported now to that world market will also disappear abruptly.

In these circumstances, the most basic products needed for life: food, water, fuels, and the resources found in the hemisphere south of the United States will suffice to preserve some of the civilization whose unbridled advance has led humanity into such a disaster.

Nevertheless, there are still some uncertainties. Will the two mightiest nuclear powers, the United States and Russia, be able to refrain from using their nuclear weapons against each other?

There is no doubt, however, that from Europe the nuclear weapons of Great Britain and France, allied with the United States and Israel, –the same that enthusiastically imposed the resolution that will inevitably unleash the war, which for the abovementioned reasons will immediately become nuclear– are threatening the Russian territory even though this country and China have done everything within their capabilities to prevent the conflict.

The economy of the superpower will fall to pieces like a house of cards. The American society is the least prepared to endure a catastrophe like the one the empire has created in the same territory where it started.

We don’t know which will be the effect on the environment of the nuclear weapons that will unavoidably explode in various parts of the world, and that in the least serious variant will happen in abundance.

As for me, to advance a hypothesis would be pure science fiction.

Almost all Exxon Valdez clean-up crew dead(Video)

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Tarpley: Description of 'Russian spies' more like journalism than espionage(Video)

In Nigeria, oil spills are a long-time scourge...

Far From Gulf, a Spill Scourge 5 Decades Old
Published: June 16, 2010

BODO, Nigeria — Big oil spills are no longer news in this vast, tropical land. The Niger Delta, where the wealth underground is out of all proportion with the poverty on the surface, has endured the equivalent of the Exxon Valdez spill every year for 50 years by some estimates. The oil pours out nearly every week, and some swamps are long since lifeless.

Perhaps no place on earth has been as battered by oil, experts say, leaving residents here astonished at the nonstop attention paid to the gusher half a world away in the Gulf of Mexico. It was only a few weeks ago, they say, that a burst pipe belonging to Royal Dutch Shell in the mangroves was finally shut after flowing for two months: now nothing living moves in a black-and-brown world once teeming with shrimp and crab.

Not far away, there is still black crude on Gio Creek from an April spill, and just across the state line in Akwa Ibom the fishermen curse their oil-blackened nets, doubly useless in a barren sea buffeted by a spill from an offshore Exxon Mobil pipe in May that lasted for weeks.

The oil spews from rusted and aging pipes, unchecked by what analysts say is ineffectual or collusive regulation, and abetted by deficient maintenance and sabotage. In the face of this black tide is an infrequent protest — soldiers guarding an Exxon Mobil site beat women who were demonstrating last month, according to witnesses — but mostly resentful resignation.

Small children swim in the polluted estuary here, fishermen take their skiffs out ever farther — “There’s nothing we can catch here,” said Pius Doron, perched anxiously over his boat — and market women trudge through oily streams. “There is Shell oil on my body,” said Hannah Baage, emerging from Gio Creek with a machete to cut the cassava stalks balanced on her head.

That the Gulf of Mexico disaster has transfixed a country and president they so admire is a matter of wonder for people here, living among the palm-fringed estuaries in conditions as abject as any in Nigeria, according to the United Nations. Though their region contributes nearly 80 percent of the government’s revenue, they have hardly benefited from it; life expectancy is the lowest in Nigeria.

“President Obama is worried about that one,” Claytus Kanyie, a local official, said of the gulf spill, standing among dead mangroves in the soft oily muck outside Bodo. “Nobody is worried about this one. The aquatic life of our people is dying off. There used be shrimp. There are no longer any shrimp.”

In the distance, smoke rose from what Mr. Kanyie and environmental activists said was an illegal refining business run by local oil thieves and protected, they said, by Nigerian security forces. The swamp was deserted and quiet, without even bird song; before the spills, Mr. Kanyie said, women from Bodo earned a living gathering mollusks and shellfish among the mangroves.

With new estimates that as many as 2.5 million gallons of oil could be spilling into the Gulf of Mexico each day, the Niger Delta has suddenly become a cautionary tale for the United States.

As many as 546 million gallons of oil spilled into the Niger Delta over the last five decades, or nearly 11 million gallons a year, a team of experts for the Nigerian government and international and local environmental groups concluded in a 2006 report. By comparison, the Exxon Valdez spill in 1989 dumped an estimated 10.8 million gallons of oil into the waters off Alaska.

So the people here cast a jaundiced, if sympathetic, eye at the spill in the gulf. “We’re sorry for them, but it’s what’s been happening to us for 50 years,” said Emman Mbong, an official in Eket.

The spills here are all the more devastating because this ecologically sensitive wetlands region, the source of 10 percent of American oil imports, has most of Africa’s mangroves and, like the Louisiana coast, has fed the interior for generations with its abundance of fish, shellfish, wildlife and crops.

Local environmentalists have been denouncing the spoliation for years, with little effect. “It’s a dead environment,” said Patrick Naagbanton of the Center for Environment, Human Rights and Development in Port Harcourt, the leading city of the oil region.

Though much here has been destroyed, much remains, with large expanses of vibrant green. Environmentalists say that with intensive restoration, the Niger Delta could again be what it once was.

Nigeria produced more than two million barrels of oil a day last year, and in over 50 years thousands of miles of pipes have been laid through the swamps. Shell, the major player, has operations on thousands of square miles of territory, according to Amnesty International. Aging columns of oil-well valves, known as Christmas trees, pop up improbably in clearings among the palm trees. Oil sometimes shoots out of them, even if the wells are defunct.

“The oil was just shooting up in the air, and it goes up in the sky,” said Amstel M. Gbarakpor, youth president in Kegbara Dere, recalling the spill in April at Gio Creek. “It took them three weeks to secure this well.”

How much of the spillage is due to oil thieves or to sabotage linked to the militant movement active in the Niger Delta, and how much stems from poorly maintained and aging pipes, is a matter of fierce dispute among communities, environmentalists and the oil companies.

Caroline Wittgen, a spokeswoman for Shell in Lagos, said, “We don’t discuss individual spills,” but argued that the “vast majority” were caused by sabotage or theft, with only 2 percent due to equipment failure or human error.

“We do not believe that we behave irresponsibly, but we do operate in a unique environment where security and lawlessness are major problems,” Ms. Wittgen said.

Oil companies also contend that they clean up much of what is lost. A spokesman for Exxon Mobil in Lagos, Nigel A. Cookey-Gam, said that the company’s recent offshore spill leaked only about 8,400 gallons and that “this was effectively cleaned up.”

But many experts and local officials say the companies attribute too much to sabotage, to lessen their culpability. Richard Steiner, a consultant on oil spills, concluded in a 2008 report that historically “the pipeline failure rate in Nigeria is many times that found elsewhere in the world,” and he noted that even Shell acknowledged “almost every year” a spill due to a corroded pipeline.

On the beach at Ibeno, the few fishermen were glum. Far out to sea oil had spilled for weeks from the Exxon Mobil pipe. “We can’t see where to fish; oil is in the sea,” Patrick Okoni said.

“We don’t have an international media to cover us, so nobody cares about it,” said Mr. Mbong, in nearby Eket. “Whatever cry we cry is not heard outside of here.”

New documentary exposing the cover-up behind the death of Pat Tillman...

New Big Screen Documentary Exposes Pat Tillman Cover-Up
Paul Joseph Watson
Prison Planet.com
Tuesday, June 29, 2010

A new documentary set to hit the big screen this summer lifts the lid on the cover-up behind the death of Pat Tillman, the pro-football star who gave up a lucrative career to fight in Afghanistan and Iraq before preparing to return to the U.S. as an anti-war icon, at which point he was killed in a so-called friendly fire incident that more closely resembled a deliberate assassination.

Whether or not the documentary delves into the question of whether Tillman’s death was a targeted act of murder remains to be seen, but the evidence strongly indicates that Tillman was deliberately assassinated in order to prevent him from becoming an anti-war icon and derailing public support in the United States for the ongoing occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan.

Tillman sacrificed the good life and a multi-million dollar football career in the belief that he was defending his country from outside enemies, and soon after 9/11 turned down a contract offer of $3.6 million over three years from the Cardinals to enlist in the U.S. Army.

It was during Tillman’s second deployment to Afghanistan, after previously serving in Iraq, that he was killed by what the U.S. military initially claimed was a Taliban ambush. It later emerged that the ambush story had been concocted by the Pentagon in an attempt to exploit Tillman’s death for pro-war propaganda. Subsequent investigations claimed that Tillman was killed as a result of a friendly fire accident.

However, in July 2007, the results of an Army medical report found that Tillman had been shot three times in the head with an M16 from a mere 10 yards away, clearly suggesting that the incident was a targeted assassination.

“Army medical examiners were suspicious about the close proximity of the three bullet holes in Pat Tillman’s forehead and tried without success to get authorities to investigate whether the former NFL player’s death amounted to a crime,” reported the Associated Press.

“The medical evidence did not match up with the, with the scenario as described,” a doctor who examined Tillman’s body after he was killed on the battlefield in Afghanistan in 2004 told investigators. “The doctors – whose names were blacked out – said that the bullet holes were so close together that it appeared the Army Ranger was cut down by an M-16 fired from a mere 10 yards or so away.”

The report also states that “No evidence at all of enemy fire was found at the scene – no one was hit by enemy fire, nor was any government equipment struck.”

The article also reveals that “Army attorneys sent each other congratulatory e-mails for keeping criminal investigators at bay as the Army conducted an internal friendly-fire investigation that resulted in administrative, or non-criminal, punishments.”

The doctor who autopsied Tillman’s body tried to pursue an investigation into the question of whether Tillman was murdered but was prevented from doing so by higher-ups at the Army’s Criminal Investigation Division.

The motive for the murder would undoubtedly have been Tillman’s plans to return to the U.S. and a vocal critic of the Afghanistan and Iraq invasions.

The evidence points directly to it and the motivation is clear – Tillman abandoned a lucrative career in pro-football immediately after 9/11 because he felt a rampaging patriotic urge to defend his country, and became a poster child for the war on terror as a result. But when he discovered that the invasion of Iraq was based on a mountain of lies and deceit and had nothing to do with defending America, he became infuriated and was ready to return home to become an anti-war hero.

In September 2005, the San Francisco Chronicle reported that a friend of Tillman had set up a meeting with author and prominent war critic Noam Chomsky, which was scheduled to take place after Tillman’s return from Afghanistan. Chomsky confirmed that the meeting was arranged.

As far back as March 2003, immediately after the invasion of Iraq, Tillman famously told his comrade Spc. Russell Baer, “You know, this war is so fucking illegal,” and urged his entire platoon to vote against Bush in the 2004 election.

During a July 2007 appearance on Keith Olbermann’s MSNBC show, four star General Wesley Clark stated that “the orders came from the very top” to cover-up the nature of Tillman’s death as he was a political symbol and his opposition to the war in Iraq would have rallied the population around supporting immediate withdrawal.

Watch the trailer for The Tillman Story, which is due for cinema release in August.

Choosing healthy foods now called a mental disorder...

Choosing healthy foods now called a mental disorder
Mike Adams
June 29, 2010

In its never-ending attempt to fabricate “mental disorders” out of every human activity, the psychiatric industry is now pushing the most ridiculous disease they’ve invented yet: Healthy eating disorder.

This is no joke: If you focus on eating healthy foods, you’re “mentally diseased” and probably need some sort of chemical treatment involving powerful psychotropic drugs. The Guardian newspaper reports, “Fixation with healthy eating can be sign of serious psychological disorder” and goes on to claim this “disease” is called orthorexia nervosa — which is basically just Latin for “nervous about correct eating.”

But they can’t just called it “nervous healthy eating disorder” because that doesn’t sound like they know what they’re talking about. So they translate it into Latin where it sounds smart (even though it isn’t). That’s where most disease names come from: Doctors just describe the symptoms they see with a name like osteoporosis (which means “bones with holes in them”).

Getting back to this fabricated “orthorexia” disease, the Guardian goes on to report, “Orthorexics commonly have rigid rules around eating. Refusing to touch sugar, salt, caffeine, alcohol, wheat, gluten, yeast, soya, corn and dairy foods is just the start of their diet restrictions. Any foods that have come into contact with pesticides, herbicides or contain artificial additives are also out.”

Wait a second. So attempting to avoid chemicals, dairy, soy and sugar now makes you a mental health patient? Yep. According to these experts. If you actually take special care to avoid pesticides, herbicides and genetically modified ingredients like soy and sugar, there’s something wrong with you.

But did you notice that eating junk food is assumed to be “normal?” If you eat processed junk foods laced with synthetic chemicals, that’s okay with them. The mental patients are the ones who choose organic, natural foods, apparently....


Czech military to help National Guard establish "chemical warfare unit" in Texas...

Czech Military to Help National Guard Establish “Chemical Warfare Unit” in Texas
Jurriaan Maessen
June 29, 2010

According to Texas National Guard chief commander Adjutant General Jose S. Mayorga, soldiers from the Czech military 31st brigade of radiation, chemical and biological protection will help their US counterparts establish a similar unit in Texas. The soldiers are expected to arrive somewhere next month.

He made the statement to the Czech News Agency (CTK) on June 22, while visiting with Czech chief-of-staff Vlastimil Picek on his invitation.

“Since the Texas guard is considering establishing a similar unit, Mayorga said he would like to see how the Czech unit, seated in Liberec, north Bohemia, is organized and how it prepares for emergency situations, and also its way of reacting to them”, reports the Prague Daily Monitor.

It is interesting to note that the Nuclear Threat Initiative’s (NTI) news outlet reported on March 16 2009 that this very chemical warfare unit would be assigned to “help protect” President Obama during his visit to the EU-USA summit held in Prague in April of that year.

Now I don’t know about you, but since when does a ‘chemical warfare unit’, specialized in such things as tracking down anthrax-facilities and other devilries, get to “protect” an American president visiting?

“The plan of security measures to accompany the EU-USA summit reckons with us.”, NTI reported the head of the 31st brigade of radiation, chemical and biological protection, Miroslav Knopp, as saying.

“However”, said Knopp, “I must not disclose any details as the [plan] is secret. Our role will be similar to our assistance in the protection of then U.S. President George Bush during his visit to Prague, and at the NATO summits in Istanbul and Riga”.

Again: what is a biological and chemical warfare unit doing protecting a United States President? Isn’t that the Secret Service’s job? And what in Gods name is the legitimacy of using this foreign military unit in the United States, helping out the Texas National Guard?

The Prague Daily Monitor reports there is more to this unit than meets the eye:

“The Czech chemical warfare unit is world-renowned. This April it protected the U.S.-Russian summit in Prague. Previously it ensured the security of the Olympic Games in Athens and was deployed in the Gulf War and other conflicts.”

It’s a strange thing, is it not, that some Czech chemical warfare unit- operating from a relatively second-rate nation in Europe, protects US presidents, provides security for the Olympic Games and is involved in combat-operations overseas. It’s even more strange that the unit will now help the Texas National Guard establish a replica of itself in the great state of Texas.

Corexit/oil eats through boat hulls, kidneys...

G4: Corexit/oil eats through boat hulls, kidneys
By oilflorida, on June 27th, 2010

G4: I’ve seen guys who that have volunteered to clean up birds that were working for BP. The hulls of their boats, whether its from the oil or from the Corexit, are being eaten through. And they are saying that ‘I volunteered this ship to help with this effort, there is no way BP is gonna pay me back for that.’

BP Spokesperson: Yes they will. The claims process is not perfect yet, we are working on it, but yes they’ll be paid. …

G4: I think you should share your proprietary information if its eating through kidneys.

Colombian far-right gov't tapped Ecuador president's phone...

Colombia Tapped Ecuador President Correa's Telephones, El Universo Reports
By Nathan Gill - Jun 28, 2010

Colombian police have been tapping the telephones of Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa and government and military officials since 2008, El Universo reported, citing an unidentified Colombian intelligence officer.

Colombian President Alvaro Uribe and incoming President Juan Manuel Santos have been briefed at least three times on the operation, which began in the aftermath of a Colombian raid on a rebel base camp inside Ecuador in March 2008, the Guayaquil- based newspaper said today, citing the officer.

Ecuador broke off diplomatic relations with Colombia after the attack, which killed at least 23 members of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, known as the FARC, including its second-in-command Raul Reyes. Ecuadorean prosecutors in April issued an arrest warrant for Santos, defense minister at the time of the attack, for his role in the bombing.

Ecuador’s National Communications Secretary declined to comment when contacted by Bloomberg News, a press officer who can’t be named under ministry policy said today by telephone. The office of Colombia’s National Press Secretary Cesar Velasquez declined to comment when contacted by telephone and Velasquez didn’t immediately respond to e-mailed questions.

EU concerned about Colombian intelligence agents operating within the EU...

What are Colombian agents doing in the EU?
28 June 2010 | euobserver.com

EUobserver has revealed details of an alleged covert operation by Colombia’s secret service (DAS) to undermine the EU. According to documents seized by the Colombian Attorney General’s office, a DAS mission known as “Operation Europe” sought “to neutralise the influence of the European judicial system, the European Parliament's human rights sub-committee, and the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights”. News of the operation, which included wire-taps and email intercepts, first broke in Colombia in 2009, after which the then president Alvaro Uribe introduced legislation to investigate and overhaul the agency. While the European Commission has expressed faith in the current inquiry, several MEPs, NGOs and Brussels insiders critical of Colombia’s human rights record are concerned that the campaign to thwart Bogota’s critics in Europe is far from over. Paul Emile Dupret, a Belgian political advisor to the European Parliament’s United European Left group, aims to take a case against the Colombian agency this July along with victims of DAS wire taps and intimidation.

Justice Project urges 'NO' vote on Kagan...

Justice Project Urges ‘No’ Vote On Kagan
publication date: Jun 29, 2010

Washington, DC (June 28, 2010) – The Senate should reject Elena Kagan’s Supreme Court nomination because she seeks to expand executive branch authority at the expense of the public’s historic civil rights.

The bipartisan Justice Integrity Project (JIP) today announced its opposition to Kagan, based especially on JIP’s core area of research: She is part of an Obama Department of Justice (DOJ) leadership team that has failed to redress unconstitutional lawbreaking by overzealous prosecutors and greedy judges.

“Our nation faces unprecedented threats, with constitutional issues too often decided by a Supreme Court on a partisan, result-oriented basis,” said JIP Executive Director Andrew Kreig. “We need reform. This nominee’s track record on key civil rights issues does not deserve public trust or confirmation ─ especially given her direct involvement in several notorious cases while representing DOJ as solicitor general.” Today, for example, the Court reportedly meets to decide whether to concur with her request to deny a hearing for former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman and former HealthSouth CEO Richard Scrushy.

More generally, JIP criticizes as flawed the Senate confirmation hearing that begins today. The partisan hearings fire up the base of the parties largely on hot-button cultural issues, but duck issues central to the disintegration of constitutional protections. In one of Kagan’s few scholarly works, she also described the process as “vapid and hollow.” But she reversed her view last year as she avoided tough questions during her confirmation to be solicitor general, DOJ’s third-ranking post. She was confirmed with 61 votes.

To foster reform, JIP today launches a special website featuring critics of Kagan, the confirmation process and the largely unaccountable executive branch. With scant oversight, U.S. presidents increasingly lead the way on economic policies, war-making and mandatory health insurance of dubious constitutionality, as well as warrantless electronic surveillance, torture, and prosecutorial immunity from liability. Looking ahead, the courts must address mass suffering from BP’s Gulf oil volcano, often minimized as a “spill.”

JIP argues that Kagan’s undue deference to executive authority, particularly after nomination by her friend Barack Obama, violates the warning of Federalist No. 76 explaining the need for a Senate process that avoids cronyism. Exhibit A is how Kagan rubberstamped DOJ misconduct in the Siegelman case: In 1999, Scrushy contributed at Siegelman’s request to the non-profit Alabama Education Foundation. Siegelman then reappointed Scrushy to a state board. At sentencing in 2007, authorities sent the two away in chains for seven-year terms. But an unprecedented bipartisan coalition of 91 former state attorneys general last year told the Supreme Court that such donations are routine and not a crime.

More generally, an in-depth JIP investigation has confirmed that the two defendants were systematically framed, with a cover-up extending to the current administration. Here’s what JIP’s executive director has reported: Authorities headquartered their all-out attack on Siegelman, Alabama’s leading Democrat, from the secure location of an Air Force base. The prosecution had the effect of helping a European-led consortium in its ongoing effort to win $35 billion in Air Force contracts for a next generation of tanker planes, which would be assembled in an Alabama factory. Meanwhile, fraud in Scrushy’s company unrelated to his criminal conviction enabled lawyers suing HealthSouth and its insurers to feast on a $2.8 billion state court civil fraud judgment against him and HealthSouth during his imprisonment.

Wayne Madsen on the Russian agents arrested by the FBI(Video)

On the wrong track(Video)

FEMA planning forced evacuations(Video)

CATEGORY 5 ALERT! Katrina-Trained FEMA Planning Forced Evacuations
Tuesday, 29 June 2010 09:43

'It has been reported that our well-oiled government is planning mass evacuations of Gulf coast cities. Sources close to the government like investigative journalist Wayne Madsen reported: “Plans are being put in place for the mandatory evacuation of New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Mandeville, Hammond, Houma, Belle Chase, Chalmette, Slidell, Biloxi, Gulfport, Pensacola, Hattiesburg, Mobile, Bay Minette, Fort Walton Beach, Panama City, Crestview, and Pascagoula".

Council on Foreign Relations member, Matt Simmons, was quoted on June 23rd in the Washington Post, “We’re going to have to evacuate the gulf states. Can you imagine evacuating 20 million people? . . . This story is 80 times worse than I thought".'

Sex, lies and mind control...

Sex, Lies, and Mind Control
by Cathy O'Brien

I'd like to thank each and every one of you for coming out here tonight to learn about a tool that's being covertly used to usher in what Adolph Hitler and George Bush termed "New World Order". That's mind control.

I'd like to give you an understanding of mind control through my own experience. If you use the information on mind control to analyze different aspects of society like the erosion of morality, the Constitution, and justice in our courts, suddenly all can be attributed to New World Order controls.

Those perpetrators in control of our country are manipulating all of us based on the belief that, secret knowledge equals power. You have a right and a need to know these secrets since knowledge is our only defense against mind control. By telling their secrets, we can erode their power.

I feel extremely fortunate to have survived my CIA "M K Ultras" mind control abuses. I'm extremely fortunate to have survived the White House/Pentagon level that I was forced to operate under. Many government secrets and personal reputations were staked on the belief that I could not be "deprogrammed" to remember those things that I was supposed to forget.

They were wrong.

They never counted on the strength of the human spirit. They never imagined what would happen when a good man like Mark Phillips got hold of their secrets and used them for restoring the mind rather than controlling one. As a White House//Pentagon level mind controlled slave, I heard perpetrators behind the New World Order (NWO) say that they were counting on good people to do nothing because good people don't have criminal minds.

The people in control of our country are extremely intelligent but they're limited in their thinking by their own immorality. They don't think deep enough or they would have realized that one -- and then many -- of their mind control slaves would survive and tell their secrets.

Now that I'm in control of my own mind and ultimately my free will, I am dedicated to telling those things that I have witnessed behind this New World Order because I know that when the people lead, the leaders follow.

Memory lane

I was born in Muskegon, Michigan in 1957 to a multigenerational incest-based family. My father was sexually abused as a child. My mother had been sexually abused as a child and I was sexually abused as a child. My father was sexually abusing me as far back as I can remember and I've often heard him brag that he was substituting his penis for my mother's nipple while I was still an infant.

This confused my sexuality. It put my sexuality into an area of functioning that was much akin to eating or drinking. It was basic to my survival. I didn't know that what my father was doing was morally wrong. I was too little to even consider such a thing. I suffered the pain and the suffocation of his sexual abuse just the same. As a result, I developed Dissociative Identity Disorder (or "multiple personality disorder" as it was once called) and I developed a "compartment" in my brain to deal with my father's abuse.

My mother was not in control of her actions the way that my father was, but her abuse was so extreme that I developed another memory compartment in my brain just to deal with her trauma. I developed another memory compartment to deal with the child pornography that my father was subjecting me to. This kind of "compartmentalization" occurs when a person endures trauma that is literally too horrible to comprehend. A physical compartment actually develops when the neuron pathways in the brain shut down around the memory of the abuse. The abuse is "compartmentalized" behind amnesiac barriers so that the rest of the mind can function normally as though nothing had happened. By not remembering the abuse, I was able to be somewhat normal. And yet when my father came in to sexually abuse me again, the part of my brain that dealt with his abuse opened up -- those neuron path ways were "triggered" to open and the part of me that dealt with him before, dealt with him again, and again, and again as needed.

The government was interested in the multigenerational effects of child abuse and Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) because within the amnesiac barrier surrounding the memory of abuse is a photographic memory. This photographic memory could probably be best illustrated by saying most people know exactly where they were and what they were doing when John F. Kennedy was assassinated. This was an event that traumatized the nation. When it occurred people "photographically" recorded the events surrounding that particular trauma.

Likewise, I developed a photographic ability to record everything that happened surrounding my traumas. The government wanted this photographic memory to be used to deliver messages verbatim to and from government leaders involved in the NWO.

A Ford in your future?

My mother's brother, Bob, had also been abused, was part of Air Force intelligence, and worked for the intelligence arm of the Catholic Vatican, the Jesuits. Uncle Bob helped my father manufacture child pornography. This is not so say all Jesuits are bad or involved anymore than all CIA is. Since being deprogrammed I've learned that there's good people and bad people in most every aspect of life and the Jesuits, the Catholics are no exception. But never the less the Catholics were very much a part of my victimization. My father was caught sending child pornography through the US mails. When this happened, my uncle told him he could receive immunity from prosecution if he would agree to sell me into the ClA's "MK Ultra" mind control project. My father thought it was a great idea because he thought the government condoned child abuse. He went on to have five more children to raise in the project.

The local Michigan pornography ring was sanctioned by a criminal faction of our government. Government allowed the pornography to be distributed because they were interested in the effects of trauma on the human mind and wanted to locate children such as myself who had been sexually abused prior to the age of five. Child pornography was one means to locate us.

The local Michigan politician who protected this Mafia pornography ring was Gerald Ford -- the same Gerald Ford who became President and very much a reason why I ended up in a political realm of the MK Ultra mind control operation. When my father agreed to sell me, Gerald Ford came to our house and explained to my father how to raise me according to government specifications for mind control. He then flew my father to Boston for a 2-week course in what my father termed "reverse psychology." In essence this was neuro-linguistic programming. It was the language of the subconscious because the subconscious has no ability to reason, question, or analyze things the way that our conscious mind does. The subconscious mind takes things very literally and allows a person skilled in reverse psychology some extreme controls over another's mind.

Since the trauma I endured was so extreme, there was no way to consciously comprehend it. I had no place for it in my conscious mind so I operated on a subconscious level. Therefore my father's ability to manipulate my subconscious was extremely powerful.

Reversals and rites

I was brought up in Muskegonis St. Francis of Assisi Church; it was heavily involved in mind control and was among the criminal faction of the Jesuits that believed they could became the "one world church" in the NWO.

The Jesuits had gained much information over the years on the effects of trauma on the human mind. They gained that information from such things as the Spanish Inquisition and what the Crusaders had done They learned how people were easily led once they've been severely traumatized and they had been keeping records of that information for many, many years. This information was merged with what the CIA had gleaned from the Hitler/Himler research of WWII. By combining their efforts and information, mind control capabilities increased dramatically.

I was subjected to occult rituals in keeping with the "reverse psychology" programming This "reversal" of the Catholic mass into a Satanic rite had an enormous impact on me because throughout my mind control victimization, I was manipulated by those things that I held most dear. I was manipulated by my religion, by my patriotism, and after my daughter Kelly was born, by my maternal instincts.

As a child, I was right there when the CIA was merging with the Catholics. I witnessed and experienced so much and even though I didn't consciously comprehend it then, through the deprogramming process I have recorded conversations photographically that I overheard surrounding the trauma.

I was taken routinely to Mackinaw Island, Michigan. Mackinaw Island is a political retreat because it is located between the US and Canadian borders. And it is where the Michigan governor's mansion is located. It was there that I was subjected to the sexual perversions of certain politicians like Gerald Ford. I'm not saying Gerald Ford is a pedophile, a person who just rapes children. Instead, Gerald Ford is what I refer to as "tri-sexual"--he'll "try" anything with anybody, any age, any time, any where, it doesn't matter to him, as long as he can be in control. He had a perversion for power.

It was in Mackinaw Island that I first met then-Prime Minister of Canada, Pierre Trudeau, a professed Jesuit. Through conversations that I overheard between him and Governor Romney, I learned how the CIA and the Catholics were merging their information for NWO controls.

Michigan's Governor George Romney was very much interested in implementing mind control of the masses. He wanted to bring the Satanic rituals of child abuse that were proliferating in the Catholic Church into the Mormon church. He wanted a robotic society growing up within the Mormon church so that they would give more money to the NWO effort.

Governor Romney was also interested in an early version of the Global Education 2000 Program (Outcome-Based Education) that's infiltrated our school system It was designed to increase our children's learning capacity while decreasing their ability to critically analyze. As a result, the Michigan education system ranked first in the nation for many years but the devastation to the children was horrible.

As a very young child, I was also sexually abused by Michigan State Senator later US Congressman, Guy VanderJagt. This is the same US congressman who headed the Republican National Committee that put George Bush into the office of President. VanderJagt was more of a typical pedophile; he sexually abused me until I started developing a little bit and then I was too old for him.

When I made my first communion in 1966, I was subjected to what they termed the "rite to remain silent". That's r-i-t-e as in "ritual" - not r-i-g-h-t. The head of our Catholic Church, Father Don, and US Congressman VanderJagt were present and very much a part of the blood trauma ritual that followed my first communion. [Note: In her book Ms. O 'Brien alleges she was completely bathed in the blood of a slaughtered lamb and later sexually abused. ]

This blood trauma was so horrific they got their desired results. It just blew my mind. There was no way for me to deal with what had happened. Using hypnotic language, using the language of the subconscious, they manipulated my subconscious mind to the extent that I lost all control. For example, the part of me that opened up to deal with my father's sexual abuse, no longer could, when a sexual abuse occurred. Instead a series of codes, keys and triggers had replaced the original triggering mechanism--that compartment within my brain only opened through hand signals or their codes. keys and triggers.

It was also at this "rite to remain silent" that I lost my ability to make decisions for myself. Because up until that time, if I had a decision to make, I would pull it from all those different compartments to my brain so that I could make the best decision possible. I heard voices in my head, but it was my own voice arguing back and forth so I could properly make the decision. But after the "rite to remain silent", I no longer heard my own voice arguing in my head. I could only hear the voices of my abusers instructing me to do exactly what they wanted me to do.

Nowhere to run to

When I was 13 years old, I was dedicated to a man who would become my mind control owner. That's US Senator Robert C. Byrd. Senator Byrd had been in office as long as I had been alive. Senator Byrd is head of our US Senate appropriations committee. He holds the purse strings for our country. And I know from my victimization under his control that he had absolutely no concern for the American public. In stead he was interested in appropriating our money to usher in the NWO. Senator Byrd's perversions were extremely brutal and just being sexually assaulted by him was sufficient to traumatize my mind to readily accept anything that he instructed me to do.

One of the things that he instructed me to do was to attend the Muskegon Catholic Central High School -- which was very much involved in this ClA/Jesuit merger of mind control information. Through implementation of trauma in the school system, a person such as myself would photographically record whatever I was taught. I got all A's but I didn't gain any information I could use. I couldn't think to use anything that I had learned, but I was recording facts and that's what they were interested in.

I wasn't the only one. Muskegon Catholic Central had many students that had been severely traumatized and subjected to occult rituals. Some were groomed to participate in organized sports. After all, a person suffering from DID had no limitations on what they thought they could accomplish in sports. Since they had compartmentalized memory, they "forgot" how tired they were. Therefore they were always fresh and ready for more with a real high energy level and extreme endurance. Catholic Central was first in the state and first in the nation in sports throughout those years.

It was while I was in Catholic Central that Gerald Ford became President. This devastated me. Not that I could even think about it by that time, because I couldn't. I could only sense that if Gerald Ford was President, then people everywhere actually condoned child abuse and mind control.

I was conditioned to believe that I had no place to run or hide--a theme that's widely used on traumatized people all the way from the lowest level of occultism. Even in sexual abuse, the children are told "we're watching you--there's no place to run and no place to hide." That's the theme that therapists hear many times over.

On a CIA level, of course, they were using that same theme. And I felt totally trapped. Who was I going to turn to? I couldn't turn to my parents. I couldn't turn to my church. I couldn't turn to my school or local politicians--and now I couldn't even turn to the President of the United States. I felt totally helpless and totally locked in--which was exactly what they wanted.

However, now that I'm in control of my own mind and can think for myself, I know that I do have a place to run--and it's right at them!

The Grand Ole Opry

After graduating from Muskegon Catholic Central, Senator Byrd ordered that I go to Nashville, Tennessee. Although Senator Byrd is from West Virginia, his influence in Nashville is still very strong be cause of the corruption that permeated the country music industry. CIA drug running operations were going on within the country try music industry. White slavery was prevalent. And corruption all the way to the top of the politicians from Tennessee was extensive.

Also, Senator Byrd fancied himself an entertainer. He thought he was a fiddler and he'd play at the Grand Ole Opry on occasion. And it was on one of those occasions that I was first went to Nashville. Playing music behind Senator Byrd was a guy named Wayne Cox.

After the Opry, I was subjected to an occult ritual and witnessed a murder. The first of many that I would witness Wayne Cox commit. He shot a railroad bum right between the eyes and removed his hands. This was so traumatizing to me that I readily accepted the program that I would have to go with Wayne Cox. Of course this was against my will. I was so terrified after what had happened but I couldn't think to refuse. I could not think to not do what I was told.

As my handler, Cox followed Senator Byrd's instructions to insure that I was at certain places at specific times for mind control programming and above all, for further traumatization. Because Senator Byrd was preparing me to participate in criminal covert operations during the Reagan-Bush administration, he wanted numerous memory compartments to be programmed. Which meant I would need to be further traumatized for each "compartment" and Wayne Cox was actively involved as a serial killer in occultism.

CIA drug smuggling

Wayne Cox took me to his homestead in Louisiana where he was working under the direction of Louisiana Senator, J. Bennett Johnston. Senator Johnston was running a whole band of mercenaries that were being sent into South America. These mercenaries were mind control programmed because their government secrets could be kept behind their amnesiac barriers. They were far more efficient than normal soldiers, plus they had physical endurance, plus they followed orders.

Wayne Cox was triggering these mercenaries into operation according to J Bennett Johnston's instructions. These guys, like me, had been so severely traumatized by occult ritual that when they saw that severed hand--that "hand of glory" as it's called--from one of Cox's numerous victims, they automatically went into a trance and robotically carried out the programmed orders.

Senator Johnston firmly believed that when the airplanes took these guys down to South America, the planes should not come back empty. Instead they should come back with large quantities of cocaine for CIA drug operations to fuel the NWO effort. That's when I learned the extent of the ClA's involvement in the drug industry. I learned that the ClA's so-called "war on drugs" is no more than the CIA eliminating the competition.

Incidentally, Wayne Cox remains free from prosecution due to who and what he knows is involved in MK Ultra. He remains free in Chatham, Louisiana to continue his horrific crimes for reasons of "national security."

False idols

The traumas that I endured in Louisiana were certainly sufficient to create the memory compartments that Senator Byrd wanted. One way that J. Bennett Johnston manipulated my mind, was by telling me that he was a space alien and that he had been part of the "Philadelphia experiment". And that when that ship has disappeared, it had come back a space ship. It certainly had a strong effect on my young mind because I felt absolutely helpless thinking that space aliens were in control.

In 1977, J. Bennett Johnston took me to his General Dynamics office. It was highly secured and he showed me a top secret Stealth Fighter. There was no information out about this Stealth Fighter. It wasn't in any college textbooks. There wasn't any people talking about it. I never heard of it before and yet here it was right in front of me, a triangular space ship.

We have to be very careful when we realize that the government is at least 25 years ahead of us technologically. The effects of first seeing that advanced technology can allow for any belief system, and I know for a fact that there is a plan to convince people that once their advanced technology is revealed, that it is derived from space aliens, and aliens are in control of our country. But in truth, these are people.

They always manipulated me by some aspect that made me feel completely helpless. As though it was beyond my realm to affect at all. They told me that they were gods, that they were aliens and that they were demons. In fact, these are people. These are people that are subject to the same laws as the rest of us. These are people that are certainly within our realm to affect. Remember that. Because they are people, they can be stopped--their charade's gone on long enough!

Meaner and Mena

Since I was primed and ready for mind control programming, I was taken to Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma. Tinker Air Force Base is where many of Johnston's mercenaries had been programmed and I became a "tinker belle"--mind control programmed through high voltage, sleep, food and water deprivation, and subconscious mind manipulation. I was programmed to carry out my first trial run operation. This involved carrying a large quantity of cocaine that had been brought back in on one of those airplanes, to load it up and carry it to a remote area in Washita Forest in the neighboring state of Arkansas. It was 1978. I've since identified this area as the Mena Airport.

I was instructed to deliver a message, a package of information, and a small quantity of J. Bennett Johnston's personal stash of cocaine to then-Governor of Arkansas Bill Clinton. That was my first exposure to Bill Clinton. I saw him cut out two lines of cocaine and snort it. Yes, he did inhale--cocaine. In 1978, Bill Clinton was already heavily involved in the drug industry.

I didn't have a sexual encounter with Bill Clinton then. My sexual exposure to Bill Clinton was extremely limited because I witnessed Bill Clinton involved in homosexual activity. I know that Bill Clinton is bisexual, leaning far more towards the homosexual end.

Consider what's been done to our society since he's been in office. Just this past year, he ordered that we have "gay celebration month" in our school system. That's not gay "awareness" day. This is gay celebration month and Bill Clinton ordered it. It was Hilary Clinton that accessed my sex programming. It was Hilary that I was sexually exposed to. It is my experience that she, too, is bisexual, leaning far more towards a homosexual end.

The Next Generation

In 1980, I was twenty-three and my daughter Kelly was born in Louisiana. She was born right into the CIA's MK Ultra Project. Her level of victimization was much more sophisticated than mine was. Their technology had advanced tremendously by that point. She was subjected to the military/NASA mind control "harmonics" programming as well as the trauma based mind control that I was subjected to. I never contributed to her abuse but I was powerless to help her. I couldn't think to stop what was being done to her anymore than I could think to run away.

Back before the "rite to remain silent"--way back when I was just an itty bitty kid and had hoped--had the ability to think at all, and had hoped that there was someplace in this world where good people existed, where they didn't hurt each other, and I'd dreamed of having a bunch of kids myself. Because I knew that those kids weren't going to be abused. That was one of my fantasies, one of the last hopes that I'd had and now I finally had a daughter of my own - but she was born right into the project and there was absolutely nothing that I could do. As soon as she was born, Senator Byrd ordered that we be transferred back to Nashville, Tennessee.

We were transferred to our second mind control handler, Alex Houston--a ventriloquist and stage hypnotist in the country music industry. Alex Houston followed Senator Byrd's orders to ensure that Kelly and I were at specific places at certain times to carry out the criminal operations that we were forced to participate in and to fulfill the perversions of those controlling our country. The country music industry provided a cover for bringing us into various military and NASA installations for sophisticated mind control programming.

One of our primary mind control programmers was Lieutenant Colonel Michael Aquino. He was with the psychological warfare division of the US Army and founder of the occult "Temple of Set" that is proliferating on our military bases under the guise of a religion. He doesn't have any religious beliefs that I ever saw, but he used occultism as a trauma base for mind control. The only Satanic power that I ever experienced by Aquino was in the form of a stun gun. The high voltage that he administered to both my daughter and I, compartmentalized memories of programs for later access by certain government leaders and ClA-sanctioned drug lords that had the codes, keys and triggers to that program.

Hail to the Bush

Throughout the 1880s we were forced to carry out numerous activities dealing with the drug industry, pornography, and prostitution. In 1983 Senator Byrd acted in the capacity of a pimp and prostituted me to then-President Ronald Reagan. Ronald Reagan is an actor and the smoke and mirrors illusion he created certainly fooled many people into believing that our country was still ours when in fact we were rapidly losing control as our country was being sold out into the NWO. It was Ronald Reagan who--I heard him say to then prime minister of Canada Brian Mulrooney (who's also very much involved in this NWO effort) that he believed the only way to world peace is through mind control of the masses.

Consider the ramifications. I know from experience that there's no peace of mind under mind control. Without free thought there's no free will. Without free will--without that God-given free will, there's no spiritual expression. And I wonder at a so-called "world peace" that involves mind control. that keeps people from having a spiritual connection. keeps people from having free will and free thought. It seems to me that in order to have world peace we must have peace of mind. Ronald Reagan's justification for the NWO absolutely terrifies me in that we've got to consider the effects on the spirit.

It was my experience during the Reagan/Bush administration that Ronald Reagan followed orders from George Bush ! Look at George Bush's background. He began with the United Nations, then he went on to head our CIA and then he ran our country right into NWO controls through three administrations: Ronald Reagan followed orders from George Bush; then George Bush was in office; and I know for a fact that Bill Clinton follows orders from George Bush. Not robotically - but because he also believes in mind control of the masses.

In 1984 I was at the Lampe, Missouri at a CIA near-death trauma center. It's an enormous cocaine hub, but more importantly a sophisticated mind control center to program paramilitary--guys who are used in paramilitary operations. The Lampe operation was just across the Arkansas border and was very much a part of Clinton's operation. It was there in 1984 that I ever heard (and photographically recorded after severe trauma) Bill Clinton and George Bush talking (they're friends), and George Bush said how when the American people become disillusioned with Republicans in control of our country and running it into the NWO, that Bill Clinton as a Democrat would be put in office.

Obviously, it happened according to plan. But I tell you this so that you know this has nothing to do with party lines. this is not about Democrats or Republicans. This is about NWO controls -- those who are for them and those who are against them.

Education or indoctrination?

It was also in the 80s that I was forced to work under the direction of Ronald Reagan's Secretary of Education, Bill Bennett. This was the same Bill Bennett who is a professed Jesuit, definitely the criminal faction of the Jesuits, a mind manipulator, a mind programmer who believes that all of our children should be taught by Jesuits and has said so publicly. He is also instrumental, along with his companion, Lamar Alexander, in bringing in this Outcome Based Education (OBE).

They agreed with Adolph Hitler who said that regardless of the few people that could still think for themselves, he wasn't concerned with them because he had control of the minds of the children And these people controlling our country believed that they could control the future by controlling our children by controlling their education.

It's happening.

But I never heard them once suppose that people would see their children go to school and come back with socialistic values and acting robotic, and then refuse to tolerate what's being done in the public school system. People everywhere are home schooling their children. They're finding alternative ways because there's been an ongoing effort by people all across this country to take back our schools.

There has been sufficient public out cry to make change were it not for the fact that the governors have been corrupted. Not all governors have been corrupted. I don't know that all governors even know exactly what OBE is all about. But I am aware that Senator Byrd decided that he would put the states in a financial position whereby they would be forced to accept OBE in order to get any kind of federal funding for education. For this purpose, this year every governor in the United States but one accepted OBE into the school systems. Only Alabama's Governor James said the federal government has no business meddling in the minds of our children. We must be aware of OBE and mind control on all levels for our children's' sake.

Rescue, recovery, & revenge

By 1987, I couldn't think to know that good people even existed any more. I'd long since lost that hope. But I'd noticed for years that people who abuse their children often abuse animals. Seems to go hand in-hand somehow.

In 1988, Mark Phillips rescued my daughter Kelly and me from mind control victimization. There we were, under the gun of the CIA, he's in a big hurry to scoop us out of that environment and take us to safety. And yet he took time to rescue our animals, because our animals were being tortured in order to control us further. If we didn't follow orders we lost a pet. He rescued our horses, our cows. our guineas. our chickens, our dogs. He rescued them all and took them all to safety. This had an enormous impact on Kelly and I both because we sensed that if the animals could trust him, we could trust him.

Mark took us to the safety and serenity of Alaska. I couldn't think to know that Mark Phillips was any different except for the fact that he didn't talk about mass genocide mind control . He didn't talk about New World Order. He talked about how he had rescued his pet raccoons from certain death. And I saw how his animals loved him.

And it was there in Alaska that we felt safe for the first time in our lives. The trust factor is an integral part of deprogramming. It's a very important part of healing and we had that trust factor in place. We knew love for the first time. Kelly found out what it was like to know a man and not be abused by him. It gave her hope and a basis for future recovery.

Mark taught me the ins and outs of my own mind because by that time, since I felt safe, the compartmentalized memories of the past began flashing on my mind's screen just as it did on Kelly's. I began remembering bits and pieces of the abuse that my daughter and I had been subjected to. I became enraged at their plan for humanity under this NWO I was so enraged that I would have been immobilized by my rage were it not for Mark's wisdom in telling me that recovery is the best revenge. By going through total recovery, remembering all those secrets I was supposed to forget we could tell their secrets expose them to the light of truth, and erode their power.

He was right. It was absolutely the way to go, the route to take. I began writing out my memories. By writing out my memories, I used the logical part of my brain. By using the logical part of my brain, I bypassed emotion. It's important to realize that this is a psychological warfare technique that we're being subjected to. This is a mind war; we must deal with it logically. Logic is the key to taking back our country. They're hoping that we all are going to be come very emotional and start shooting at each other.

Look how all these "hate crimes" are paraded by us on TV. The burning of the churches. Consider what happened with Waco, Ruby Ridge, the Oklahoma City bombing. They know the effects of trauma on the human mind. They know that when trauma occurs, we're all more susceptible to accepting misinformation and any controls that they want to put through our controlled media. We must be vigilant any time trauma occurs to see which of our freedoms are being eroded. The price of freedom is eternal vigilance, and that certainly applies to freedom of mind, freedom of thought.

My daughter Kelly was not as fortunate as I was. Through a series of horrible events she wound up in the custody of the, state of Tennessee where the violations of laws and rights in her case were horrific and continue to this date. She has become a political prisoner in the state of Tennessee where she is denied rehabilitation due to who and what she knows is involved in MK Ultra. Kelly, like so many other mind control victims across this country needs some one to give them voice. Kelly's case is being covered up by a blanket of "national security" which certainly raises a question --what does "national security" have to do with the rape and molestation of a child's mind and body? Why does "national security" threaten the security of our nation and cover up such horrible crimes as child abuse, drug running, and the erosion of constitutional values? We must repeal that National Security Act so that you can have the information that you have a right and need to know so they cannot continue to manipulate you with their secrets.

Having information on NWO controls, having information on those facts detailed in our book Trance Formation of America -- will arm us all with the information necessary to be far more effective in our effort to take back our schools, our churches, our streets, our country and to take back our world. The truth will set us free. For Kelly's sake, for the sake of the numerous other mind control victims that I know are out there, and for the sake of humanity, please help us spread the word. Thank you.


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