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Monday, May 28, 2012

Police shoot naked man found eating another man's face...

Miami: Police shoot naked man found eating another man's face
May 27, 2012

Via GP
Miami police have shot dead a naked man as he chewed on the face of another man police believe was homeless.

The incident happened at about 2 p.m. local time on Saturday near Miami's busy Biscayne Boulevard, just south of The Miami Herald reported.

According to police sources, an officer saw a naked man eating another man's face on the side on an off-ramp and shouted on his loud speaker for the attacker to back away.

The man refused police orders, which led a police officer to fire one shot. A witness reportedly said as many as six shots were fired.

However, even after being wounded, the man continued his gruesome attack, the Herald reported.

"[Officers] attempted to separate them, there was some sort of confrontation," Miami Police spokesman Willie Moreno told Local10.

Police have requested the surveillance video from the Miami Herald, which is adjacent to where the incident occurred.

CBS reported that the video showed a police officer arriving on the scene and apparently startled by the spectacle of two naked men lying on the street.

It appeared the officer drew his service weapon and shot one of the men, although it was difficult to tell in the video, CBS wrote.

Photographs taken from the Herald's garage reportedly show the naked man lying dead at the scene.

According to CBS Miami, police sources said the victim had "virtually no face" and was unrecognizable.

He was taken to Ryder Trauma Center at Jackson Memorial Hospital.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Killings, cancer, corruption and Azerbaijan: Eurovision in the Islamic Republic of BP

Killings, cancer, corruption and Azerbaijan:
Eurovision in the Islamic Republic of BP
by Greg Palast for Left Foot Forward
Saturday, 26 May, 2012

Via
Will “Beyond Petroleum” oil giant BP pick the winner of the Eurovision Song Contest today in Baku, Azerbaijan? If so, I wouldn’t be surprised.

When I was arrested by the military police of Azerbaijan during my investigation of BP for Channel 4′s Dispatches in 2010, one of the cops who surrounded our crew in the desert told us, with great pride:

BP drives this country.

Indeed it does.

In 1992, the newly independent former Soviet republic of Azerbaijan elected a kindly Muslim Professor, Abulfaz Elchibey, as President.

But the voters had made an error: Elchibey refused to give BP an exclusive contract to drill the nation’s massive Caspian Sea fields as the company wished. In 1993, with assistance and, reportedly, guns provided by MI6, Elchibey was overthrown by the nation’s former Soviet KGB boss, Heydar Aliyev.

Within three months, Aliyev handed BP a sweetheart deal, called “The Contract of the Century”, to take Azerbaijan’s Caspian oil.

The way to the no-bid deal for BP was “greased”, to use the term applied by former BP operative Leslie Abrahams, with several million dollars in illicit payments and weekends with lap dancers in London for Azeri officials. I asked Abrahams, who was ordered by BP to provide military intelligence to MI6, whether he understood that he was paying “bribes on behalf of BP and the British government”. He replied, “absolutely, yes”.

When asked, BP would not directly deny paying bribes.

The company told us, tantalisingly, that:

“While there were some facts in [Abrahams] account that were accurate, we do not recognise most of it and regarded it as fantasy.”

Since BP has taken control of Azerbaijan’s oil, the nation has become fabulously wealthy – at least for those close to the Aliyev family and BP.
And they eat well. The daughters of the new President, Ilham Aliyev (son of Heydar), picked up the tab for dinner in London for a half dozen of their friends. It came to £300,000 (excluding tip and VAT).

According to Robert Ebel, the CIA’s former oil intelligence chief, the whereabouts of $140 million in BP and other oil industry payments are “totally unknown”.

This week, Eurovision Song Contest viewers will be treated to the images of the ancient city of Baku where the Silk Road streets are filled with Maseratis and Bentleys. The Bentley dealership, and much of the capital, is owned by Azerbaijan’s First Lady, Mehriban Aliyeva, the “Sexiest Muslim Woman in the World”. That’s official, the vote was taken by Esquire Magazine. (She’s actually the twelfth “Sexiest Woman in the World”, but the other eleven, infidels all, can be ignored here.)

I’m not saying she doesn’t deserve the title: her fashion model face has been created at great expense by “so much plastic surgery”, according to the US State Department Manning/WikiLeaks cables, that Lady Mehriban “appears unable to show a full range of facial expression.”

But when I left the Old City and its Gucci and Dolce & Gabbana stores and headed off to Sangachal, the town where BP’s terminal operates, I found a nation heading full speed into the 14th century…

Baku, once the world’s leading manufacturer of oil drilling equipment, is now one of the world’s leading centers of oil-toxin cancers. Walking along the main street of Sangachal, the aptly nicknamed, “Terminal Town”, was like doing the rounds in a cancer ward.

The local shoemaker, Elmar Mamonov - who hasn’t sold a shoe in two years - told me:

This one’s daughter has breast cancer; there, Rasul had a brain tumor. Cancers we had never seen. His funeral was last week.

Azlan, afraid to give his last name, paid to have a cancerous lung cut out, because employer BP wouldn’t pay. He says the oil company fired him after he could not keep up with his work.

And there was Shala Tageva, a schoolteacher, who has ovarian cancer. She needs treatment soon, but how to pay for it, Mamonov can’t imagine. Shala is Mamonov’s wife.

Suddenly, Mamonov stopped himself.

“If I am arrested, you will help me, yes?”

Sorry, sir, not in the Islamic Republic of BP
.

Oil, their main industry, has seen employment drop about 90 per cent according to journalist Khadija Ismayilova. Her father, the former oil production minister, was fired by Aliyev when the minister suggested bribery was behind the destruction of the industry, bribes which allegedly allowed BP to avoid “local content” laws that would have saved those jobs.

Throughout the nation, we heard the same refrain: nostalgia for the old days of freedom and prosperity under Soviet rule; under BP rule, the people’s health, income and freedoms have decayed rapidly, as pollution has turned their Caspian fisheries into a dead, chemical toilet.

But Azeris are well entertained. The massive expenditure for the Eurovision Song Contest follows the government’s spending of $1 million for an Elton John concert during a depression.

Today, only one in seven dollars of GDP is paid in salaries (versus four of five dollars in the US and UK). Where have the billions gone? No one dare look for it, nor the source of the First Lady’s wealth. The last journalist who asked about the funds, Elmar Huseynov, was gunned down in his home. A journalist who questioned what happened to Huseynov was jailed. No third journalist is investigating what happened to the first two.

Azerbaijan is, nominally, a democracy. Indeed, the First Lady won a convincing election to Parliament (as did every other candidate supporting her husband’s regime - there was not a single member of the opposition elected). But it doesn’t, in the end, matter who is voted in, as long as “BP drives”.

Within hours of our arrest, my crew and I were released by the Deputy Chief of the Security Ministry: Imprisoning a Channel 4 reporter would have been an embarrassment for BP. But our witnesses to BP’s horrific drilling practices didn’t do so well. One made it out of the country, but others disappeared.

When you watch the Euro-warblers compete this Saturday, just remember that in Azerbaijan, the winners are already chosen: BP and the family of the Sexiest Muslim Woman in the World. And that’s not a pretty sight.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Illuminati symbol cheered and worshipped across Britain...

ILLUMINATI SYMBOL CHEERED AND WORSHIPPED ACROSS BRITAIN...
... HITLER WOULD BE SO PROUD
The David Icke Newsletter

We are drowning in ritual in Britain this summer. As I write, the Olympic flame is being carried through the streets before cheering crowds in most of the population centres of the country on its way to the games in London at the end of July.

Meanwhile, the country (though far from all of it) is also celebrating the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II and her 60 years as bloodline head of state of Britain as well as 16 Commonwealth countries including Canada and Australia.

Both celebrations are actually rituals to worship two major symbols of the very Control System that is enslaving the people doing the cheering, clapping and waving of flags. Depressing? Yes, if you allow it to be, but I don't, because it achieves nothing. It is just another potent example of that which has held humanity in servitude for aeons - ignorance. Put a nicer way, lack of information.

The Olympic torch relay in which the flame is carried from Greece to the Olympic venue every four years (every two including the winter games) has nothing to do with the ancient games at all. It was instigated at the Nazi Olympics in Berlin in 1936 which were overseen by Hitler's propaganda chief and occultist, Joseph Goebbels ...

... In the run up to the Berlin games, the International Olympic Committee agreed to German requests that a flame should be kindled from the rays of the sun in Olympia, Greece, home of the original games, and carried by torch to the host city. The 'Olympic' tradition of the flame relay had begun and it is being continued on the streets of Britain as you read this.

Some 3,330 runners carried the flame to Berlin through Greece, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, Hungary, Austria, Czechoslovakia, and Germany in 1936, while 7,000 are doing so across Britain in 2012. On its way through Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia in 1936 protesters were brutally dealt with in keeping with the 'Olympic spirit'.

The Nazis of 1936 also made the Olympic rings popular and brought them into widespread use at Olympic Games to this day. They ordered that a milestone with carved Olympic rings be installed at the ancient site of Delphi before the torchbearers trotted off for Berlin.

Later, two British writers visited Delphi and found the said milestone with its Olympic rings and recorded in their work, History of the Ancient Games, that the ring symbol originated in ancient Greece when it was actually designed by the originator of the modern games and promoted to prominence by the Nazis.

As in Nazi Germany in 1936 …

… so in Britain in 2012 …

With control of drone strikes, is counterterror chief John Brennan the US "Assassination Czar"?

Via DN
JUAN GONZÁLEZ: As President Obama expands the use of armed drones to assassinate suspects overseas, the White House is reportedly taking up a key role in determining who should be targeted. Since Obama has taken office, deadly drone strikes have been carried out in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yemen and Somalia. According to the Associated Press, a small team at the White House led by counterterror chief John Brennan has taken the lead for drafting lists of individuals to target. One official said there is a growing concern over, quote, "how easy it has become to kill someone" under the administration’s drone strike policy.

Late last month, Brennan publicly confirmed that the United States has used drones to conduct targeted killings overseas.


JOHN BRENNAN: President Obama believes that, done carefully, deliberately and responsibly, we can be more transparent and still ensure our nation’s security. So let me say it as simply as I can. Yes, in full accordance with the law, and in order to prevent terrorist attacks on the United States and to save American lives, the United States government conducts targeted strikes against specific al-Qaeda terrorists, sometimes using remotely piloted aircraft often referred to publicly as drones. And I’m here today because President Obama has instructed us to be more open with the American people about these efforts.


AMY GOODMAN: That was John Brennan, President Obama’s top counterterrorism adviser.

The newly revealed procedure for drone attacks means Brennan’s staff consults the Pentagon, the State Department and other agencies in deciding who will be targeted. According to the Associated Press, this makes a military-run review process in place since 2009 less relevant. Pentagon spokesperson George Little has defended the program, saying the department was, quote, "entirely comfortable with the process by which American counterterrorism operations are managed."

For more, we turn to Marcy Wheeler, an investigative blogger who runs the website EmptyWheel.net.

Marcy, welcome to Democracy Now! Talk about the significance of John Brennan being at the hub, being in charge of—well, what would you call this? A White House assassination team?

MARCY WHEELER: Yeah, right. I think we’re now calling Brennan the "assassination czar."

There are a couple of factors to this, Amy. I think one is, the suggestion that the recommendation of who to have on the assassination list is going to come from other entities. The AP describes it as coming from other agencies, possibly the State Department. But that means it’s coming from people that aren’t the special forces guys on the ground in Yemen. It may mean—and we’ll get back to this, but it may mean that it’s coming from Saudi Arabia. The other thing is, it’s unclear whether these assassination strikes are going to be overseen by the Senate intelligence community or by the armed services committees. In other words, it doesn’t—it’s unclear whether—what kind of oversight there will be. And since the Congress has a very difficult time subpoenaing or getting testimony from the National Security Council, it may mean that there is much less oversight for what’s going on.

And then, finally, the clip you had with John Brennan, he kept emphasizing that these are targeted strikes. But the decision, as the AP—as the AP reported it, the decision of this happened not yesterday but actually in April, around April 22nd. And that means it coincides with the decision that the White House made to embrace not just personality strikes, but signature strikes, which means we’re shooting drones at people whose identity we don’t actually know. We’re shooting at them because they look like terrorists from the sky, because they seem to have certain levels of security. In other words, Brennan was not telling the full truth when he said that these are targeted killings. What they are, in fact, are not targeted. We don’t know who we’re shooting at. And the fact that that’s all brought into the White House all at the same time, I think, really means we’ve lowered the level at which we’re targeting people in Yemen, and probably means it’s going to be a lot easier for us to target not al-Qaeda members in Yemen, but insurgents who really aren’t trying to target the United States but are instead fighting the government of Yemen.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Marcy Wheeler, you mentioned Saudi Arabia as possibly being involved in helping to identify targets. Now, Brennan used to be a station chief for the CIA in Saudi Arabia and is supposedly close to Saudi intelligence—the intelligence machinery of the Saudi state. Could you talk about Saudi Arabia’s role in this, from what we know?

MARCY WHEELER: Right, yeah. Well, we don’t know, I mean, for sure about the drone strikes, but if you recall after the undie bomb plot was revealed a couple weeks ago—and that actually was delivered up to us in the same week where the White House embraced signature strikes, when John Brennan started managing the targeting of these things, so that all happened around April 20th, April 22nd. Around that time—

AMY GOODMAN: And explain—remind us of what the undie bomb plot was.

MARCY WHEELER: Right. It was a Saudi infiltrator into al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, and he brought out a similar bomb to the one that Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab used in the Christmas Day bombing in Detroit. He was under Saudi—you know, he was being managed by the Saudis the entire time. He was able to bring the bomb out. The FBI has it. They’re doing analysis. But that plot was revealed to John Brennan, at least, to the U.S., at least, back in April, probably around April 20th. So this is all happening around the same time. The Saudis, you know, deliver us this alleged terrorist plot, and then, around the same time, we decide we’re going to change the way we’re targeting people in Yemen.

And at the same time, in the discussions of this undie bomb plot, there were Saudi sources who were saying, "We’re the ones who pinpoint. We’re the ones who provide the HUMINT, the human intelligence on the ground, for what you’re doing in Yemen." And that’s particularly concerning, because the Saudis not only have very different interests in Yemen than we do, they’re—you know, this is their backyard. They’re worried about the instability in the Middle East generally. They have a big push against the Arab Spring. Their installment of the current president, Hadi, in Yemen is part of that. In addition, they’ve struck at Houthi rebels in the north of Yemen as recently as 2010. And when they were doing that, they actually asked us, "Well, you know, if we had drone strikes, our targeting against these Houthi rebels would be more accurate." So they’ve got far different interests in Yemen than we do, and they’re running around saying, "We’re the ones providing human intelligence for the targeting that you guys are doing in Yemen."

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Marcy, I want to turn to a comment Attorney General Eric Holder made in March, when he outlined what the White House billed as the legal rationale for its claimed right to kill U.S. citizens who belong to al-Qaeda or associated forces.


ATTORNEY GENERAL ERIC HOLDER: It is and unfortunate but undeniable fact that some of the threats that we face come from a small number of United States citizens who have decided to commit violent attacks against their own country from abroad. Based on generations-old legal principles and Supreme Court decisions handed down during World War II, as well as during this current conflict, it’s clear that United States citizenship alone does not make—does not make—such individuals immune from being targeted.


JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Marcy Wheeler, your response?

MARCY WHEELER: Well, what he was talking about, ostensibly, was the killing of Anwar al-Awlaki, Anwar al-Awlaki’s 16-year-old American citizen son, Abdulrahman, and also Samir Khan, also an American citizen. So he was trying to say, "Well, we OK using drone strikes against American citizens if they reach a certain level of being involved with al-Qaeda." Now, Abdulrahman, the 16-year-old, there’s no evidence that he had any active—I mean, he was a 16-year-old kid, playing soccer like everybody else.

But as the government moves drones to the U.S., and they’re rolling out drones in civilian airspace, you’ve got to really wonder what the legal basis for using drones is and whether—after he made those comments, a number of people in Congress asked him or asked Robert Mueller, the FBI director, whether the U.S. could use drone strikes in the United States, and they really didn’t answer that. They kind of said, "Well, you’ve got to ask the—you’ve got to ask DOJ." And we still don’t have any answer to that. Ron Wyden, the senator from Oregon, has said he doesn’t know, and he’s actually on the Intelligence Committee. So, we don’t know even whether the government claims they could use drones against American citizens in the United States.

AMY GOODMAN: Marcy Wheeler, the people you’re all talking about were killed by drone strikes in Yemen, the poorest country in the Arab world despite receiving over $300 million in military and security aid from the United States over the last five years. Much of that money has gone into an aggressive and controversial counterterrorism campaign rather than programs of humanitarian relief. We recently spoke to Democracy Now! correspondent Jeremy Scahill, who had just returned from Yemen. He said U.S. counterterrorism operations have ignited an Islamist uprising in the country.


JEREMY SCAHILL: The Obama administration began an air war in Yemen. Sometimes the strikes hit the people that were the intended targets, but oftentimes civilians were killed. And so, what happened is that the prophecy envisioned by the leaders of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, and envisioned by Anwar al-Awlaki, came true. And that was that the United States intended to turn Yemen into its next Afghanistan, its next Iraq, its next Pakistan. So you had the one-two punch—or actually, there were three punches. The first one is the air strikes. The second one is supporting Saleh family military units. And then the third is not funding any humanitarian programs and allowing the vast majority of the U.S. money to go toward units which were then used as agents of domestic repression.


AMY GOODMAN: Independent journalist Jeremy Scahill. Marcy Wheeler, can you continue to respond to that?

MARCY WHEELER: Yeah, I mean, two more things to add to that. One is, the State Department just released a kind of talk sheet of aid that goes to Yemen. And what it actually shows is for things like humanitarian aid, it’s going down, whereas military aid is going up. And so, I really think we need to be asking how much we’re sucking dry what little humanitarian aid we’re giving to Yemen and instead putting it in drone strikes.

But the other thing is—and Jeremy, I think, mentioned this on the program when he was there—is that one of the reasons why al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula is having some success is because they’re kind of taking the same approach that the Taliban or Hezbollah did, which is they’re providing services. They’re trying to turn the electricity on. And if we’re bombing them, and al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula is turning on the electricity, we’re going to have a really hard time winning that battle for hearts and minds, because we’re not providing the really basic things that people need. And instead, since this new drone targeting procedure rolled out on the 15th, I think, we’ve already killed a number of civilians. So, you know, we’re still killing civilians at the same time as al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula is trying to turn the electricity on.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Marcy, John Brennan spoke late last month at the Woodrow Wilson Center for—International Center for Scholars, and he was disrupted by Medea Benjamin of CodePink. Let’s go to a clip of that incident.


MEDEA BENJAMIN: How many people are you willing to sacrifice? Why are you lying to the American people and not saying how many innocents have been killed?

MODERATOR: Thank you, ma’am, for expressing your views. There will be time for questions and answers after the presentation.

MEDEA BENJAMIN: I speak out on behalf of Tariq Aziz, a 16-year-old in Pakistan, who was killed because he wanted to document the drone strikes. I speak out on behalf of Abdulrahman al-Awlaki, a 16-year-old born in Denver, killed in Yemen, just because his father was someone we don’t like. I speak out on behalf of the Constitution, on behalf of the rule of law. I love the rule of law. I love my country. You are making us less safe by killing so many innocent people
.


JUAN GONZÁLEZ: For our radio listeners, as Medea Benjamin was speaking for those last 30 seconds, she was being actually dragged and lifted up in the air by a security guard and removed from the offices of the Woodrow Wilson Center—from the auditorium. Marcy, your response? And also, could you talk a little bit about Brennan’s role prior to becoming counterterrorism chief? Under the Bush administration, he had been in the CIA, been a supporter of enhanced interrogation techniques?

MARCY WHEELER: Right. Medea Benjamin’s interruption, right after she was pulled away, John Brennan picked up his speech again. And if I recall, it was something like, "Oh, and al-Qaeda keeps killing other people." And it was this wonderful contrast, because she had just listed all these people that we’ve killed, including citizens. And Brennan just kept going, suggesting that it was al-Qaeda who was killing citizens, after she had just made it clear that that’s not all that was going on.

Brennan, yeah, right, and in—he was at the CIA until, I want to say, 2004, 2005, went—he was a contractor after that. In addition to being a supporter of en hanced interrogation, he also was involved in the targeting for Cheney’s illegal wiretapping program. So he’s got a lot of complicity with some of the things that were done in the Bush administration. And as you already pointed out, he was the Riyadh station chief going back into the '90s. So he's got ties to the CIA in the region going back some time and to a lot of the illegal things that were started under the Bush administration.

AMY GOODMAN: And as Glenn Greenwald pointed out, Brennan’s support of enhanced interrogation techniques forced him to withdraw from consideration as President Obama’s CIA director, because of the controversy that swirled around that.

MARCY WHEELER: And so, one of the things we’ve got now is that, had he been CIA director, he would have been running these targeted strikes, or these not-targeted strikes, with oversight from Congress. But now that he’s running the Yemen war from inside the NSC, it’s not entirely clear whether he’ll have any oversight. Same guy running the war as we otherwise would have had, except that it’s buried in the White House, so it’s going to be less accessible to oversight.

AMY GOODMAN: Marcy Wheeler, we want to thank you for being with us, investigative blogger who runs EmptyWheel.net, speaking to us from Chicago. This is Democracy Now! Back in a minute.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

A critical analysis of the Facebook IPO...

A Critical Analysis of the Facebook IPO
Andy Sutton
Infowars.com
May 24, 2012

It will likely go down in history as one of the biggest flops the stock market has ever seen – at least initially. The comedy of errors that have resulted in the loss of billions of dollars of market capitalization and shareholder value is noteworthy. The greed of many that led up to the flop really needs to be dissected though. The purpose of this article, however, is not merely to bash Facebook or anyone else, but rather to shine the light of day on what are generally accepted business practices. Since Facebook has become a household word in the past few weeks, it presents an outstanding opportunity to connect the dots in the hopes of educating retail investors and tipping the scales a bit in favor of the little guy; at least in the information department.

Media Hype – Justified or Unjust?

The headlines alone in the days and weeks preceding the IPO would have had market newcomers believing that Facebook was about to save the world, at least in terms of its benefit to the financial markets. It was going to be the offering that would bring retail investors off the sidelines and get them active in the markets again. This was a classic pump and dump. The media got people frothy and I took phone calls from numerous clients and interested parties, many of whom said they felt that the stock would immediately go to $150 or more a share just because everyone was talking about it.

It truly reminded me of the dot com days when offerings would take off just because the company had a fair amount of web traffic and had the letter ‘e’ in its name. Fundamentals were forgotten and money was put on the line. Obviously we know how that ended. The best friend of underwriters and insiders is a public whipped into a frenzy about an IPO. It allows the insiders to cash out at above market equilibrium prices, make a fortune, and as a result lose most of their incentive to ensure the company’s success moving forward. We’ve seen it hundreds of times already, yet this time it was going to be different. The question must be asked then, who exactly does the financial media work for anyway? If you need a roadmap to answer this question, it is probably best to stop reading here because what follows will likely be very upsetting.

The media once again has shown its true colors and its inclination towards sensationalism. At best this is a symptom of the 24-hour news cycle we’ve become immersed in as a society and the competition for ratings. At worst, it is another piece of evidence that builds a very convincing prima facie case that the media is nothing more than extension of the financial establishment, used once again to the betterment of the establishment at a great cost to retail investors.

Imperfect Information – Are Markets Really Efficient?

One of the things often recited much in the way a sacred creed would be is the idea of something called the Efficient Market Theory, aka Efficient Market Hypothesis (EMT). This is the idea that the marketplace is always efficient. This efficiency is based on five major criteria, one of which is the construct of perfect information. The assumption in EMT is that all financial and economic agents have equal information. With the advent of the Internet, one might falsely assume that this is actually true. Sure we know a whole lot more thanks to the Internet than we did before it, but is the playing field equal? Not a chance. This IPO was another shining example of that.

For evidence I submit an article posted on CNBC’s website on Tuesday May 22, 2012. The article asserted that Morgan Stanley, the principal underwriter (bank in charge of offering Facebook shares) released a note to ‘major clients’ regarding the opinion of its consumer Internet analyst on the Facebook offering.

In the run-up to Facebook’s $16 billion IPO, Morgan Stanley, the lead underwriter on the deal, unexpectedly delivered some negative news to major clients: The bank’s consumer Internet analyst, Scott Devitt, was reducing his revenue forecasts for the company.

The sudden caution very close to the huge initial public offering, and while an investor roadshow was underway, was a big shock to some, said two investors who were advised of the revised forecast.

They say it may have contributed to the weak performance of Facebook shares, which sank on Monday — their second day of trading — to end 10 percent below the IPO price. The $38 per share IPO price valued Facebook at $104 billion
.”

We could argue all day and into the next about Morgan Stanley’s obligation towards all of its clients to release this very pertinent information. For however large of a point that is, it pales in comparison to the idea of perfect information in the marketplace. There is no such thing and this is living, breathing proof. People who seek to refute the notion of EMT generally point at insiders and the illegal distribution of information to third parties as being the only thing that makes the playing field unequal. However, the fact of the matter is that critical information is nearly always reserved for ‘preferred’ clients over the masses. And as you’ll find over the coming weeks and months, the bank will likely get away with it from a legal perspective. However, as a retail investor, understanding that you’re most likely not getting the whole story is critical to protecting yourself against these types of situations.

Morgan Stanley may well end up getting itself sued by the balance of its clients – everyday folks who trusted the firm to make wise decisions on their behalf – but that is only half the story. Retail investors with no ties to the underwriter were also negatively affected by this imbalance of information. So much for the idea of market efficiency.

Epitome of Greed

As more and more information comes out about how this deal went down and the decisions that were made, it should become very apparent to even the most casual of observers that greed was the driving force throughout the entire process. While this may not come as a shock to most folks, the rather transparent nature of the greed in this case is definitely noteworthy.

Even more important to understand is how the Facebook executives and underwriters sacrificed their implied and express fiduciary responsibilities to those who would become Facebook shareholders. Morgan Stanley is already being ‘investigated’ by FINRA and the SEC over its alleged warning of certain large clients regarding the findings of its internal analyst just prior to the IPO. The real problem here is that if we assume hypothetically that Morgan Stanley is found to have acted improperly, nothing of substance will be done. Sure, they’ll have to pay a fine and it may be several hundred thousand dollars or more. They’ll sacrifice a middle manager or low-level executive or two and will claim to have learned the lesson well and will promise to reform. The sad thing is that this is tantamount to you and I doing 120 in a 55 to complete a deal worth a few thousand dollars and receiving a three-dollar speeding ticket. Morgan Stanley released the following statement regarding the distribution of its analyst’s pre-IPO change of heart:

Morgan Stanley followed the same procedures for the Facebook offering that it follows for all IPOs. These procedures are in compliance with all applicable regulations,” the brokerage said in a statement to CNBC.

“After Facebook released a revised S-1 filing on May 9 providing additional guidance with respect to business trends, a copy of the amendment was forwarded to all of MS’s institutional and retail investors and the amendment was widely publicized in the press at the time.

In response to the information about business trends, a significant number of research analysts in the syndicate who were participating in investor education reduced their earnings views to reflect their estimate of the impact of the new information. These revised views were taken into account in the pricing of the IPO.


There is just too much incentive in today’s financial structure to cheat, lie, and obfuscate. The penalties don’t serve as an effective deterrent and the practice goes on unabated. This is certainly not an isolated incident. The only reason we’re even hearing this much about it is because of the publicity surrounding the offering. And this also plays into the idea of market efficiency’s major assumption – that all actors and economic agents have access to the same information.

The Fallacy of Retail Demand

The real chicken dinner winner of the whole Facebook IPO was the idea of record retail demand. The company marketed its offering feverishly and was certainly successful in ginning up a lot of talk and speculation, but when it came down to it, there were way too many shares offered. Showing a complete lack of understanding of demand, Morgan Stanley went as far as to increase the number of shares floated by 25% just before the offering commenced.

Even in the first hours of trading, the financial press was almost giddy at what was called ‘record retail demand’ as the shares went from $38 to $45. That initial burst of buying was replaced almost immediately by fervent selling and before the first session was over, underwriters had to step in and support the offering by buying up shares. In short, there were too many shares out there and not enough buyers. While there may have been ‘record demand’, there were way too many shares otherwise prices wouldn’t have tanked. There were scads of reports of funds of all stripes receiving double and even triple the allotment of shares they requested. Their obvious first step was to trim their positions.

Exacerbating the problem was the inability of Nasdaq OMX to handle the flow of orders. Traders and investors were relegated to tracking their positions on spreadsheets and legal pads for much of Friday while Nasdaq struggled to fix the problems. The delay in order processing resulted in losses for many investors and at least one lawsuit has already been filed with likely many more to follow.

Lack of ‘Value’

Tying into the fallacy of Morgan Stanley’s claim that the new information was priced into the IPO is the reality that of the two potential ranges of price offerings given pre-IPO, the final price was at the highest possible level of the two ranges – $38/share. That created a Price/Forward Earnings multiple of around 100, which is several orders of magnitude higher than that of established tech stalwart Google (P/E around 23). For most investors, Google was the only parallel example in recent memory as pertained to the scope and hype of the offering.

It doesn’t take a Wall Street analyst to point out that Facebook, despite all of its popularity among users and tentacles throughout the web, still derives nearly all of its revenues from advertising. And that advertising is contracting in 2012 and is expected to continue to do so in 2013. The hubris of those involved in the decision-making process regarding the pricing of the IPO is unequalled in recent memory. The thought process clearly at work here was that people would be willing to pay an exorbitant premium just because it would be cool to own Facebook. At least that is the distinct impression this author got. Ironically, this time I’m not alone by any stretch as many mainstream analysts and money managers shared that opinion as well.

Take Home Lessons

The simple lesson that can be learned from this whole experience (which is nowhere near over yet by the way) is that in the end fundamentals will rule. The past two weeks are very reminiscent of the hype surrounding the boatloads of IPOs by various Internet companies in the late 1990s. This was to be the biggest ever and so far it has gone down as a huge flop. Absent significant propping by either large shareholders, the underwriters themselves or an aggressive stock buyback program, it would seem that Facebook shares are doomed to mediocrity; at least for now. A second lesson to learn is to never underestimate hype and the greater fool principle that there will always be someone willing to pay more than you did. After nearly a week out on the tiles, many singed Facebook investors are learning what value investors have known for a long time – occasionally, IPOs are nothing more than hot air.

"Congress may begin an investigation of the Facebook IPO scam now that outrage is growing over what is essentially business as usual on Wall Street. Both the Senate Banking Committee and the House Financial Services Committee have announced they will “review” the case but have not announced a date...The Facebook scam is fairly straight forward, so even Congress can figure it out. It was a classic flip and hardly an abnormality in the “markets,” more accurately described as the biggest casino in the world. Everybody knows the house always wins. Despite this reality, millions of Americans can be counted on to rush like lemmings into the abyss"

Irrational Exuberance: Congress Promises to “Review” Facebook Bankster Scam
Kurt Nimmo
Infowars.com
May 24, 2012

Congress may begin an investigation of the Facebook IPO scam now that outrage is growing over what is essentially business as usual on Wall Street. Both the Senate Banking Committee and the House Financial Services Committee have announced they will “review” the case but have not announced a date.



An aide to the House Financial Services Committee told the media hearings are not specifically scheduled.

Ohio Democrat Sherrod Brown, a senior member of the Senate banking panel, said securities markets “require transparency and accountability, not one set of rules for insiders and another for the rest of us.”

A call for “transparency” has become popular with Congress and the establishment media since the economy collapsed, thanks in large part to Stanley Morgan, JP Morgan Chase, and especially Goldman Sachs and others from the financial criminal class on Wall Street.

The Federal Reserve has admitted the top banks own more than 50% of the GDP in the United States. In 2009, Illinois Democrat senator Dick Durbin engaged in a rare bit of candor when he said the banksters own the place. “And the banks — hard to believe in a time when we’re facing a banking crisis that many of the banks created — are still the most powerful lobby on Capitol Hill. And they frankly own the place,” he said during an interview on an Illinois radio station.

The Facebook scam is fairly straight forward, so even Congress can figure it out. It was a classic flip and hardly an abnormality in the “markets,” more accurately described as the biggest casino in the world. Everybody knows the house always wins. Despite this reality, millions of Americans can be counted on to rush like lemmings into the abyss.

In the weeks prior to the IPO, insiders grabbed up most of the shares – well over 200 million – at a remarkably cheap price . They later sold them to outsiders (called “retail investors”) who were mesmerized by the establishment media’s hype in the days leading up to the IPO.

The Insiders paid only 1.1% of the $38 offering price – remarkably low for an initial public offering – thanks to an underwriting discount arranged by Morgan Stanley. “Facebook insiders who sold in the offering not only got a high price for their shares, they got to keep an extraordinarily large portion of the proceeds,” writes Allan Sloan.

So angry were the duped, they immediately sued Facebook frontman Mark Zuckerberg, Goldman Sachs, and JPMorgan Chase, accusing them of concealing “a severe and pronounced reduction” in revenue growth forecasts and telling bank underwriters to “materially lower” their forecasts for the company. Lowered forecasts were revealed only to “preferred” investors.

“If Facebook told analysts to materially lower their forecasts, it should have told the entire market,” Antony Page, a professor at the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law, told Reuters. “We need to know what exactly was said to the analysts, and determine how different Facebook’s public story was from its private story.”

“The main underwriters in the middle of the road show reduced their estimates and didn’t tell everyone,” said Samuel Rudman, a partner at Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd, which brought the lawsuit.

The class-action lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan seeks compensatory damages from Facebook, JP Morgan, Bank of America and Barclays. Another scammed investor has filed a lawsuit in California.

On Tuesday, Massachusetts Secretary of Commonwealth William Galvin issued a subpoena to Morgan Stanley. The Securities and Exchange Commission and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority have also called for a review of the Facebook IPO.

It will take months before any action if any is taken in the case. In the meantime, Goldman Sachs and the other scamsters remain free to engage in more fraud and criminal predatory activity.

US Special Forces conduct military drill in preparation for Republican Convention (Video)

RP NOTE: THE POLICE STATE IN ACTION, OBLIVIOUS TO MOST PEOPLE INCLUDING REPORTERS...

Via


ATF requests records of gun owners in Alaska...

ATF Requests Records Of Gun Owners In Alaska
Is the federal agency compiling a list of firearms owners?
Paul Joseph Watson
Infowars.com
Thursday, May 24, 2012

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) agents have been visiting gun shops in Alaska and asking for records of firearms sales, stoking fears that the federal agency is building a list of gun owners in the state.

According to the Alaska Dispatch, earlier this year two gun shops in Alaska “reported that ATF agents had asked for their books, and both turned down the requests. The one shop that went on the record, Great Northern Guns in Anchorage, said the ATF agent asked politely for the books, and when store manager Frank Caiazza refused, the agent just as politely accepted the refusal.”

It is illegal for the ATF to remove any material from a gun shop unless it is part of a criminal investigation. The requests for records have lead some to question whether the “ATF will create some sort of list or database of gun owners,” states the report.

Alaska Rep. Don Young requested a meeting with ATF officials after receiving reports that ATF agents were visiting gun shops and asking to see record books.

During the meeting with Young, which took place last week, ATF Deputy Director Tom Brandon attempted to assure him that the, “ATF has never maintained a database of lawful firearms owners; is not permitted by law to create and maintain such a database; and has no intention whatsoever of collecting any information for such a database.”

However, as we reported last year, this represents merely the latest example of the ATF using intimidation tactics in an effort to obtain information about gun owners.

Last summer, the ATF sent letters to gun shops in border states ordering gun dealers to comply with a new “directive” and report to the feds sales of “two or more pistols or revolvers, or any combination of pistols or revolvers totaling two or more.”

While attempting to recruit gun store owners as informants to spy on their customers, we talked to several gun dealers in Austin and one of our own staff members who reported that the ATF was conducting intimidating home visits during which they demanded to be allowed inside without a warrant, while implying that gun owners could be terrorists for purchasing two or more firearms at a time.

This is all of course very ironic given the fact that it is the ATF itself which was caught delivering firearms to drug cartels in Mexico as part of the Fast and Furious scandal.

Americans who purchase guns are already forced to undergo checks against the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System to prove they are not a felon. The ATF has no business either demanding to see records of gun owners or carrying out threatening home visits – such conduct is completely illegal.

After being caught sending weapons to Mexican criminals that were used to kill U.S. Border Patrol agents, police and citizens, the ATF is now treating American citizens like criminals simply for exercising their second amendment rights, all under the guise of a regulation (purchasing two or more firearms) that was rejected by Congress and never became law.

The ATF’s efforts to intimidate both gun sellers and purchasers really picked up steam last year after President Obama told gun control advocate Sarah Brady that his administration was working “under the radar” to sneak attack the second amendment.

During a March 30, 2011 meeting between Jim and Sarah Brady and White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, at which Obama “dropped in,” the president reportedly told Brady, “I just want you to know that we are working on it (gun control)….We have to go through a few processes, but under the radar.”

The quote appeared in a Washington Post story about Obama’s gun control czar Steve Croley.

FBI quietly forms secretive Net-surveillance unit...

FBI quietly forms secretive Net-surveillance unit
CNET has learned that the FBI has formed a Domestic Communications Assistance Center, which is tasked with developing new electronic surveillance technologies, including intercepting Internet, wireless, and VoIP communications
by Declan McCullagh |May 22, 2012 11:44 PM PDT

Via
The FBI has recently formed a secretive surveillance unit with an ambitious goal: to invent technology that will let police more readily eavesdrop on Internet and wireless communications.

The establishment of the Quantico, Va.-based unit, which is also staffed by agents from the U.S. Marshals Service and the Drug Enforcement Agency, is a response to technological developments that FBI officials believe outpace law enforcement's ability to listen in on private communications.

While the FBI has been tight-lipped about the creation of its Domestic Communications Assistance Center, or DCAC -- it declined to respond to requests made two days ago about who's running it, for instance -- CNET has pieced together information about its operations through interviews and a review of internal government documents.

DCAC's mandate is broad, covering everything from trying to intercept and decode Skype conversations to building custom wiretap hardware or analyzing the gigabytes of data that a wireless provider or social network might turn over in response to a court order. It's also designed to serve as a kind of surveillance help desk for state, local, and other federal police.

The center represents the technological component of the bureau's "Going Dark" Internet wiretapping push, which was allocated $54 million by a Senate committee last month. The legal component is no less important: as CNET reported on May 4, the FBI wants Internet companies not to oppose a proposed law that would require social-networks and providers of VoIP, instant messaging, and Web e-mail to build in backdoors for government surveillance.

During an appearance last year on Capitol Hill, then-FBI general counsel Valerie Caproni referred in passing, without elaboration, to "individually tailored" surveillance solutions and "very sophisticated criminals." Caproni said that new laws targeting social networks and voice over Internet Protocol conversations were required because "individually tailored solutions have to be the exception and not the rule."

Caproni was referring to the DCAC's charge of creating customized surveillance technologies aimed at a specific individual or company, according to a person familiar with the FBI's efforts in this area.

An FBI job announcement for the DCAC that had an application deadline of May 2 provides additional details. It asks applicants to list their experience with "electronic surveillance standards" including PacketCable (used in cable modems); QChat (used in push-to-talk mobile phones); and T1.678 (VoIP communications). One required skill for the position, which pays up to $136,771 a year, is evaluating "electronic surveillance solutions" for "emerging" technologies.

"We would expect that capabilities like CIPAV would be an example" of what the DCAC will create, says Steve Bock, president of Colorado-based Subsentio, referring to the FBI's remotely-installed spyware that it has used to identify extortionists, database-deleting hackers, child molesters, and hitmen.

Bock, whose company helps companies comply with the 1994 Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA) and has consulted for the Justice Department, says he anticipates "that Internet and wireless will be two key focus areas" for the DCAC. VoIP will be a third, he says.

For its part, the FBI responded to queries this week with a statement about the center, which it also refers to as the National Domestic Communications Assistance Center (even Caproni has used both names interchangeably), saying:

The NDCAC will have the functionality to leverage the research and development efforts of federal, state, and local law enforcement with respect to electronic surveillance capabilities and facilitate the sharing of technology among law enforcement agencies. Technical personnel from other federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies will be able to obtain advice and guidance if they have difficulty in attempting to implement lawful electronic surveillance court orders.

It is important to point out that the NDCAC will not be responsible for the actual execution of any electronic surveillance court orders and will not have any direct operational or investigative role in investigations. It will provide the technical knowledge and referrals in response to law enforcement's requests for technical assistance
.

Here's the full text of the FBI's statement in a Google+ post.

One person familiar with the FBI's procedures told CNET that the DCAC is in the process of being launched but is not yet operational. A public Justice Department document, however, refers to the DCAC as "recently established."

"They're doing the best they can to avoid being transparent"

The FBI has disclosed little information about the DCAC, and what has been previously made public about the center was primarily through budget requests sent to congressional committees. The DCAC doesn't even have a Web page.

"The big question for me is why there isn't more transparency about what's going on?" asks Jennifer Lynch, a staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a civil liberties group in San Francisco. "We should know more about the program and what the FBI is doing. Which carriers they're working with -- which carriers they're having problems with. They're doing the best they can to avoid being transparent."

The DCAC concept dates back at least four years. FBI director Robert Mueller was briefed on it in early 2008, internal FBI documents show. In January 2008, Charles Smith, a supervisory special agent and section chief in the FBI's Operational Technology Division, sent e-mail to other division officials asking for proposals for the DCAC's budget.

When it comes to developing new surveillance technologies, Quantico is the U.S. government's equivalent of a Silicon Valley incubator. In addition to housing the FBI's Operational Technological Division, which boasts of developing the "latest and greatest investigative technologies to catch terrorists and criminals" and took the lead in creating the DCAC, it's also home to the FBI's Engineering Research Facility, the DEA's Office of Investigative Technology, and the U.S. Marshals' Technical Operations Group. In 2008, Wired.com reported that the FBI has "direct, high-speed access to a major wireless carrier's systems" through a high-speed DS-3 link to Quantico.

The Senate appropriations committee said in a report last month that, for electronic surveillance capabilities, it authorizes "$54,178,000, which is equal to both the request and the fiscal year 2012 enacted level. These funds will support the Domestic Communications Assistance Center, providing for increased coordination regarding lawful electronic surveillance amongst the law enforcement community and with the communications industry." (It's unclear whether all of those funds will go to the DCAC.)

In trying to convince Congress to spend taxpayers' dollars on the DCAC, the FBI has received help from local law enforcement agencies that like the idea of electronic surveillance aid. A Justice Department funding request for the 2013 fiscal year predicts DCAC will "facilitate the sharing of solutions and know-how among federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies" and will be welcomed by telecommunications companies who "prefer to standardize and centralize electronic surveillance."

A 2010 resolution from the International Association of Chiefs of Police -- a reliable FBI ally on these topics -- requests that "Congress and the White House support the National Domestic Communications Assistance Center Business Plan."

The FBI has also had help from the Drug Enforcement Administration, which last year requested $1.5 million to fund eight additional DCAC positions. DEA administrator Michele Leonhart has said (PDF) the funds will go to "develop these new electronic surveillance capabilities." The DEA did not respond to CNET's request for comment.

An intriguing hint of where the DCAC might collaborate with the National Security Agency appeared in author James Bamford's article in the April issue of Wired magazine. Bamford said, citing an unidentified senior NSA official, that the agency has "made an enormous breakthrough several years ago in its ability to cryptanalyze, or break, unfathomably complex encryption systems" -- an obstacle that law enforcement has encountered in investigations.

Eventually, the FBI may be forced to lift the cloak of secrecy that has surrounded the DCAC's creation. On May 2, a House of Representatives committee directed the bureau to disclose "participation by other agencies and the accomplishments of the center to date" three months after the legislation is enacted.

US General says soldiers who commit suicide are 'selfish'...

U.S. General Says Soldiers Who Commit Suicide Are 'Selfish'
Cord Jefferson
Senior Editor

Via
After 10 years at war, American soldiers are showing severe signs of wear. Not only have 126,000 troops returned from Iraq and Afghanistan with traumatic brain injuries since the start of the wars, another 70,000 of them have been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. According to Army Vice Chief of Staff General Peter Chiarelli, the majority of soldiers disqualified from service due to injury have either TBI or PTSD.

As you might imagine, all that mental turmoil has resulted in erratic behavior in the military's ranks. Hundreds of American veterans and enlisted people still commit suicide every year, and for a couple years more soldiers were killing themselves than were dying on the battlefield. Crime is regular enough amongst the veteran community that special "veterans courts" have begun popping up around the United States.

War demands that people kill men, women, and children, and watch their friends get killed in return—probably the most mentally taxing experience the world has ever known. Of course our soldiers come back in agony, and of course that agony sometimes leads to suicide. But to at least one American general, all this complaining about soldiers killing themselves is "selfish."

"I have now come to the conclusion that suicide is an absolutely selfish act," wrote Major General Dana Pittard, who commands Fort Bliss, one of the nation's largest military bases, in an official blog post. "I am personally fed up with soldiers who are choosing to take their own lives so that others can clean up their mess." Pittard added that any soldier thinking of committing suicide should "be an adult, act like an adult, and deal with your real-life problems like the rest of us."

The National Journal reports that the blog post was deleted from the Fort Bliss website soon after it was posted, but the damage has been done. Pittard has not apologized, nor has the Pentagon condemned his comments as being distasteful and out-of-touch. And now the world knows that one of America's leading military officials believes soldiers who commit suicide are simply not "being adults."

If nothing else, Pittard's comments should serve as a reminder of what our soldiers are up against. First they asked to fight, kill, and witness unknown horror. Then when they're damaged by that horror, they often face backlash that tells them they're weak if they can't handle the pressure. Some of this guilt is self-imposed, of course—men and women acclimated to the "military way" sometimes are unwilling to allow themselves to be seen as vulnerable. But a lot of that burden is caused by comments like Pittard's. The chain of command is a powerful thing, and when the person at the top of that chain is telling you you're a coward if you're thinking of suicide, the lesson gets internalized and can corrode a person from the inside out.

For centuries, we've lived in a world that says soldiers who break under the stresses of war are simply not strong enough, that they're being "babies" if they can't help themselves out of depression. That mentality has led to traumatized veterans who unsuccessfully try to take on their misery by themselves, only to eventually end up homeless, drug-addled, or dead by their own hands. I'm ready for a world in which a soldier's strength isn't measured by how few resources they need to help them get over their pain, but by how quick they are to reach out for those resources. In a world in which men like Pittard are the leaders, sometimes asking for help is the bravest thing anyone can do.

Turkey may indict senior Israeli officers over deadly Gaza flotilla raid...

Turkey May Indict Senior Israeli Officers Over Deadly Gaza Flotilla Raid
By RICK GLADSTONE
Published: May 23, 2012

Via NYT
A prosecutor in Turkey has prepared indictments and recommended life sentences for four senior Israeli officers over the killing of nine activists aboard a Gaza-bound aid flotilla forcibly intercepted by Israeli commandos two years ago, Turkish news services reported Wednesday.

The indictments, which have not been formally approved by the Turkish judiciary, could further strain relations between Turkey and Israel, which were once close but which deteriorated badly after the flotilla raid on May 31, 2010.

Israel has consistently rejected Turkey’s demand that it formally apologize for the commando raid and lift its blockade of Gaza.

Turkey’s semiofficial Anatolia news agency said the prosecutor, Mehmet Akif Ekinci, had prepared a 144-page indictment package that would seek life imprisonment for Gabi Ashkenazi, the former chief of general staff for the Israel Defense Forces; Vice Adm. Eliezer Marom, former commander of naval forces; Gen. Amos Yadlin, the former military intelligence chief; and Brig. Gen. Avishai Levy, the former head of air force intelligence.

The indictment further recommended that the four receive additional prison terms totaling 18,000 years for what it called other crimes committed by the Israeli side during the flotilla raid.

A six-vessel convoy, led by the passenger ship Mavi Marmara, sailing under the Turkish flag, was stopped by Israeli commandos in international waters as it headed toward Gaza with what activists described as emergency-relief cargo to help Gaza’s Palestinian population cope with an Israeli-imposed embargo.

Israel has asserted that it had the legal right to stop the activists from violating the embargo, which was intended to prevent shipments of weapons to Palestinian militants.

Eight of the activists killed were Turks; the ninth was an American of Turkish descent. A United Nations report on the raid released in September concluded that Israel had been within its legal rights but had used excessive and unreasonable force.

The Turkish indictment said the commandos were armed with rifles and other weapons, while the activists had “plastic flag masts, spoons and forks.”

The Israeli government had little to say Wednesday about the reports. “We’ve only heard about this from the media,” said Yigal Palmor, a Foreign Ministry spokesman. “We did not get any information or communications from the Turkish legal authorities, so we will not make any comment.”


Isabel Kershner contributed reporting from Jerusalem.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Obama hails police state methods in Chicago...

Obama hails police state methods in Chicago
Patrick Martin
22 May 2012

Via
President Barack Obama on Monday praised the performance of Chicago city officials and the Chicago Police Department after a week of violence, repression and frame-ups directed against antiwar demonstrators in the city.

Speaking at the conclusion of the NATO summit, Obama paid tribute to Mayor Rahm Emanuel, his political crony and former White House chief of staff, and added, referring to the thousands of police mobilized against protesters, “Chicago’s finest did a great job under significant pressure and a lot of scrutiny.”

What was this “great job?”

• Downtown Chicago was effectively shut down for four days, Friday through Monday, not by the protesters, never more than 5,000 people, but by a huge mobilization of police and paramilitary forces who frequently outnumbered the demonstrators. The entire area around McCormick Place, site of the summit, was under lockdown.

• Police arrested well over 100 demonstrators in the course of the week, including more than 60 Sunday, a day of tense confrontations in which police continually vented their hostility towards the demonstrators, who were opposing the US-NATO war in Afghanistan and other imperialist military interventions.

• The violent dispersal of the protesters late Sunday afternoon was entirely one-sided, as described by the Chicago Sun-Times—a staunchly pro-police tabloid—which headlined its account, “Riot Gear Cops Rain Down Blows on Protesters.” The beatings were so widespread and indiscriminate that one of the newspaper’s own reporters was among those bloodied. At least 25 demonstrators were injured, with a dozen requiring hospital treatment.

• Most ominously, five protesters were arrested in police raids targeting individuals supposedly preparing “terrorist” attacks on the NATO summit. The same two informants fingered all five men, after the undercover cops had circulated widely among the protesters looking for anyone they could instigate or entrap.

The charges of “conspiring to commit domestic terrorism during the NATO summit,” brought before the Cook County Circuit Court, are a deliberate attempt to intimidate opponents of the US-NATO war in Afghanistan and other imperialist military interventions either under way or being planned by the Obama administration.

The whole machinery of provocation and frame-up, erected over the past decade in the name of the “war on terror,” is now being used against the democratic rights of working people and youth who oppose the policies of the American government. As the World Socialist Web Site has consistently warned, the methods tested out against immigrants and Muslims are now being unleashed against the American people as a whole.

The Chicago frame-ups of antiwar protesters follow in the footsteps of previous provocations: last month’s arrest of five Cleveland-area Occupy protesters on similarly trumped-up charges; the systematic police violence against Occupy encampments last fall and winter; the FBI raids on the homes of antiwar activists in Minneapolis and Chicago in the fall of 2010.

They are part of a broader assault on democratic rights being carried out by the Obama administration, which has gone even further than the Bush White House in erecting the scaffolding of a police state. Obama signed the National Defense Authorization Act, which gives the president the right to order the military detention, without trial, of anyone he designates as a terrorist threat, including US citizens. Obama has sharply increased targeted assassinations of alleged terrorists, including the murder of US citizens, and openly defended the president’s supposed unilateral “right” to do so.

Both big business parties are systematically shredding the Bill of Rights and stripping the American people of their constitutionally guaranteed rights.

These heavy-handed measures expose the fraudulent character of the claims by Democratic and Republican politicians that American imperialism is on the side of “democracy” and “freedom” when it wages wars against countries that possess vast reserves of oil and natural gas, or occupy strategic locations adjacent to such resources.

America is the most heavily policed of the industrialized countries. The combined forces of repression—local and state police, the military, the FBI, the CIA and other intelligence agencies, the vast apparatus of the Department of Homeland Security, the endless armies of private security personnel—number in the many millions.

In the final analysis, this vast apparatus of repression testifies to the crisis of American capitalism, not its strength. The more acute the social tensions, the more charged the political atmosphere, the deeper the resentment of working people towards the privileged elite, the more the ruling class is compelled to surround itself with what Marx and Engels described as the essence of the state—“bodies of armed men.”

The working class must take a warning from the events in Chicago on the role of the police, including their informants and provocateurs, and the role of the Obama administration.

The decisive issue is the political clarification of the working class and the development of a mass, independent political mobilization of working people and youth based on a socialist and internationalist program. Only such a mass movement, fighting to take political power and establish a workers government, can forestall the drive towards repression and dictatorship by the corporate elite and its political defenders, both Democratic and Republican.

Catholic church priest claims missing girl was kidnapped for Vatican sex parties...

Missing girl 'buried in murdered mobster's tomb was kidnapped for Vatican sex parties', claims Catholic Church's leading exorcist priest
By Nick Pisa
PUBLISHED: 06:32 EST, 22 May 2012 | UPDATED: 14:30 EST, 23 May 2012

Via DM
The Catholic Church's leading exorcist priest has sensationally claimed a missing schoolgirl thought to be buried in a murdered gangster's tomb was kidnapped for Vatican sex parties.

Father Gabriel Amorth, 85, who has carried out 70,000 exorcisms, spoke out as investigators continued to examine mobster Enrico De Pedis's tomb in their hunt for Emanuela Orlandi.

Last week police and forensic experts broke into the grave after an anonymous phone call to a TV show said the truth about Emanuela's 1983 disappearance would be 'found there'.

And although bones not belonging to the mobster were recovered they have not yet been positively identified as hers.

However Father Amorth, in an interview with La Stampa newspaper, said: 'This was a crime with a sexual motive.

'It has already previously been stated by (deceased) monsignor Simeone Duca, an archivist at the Vatican, who was asked to recruit girls for parties with the help of the Vatican gendarmes.

'I believe Emanuela ended up in this circle. I have never believed in the international theory (overseas kidnappers). I have motives to believe that this was just a case of sexual exploitation.

'It led to the murder and then the hiding of her body. Also involved are diplomatic staff from a foreign embassy to the Holy See.'

Today there was no immediate response from the Vatican to Father Amorth's claims.

But Vatican officials insisted they had always co-operated with the investigation into Orlandi's disappearance - a claim that her brother has often disputed.

Father Amorth is a colourful figure who in the past has also denounced yoga and Harry Potter as the 'work of the Devil'. He was appointed by the late Pope John Paul II as the Vatican's chief exorcist.

It is not the first time Father Amorth has raised eyebrows with his forthright views - two years ago he said sex scandals rocking the Catholic Church were evidence 'the Devil was at work in the Vatican.'

In 2006, Father Amorth, who was ordained a priest in 1954, gave an interview to Vatican Radio in which he said Nazi leader Adolf Hitler and Russian dictator Josef Stalin were possessed by the Devil.

According to secret Vatican documents recently released the then wartime Pope Pius XII attempted a 'long distance exorcism' of Hitler but it failed to have any effect.

Charismatic mobster De Pedis, leader of a murderous gang known as the Banda della Magliana, was gunned down aged just 38, by members of his outfit after they fell out.

Detectives investigating the disappearance of Emanuela Orlandi, 15, in 1983, believe De Pedis is linked to her kidnap and the body of the Vatican employee's daughter has never been found.

Last month the diocese of Rome, on orders from the Vatican, granted investigators permission to open up the tomb in the Sant'Apollinare basilica close to Piazza Navona in the centre of Rome.

At the time of his funeral there were raised eyebrows when despite his criminal past church chiefs allowed De Pedis to be buried in the crypt of Sant'Apollinare.

At the time it was said the burial was given the go ahead because prison chaplain Father Vergari told bishops that De Pedis had 'repented while in jail and also done a lot of work for charity,' including large donations to the Catholic Church.

De Pedis, whose name on the £12,000 tomb is spelt in diamonds, was buried in Sant'Apollinare church after he was gunned down in 1990 in the city's famous Campo De Fiori.

He and his gang controlled the lucrative drug market in Rome and were also rumoured to have a 'free hand' because of their links with police and Italian secret service agents.

The disappearance of Orlandi reads like the roller coaster plot of a Dan Brown Da Vinci Code thriller with a touch of The Godfather thrown in for good measure.

Twelve years ago a skull was found in the confessional box of a Rome church and tests were carried out on it to see if it was Orlandi after a mystery tip off but they proved negative.

In 2008 Sabrina Minardi, De Pedis girlfriend at the time of Orlandi's disappearance, sensationally claimed that now dead American monsignor Paul Marcinkus, the controversial chief of the Vatican bank, was behind the kidnap.

Monsignor Marcinkus used his status to avoid being questioned by police in the early 1980's probing the collapse of a Banco Ambrosiano which the Vatican had invested heavily in.

The collapse was linked to the murder of Roberto Calvi dubbed God's Banker because of the Vatican links and his body was found hanging under Blackfriars Bridge in London in June 1982.

His pockets filled with cash and stones and it was originally recorded as a suicide but police believe he was murdered by the Mafia after a bungled money laundering operation.

At the same time as Minardi made her claim a mystery caller to a missing person’s programme on Italian TV said the riddle of Orlandi’s kidnap would be solved 'if De Pedis tomb was opened'.

Following Minardi claims the Vatican took the unusual step of speaking publicly and dismissed her claims about American Monsignor Marcinkus, who died in Arizona four years ago.


UPDATE: MISSING GIRL'S BROTHER URGES VATICAN TO OPEN UP

Physicist: HAARP manipulates time

Physicist: HAARP Manipulates Time
Tuesday, May 22, 2012 1:02

Via
A brilliant physicist published a revolutionary paper citing 30 other scientific papers that reveal HAARP has incredible powers far beyond what most investigators of the high frequency energy technology suspect. Dr. Fran De Aquino asserts a fully functional HAARP network, activated globally, can not only affect weather and geophysical events, but influence space and gravity…even time itself! Now the network is almost complete with the activation of the newest HAARP facilities at the bottom of the world: the desolate and alien Antarctic. Will the masters of HAARP become the masters of time too?

The most dangerous man alive?

Factions of three of the largest governments in the world—the United States of America, the Russian Federation, and the Peoples Republic of China—may be cutting orders to eliminate a man who they see as one of the most dangerous in the world. No, he's not the world's most hunted multi-national terrorist, nor even a mad scientist with a new virus that can wipe out humanity.

The most dangerous man in the world may be Brazilian physicist Dr. Fran De Aquino.

De Aquino hasn't developed a death ray or obtained secret launch codes to the world's nuclear missiles. He's done something potentially much worse: he's spilled the scientific and technological beans of the greatest secret in the world: the ultimate purpose of HAARP.

HAARP (High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program) now has installations criss-crossing the world and extends from pole-to-pole. The Antarctic facilities are near completion.

De Aquino, whose paper High-power ELF radiation generated by modulated HF heating of the ionosphere can cause earthquakes, cyclones and localized heating, lifts the veil hiding the HAARP wizards—and unlike the erstwhile Wizard of Oz, the HAARP wizards have some real power at their disposal.

The physicist's scholarly work—citing 30 other scientific papers, many peer-reviewed—reveals much more than the incredible title the paper promises.

HAARP can manipulate gravity

Most researchers of HAARP suspected for some time that the technology can trigger earthquakes and ignite hurricanes. De Aquino's paper tends to confirm those suspicions, but goes farther.

Utilizing high frequencies, he says, HAARP can modify, even control gravity by blocking gravity waves locally.

De Aquino claims heavy objects can be moved, even transported by creating "gravitational shieldings." But, the scientists stresses, HAARP can do even more.

The ELF technology can generate "Gravitational Shielding Mantles which are made by layers of high-dielectric strength semiconductor sandwiched by two metallic foils and insulation layers. The Gravitational Shielding Mantle can be made so that it is only 1 millimeter in thickness."

De Aquino's contention is actually supported by the experiments of another physicist, Dimitriou Stavros from the TEI-Athens, Deptartment of Electrical Engineering in Greece. Stavros successfully demonstrated an electromagnetic interaction with the gravity field.

From his abstract:

The period of the pendulum oscillations of a suspended electromagnetic resonant circuit formed by quarter-wavelength transmission line sections is found to be affected by electrical parameters of the oscillator driving it. Of particular influence appears to the magntitude of current at resonance, which depends on the effective quality factor (Q) of the RF tank circuit and the input driving power.

Yet, most astounding of all, De Aquino asserts that the ultimate power of HAARP is its capability to warp time.

Time dilation, a relativistic effect described in Einstein's Special Theory of Relativity, is created by mass approaching the speed of light and affecting gravity by warping space-time.

HAARP can control space and time

De Aquino's paper shows that when subjected to a uniform ELF electromagnetic field, mass can be transitioned to a different time relative to outside observers. It is done artifically and at will.

The analogy he draws envisions an ocean going vessel. He explains the ship "...is made of steel. When subjected to a uniform ELF electromagnetic field, with intensity and frequency the ship will perform a transition in time to another time. It is important to note that the electromagnetic field, besides being uniform, must remain with the ship during the transition to the new time. If it is not uniform, each part of the ship will perform transitions to different times in the future. In order for the electromagnetic field to remain with the ship, it is necessary that all the parts, which are involved with the generation of the field, stay inside the ship. If persons are inside the ship they will perform transitions to different times in the future because their conductivities and densities are different."

Remarkably, that is almost the exact scenario described by the alleged witness Carl Allende of the Philadelphia Experiment. Now widely regarded as a fabricated story, the early 1940s U.S. Navy experiment allegedly codenamed Project Rainbow never actually took place.

Believers of the story, however, claim that famed inventor and electrical genius Nikola Tesla assisted in the experiment that involved a naval escort vessel named the USS Eldridge. The purpose was to create invisibility, but ended tragically when the ship was spatially transported and parts of it were trapped in temporal anomalies.

It's strongly suspected that much of the HAARP technology is Tesla's work—updated and improved—and built upon the latest 21st Century scientific knowledge.

So, just what will HAARP be used for? Weather wars? Triggering geophysical events? Manipulation of gravity? Warping space-time? Some think the technology is already driving people mad.

The most dangerous man alive, Dr. Fran De Aquino, claims it's all of the above.

"The National Security Agency is trying to expand U.S. cyber expertise needed for secret intelligence operations against adversaries on computer networks through a new cyber-ops program at selected universities"...

Exclusive: Spy agency seeks cyber-ops curriculum
By Tabassum Zakaria
Tue May 22, 2012 4:42pm EDT

FORT MEADE, Maryland (Reuters) - The National Security Agency is trying to expand U.S. cyber expertise needed for secret intelligence operations against adversaries on computer networks through a new cyber-ops program at selected universities.

The cyber-ops curriculum is geared to providing the basic education for jobs in intelligence, military and law enforcement that are so secret they will only be revealed to some students and faculty, who need to pass security clearance requirements, during special summer seminars offered by NSA.

It is not easy to find the right people for cyber operations because the slice of the hacker community that would make a quality cyber operator inside the government is only a sliver.

The "quality cyber operators" the NSA is looking for are few and far between, says Neal Ziring, technical director at the agency's Information Assurance Directorate.

"We're trying to create more of these, and yes they have to know some of the things that hackers know, they have to know a lot of other things too, which is why you really want a good university to create these people for you," Ziring told Reuters in an interview at NSA's headquarters in Maryland.

NSA has two main missions: to protect U.S. government computer networks and to collect foreign intelligence through electronic means like satellites and decode it.

Of 20 universities that applied, only four received this week the new designation of Centers of Academic Excellence in Cyber Operations: Dakota State University, Naval Postgraduate School, Northeastern University and University of Tulsa.

Out of 10 requirements, the two most lacking at many schools were courses on "reverse engineering" - or how to gain knowledge of a technology or product to reproduce it - and cellular communications and mobile technologies, NSA officials said.

"We found a lot of schools weren't emerging with the technology, weren't keeping up," said Captain Jill Newton, who leads NSA's cyber training and education programs.

INNER WORKINGS

NSA officials say the program, which is part of President Barack Obama's national initiative to improve cybersecurity through education, aims to prepare students for careers at the U.S. Cyber Command, the NSA's signals intelligence operations and law enforcement agencies investigating cyber crimes.

U.S. officials from the Obama administration and Congress have been banging the drums loudly about the need for greater cybersecurity, accusing China and Russia of hacking U.S. systems for economic gain.

"Right now you hear a lot of talk about foreign countries, China in particular, coming into our networks. They get in, they look around, they see what they might want, they send it home, and you don't know what else they've left behind," Dickie George, a former NSA official, said. "Why wouldn't we want to do the same thing? It's not a one-way game."

Many universities are now focused on web technologies such as how to write applications for the iPhone, which is not what is required for cyber operations to collect intelligence or defend the government's systems, NSA officials said.

That requires knowing "the guts, the internals of the operating systems, having to understand how the hardware actually works," said Steven LaFountain, a senior NSA official who guides academic programs.

Newton said a cyber operation might involve altering computer systems to work to one's advantage and doing that "without being seen or without it being obvious that I was changing the inner workings of the operating system."

"It could be very useful for a defender, so as you see your stuff being adjusted, corrupted, exploited, messed with, and being able to recognize when that is happening to you, to be able to better defend against it," she said.

About 15 years ago, there was a mindset that the computer system being compromised happened rarely and if the security was hardened that would be sufficient to secure it, but the security environment has changed, said Ziring, a computer scientist and the first non-mathematician in his position at NSA.

"What we've realized these days is that's hokum, that doesn't work any more, that systems are under attack constantly," Ziring said.

"For many systems, especially those that for mission reasons have to work in a very exposed space, being under some degree of compromise is sort of their new normal state."

That requires actively defending the systems by blocking and mitigating known problems and hunting for the unknown by looking for anomalies, Ziring said.

ETHICAL ISSUES

One mandatory requirement in the curriculum is covering legal and ethical issues so students understand the limits.

"We still found a lot of schools are still a little reluctant on how they characterize what they are teaching," LaFountain said.

"We are not asking them to teach kids how to break into systems, we're not asking them to teach that. And a lot of them have said they wouldn't teach that," he said. "We're just asking them to teach the hardcore fundamental science that we need students to have when they come to work here."

While the open education provides the basic knowledge, it is not until they arrive at the NSA that newly hired cyber operators get trained in their secret jobs.

"In our operational developmental organization, we would spend up to 12 months to give them the secret sauce, the tradecraft, the really deep technical training so that they could make themselves useful in doing what we need them to do, and that's with that technical underpinning," Newton said.

Ziring said it was important to figure out the next step in threat evolution so the technologies can be built to address it.

"The threat actor's action cycle is speeding up and getting shorter. The defender's cycle has to get shorter. So what technologies can we build that will help that?

Car blast in E.Sudan, Khartoum points to Israel...

Car blast in E.Sudan, Khartoum points to Israel
Tue May 22, 2012 11:38pm IST

KHARTOUM (Reuters) - One person was killed when a car exploded in the eastern Sudanese city of Port Sudan on Tuesday in what the government said resembled a blast last year that it blamed on an Israeli missile strike.

An Israeli government spokesman declined to comment on the explosion in Sudan's east, which analysts say is used as an arms smuggling route to the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip via neighbouring Egypt.

Yigal Palmor, spokesman for Israel's Foreign Ministry, told Reuters: "I'm not going to respond to generic allegations."

A local journalist in the Red Sea port said he saw two small but deep holes near a gutted car and another hole beneath it. Photographs from the scene showed blood splashed on the road.

Sudan's Foreign Minister Ali Ahmed Karti, the highest level official yet to comment on the blast, stopped short of directly blaming Israel, but said the explosion looked similar to an April, 2011 attack Khartoum blamed on an Israeli missile strike.

"The style of the car explosion was similar to Israel's attack on Red Sea state (in 2011)," he told the pro-government al-Shorooq television station, according to its website. A foreign ministry spokesman confirmed the remarks.

Israel, which Sudan considers an enemy state, declined to comment on the 2011 blast that killed two people, and neither admitted nor denied a similar attack in eastern Sudan in 2009.

A local security source in Port Sudan said the car's driver was a prominent member of the Ababda tribe known for smuggling weapons and goods. Port Sudan is the country's main port.

State news agency SUNA said a team of experts would be sent to investigate the explosion, and identified the dead driver as trader Nasser Awadallah Ahmed Said, 65.

Spokesmen for Sudan's police and armed forces were not immediately available for comment.

Sudan denies allowing illegal weapon shipments across its territory, but analysts say smugglers bring in weapons through the country's east, then route them through Egypt's Sinai desert and into the Gaza Strip.


(Reporting by Ulf Laessing, Alexander Dziadosz and El-Tayeb Siddig in Khartoum and by Dan Williams in Jerusalem, Editing by Michael Roddy)

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

“[Hollande] should know that he will soon have to answer crucial questions.He will mainly have to answer whether all he said before the elections is valid after the elections because the French people sent Mr (Nicolas) Sarkozy to vacation in Morocco not so he could be replaced by someone that will implement the same policy but by someone that will change that policy"

Tsipras takes message of solidarity to Europeans
ekathimerini.com
Monday May 21, 2012

Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) leader Alexis Tsipras began his brief tour of Europe on Monday by telling his French audience that his party’s opposition to austerity is in the interests of all Europeans.

Tsipras held talks in Paris with the leader of France’s Left Front, Jean-Luc Melenchon, who won 11 percent in the country’s recent presidential race. In a show of unity, the two men sat side by side at a news conference. Tsipras is due to meet with German leftists on Tuesday, when he is expected to continue his criticism of Greece’s EU-IMF loan deal.

“This is a European experiment to inflict a neoliberal political shock on a country which will lead to an unprecedented humanitarian crisis,” he said. “We are here in Paris and we will be in Germany tomorrow to explain to European people that we have nothing against them. We have no differences to settle.

“In Greece, we are fighting on behalf of Germans, French and all European people.”

Tsipras said: “Financial capital, bankers and capitalists have joined forces in a European union against Greeks. They want to destroy Greece so they can attack Europe.”

Tsipras referred to New Democracy chief Antonis Samaras as an “imitation” of defeated conservative French President Nicolas Sarkozy and called on the latter’s successor, Socialist Francois Hollande, to live up to promises about growth. Hollande turned down the chance to meet Tsipras, citing protocol.

“[Hollande] should know that he will soon have to answer crucial questions,” said the Greek leftist. “He will mainly have to answer whether all he said before the elections is valid after the elections because the French people sent Mr Sarkozy to vacation in Morocco not so he could be replaced by someone that will implement the same policy but by someone that will change that policy.”

Tsipras underlined that he has no intention of renegotiating the EU-IMF memorandum but intends to reject it. “The dilemma at these elections is catastrophic austerity or the prospect of hope by canceling the memorandum,” he told reporters. “The memorandum cannot be negotiated because hell cannot be negotiated.”

(Condoleezza) Rice: Israel is where the US learned about homeland security

Rice: Israel is where the US learned about homeland security
On 25th visit to Israel, former secretary of state recalls the first panicked moments of 9/11
By David Shamah May 20, 2012, 2:26 pm

Via
The world changed in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, former US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice told an audience in Israel Sunday, and so did the relationship between the United States and Israel.

While Jerusalem and Washington were always good friends, after the attacks they became allies “with a common cause in the fight against people who would seek political gain by attacking civilians, parents and children,” she said.

Rice also described the first panicked minutes for the US administration on 9/11, including the moment she raised her voice to president George W. Bush.

The former secretary was speaking before a rapt audience outside Tel Aviv Sunday, during a conference on homeland security technology sponsored by Motorola Solutions. The company maintains a large research facility in Israel, said CEO Greg Brown, telling the audience of nearly 1,000 that most of the leading edge homeland security technology in use in the world today was developed in Israel.

It was 9/11 that drove this point home for the Bush administration, for which Rice was serving as national security adviser at the time. Rice told the audience in riveting detail of the first moments after the attack on the World Trade Center, recalling that she told her staff that the report of the first plane hitting the Trade Center’s North Tower was “a strange accident.” She shared that observation with Bush, who was in Florida at the time, and the president concurred.

Twenty minutes later, when the second plane hit the South Tower, there was no doubt in Rice’s mind that the US was under attack — “the first attack against civilians on US territory since the [Anglo-American] War of 1812.”

With the White House in panic mode, Rice quickly convened a meeting with staffers, and attempted to get in touch with top officials. “I called [secretary of state Colin] Powell but he was in Peru, so I couldn’t reach him. I called [CIA director] George Tenet but he had already been taken to a bunker. I called [secretary of defense] Don Rumsfeld, and they told me that his phone just kept ringing, with no answer.

“Then I saw on TV a plane hit the Pentagon,” Rice continued. “Just then I was able to get in touch with President Bush, and I did something that I had never done before, and would never do again. I raised my voice to the president of the United States. He told me that he was going to get on a plane and come home,” Rice recounted, adding that she practically yelled at Bush, urging him to stay put in Florida. “I told him that we are under attack, and that buildings were being hit all over Washington.”

It was a “moment that mattered,” Rice said, in more ways than one. First, it demonstrated how vulnerable the US really was. The attack “changed the conception of security. We were the world’s most powerful country, but we couldn’t stop a bunch of terrorists from one of the poorest countries in the world, who spent just $300,000 to mount an attack on us.”

Furthermore, the attack and its ramifications — including, Rice said, the possibility that American forces might have to shoot down civilian aircraft if it appeared that other sites, like the White House, might be hit — convinced the US that it significantly needed to ramp up security, but in a way that would have as minimal an effect on the average citizen as possible.

“We realized that Israel, our good friend, was very advanced in this area. Security has been a concern of Israel’s since the day it was born.”

Israel, she added, has successfully developed many technologies and methods to fight terror and enable day-to-day life to go on, and the US turned to Israel, and companies like Motorola Solutions — much of whose technology is developed in Israel — for help.

Rice, who is now a private citizen, was in Israel as a guest of the company. Speaking earlier, Brown said that Motorola Solutions had recruited her in order to benefit from “her guidance in foreign affairs” in developing solutions for homeland security.

Israel, he said, had the manpower, the technology, and “unfortunately” the experience to prove the efficacy of the technology being developed for homeland security purposes.

This trip, Brown added, was Rice’s 25th to Israel, making Israel one of her most-visited foreign destinations. And there was another significant connection Rice had to Israel, or rather, to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. “Secretary Rice grew up in Denver — seven houses down the street from Prime Minister Netanyahu,” who lived in the town while his father, the recently deceased Benzion Netanyahu, taught at a local university.

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