Download a PDF of The Babylonian Woe
As courts and bureaucrats continue to assert that citizens have no fundamental right to produce and consume the foods of their choice, we find Monsanto lurking nearby. The Wisconsin judge who recently ruled that we have no right to own a cow or drink its milk resigned to join one of Monsanto’s law firms.
Former judge Patrick J. Fiedler now works for Axley Brynelson, LLP, which defended Monsanto against a patent infringement case filed by Australian firm, Genetic Technologies, Ltd. (GTL) in early 2010.
GTL had sued several biotechnology firms, a medical lab and a crime lab that had used its patented methods for analyzing DNA sequences. Though a federal case, the district court which heard the matter, sits in Dane County, Wisconsin, where Fiedler coincidentally served as a state judge.
In that case, the US Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) “upheld Genetic Technologies Ltd.’s patent for noncoding DNA technologies, giving more firepower to the Australian company’s patent infringement suit against Monsanto Inc., Pioneer Hi-Bred International Inc. and a slew of rival laboratories,” reports Law360.
In another link, Myriad Genetics, which holds the exclusive U.S. patent on human genes, BRCA1 and BRCA2, granted the license to GTL in 2002. These human genes are associated with breast and ovarian cancer.
In 2009, the ACLU and the Public Patent Foundation (PubPat) sued the PTO, Myriad Genetics, and principals at the University of Utah Research Foundation, charging that patents on genes are unconstitutional and invalid. The suit also charges that such patents stifle diagnostic testing and research that could lead to cures and that they limit women’s options regarding their medical care.
In an absurd ruling this year, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals allowed the patent on these human genes, even though the DNA sequence occurs in nature. The court decided that simply because researchers had been able to extract it, the firm owns it. Of course, under this thinking, all of nature can be patented if human technology allows extraction.
“The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has granted thousands of patents on human genes – in fact, about 20 percent of our genes are patented. A gene patent holder has the right to prevent anyone from studying, testing or even looking at a gene. As a result, scientific research and genetic testing has been delayed, limited or even shut down due to concerns about gene patents,” commented ACLU.
The US ruling gives Myriad monopolistic control over these human genes, and over diagnostic testing for that DNA sequence. The case is now headed to the US Supreme Court.
The Myriad patent was also challenged in Australia and at the European Patent Office. In 2009, the EPO granted a highly restricted BRCA1 patent.
Australia’s case will be heard in February 2012. Dr Luigi Palombi, who supports the pending Patent Amendment Bill, believes the US decision “is irrational, contrary to scientific fact and little more than a knee-jerk reaction to the fear mongering of the American biotechnology industry. It claims that without gene patents it will not have any incentive to undertake necessary research. Of course, this is a lie.”
Part of the problem, Palombi explains, is that much of the research that allowed Myriad to develop its breast cancer test was publicly funded. Going further:
“The decision turns patent law on its head because it means that the prize is given for the discovery not for the invention (a new, tangible and practical use of the discovery).
“The second problem is, Myriad’s scientists discovered and linked genetic mutations to breast and ovarian cancers, but that’s a long way off an invention. If there was any invention by Myriad (assuming it was also novel and involved an inventive step), it was in the development of a diagnostic test.”
Of note, in a dissenting opinion, Judge William C. Bryson wrote that the Dept. of Justice filed an amicus brief asserting that Myriad’s gene claims are not patent-eligible, thus undermining the PTO’s position. Bryson wrote:
“… the Department of Justice speaks for the Executive Branch, and the PTO is part of the Executive Branch, so it is fair to assume that the Executive Branch has modified its position from the one taken by the PTO in its 2001 guidelines…”
Given the DOJ’s protection of Monsanto interests, however, it is likely that its opposition to Myriad’s patents may have more to do with stifling competition than protecting nature from theft by biotech firms. After DOJ attorney Elena Kagen moved to the Supreme Court, the high court ruled in Monsanto’s favor allowing the planting of genetically modified alfalfa.
Earlier this year, Obama pressured the USDA to remove the buffer zone requirement for GM alfalfa, further ensuring genetic contamination of natural alfalfa. That decision ensures the destruction of the organic meat and dairy industries in the U.S. which rely on natural alfalfa feed. It will also strengthen biotech’s monopoly control over our food.
Obama has stacked his administration with Monsanto employees and biotech proponents, including Michael Taylor as FDA Deputy Commissioner for Foods, Tom Vilsack as Secretary of Agriculture, Islam Siddiqui as Ag Trade Representative, and Elena Kagen on the Supreme Court.
In a related matter, PubPat also filed suit this year against Monsanto over the patenting of genetically modified seeds which contaminate natural crops. “As Justice Story wrote in 1817, to be patentable, an invention must not be ‘injurious to the well being, good policy, or sound morals of society,’” notes the complaint, citing studies showing harm caused by Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide, including human placental damage, lymphoma, myeloma, animal miscarriages, and other impacts on human health.
That any official would approve gene patents is bad enough – discovering nature is not inventing it. But in the Wisconsin case, Judge Fiedler ruled that humans:
“Do not have a fundamental right to own and use a dairy cow or a dairy herd;”
“Do not have a fundamental right to consume the milk from their own cow;”
“Do not have a fundamental right to board their cow at the farm of a farmer;”
“Do not have a fundamental right to produce and consume the foods of their choice;” and
Cannot enter into private contracts “outside the scope of the State’s police power.”
Ruling against raw milk forces consumers to drink genetically modified, antibiotic-laden milk from cows fed an unnatural diet of pesticide-loaded feed. No doubt that makes Monsanto a major fan of Patrick Fiedler. His decision was rendered on Sept. 9 and he stepped down from the bench on Sept. 30.
This case begs for competent legal counsel who can get the outrageous decision overturned.
A growing number of former government insiders — all responsible officials who served in a number of federal posts — are now on record as doubting ex-CIA director George Tenet’s account of events leading up to the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States. Among them are several special agents of the FBI, the former counterterrorism head in the Clinton and Bush administrations, and the chairman of the 9/11 Commission, who told us the CIA chief had been “obviously not forthcoming” in his testimony and had misled the commissioners.
These doubts about the CIA first emerged among a group of 9/11 victims’ families whose struggle to force the government to investigate the causes of the attacks, we chronicled in our 2006 documentary film “Press for Truth.” At that time, we thought we were done with the subject. But tantalizing information unearthed by the 9/11 Commission’s final report and spotted by the families (Chapter 6, footnote 44) raised a question too important to be put aside:
Did Tenet fail to share intelligence with the White House and the FBI in 2000 and 2001 that could have prevented the attacks? Specifically, did a group in the CIA’s al-Qaida office engage in a domestic covert action operation involving two of the 9/11 hijackers, that — however legitimate the agency’s goals may have been — hindered the type of intelligence-sharing that could have prevented the attacks? And if not, then what would explain seemingly inexplicable actions by CIA employees?
As we sought to clarify how the CIA had handled information about the hijackers before 9/11, we found a half dozen former government insiders who came away from the Sept. 11 tragedy feeling burned by the CIA, particularly by a small group of employees within the agency’s bin Laden unit in 2000 and 2001, then known as Alec Station.
Among them was Gov. Thomas Kean, co-chairman of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, which was responsible for investigating 9/11. He agreed to an on-camera interview for our documentary in 2008. He surprised us by voicing many doubts and questions about the CIA’s actions preceding Sept. 11 — and especially about former CIA director George Tenet.
Four years after Tenet testified to the commission, Kean said the CIA director had been “obviously not forthcoming” in some of his testimony. Tenet said under oath that he had not met with President Bush in the month of August 2001, Kean recalled. It was later learned he had done so twice.
Did Tenet misspeak? we asked the New Jersey Republican.
“No, I don’t think he misspoke,” Kean responded. “I think he misled.”
A tale of two hijackers
The story buried in footnote 44 of Chapter 6 of the 9/11 Commission report was this:
The commission became aware in early 2004 of a warning written by Doug Miller, an FBI agent working inside the CIA’s Alec Station. In January 2000, Miller tried to inform his bosses about a man named Khalid Al Mihdhar, who had previously been identified as a member of an al-Qaida operational cadre. By the spring of 2000, the CIA had learned that Mihdhar and another suspected al-Qaida operative, Nawaf Al Hazmi, had likely arrived in Southern California. But the CIA did not pass along the information to the FBI.
The draft cable — blocked by Miller’s CIA superiors — was not turned over to the commissioners or to the earlier congressional investigation. It was discovered in CIA records by an investigator working for a concurrent inquiry conducted by the Justice Department’s inspector general. Apparently it had been missed by Tenet’s DCI Review Group, convened immediately after the attacks to examine CIA records in order to prepare the director for the coming government investigations.
Kean was disturbed by the revelation.
“The idea that that information was left out of something that was so essential for the FBI, whose job it is to work within the United States and track these people … you know, it’s one of the most troubling aspects of our entire report, that particular thing,” Kean said.
We pushed Kean. Could it be this was a simple mistake, a failure to recognize the significance of Mihdhar and Hazmi, as the CIA had initially characterized it?
“Oh, it wasn’t careless oversight,” Kean replied. “It was purposeful. No question about that in my mind … In the DNA of these organizations was secrecy.”
Mihdhar and Hazmi boarded American Flight 77 at Washington Dulles airport on the morning of Sept. 11. After the plane took off, they joined three other men in commandeering the aircraft and flying it into the Pentagon, killing a total of 184 people.
So how then had George Tenet and those responsible at the CIA managed to get away with misrepresenting the incident as a mistake for so long?
“Tenet was a likable guy,” Kean concluded. “He got away with some stuff because people liked him.”
“Malfeasance and misfeasance”
In 2009, former White House counterterrorism chief Richard Clarke took the scenario further. In an on-camera interview he suggested that Tenet, once a close friend and colleague, had ordered the withholding of the information about the two al-Qaida operatives from the FBI and from the White House.
Clarke explained why he had come to that remarkable conclusion. Tenet, he said, followed all information about al-Qaida “in microscopic detail” and would call Clarke at the White House several times a day to share “the most trivial of information.” In addition, there were terrorism threat meetings held in person every other day.
We must have had dozens, scores of threat committee meetings over the time when they knew these guys had entered the country … They told us everything except this … So now the question is, why?
The only explanation Clarke could offer was admittedly speculative: that the CIA may have been running an operation to recruit the two al-Qaida operatives while they were living under their own names in Southern California. This might appear to have been a reasonable thing for the CIA to do. After all, Bill Clinton’s White House had long complained to the agency about the lack of penetration agents in al-Qaida.
But if the CIA was following or recruiting or monitoring Mihdhar and Hazmi in the United States, that might well have qualified as operating on U.S. soil, a violation of the agency’s charter. Once the two men were identified as hijackers on Flight 77, CIA officials may have begun a coverup of their earlier “malfeasance and misfeasance,” as Clarke charges.
His language is blunt, especially for a national security policymaker.
“I am outraged and have been ever since I first learned that the CIA knew these guys were in the country,” explained Clarke. “But I believed for the longest time that this was probably one or two low-level CIA people who made the decision not to disseminate the information. Now that I know that 50 CIA officers knew this, and they included all kinds of people who were regularly talking to me, saying I’m pissed doesn’t begin to describe it.”
Clarke said he assumed that “there was a high-level decision in the CIA ordering people not to share that information.” When asked who might have issued such an order, he replied, “I would think it would have been made by the director,” referring to Tenet — although he added that Tenet and others would never admit to the truth today “even if you waterboarded them.”
The view from the FBI
We found the same suspicion was also prevalent among FBI counterterrorism agents from the time, particularly those who had worked under a legendary FBI agent named John O’Neill in New York. O’Neill, movingly portrayed in Lawrence Wright’s Pulitzer Prize-winning “The Looming Tower,” was one of the special agents in charge of counterterrorism in the FBI’s New York office. He retired to serve as chief of security at the World Trade Center and was killed in the Sept. 11 attacks, only three weeks after leaving the bureau.
O’Neill’s deputy for counterterrorism was Pasquale D’Amuro, who was appointed inspector in charge of the FBI’s investigation into the attacks.
“I am cautious about saying it, because you have to deal with the facts,” D’Amuro told us. He said that he was told that Richard Blee, the chief of Alec Station, and his deputy, Tom Wilshere, had blocked the sharing of intelligence on Mihdhar and Hazmi with the FBI.
“I had heard that Blee stopped it from coming over, that Blee and Wilshere had had the conversation and stopped it,” D’Amuro said. “There’s no doubt in my mind that that went up further in the agency than just those two guys. And why they didn’t send it over — to this day, I don’t know why.”
Jack Cloonan, former manager at the FBI’s al-Qaida-busting I-49 Squad, is another insider pained by the CIA’s actions.
“If you start to look into everything that’s Khalid Al Mihdhar and Nawaf Al Hazmi, you can’t help but conclude to most people’s minds that this is it,” Cloonan, said during an emotional interview in his New Jersey living room. “9/11 occurred not because the systems failed. The systems actually worked. Somebody made a critical decision not to share this information … If you look at this, it’s really just a handful of people. I don’t know how they sleep at night, I really don’t.”
The CIA’s failure to inform the FBI meant that a last chance to stop the hijackers was missed, says Clarke.
“And if they had….” Clarke told us, his voice trailing off. “Even as late as Sept. 4,” he went on, “we would have conducted a massive sweep. We would have conducted it publicly. We would have found those assholes. There’s no doubt in my mind — even with only a week left — we would have found them…”
Clarke is not an infallible or even a disinterested witness. As a top counterterrorism adviser at the time of the attack, he cannot help but take the tragedy personally. That said, the fact that at least three FBI agents share his views certainly enhances his credibility.
A spokesman for the CIA rejects the notion, telling Salon, “any suggestion that the CIA purposely refused to share critical lead information on the 9/11 plots with the FBI is simply wrong.” The spokesman cited the 9/11 Commission report and a report of the CIA’s independent inspector general. (The latter study, completed in 2004, has never been made public.)
The story of the alleged CIA intelligence failure attracted little other media interest until this August. That’s when Tenet, Richard Blee and another CIA official criticized by Clarke, Counterterrorism Center director J. Cofer Black, replied to our request for an interview. We had asked them to respond to Clarke’s speculation.
Although they declined to be interviewed, Tenet, Black and Blee sent us a joint written statement that charged Clarke was “reckless and profoundly wrong” and that he had “suddenly invented baseless allegations which are belied by the record and unworthy of serious consideration.”
The statement, which we shared with the Daily Beast, was newsworthy because the three men had never before felt the need to explain their actions directly to the American public.
“We testified under oath about what we did, and what we didn’t know,” they stated. “We stand by that testimony.”
The relevance of their testimony to Clarke’s theory is hard to assess. Tenet and Black were never asked about the surveillance of Mihdhar and Hazmi, at least in their public testimony. Blee’s testimony has never been made public.
“You’re not going to say anything”
The CIA’s explanation is not convincing to Mark Rossini, an FBI agent who was assigned to Alec Station in 2000 and 2001. The assignment of tracking Khalid Al Mihdhar, he told us, had been given to a young staff operations officer who shared responsibility for watching events in Yemen along with Alec Station deputy chief Tom Wilshere.
Rossini, who resigned from the FBI in the wake of legal troubles, recalled in a phone interview that the staff officer’s direct supervisor was a redheaded analyst working directly for Wilshere. He says that this supervisor, not referred to by even so much as an alias in any of the government reports on 9/11, is the same woman who told congressional investigators that she had hand-delivered Mihdhar’s visa information to FBI headquarters. This was later proven false when the investigators checked the log books at the FBI headquarters, discovering that she had never set foot in the building. Eleanor Hill, staff director of the congressional inquiry, also told us that her investigators found no evidence that the FBI had ever received the information.
Rossini remembered that the staff operations officer working under that redhead had ordered him and his fellow FBI agent Doug Miller not to tell their colleagues at the bureau, including John O’Neill’s New York office, that Mihdhar was likely on his way to the United States in early 2000.
“She got a little heated,” Rossini recalled. “She just put her hand on her hip and just said to me, ‘Listen, it’s not an FBI case. It’s not an FBI matter. When we want the FBI to know, we’ll let them know. And you’re not going to say anything.’”
Only two days before, this same officer had sent a message internally throughout the CIA misleading her fellow agents into believing that the information had been passed on to the FBI. Her later conversation with Rossini makes it appear that this was a deliberate misstatement. According to the Justice Department inspector general, she sent the misleading message only hours after posting an electronic note on Doug Miller’s draft warning to the FBI: “pls hold off … for now per [the CIA deputy chief of bin Laden unit],” a reference to Tom Wilshere.
We now know the staff officer is a woman named Michael Anne Casey. Her red-haired supervisor was a woman named Alfreda Frances Bikowsky.
Google penetrates the CIA
How we learned the names of those two CIA personnel can be summarized in one word: Google. In the case of the redhead, an Associated Press article from February 2011 seemed to refer to her. She had also been referenced in Jane Mayer’s book “The Dark Side,” by her middle name, Frances. The AP article stated that she had an unusual first name. After searching State Department nominations from the past decade — often cover positions for CIA personnel but still entered into the Congressional Record -– a contemporary historian named Kevin Fenton with whom we work closely found a name that seemed to fit.
For the staff officer, we knew three important facts. She had a “man’s name” — most likely Michael, the name used in the Commission Report. She was in her late 20s at the time of the incident, and was a “CIA brat,” meaning she had at least one parent or another family member inside the agency. We wondered if she might be related to a prominent CIA figure, as her boss Richard Blee had turned out to be. One of the first names that came to mind, given her probable birth year, was William J. Casey, Ronald Reagan’s CIA director.
Pairing the first name “Michael” with the last name “Casey,” we found a number of people with that name working in State Department or military positions. Again looking in the Congressional Record, we found the name Michael Anne Casey — a woman with a man’s name — and another website listing Casey as 27 years old in 1999 and living in the D.C. area, which seemed to make her very likely the person in question. (Incidentally, we were later informed that she is no relation to William J. Casey.)
A CIA threat
When we informed the agency’s Public Affairs office that we planned to release an investigative podcast on iTunes on Sunday, Sept. 11, that named Bikowsky and Casey, the agency replied immediately.
“We strongly believe it is irresponsible and a potential violation of criminal law [emphasis added] to print the names of two reported undercover CIA officers who you claim have been involved in the hunt against al-Qaida,” said spokesman Preston Golson.
Erring on the side of caution, we took the names out of our podcast. On the day we released the revised podcast on our website, we heard from Sibel Edmonds. A former FBI analyst and prominent whistleblower, Edmonds posted a story on her blog Sept. 21 stating that she had three credible sources and a document confirming that the redhead in our revised story was Bikowsky. She also stated that the staff officer involved was Michael Anne Casey and cited our website, Secrecy Kills. It was only then that we discovered our webmaster had briefly and inadvertently placed our entire email to the CIA on our site. Edmonds saw the information and published it.
Within minutes the information had spread widely through social media on the Internet. Before long Gawker breathlessly announced the latest of the CIA’s problems: that Bikowsky, who had risen to become the head of the CIA’s global jihad unit, had been outed. The rather more significant story — that a CIA intelligence failure had contributed to the 9/11 attacks — got short shrift from the popular gossip site.
In an effort to clarify the story, we asked the CIA two factual questions. We asked if Bikowsky’s statement to the congressional 9/11 inquiry — that she had delivered Mihdhar’s visa information to the FBI prior to the attacks — was accurate.
We also asked if former FBI agent Mark Rossini’s recollection that Michael Anne Casey had told him not to report information about Mihdhar and Hazmi was accurate.
The agency did not address the specifics of either question.
“We do not, as a rule, publicly confirm or deny the identities of currently serving agency officers,” a spokesman replied. “That includes those dedicated to the disruption of terrorist plots. The officers involved in those critical efforts have, thanks to their skill and focus, saved countless American lives.”
The story of Mihdhar and Hazmi could easily be clarified, says Robert Baer, a retired CIA officer in the Middle East who worked directly with some of the people involved.
“A lot of these people who withheld this information were not covert operatives,” he explained. “There was no reason to hide their names. They are out there in the public. You can find them in data and credit checks and the rest of it … They certainly could have been brought before the House or the Senate in closed session and an explanation and a report put out there.”
Langley on the defensive
The CIA prefers not to disclose but to protect the handful of people at the heart of this story.
Tenet remained George W. Bush’s CIA director for another two and a half years, where he was famously involved in passing along faulty intelligence about weapons of mass destruction that justified the disastrous invasion of Iraq. On Dec. 14, 2004, George Tenet was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Bush.
Richard Blee, chief of Alec Station in 2001, reportedly took over the CIA operation during the invasion of Afghanistan to capture or kill Osama bin Laden when bin Laden was surrounded in the mountains of Tora Bora three months after 9/11. According to 23-year career CIA officer Gary Berntsen, as reported in his book, “Jawbreaker,” Blee was in charge at the time bin Laden managed to slip away to Pakistan to live comfortably for nearly a decade. Harper’s Ken Silverstein reported that Blee was active in the controversial renditions and detainee-abuse programs. He is now retired and living in Los Angeles.
We do not know exactly what became of Tom Wilshere, a mysterious figure who has managed to maintain an even lower profile than the rest. Dale Watson, former head of the FBI’s Counterterrorism Division, told us that us that Wilshere became a White House briefer during the Bush era.
Casey and Bikowsky have risen in the CIA’s ranks, despite the fact that Bikowsky has been associated with at least one major blunder. The AP reported that Bikowsky was at the center of “the el-Masri incident,” in which an innocent German citizen was renditioned (a euphemism for kidnapped) by the CIA in 2003 and held under terrible conditions (a euphemism for tortured) in a secret Afghan prison. The AP characterized it as “one of the biggest diplomatic embarrassments of the U.S. war on terrorism.” It was no doubt something more to Khaled el-Masri. Despite that episode Bikowsky was promoted.
As chief of the counterterrorism center, Cofer Black was the boss of Casey, Bikowsky and Blee. He too was associated with the abuses of the extraordinary rendition program. He resigned shortly after George Bush was elected to a second term. Black then served as vice chairman of Blackwater USA, the controversial U.S.-based private security firm, from 2005 to 2008. Earlier this month Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney announced that Black would join his campaign as a foreign policy adviser.
A leading House Republican investigating the ATF operation dubbed Fast and Furious subpoenaed documents from Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr. on Wednesday, escalating the confrontation over the botched gun-tracing program.
Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Vista), chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, issued a far-ranging subpoena seeking all communications between Holder, his deputies and the White House in connection with the now-defunct operation run by the Phoenix field office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
Issa contends the attorney general knew more about the operation than he has told congressional investigators. Holder strongly denies that.
Fast and Furious, started in 2009, ended in January. ATF agents allowed illegal “straw” buyers to purchase more than 2,000 firearms, expecting to track them to drug cartel leaders in Mexico. But many of the guns vanished, only for some to turn up at crime scenes on both sides of the border. The Mexican government says the weapons have been found at about 170 crime scenes there. And two were found in Arizona where a Border Patrol agent was shot to death.
“It’s time we know the whole truth,” Issa said in a statement. “The documents this subpoena demands will provide answers to questions that Justice officials have tried to avoid since this investigation began eight months ago.”
The top Democrat on the committee, Rep. Elijah E. Cummings of Maryland, called the 22-point subpoena a “fishing expedition” that seeks tens of thousands of pages of sensitive national security materials beyond the scope of Fast and Furious.
“Rather than legitimate fact-gathering, this looks more like a political stunt,” Cummings said.
The Justice Department said it had been providing Issa’s committee with documents and information about the operation and would continue to do so.
“We’ve made clear from the beginning that the department intends to work with the committee to answer legitimate questions,” Justice Department spokeswoman Tracy Schmaler said. “However, this subpoena shows that Chairman Issa is more interested in generating headlines than in real oversight important to the American people.”
Issa and Sen. Charles E. Grassley of Iowa, the top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, have been investigating Fast and Furious as GOP lawmakers have intensified criticism of Holder’s role. Holder has said he did not know the scope or details of the operation until it became public this year.
President Obama defended Holder last week, saying neither he nor his attorney general knew federal authorities were allowing illegal gun sales.
Also last week, Holder issued a sternly worded rebuke to allegations that he was misleading Congress. After Republican Rep. Paul Gosar of Arizona suggested the administration was an accessory to the crimes that have been committed with the lost guns, Holder said such “irresponsible and inflammatory rhetoric” could not go unchecked.
October 9, 2011
The guy in the above video is Ivan Marovic. That name probably doesn’t mean much to you, because I know it didn’t mean much to me until I did some further digging. It turns out that Mr. Marovic is the co-founder of Otpor!. Otpor! was a key organization in the Serbian Wars in the 1990s and was also an influence in the Egypt uprisings. If you believe the below documentary then Otpor! is a group of professional revolutionaries.
This is information about Ivan Marovic from Source Watch.org
Ivan Marovic, Serbia and Montenegro
“Along with a group of other Serbian student leaders, Marovic formed the OTPOR (“Resistance”) movement in 1998. OTPOR used popular protest and peaceful provocation to build anti-Milosevic support in the 1999-2000 period. Although OTPOR started by mobilizing young people, it quickly expanded into a mass movement with members from all sectors of society. As one of the most visible leaders of OTPOR, Marovic best represented the common youth of Serbia and organized rallies and marches in the lead-up to the September 2000 election that ousted the Milosevic regime. After 2000, OTPOR focused on building democratic society in Serbia and opposing corruption. OTPOR has become a model for resistance movements in other countries, including Georgia, Ukraine, Belarus and Albania.”
The thing they will not tell you about Mr. Marovic and his good friend Srdja Popovic, who were the leaders of OTPOR, is that that organization and they were all sponsored by the CIA. Their handler was William Montgomery, who was coordinating their actions from the CIA Headquarters for Southern Europe in Budapest, Hungary. Wm. Montgomery later became U. S. Ambassador in Post Milosevic Serbia.
I have been quite skeptical of the Occupy movement since it suddenly sprang up out of nowhere in the last couple of weeks. While I have been in full support of the “End the Fed” movement, I am suspicious of any “grassroots” movement that immediately gets corporate media support. I recall there being nationwide “End the Fed” rallies in 2009 that received little to no mainstream media coverage.
When I heard Van Jones along with various union bosses claim their support for the Occupy movement in recent weeks, it confirmed for me that this Occupy is essentially the Tea-Party version of the extreme progressive political agenda. Van Jones even recently discussed an “October Offensive” that would be used to counter the Tea Party.
However, the list of demands from Occupy Wall Street website sounds like a wet dream of someone with a very strong socialist and communist agenda. In fact, these demands read like a new-age version of some bootleg Karl Marx list.
I was willing to jump on board with this Occupy group until I read this list, but after reading this list, I see that it is just another group with an agenda and I have no desire whatsoever to be affiliated with an organization that is promoting that agenda. If this group truly wants to get me involved with them, then:
Where is the demand for the repeal of the PATRIOT Act?
What about ending the international wars of aggression?
What about ending the opium trade in Afghanistan?
What about ending the Presidential-ordered killings of US citizens without a court hearing and due process?
What about actually demanding criminal accountability on Wall Street (as the name of the group might imply) and in other financial arenas?
Where is the demand for the disposition of the bankers’ stolen loot and gains over the years?
What about the end of warrantless wiretapping and spying by the government and telecoms?
What about an end to the Federal Reserve?
What about the nexus and conflict between former government regulators receiving lucrative private sector jobsfrom the very companies/industries they were regulating?
What about the end of torture?
I came up with those demands without even picking up a book or doing a real thorough analysis that I would have done if I was organizing a movement. Please note that I didn’t include any of the numerous conspiracy theories previously discussed on this blog. However, instead of any of the above, the Occupy movement focuses on things that will never happen or will lead to outright Civil War. Namely, it focuses on the same issues that I have seen in numerous progressive/union/left-leaning/communist literature. In fact, when I was way more naive back in 2006, I ran a political campaign with a platform that was somewhat similar in certain areas. Fortunately, my ideology has evolved.
Here are the Occupy Wall Street demands (along with my annotations):
Demand one: Restoration of the living wage. This demand can only be met by ending “Freetrade” by re-imposing trade tariffs on all imported goods entering the American market to level the playing field for domestic family farming and domestic manufacturing as most nations that are dumping cheap products onto the American market have radical wage and environmental regulation advantages. Another policy that must be instituted is raise the minimum wage to twenty dollars an hr.
Why not tax the profits of American corporations who incorporate and operate in other nations simply for the avoidance and payment of taxes? The only problem is that most major corporations are multinational. If US imposes strict regulations or taxes, the corporations will simply remove all (or curtail a material portion) of its operations from the United States market to a more favorable market.
If the tariffs are too costly, then the corporations will pass those costs along to the American consumers who will no longer be able to afford the foreign goods. A void would potentially exist for American companies to produce these goods, but the current government regulations are barriers to entry for anyone aside from international investors. $20 an hour minimum wage would never work. It would kill more jobs than it would save. Many businesses do not make enough money to pay its employees $20/hour, so it would have to terminate staff. A rise in minimum wage for everyone would also cause inflation, because everyone would be making more money.
Demand two: Institute a universal single payer healthcare system. To do this all private insurers must be banned from the healthcare market as their only effect on the health of patients is to take money away from doctors, nurses and hospitals preventing them from doing their jobs and hand that money to wall st. investors.
I agree that the insurance industry is a huge issue, but allowing the federal government to run all of health care would be even worse. I wouldn’t necessarily be against some type of federally subsidized program for basic health needs, but I am against any federal mandate that everyone has to buy insurance.
Demand three: Guaranteed living wage income regardless of employment.
That would never work. Why would someone ever work a difficult or dangerous job?
Demand four: Free college education. I agree that education should be available to anyone who wants to pursue it, but how does one pay for free college education for everyone? Who will pay the teachers? Buy the library books? Build the dormitories? If every college will be 100% federal government-funded, then the federal government will controlling all of the colleges/universities in the country. I certainly would never agree to that scenario. If they want to help college students, remove the ridiculous profits in the private student loan industry.
Demand five: Begin a fast track process to bring the fossil fuel economy to an end while at the same bringing the alternative energy economy up to energy demand.
This is pie-in-the-sky stuff unless the government is willing to release all of its black-ops technology where it is alleged that free energy like Mr. Fusion does exist. Assuming that free energy does not exist yet, then there is no way to transition out of fossil fuels without decimating the economy. Further, the so-called “green energy” push by the government is a scam as evidenced by the recent political scandal in the solar energy industry. Our current state of technology is not a viable substitute for fossil fuel energy. It may make someone feel good to drive a Prius, but what happens when the world runs out of the rare earth metals needed to construct the battery technology?
Demand six: One trillion dollars in infrastructure (Water, Sewer, Rail, Roads and Bridges and Electrical Grid) spending now.
Where do we get $1,000,000,000,000 from when the country is broke? Should we just print it up on the Federal Reserve printers? Borrow it from China?
Demand seven: One trillion dollars in ecological restoration planting forests, reestablishing wetlands and the natural flow of river systems and decommissioning of all of America’s nuclear power plants.
As in the previous Demand, where do we get $1,000,000,000,000? I agree on the decommissioning of the nuclear plants, because radiation is a curse on this planet. However, this Demand conflicts with Demand Five, because nuclear is considered alternative energy. Nuclear accounts for 20% of the power in the country. What will be the substitute for nuclear while these power plants are being decommissioned? Further, if you reestablish all wetlands, that means destroying all dams and canals. 6% of US power comes from hydroelectric, so that along with nuclear would wipe 26% of the US electrical power capacity. If you take this Demand into account with Demand Five, we would essentially have to live in the Dark Ages with no fossil fuels, nuclear power, hydroelectric or coal.
Demand eight: Racial and gender equal rights amendment.
More pie-in-the-sky stuff. There is already an Equal Protection Clause in the Constitution that supposedly grants equal protections in connection with government and State action, but it has been abused by Courts since the late 1800s. A proposed Equal Rights Amendment failed in the 1980s. Additional Amendments addressing these social issues would only cause more court cases and more confusing, judicial rulings that would still favor those people with the economic resources to game the legal system. The country simply needs to enforce the laws and regulations that are currently on the books.
Demand nine: Open borders migration. anyone can travel anywhere to work and live.
If you are pro-illegal immigration, then you will love this one. I am anti-illegal immigration and I believe in national sovereignty, so I do not agree with this Demand either. I do agree that people should be able to travel, work and live wherever they want, but it shouldn’t be an unfettered right to do anything one wants to do. I can’t move to another country and expect to do whatever I want to do.
Demand ten: Bring American elections up to international standards of a paper ballot precinct counted and recounted in front of an independent and party observers system.
I agree that our election system is corrupt, but international elections are no better and in many cases, worse. I do believe that there should be a paper receipt for all votes that can be manually reviewed in case of any issues.
Demand eleven: Immediate across the board debt forgiveness for all. Debt forgiveness of sovereign debt, commercial loans, home mortgages, home equity loans, credit card debt, student loans and personal loans now! All debt must be stricken from the “Books.” World Bank Loans to all Nations, Bank to Bank Debt and all Bonds and Margin Call Debt in the stock market including all Derivatives or Credit Default Swaps, all 65 trillion dollars of them must also be stricken from the “Books.” And I don’t mean debt that is in default, I mean all debt on the entire planet period.
I would love for all my student loans to be wiped off of the books, but wiping this debt out would not solve the problem. Legit debts need to be paid. Otherwise, wiping these debts out would simply create hyperinflation. Food isn’t going to magically appear on your table. Your kids’ clothes aren’t going to magically sprout from a cottonseed. Gas isn’t going to magically appear in your tank. Your cell phone and Internet bills will not pay themselves. If the economy goes into hyperinflation, most of these things will either disappear or become in very short supply very quickly. However, I do AGREE that all fraudulent debts and instruments need to be canceled and the originators of these instruments need to be criminally and civilly tried in Court.
Demand twelve: Outlaw all credit reporting agencies.
I don’t really use credit anymore, but I do understand that some people need it to build businesses. I wouldn’t outlaw credit reporting agencies, but I would curtail some of these agencies’ powers.
Demand thirteen: Allow all workers to sign a ballot at any time during a union organizing campaign or at any time that represents their yeah or nay to having a union represent them in collective bargaining or to form a union.
What does this have to do with 99%? I’m not in a union and have never really wanted to be in a union. I don’t have a desire to pay someone money for the “right” to negotiate on my behalf. It sounds like the mob to me. Union membership may be important to some, but it is an irrelevant issue to me and when I hear people pushing it as a major issue, then I know it’s really a political issue!
There are a couple of decent points in those demands, but a majority of them are as unrealistic as me swimming to the Moon.
I bet most of these folks protesting and occupying these locations are great people who have the best intentions. However, I am reminded of that old statement about the pavement on the road to Hell. Sometimes when I write these blog articles, I hope I am wrong about my statements and this is one of those times! But….
At the end of the day, it seems like the anger in the streets has been (or will be) co-opted by the professional revolutionaries and all of their affiliates of the extreme progressive agenda.
Obama’s CIA Director Leon Panetta’s Communist Ties
Barack Obama, protégé of Frank Marshall Davis and Bill Ayers, isn’t the only member of the current misadministration with communist ties. Look what Accuracy in Media has learned about current CIA director and Secretary of Defense nominee Leon Panetta:
The evidence shows that Panetta had a close and personal relationship with a member of the Communist Party by the name of Hugh DeLacy, whose record included meeting with communist espionage agents.
Still more disturbing is the evidence they did not find:
See, the White house even admits to supporting them..
Background on Participants “champions of Freedom”
February 24, 2005
BACKGROUND ON PARTICIPANTS
“CHAMPIONS OF FREEDOM”
Ivan Marovic, Serbia and Montenegro
Along with a group of other Serbian student leaders, Marovic formed the OTPOR (“Resistance”) movement in 1998. OTPOR used popular protest and peaceful provocation to build anti-Milosevic support in the 1999-2000 period. Although OTPOR started by mobilizing young people, it quickly expanded into a mass movement with members from all sectors of society. As one of the most visible leaders of OTPOR, Marovic best represented the common youth of Serbia and organized rallies and marches in the lead-up to the September 2000 election that ousted the Milosevic regime. After 2000, OTPOR focused on building democratic society in Serbia and opposing corruption. OTPOR has become a model for resistance movements in other countries, including Georgia, Ukraine, Belarus and Albania.
A computer virus has infected the cockpits of America’s Predator and Reaper drones, logging pilots’ every keystroke as they remotely fly missions over Afghanistan and other warzones.
The virus, first detected nearly two weeks ago by the military’s Host-Based Security System, has not prevented pilots at Creech Air Force Base in Nevada from flying their missions overseas. Nor have there been any confirmed incidents of classified information being lost or sent to an outside source. But the virus has resisted multiple efforts to remove it from Creech’s computers, network security specialists say. And the infection underscores the ongoing security risks in what has become the U.S. military’s most important weapons system.
“We keep wiping it off, and it keeps coming back,” says a source familiar with the network infection, one of three that told Danger Room about the virus. “We think it’s benign. But we just don’t know.”
Military network security specialists aren’t sure whether the virus and its so-called “keylogger” payload were introduced intentionally or by accident; it may be a common piece of malware that just happened to make its way into these sensitive networks. The specialists don’t know exactly how far the virus has spread. But they’re sure that the infection has hit both classified and unclassified machines at Creech. That raises the possibility, at least, that secret data may have been captured by the keylogger, and then transmitted over the public internet to someone outside the military chain of command.
Drones have become America’s tool of choice in both its conventional and shadow wars, allowing U.S. forces to attack targets and spy on its foes without risking American lives. Since President Obama assumed office, a fleet of approximately 30 CIA-directed drones have hit targets in Pakistan more than 230 times; all told, these drones have killed more than 2,000 suspected militants and civilians, according to the Washington Post. More than 150 additional Predator and Reaper drones, under U.S. Air Force control, watch over the fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq. American military drones struck 92 times in Libya between mid-April and late August. And late last month, an American drone killed top terrorist Anwar al-Awlaki — part of an escalating unmanned air assault in the Horn of Africa and southern Arabian peninsula.
But despite their widespread use, the drone systems are known to have security flaws. Many Reapers and Predators don’t encrypt the video they transmit to American troops on the ground. In the summer of 2009, U.S. forces discovered “days and days and hours and hours” of the drone footage on the laptops of Iraqi insurgents. A $26 piece of software allowed the militants to capture the video.
The lion’s share of U.S. drone missions are flown by Air Force pilots stationed at Creech, a tiny outpost in the barren Nevada desert, 20 miles north of a state prison and adjacent to a one-story casino. In a nondescript building, down a largely unmarked hallway, is a series of rooms, each with a rack of servers and a “ground control station,” or GCS. There, a drone pilot and a sensor operator sit in their flight suits in front of a series of screens. In the pilot’s hand is the joystick, guiding the drone as it soars above Afghanistan, Iraq, or some other battlefield.
Some of the GCSs are classified secret, and used for conventional warzone surveillance duty. The GCSs handling more exotic operations are top secret. None of the remote cockpits are supposed to be connected to the public internet. Which means they are supposed to be largely immune to viruses and other network security threats.
But time and time again, the so-called “air gaps” between classified and public networks have been bridged, largely through the use of discs and removable drives. In late 2008, for example, the drives helped introduce the agent.btz worm to hundreds of thousands of Defense Department computers. The Pentagon is still disinfecting machines, three years later.
Use of the drives is now severely restricted throughout the military. But the base at Creech was one of the exceptions, until the virus hit. Predator and Reaper crews use removable hard drives to load map updates and transport mission videos from one computer to another. The virus is believed to have spread through these removable drives. Drone units at other Air Force bases worldwide have now been ordered to stop their use.
In the meantime, technicians at Creech are trying to get the virus off the GCS machines. It has not been easy. At first, they followed removal instructions posted on the website of the Kaspersky security firm. “But the virus kept coming back,” a source familiar with the infection says. Eventually, the technicians had to use a software tool called BCWipe to completely erase the GCS’ internal hard drives. “That meant rebuilding them from scratch” — a time-consuming effort.
The Air Force declined to comment directly on the virus. “We generally do not discuss specific vulnerabilities, threats, or responses to our computer networks, since that helps people looking to exploit or attack our systems to refine their approach,” says Lt. Col. Tadd Sholtis, a spokesman for Air Combat Command, which oversees the drones and all other Air Force tactical aircraft. “We invest a lot in protecting and monitoring our systems to counter threats and ensure security, which includes a comprehensive response to viruses, worms, and other malware we discover.”
However, insiders say that senior officers at Creech are being briefed daily on the virus.
“It’s getting a lot of attention,” the source says. “But no one’s panicking. Yet.”
FBI to launch nationwide facial recognition service – Nextgov-Aliya Sternstein
The FBI by mid-January will activate a nationwide facial recognition service in select states that will allow local police to identify unknown subjects in photos, bureau officials told Nextgov.
The federal government is embarking on a multiyear, $1 billion dollar overhaul of the FBI’s existing fingerprint database to more quickly and accurately identify suspects, partly through applying other biometric markers, such as iris scans and voice recordings.
Often law enforcement authorities will “have a photo of a person and for whatever reason they just don’t know who it is [but they know] this is clearly the missing link to our case,” said Nick Megna, a unit chief at the FBI’s criminal justice information services division. The new facial recognition service can help provide that missing link by retrieving a list of mug shots ranked in order of similarity to the features of the subject in the photo.
Today, an agent would have to already know the name of an individual to pull up the suspect’s mug shot from among the 10 million shots stored in the bureau’s existing Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System. Using the new Next-Generation Identification system that is under development, law enforcement analysts will be able to upload a photo of an unknown person; choose a desired number of results from two to 50 mug shots; and, within 15 minutes, receive identified mugs to inspect for potential matches. Users typically will request 20 candidates, Megna said. The service does not provide a direct match.
Michigan, Washington, Florida and North Carolina will participate in a test of the new search tool this winter before it is offered to criminal justice professionals across the country in 2014 as part of NGI. The project, which was awarded to Lockheed Martin Corp. in 2008, already has upgraded the FBI’s fingerprint matching service.
Local authorities have the choice to file mug shots with the FBI as part of the booking process. The bureau expects its collection of shots to rival its repository of 70 million fingerprints once more officers are aware of the facial search’s capabilities.
Thomas E. Bush III, who helped develop NGI’s system requirements when he served as assistant director of the CJIS division between 2005 and 2009, said, “The idea was to be able to plug and play with these identifiers and biometrics.” Law enforcement personnel saw value in facial recognition and the technology was maturing, said the 33-year FBI veteran who now serves as a private consultant.
NGI’s incremental construction seems to align with the White House’s push to deploy new information technology in phases so features can be scrapped if they don’t meet expectations or run over budget.
But immigrant rights groups have raised concerns that the Homeland Security Department, which exchanges digital prints with the FBI, will abuse the new facial recognition component. Currently, a controversial DHS immigrant fingerprinting program called Secure Communities runs FBI prints from booked offenders against the department’s IDENT biometric database to check whether they are in the country illegally. Homeland Security officials say they extradite only the most dangerous aliens, including convicted murderers and rapists. But critics say the FBI-DHS print swapping ensnares as many foreigners as possible, including those whose charges are minor or are ultimately dismissed.
Megna said Homeland Security is not part of the facial recognition pilot. But, Bush said in the future NGI’s data, including the photos, will be accessible by Homeland Security’s IDENT.
The planned addition of facial searches worries Sunita Patel, a staff attorney with the Center for Constitutional Rights, who said, “Any database of personal identity information is bound to have mistakes. And with the most personal immutable traits like our facial features and fingerprints, the public can’t afford a mistake.”
In addition, Patel said she is concerned about the involvement of local police in information sharing for federal immigration enforcement purposes. “The federal government is using local cops to create a massive surveillance system,” she said.
Bush said, “We do have the capability to search against each other’s systems,” but added, “if you don’t come to the attention of law enforcement you don’t have anything to fear from these systems.”
Other civil liberties advocates questioned whether the facial recognition application would retrieve mug shots of those who have simply been arrested. “It might be appropriate to have nonconvicted people out of that system,” said Jim Harper, director of information policy at the libertarian Cato Institute. FBI officials declined to comment on the recommendation.
Harper also noted large-scale searches may generate a lot of false positives, or incorrect matches. Facial recognition “is more accurate with a Google or a Facebook, because they will have anywhere from a half-dozen to a dozen pictures of an individual, whereas I imagine the FBI has one or two mug shots,” he said.
FBI officials would not disclose the name of the search product or the vendor, but said they gained insights on the technique’s accuracy by studying research from the National Institute of Standards and Technology.
In responding to concerns about the creation of a Big Brother database for tracking innocent Americans, Megna said the system will not alter the FBI’s authorities or the way it conducts business. “This doesn’t change or create any new exchanges of data,” he said. “It only provides [law enforcement] with a new service to determine what photos are of interest to them.”
In 2008, the FBI released a privacy impact assessment summarizing its appraisal of controls in place to ensure compliance with federal privacy regulations. Megna said that, during meetings with the CJIS Advisory Policy Board and the National Crime Prevention and Privacy Compact Council, “we haven’t gotten a whole lot of pushback on the photo capability.”
The FBI has an elaborate system of checks and balances to guard fingerprints, palm prints, mug shots and all manner of criminal history data, he said.
“This is not something where we want to collect a bunch of surveillance film” and enter it in the system, Megna said. “That would be useless to us. It would be useless to our users.”
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Former Gov. Jesse Ventura dropped by Minneapolis to support ‘Occupy’ protesters. Ventura pointed out that the face of the movement cannot be dictated by Democrats or Republicans because both parties were “bought and paid for” – and that he never took a dime in corporate money to get electe
Most of the material for this video was adapted from Kevin Ryan’s landmark article on who had “Demolition access to the WTC Towers”:
For blueprints of the WTCs with a list of all the suspicious tenants and connections check out:
Links and sources for things mentioned in the video:
Kevin R. Ryan, et al, Environmental anomalies at the World Trade Center: evidence for energetic materials, The Environmentalist, Volume 29, Number 1 / March, 2009, http://www.springerlink.com/content/f67q6272583h86n4/
Niels H. Harrit, et al, Active Thermitic Material Discovered in Dust from the 9/11 World Trade Center Catastrophe, The Open Chemical Physics Journal, Vol 2, 2009, doi: 10.2174/1874412500902010007, http://www.bentham-open.org/pages/content.php?TOCPJ/2009/00000002/00000001/7T…
Kevin R. Ryan, The Top Ten Connections Between NIST and Nanothermites, Journal of 9/11 Studies, July 2008, http://www.journalof911studies.com/volume/2008/Ryan_NIST_and_Nano-1.pdf
Website for In-Q-Tel, http://www.iqt.org/technology-portfolio/index-by-practice-area.html
Wikipedia page for Jerome Hauer, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jerome_Hauer
Akzo’s International Paint is the maker of Interchar http://www.international-pc.com/pc/pds/963to_uk.pdf http://www.sti.nasa.gov/tto/Spinoff2006/ps_3.html
Taku Murakami, US Patent 5532449 – Using plasma ARC and thermite to demolish concrete, http://www.patentstorm.us/patents/5532449/description.html
Steven E. Jones et al, Extremely High Temperatures During the World Trade Center Destruction, Journal of 9/11 Studies, January 2008 http://www.journalof911studies.com/articles/WTCHighTemp2.pdf
Albert Gibson et al, Integral low-energy thermite igniter, US Patent number: 4464989, http://www.google.com/patents/about?id=rKl1AAAAEBAJ&dq=US+4464989
Skull and Bones is a secret society at Yale University, founded in 1832. Members have included George H.W. Bush, his father Prescott Bush, his son George W. Bush, his brother Jonathan J. Bush, and many other powerful people. For LMI’s mission, see its website – http://www.lmi.org/aboutus/aboutus.aspx
Michael C. Ruppert, Suppressed Details of Criminal Insider Trading Lead Directly into the CIA’s Highest Ranks, October 9, 2001, http://www.fromthewilderness.com/free/ww3/10_09_01_krongard.html
Kevin R. Ryan, Mahmud Ahmed’s itinerary from his Washington DC visit the week of 9/11, 911blogger.com, 11/27/2009, http://www.911blogger.com/node/21978
The agreement between LLNL and Savannah River can be found here – https://www.llnl.gov/str/News597.html
Savannah’s reference to developing sol-gels can be found here – http://srnl.doe.gov/mat_sci.htm
SEC document for Washington pre-payments – http://www.secinfo.com/dRqWm.4G1Vx.c.htm
The Ties That Bind, Descended from family business empires, six huge business groups dominate the Japanese economy, Multinational Monitor, October 1983 – http://multinationalmonitor.org/hyper/issues/1983/10/ties.html
Securacomm Consulting Inc. v. Securacom Incorporated, United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, January 20, 1999, 49 U.S.P.Q.2d 1444; 166 F.3d 182, http://altlaw.org/v1/cases/1099498
Wikipedia page for Stratesec, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stratesec
SEC filing for Stratesec, May 2, 1997, http://www.secinfo.com/dS7kv.82.htm
Kroll Inc website, http://www.kroll.com/about/
Wikipedia page for the Quill and Dagger Society, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quill_and_Dagger
The History Commons, “Wolfowitz Doctrine”, http://www.historycommons.org/context.jsp?item=us_international_relations_41 Aaron Dykes, Wolfowitz Warns of ‘Surprise like Pearl Harbor’ Months Before 9/11 Attacks, Jones Report, February 9, 2007 http://www.jonesreport.com/articles/070207_wolfowitz.html Wolfowitz’s meeting with Mahmud Ahmed was documented in a FOIA response obtained by the 9/11 Working Group of Bloomington – http://911workinggroup.org/
Plaintiffs” Opposition to Defendant Terrence R. McAuliffe’s Motion to Dismiss, Case No: 1:98CV02859 (RCL), W.L. Meng et al vs. Bernard L. Schwartz and Loral Space et al, US District Court for the District of Columbia, http://www.judicialwatch.org/archive/ois/cases/chinagate-loral/loral12500d.htm
Greece has enough money to pay pensions, salaries and bondholders through mid-November, the finance minister said Tuesday, as global markets sank on worries that a messy default could bring down European banks and trigger another global recession.
The Athens Stock Exchange general index tumbled to close down 6.3 percent, while the main Europe markets fell almost 3 percent. The turmoil endangered French-Belgian bank Dexia, whose shares plunged as much as 40 percent, on worries about its exposure to Greek bonds.
The Dow Jones fell 250 points, but recovered somewhat when Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said the central bank is prepared to take more steps to stimulate the U.S. economy.
Greece had previously said it would start running out of money in mid-October if it didn’t get the next euro8 billion ($11 billion) installment of the euro110 billion rescue package it has been relying on since May 2010.
Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos sought to reassure Greeks and investors that the country can hold on a little longer. The government can tap contingency reserves to buy the extra time, a ministry official explained.
“Until mid-November it is clear there will be no problem,” said Venizelos, upon returning from a eurozone finance ministers’ meeting in Luxembourg.
The worry is that a messy default by Greece — in which sharp losses are imposed with little warning on bondholders, including many European banks — would cause massive losses in the financial sector and trigger a credit crunch. That could stifle loans to the real economy, cause huge uncertainty and push the world economy into another recession.
European officials insist that will not happen, with Jean-Claude Juncker, who heads the eurozone finance ministers, saying late Monday that “everything will be done to avoid that and it will be avoided.”
German Chancellor Angela Merkel discussed the situation in a telephone conversation with Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou Tuesday afternoon, the premier’s office said in a statement.
Eurozone ministers have indicated that while Greece would get its next batch of loans, that decision would not be made until later this month, after the international debt inspectors in Athens complete their review of Greece’s reforms.
The inspectors from the IMF, European Central Bank and European Commission, collectively known as the troika, had suspended their review in September amid concern over missed targets. They returned to Athens last week.
The delay had raised the possibility that Greece would run out of money to pay salaries and pensions and possibly bondholders.
To convince the troika that it should get the next bailouts loans, the Greek government announced a series of new measures, including extra taxes on property, and began pushing through plans to suspend tens of thousands of civil servants on reduced pay.
“We’re at the worst moment under the worst conditions. We’re dependent on the help and lending of our institutional partners,” Venizelos said.
“We have to make a super-human effort to win this wager of our times. There was this false sense of a standard of living that we, ourselves created,” the minister stressed. “What’s important now is to protect the country and to make clear and final decisions.”
But the measures have outraged Greeks who over a year and a half have seen their incomes slashed and their living costs climb. Locked in a recession that is forecast to see the economy contract by 5.5 percent this year, even members of the government have voiced concern.
Unions have responded with repeated demonstrations and strikes. Civil servants will walk off the job for a 24-hour strike Wednesday. Air traffic controllers will join in, grounding all flights to and from Greece, as will lawyers, public hospital doctors and dock workers.
Protesters have also staged occupations of ministry buildings for hours on several occasions, sometimes forcing ministers to reschedule meetings with the troika.
Most economists agree Greece is unlikely to be able to get out of its debt hole through austerity measures alone and many have called for private bondholders — including many European banks — to take sharper losses than currently planned in the second bailout deal.
The view was reinforced this week by figures in the Greek 2012 budget which showed it had missed its deficit reduction targets for this year. The budget gap is expected to reach 8.5 percent of GDP, higher than the original target of 7.8 percent. This could reach 9 percent if strikes and civil protests delay the implementation of reforms, Venizelos said.
The argument in favor of letting Greece write off more of its debt was underscored by figures predicting that the Greek government would next year post a budget surplus if it were not for the huge amount of interest it is paying on its existing debt.
Some say allowing Greece to cut loose some of that debt, for example by imposing 50 percent losses on private bondholders rather than the 21 percent currently negotiated so far, would be a crucial step to healing the country’s crisis.
German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble gave his clearest indication yet, that the eurozone is considering imposing losses on banks that go beyond the 21 percent writedowns on Greek bonds tentatively agreed in July.
“We discussed this intensively and certainly made some significant progress,” Schaeuble told journalists after the eurozone meeting. He added that before any decisions are taken, the troika has to finish its report.
“But we have to find a solution that is sustainable in the long-run for Greece, because that’s one of the problems,” Schaeuble added.
He also said that a working group of experts had been asked to draw up a list of pros and cons on giving the bailout fund more firepower through leverage.
Eurozone leaders are now assessing how best to protect European banks and other struggling economies. The European rescue fund is likely to be increased in size after being given new powers to shore up banks and governments in need.
EVERY microsecond counts in stock trading. The New York Stock Exchange handles a third of the world’s stock trading – around 22 billion messages a day. But NYSE Euronext, which operates the exchange, wants it to get even faster.
Now cable company Hibernia Atlantic is spending $300 million to build a new transatlantic cable to shave 6 milliseconds from the present 65-millisecond transit time between London and New York. It will be the first new cable to cross the Atlantic in a decade and trading firms are likely to pay premium rates to use it.
This is because even though a computer can execute millions of instructions in a microsecond, the furthest light can travel in that time – even in a vacuum – is just 300 metres. That is an age if algorithms are competing to execute the best trades.
“The speed-of-light limitation is getting annoying,” Andrew Bach, head of network services at NYSE Euronext, told the European Conference on Optical Communications in Geneva, Switzerland, last week.
With global markets currently in turmoil, it might seem a strange time to worry about the speed of trades, particularly when automated trading was implicated in the stock market’s May 2010 “flash crash”. But traders still want their computers to receive trading data and place orders instantaneously. And customers will go elsewhere if a rival is faster.
Bach proposes speeding up signals by shifting from the solid-core optical fibres used at present to hollow-core fibres. Glass slows light down by about a third, says Philip Russell, who studies hollow-core fibres at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light in Erlangen, Germany.
Bach also suggests a few changes to the way in which signals are sent. One is to stop data compression, normally done to save bandwidth. “We can’t afford 2 to 3 microseconds to compress data,” he says. This would mean less information could be sent at once, but it would be quicker.
A second is to abandon error-correction codes, which improve signal quality but take time to process, by designing a system that is more error-resistant. Ending the practice of retransmitting lost data packets could also help, says Bach. This can confuse computer-trading software by scrambling the sequence of trades. Even random fluctuations of 1 to 2 microseconds in the arrival of data packets, an effect called jitter, can confuse computer algorithms.
Some observers worry that further stepping up the pace may be a bad idea. In July, Andrew Haldane of the Bank of England warned that “flash crashes, like car crashes, may be more severe the greater the velocity”.
In contrast, Terrence Henderschott of the University of California, Berkeley, finds “no compelling evidence” for automated trading causing problems.
Outside the U.S. government, President Obama’s order to kill American citizen Anwar al-Awlaki without due process has proved controversial, with experts in law and war reaching different conclusions. Inside the Obama Administration, however, disagreement was apparently absent, or so say anonymous sources quoted by the Washington Post. “The Justice Department wrote a secret memorandum authorizing the lethal targeting of Anwar al-Aulaqi, the American-born radical cleric who was killed by a U.S. drone strike Friday, according to administration officials,” the newspaper reported. “The document was produced following a review of the legal issues raised by striking a U.S. citizen and involved senior lawyers from across the administration. There was no dissent about the legality of killing Aulaqi, the officials said.”
Isn’t that interesting? Months ago, the Obama Administration revealed that it would target al-Awlaki. It even managed to wriggle out of a lawsuit filed by his father to prevent the assassination. But the actual legal reasoning the Department of Justice used to authorize the strike? It’s secret. Classified. Information that the public isn’t permitted to read, mull over, or challenge.
Why? What justification can there be for President Obama and his lawyers to keep secret what they’re asserting is a matter of sound law? This isn’t a military secret. It isn’t an instance of protecting CIA field assets, or shielding a domestic vulnerability to terrorism from public view. This is an analysis of the power that the Constitution and Congress’ post September 11 authorization of military force gives the executive branch. This is a president exploiting official secrecy so that he can claim legal justification for his actions without having to expose his specific reasoning to scrutiny. As the Post put it, “The administration officials refused to disclose the exact legal analysis used to authorize targeting Aulaqi, or how they considered any Fifth Amendment right to due process.”
Obama hasn’t just set a new precedent about killing Americans without due process. He has done so in a way that deliberately shields from public view the precise nature of the important precedent he has set. It’s time for the president who promised to create “a White House that’s more transparent and accountable than anything we’ve seen before” to release the DOJ memo. As David Shipler writes, “The legal questions are far from clearcut, and the country needs to have this difficult discussion.” And then there’s the fact that “a good many Obama supporters thought that secret legal opinions by the Justice Department — rationalizing torture and domestic military arrests, for example — had gone out the door along with the Bush administration,” he adds. “But now comes a momentous change in policy with serious implications for the Constitution’s restraint on executive power, and Obama refuses to allow his lawyers’ arguments to be laid out on the table for the American public to examine.” What doesn’t he want to get out?
The reported killing of 23 Honduran farmers in a dispute with the owners of UN-accredited palm oil plantations in Honduras is forcing the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) executive board to reconsider its stakeholder consultation processes.
In Brussels, the Green MEP Bas Eickhout called the alleged human rights abuses “a disgrace”, and told EurActiv he would be pushing the European Commission to bar carbon credits from the plantations from being traded under the EU’s Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS).
Several members of the CDM board have been “personally distressed” by the events in Bajo Aguán, northern Honduras, according to the board’s chairman, Martin Hession, who said they had “caused us great difficulties.”
“Plainly, the events that have been described are deplorable,” he told EurActiv. “There is no excuse for them.”
But because they took place after the CDM’s stakeholder consultations had been held, and fell outside the board’s primary remit to investigate emissions reductions and environmental impacts, it had been powerless to block project registrations.
Another board member told EurActiv that Aguán was a “hot potato,” which struck at the heart of the emissions trading scheme’s integrity. “We all regret the situation extremely,” he said.
Human rights abuses
At issue are the reported murders of 23 local farmers who tried to recover land, which they say was illegally sold to big palm oil plantations, such as Grupo Dinant, in a country scarred by widespread human rights abuses.
In July, a report by an International Fact Finding Mission was presented to the European Parliament’s Human Rights Sub-committee, alleging that 23 peasants, one journalist and his partner, had all been murdered in the Bajo Aguán region, between January 2010 and March 2011.
The deaths were facilitated by the “direct involvement of private security guards from some of the local companies who are complicit with police and military officials,” the report said.
In some cases it cited “feigned accidents” in which peasants were run over by security guards working for two named palm oil businessmen. In other cases, the farmers were simply shot, or “disappeared”.
The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights will be holding a hearing into the report on 24 October, and a delegation of MEPs will be visiting the region between 31 October and 4 November.
But because of a three-year gap between the stakeholder consultation process and the biogas project approvals, the CDM board recently ruled that the project had met the criteria of its mandate.
“We are not investigators of crimes,” a board member told EurActiv. “We had to take judgements within our rules – however regretful that may be – and there was not much scope for us to refuse the project. All the consultation procedures precisely had been obeyed.”
Last week, Hession submitted proposals to a CDM board meeting in Quito, Ecuador, addressing the time-lag between project consultations and registrations.
The CDM secretariat is also preparing an analysis report for a UN meeting next year, and a report on the CDM’s integrity is expected to be published later this month.
But carbon credits from the plantations can still be freely traded on the EU ETS, which allows polluters to offset their carbon emissions by nominally clean energy investments.
Charities like the Lutheran World Federation are particularly concerned, as they say the situation in Bajo Aguán is deteriorating.
“There are worrying signs that the Honduran government is moving 1200 police officers and military personnel into the area,” Toni Sandell a rights worker with Aprodev, a coalition of Christian NGO’s told EurActiv. “That has previously been a source of conflict.”
Other human rights workers in the region claim linkages between Honduran state forces and the landowner’s militias they protect, which are said to have connections to local narco-traffickers.
EU urged to act
Green MEPs have been moved to demand that Climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard act now against carbon credits from the Honduran palm oil plantations.
“As a big buyer [of carbon credits], as an EU, we can say that these kind of human rights allegations are so fundamental that we will not allow them to be bought,” the Green MEP Bas Eickhout told EurActiv.
“We should throw these Honduran projects out of the system,” he added, “as we did with the HFC 23s.”
Martin Hession said that he felt “extreme sympathy” for Eickhout’s suggestion but was concerned that the EU might not have optimal resources to effectively investigate rights violations.
“Ideally human rights problems need to be dealt with through the appropriate channels of the UN,” he told EurActiv. “But there may well be structures in the EU which could deal with the issue,” he said.
Eickhout held a meeting on integrity in the carbon market at the European Parliament last week, which he described as a “launch pad” for putting Aguán on the Parliament’s agenda and “building up pressure on the Commission to come forward with new proposals”.
An official with the European Commission’s directorate-general for Energy told EurActiv that including human rights in the criteria for assessing CDM projects would be “very difficult”.
“You can say that ‘human rights’ means the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights and check every project for compliance, but I think that takes us very far and the practicalities of it would be very difficult,” he said.
For now, business continues as usual in Aguán and the world’s carbon markets, despite the “systemic and grave human rights violations” noted by the International Fact Finding Mission.
“If this is really a direct consequence of Europe’s climate policies then I would like to send my sincere apologies to the people of Honduras,” Bas Eickhout said.
“The CDM is supposed to be offering environmental benefits and sustainable development but these kinds of stories are really terrible. I don’t want to hear them anymore.”
More than 25 leaders from the Awaliq tribe, the tribe of Anwar Awlaqi, reached Jawf on Sunday to see the remains of the body of Anwar, however, no body resembling his was found.
Amongst those who went to the province was his father, a former minister and university dean.
Tribal leaders in Jawf told the family that Awlaqi was not killed in the attack.
Tribes in the province say there is no proof that Awlaqi was amongst the killed and DNA tests on the remains of the five killed can prove that.
An al-Qaeda senior leader also denied the claims that Awlaqi was killed and said that he will soon come out with a statement to prove that.
The Awaliq tribe has not officially announced the death of their fellow tribesman, Anwar.
Yemen and US announced that Awalqi was the prime target in the US drone attack last Friday.
Kurt Nimmo | InfoWars
A couple days after the initial launch of the Occupy Wall Street protests, Infowars.com received an email taking us to task for attributing the movement to Anonymous, the activist hacker group.
How can a movement originated and funded by globalists end the globalist scheme to enslave the world?
“There is one major inaccuracy in all the coverage that has been bothering me, and that is the focus on Anonymous as the architects and organizers of the event,” an email received September 23 states. “The initial call for the protest was put out by the magazine Adbusters.”
The person, who shall remain nameless at this point – since I have not gained his permission to quote the private email he sent to me – is not merely a bystander or an outsider making an observation. He claims to be intimately connected to the movement through the General Assembly of New York, described as the central planning and organizing committee for the protest. His Facebook page reveals he is indeed connected to Occupy Wall Street.
The Adbusters Media Foundation describes itself as a non-profit “anti-consumerist” organization that functions as “a global network of artists, activists, writers, pranksters, students, educators and entrepreneurs who want to advance the new social activist movement of the information age.”
Like many so-called leftist non-profits, Adbusters is a creature of globalist foundations. According to research conducted by Activistcash.com, Adbusters takes money from a number of supposedly progressive foundations, including the big Kahuna of leftish foundations – the Tides Foundation and Tides Center. Between 1996 and 2003, Tides doled out $334,217.00 to Adbusters, by far the largest amount of eight foundations donating.
Steve Baldwin claims Tides received over $7 million from George Soros. Although the monetary connection between Tides’ founder Drummond Pike and the arch globalist Soros is somewhat murky, researcher Ron Arnold has mapped out numerous connections between the two so-called philanthropists. Under IRS rules, Drummond is not obliged to reveal who he receives money from to fund a large number of supposedly progressive organizations.
“The Tides Foundation is a pass-through for other foundations’ money,” writes Arnold. “Tides Foundation is a public charity, not a private foundation. Tides Foundation passes other foundations’ money to a spectrum of left-wing organizations which the original donors would not or could not support on their own… Because none of the more than 260 projects under the Tides umbrella files its own Form 990 with the IRS, their finances are totally secret and not available for public inspection, an issue that requires congressional remedy.”
The Dj Osiris blog adds further detail: “It would seem George Soros is connected to the U.S. Day of Rage aka Occupy Wall Street through The Ruckus Society. On the U.S. Day of Rage website. The Ruckus Society receives funding from the Tides Foundation and George Soros’ Open Society Institute provides grants to Tides, including a mere $4.2 Million in 2008, the last year figures are available.”
As the filmmaker Michael Moore admitted to We Are Change activist and journalist Luke Rudkowski last week, the goal of the movement funded in large part with globalist lucre is to attack and dismantle capitalism. Moore discounted out of hand any effort to end the Federal Reserve and return the nation to sound and honest money controlled by the American people, not a cartel of bankers and oligarchs from the financial class, including George Soros.
Instead of addressing issues that will solve the serious social and political problems created by fractional reserve banking and other scams run by the ruling elite, the Soros lubricated anti-capitalist movement will steer popular outrage and political reaction into fireproof channels that can be controlled by globalist forces behind the curtain.
On the so-called right side of the political spectrum, a similar operation was carried out against the Libertarian Tea Party movement, now largely a cheering section and amen choir for the establishment Republican Party that is dominated by neocon personalities such as Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann, and the political cameleon and former Gore operative Rick Perry.
The Occupy Wall Street movement, funded by globalist foundations – and increasingly receiving sympathetic coverage by the corporate media, at least its “liberal” wing – is now describing itself as a gathering of “descamisados” (impoverished, landless) arrayed against the “estancieros” (land owners), a class warfare reference made popular in Argentina.
In reality, it is another consolidation of wealth program designed by the elite. Warren Buffet may take to the pages of the New York Times and call for taxing the “rich,” but what he is advocating is in essence a wealth consolidation program.
The ruling elite, their banks and transnational corporations do not pay taxes, the little people do, as Leona Helmsely arrogantly noted. Increasing taxes on the “1 percent,” as the movement demands, to save the “99 percent,” will result in a further erosion of the middle class, as the elite know.
“The higher taxes may very well cause the smaller businesses to go out of business,” notes the Collateral Damage blog. “They won’t have the economies of scale to compete with the bigger corporations, so what ends up happening is that the small business assets eventually get sold to the big corporations, usually for a fraction of what the assets are worth. So in effect, it ends up being a wealth transfer from the middle class to the super elite rich.”
If we look beyond the facile socialist rhetoric and examine who is funding and essentially running the Occupy Wall Street movement – the “liberal” foundations with the same globalist goal as their supposed ideological enemies on the so-called right (who defused the real Tea Party movement) – we realize that the movement is essentially another effort to colonize political opposition and render it ineffective and politically impotent.
The real movement, and the one posing a serious threat to the “1 percent,” the global elite, is calling for an end to the Federal Reserve, a return to the core principles of our once proud constitutional republic, and sound, honest money not controlled by the elite and the financial sector now tasked with taking down the economy and reducing America to a third-world wasteland