GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) -- A federal appeals court ruled Friday that bloggers and the public have the same First Amendment protections as journalists when sued for defamation: If the issue is of public concern, plaintiffs have to prove negligence to win damages.
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ordered a new trial in a defamation lawsuit brought by an Oregon bankruptcy trustee against a Montana blogger who wrote online that the court-appointed trustee criminally mishandled a bankruptcy case.
The appeals court ruled that the trustee was not a public figure, which could have invoked an even higher standard of showing the writer acted with malice, but the issue was of public concern, so the negligence standard applied.
Gregg Leslie of the Reporters Committee for the Freedom of the Press said the ruling affirms what many have long argued: Standards set by a 1974 U.S. Supreme Court ruling, Gertz v. Robert Welch Inc., apply to everyone, not just journalists.
"It's not a special right to the news media," he said. "So it's a good thing for bloggers and citizen journalists and others."
Crystal L. Cox, a blogger from Eureka, Mont., now living in Port Townshend, Wash., was sued for defamation by Bend attorney Kevin Padrick and his company, Obsidian Finance Group LLC, after she made posts on several websites she created accusing them of fraud, corruption, money-laundering and other illegal activities. The appeals court noted Padrick and Obsidian were hired by Summit Accommodators to advise them before filing for bankruptcy, and that the U.S. Bankruptcy Court later appointed Padrick trustee in the Chapter 11 case. The court added that Summit had defrauded investors in its real estate operations through a Ponzi scheme.
A jury in 2011 had awarded Padrick and Obsidian $2.5 million.
"Because Cox's blog post addressed a matter of public concern, even assuming that Gertz is limited to such speech, the district court should have instructed the jury that it could not find Cox liable for defamation unless it found that she acted negligently," judge Andrew D. Hurwitz wrote. "We hold that liability for a defamatory blog post involving a matter of public concern cannot be imposed without proof of fault and actual damages."
The appeals court upheld rulings by the District Court that other posts by Cox were constitutionally protected opinion.
Though Cox acted as her own attorney, UCLA law professor Eugene Volokh, who had written an article on the issue, learned of her case and offered to represent her in an appeal. Volokh said such cases usually end up settled without trial, and it was rare for one to reach the federal appeals court level.
"It makes clear that bloggers have the same First Amendment rights as professional journalists," he said. "There had been similar precedents before concerning advocacy groups, other writers and book authors. This follows a fairly well established chain of precedents. I believe it is the first federal appeals court level ruling that applies to bloggers."
An attorney for Padrick said in an email that while they were disappointed in the ruling, they noted the court found "there was no dispute that the statements were false and defamatory."
"Ms. Cox's false and defamatory statements have caused substantial damage to our clients, and we are evaluating our options with respect to the court's decision," wrote Steven M. Wilker.
Bloggers, public have First Amendment protection â US court
Published time: January 18, 2014 - RT
A federal appeals court has ruled that bloggers and the general public have the same protection of the First Amendment as journalists when sued for defamation. Should the issue be of public concern, the claimant has to prove negligence to win the case.
"It's not a special right to the news media," he said. "So it's a good thing for bloggers and citizen journalists and others," Gregg Leslie, of the Reporters Committee for the Freedom of the Press, told AP.
The federal courtâs ruling came after a new trial in a defamation case: an Oregon bankruptcy trustee was the plaintiff against a Montana blogger who wrote on the Internet that the trustee criminally mishandled a bankruptcy case.
In 2011, Crystal Cox, a blogger from Montana was sued by attorney Kevin Padrick and his company, Obsidian Finance Group LLC, following her posts disclosing the alleged fraud, corruption, money-laundering and other criminal activities carried out by Obsidian. It should be noted that Padrick is not a public figure, so the facts exposed by Cox couldnât inflict reputational damage on him.
Padrick and Obsidian won the case, and were granted $2.5 million.
Cox addressed the court of appeals, and was joined by UCLA law professor Eugene Volokh, who found out about her case and offered her to represent her as an attorney in court.
"Because Cox's blog post addressed a matter of public concern, even assuming that Gertz is limited to such speech, the district court should have instructed the jury that it could not find Cox liable for defamation unless it found that she acted negligently," Judge Andrew Hurwitz wrote for a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
"We hold that liability for a defamatory blog post involving a matter of public concern cannot be imposed without proof of fault and actual damages," he added.
Eugene Volokh, who wrote an article on the issue, stated that the case ensures that bloggers have the same First Amendment rights as professional media workers.
"There had been similar precedents before concerning advocacy groups, other writers and book authors. This follows a fairly well established chain of precedents. I believe it is the first federal appeals court level ruling that applies to bloggers," Volokh said.
The plaintiff, however, disagreed with the decision and was disappointed with the ruling.
"Ms. Cox's false and defamatory statements have caused substantial damage to our clients, and we are evaluating our options with respect to the court's decision," AP reported Steven Wilker, an attorney for Obsidian and Padrick, as saying.
The issue of defining the term âjournalistâ has been on the table for a long time.
In 1974, the Gertz v. Robert Welch Inc. case marked the beginning of the debate on the level of state protection for public or private figures.
In September 2013, the US Senate committee voted 13-to-5 early Thursday to approve S.987, a bill meant to protect members of the press from government intrusion and âmaintain the free flow of information to the public.â
The legislation covered bloggers and freelancers both paid and unpaid who work with the "primary intent to investigate events and procure material in order to disseminate to the public news or information."
Officials at the U.S. Department of State on Friday torpedoed the controversial New York Times story on the Benghazi terrorist attack which blamed an Internet motion picture that "blasphemed" against the Muslim religion for the destruction and killing of four Americans including U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens.
A State Department announcement blamed certain terrorist groups for the 2012 Benghazi attack, designating them as terrorists which refutes President Barack Obama's and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's claims that the attack was spontaneous, as well as contradicts the New York Times recent news story which many believe was written in order to provide "cover" for Hillary Clinton in her pursuit of the presidency.
"It is unacceptable that the New York Times would lie to it's readers and tell them that the attack wasn't a planned assault by al-Qaida aligned terrorists, but instead was a spontaneous political protest over a YouTube video," said officials at the Conservative Campaign Committee.
The State Department also reported that the leader of the al-Qaeda-affiliated terrorist group that attacked the U.S. consulate in Benghazi had been released from the military detention center in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
According to the U.S. Department of State, Ansar al-Sharia in Benghazi, Ansar al-Sharia in Darnah, and Ansar al-Sharia in Tunisia are now separately Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTOs) and Specially Designated Global Terrorist entities.
Besides the group designations, U.S. officials also designated Ahmed Abu Khattalah, Sufian bin Qumu, and Seifallah Ben Hassine, a/k/a âAbou Iyadh,â as Specially Designated Global Terrorists. Bin Qumu's background includes training at Osama bin Laden's training camp and being a prisoner at Guantanamo Bay (Gitmo). He was released in 2010 from the detention center and became a top Ansar al-Sharia commander.
Catherine Herridge of Fox News had previously reported Ansar al-Sharia was a prime suspect in the Bengahzi attack. And despite State Department claims that Al Qaeda leadership was not involved and the recent New York Times news report echoing that assessment, Fox News had learned that bin Qumu has Al Qaeda ties, according to his Gitmo records.
Created separately after the fall of Libyan dictator Col. Moamar Khaddhafi, Ansar al-Sharia in Benghazi and Ansar al-Sharia in Darnah have been involved in terrorist attacks against civilian targets, frequent assassinations, and attempted assassinations of security officials and political actors in eastern Libya, and the September 11, 2012 attacks against the U.S. Special Mission and Annex in Benghazi, Libya, according to past Examiner news stories.
Members of both organizations continue to pose a threat to U.S. interests in Libya.Ahmed Abu Khattalah is a senior leader of Ansar al-Sharia in Benghazi and Sufian bin Qumu is the leader of Ansar al-Sharia in Darnah.
January 10, 2014 10:24 AM - AUSTIN, Texas (CBS Houston/AP)
U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz has told a conservative conference that President Barack Obama is lawless, providing the rightwing rhetoric that makes him so popular in his home state. The conservative Republican laid out his reasoning for why he thinks the president is âdangerous and terrifying.â The public policy conference at which he spoke was sponsored by the conservative Texas Public Policy Foundation. Minutes before his address, the organization posted a photograph of Cruz on their official Facebook page. Cruz has garnered national attention by frequently condemning the Obama administration and the federal health care overhaul. He called for the complete repeal of the Affordable Care Act and said he would replace it with a conservative alternative that would expand health care coverage. Texas has the highest percentage of uninsured in the nation. Cruz also criticized Obama for not enforcing drug laws in states that have legalized use of marijuana.
By Bob Woodward - Tuesday, January 7, 7:32 PM - WashingtonPost
In a new memoir, former defense secretary Robert Gates unleashes harsh judgments about President Obamaâs leadership and his commitment to the Afghanistan war, writing that by early 2010 he had concluded the president âdoesnât believe in his own strategy, and doesnât consider the war to be his. For him, itâs all about getting out.â
Leveling one of the more serious charges that a defense secretary could make against a commander in chief sending forces into combat, Gates asserts that Obama had more than doubts about the course he had charted in Afghanistan. The president was âskeptical if not outright convinced it would fail,â Gates writes in âDuty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War.â
Obama, after months of contentious discussion with Gates and other top advisers, deployed 30,000 more troops in a final push to stabilize Afghanistan before a phased withdrawal beginning in mid-2011. âI never doubted Obamaâs support for the troops, only his support for their mission,â Gates writes.
As a candidate, Obama had made plain his opposition to the 2003 Iraq invasion while embracing the Afghanistan war as a necessary response to the 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States, requiring even more military resources to succeed. In Gatesâs highly emotional account, Obama remains uncomfortable with the inherited wars and distrustful of the military that is providing him options. Their different worldviews produced a rift that, at least for Gates, became personally wounding and impossible to repair.
In a statement Tuesday evening, National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden said Obama âdeeply appreciates Bob Gatesâ service as Secretary of Defense, and his lifetime of service to our country.â
âAs has always been the case, the President welcomes differences of view among his national security team, which broaden his options and enhance our policies,â Hayden said in the statement. âThe President wishes Secretary Gates well as he recovers from his recent injury, and discusses his book.â Gates fractured his first vertebra last week in a fall at his home in Washington state.
It is rare for a former Cabinet member, let alone a defense secretary occupying a central position in the chain of command, to publish such an antagonistic portrait of a sitting president.
Gatesâs severe criticism is even more surprising â some might say contradictory â because toward the end of âDuty,â he says of Obamaâs chief Afghanistan policies, âI believe Obama was right in each of these decisions.â That particular view is not a universal one; like much of the debate about the best path to take in Afghanistan, there is disagreement on how well the surge strategy worked, including among military officials.
The sometimes bitter tone in Gatesâs 594-page account contrasts sharply with the even-tempered image that he cultivated during his many years of government service, including stints at the CIA and National Security Council. That image endured through his nearly five years in the Pentagonâs top job, beginning in President George W. Bushâs second term and continuing after Obama asked him to remain in the post. In âDuty,â Gates describes his outwardly calm demeanor as a facade. Underneath, he writes, he was frequently âseethingâ and ârunning out of patience on multiple fronts.â
The book, published by Knopf, is scheduled for release Jan. 14.
[PHOTOS: A look at Robert Gatesâs career in government]
Gates, a Republican, writes about Obama with an ambivalence that he does not resolve, praising him as âa man of personal integrityâ even as he faults his leadership. Though the book simmers with disappointment in Obama, it reflects outright contempt for Vice President Biden and many of Obamaâs top aides.
Biden is accused of âpoisoning the wellâ against the military leadership. Thomas Donilon, initially Obamaâs deputy national security adviser, and then-Lt. Gen. Douglas E. Lute, the White House coordinator for the wars, are described as regularly engaged in âaggressive, suspicious, and sometimes condescending and insulting questioning of our military leaders.â
In her statement, Hayden said Obama âdisagrees with Secretary Gatesâ assessmentâ of the vice president.
âFrom his leadership on the Balkans in the Senate, to his efforts to end the war in Iraq, Joe Biden has been one of the leading statesmen of his time, and has helped advance Americaâs leadership in the world,â Hayden said. âPresident Obama relies on his good counsel every day.â
Gates is 70, nearly 20 years older than Obama. He has worked for every president going back to Richard Nixon, with the exception of Bill Clinton. Throughout his government career, he was known for his bipartisan detachment, the consummate team player. âDutyâ is likely to provide ammunition for those who believe it is risky for a president to fill such a key Cabinet post with a holdover from the opposition party.
He writes, âI have tried to be fair in describing actions and motivations of others.â He seems well aware that Obama and his aides will not see it that way.
While serving as defense secretary, Gates gave Obama high marks, saying privately in the summer of 2010 that the president is âvery thoughtful and analytical, but he is also quite decisive.â He added, âI think we have a similar approach to dealing with national security issues.â
Obama echoed Gatesâs comments in a July 10, 2010, interview for my book âObamaâs Wars.â The president said: âBob Gates has, I think, served me extraordinarily well. And part of the reason is, you know, Iâm not sure if he considers this an insult or a compliment, but he and I actually think a lot alike, in broad terms.â
During that interview, Obama said he believed he âhad garnered confidence and trust in Gates.â In âDuty,â Gates complains repeatedly that confidence and trust were what he felt was lacking in his dealings with Obama and his team. âWhy did I feel I was constantly at war with everybody, as I have detailed in these pages?â he writes. âWhy was I so often angry? Why did I so dislike being back in government and in Washington?ââ
His answer is that âthe broad dysfunction in Washington wore me down, especially as I tried to maintain a public posture of nonpartisan calm, reason and conciliation.â
His lament about Washington was not the only factor contributing to his unhappiness. Gates also writes of the toll taken by the difficulty of overseeing wars against terrorism and insurgencies in countries such as Iraq and Afghanistan. Such wars do not end with a clear surrender; Gates acknowledges having ambiguous feelings about both conflicts. For example, he writes that he does not know what he would have recommended if he had been asked his opinion on Bushâs 2003 decision to invade Iraq.
Three years later, Bush recruited Gates â who had served his father for 15 months as CIA director in the early 1990s â to take on the defense job. The first half of âDutyâ covers those final two years in the Bush administration. Gates reveals some disagreements from that period, but none as fundamental or as personal as those he describes with Obama and his aides in the bookâs second half.
âAll too early in the [Obama] administration,â he writes, âsuspicion and distrust of senior military officers by senior White House officials â including the president and vice president â became a big problem for me as I tried to manage the relationship between the commander in chief and his military leaders.â
Gates offers a catalogue of various meetings, based in part on notes that he and his aides made at the time, including an exchange between Obama and then-Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton that he calls âremarkable.â
He writes: âHillary told the president that her opposition to the  surge in Iraq had been political because she was facing him in the Iowa primary. .â.â. The president conceded vaguely that opposition to the Iraq surge had been political. To hear the two of them making these admissions, and in front of me, was as surprising as it was dismaying.â
Earlier in the book, he describes Hillary Clinton in the sort of glowing terms that might be used in a political endorsement. âI found her smart, idealistic but pragmatic, tough-minded, indefatigable, funny, a very valuable colleague, and a superb representative of the United States all over the world,â he wrote.
[READ: The Fix on what Gatesâs memoir could mean for a Clinton campaign]
March 3, 2011
âDutyâ reflects the memoir genre, declaring that this is how the writer saw it, warts and all, including his own. That focus tends to give short shrift to the fuller, established record. For example, in recounting the difficult discussions that led to the Afghan surge strategy in 2009, Gates makes no reference to the six-page âterms sheetâ that Obama drafted at the end, laying out the rationale for the surge and withdrawal timetable. Obama asked everyone involved to sign on, signaling agreement.
According to the meeting notes of another participant, Gates is quoted as telling Obama, âYou sound the bugle . . . Mr. President, and Mike [Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff] and I will be the first to charge the hill.â
Gates does not include such a moment in âDuty.â He picks up the story a bit later, after Gen. David H. Petraeus, then the central commander in charge of both the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, made remarks to the press suggesting he was not comfortable with setting a fixed date to start withdrawal.
At a March 3, 2011, National Security Council meeting, Gates writes, the president opened with a âblast.â Obama criticized the military for âpopping off in the pressâ and said he would push back hard against any delay in beginning the withdrawal.
According to Gates, Obama concluded, âââIf I believe I am being gamed . . .â and left the sentence hanging there with the clear implication the consequences would be dire.â
Gates continues: âI was pretty upset myself. I thought implicitly accusingâ Petraeus, and perhaps Mullen and Gates himself, âof gaming him in front of thirty people in the Situation Room was inappropriate, not to mention highly disrespectful of Petraeus. As I sat there, I thought: the president doesnât trust his commander, canât stand [Afghanistan President Hamid] Karzai, doesnât believe in his own strategy, and doesnât consider the war to be his. For him, itâs all about getting out.â
[READ: World Views: Gates was wrong on the most important issue he ever faced]
âBreaches of faithâ
Lack of trust is a major thread in Gatesâs account, along with his unsparing criticism of Obamaâs aides. At times, the two threads intertwine. For example, after the devastating 2010 Haitian earthquake that had left tens of thousands dead, Gates met with Obama and Donilon, the deputy national security adviser, about disaster relief.
Donilon was âcomplaining about how long we were taking,â Gates writes. âThen he went too far, questioning in front of the president and a roomful of people whether General [Douglas] Fraser [head of the U.S. Southern Command] was competent to lead this effort. Iâve rarely been angrier in the Oval Office than I was at that moment. .â.â. My initial instinct was to storm out, telling the president on the way that he didnât need two secretaries of defense. It took every bit of my self-discipline to stay seated on the sofa.â
Gates confirms a previously reported statement in which he told Obamaâs first national security adviser, retired Marine Gen. James Jones, that he thought Donilon would be a âdisasterâ if he succeeded Jones (as Donilon did in late 2010). Gates writes that Obama quizzed him about this characterization; a one-on-one meeting with Donilon followed, and that âcleared the air,â according to Gates.
His second year with Obama proved as tough as the first. âFor me, 2010 was a year of continued conflict and a couple of important White House breaches of faith,â he writes.
The first, he says, was Obamaâs decision to seek the repeal of the âdonât ask, donât tellâ policy toward gays serving in the military. Though Gates says he supported the decision, there had been months and months of debate, with details still to work out. On one dayâs notice, Obama informed Gates and Mullen that he would announce his request for a repeal of the law. Obama had âblindsided Admiral Mullen and me,â Gates writes.
Similarly, in a battle over defense spending, âI was extremely angry with President Obama,â Gates writes. âI felt he had breached faith with me . . . on the budget numbers.â As with âdonât ask, donât tell,â âI felt that agreements with the Obama White House were good for only as long as they were politically convenient.â
Gates acknowledges forthrightly in âDutyâ that he did not reveal his dismay. âI never confronted Obama directly over what I (as well as [Hillary] Clinton, [then-CIA Director Leon] Panetta, and others) saw as the presidentâs determination that the White House tightly control every aspect of national security policy and even operations. His White House was by far the most centralized and controlling in national security of any I had seen since Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger ruled the roost.â
It got so bad during internal debates over whether to intervene in Libya in 2011 that Gates says he felt compelled to deliver a ârantâ because the White House staff was âtalking about military options with the president without Defense being involved.â
Gates says his instructions to the Pentagon were: âDonât give the White House staff and [national security staff] too much information on the military options. They donât understand it, and âexpertsâ like Samantha Power will decide when we should move militarily.â Power, then on the national security staff and now U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, has been a strong advocate for humanitarian intervention.
Another time, after Donilon and Biden tried to pass orders to Gates, he told the two, âThe last time I checked, neither of you are in the chain of command,â and said he expected to get orders directly from Obama.
Life at the top was no picnic, Gates writes. He did little or no socializing. âEvery evening I could not wait to get home, get my office homework out of the way, write condolence letters to the families of the fallen, pour a stiff drink, wolf down a frozen dinner or carry out,â since his wife, Becky, often remained at their home in Washington state.
âI got up at five every morning to run two miles around the Mall in Washington, past the World War II, Korean, and Vietnam memorials, and in front of the Lincoln Memorial. And every morning before dawn, I would ritually look up at that stunning white statue of Lincoln, say good morning, and sadly ask him, How did you do it?â
The memoirâs title comes from a quote, âGod help me to do my duty,â that Gates says he kept on his desk. The quote has been attributed to Abraham Lincolnâs war secretary, Edwin Stanton.
At his confirmation hearings to be Bushâs defense secretary in late 2006, Gates told the senators that he had not âcome back to Washington to be a bump on a log and not say exactly what I think, and to speak candidly and, frankly, boldly to people at both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue about what I believe and what I think needs to be done.â
But Gates says he did not speak his mind when the committee chairman listed the problems he would face as secretary. âI remember sitting at the witness table listening to this litany of woe and thinking, âWhat the hell am I doing here? I have walked right into the middle of a category-five shitstorm. It was the first of many, many times I would sit at the witness table thinking something very different from what I was saying.â
âDutyâ offers the familiar criticism of Congress and its culture, describing it as âtruly ugly.â Gatesâs cold feelings toward the legislative branch stand in stark contrast to his warmth for the military. He repeatedly describes his affection for the troops, especially those in combat.
Gates wanted to quit at the end of 2010 but agreed to stay at Obamaâs urging, finally leaving in mid-2011. He later joined a consulting firm with two of Bushâs closest foreign policy advisers â former secretary of state Condoleezza Rice and Stephen Hadley, the national security adviser during Bushâs second term. The firm is called Rice-Hadley-Gates. In October, he became president-elect of the Boy Scouts of America.
Gates writes, âI did not enjoy being secretary of defense,â or as he e-mailed one friend while still serving, âPeople have no idea how much I detest this job.â
Posted By Devonia Smith - 01-07-2014 - Political - Examiner
On Jan. 7, 2013, Matt Drudge of the politically influential Drudge Report declared, "I've opted out of Obamacare for life. Not interested. Pay the tax. Monopoly money anyway."
Ezra Klein tried to pin Matt down, asking,
@DRUDGE Are you going to be uninsured? Or are you just buying qualifying insurance (in which case you're not opting out)? Ezra Klein @ezraklein Follow Klein is making the point that Matt's statment could be all bravado, because it only qualifies if Drudge is buying insurance, not self-insuring. Since all insurance purchases now must meet qualifying Obamacare standards, whether Matt goes through the health care exchange or purchases private insurance, any new insurance he purchases would fall under the Obamacare umbrella as long as ithe Affordable Health Care Act remains the law of the land.
In short order the Twitchy team pondered, "Is the Drudge Report founder uninsured?" Whether Matt is merely adhering to his status as top pot-stirrer or not, there appears to be several schools of thought on the wording of Drudge's provocative declaration. Some are parsing his use of "for life." Over on Twitchy, a very confident BoscoBolt opined, "'For life' might only mean another year (or a few) - Obamacare will eventually be repealed."
Others are clearly offended that Drudge appeared to refer to the tax as "Monopoly money," with one a quick snark from Michele @haymakers, "It's nice that you've got Monopoly money to burn. Millions aren't as fortunate as you."
Like Obamacare, Matt's possibly soon-to-be-viral statement is confusing. The same Washington Postâs Ezra Klein who questioned Matt Drudge questioned the Obama administration's decision to allow those whose insurance was canceled to opt for the catastrophic plans closed to others, pointing out that âA 45-year-old whose plan just got canceled can now purchase catastrophic coverage. A 45-year-old who didnât have insurance at all canât.â
Since the cancellation of thousands of private policies, policies many thought would automatically be "grandfathered" in, there has been considerable anger. According to a Kaiser Family Foundation survey of the employer health benefits of 2013, information found in Chapter 13 indicates that since ACA has been even partially implemented, the percentage of grandfathered plans have substantially decreased. See the percentages of grandfathered plans below: http://www.examiner.com/article/drudge-i-ve-opted-out-of-obamacare-for-life-the-tax-is-monopoly-money?cid=rss
Harry Binswanger - 12-31-2013 - Forbes Contributor
Barack Obama delivers a speech at the... President Obamaâs Kansas speech is a remarkable document. In calling for more government controls, more taxation, more collectivism, he has two paragraphs that give the show away. Take a look at them.
there is a certain crowd in Washington who, for the last few decades, have said, letâs respond to this economic challenge with the same old tune. âThe market will take care of everything,â they tell us. If we just cut more regulations and cut more taxesâespecially for the wealthyâour economy will grow stronger. Sure, they say, there will be winners and losers. But if the winners do really well, then jobs and prosperity will eventually trickle down to everybody else. And, they argue, even if prosperity doesnât trickle down, well, thatâs the price of liberty.
Now, itâs a simple theory. And we have to admit, itâs one that speaks to our rugged individualism and our healthy skepticism of too much government. Thatâs in Americaâs DNA. And that theory fits well on a bumper sticker. (Laughter.) But hereâs the problem: It doesnât work. It has never worked. (Applause.) It didnât work when it was tried in the decade before the Great Depression. Itâs not what led to the incredible postwar booms of the â50s and â60s. And it didnât work when we tried it during the last decade. (Applause.) I mean, understand, itâs not as if we havenât tried this theory.
Though not in Washington, Iâm in that âcertain crowdâ that has been saying for decades that the market will take care of everything. Itâs not really a crowd, itâs a tiny group of radicalsâradicals for capitalism, in Ayn Randâs well-turned phrase.
The only thing that the market doesnât take care of is anti-market acts: acts that initiate physical force. Thatâs why we need government: to wield retaliatory force to defend individual rights.
Radicals for capitalism would, as the Declaration of Independence says, use government only âto secure these rightsââthe rights to life, liberty, property, and the pursuit of happiness. (Yes, I added âpropertyâ in thereâproperty rights are inseparable from the other three.)
Thatâs the political philosophy on which Obama is trying to hang the blame for the recent financial crisis and every other social ill. But ask yourself, are we few radical capitalists in charge? Have radical capitalists been in charge at any time in the last, oh, say 100 years?
I pick 100 years deliberately, because it was exactly 100 years ago that a gigantic anti-capitalist measure was put into effect: the Federal Reserve System. For 100 years, government, not the free market, has controlled money and banking. Howâs that worked out? Howâs the value of the dollar held up since 1913? Is it worth one-fiftieth of its value then or only one-one-hundredth? You be the judge. How did the dollar hold up over the 100 years before this government take-over of money and banking? It actually gained slightly in value.
Laissez-faire hasnât existed since the Sherman Antitrust Act of 1890. That was the first of a plethora of government crimes against the free market.
Radical capitalists are just beginning to have a slight effect on the Right wing. The overwhelming majority on the Right are eclectic. Which is a nice way of saying inconsistent.
The typical Republican would never, ever say âthe market will take care of everything.â Heâd say, âthe market will take care of most things, and for the other things, we need the regulatory-welfare state.â
They are for individualismâexcept when they are against it. They are against free markets and individualism not only when they agree with the Left that we must have antitrust laws and the Federal Reserve, but also when they demand immigration controls, government schools, regulatory agencies, Medicare, laws prohibiting abortion, Social Security, âpublic worksâ projects, the âsocial safety net,â laws against insider trading, banking regulation, and the whole system of fiat money.
Obama blames economic woes, some real some invented (âinequalityâ) on a philosophy and policy that was abandoned a century ago. What doesnât exist is what he says didnât work.
Obama absurdly suggests that timid, half-hearted, compromisers, like George W. Bush, installed laissez-faire capitalismâon the grounds that they tinkered with one or two regulations (Glass-Steagall) and marginal tax ratesâwhile blanking out the fact that under the Bush administration, government spending ballooned, growing much faster than under Clinton, and 50,000 new regulations were added to the Federal Register.
The philosophy of individualism and the politics of laissez-faire would mean government spending of about one-tenth its present level. It would also mean an end to all regulatory agencies: no SEC, FDA, NLRB, FAA, OSHA, EPA, FTC, ATF, CFTC, FHA, FCCâto name just some of the better known of the 430 agencies listed in the federal register.
Even you, dear reader, are probably wondering how on earth anyone could challenge things like Social Security, government schools, and the FDA. But thatâs not the point. The point is: these statist, anti-capitalist programs exist and have existed for about a century. The point is: Obama is pretending that the Progressive PGR +0.41% Era, the New Deal, and the Great Society were repealed, so that he can blame the financial crisis on capitalism. Heâs pretending that George Bush was George Washington.
We radical capitalists say that it was the regulatory-welfare state that imploded in 2008. You may disagree, but letâs argue that out, rather than engaging in the Big Lie that what failed was laissez-faire and individualism.
The question is: in the messy mixture of government controls and remnants of capitalism, which element caused the Great Depression and the recent financial crisis?
By raising that question, we uncover the fundamental: the meaning of capitalism and the meaning of government controls. Capitalism means freedom. Government means force.
Suddenly, the whole issue comes into focus: Obama is saying that freedom leads to poverty and force leads to wealth. Heâs saying: âLook, we tried leaving you free to live your own life, and that didnât work. You have to be forced, you have to have your earnings seized by the state, you have to work under our directionsâunder penalty of fines or imprisonment. You donât deserve to be free.â
As a bit of ugly irony, this is precisely what former white slave-owners said after the Civil War: âThe black man canât handle freedom; we have to force him for his own good.â The innovation of the Left is to extend that viewpoint to all races.
Putting the issue as force vs. freedom shows how the shoe is on the other foot regarding what Obama said. Let me re-write it:
there is a certain crowd in Washington who, for the last few decades, have said, letâs respond to this economic challenge with the same old tune. âThe government will take care of everything,â they tell us. If we just pile on even more regulations and raise taxesâespecially on the wealthyâour economy will grow stronger. Sure, they say, there will be winners and losers. But if the losers are protected by more social programs and a higher minimum wage, if there is more Quantitative Easing by the Fed, then jobs and prosperity will eventually trickle up to everybody else. And, they argue, even if prosperity doesnât trickle up, well, thatâs the price of the social safety net.
Now, itâs a simple theory. And we have to admit, itâs one that speaks to our intellectualsâ collectivism and Paul Krugmanâs skepticism about freedom. Thatâs in Harvardâs DNA. And that theory fits well on a bumper sticker. (Laughter.) But hereâs the problem: It doesnât work. It has never worked. (Applause.) It didnât work when it was tried in the Soviet Union. Itâs not what led to the incredible booms in India and China. And it didnât work when Europe tried it during over the last decades. (Applause.) I mean, understand, itâs not as if we havenât tried this statist theory.
How does that sound? Thatâs blaming an actual, existing conditionâgovernment controls and wealth-expropriationânot a condition that ended in the late 19th century.
So which is the path to prosperity and happinessâfreedom or force? Remember that force is aimed at preventing you from acting on your rational judgment.
Obamaâs real antagonist is Ayn Rand, who made the case that reason is manâs basic means of survival and coercion is anti-reason. Force initiated against free, innocent men is directed at stopping them from acting on their own thinking. It makes them, under threat of fines and imprisonment, act as the government demands rather than as they think their self-interest requires. Thatâs the whole point of threatening force: to make people act against their own judgment.
The radical, uncompromised, laissez-faire capitalism that Obama pretends was in place in 2008 is exactly what morality demands. Because, as Ayn Rand wrote in 1961: âNo man has the right to initiate the use of physical force against others. . . . To claim the right to initiate the use of physical force against another manâthe right to compel his agreement by the threat of physical destructionâis to evict oneself automatically from the realm of rights, of morality and of the intellect.â
Obama and his fellow statists have indeed evicted themselves from that realm.
FED up? Hundred years of manipulating the US dollar Adrian Salbuchi - December 23, 2013 - RT America
Monday 23 December marks the 100th Anniversary of the creation of the Federal Reserve System - the Central Bank of the United States of America.
The mainstream media are keeping remarkably quiet about this key milestone.
No doubt, they know only too well that growing millions of workers inside and outside the US are realizing that a century of central banking monopoly in the hands of a private clique of usurer banksters is enough. More than enough!
âTwas the night before ChristmasâŠ âŠwhen all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouseâ. These words written by 19th Century American poet, Clement Clarke Moore, aptly describe the scene a hundred years ago when the Federal Reserve Act was discretely rubberstamped in the US Congress: true, hardly a mouse was stirring either in the House or in the SenateâŠ But the big rats were definitely there to vote in their act!
1913: Woodrow Wilson was President of the United States; World War One was but eight months away; and three years earlier a very hush-hush meeting had taken place at mega-banker, John Pierpont Morganâs, private estate on Jekyll Island off the coast of Georgia.
Bloomberg News described this in a February-15, 2012 article as âa secret meeting that launched the Federal Reserve Bank. In November 1910, a group of government and business leaders fashioned a powerful new financial system that has survived a century, two world wars, a Great Depression and many recessions.â
Thatâs the Bloomberg Version. The ugly truth is probably exactly the opposite: in November 1910 a group of government, banking and business leaders fashioned a powerful new financial system that triggered, promoted and imposed a century of conflict and genocide, including two world wars, a Great Depression, many recessions and systematic mega-banker bailouts using taxpayerâs money.
In 1995, American investigator and author, G. Edward Griffin, published what is clearly the most authoritative book on the âFEDâ â as it is colloquially called in banking circles and by the mainstream media â âThe Creature from Jekyll Islandâ.
Griffinâs book describes how a top secret conspiracy â sorry, canât think of a better phrase â of very high-powered bankers, government officials and foreign agents met to plan the take-over of the American economy, finance and national currency, the US Dollar, to then wage global wars of conquest.
Bloomberg went on to describe how Rhode Island Senator, Nelson Aldrich, whose daughter married John D. Rockefeller Jr, âinvited men he knew and trusted, or at least men of influence who he felt could work together: Abram Piatt Andrew, assistant secretary of the Treasury; Henry P. Davison, a business partner of JP Morgan's; Charles D. Norton, president of the First National Bank of New York; Benjamin Strong, another Morgan friend and the head of the Bankers Trust; Frank A. Vanderlip, president of the National City Bank; and Paul M. Warburg, a partner in Kuhn, Loeb & Co. and a German citizen.â
Paul Warburg was the actual mastermind behind the FED. Interestingly, his main partner at KĂŒhn, Loeb & Co, Jakob Shiff, had just financed the Japanese war against the Russian Tsar; he would later channel 20,000,000 US dollars via a Russian exile living in Brooklyn by the name of Lev Davidovich Bronstein (better known as Leon Trotsky) to ensure the 1917 victory of the Bolshevik Revolution.
Neither 'Federal', nor 'Reserve', nor a 'Bank' Actually, itâs a âsystemâ. Officially, the âFederal Reserve Systemâ wields full control over the US Dollar, not to serve the American people but on the contrary the interests of private bankers, who hold its very special type of stocks and shares.
In practice, the FED is over 95 percent privately-owned, is not integrated into the US Government, nor accountable to any branch of government. There is nothing âFederalâ about it as it lies fully outside the government system of checks-and-balances.
Nor does it âReserveâ anything. Rather it arbitrarily prints all the money the mega-bankers and power elites need to keep the âglobalizedâ world rolling in the direction that they wish and need. This includes such things as multi-trillion dollar âquantitative easingsâ to keep Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, CityCorp, Wachovia and JPMorgan Chase happy and âhealthyâ; financing clandestine and terror operations to overthrow the governments of Iran, Nicaragua, Argentina, Cuba, Chile, Syria, Libya, Vietnam and many others; waging decades-long wars against Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Africa and Latin America; unflinchingly supporting âlittle Israelâsâ genocide in Palestine and its âdemocraticâ 400-bomb strong nuclear program; and keeping Wall Street on permanent life-support.
Finally, it is definitely no âBankâ in the sense of a financial institution promoting the credit needs of the real economy for the benefit of the vast majority of the working populationâs needs.
Rather, the FED supports the financial needs of the global war system, covert operations, usury, drug dealers, and the global banksters.
The FED answers to no one. It clearly does not serve âWe the Peopleâ of the US or anywhere else. Its purpose is to serve the global power elites, regularly meeting to plan world government through entities like the Council of Foreign Relations, Trilateral Commission, Bilderberg, World Economic Forum and others forming part of todaysâ intricate planetary web of global money power.
Straight from the horseâs mouth In a Public Broadcast System (PBS) interview on âNews Hourâ aired on September 18, 2007, US journalist Jim Lehrer had this Q&A session with former decades-long Fed Chairman (and JP Morgan bank officer) Alan Greenspan:
Jim Lehrer: âWhat is the proper relationship between a chairman of the Fed and a president of the United States?â
Alan Greenspan: âWell, first of all, the Federal Reserve is an independent agency, and that means, basically, that there is no other agency of government which can overrule actions that we take. So long as that is in place and there is no evidence that the administration or the Congress or anybody else is requesting that we do things other than what we think is the appropriate thing, then what the relationships are donât frankly matter.â
Huh? If youâre a US citizen, you should re-read the above once or twice.
The FED System lies at the root of US âsuperpowerâ status. Allow me to explain how the FED scam really works from the point of view of someone living in Argentina - a very down-trodden country repeatedly made to bite the dust by the global power elites through their local agents imposed upon us through money-power âdemocracyâ.
This means that every time Argentina needs to buy 100 dollars-worth of, say, oil, medicines or technological components, the Argentine people must work to earn those 100 dollars through exports and genuine work.
By comparison, every time the US Government needs to buy 100 dollars-worth of oil, medicines or whatever, all they need to do is tell the Fed to print 100 dollars and thatâs that. Letâs just say that this makes it much easier to be a âsuperpowerâ.
OK, the mechanismâs not that simple, but this certainly explains schematically how the whole US-Dollar power system really works. It also explains why the elites wonât tolerate anybody challenging the dollar.
Oh, when the Fed... comes marchinâ inâŠ Look at the worldâs oil market. It is a monopoly run by three global trading centers located in New York, London and Dubai. The idea is to ensure that âpetro-dollarsâ flow around the world 24/7, and only incidental small amounts should flow back into the US financial system.
This explains why when in late 2002 Saddam Hussein decided he would do his UN-sanctions authorized âOne Billion Dollars Iraqi Oil for Foodâ trade with the West in euros instead of dollars, he was quickly visited by the Fedâs military branch in March 2003.
Or take Muammar Kaddafi who in 2011 was about to launch a program to trade Libyan and North African oil using a new gold-backed currency â the gold dinar. He too got a little visit from Peace Prize Barack and Babylon Hillary. Do you begin to see the pattern?
But donât think that the FEDâs global financial enslavement system is simply aimed outside the US; it kicked off a century ago by first silently enslaving the very people of the United States it is supposed to serve.
Hereâs how that works: every time the US Government decides to put money into circulation â those 1, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100 dollar bills weâre all so familiar with â instead of asking the government mint to print them at a pennyâs cost in paper and ink, the government instead asks the private banksters at the Fed to print those bills for the Treasury, in exchange delivering to the Fed interest-bearing US Treasury Bills and Bonds, which translates into trillions of dollarsâ in profits funneled to the private banking elite though the Fed.
It was all so well planned a hundred years ago, that just before the Federal Reserve Act was passed on December 23, 1913, they also maneuvered to close this parasitic circle, for if the US Government was to begin making gigantic interest payments to the Fed just for printing its own money, they first needed to have a revenue scheme in place to milk the American taxpayer: the Income Tax Act!
Actually, it was the 16th Amendment to the US Constitution passed by Congress in July 1909, and enacted as law in February 1913. Thus international banksters have been ripping off Americans and getting America to fight their wars as proxies for a full century, whilst most of the population havenât got a clue of whatâs going on.
Clearly, the FED lies so far above the US White House, Congress and Supreme Court, that over the past five decades no one has been able to have a proper audit done on its books and numbers. Oh, you Homer Simpsons!
Not that you havenât been warned. In 1923, Minnesota representative, Charles Lindbergh, father of the famous aviator, sent an early warning: âThe financial system has been turned over to the Federal Reserve Board which administers the finance system by authority of a purely profiteering group. The system is private, conducted for the sole purpose of obtaining the greatest possible profits from the use of other peopleâs money.â
In the 60âs, republican senator and presidential candidate, Barry Goldwater, said âmost Americans have no real understanding of the operation of international moneylenders; the accounts of the Federal Reserve system have never been audited; it operates outside the control of Congress and manipulates the credit of the United States.â Today, former representative, Ron Paul, has been sending the same message.
Even president John Kennedy understood this when he issued Executive Order No. 11110 on June 4, 1963, ordering the US Treasury to print zero-interest public money to the tune of 4.3 billion dollars, fully bypassing the Fed. But he too ran into some trouble in Dallas barely five months later on 22 November.
Epilogue: Fed Up? One would have thought that something as important as whether to continue to allow a private FED to operate in its present format, or revamping it, or even doing away with it after a whole century, would be something that should be squarely on the American and global public agendaâŠ big time!
And yet all we have is silence from the US Government, Congress and politicians; silence from world leaders; total silence from the mainstream media, and from the academic world.
And so you little parasitic mega-bankers running planet Earth: come Monday 23 December you can uncork all the champagne you like and celebrate your âOne Hundredth Masters of the Universe Slave Drivers Anniversaryâ, partying on straight into Christmas Day.
Then, come Thursday 26th, just carry on crucifying the entire world. For you it will be business as usual.
100 YEARS OF THE FEDERAL RESERVE Posted by Ben Swann
New: âThe United States Federal Reserve announced Wednesday that it will start drawing down (i.e. âtaperingâ) its multibillion-dollar quantitative easing policies in 2014. The Fed will begin tapering its $85 billion monthly purchases of Treasuries and Treasury mortgage-backed securities by $5 billion each starting in January.â
100 years ago, this December, the United States Congress created a central bank today, we know it as the Federal Reserve Bank of the United States. What most people donât know is that the bank isnât a federal entity and candidly, it really has nothing in reserves.
Is the Federal Reserve good for the United States? Is it even possible to get rid of it?
The first step toward truth is to be informed.
10 years ago, virtually no American knew anything about the Federal Reserve Bank. Most thought it was a government agency, an entity that helps to create and protect U.S. currency and our economy. Then came along the national rise of a Congressman from Texas by the name of Ron Paul.
One of the most impressive things about the career of now retired Congressman Ron Paul was the national attention he drew to the Federal Reserve Bank.
It was Congressman Paul who made millions of Americans aware of a simple truth. That the single entity with the most power and control over the U.S. dollar is not accountable to the American people.
So what exactly is the Federal Reserve?
To begin with, it is a private bank that serves as the exclusive bank of the U.S. government. Though it was created by Congress, the Federal Reserve does not answer to Congress. The President himself doesnât have direct oversight.
So what else does the fed do?
The Fed regulates financial institutions, manages the nationâs money and has incredible influence over the economy. The fed can raise and lower interest rates, in fact, they are the only entity able to do so.
That is very big deal because with that power, the fed is able to control the U.S. economy. can cause the life savings of Americans to lose value through inflation, controls the value of your investments, and even impacts employment rates and manufacturing outputs.
An awful lot of power for an entity that has no accountability to the U.S. people. so where did this central bank come from?
A writer by the name of G. Edward Griffin blew the modern lid off this story when he wrote a book called âThe Creature from Jekyll island.â
He spoke to me via Skype.
Ben: For folks who donât know the name, why is the book called âThe Creature from Jekyll Islandâ?
Griffin: Sure, because there is a lot of significance to it. Many people think itâs just a tricky title to attract attention which frankly thatâs some of the motive for doing that but Jekyll Island is a real island, Ben, as you well know, and itâs significant because it was on that island back in 1910 that the Federal Reserve was created. And thatâs an interesting fact of history that why should something as important as the Federal Reserve system be created any place other than Washington D.C.
Ben: How did the meeting at Jekyll Island in 1910 become a central bank in 1913?
Griffin: Back in 1910 when all of this happened, there was a great deal of concern in Congress and among the American people about this concentration of financial power in the hands of a small group of companies, financial centers, on Wall Street. The big banks, the big insurance companies, the brokerage houses and so forth. There was a clamor at that time for legislative reform, thereâs that word that we hear so much about. What happened is that the banks decided that the public was going to get its reform one way or the other, so why should they just sit back and let it happen? They decided to take the lead in that parade and make sure that they provide the so-called reform. They were going to draft this legislation and of course, if it were known that they were the ones drafting the reform legislation, it wouldnât sell too well. So there had to be a lot of secrecy about that particular period of history. Well what were they concealing? It wasnât just, they werenât concealing just the fact that they were the ones writing the legislation to control themselves but when you follow that thread you come to the realization was what they were doing is creating a cartel. You see these were competing banking companies within the industry and this was at the time of history when competition was being replaced by monopolies and cartels and this happened in spades as far as the banking industry is concerned. And on Jekyll Island they created a banking cartel to regulate itself, to set up its own rules, to offer it to the American people as though as it was some kind of banking reform and the stupid politicians in Washington accepted it and they passed this banking cartel agreement into law and they called it the Federal Reserve Act.
It was in 1913 that congress, in passing the âFederal Reserve Actâ violated the U.S. Constitution and essentially granted its power to create money to the Fed banks. Since 1913, the fed has ordered the printing of currency and then loaned it back to the government charging interest. The government levies income taxes to, among other things, pay the interest on the debt.
So when you take a dollar out of your pocket, look at what it says at the top. This is a Federal Reserve Note, currency issued by the Federal Reserve Bank. In 1964, that changed. President John F Kennedy issued an Executive Order, 11110. It gave the Treasury Department the explicit authority: âto issue silver certificates against any silver bullion, silver, or standard silver dollars in the Treasury.â This means that for every ounce of silver in the U.S. Treasuryâs vault, the government could introduce new money into circulation based on the silver bullion physically held there.
These were United States Notes. As a result, of that executive order, more than $4 billion in United States Notes were brought into circulation in $2 and $5 denominations. $10 and $20 United States Notes were never circulated but were being printed by the Treasury Department when Kennedy was assassinated.
After his assassination, The United States Note Project ceased.
Ben: To your knowledge, Mr. Griffin, is that Executive Order that was issued by President Kennedy still active today?
Griffin: The Executive Order is not still in existence. It went through several transitions. First it was absorbed into another Executive Order, it was consolidated into another order, and then finally it was repealed, I think Johnson himself got rid of it. But thatâs really not the important question whether itâs still standing or not because it never did represent what many people thought it meant in my view. I checked into the allegation that President Kennedy had taken a stand against the bank and that he was going to put an end to the fiat money and go back to government issued notes. Thatâs the general idea and that therefore thatâs the reason he was killed. Unfortunately or fortunately, whichever the case may be, the record really doesnât support that at all. And every time I went to try and run down the origins of this myth as I call it, it just fizzled out unless somebody can give me some hard information that I havenât yet seen. I think itâs just one of those urban myths that is popular.
So what has the Federal Reserve Bank been up to in the past few years? As you probably know, the Fed has been holding interest rates at historically low rates. Meanwhile, the Fed has been creating between $40 and $80 billion dollars a month in U.S. currency. The name you have heard this by, quantitative easing.
The first round of Quantitative Easing came in late 2008 under President George W. Bush. The Fed initiated purchases of $500 billion in mortgage backed securities in order to help resolve the housing crisis. The Fed also cut the key interest rate to nearly 0%. QE1
The economy didnât improve, but banks sure got a lot of money.
So, under Bernanke, the fed was at it again. The second round of Quantitative Easing was from November of 2010 until June of 2011. The Federal Reserve went to work buying up $600 billion in U.S. Treasury Bonds to spur the economy. But again, it didnât work.
Part of the reason QE2 failed was because it wasnât meant to spur the U.S. economy. That $600 billion was given to foreign banks. During the QE2 funding period cash reserves of foreign banks grew from $308 billion to $940 billion
In the fall of 2012, came the beginning of QE3, in this case, the Fed began purchasing mortgage backed securities and treasuries at a rate of $85 billion dollars a month. What made this Quantitative Easing attempt different than others, there is no end to it.
In January of 2013 the Fed began what is called. QE4, an attempt to continue to purchase securities and hold interest rates down until the unemployment rate drops to below 6.5%.
In February of 2014, Janet Yellen will succeed Ben Bernanke as Fed chairman and has already said that her priority is to continue these programs even longer than was originally anticipated. Yellen says that unemployment is a bigger problem than inflation so the for the Fed it will be business as usual.
What you need to know: Is that in 1913, the original charter for the Federal Reserve Bank allowed it to exist for only 20 years. In 1927, the Fed charter was renewed.
Some believe that on December 23rd, 2013, the Fed charter runs out. That at the 100 year anniversary, the Fed will have to be renewed by Congress. Others say that the Fed does not have to be renewed, that it is a permanent entity. That happened they say in 1927 under the McFadden Act.
Whether that is true or not, here is something undeniable, in the 100 years that the federal reserve bank has been in existence, the U.S. dollar has lost 98% of its value.
The purpose of creating the Federal Reserve was to protect the dollar. The Fed hasnât done that.
The Federal Reserve Bank didnât stop the Great Depression, the Federal Reserve Bank has done nothing to improve the so called great recession. In fact, some can make the argument that the fed policies under Alan Greenspan in the early 2000âs and not only helped to create our current situation, but the Fed policies under Ben Bernanke have made the economy worse.
The bottom-line, the one entity that truly has the power to end the Fed is Congress, but if Congress were to do that then Congress would also have to be responsible for fulfilling its constitutionally mandated role to âto coin moneyâ and âregulate the value thereofâ.
http://bit.ly/1a3Mz4E ------------------------------------------------- The Federal Reserve was created 100 years ago. This is how it happened. By Neil Irwin - December 21, 2013 - WashingtonPost
A century ago this week, Congress passed the Federal Reserve Act, creating a central bank for a nation that was only beginning its economic ascendance. This is the story of how it came to be, from a nearly catastrophic financial panic to secret meetings of plutocrats on the Georgia coast to the pitched battle in the halls of Congress, excerpted from The Alchemists: Three Central Bankers and a World on Fire.
The mustachioed man in the silk top hat strode to his private railcar parked at a New Jersey train station, a mahogany-paneled affair with velvet drapes and well-polished brass accents. Five more men â and a legion of porters and servants â soon joined him. They referred to one another by their first names only, an uncommon informality in 1910, intended to give the staff no hints as to who the men actually were, lest rumors make their way to the newspapers and then to the trading floors of New York and London. One of the men, a German immigrant named Paul Warburg, carried a borrowed shotgun in order to look like a duck hunter, despite having never drawn a bead on a waterfowl in his life.
Two days later, the car deposited the men at the small Georgia port town of Brunswick, where they boarded a boat for the final leg of their journey. Jekyll Island, their destination, was a private resort owned by the powerful banker J.P. Morgan and some friends, a refuge on the Atlantic where they could get away from the cold New York winter. Their host â the man in the silk top hat â was Nelson Aldrich, one of the most powerful senators of the day, a lawmaker who lorded over the nationâs financial matters.
For nine days, working all day and into the night, the six men debated how to reform the U.S. banking and monetary systems, trying to find a way to make this nation just finding its footing on the global stage less subject to the kinds of financial collapses that had seemingly been conquered in Western Europe. Secrecy was paramount. âDiscovery,â wrote one attendee later, âsimply must not happen, or else all our time and effort would have been wasted. If it were to be exposed publicly that our particular group had got together and written a banking bill, that bill would have no chance whatever of passage by Congress.â
For decades afterward, the most powerful men in American finance referred to one another as part of the âFirst Name Club.â Paul, Harry, Frank and the others were part of a small group that, in those nine days, invented the Federal Reserve System. Their task was more than administrative. Because the men at Jekyll Island werenât just trying to solve an economic problem â they were trying to solve a political problem as old as their republic.
Banking's rough beginning The U.S. financial system needed remaking. The United States had a long but less than illustrious history with central banking. Alexander Hamilton, the first Treasury secretary, believed a national bank would stabilize the new governmentâs shaky credit and support a stronger economy â and was an absolute necessity to exercise the new republicâs constitutional powers.
But Hamiltonâs proposal faced opposition, particularly in the agricultural South, where lawmakers believed a central bank would primarily benefit the mercantile North, with its large commercial centers of Boston, New York and Philadelphia. âWhat was it drove our forefathers to this country?â said James âLeft Eyeâ Jackson, a fiery little congressman from Georgia. âWas it not the ecclesiastical corporations and perpetual monopolies of England and Scotland? Shall we suffer the same evils to exist in this country?â Some founding fathers, including Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, believed that the bank was unconstitutional.
By 1811, Madison was in the White House. The Bank of the United States closed down. Until, at least, Madison realized how hard it was to fight the War of 1812 without a national bank to fund the government. The Second Bank of the United States was founded in 1816. It lasted a little longer â until it crashed against the same distrust of centralized financial authority that undermined the first. The populist Andrew Jackson managed its demise in 1836.
Running an economy without a central bank empowered to issue paper money caused more than a few problems in late 19th-century America. For example, the supply of dollars was tied to private banksâ holdings of government bonds. That would have been fine if the need for dollars was fixed over time. But one overarching lesson of financial history is that thatâs not the case. In times of financial panic, for example, everybody wants cash at the same time (thatâs what happened in fall 2008).
Without a central, government-backed bank able to create money on demand, the American banking system wasnât able to provide it. The system wasnât elastic, meaning there was no way for its supply of money to adjust with demand. People would try to withdraw more money from one bank than it had available, the bank would fail, and then people from other banks would withdraw their funds, creating a vicious cycle that would lead to widespread bank failures and the contraction of lending across the economy. The result was economic depression. It happened every few years. One particularly severe panic in 1873 was so bad that until the 1930s, the 1870s were the decade known as the âGreat Depression.â There were lesser panics in 1884, 1890 and 1893 Then came the Panic of 1907, the one that finally persuaded American lawmakers to deal with their countryâs backward financial system. What made the Panic of 1907 so severe? A bunch of things that happened to converge at once.
It started with a devastating earthquake in San Francisco in 1906. Suddenly, insurers the world over needed access to dollars at the same time. In what was then still an agricultural economy, it was also a bumper year for crops, and an economic boom was under way â so companies nationwide wanted more cash than usual to invest in new ventures. In San Francisco, deposits were unavailable for weeks after the quake: Cash was locked in vaults so hot from fires caused by broken gas lines that it would have burst into flames had they been opened.
All of that meant the demand for dollars was uncommonly high â at a time when the supply of dollars couldnât increase much. This manifested itself in the form of rising interest rates and withdrawals. Withdrawals begat more withdrawals, and before long, banks around the country were on the brink of failure.
Then in October 1907, the copper miner turned banker F. Augustus Heinze and his stockbroker brother Otto tried to take over the market of his own United Copper company by buying up its shares. When he failed, the price of United Copper stock tumbled. Investors rushed to pull their deposits out of any bank even remotely related to the disgraced F. Augustus Heinze.
First, a Heinze-owned bank in Butte, Mont., failed. Next came the huge Knickerbocker Trust Co. in New York, whose president was a Heinze business associate. Depositors lined up by the hundreds in its ornate Fifth Avenue headquarters, holding satchels in which to stuff their cash. Bank officials standing in the middle of the room and yelling about the bankâs alleged solvency did nothing to dissuade them. The failure of the trust led every bank in the country to hoard its cash, unwilling to lend it even to other banks for fear that the borrower could be the next Knickerbocker.
The power of J.P. Morgan It is true that the United States, in that fearful fall of 1907, didnât have a central bank. That doesnât mean it didnât have a central banker. John Pierpont Morgan was, at the time, the unquestioned king of Wall Street, the man the other bankers turned to to decide what ought to be done when trouble arose. He was not the wealthiest of the turn-of-the-century business titans, but the bank that bore his name was among the nationâs largest and most important, and his power extended farther than the (vast) number of dollars under his command. His imprint on the financial system has long survived him. Two of the most important financial firms in America today, JPMorgan Chase and Morgan Stanley, trace their lineage to John Pierpont Morgan.
When the 1907 crisis rolled around, Morgan held court at his bankâs offices at 23 Wall St. while a series of bankers came to make their requests for help.
Morgan asked the Treasury secretary to come to New York â note who summoned whom â and ordered a capable young banker named Benjamin Strong to analyze the books of the next big financial institution under attack, the Trust Company of America, to determine whether it was truly broke or merely had a short-term problem of cash flow â the old question of insolvent versus illiquid. Merely illiquid was Morganâs conclusion. The bankers bailed it out.
It wouldnât last â with depositors unsure which banks, trusts and brokerages were truly solvent, withdrawals continued apace all over New York and around the country. At 9 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 2, 1907, Morgan gathered 40 or 50 bankers in his library.
The bankers awaited, as Thomas W. Lamont, a Morgan associate, put it, âthe momentous decisions of the modern Medici.â In the end, Morgan engineered an arrangement in which the trusts would guarantee the deposits of their weaker members â something they finally agreed to at 4:45 a.m. Medici comparisons aside, it is remarkable how similar Morganâs role was to that of Timothy Geithner, the New York Fed president, a century later during the 2008 crisis. Both knocked heads to encourage the stronger banks and brokerages to buy up the weaker ones, bailing out some and allowing others to fail, working through the night so action could be taken before financial markets opened.
With a big difference, of course: Geithner was working for an institution that was created by Congress and acted on the authority of the government. His major decisions were approved by the Fedâs board of governors, its members appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate. His capacity to address the 2007â08 crisis was backed by an ability to create dollars from thin air.
Morgan, by contrast, was simply a powerful man with a reasonably public-spirited approach and an impressive ability to persuade other bankers to do as he wished. The economic future of one of the worldâs emerging powers was determined simply by his wealth and temperament.
Time for a change Enough was enough. The Panic of 1907 sparked one of the worst recessions in U.S. history, as well as similar crises across much of the world. Members of Congress finally saw that having a central bank wasnât such a bad idea after all. âIt is evident,â said Sen. Aldrich, he of the silk top hat and the trip to Jekyll Island, âthat while our country has natural advantages greater than those of any other, its normal growth and development have been greatly retarded by this periodical destruction of credit and confidence.â
Legislation Congress enacted immediately after the panic, the Aldrich-Vreeland Act, dealt with some of the financial systemâs most pressing needs, but it put off the day of reckoning with the bigger question of what sort of central bank might make sense in a country with a long history of rejecting central banks. It instead created the National Monetary Commission, a group of members of Congress who traveled to the great capitals of Europe to see how their banking systems worked. But the commission was tied in knots.
Agricultural interests were fearful that any new central bank would simply be a tool of Wall Street. They insisted that something be done to make agricultural credit available more consistently, without seasonal swings. The big banks, meanwhile, wanted a lender of last resort to stop crises â but they wanted to be in charge of it themselves, rather than allow politicians to be in charge.
The task for the First Name Club gathered in Jekyll Island in that fall of 1910 was to come up with some sort of approach to balance these concerns while still importing the best features of the European central banks.
The solution they dreamed up was to create, instead of a single central bank, a network of them around the country. Those multiple central banks would accept any âreal billsâ â essentially promises businesses had received from their customers for payment â as collateral in exchange for cash. A bank facing a shortage of dollars during harvest season could go to its regional central bank and offer a loan to a farmer as collateral in exchange for cash. A national board of directors would set the interest rate on those loans, thus exercising some control over how loose or tight credit would be in the nation as a whole.
The men at Jekyll drafted legislation to create this National Reserve Association, which Aldrich, the most influential senator of his day on financial matters, introduced in Congress three months later.
A rocky reception It landed with a thud. Even though the First Name Club managed to keep its involvement secret for years to come, the idea of a set of powerful new institutions controlled by the banks was a non-starter in this nation with a long distrust of centralized financial authority.
Aldrichâs initial proposal failed, but he had set the terms of the debate. There would be some form of centralized power, but also branches around the country. And what soon became clear was that the basic plan heâd laid out â power simultaneously centralized and distributed across the land and shared among bankers, elected officials, and business and agricultural interests â was the only viable political solution.
Carter Glass, a Virginia newspaper publisher and future Treasury secretary, took the lead on crafting a bill in the House, one that emphasized the power and primacy of the branches away from Washington and New York. He wanted up to 20 reserve banks around the country, each making decisions autonomously, with no centralized board. The country was just too big, with too many diverse economic conditions, to warrant putting a group of appointees in Washington in charge of the whole thing, Glass argued.
President Woodrow Wilson, by contrast, wanted clearer political control and more centralization â he figured the institution would have democratic legitimacy only if political appointees in Washington were put in charge. The Senate, meanwhile, dabbled with approaches that would put the Federal Reserve even more directly under the thumb of political authorities, with the regional banks run by political appointees as well.
But for all the apparent disagreement in 1913, there were some basic things that most lawmakers seemed to agree on: There needed to be a central bank to backstop the banking system. It would consist of decentralized regional banks. And its governance would be shared â among politicians, bankers, and agricultural and commercial interests. The task was to hammer out the details.
Who would govern the reserve banks? A board of directors comprising local bankers, businesspeople chosen by those bankers, and a third group chosen to represent the public. The Board of Governors in Washington would include both the Treasury secretary and Federal Reserve governors appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate.
How many reserve banks would there be, and where? Eight to 12, the compromise legislation said, not the 20 that Glass had envisioned. An elaborate committee process was designed to determine where those should be located. Some sites were obvious â New York, Chicago. But in the end, many of the decisions came down to politics. Glass was from Virginia, and not so mysteriously, its capital of Richmond â neither one of the countryâs largest cities nor one of its biggest banking centers â was chosen.
The vote over the Federal Reserve Act in a Senate committee came down to a single tie-breaking vote, that of James A. Reed, a senator from Missouri. Also not so mysteriously, Missouri became the only state with two Federal Reserve banks, in St. Louis and Kansas City. The locations of Federal Reserve districts have been frozen in place ever since, rather than evolving with the U.S. population â by 2000, the San Francisco district contained 20 percent of the U.S. population, compared with 3 percent for the Minneapolis district.
And in a concession to those leery of creating a central bank, the Federal Reserve System, like the First and Second Banks of the United States, was set to dissolve at a fixed date in the future: 1928. One can easily imagine what might have happened had its charter come up for renewal just a couple of years later, after the Depression had set in.
Creation of a central bank The debate over the Federal Reserve Act was ugly. In September 1913, Rep. George Ross Smith of Minnesota carried onto the floor of the House a 7-by-4-foot wooden tombstone â a prop meant to âmournâ the deaths of industry, labor, agriculture and commerce that would result from having political appointees in charge of the new national bank.
âThe great political power which President Jackson saw in the First and Second National banks of his day was the power of mere pygmies when compared to the gigantic power imposed upon [this] Federal Reserve board and which by the proposed bill is made the prize of each national election,â he argued.
It wasnât just the fiery populists who opposed the bank. Aldrich, the favored senator of the Wall Street elite, complained that the Wilson administrationâs insistence on political control of the institution made the bill âradical and revolutionary and at variance with all the accepted canons of economic law.â He wanted the banks to have more control, not a bunch of politicians.
For all the noise, the juggling of interests was effective enough â and the memory of 1907 powerful enough â for Congress to pass the bill in December 1913. Wilson signed it two days before Christmas, giving the United States, at long last, its central bank. âIf, as most experts agree, the new measure will prevent future âmoney panicsâ in this country, the new law will prove to be the best Christmas gift in a century,â wrote the Baltimore Sun. The government, of course, hadnât solved the problem of panics. It had just gained a better tool with which to deal with them.
And opposition to a central bank, rooted as deeply as it was in the American psyche, didnât go away. Instead, it evolved. Whenever the economic tide turned â during the Great Depression, during the deep recession of the early 1980s, during the downturn that followed the Panic of 2008 â the frustration of the people was channeled toward the institution theyâd granted an uncomfortable degree of power to try to prevent such things.
But after more than a century of trying, the United States had its central bank. Before long, New York would supplant London as the center of the global financial system, and the dollar would replace the pound as the leading currency in the world. And as the years passed, the series of compromises that the First Name Club dreamed up a century earlier, and the unwieldy and complex organization it created, would turn out to have some surprising advantages â even in a country that had previously been better at creating central banks than keeping them.
Adapted from "The Alchemists: Three Central Bankers and a World on Fire," published in 2013 by The Penguin Press.
By Paul Sperry December 16, 2013 - FamilySecurityMatters.org
After the 9/11 attacks, the public was told al Qaeda acted alone, with no state sponsors. But the White House never let it see an entire section of Congress' investigative report on 9/11 dealing with "specific sources of foreign support" for the 19 hijackers, 15 of whom were Saudi nationals.
It was kept secret and remains so today. President Bush inexplicably censored 28 full pages of the 800-page report. Text isn't just blacked-out here and there in this critical-yet-missing middle section. The pages are completely blank, except for dotted lines where an estimated 7,200 words once stood (this story by comparison is about 1,000 words). A pair of lawmakers who recently read the redacted portion say they are "absolutely shocked" at the level of foreign state involvement in the attacks.
Reps. Walter Jones (R-NC) and Stephen Lynch (D-Mass.) can't reveal the nation identified by it without violating federal law. So they've proposed Congress pass a resolution asking President Obama to declassify the entire 2002 report, "Joint Inquiry Into Intelligence Community Activities Before and After the Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2001."
Some information already has leaked from the classified section, which is based on both CIA and FBI documents, and it points back to Saudi Arabia, a presumed ally.
The Saudis deny any role in 9/11, but the CIA in one memo reportedly found "incontrovertible evidence" that Saudi government officials - not just wealthy Saudi hardliners, but high-level diplomats and intelligence officers employed by the kingdom - helped the hijackers both financially and logistically. The intelligence files cited in the report directly implicate the Saudi embassy in Washington and consulate in Los Angeles in the attacks, making 9/11 not just an act of terrorism, but an act of war.
The findings, if confirmed, would back up open-source reporting showing the hijackers had, at a minimum, ties to several Saudi officials and agents while they were preparing for their attacks inside the United States. In fact, they got help from Saudi VIPs from coast to coast:
LOS ANGELES: Saudi consulate official Fahad al-Thumairy allegedly arranged for an advance team to receive two of the Saudi hijackers - Khalid al-Mihdhar and Nawaf al-Hazmi - as they arrived at LAX in 2000. One of the advance men, Omar al-Bayoumi, a suspected Saudi intelligence agent, left the LA consulate and met the hijackers at a local restaurant. (Bayoumi left the United States two months before the attacks, while Thumairy was deported back to Saudi Arabia after 9/11.)
SAN DIEGO: Bayoumi and another suspected Saudi agent, Osama Bassnan, set up essentially a forward operating base in San Diego for the hijackers after leaving LA. They were provided rooms, rent and phones, as well as private meetings with an American al Qaeda cleric who would later become notorious, Anwar al-Awlaki, at a Saudi-funded mosque he ran in a nearby suburb. They were also feted at a welcoming party. (Bassnan also fled the United States just before the attacks.)
WASHINGTON: Then-Saudi Ambassador Prince Bandar and his wife sent checks totaling some $130,000 to Bassnan while he was handling the hijackers. Though the Bandars claim the checks were "welfare" for Bassnan's supposedly ill wife, the money nonetheless made its way into the hijackers' hands.
Other al Qaeda funding was traced back to Bandar and his embassy - so much so that by 2004 Riggs Bank of Washington had dropped the Saudis as a client.
The next year, as a number of embassy employees popped up in terror probes, Riyadh recalled Bandar.
"Our investigations contributed to the ambassador's departure," an investigator who worked with the Joint Terrorism Task Force in Washington told me, though Bandar says he left for "personal reasons."
FALLS CHURCH, VA.: In 2001, Awlaki and the San Diego hijackers turned up together again - this time at the Dar al-Hijrah Islamic Center, a Pentagon-area mosque built with funds from the Saudi Embassy. Awlaki was recruited 3,000 miles away to head the mosque. As its imam, Awlaki helped the hijackers, who showed up at his doorstep as if on cue. He tasked a handler to help them acquire apartments and IDs before they attacked the Pentagon.
Awlaki worked closely with the Saudi Embassy. He lectured at a Saudi Islamic think tank in Merrifield, Va., chaired by Bandar. Saudi travel itinerary documents I've obtained show he also served as the Âofficial imam on Saudi Embassy-sponsored trips to Mecca and tours of Saudi holy sites.
Most suspiciously, though, Awlaki fled the United States on a Saudi jet about a year after 9/11.
As I first reported in my book, âInfiltration,â quoting from classified US documents, the Saudi-sponsored cleric was briefly detained at JFK before being released into the custody of a âSaudi representative.â A federal warrant for Awlakiâs arrest had mysteriously been withdrawn the previous day. A US drone killed Awlaki in Yemen in 2011.
HERNDON, VA.: On the eve of the attacks, top Saudi government official Saleh Hussayen checked into the same Marriott Residence Inn near Dulles Airport as three of the Saudi hijackers who targeted the Pentagon. Hussayen had left a nearby hotel to move into the hijackersâ hotel. Did he meet with them? The FBI never found out. They let him go after he âfeigned a seizure,â one agent recalled. (Hussayenâs name doesnât appear in the separate 9/11 Commission Report, which clears the Saudis.)
SARASOTA, FLA.: 9/11 ringleader Mohamed Atta and other hijackers visited a home owned by Esam Ghazzawi, a Saudi adviser to the nephew of King Fahd. FBI agents investigating the connection in 2002 found that visitor logs for the gated community and photos of license tags matched vehicles driven by the hijackers. Just two weeks before the 9/11 attacks, the Saudi luxury home was abandoned. Three cars, including a new Chrysler PT Cruiser, were left in the driveway. Inside, opulent furniture was untouched. Democrat Bob Graham, the former Florida senator who chaired the Joint Inquiry, has asked the FBI for the Sarasota case files, but canât get a single, even heavily redacted, page released. He says itâs a âcoverup.â
Is the federal government protecting the Saudis? Case agents tell me they were repeatedly called off pursuing 9/11 leads back to the Saudi Embassy, which had curious sway over White House and FBI responses to the attacks.
Just days after Bush met with the Saudi ambassador in the White House, the FBI evacuated from the United States dozens of Saudi officials, as well as Osama bin Laden family members. Bandar made the request for escorts directly to FBI headquarters on Sept. 13, 2001 â just hours after he met with the president. The two old family friends shared cigars on the Truman Balcony while discussing the attacks.
Bill Doyle, who lost his son in the World Trade Center attacks and heads the Coalition of 9/11 Families, calls the suppression of Saudi evidence a âcoverup beyond belief.â Last week, he sent out an e-mail to relatives urging them to phone their representatives in Congress to support the resolution and read for themselves the censored 28 pages.
Astonishing as that sounds, few lawmakers in fact have bothered to read the classified section of arguably the most important investigation in US history.
Granted, itâs not easy to do. It took a monthlong letter-writing campaign by Jones and Lynch to convince the House intelligence panel to give them access to the material.
But itâs critical they take the time to read it and pressure the White House to let all Americans read it. This isnât water under the bridge. The information is still relevant today. Pursuing leads further, getting to the bottom of the foreign support, could help head off another 9/11.
As the frustrated Joint Inquiry authors warned, in an overlooked addendum to their heavily redacted 2002 report, âState-sponsored terrorism substantially increases the likelihood of successful and more Âlethal attacks within the United States.â
Their findings must be released, even if they forever change US-Saudi relations. If an oil-rich foreign power was capable of orchestrating simultaneous bulls-eye hits on our centers of commerce and defense a dozen years ago, it may be able to pull off similarly devastating attacks today.
Members of Congress reluctant to read the full report ought to remember that the 9/11 assault missed its fourth target: them. Paul Sperry is a Hoover Institution media fellow and author of âInfiltrationâ and âMuslim Mafia.â
Congress cites 9/11 Bush cover-up, demands Obama act
Two members of Congress, specially authorized to view documents on 9/11 censored under the personal authority of President Bush (43), have come away âabsolutely shocked,â demanding immediate action.
By Gordon Duff and Press TV
Two members of Congress, specially authorized to view documents on 9/11 censored under the personal authority of President Bush (43), have come away âabsolutely shocked,â demanding immediate action.
However, the full story, told for the first time below, explains âwhy nowâ and who is really being targeted by revelations of cover-up and conspiracy.
In accusations published yesterday by the leading Tea Party publication, Family Security Matters, Saudi Defense Minister and Intelligence chief Prince Bandar referred to as âBandar Bushâ in his Wikipedia biography for his close relationship with that family, was said to be the planner of 9/11.
In an article by Paul Sperry of the Hoover Institute, Bandar was cited with fleeing the US to avoid prosecution. Here, Sperry quotes a government source:
âOur investigations contributed to the ambassadorâs departure,â (2005) an investigator who worked with the Joint Terrorism Task Force in Washington told me, though Bandar says he left for âpersonal reasons.â
Despite these pronouncements, these accusations may well be unfounded speculation. What we have to ask is why are they being made now and why by political groups long close to the Saudi government. Why has Saudi Arabia failed to respond to these very public accusations coming from some of the highest authorities in Washington? âWhy are the rats turning on each other?â
This week, Congressional representatives Stephen Lynch (D-MA) and Walter Jones (R-NC) have officially requested a congressional resolution demanding President Obama declassify the heavily redacted Congressional Investigative Report on 9/11.
The two representatives had just been given authority under penalty of ânational security secrecyâ to read the censored 28 pages of the 800-page report that had not been seen.
For nearly a decade, the US has maintained security policies, both domestic and international, based on threats now known to have been totally fabricated. The cost, trillions of dollars, thousands of Americans dead in wars against âenemiesâ long known to have never been involved in terror attacks on America, the phony âhunt for bin Laden,â all of it, nothing but utter hogwash.
Bush cited as conspirator
What has been made clear is that President Bush was fully aware that neither Afghanistan nor Iraq were involved in 9/11 and that military action against those two nations was done to cover involvement of his administration in 9/11, involvement that included support from foreign intelligence agencies.
The representatives, while reviewing the report, came to the portion titled âSpecific Sources of Foreign Support.â A 28-page section here had been âbutcheredâ by the White House on the personal orders of President Bush. On the original report given to Congress, an estimated 5-10,000 words were omitted from this section with page after page of dotted lines replacing text.
The full report carries a tale of not only broad complicity of foreign intelligence agencies but, in the use of the term âcomplicity,â indications of full knowledge of the funding and planning of 9/11 by the Bush administration.
However, the lawmakers, without the support of a resolution, are under a âgag orderâ and unable to name the nation or nations that supplied.
Israel, Saudi Arabia or both
Recent revelations tied to events in Syria and Egypt have exposed an unimagined level of cooperation between the intelligence services of Israel and Saudi Arabia. For years, Israel has cited Saudi Arabia as the greatest threat to their security, much greater than Iraq under Saddam or their claims of a ânuclear Iran.â
This and much else of what Israel has publicly claimed as part of their âmythology of victimizationâ is now recognized as falsehood. Though both Israel and Saudi Arabia are known as allies of the US, their partnerships with America have been with specific groups, extremists within government and the military willing to back the plots now plainly evident even when US interests are sacrificed or even American lives are lost.
Telling, today, is the relationship between Al-Nusra and other al-Qaeda âfranchisesâ and the Israeli/Saudi alliance, a relationship that has provided both financial support and weapons, used against Syria, Lebanon and Iraq.
The sections of the 9/11 report that were censored by President Bush may well include reference to that al-Qaeda/Israel/Saudi nexus. What is clear is that not only did the Bush administration wrongly blame bin Laden or âal-Qaeda,â a spurious and illusory group at best, but that those cited, Israel, Saudi Arabia or both, though named for funding and supporting the 9/11 attack, were always under the full control of the Bush administration.
What does exist is proof that the war on terror was, in reality as confirmed by General Wesley Clark, a plan to invade and occupy 7 oil- and gas-rich nations.
Israel put the blame on Saudi Arabia
In an article released yesterday on www.familysecuritymatters.org , Paul Sperry of the Hoover Institute cited, not just the Saudi government as having been behind 9/11 but set the relationship between George W. Bush and Prince Bandar at the crux of the conspiracy.
After the 9/11 attacks, the public was told al-Qaeda acted alone, with no state sponsors. âBut the White House never let it see an entire section of Congressâ investigative report on 9/11 dealing with âspecific sources of foreign supportâ for the 19 hijackers, 15 of whom were Saudi nationals.
It was kept secret and remains so today. President Bush inexplicably censored 28 full pages of the 800-page report.â
Sperry goes on:
âSaudi consulate official Fahad al-Thumairy allegedly arranged for an advance team to receive two of the Saudi hijackers â Khalid al-Mihdhar and Nawaf al-Hazmi â as they arrived at LAX in 2000.â
Sperry continues, citing instance after instance where Saudi intelligence directly aided al-Qaeda every step of the way.
What is important is that we understand who Sperry represents. Family Security Matters isnât a simple blog. It is the voice of not just the extreme right but AIPAC as well. Their editors include Senator Ted Cruz, top GOP domestic policy maker and former UN Ambassador John Bolton, Islamophobe extremist, âIsrael Firsterâ and a man who never saw a war he didnât love.
âFamily Mattersâ is the power center for everything pro-money, pro-hate and pro-Israel. Self-proclaimed âinvestigative journalist Paul Sperry serves with the Hoover Institute, along with former Secretary of State Condi Rice. The critical aspect of yesterdayâs article is that it represents the first time the Israel lobby has been willing to throw former President Bush âunder a busâ in order to distance themselves from accusations of complicity in 9/11.
Prior to the exposure of Israelâs role as âmentorâ for al-Qaeda in Syria, Americaâs media was able to suppress not just âconspiracy theoriesâ but accusations backed by evidence and testimony that placed Israel at the center of the 9/11 attacks.
Prince Bandar accused of planning 9/11
Though there is no reason to assume Saudi Arabia is mentioned whatsoever in the redacted Congressional report, Sperry cites payments by Bandar to the alleged 9/11 hijackers and other funding to al-Qaeda.
âOther al Qaeda funding was traced back to Bandar and his embassy â so much so that by 2004 Riggs Bank of Washington had dropped the Saudis as a client. The next year, as a number of embassy employees popped up in terror probes, Riyadh recalled Bandar.â
Real from conjecture
Members of Congress have openly admitted that they have seen documentation that would support an immediate criminal investigation against President Bush (43) and his closest advisors. Further, those agencies involved in compiling this report, key portions of which have remained secret, were also responsible for lying to the 9/11 Commission, not just through omission. All the intelligence that sent America into two wars is now not just suspect, it is proven false.
Recognizing that the nations responsible have not yet been named, though attempts by Family Security Matters to subvert this process are underway, what does stand is evidence of the same conspiracy.
From a CIA transcript dated September 24, 2001, Osama bin Laden is quoted: âThe United States should try to trace the perpetrators of these attacks within itself; the people who are a part of the US system, but are dissenting against it. Or those who are working for some other system; persons who want to make the present century as a century of conflict between Islam and Christianity so that their own civilization, nation, country, or ideology could survive.â
Family Security Matters celebrates the death of Osama bin Laden as a terrorist fanatic. They also celebrate the death of Nelson Mandela as a terrorist fanatic. Mandela was right, as history has shown.
Former U.S. Senator Bob Graham says greater awareness of Saudi Arabia as âessentially a co-conspirator in 9/11...would change the way in which, particularly in the current milieu of events in the Middle East, Saudi Arabia is being viewedâ by the U.S. public.
Saudi Arabia, an historic ally of the U.S., had put significant pressure on the Obama administration in recent months to militarily intervene in Syria, and had also attempted to derail recent U.S.-Iran rapprochement.
Senator Graham co-chaired the Congressional Joint Inquiry into 9/11 that investigated intelligence failures leading up to 9/11. The inquiryâs final report included a 28-page chapter describing the Saudi connection to 9/11, but it was completely redacted by U.S. intelligence agencies.
âI was stunned that the intelligence community would feel that it was a threat to national security for the American people to know who had made 9/11 financially possible,â said Senator Graham. âAnd I am sad to report that today, some 12 years after we submitted our report, that those 28 pages continue to be withheld from the public.â
The investigation into 9/11 intelligence failures and the subsequent cover-up of Saudi involvement by the Bush administration led Senator Graham to question his life-long reverence of presidential authority.
âI grew up with the idea that the president was almost a divine figure, that he was the literally the father of the country and always acted in a way that was beneficial to the mass of people in America,â said Graham. âYou may have disagreements with the current occupant of the office, but the presidency itself was a benighted position deserving of your respect and worthy of your confidence.â
âSo when I got involved particularly at the national level in the U.S. Senate and saw some of the things that were happeningâwhich were not theoretical; they were things that I was dealing with on a very day-to-day hands-on basis that were contrary to that view of what was the presidencyâit was a very disillusioning experience. And maybe some of the comments that I make in the book Intelligence Matters reflect that path to disillusionment,â said Graham.
Exclusive: Private talks between Tony Blair and George Bush on Iraq war to be published -
OLIVER WRIGHT Author Biography Sunday 29 December 2013 - Independent.co.uk
The Government is working to declassify more than 100 secret documents detailing discussions that took place between Tony Blair, Gordon Brown and George Bush in the run-up to the Iraq war. The Independent understands that, in an unprecedented move, a cache of notes from Mr Blair to Mr Bush, records of telephone conversations and meetings, as well as up to 200 minutes of cabinet-level discussions are to be published in the new year. The release of the documents, which is likely to be in the next few months, will clear the way for Sir John Chilcotâs Iraq Inquiry to publish its long-awaited report into Britainâs involvement in the conflict.
There had been fears that Mr Blair and the US authorities would block the release of the confidential papers, which are said to provide an intimate picture of how decisions were made in the lead-up to war.
On Sunday, a government source said that âgood progressâ had been made towards declassifying many of the records. âThe intention is to be as open as possible,â they said. âThere is an ongoing process of declassification, which is attempting to strike a careful balance to ensure that you are not setting a legal precedent that could oblige you to publish other documents in the future or damage national security.â
The process is being led by the Cabinet Secretary, Sir Jeremy Heywood, and is expected to be completed âwithin the next few monthsâ. David Cameron, Nick Clegg and other senior ministers do not know what the documents contain because they refer to discussions that took place under the previous government. A final decision on what to release will be made by Sir Jeremy.
Once declassified, the documents will be passed to Sir John, who heads the Iraq Inquiry. He has already had access to the material but wants to be able to refer to it in his final report.
Although no final decision has been made, the documents are likely to be made available to the public, either by the Government or on the Iraq Inquiry website. âThere are likely to be some redactions â but only where absolutely necessary,â the government source said.
Publication of the documents will allow the Iraq Inquiry to complete its final task of contacting those people who are due to be criticised and allow them to put forward a defence. That process could take several months, but it is now possible that the inquiry could report by the end of 2014 â five years after it was set up by Mr Brown.
A Cabinet Office spokeswoman said last night: âThe Government is currently engaged in discussions with the [Iraq] inquiry which the inquiry recognises raises difficult issues, including legal and international relations issues.
âAs the exchange of letters between government and the inquiry shows, these issues are being worked through in good faith and with a view to reaching a position as rapidly as possible. The inquiry should be allowed to publish its findings and we should not pre-empt the content of the report.â http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/exclusive-private-talks-between-tony-blair-and-george-bush-on-iraq-war-to-be-published-9029531.html
Sen. Ted Cruz has voiced strong objections to ObamaCare but not to Obamaâs eligibility to hold the office of president in keeping with Article II, Section 1, clause 5 of the U.S. Constitution
Act of Real Heroism Call to Rafael and Ted Cruz âNOT A NATURAL BORN CITIZENâ By JB Williams | The Post & Email
Junior Texas Senator Ted Cruz has captured the imagination of many American conservatives hungry for a âreal dealâ statesman willing to stand up for American principles and values. His fiery pro-American tone is undoubtedly inherited from his very fiery father, Rev. Rafael Cruz.
Rev. Rafael Cruz has become somewhat of a folk hero to many Americans as a result of his polished public delivery of the American Dream, often delivered best by one who was himself delivered from foreign government tyranny by the grace of American freedom and liberty.
Immigrant Americans from Cuba via Canada, the Cruz family most likely does hold a special reverence toward American freedom as a result of their own life experiences. Often, immigrant Americans have a deeper sense of American exceptionalism in the world than Natural Born Americans do, those who more often than not take such great blessings for granted today.
The Cruz family message is hard to misinterpret, and it often sets opponents of American freedom, liberty and exceptionalism into fits of blind rage, while inspiring many others who yearn for new pro-American national leadership.
Rev. Cruz has been quoted as saying that he believes his son Ted is âordained by God, to change the course of history in America.â I pray that Rev. Cruz is right about that, because his son Ted is in the highly unique position to do exactly thatâŠ
Today, I write to call upon Ted and his father Rafael to stand together upon their stated convictions, as only they can do. These two men are indeed in a unique position to alter the course of history in America and save freedom and liberty for many generations to come.
Leaving all political rhetoric and aspirations aside, Senator Ted Cruz can single-handedly end the ongoing systematic destruction of the United States of America and with the help of his father, Rev. Rafael Cruz, I have every reason to believe he will.
What Senator Cruz can do is very simple, though it will not be easy. It will require that both Ted and his father set aside their own ambitions in a selfless act of true heroism, for the greater good of America. It will require brave and bold actions that only Ted is in the position to take. It is simple, but not easy, because it requires the Senator to stand up before the world and make the following proclamationâŠ
âI am honored that so many Americans want me to run for the office of President. However, my moral convictions require that I state clearly for the record that I am not eligible for the office of president or vice president according to Article II â Section I â Clause V of the U.S. Constitution, which requires that only a Natural Born Citizen of the United States, born of an American Citizen Father, seek or hold these offices. As I was born the son of a Cuban Citizen living in Canada at the time, I am not a Natural Born Citizen of the United States. On this Constitutional ground, I hereby state that Barack Hussein Obama, the son of a Kenyan Citizen Father, is also not a Natural Born Citizen of the United StatesâŠI hereby call for the immediate investigation and resignation of Barack Hussein Obama and all who were involved in the greatest fraud ever perpetrated on the world, as well as all who have engaged in the greatest political cover-up in the history of politics.â
Accepting on faith that Ted and his father Rafael are both Christian men, who do understand and believe that they find themselves in this unique position at the historical moment, I call upon the Cruz family to act upon their stated moral convictions and save America from this massive fraud known as Obama.
Now, a close personal friend worked on Tedâs senate campaign in Texas. He shared with me a conversation he had with Ted during the early days of the campaign. In that conversation, he asked Ted â âwhat is your understanding of the term Natural Born Citizen?â â to which Ted answered, âsomeone born on soil to Citizen parentsâŠâ
Ted no doubt learned this definition from Tea Party friends helping out with his campaign. Despite it not being exactly correct, it was close enough for my friends to ask the second questionâŠ
âIs Barack Obama a Natural Born Citizen of the United States? â to which Ted correctly answered, âNO!â
Then the most important question was askedâŠ âIf we get you elected to the Senate, will you do something about our illegal occupant of the White House?â â to which Ted answeredâŠ. âI think repealing ObamaCare is more importantâŠâ The witness is willing to go on record if need be.
In the end, Senator Ted Cruz has a monumental opportunity to write himself into history as the man who righted the most egregious political wrong in American history. He has only a few weeks to do it, immediately following the holiday, before Obama, Reid and Boehner can ram through amnesty for millions of illegal aliens and pass massive gun control laws against legal American citizens.
If Rev. Rafael Cruz and his son want to be true American heroes, they can be. If they choose not to be, then the Americans who hold such great hopes for Ted will have lost just another hopeful hero who says many of the right things, but refuses to do the most important right things.
Join me in calling upon Rev. Rafael Cruz and his son Ted to stand up, do the right thingâŠ
NEW YORK â Fresh from winning a restraining order against the National Security Agencyâs telephone surveillance, attorney Larry Klayman declared that the misdeeds of Richard Nixon, who resigned in disgrace, pale in comparison to President Obamaâs.
âIn Watergate, Richard Nixon faced impeachment for breaking into the offices of the chairman of the Democratic National Party,â Klayman told WND in an interview.
âObama has broken into the homes of 300 million Americans.â
WND asked Klayman if he was calling for the impeachment of Obama.
âYes,â Klayman responded. âThe NSA and the Obama administration are engaging in criminal behavior, and both are lying.â
He called it the âmost outrageous violation of constitutional rights in American history.â
Klayman is a WND columnist and founder of the political-watchdog organizations Judicial Watch and FreedomWatch.
His case, on behalf of a Verizon Wireless customer, was launched after the extent of government spying on Americans was unveiled by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, who said the courtâs decision made him feel justified in releasing classified documents.
Named in the case are the NSA, Department of Justice and several U.S. officials, including President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder.
Klayman alleged in a WND interview Monday that after he filed the case, he was put under surveillance by the NSA.
The complaint alleges the government, with the participation of private telephone companies, has been conducting âa secret and illegal government scheme to intercept and analyze vast quantities of domestic telephonic communications.â
Klayman dismissed Obama administration arguments that the NSA is collecting only âmetadataâ and not recording for analysis the content of ordinary citizensâ conversation unless there is suspicion of criminal activity that might violate the Patriot Act or other national security legislation.
âThe NSA takes interest in countless Americans, even boyfriends and girlfriends of NSA employees, as we now know,â he argued.
âIf you end up being a person of interest to the NSA or the Department of Justice, the NSA recording of telephone conversations permits the NSA to know everything about you, even whether or not your wife is pregnant, just by the number of times she calls her doctor and the pattern of her health-care-related telephone conversations.â
Klayman charged that Obamaâs criminal violations in the NSA case are more egregious than Nixonâs violations of law in Watergate.
âNixon did not have Obamaâs NSA,â Klayman said. âBoth Nixon and Obama lied repeatedly to the American public after they got caught, but Nixon did not have Obamaâs technology.â
Klayman also praised the courage of Judge Richard Leon of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, who ordered injunctive relief in the case, staying the order only long enough to permit the government a timely appeal.
âVery few people have the guts to take on the NSA,â Klayman said. âJudge Leon knows the NSA can get into the communications of federal judges. Thatâs the level of intimidation the NSA is capable of handing out. Judge Leon is an American hero for his willingness to take on the NSA and the Obama administration.â
Klayman explained to WND that he is preparing to return to Leon to begin discovery proceedings in the next phase of the court case. His aim is to take depositions from top NSA administrators and Obama administration officials and to obtain relevant government documents.
Klayman noted that in November, when Leon dismissed the Obama Justice Departmentâs request to delay the proceedings after a status conference, he clearly intended to proceed quickly.
âI donât think Judge Leon is prepared to put up with efforts by the Obama administration to drag this case out,â Klayman said.
In response to a request by DOJ attorney James J. Gilligan for more time, Leon showed no patience.
âWe work 24/7 around this courthouse, my friend,â Leon explained to Gilligan. âTwenty-four/seven. I donât want to hear anything about vacations, weddings, days off. Forget about it. This is a case at the pinnacle of public national interest, pinnacle. All hands 24/7. No excuses.â
When Gilligan argued the court would be better served if the government had a chance to fully prepare arguments, Leon pointed out that the case had been filed four months earlier.
âYou have had, not you personally, the Department of Justice, the NSA and the allied government agencies that have an interest in this, have had four months to think through its position,â Leon responded. âThatâs a lot of time, Mr. Gilligan. I am sad to say I donât believe or assume that they worked seven days a week for four months. I wish it were true, but I am sure it isnât.â
Leon was not sympathetic to the governmentâs suggestion the case turned on classified information.
âI donât know to what extent the governmentâs position is going to be based on classified information,â Leon explained. âI have no idea, but obviously if it is going to be in whole or in part based on classified information, then we have to start figuring out people getting clearances.â
In granting Klayman an order for an injunction against the NSA, Leon indicated a stay pending appeal was appropriate because of the national security interests the government was asserting in the case.
At the same time, Leon ordered the government to act quickly in appealing his decision and to be prepared to obey the injunction immediately should the government lose the appeal.
âHowever, in light of the significant national security interests at stake in this case and the novelty of the constitutional issues, I will stay my order pending appeal,â Leon wrote in his decision.
âIn doing so, I hereby give the government fair notice that should my ruling be upheld, this ruling will go into effect forthwith,â he said. âAccordingly, I fully expect that during the appellate process, which will consume at least the next six months, the government will take whatever steps necessary to prepare itself to comply with this order when, and if, it is upheld. Suffice it to say, requesting further time to comply with this order months from now will not be well received and could result in collateral sanctions.â
By Prof Michel Chossudovsky - Global Research - December 15, 2013
From the outset, the Western military alliance has (covertly) supported the terrorists with a view to destabilizing Syria as a nation state.
Lest we forget, Al Qaeda is a creation of the CIA.
The US, NATO, Israel, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar have channeled most of their support to the Al Qaeda brigades, which are also integrated by Western Special Forces.
British and French Special Forces have been actively training opposition rebels from a base in Turkey.
Israel has provided a safe have to Al Qaeda affiliated rebels in the occupied Golan Heights.
Western special forces have been training the rebels in the use of chemical weapons in Jordan.
NATO and the Turkish High command have been involved in the development of a jihad involving the recruitment of thousands of âfreedom fightersâ, reminiscent of the enlistment of the Mujahideen to wage the CIAâs jihad (holy war) in the heyday of the Soviet-Afghan war: ------------------------------------------------------- Also discussed in Brussels and Ankara, our sources report, is a campaign to enlist thousands of Muslim volunteers in Middle East countries and the Muslim world to fight alongside the Syrian rebels. The Turkish army would house these volunteers, train them and secure their passage into Syria. (Debkafile, August 31, 2011). Debka, August 2011 emphasis added)
This is a war of aggression. It is not a civil war.
The New Islamic Front
The Al Qaeda fighters integrated by mercenaries, trained in Saudi Arabia and Qatar constitute the mainstay of so-called opposition forces, which have been involved in countless atrocities and terrorist acts directed against the civilian population from the outset in March 2011.
The existence of âmore moderate opposition brigadesâ supported by the West is a myth. They exist in name, they do not constitute a meaningful military force. They are not the object of significant support by their Western handlers, who prefer to channel their aid to the Al Qaeda affiliated brigades.
The FSA and its Supreme Military Command essentially serve as a front organization. The SMC under the helm of General Salim Idriss has largely been used to channel support to the terrorists.
In recent developments, fighting has broke out between the Al Qaeda affiliated rebels covertly supported by the West and the more moderate FSA brigades, officially supported by the West.
Having âexpressed their concernâ, US officials have announced the holding of talks with the rebel commanders of the New Islamic Front (created in November).
The objective, however, is not to mediate between opposing factions. What is contemplated are new procedures for channeling support to the Al Qaeda affiliated terrorists, through the newly created Islamic Front umbrella organization.
A rebel fighter with the Islamic Front said he expected the talks in Turkey to discuss whether the United States would help arm the front and assign to it responsibility for maintaining order in the rebel-held areas of northern Syria.
The Islamic Front rebel told reporters that rivalry with the ISIL had already led to a spate of hostage-taking between the two sides, and that the Frontâs decision to talk to the Americans had further escalated tension. Although he described the two Islamist forces as ideologically close, he said ISIL appeared set on confrontation, perhaps encouraged by some of their backers in Saudi Arabia. (Gulf Today, December 13, 2013) -------------------------------------------------------
Former US Ambassador to Syria Robert Stephen Ford has been involved in negotiations with the Islamic Front. Ford had established contact with New Islamic Front leaders in November.
The involvement of Ambassador Ford should come as no surprise. He was one of the main architects of the death squad brigades sent into Syria, starting in March 2011. He has, no doubt, been in permanent liaison with Al Qaeda rebel commanders from the outset of the insurgency.
Robert S. Ford had previously worked at the US embassy in Baghdad (2004-2005) under the helm of Ambassador John D. Negroponte. He played a key role in implementing the Pentagonâs âIraq Salvador Optionâ. The latter consisted in supporting Iraqi death squadrons and paramilitary forces modeled on the experience of Central America. With regard to Syria, the US State Department has been collaborating with several US intelligence agencies and the Pentagon is overseeing US support to rebel forces in Syria.
A Syria policy committee was created in 2012. It involved the participation of Ambassador Robert Stephen Ford, former CIA director David Petraeus, Jeffrey Feltman, Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs and Derek Chollet, Principal Deputy Director of Clintonâs Policy Planning Staff at the State Department. ------------------------------------------------------- Under Jeffrey Feltmanâs supervision, the actual recruitment of terrorist mercenaries, however, is carried out in Qatar and Saudi Arabia in liaison with senior intelligence officials from Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Libya and NATO. The former Saudi ambassador to the US, Prince Bandar, who remains a key member of Saudi intelligence, is said to be working with the Feltman group in Doha. (Michel Chossudovsky, âThe Salvador Option For Syriaâ: US-NATO Sponsored Death Squads Integrate âOpposition Forcesâ, Global Research, 28 May 2012) -------------------------------------------------------
Expanded US Support to Al Qaeda Affiliated Rebels in Syria
What the US and its allies are establishing are new effective âdirect channelsâ for increasing their support to their Al Qaeda foot soldiers, essentially using the new Islamic Front as a âGo Betweenâ. This procedure is contemplated following the apparent demise of the Supreme Military Command of the FSA.
Until recently US and allied support to Al Qaeda was channeled to the rebels through an indirect route, namely through Supreme military Command (SMC) commander General Salim Idriss.
General Idriss is reported to have fled Syria for Doha, âas a result of the Islamic Front taking over his headquarters.â The takeover of SMC headquarters has, according to reports
âprompted the United States and Britain to announce [December 11] that they were suspending non-lethal aid to northern Syria, due to fears of equipment ending up in the wrong hands.â
This again is a smokescreen: the New Islamic Front which attacked the SMC headquarters is working in close liaison with its Western handlers including Ambassador Robert Stephen Ford.
Washington intends to use the Islamic Front to channel its support to the more radical Al Qaeda factions including Al Nusrah which, according to reports, has established ties to the New Islamic Front.
The Obama Administration has committed itself to âan expanded Syrian insurgency that includes the recently-formed Islamic Frontâ: ------------------------------------------------------- The Front has been pressing for inclusion in the SMC, and wants to be represented at the Geneva talks, according to rebel commanders. âŠ Ex-Ambassador Ford is traveling to London on Friday to meet other international backers of the opposition, and then to Turkey for discussions with the Syrian National Coalition. He may also meet there with the Islamic Front, said the senior official. (EA World View, December 13, 2013 -------------------------------------------------------
The propaganda ploy is to portray the new Islamic Front as âmoderateâ. With the FSA Supreme Military Command in disarray, Washingtonâs objective is to provide a semblance of legitimacy to the insurrection largely integrated by the Western military allianceâs Al Qaeda foot soldiers.
The creation of a pro-US Islamic Front serves that purpose, namely to channel money and weapons directly to the rebels via the new Islamic Front umbrella organization.
âUnder CIA manipulation, direction and, usually, their payroll, were past and present presidents of Mexico, Colombia, Uruguay and Costa Rica, âour minister of laborâ, âour vice-presidentâ, âmy policeâ, journalists, labor leaders, student leaders, diplomats, and many others. If the Agency wished to disseminate anti-communist propaganda, cause dissension in leftist ranks, or have Communist embassy personnel expelled, it need only prepare some phony documents, present them to the appropriate government ministers and journalists, and â presto! â instant scandal.â (William Blum, CIA Manipulation: The Painful Truths Told by Phil Agee, Anti-Empire Report 27 June 2013)
Independent media outlets are increasingly challenging the powers that be and, thanks to social media, the truth about what is really happening in our world can be shared at the click of a button.
Sadly, the imperial war machine continues to rear its violent head in exponential proportion under the guise of democracy and âWar on Terrorismâ.
This war machine is promoted by the mainstream media who cannot be trusted for many reasons. It is a well documented fact that the CIA has used journalism as a cover for its agents and has planted stories in the media.
According to CIA documents, âmore than 400 American journalists âŠ in the past twentyâfive years have secretly carried out assignments for the Central Intelligence Agencyâ, wrote Carl Bernstein in 1977.
In this episode of Alternative views, former CIA agent John Stockwell explains âhow CIA âdisinformationâ tactics manipulate public opinion by planting stories in the press and by financing and supporting right-wing newspapersâ.
Planting stories in the media is a standard CIA technique:
A common Agency tactic was writing editorials and phony news stories to be knowingly published by Latin American media with no indication of the CIA authorship or CIA payment to the media. The propaganda value of such a ânewsâ item might be multiplied by being picked up by other CIA stations in Latin America who would disseminate it through a CIA-owned news agency or a CIA-owned radio station. Some of these stories made their way back to the United States to be read or heard by unknowing North Americans. (Blum, op. cit.)
Moreover several journalists are members of the very influential foreign policy think tank Council on Foreign Relations, which has among its corporate members:
1. Major financial institutions such as:
Bank of America Merrill Lynch
Goldman Sachs Group, Inc.
JPMorgan Chase & Co
The Nasdaq OMX Group
2. All the companies part of what is known as Big Oil:
Exxon Mobil Corporation
Shell Oil Company
3. Major defense and security contractors which largely rely on military sales (figures from SIPRI) and government subsidies, among others:
DynCorp International (70% of revenues from military sales in 2011)
Lockheed Martin Corporation (78% of revenues from military sales in 2011)
Northrop Grumman (81% of revenues from military sales in 2011)
Raytheon Company (90% of revenues from military sales in 2011)
Booz Allen Hamilton Inc. (99% of revenues from federal government)
In addition, mainstream media experts on foreign policy issues are often linked to the military-industrial complex and are very often presented as âindependentâ.
During the public debate around the question of whether to attack Syria, Stephen Hadley, former national security adviser to George W. Bush, made a series of high-profile media appearances. Hadley argued strenuously for military intervention in appearances on CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, and Bloomberg TV, and authored a Washington Post op-ed headlined âTo stop Iran, Obama must enforce red lines with Assad.â
In each case, Hadleyâs audience was not informed that he serves as a director of Raytheon, the weapons manufacturer that makes the Tomahawk cruise missiles that were widely cited as a weapon of choice in a potential strike against Syria. Hadley earns $128,500 in annual cash compensation from the company and chairs its public affairs committee. He also owns 11,477 shares of Raytheon stock, which traded at all-time highs during the Syria debate ($77.65 on August 23, making Hadleyâs shareâs worth $891,189). Despite this financial stake, Hadley was presented to his audience as an experienced, independent national security expert. (Public Accountability, War or No War on Syria: Conflict of Interest of âExpertsâ who Commented in Favor of Military Intervention, October 15, 2013)
As Bob Dylan sung, âTimes, they are a changinâ.â Everything is collapsing around on Obama, and thatâs something to be thankful for. The more people distrust him, then the less likely he is to get new policies passed, meaning the Republic gets a little more breathing room.
Just recently, Forbes magazine published an open editorial on their website explaining why Obamaâs rejection and constant violation should lead to his impeachment and removal from office. It went viral.
Many patriots are tired of âjust talkâ, but this talk is absolutely vital: movements begin with words, and right now, we have to give as much attention to those pushing for impeachment as possible.
Obama's Disdain For The Constitution Means We Risk Losing Our Republic - Since President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act into law, he has changed it five times. Most notably, he suspended the employer mandate last summer. This is widely known, but almost no one seems to have grasped its significance.
The Constitution authorizes the President to propose and veto legislation. It does not authorize him to change existing laws. The changes Mr. Obama ordered in Obamacare, therefore, are unconstitutional. This means that he does not accept some of the limitations that the Constitution places on his actions. We cannot know at this point what limitations, if any, he does accept.
By changing the law based solely on his wish, Mr. Obama acted on the principle that the President can rewrite laws andâsince this is a principleânot just this law, but any law. After the crash of Obamacare, many Congressmen have implored the President to change the individual mandate the same way he had changed the employer mandate, that is, to violate the Constitution again.
The main responsibility the Constitution assigns to the President is to faithfully execute the Laws. If the President rejects this job, if instead he decides he can change or ignore laws he does not like, then what?
The time will come when Congress passes a law and the President ignores it. Or he may choose to enforce some parts and ignore others (as Mr. Obama is doing now). Or he may not wait for Congress and issue a decree (something Mr. Obama has done and has threatened to do again).
Mr. Obama has not been shy about pointing out his path. He has repeatedly made clear that he intends to act on his own authority. âI have the power and I will use it in defense of the middle class,â he has said. âWeâre going to do everything we can, wherever we can, with or without Congress.â There are a number of names for the system Mr. Obama envisions, but representative government is not one of them.
If the President can ignore the laws passed by Congress, of what use is Congress? The President can do whatever he chooses. Congress can stand by and observe. Perhaps they might applaud or jeer. But in terms of political power, Congress will be irrelevant. Probably, it will become a kind of rubber-stamp or debating society. There are many such faux congresses in tyrannies throughout history and around the globe.
Mr. Obama has equal contempt for the Supreme Court. In an act of overbearing hubris, he excoriated Supreme Court Justices sitting helplessly before him during the 2010 State of the Union addressâJustices who had not expected to be denounced and who were prevented by the occasion from defending themselves. Mr. Obama condemned them for restoring freedom of speech to corporations and unions.
Ignoring two centuries of practice, President Obama made four recess appointments in January 2012, when the Senate was not in recess. Three courts have found that his appointments were unconstitutional, and the Supreme Court has agreed to take up the case. If the Supreme Court finds against him, what will Mr. Obama do?
We can get a hint by looking at how other parts of his Administration have dealt with Court decisions they did not like.
The Attorney Generalâs Office is the branch of government charged with enforcing federal laws. After the Supreme Court struck down the key provision of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, Attorney General Holder announced that he would use other provisions of the act to get around the Courtâs decision.
The Supreme Court has defined the standard for sexual harassment as âsevere, pervasive, and objectively offensiveâ behavior to a âreasonable person.â In open defiance of that ruling, the Obama Department of Education has declared a new definition of sexual harassment for colleges, that is, âany unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature,â including âverbal conduct,â even if it is not objectively offensiveâthus reinforcing the reign of terror over sex on college campuses. If a young manâs request for a date turns out to be unwelcome, he is guilty of sexual harassment by definition.
The lack of respect for the Supreme Court by the Obama administration is manifest. They feel bound by the Courtâs decisions only if they agree with them. If they disagree, it is deuces wild; they will embrace any fiction that nullifies the Courtâs decision.
The direction in which Mr. Obama is taking us would make possible the following scenario. A Republican Congress is elected and repeals Obamacare over a Democratic Presidentâs veto. The President refuses to enforce the repeal. The Supreme Court rules that the Presidentâs refusal is unconstitutional. The President denounces that ruling and refuses to be bound by it.
If the President persists in rejecting all authority other than his own, the denouement would depend on the side taken by the Armed Forces. Whatever side that was, our national self-esteem would be unlikely to recover from the blow of finding that we are living in a banana republic.
The shocking fact is that our whole system of representative government depends on it being led by an individual who believes in it; who thinks it is valuable; who believes that a government dedicated to the protection of individual rights is a noble ideal. What if he does not?
Mr. Obama is moving our government away from its traditional system of checks and balances and toward the one-man-rule that dominates third world countries. He has said that he wants a fair countryâimplying that, as it stands, the United States is not a fair countryâan unprecedented calumny committed against a country by its own leader.
What country does he think is more fair than the United States? He has three long years left in which to turn us into a fair country. Where does he intend to take us?
Mr. Obama got his conception of a fair country from his teachers. A fair country is an unfree country because it is regimented to prevent anyone from rising too high. Their ideal is egalitarianism, the notion that no one should be any better, higher, or richer than anyone else. Combined with a dollop of totalitarianism, egalitarianism has replaced communism as the dominant ideal in our most prestigious universities. Mr. Obama and his colleagues are the product of those universities, and they have their marching orders.
The most important point is that Mr. Obama does not consider himself bound by the Constitution. He could not have made that more clear. He has drawn a line in the concrete and we cannot ignore it.
Those who currently hold political office, and who want to keep our system of government, need to act now. Surely, rejection of the Constitution is grounds for impeachment and charges should be filed. In addition, there are many other actions that Congressmen can and should takeâactions that will tell Mr. Obama that we have seen where he is going and we will not let our country go without a fight.
At the close of the Constitutional Convention of 1787, Benjamin Franklin was asked what form of government had been created. âA republic,â he replied, âif you can keep it.â
We are losing it. If Mr. Obamaâs reach for unprecedented power is not stopped, that will be the end. Everyone who values his life and liberty should find some way to say âNo!â âNot now!â âNot yet!â âNot ever!â
M. Northrup Buechner is Associate Professor of Economics at St. Johnâs University, New York. http://onforb.es/1kNA2as
June 24, 2013 | By Adrian Salbuchi, New Dawn/Waking Times
As with all totalitarian regimes, the black/white or the good/bad Baby Bush âYouâre either with us or youâre with the Terroristsâ â binary rhetoric lies at the heart of the Global Power Eliteâs PsyWar technology.
In 2004, Denis Boneau, a French journalist writing for the Voltaire Network, published an article called âThe Science of World Dominationâ (www.voltairenet.org/The-Science-of-World-Domination), making an excellent summary of key milestones in the development of the United Statesâ post-World War II Global Psychological Warfare Strategy.
He starts by describing the Truman Doctrine of âContainmentâ of the former Soviet Union that was based on the so-called âlong telegramâ sent to the State Department in 1946 by an advisor in the US embassy in Moscow â and key Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) scholar â George S. Kennan.
Shortly afterwards, Kennan was called back to the US to brief his superiors more fully and his recommendations were finally published in the July 1947 issue of Foreign Affairs, the official journal of the CFR, as âThe Sources of Soviet Conduct.â This became known as the âXâ article because thatâs how Kennan signed it, as there was still heated debated as to whether it would become official US foreign policy.
It did. With his highly influential article, Kennan gave birth to the US policy of âContainmentâ of the Soviet Union which consisted in blocking the expansion of communism through the control of national emancipationist movements that could lead to greater power to pro-socialist or nationalist leaders.
As official policy, âContainmentâ required the collaboration of experts capable of providing geographical, economic, cultural, psychological and sociological data useful to the US Armed Forces and the intelligence community, working very closely with key think tanks like the CFR.
Thus began the Cold War which Kennan and the US Government believed would give the United States a historic opportunity to assume leadership over what they would eventually describe as the âFree World.â With time, as the Global Power Elite became more deeply embedded inside the US and British public and private power structures (and that of their key allies), that âleadershipâ would end up encompassing practically the whole planet.
In a way, one can say that the CFR in conjunction with other think-tank and university scholars â George Kennan, Henry Kissinger, Leo Strauss, Zbigniew Brzezinski included â single-handedly started and macro-managed last centuryâs forty-five year long Cold War.
As part of that global strategy, 1947 also saw the Truman Administration sanction the National Security Act which, amongst other things, created the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) tasked with designing, planning and executing âpropaganda, economic war, direct preventive action, sabotage, anti-sabotage, destruction, subversion against hostile States, assistance to clandestine liberation movements, guerrilla, murders, assistance to indigenous groups opposed to the enemy countries of the âfree worldââŠâ
What is Psychological Warfare?
Boneau defines Psychological Warfare (PsyWar) as a number of actions ranging from radio propaganda to torture, that require comprehensive information on targeted populations. In a document written in 1948, American ground forces defined âpsychological warfareâ as follows:
âIt is based on moral and physical means different from those upon which orthodox military techniques are based on. Its purpose is: (a) To destroy the will and the fighting spirit of the enemy and avoid its alliesâ support and, (b) To encourage our troops and our alliesâ will of being victorious.â
PsyWar uses every possible weapon and tool to influence and impact the will of the enemy. Such âweaponsâ are labelled âpsychologicalâ because of their effect and not because of their own nature. This is the reason why, open propaganda (âwhiteâ), secret (âblackâ) or âgreyâ propaganda â subversion, sabotage, murders, special operations, guerrilla, espionage, political, economic and racial and ethnic pressures â are all considered useful PsyWar weapons.
To implement such programs, the intelligence services recruited specialists on behavioural sciences capable of inventing the âsimple, clear and repetitiveâ white propaganda and black propaganda aimed at provoking âdisorder, confusion andâŠ terrorâ within the enemy forces.
We thus begin to fathom that the so-called âArab Springâ of today did not just suddenly and spontaneously explode in 2011, but was rather hatched from an âeggâ laid decades ago and brooded by the secret intelligence agencies.
This began in the 40âs and 50âs with Project Troy that mobilised top scholars to identify available means of transmitting the âtruthâ (i.e., US propaganda) behind the Iron Curtain through powerful radio transmitters like the Voice of America, the broadcasting network created by the International Information Service (IIS), another PsyWar institution created under the Truman Administration.
Voice of America was used to promote US âvaluesâ of so-called âdemocracy,â the âAmerican Way of Life,â âfreedomâ and Corporate Capitalism. A key leader of Project Troy was James Webb, adviser to Secretary of State Dean Acheson and a âpsychological warfareâ operative who recommended university experts and the government to work closer.
They soon realised, however, that Voice of America was not enough to penetrate the Iron Curtain and supported by the US Navy and the CIA, they suggested other channels to implement âwhiteâ propaganda: university exchanges, publications of books, information through the mail, professional journals, commerce and industrial publications.
Truman also created the Psychological Strategy Board encouraging studies of âSoviet societyâ through a program of recruiting dissidents called Project CENIS â Centre for International Studies â at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) directed by CFR operative Max Millikan.
This worked so well that in 1950 the US Air Force commissioned and funded similar research on the Korean population. Wilbur Schramm, the founding father of the mass communication paradigm, John Ridley and Fredericks Williams were given the mission of interviewing anti-communist refugees to draw up a suitable propaganda strategy on Korea. The study also resulted in the establishment of the âPublic Opinion Quarterlyâ (POQ), the official magazine of âpsychological warfareâ community.
In the 1963 Project Camelot was created that defined process models leading to national revolutions in Third World countries to facilitate counter-insurgence operations. Camelot is a good example of the strengthening ties between behavioural scholars and the US Intelligence community (i.e., intel services, universities, major corporations, think-tanks and the Military). It facilitated interventions in Yemen, Cuba and the Congo, and helped foresee and prevent the risk of revolution.
In Chile, operating through the Special Operations Research Office (SORO), Project Camelot supported CIA plans to overthrow the democratically elected government of Salvador Allende imposing General Augusto Pinochetâs military junta on Chile on 11 September 1973.
Psychological Warfare Strategy development also counted on key universities dealing in Communication Sciences to develop the âmass communicationâ paradigm financed by the US Military, the CIA and the State Department. This led to effective propaganda used to penetrate the Iron Curtain through different means, including leaflets and broadcasting. The disciplineâs field of study was wide: persuasion techniques, opinion polls, interviews, military and political mobilisations, ideological disseminationâŠ
They have now come a long way thanks to dramatic breakthroughs in communications and information technologies, where propaganda and PsyWar have to a great extent been outsourced and privatised. Today, their main PsyWar weapons include TV, radio, press and internet outlets such as Fox, CNN, MSNBC, ABC, CBS, PBS, New York Times, Newsweek, BBC, RTVE, RAI, Time, Daily Telegraph, Sun, Mirror, Daily News, Reuters, Jerusalem Post and their global subsidiaries and dependants.
Most importantly, this process also encompasses that key arm of social engineering and thought deformation known as the âentertainment industryâ with Hollywood as its main hub and flagship.
Dirty Tricks Departments
From the very beginning, torture was considered a research field in social sciences. During the Korean War, the BSSR (main âblackâ propaganda research centre) was charged with carrying out studies for the Army to identify Eastern Europe populationâs âvulnerability targets and factorsâ while defining different âaspects of psychological violence.â BSSR reported on the effects of traditional interrogation techniques â electric shocks, blows, drugs â all funded in part by the CIA, especially on the populations of Viet Nam and Africa, geared at improving torture effectiveness.
The paradigm of mass communication was inserted in a broader intellectual plan consisting in the division of the world map based on the American strategistsâ logic. The patriarch of this discipline, Wilbur Schramm (as did Leo Strauss), offered a perspective of this reductionist dimension of communication sciences based on the âgood guys/bad guysâ antagonism, where communism symbolised âEvilâ and America symbolised âGood.â This was shared by the majority of the intellectuals and scientists supporting the US government in its fight against Soviet expansionism where neutrality was considered treason.
In 2001, the Bush Administration reactivated these Cold War mechanisms, not to fight the Soviet Union but to impose a âNew World Order.â Since 11 September 2001, the excuse for this reactivation is âThe War on Terror.â Once again the intelligence community turned to universities: the CIAâs director of scientific research, John Philips, took control of the Rochester Institute of Technology; Michael Crawl, deputy director of the CIAâs joint economic association in the computer sector was appointed dean of the University of Arizona, and Robert Gates (former CIA director under Bush Senior) before becoming Bush/Obamaâs Pentagon Chief was president of Texas A&M University.
Alas! Nothing new under the sunâŠ
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About the Author
ADRIAN SALBUCHI is a political analyst, author, speaker and radio talk-show host in Argentina. He has published several books on geopolitics and economics in Spanish, and recently published his first eBook in English: The Coming World Government: Tragedy & Hope? which can be ordered through his web site www.asalbuchi.com.ar, or details can be requested by E-mail to email@example.com. Salbuchi is 58 years of age, married, with four adult children, and works as strategic consultant for domestic and international companies. He is also founder of the Second Republic Project in Argentina, which is expanding internationally (visit: www.secondrepublicproject.com).
For decades, a so-called anti-propaganda law prevented the U.S. government's mammoth broadcasting arm from delivering programming to American audiences. But on July 2, that came silently to an end with the implementation of a new reform passed in January. The result: an unleashing of thousands of hours per week of government-funded radio and TV programs for domestic U.S. consumption in a reform initially criticized as a green light for U.S. domestic propaganda efforts. So what just happened?
Until this month, a vast ocean of U.S. programming produced by the Broadcasting Board of Governors such as Voice of America, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, and the Middle East Broadcasting Networks could only be viewed or listened to at broadcast quality in foreign countries. The programming varies in tone and quality, but its breadth is vast: It's viewed in more than 100 countries in 61 languages. The topics covered include human rights abuses in Iran, self-immolation in Tibet, human trafficking across Asia, and on-the-ground reporting in Egypt and Iraq.
The restriction of these broadcasts was due to the Smith-Mundt Act, a long-standing piece of legislation that has been amended numerous times over the years, perhaps most consequentially by Arkansas Senator J. William Fulbright. In the 1970s, Fulbright was no friend of VOA and Radio Free Europe, and moved to restrict them from domestic distribution, saying they "should be given the opportunity to take their rightful place in the graveyard of Cold War relics." Fulbright's amendment to Smith-Mundt was bolstered in 1985 by Nebraska Senator Edward Zorinsky, who argued that such "propaganda" should be kept out of America as to distinguish the U.S. "from the Soviet Union where domestic propaganda is a principal government activity."
Zorinsky and Fulbright sold their amendments on sensible rhetoric: American taxpayers shouldn't be funding propaganda for American audiences. So did Congress just tear down the American public's last defense against domestic propaganda? BBG spokeswoman Lynne Weil insists BBG is not a propaganda outlet, and its flagship services such as VOA "present fair and accurate news."
"They don't shy away from stories that don't shed the best light on the United States," she told The Cable. She pointed to the charters of VOA and RFE: "Our journalists provide what many people cannot get locally: uncensored news, responsible discussion, and open debate."
A former U.S. government source with knowledge of the BBG says the organization is no Pravda, but it does advance U.S. interests in more subtle ways. In Somalia, for instance, VOA serves as counterprogramming to outlets peddling anti-American or jihadist sentiment. "Somalis have three options for news," the source said, "word of mouth, al-Shabab, or VOA Somalia."
This partially explains the push to allow BBG broadcasts on local radio stations in the United States. The agency wants to reach diaspora communities, such as St. Paul, Minnesota's significant Somali expat community. "Those people can get al-Shabab, they can get Russia Today, but they couldn't get access to their taxpayer-funded news sources like VOA Somalia," the source said. "It was silly."
Lynne added that the reform has a transparency benefit as well. "Now Americans will be able to know more about what they are paying for with their tax dollars -- greater transparency is a win-win for all involved," she said. And so with that we have the Smith-Mundt Modernization Act of 2012, which passed as part of the 2013 National Defense Authorization Act, and went into effect this month.
But if anyone needed a reminder of the dangers of domestic propaganda efforts, the past 12 months provided ample reasons. Last year, two USA Today journalists were ensnared in a propaganda campaign after reporting about millions of dollars in back taxes owed by the Pentagon's top propaganda contractor in Afghanistan. Eventually, one of the co-owners of the firm confessed to creating phony websites and Twitter accounts to smear the journalists anonymously. Additionally, just this month, the Washington Post exposed a counter-propaganda program by the Pentagon that recommended posting comments on a U.S. website run by a Somali expat with readers opposing al-Shabab. "Today, the military is more focused on manipulating news and commentary on the Internet, especially social media, by posting material and images without necessarily claiming ownership," reported the Post.
But for BBG officials, the references to Pentagon propaganda efforts are nauseating, particularly because the Smith-Mundt Act never had anything to do with regulating the Pentagon, a fact that was misunderstood in media reports in the run-up to the passage of new Smith-Mundt reforms in January.
One example included a report by the late BuzzFeed reporter Michael Hastings, who suggested that the Smith-Mundt Modernization Act would open the door to Pentagon propaganda of U.S. audiences. In fact, as amended in 1987, the act only covers portions of the State Department engaged in public diplomacy abroad (i.e. the public diplomacy section of the "R" bureau, and the Broadcasting Board of Governors.)
But the news circulated regardless, much to the displeasure of Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-TX), a sponsor of the Smith-Mundt Modernization Act of 2012. "To me, it's a fascinating case study in how one blogger was pretty sloppy, not understanding the issue and then it got picked up by Politico's Playbook, and you had one level of sloppiness on top of another," Thornberry told The Cable last May. "And once something sensational gets out there, it just spreads like wildfire."
That of course doesn't leave the BBG off the hook if its content smacks of agitprop. But now that its materials are allowed to be broadcast by local radio stations and TV networks, they won't be a complete mystery to Americans. "Previously, the legislation had the effect of clouding and hiding this stuff," the former U.S. official told The Cable. "Now we'll have a better sense: Gee some of this stuff is really good. Or gee some of this stuff is really bad. At least we'll know now."
By Tori Richards / December 13, 2013 / Watchdog.org
A confidential training manual for Obamacare navigators that threatens prosecution for unauthorized dissemination is on the Internet for the world to see.
The 217-page manual reads like a primer for Amway or novice car salesmen, offering sales advice on how to disarm potential customers who could be lured into purchasing insurance through exchanges created under the Affordable Care Act.
Section headers include âSmile: Maintain a Positive Demeanor,â âMake the Customers Feel Welcome,â âListenâ and â in what must now seem ironic given Barack Obamaâs troubles with over-promising â âBuild Trust: Be True to Your Word.â
The handbook also delves into the more serious topics of âIdentifying Personally Identifiable Information,â âIRS Data Safeguardsâ and âPreventing Fraud.â
Nothing in the manual seems to rise to the level of a state secret â raising questions about why the federal government felt it necessary to classify information that has no reason to be classified.
âItâs a conditioned reflex aimed at preventing agency embarrassment,â said Chris Farrell, a director with Judicial Watch, a nonprofit aimed at rooting out secret government documents. âThe federal government routinely overclassifies documents and withholds information the public is owed.â
Farrell said the most ludicrous example he encountered happened after 9/11.
âAn egregious example that comes to mind is the FBI redacting the name of Osama bin Laden from press reports, and then saying they were protecting his privacy,â Farrell said.
The Department of Health and Human Services hasnât encountered issues as death-defying as the FBI, but still takes its âconfidentialâ information just as seriously. A disclaimer at the bottom of each page of the manual is headlined in bold: âINFORMATION NOT RELEASABLE TO THE PUBLIC UNLESS AUTHORIZED BY LAW.â
âThis information has not been publicly disclosed and may be privileged and confidential,â the warning reads. âIt is for internal government use only and must not be disseminated, distributed, or copied to persons not authorized to receive the information. Unauthorized disclosure may result in prosecution to the full extent of the law.â
A New Jersey woman who stumbled upon the document was so alarmed that she called the feds to report it. But her concerns fell on deaf ears.
âI immediately sent an email through the White House web site that these documents are on the web for all to see. I got no response,â said Tammy Duffy, a radiation health physicist who was signing up for Obamacare. âI also called the White House yesterday and spoke to a volunteer (and said) these restricted documents are on web. I have heard from no one. I also sent it to a friend who works at the Department of Defense and said, âGet this taken down.â Itâs still up there.â
Duffy first learned of the document when she was talking to Obamacare navigators who referred to the manual online because they could not answer her questions regarding coverage for a self-employed person.
âI asked the nice ladies for a copy and they said I could not have it because it was a government document not for the public,â Duffy said. âSo I thought maybe there is an outline or shorter version that is for the public. I went to Google and typed in âhealthcare insurance marketplace navigator SOP.ââ
To her surprise, the document popped up. She found other training materials as well.
Labeling the manual âconfidentialâ just makes the feds look silly â something they should be used to, Farrell said.
Second release of secret Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement documents - WikiLeaks 09 Dec 2013 On 13 November 2013
WikiLeaks released the draft text of the crucial Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) Intellectual Property chapter during the lead-up to a TPP chief negotiators' meeting in Salt Lake City on 19-24 November 2013. Today, 9 December 2013, WikiLeaks has released two more secret TPP documents that show the state of negotiations as the twelve TPP countries began supposedly final negotiations at a trade ministers' meeting in Singapore this week. . One document describes deep divisions between the United States and other nations, and "great pressure" being exerted by the US negotiators to move other nations to their position. The other document lists, country-by-country, the many areas of disagreement remaining. It covers intellectual property and thirteen other chapters of the draft agreement. This suggests that the TPP negotiations can only be concluded if the Asia-Pacific countries back down on key national interest issues, otherwise the treaty will fail altogether.
Some readers were upset by the first two articles in this series reflecting on the proliferation of myths, phony documents and fraudulent âquotationsâ muddying serious research into big issues of the day and events of the past. However, our job is to report the facts.
This week, we take a look at one particularly ubiquitous mythâa combination of mythsâwhich has excited many: A variety of claims the Bush, Rockefeller and Rothschild families and a host of âJewish bankersââtogether or independentlyâhelped finance Hitlerâs rise to power.
The most cited source for the story Jewish bankers paved the way for Hitler is Hitlerâs Secret Backers, supposedly by a Jewish banker named Sidney Warburg.
First of all, there was no Sidney Warburg. But those who actually read the spurious book (and most who cite it havenât read it) will find the unknown author saysâin contrast to what people think he saidâthat Jewish bankers didnât finance Hitler. Instead, the book claims some naughty non-Jewish bankers did so.
But even that isnât true. An accurate assessment by James Pool in Who Financed Hitler absolutely refutes the legend big banking or industrial interests played a substantial role funding Hitler. Most of the Nazi Partyâs money came from small contributions and sales of literature.
No Rothschilds backed Hitler. Thatâs a myth. One banker, a practicing Christian of one-quarter Jewish descent, was saidâby one source, passing on a rumorâto have donated money to Hitler. And thatâs it. The one Jewish banker known to have given money to any Nazis gave it to elements in the Nazi partyâthe Strasser brothersâwho were trying to stop Hitler.
And Hitler wasnât descended from any Rothschilds or Frankenbergers. If he had any Jewish blood, it has never been authoritatively traced.
One proponent of the claim Hitler was Jewish cites Brigitte Hamannâs Hitlerâs Vienna as proof, pointing out the book describes stories of Hitlerâs Jewish heritage. In fact, Hamann dissects the legends, refuting them in detail. Scholars such as Carolyn Yeager and Veronica Clark, in Warwolves of the Iron Cross, have also demolished the rumors.
Some claim Hitler was pro-Zionist. They are wrong. For a brief period Hitler did encourage some Zionists in efforts to promote Jewish immigration from Germany to Palestine, as described in Edwin Blackâs The Transfer Agreement. However, at the same time, other Zionist forces were calling for war against Hitler as early as 1933.
The legendary âNazi-Zionist collaborationâ was a tiny blip of no geopolitical consequence. But it makes for great Internet chatter.
Others are hysterical over the fact American banks and corporations worked with the Nazi regime, yetâdespite the frenzyâthis is neither a major revelation nor is it extraordinary.
These were well-known arrangements, sometimes going back decades, with whatever German government was in power.
Many think that Antony Sutton âprovedâ in Wall Street and the Rise of Hitler that Rockefeller-controlled Standard Oil funded Hitler. However, in his book, Sutton says flatly: âStandard Oil apparently did not finance Hitlerâs accession to power.â
Some cite that same book as evidence the Bush family, with the Harriman banking interests, funded Hitler. In fact, Sutton says only that the Harrimansâlike many American financial groupsâhad connections to corporate interests in Germany. And he concludes that this âdoes not suggest that the Harrimans directly financed Hitler.â He never mentions the Bushes at all.
Another rumor claims the Bushes were part of a âfascist plotâ to overthrow Franklin Roosevelt, often citing Jules Archerâs The Plot to Seize the White House. While there was a scheme to dislodge FDRâwhich many patriots believe to have been a good thingâthe book never mentions the Bushes, nor is there any other evidence they had anything to do with that plot.
As Detective Sergeant Joe Friday used to say: âJust the facts.â
The Bush Family's British Fascism, How Bush's grandfather helped Hitler's rise to power
Rumours of a link between the US first family and the Nazi war machine have circulated for decades. Now the Guardian can reveal how repercussions of events that culminated in action under the Trading with the Enemy Act are still being felt by today's president
George Bush's grandfather, the late US senator Prescott Bush, was a director and shareholder of companies that profited from their involvement with the financial backers of Nazi Germany. The Guardian has obtained confirmation from newly discovered files in the US National Archives that a firm of which Prescott Bush was a director was involved with the financial architects of Nazism.
His business dealings, which continued until his company's assets were seized in 1942 under the Trading with the Enemy Act, has led more than 60 years later to a civil action for damages being brought in Germany against the Bush family by two former slave labourers at Auschwitz and to a hum of pre-election controversy.
The evidence has also prompted one former US Nazi war crimes prosecutor to argue that the late senator's action should have been grounds for prosecution for giving aid and comfort to the enemy.
The debate over Prescott Bush's behaviour has been bubbling under the surface for some time. There has been a steady internet chatter about the "Bush/Nazi" connection, much of it inaccurate and unfair. But the new documents, many of which were only declassified last year, show that even after America had entered the war and when there was already significant information about the Nazis' plans and policies, he worked for and profited from companies closely involved with the very German businesses that financed Hitler's rise to power. It has also been suggested that the money he made from these dealings helped to establish the Bush family fortune and set up its political dynasty.
Remarkably, little of Bush's dealings with Germany has received public scrutiny, partly because of the secret status of the documentation involving him. But now the multibillion dollar legal action for damages by two Holocaust survivors against the Bush family, and the imminent publication of three books on the subject are threatening to make Prescott Bush's business history an uncomfortable issue for his grandson, George W, as he seeks re-election.
While there is no suggestion that Prescott Bush was sympathetic to the Nazi cause, the documents reveal that the firm he worked for, Brown Brothers Harriman (BBH), acted as a US base for the German industrialist, Fritz Thyssen, who helped finance Hitler in the 1930s before falling out with him at the end of the decade. The Guardian has seen evidence that shows Bush was the director of the New York-based Union Banking Corporation (UBC) that represented Thyssen's US interests and he continued to work for the bank after America entered the war.
âŠâŠâŠâŠ Official International Red Cross Records Released Sealed And Guarded Since The End Of WWII At Arolsen, Germany, The Official IRC Records Reveal The Actual Concentration Camp Total Death Toll Was 271,301 http://monamontgomery.com/products/271304.htm
JUNE 4, 2012 BY ADMIN The Great Jewish Lie Holocaust Truth Exposed [ Re-Post ]
OFFICIAL INTERNATIONAL RED CROSS RECORDS RELEASED Sealed and guarded since the end of WWII at Arolsen, Germany, the Official IRC records reveal the actual Concentration Camp total death toll was 271,301
For years, people around the world â âthe Westâ in particular â have been told that âsix million Jews were systematically murdered by Germans in âConcentration Campsâ during World War 2.â Thousands of honest people disputing this claim have been viciously smeared as a hateful anti-Semite. Several countries around the world have jailed and heavily fined people for disputing the claim that â6 Millionâ Jews were killed.
Provided here is a scanned image of an Official International Red Cross document, proving the so-called âHolocaustâ [the long-and-often-claimed-6-million Jews] is just plain wrong. Jews around the world have intentionally exaggerated and perpetually lied for the purpose of gaining political, emotional and business advantages for themselves.
They committed willful, criminal FRAUD upon millions of trusting people around the world! Please NOTE that the truth has been known since long before 1979!!! The above compiler, replying to a letter, had to rely on information that was already in existence!!!
Tax-payers of Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Latvia, Poland and other nations have had multiple Millions of dollars taken from their wages to be paid out to âholocaust survivorsâ and their descendants for something that DID NOT HAPPEN.
The tax-payers of these United States of America spend Billion$ each year in direct, indirect and military support of the State of Israel (which is not Biblical Israel).
This is intentional, criminal fraud on a scale so massive as to be almost incomprehensible. Red Cross and East German government figures put the total deaths at every camp as 272.000, and 282,000 respectively which includes homosexuals, communists, gypsies, murderers, paedophiles etc. The 6 Million figure is a Kabbalist number, a magickal figure which featured in news papers in the early 1900âČs
Where do the innocent Germans, Americans and others go to get a refund? I call for criminal prosecution of individuals and groups who filed false lawsuits to obtain holocaust reparations and financial damage awards and perpetrating deliberate fraud upon Courts. I call for the removal of Holocaust references in History books and educational materials. I call for the removal of Holocaust Memorials worldwide.
It is long overdue that this intentional fraud be halted and those who perpetrated it be brought to justice for over 60 years of National Blood Libel against Germany and other nations through vicious lies and financial fraud.
Two of the most important surveys of the Jewish question in Europe during World War II are David Irvings examination of the Russian archives after the wall came down. Irving published his findings in his book, âHitlerâs Warâ and said not one word about gas chambers.
When question about this omission he said that there was no reference to gas chambers in the archives and therefore he did not discuss the question of gas chambers. Irving was arrested in several countries for hate speech for his scholarly omission.
The International Red Cross published their analysis in a three volume âReport of the International Committee of the Red Cross on its Activities during the Second World Warâ published in Geneva in 1948. This analysis expanded findings of two previous publications: âSur Lâactiviteâ du CICR en faveur des civils detencus dans les camps de concentration en Allemagne 1939-1945 (Geneva, 1946) and âInter Arma Caritas: The Work of the ICRF during the Second World Warâ (Geneva, 1947). In 1949 the International Red Cross interviewed prisoners in the German camps. They were not allowed to interview prisoners in the Russian camps which were far more harsh.
The German camps held both political prisoners (Schutzhaflinge) and those convicted of crimes. The Germans allowed the Red Cross to distribute food, medicine and clothing to the prisoners. Grateful prisoners sent letters of thanks from Dachau, Buchenwalk, Sangerhausen, Sachsenhausen, Oranienburg, Flossenburg, Landsberg-am-Lech, Fibha, Ravensbruck, Hamburg-Neuengamme, Mauthausen, Theresienstadt, Auschwitz, Bergen-Belsen and others.
âThe principal recipients were Belgians, Dutch, French, Greeks, Italians, Norwegians, Poles and stateless Jewsâ (Vol. III, p. 83).
Regarding Theresienstadt, the Red Cross said, ââwhere there were about 40,000 Jews deported from various countries, was a relatively privileged ghettoâ (Vol. III, p. 75).
âThe Committeeâs delegates were able to visit the camp at Theresienstadt (Terezin) which was used exclusively for Jews and was governed by special conditions âŠ From information gathered by the Commmee, this camp had been started as an experiment by certain leaders of the Reich âŠ These men wished to give the Jews the means of setting up a communal life in a town under their own administration and possessing almost complete autonomy âŠ two delegates were able to visit the camp on April 6, 1945.
They confirmed the favourable impression gained on the first visitâ (Vol. I, p. 642). The ICRC also had praise for the regime of Ion Antonescu of Fascist Rumania where the Committee was able to extend special relief to 183,000 Rumanian Jews until the time of the Soviet occupation. The aid then ceased and the ICRC complained bitterly that it never succeeded âin sending anything whatsoever to Russiaâ (Vol. II, p. 62). The same situation applied to many of the German camps after their âliberationâ by the Russians.
The ICRC received a voluminous flow of mail from Auschwitz until the period of the Soviet occupation, when many of the internees were evacuated westward. But the efforts of the Red Cross to send relief to internees remaining at Auschwitz under Soviet control were futile. However. food parcels continued to be sent to former Auschwitz inmates transferred west to such camps as Buchenwald and Oranienburg.
NO MENTION OF GAS CHAMBERS One of the most important aspects of the Report of the ICRC is that it clarifies the true cause of those deaths that undoubtedly occurred in the camps towards the end of the war. Says the Report: âin the chaotic condition of Germany after the invasion during the final months of the war, the camps received no food supplies at all and starvation claimed an increasing number of victims.
Itself alarmed by this situation, the German Government at last informed the ICRC on February 1, 1945 âŠ In March 1945, discussions between the President of the ICRC and General of the S.S. Kaltenbrunner gave even more decisive results.
Relief could henceforth be distributed by the ICRC and one delegate was authorised to stay in each camp .I.â (Vol. III, p.83).
Clearly, the German authorities were at pains to relieve the dire situation as far as they were able.
The Red Cross are quite explicit in stating that food supplies ceased at this time due to the Allied bombing of German transportation, and in the interests of interned Jews they had protested on March 15, 1944 against âthe barbarous aerial warfare of the Alliesâ (Inter Armet Caritns, p. 78). B By October 2, 1944, the ICRC had warned the German Foreign Office of the impending collapse of the German transportation system, declaring that starvation conditions for people throughout Germany were becoming inevitable.
In dealing with this comprehensive, three-volume Report, it is important to stress that the delegates of the International Red Cross found no evidence whatsoever of âgas chambersâ. The original 1946 edition did not even talk of âexterminationâ or âdeath campsâ but after the emotional impact of the Nuremberg trials the Red Cross felt compelled to introduce into the expanded 1948 Report several, very cursory references to âdeath campsâ (Vol. 1 p. 641) and âextermination campsâ (Vol. I p. 645).
However, no means ofâexterminationâ is indicated.
In all its 1,600 pages the three-volume Report does not even mention such a thing as a âgas chamberâ. It acknowledges that Jews, like many other wartime nationalities, suffered rigours and privations, butâ its complete silence on the subject ofâgassingsâ is ample refutation of the âHolocaustâ legend.
NOT ALL WERE INTERNED Volume III of the Report of the ICRC, Chapter 3 (I. Jewish Civilian Population) deals with the âaid given to the Jewish section of the free populationâ and this chapter makes it quite plain that by no means all of the European Jews were placed in internment camps but remained, subject to certain restrictions, as part of the free civilian population.
This conflicts directly with the âthoroughnessâ of the supposed âextermination programmeâ, and with the claim in the forged Hoess memoirs that Eichmann was obsessed with seizing every single Jew he could lay his hands on,â In Slovakia, for example, where Eichmannâs assistant Dieter Wisliceny was in charge, the Report states that âA large proportian of the Jewish minority had permission to stay in the country, and at certain periods Slovakia was looked upon as a comparative haven of refuge for Jews, especially for those coming from Poland.
Those who remained in Slovakia seem to have been in comparative safety until the end of August 1944, when a rising against the German forces took place. While it is true that the law of May 15, 1942 had brought about the internment of several thousand Jews, these people were held in camps where the conditions of food and lodging were tolerable, and where the internees were allowed to do paid work on terms almost equal to those of the free labour marketâ (Vol. I, p. 646).
Not only did large numbers of the three million or so European Jews avoid internment altogether, but the emigration of Jews continued throughout the war, generally by way of Hungary, Rumania and Turkey. Ironically, post-war Jewish emigration from German-occupied territories was also facilitated by the Reich, as in the case of the Polish Jews who had escaped to France before its occupation.
âThe Jews from Poland who, whilst in France, had obtained entrance permits to the United States were held to be American citizens by the German occupying authorities, who further agreed to recognise the validity of about three thousand passports issued to Jews by the consulates of South American countriesâ (Vol. 1, p. 645).
As future U.S. citizens, these Jews were held at the Vittel camp in southern France for American aliens. The emigration of European Jews from Hungary in particular proceeded during the war unhindered by the German authorities. âUntil March 1944,â says the Red Cross Report, âJews who had the privilege of visas for Palestine were free to leave Hungaryâ (Vol. 1, p. 648). Even after the replacement of the Horthy Government in 1944 (following its attempted armistice with the Soviet Union) with a government more dependent on German authority, the emigration of Jews continued.
The Committee secured the pledges of both Britain and the United States âto give support by every means to the emigration of Jews from Hungary, â and from the U.S. Government the ICRC received a message stating that âThe Government of the United StatesâŠ now specifically repeats its assurance that arrangements will be made by it for the care of all Jews who in the present circumstances are allowed to leaveâ (Vol. 1, p. 649).
The Source of the six million figure is a Talmudic (Jewish Talmud) reference to a future holocaust in which six million Jews die.
The reason why they are claiming six million deaths in Nazi camps, even though that number vastly exceeds the number of Jews in Europe at the time, is because this reference in their scripture is something they fear deeply and wish to prevent at all costs.
The Ashkenazi Jews, which I have experience with honestly believe that prophecy is real, but can be manipulated.
They believe that prophets see into the future, and see what was believed and said, and then write that down as much as they reveal the word of GOD.
SO there is a group of Ashkenazi Jews who wish to make the six million figure HISTORY to prevent it from ever happening in the FUTURE by repeating this number over and over and over into the social concience, in the hope that prophets of old will also latch onto this, and report it as a factual event in the future, which would now be history.
In other words, they believe they can lie themselves a new future. I donât think so â I think their hardest days are ahead and one thing is certain, the genie is out of the bottle and through the word, the real truth of Fukushima may be like silly putty slowly sinking into the carpet, eventually it will be TOTALLY sunk in the carpet and nothing will get it out.
THIS could cause the six million Jewish deaths the prophecy speaks of, and No, I do not believe they can lie their way out of it. Jewish Fraternity article
On RAI with Paul Jay, Senator Bob Graham explains why he persists in making the case that facts directly connect the Saudi government with 9/11 conspirators
TheRealNews - 11-27-2013
Former U.S. Senator Bob Graham says greater awareness of Saudi Arabia as âessentially a co-conspirator in 9/11...would change the way in which, particularly in the current milieu of events in the Middle East, Saudi Arabia is being viewedâ by the U.S. public.
Saudi Arabia, an historic ally of the U.S., had put significant pressure on the Obama administration in recent months to militarily intervene in Syria, and had also attempted to derail recent U.S.-Iran rapprochement.
Senator Graham co-chaired the Congressional Joint Inquiry into 9/11 that investigated intelligence failures leading up to 9/11. The inquiryâs final report included a 28-page chapter describing the Saudi connection to 9/11, but it was completely redacted by U.S. intelligence agencies.
âI was stunned that the intelligence community would feel that it was a threat to national security for the American people to know who had made 9/11 financially possible,â said Senator Graham. âAnd I am sad to report that today, some 12 years after we submitted our report, that those 28 pages continue to be withheld from the public.â
The investigation into 9/11 intelligence failures and the subsequent cover-up of Saudi involvement by the Bush administration led Senator Graham to question his life-long reverence of presidential authority.
âI grew up with the idea that the president was almost a divine figure, that he was the literally the father of the country and always acted in a way that was beneficial to the mass of people in America,â said Graham. âYou may have disagreements with the current occupant of the office, but the presidency itself was a benighted position deserving of your respect and worthy of your confidence.â
âSo when I got involved particularly at the national level in the U.S. Senate and saw some of the things that were happeningâwhich were not theoretical; they were things that I was dealing with on a very day-to-day hands-on basis that were contrary to that view of what was the presidencyâit was a very disillusioning experience. And maybe some of the comments that I make in the book Intelligence Matters reflect that path to disillusionment,â said Graham.
Governments from around the world admit they carry out false flag terror:
A major with the Nazi SS admitted at the Nuremberg trials that â under orders from the chief of the Gestapo â he and some other Nazi operatives faked attacks on their own people and resources which they blamed on the Poles, to justify the invasion of Poland. Nazi general Franz Halder also testified at the Nuremberg trials that Nazi leader Hermann Goering admitted to setting fire to the German parliament building, and then falsely blaming the communists for the arson
Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev admitted in writing that the Soviet Unionâs Red Army shelled the Russian village of Mainila in 1939, and declared that the fire originated from Finland as a basis launching the Winter War four days later
Israel admits that an Israeli terrorist cell operating in Egypt planted bombs in several buildings, including U.S. diplomatic facilities, then left behind âevidenceâ implicating the Arabs as the culprits (one of the bombs detonated prematurely, allowing the Egyptians to identify the bombers, and several of the Israelis later confessed) (and see this and this)
The CIA admits that it hired Iranians in the 1950âČs to pose as Communists and stage bombings in Iran in order to turn the country against its democratically-elected prime minister
The former Italian Prime Minister, an Italian judge, and the former head of Italian counterintelligenceadmit that NATO, with the help of the Pentagon and CIA, carried out terror bombings in Italy and other European countries in the 1950s and blamed the communists, in order to rally peopleâs support for their governments in Europe in their fight against communism. As one participant in this formerly-secret program stated: âYou had to attack civilians, people, women, children, innocent people, unknown people far removed from any political game. The reason was quite simple. They were supposed to force these people, the Italian public, to turn to the state to ask for greater securityâ(and see this)(Italy and other European countries subject to the terror campaign had joined NATO before the bombings occurred). And watch this BBC special
As admitted by the U.S. government, recently declassified documents show that in the 1960âČs, the American Joint Chiefs of Staff signed off on a plan to blow up AMERICAN airplanes (using an elaborate plan involving the switching of airplanes), and also to commit terrorist acts on American soil, and then to blame it on the Cubans in order to justify an invasion of Cuba. See the following ABC news report; the official documents; and watch this interview with the former Washington Investigative Producer for ABCâs World News Tonight with Peter Jennings.
2 years before, American Senator George Smathers had suggested that the U.S. make âa false attack made on Guantanamo Bay which would give us the excuse of actually fomenting a fight which would then give us the excuse to go in and [overthrow Castro]â.
And Official State Department documents show that â only nine months before the Joint Chiefs of Staff plan was proposed â the head of the Joint Chiefs and other high-level officials discussed blowing up a consulate in the Dominican Republic in order to justify an invasion of that country. The 3 plans were not carried out, but they were all discussed as serious proposals
A U.S. Congressional committee admitted that â as part of its âCointelproâ campaign â the FBI had used many provocateurs in the 1950s through 1970s to carry out violent acts and falsely blame them on political activists
The South African Truth and Reconciliation Council found that, in 1989, the Civil Cooperation Bureau (a covert branch of the South African Defense Force) approached an explosives expert and asked him âto participate in an operation aimed at discrediting the ANC [the African National Congress] by bombing the police vehicle of the investigating officer into the murder incidentâ, thus framing the ANC for the bombing
An Algerian diplomat and several officers in the Algerian army admit that, in the 1990s, the Algerian army frequently massacred Algerian civilians and then blamed Islamic militants for the killings (and see this video; and Agence France-Presse, 9/27/2002, French Court Dismisses Algerian Defamation Suit Against Author)
Senior Russian Senior military and intelligence officers admit that the KGB blew up Russian apartment buildings and falsely blamed it on Chechens, in order to justify an invasion of Chechnya (and see this report and this discussion)
According to the Washington Post, Indonesian police admit that the Indonesian military killed American teachers in Papua in 2002 and blamed the murders on a Papuan separatist group in order to get that group listed as a terrorist organization.
The well-respected former Indonesian president also admits that the government probably had a role in the Bali bombings
As reported by BBC, the New York Times, and Associated Press, Macedonian officials admit that the government murdered 7 innocent immigrants in cold blood and pretended that they were Al Qaeda soldiers attempting to assassinate Macedonian police, in order to join the âwar on terrorâ.
Although the FBI now admits that the 2001 anthrax attacks were carried out by one or more U.S. government scientists, a senior FBI official says that the FBI was actually told to blame the Anthrax attacks on Al Qaeda by White House officials (remember what the anthrax letters looked like). Government officials also confirm that the white House tried to link the anthrax to Iraq as a justification for regime change in that country
Former Department of Justice lawyer John Yoo suggested in 2005 that the US should go on the offensive against al-Qaeda, having âour intelligence agencies create a false terrorist organization. It could have its own websites, recruitment centers, training camps, and fundraising operations. It could launch fake terrorist operations and claim credit for real terrorist strikes, helping to sow confusion within al-Qaedaâs ranks, causing operatives to doubt othersâ identities and to question the validity of communications.â
United Press International reported in June 2005:
U.S. intelligence officers are reporting that some of the insurgents in Iraq are using recent-model Beretta 92 pistols, but the pistols seem to have had their serial numbers erased. The numbers do not appear to have been physically removed; the pistols seem to have come off a production line without any serial numbers. Analysts suggest the lack of serial numbers indicates that the weapons were intended for intelligence operations or terrorist cells with substantial government backing. Analysts speculate that these guns are probably from either Mossad or the CIA. Analysts speculate that agent provocateurs may be using the untraceable weapons even as U.S. authorities use insurgent attacks against civilians as evidence of the illegitimacy of the resistance. Undercover Israeli soldiers admitted in 2005 to throwing stones at other Israeli soldiers so they could blame it on Palestinians, as an excuse to crack down on peaceful protests by the Palestinians
Quebec police admitted that, in 2007, thugs carrying rocks to a peaceful protest were actually undercover Quebec police officers (and see this)
At the G20 protests in London in 2009, a British member of parliament saw plain clothes police officers attempting to incite the crowd to violence
A Colombian army colonel has admitted that his unit murdered 57 civilians, then dressed them in uniforms and claimed they were rebels killed in combat
U.S. soldiers have admitted that if they kill innocent Iraqis and Afghanis, they then âdropâ automatic weapons near their body so they can pretend they were militants
The highly-respected writer for the Telegraph Ambrose Evans-Pritchard says that the head of Saudi intelligence â Prince Bandar â recently admitted that the Saudi government controls âChechenâ terrorists
So Common âŠ Thereâs a Name for It
This tactic is so common that it was given a name for hundreds of years ago.
âFalse flag terrorismâ is defined as a government attacking its own people, then blaming others in order to justify going to war against the people it blames. Or as Wikipedia defines it:
False flag operations are covert operations conducted by governments, corporations, or other organizations, which are designed to appear as if they are being carried out by other entities. The name is derived from the military concept of flying false colors; that is, flying the flag of a country other than oneâs own. False flag operations are not limited to war and counter-insurgency operations, and have been used in peace-time; for example, during Italyâs strategy of tension. The term comes from the old days of wooden ships, when one ship would hang the flag of its enemy before attacking another ship in its own navy. Because the enemyâs flag, instead of the flag of the real country of the attacking ship, was hung, it was called a âfalse flagâ attack.
Indeed, this concept is so well-accepted that rules of engagement for naval, air and land warfare all prohibit false flag attacks.
Leaders Throughout History Have Acknowledged False Flags
Leaders throughout history have acknowledged the danger of false flags:
âThis and no other is the root from which a tyrant springs; when he first appears he is a protector.â - Plato âIf Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy.â - U.S. President James Madison âA history of false flag attacks used to manipulate the minds of the people! âIn individuals, insanity is rare; but in groups, parties, nations, and epochs it is the rule.â â Friedrich Nietzsche âTerrorism is the best political weapon for nothing drives people harder than a fear of sudden deathâ. - Adolph Hitler âWhy of course the people donât want war âŠ But after all it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship âŠ Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.â - Hermann Goering, Nazi leader. âThe easiest way to gain control of a population is to carry out acts of terror. [The public] will clamor for such laws if their personal security is threatenedâ. - Josef Stalin People Are Waking Up to False Flags
People are slowly waking up to this whole con job by governments who want to justify war.
More people are talking about the phrase âfalse flagâ than ever before.
President John F. Kennedy at work in the Oval office in 1962. George Tames/The New York Times
RFK Jr. Details the Threat of a Coup From the Dulles Crowd Against His Uncle, President Kennedy
Yesterday, on the eve of the 50th anniversary of John F. Kennedy's murder, JFK's nephew, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., has published a bombshell pointing the finger at then-CIA chief Allen Dulles.
RFK, Jr.'s article, "John F. Kennedy's Vision of Peace," in the Dec. 5 edition of Rolling Stone, relates that "Dulles, fired by JFK after the Bay of Pigs, returned to public service when LBJ appointed him to the Warren Commission, where he systematically concealed the agency's involvement in various assassination schemes and its ties to organized crime. To a young writer, he revealed his continued resentment against JFK: 'That little Kennedy... he thought he was a god.'"
The article makes clear the continuous menace of a coup d'etat against the U.S. government posed by Dulles and his allies in the national security apparatus. This coup threat was directed against JFK's determination to pull the U.S. and Russia out of the Cold War that had trapped the U.S.A. since the end of World War II.
The author writes that his father, Robert F. Kennedy, told the Soviet Ambassador in a secret meeting, "If the situation [Cuban Missile crisis] continues much longer, the President is not sure that the military will not overthrow him and seize power." But the "mood in Langley was even uglier.... [It was] an insubordinate, out-of-control agency, which one top official called a 'malignancy. He doubted that 'even the White House could control it any longer.' Another warned, 'If the United States ever experiences a [coup], it will come from the CIA and not from the Pentagon.'"
RFK, Jr. outlines the President's determination to close out the inherited colonial war in Vietnam. He writes that his father, Robert Kennedy, told Daniel Ellsberg that JFK "did not want to follow France into a war of rich against poor, white versus Asian, on the side of imperialism and colonialism against nationalism and self-determination." The two Kennedy brothers had toured Vietnam back in 1951, and, said Robert, "'we were there! We saw what was happening to the French. We saw it. We were determined never to let that happen to us.'"
John F. Kennedy's Vision of Peace On the 50th anniversary of JFK's death, his nephew recalls the fallen president's attempts to halt the war machine.
By Robert F. Kennedy Jr. - November 20, 2013 - RollingStone.com
On November 22nd, 1963, my uncle, president John F. Kennedy, went to Dallas intending to condemn as "nonsense" the right-wing notion that "peace is a sign of weakness." He meant to argue that the best way to demonstrate American strength was not by using destructive weapons and threats but by being a nation that "practices what it preaches about equal rights and social justice," striving toward peace instead of "aggressive ambitions." Despite the Cold War rhetoric of his campaign, JFK's greatest ambition as president was to break the militaristic ideology that has dominated our country since World War II. He told his close friend Ben Bradlee that he wanted the epitaph "He kept the peace," and said to another friend, William Walton, "I am almost a 'peace at any price' president." Hugh Sidey, a journalist and friend, wrote that the governing aspect of JFK's leadership was "a total revulsion" of war. Nevertheless, as James W. Douglass argues in his book JFK and the Unspeakable: Why He Died and Why It Matters, JFK's presidency would be a continuous struggle with his own military and intelligence agencies, which engaged in incessant schemes to trap him into escalating the Cold War into a hot one. His first major confrontation with the Pentagon, the Bay of Pigs catastrophe, came only three months into his presidency and would set the course for the next 1,000 days.
JFK's predecessor, Dwight D. Eisenhower, had finalized support on March 17th, 1960, for a Cuban invasion by anti-Castro insurgents, but the wily general left its execution to the incoming Kennedy team. From the start, JFK recoiled at the caper's stench, as CIA Director Allen Dulles has acknowledged, demanding assurances from CIA and Pentagon brass that there was no chance of failure and that there would be no need for U.S. military involvement. Dulles and the generals knowingly lied and gave him those guarantees.
When the invasion failed, JFK refused to order airstrikes against Castro. Realizing he had been drawn into a trap, he told his top aides, David Powers and Kenneth O'Donnell, "They were sure I'd give in to them and send the go-ahead order to the [U.S. Navy aircraft carrier] Essex. They couldn't believe that a new president like me wouldn't panic and try to save his own face. Well, they had me figured all wrong." JFK was realizing that the CIA posed a monumental threat to American democracy. As the brigade faltered, he told Arthur Schlesinger that he wanted to "splinter the CIA into a thousand pieces and scatter it to the winds."
The next confrontation with the defense and intelligence establishments had already begun as JFK resisted pressure from Eisenhower, the Joint Chiefs and the CIA to prop up the CIA's puppet government in Laos against the communist Pathet Lao guerrillas. The military wanted 140,000 ground troops, with some officials advocating for nuclear weapons. "If it hadn't been for Cuba," JFK told Schlesinger, "we might be about to intervene in Laos. I might have taken this advice seriously." JFK instead signed a neutrality agreement the following year and was joined by 13 nations, including the Soviet Union.
His own instincts against intervening with American combat forces in Laos were fortified that April by the judgment of retired Gen. Douglas MacArthur, America's undisputed authority on fighting wars in Asia. Referring to Dulles' mischief in Southeast Asia during the Eisenhower years, MacArthur told JFK, "The chickens are coming home to roost, and [you] live in the chicken coop." MacArthur added a warning that ought to still resonate today: "Anyone wanting to commit American ground forces to the mainland of Asia should have his head examined."
As JFK's relationship with his military-intelligence apparatus deteriorated, a remarkable relationship with Khrushchev began. Both were battle-hardened war veterans seeking a path to rapprochement and disarmament, encircled by militarists clamoring for war. In Kennedy's case, both the Pentagon and the CIA believed war with the Soviets was inevitable and therefore desirable in the short term while we still had the nuclear advantage. In the autumn of 1961, as retired Gen. Lucius Clay, who had taken a civilian post in Berlin, launched a series of unauthorized provocations against the Soviets, Khrushchev began an extraordinary secret correspondence with JFK. With the Berlin crisis moving toward nuclear Armageddon, Khrushchev turned to KGB agent Georgi Bolshakov, a top Soviet spy in Washington, to communicate directly with JFK. Bolshakov, to the horror of the U.S. State Department, was a friend of my parents and a frequent guest at our home. Bolshakov smuggled a letter, the first of 21 declassified in 1993, to JFK's press secretary, Pierre Salinger, in a folded newspaper. In it, Khrushchev expressed regret about Vienna and embraced JFK's proposal for a path to peace and disarmament.
On October 27th, Gen. Clay made an unauthorized armed threat to knock down the Berlin Wall using tanks equipped with dozer plows, seeking to provoke the Soviets into some action that would justify a nuclear first strike. The Kremlin responded with its own tanks, which met Clay's forces at the border crossing known as Checkpoint Charlie. A 16-hour face-off ensued. Through my father, Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, and Bolshakov, JFK promised that if Khrushchev withdrew his tanks within 24 hours, the U.S. would pull back 20 minutes later. Khrushchev took the risk, and JFK kept his word. Two weeks later, with tensions still running, Khrushchev sent a second letter to JFK: "I have no ground to retreat further, there is a precipice behind [me]." Kennedy realized that Khrushchev, too, was surrounded by a powerful military and intelligence complex intent on going to war. After the confrontation, Gen. Clay railed against JFK's unwillingness to "face the risk of nuclear war" against the Soviets.
One year later, on October 16th, 1962, Kennedy saw aerial photographs proving that the Soviets had installed nuclear missiles in Cuba capable of reaching much of the eastern U.S. seaboard. The next 13 days were the most perilous in mankind's history. From the outset, the Pentagon, the CIA and many of JFK's advisers urged airstrikes and a U.S. invasion of the island that, as a Soviet military commander later revealed, would have triggered a nuclear war with the Soviets. JFK opted for a blockade, which Soviet ships respected. By October 26th, the standoff was de-escalating. Then, on October 27th, the crisis reignited when Soviet forces shot down a U.S. reconnaissance plane, killing its pilot, Maj. Rudolf Anderson. Almost immediately, the brass demanded overwhelming retaliation to destroy the Soviet missile sites. Meanwhile, Castro pushed the Kremlin military machine toward a devastating first strike. In a secret meeting with Ambassador Anatoly Dobrynin, my father told him, "If the situation continues much longer, the president is not sure that the military will not overthrow him and seize power." U.S. marshals appeared at our house to take us to government bunkers in western Virginia. My brother Joe and I were anxious to go, if only to see the setup. But my father, who'd spent the previous six nights at the White House, called to say that we needed to be "good soldiers" and show up for school in Washington. To disappear, he told us, would cause public panic. That night, many people in our government went to sleep wondering if they would wake up dead.
On Monday, October 29th, the world moved back from the brink. An artfully drafted letter my father wrote with Ted Sorensen pledging that the U.S. would not invade Cuba â plus JFK's secret agreement with Khrushchev to withdraw obsolete Jupiter missiles from Turkey â persuaded the Kremlin to back down.
My father was not exaggerating to Dobrynin the fragility of White House control over the military. During the 13 days, the president's hold on power became increasingly tenuous as spooks and generals, apoplectic at JFK's reluctance to attack Cuba, engaged in dozens of acts of insubordination designed to trigger a nuclear exchange. CIA spymaster William Harvey screamed at the president and my father during a White House meeting: "We wouldn't be in such trouble now if you guys had some balls in the Bay of Pigs." Defense analyst Daniel Ellsberg, who years later leaked the Pentagon Papers, reported, "There was virtually a coup atmosphere in Pentagon circles." Incensed brass were in a state of disbelief at what they considered bald treason by the president. Spoiling for a war to end all wars, Gen. Curtis LeMay, the man who pioneered the use of napalm against civilians in Tokyo during World War II, found consolation by allowing himself to believe all was not lost. "Why don't we go in there and make a strike on Monday anyway?" LeMay said, as he watched the crisis subside.
Khrushchev said afterward that Kennedy had won his "deep respect" during the crisis: "He didn't let himself become frightened, nor did he become reckless.â.â.â.âHe showed real wisdom and statesmanship when he turned his back on the right-wing forces in the United States who were trying to goad him into taking military action against Cuba."
Today it's fashionable to view the quagmire of Vietnam as a continuum beginning under Eisenhower and steadily escalating through the Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon administrations. But JFK was wary of the conflict from the outset and determined to end U.S. involvement at the time of his death.
JFK inherited a deteriorative dilemma. When Eisenhower left office, there were by official count 685 military advisers in Vietnam, sent there to help the government of President Ngo Dinh Diem in its battle against the South Vietnamese guerrillas known as the Viet Cong and the North Vietnamese soldiers deployed by Communist ruler Ho Chi Minh, who was intent on reunifying his country. Eisenhower explained that "the loss of South Vietnam would set in motion a crumbling process that could, as it progressed, have grave consequences for us." Ho Chi Minh's popularity in the south had already led Dulles' CIA to sabotage national elections required by the Geneva Accords, which had ended France's colonial rule, and to prop up Diem's crooked puppet government, which was tenuously hanging on to power against the Communists. Back at home, Republican militarists were charging JFK with "losing Laos" and badgering him to ramp up our military commitment.
In JFK's first months in office, the Pentagon asked him to deploy ground troops into Vietnam. JFK agreed to send another 500 advisers, under the assumption that South Vietnam had a large army and would be able to defend itself against communist aggression. He refused to send ground troops but would eventually commit 16,500 advisers â fewer troops than he sent to Mississippi to integrate Ole Miss â who were technically forbidden from engaging in combat missions. He told New York Times columnist Arthur Krock in 1961 that the United States should not involve itself "in civil disturbances created by guerrillas."
For three years, that refusal to send combat troops earned him the antipathy of both liberals and conservatives who rebuked him for "throwing in the towel" in the Cold War. His critics included not just the traditionally bellicose Joint Chiefs and the CIA, but also trusted advisers and friends, including Gen. Maxwell Taylor; Defense Secretary Robert McNamara; McNamara's deputy, Roswell Gilpatric; and Secretary of State Rusk. JFK's ambassador to South Vietnam, Frederick Nolting Jr., reported a "virtually unanimous desire for the introduction of the U.S. forces into Vietnam" by the Vietnamese "in various walks of life." When Vice President Lyndon Johnson visited Vietnam in May 1961, he returned adamant that victory required U.S. combat troops. Virtually every one of JFK's senior staff concurred. Yet JFK resisted. Saigon, he said, would have to fight its own war.
As a stalling tactic, he sent Gen. Taylor to Vietnam on a fact-finding mission in September 1961. Taylor was among my father's best friends. JFK was frank with Taylor â he needed a military man to advise him to get out of Vietnam. According to Taylor, "The last thing he wanted was to put in ground forces. And I knew that." Nevertheless, Taylor was persuaded by hysterical military and intelligence experts across the Pacific, and had angered JFK when he came back recommending U.S. intervention. To prevent the fall of South Vietnam, Taylor suggested sending 8,000 U.S. troops under the guise of "flood relief" â a number that McNamara said was a reasonable start but should be escalated to as many as "six divisions, or about 205,000 men." Later, Taylor would say, "I don't recall anyone who was strongly against [sending troops to Vietnam] except one man, and that was the president."
Frustrated by Taylor's report, JFK then sent a confirmed pacifist, John Kenneth Galbraith, to Vietnam to make the case for nonintervention. But JFK confided his political weakness to Galbraith. "You have to realize," JFK said, "that I can only afford so many defeats in one year." He had the Bay of Pigs and the pulling out of Laos. He couldn't accept a third. Former Vice President Richard Nixon and the CIA's Dulles, whom JFK had fired, were loudly advocating U.S. military intervention in Vietnam, while Asian dominoes tumbled. Even The New York Times agreed. "The present situation," the paper had warned, "is one that brooks no further stalling." This was accepted wisdom among America's leading foreign-policy gurus. Public sympathies in the summer of 1963 were 2-to-1 for intervention.
Despite the drumbeat from the left and right, JFK refused to send in combat troops. "They want a force of American troops," JFK told Schlesinger. "They say it's necessary in order to restore confidence and maintain morale. But it will be just like Berlin. The troops will march in, the bands will play, the crowds will cheer, and in four days everyone will have forgotten. Then we will be told we have to send in more troops. It's like taking a drink. The effect wears off and you have to have another."
In 1967, Daniel Ellsberg interviewed my father. Ellsberg, a wavering war hawk and Marine veteran, was researching the history of the Vietnam War. He had seen the mountains of warmongering memos, advice and pressure. Ellsberg asked my father how JFK had managed to stand against the virtually unanimous tide of pro-war sentiment. My father explained that his brother did not want to follow France into a war of rich against poor, white versus Asian, on the side of imperialism and colonialism against nationalism and self-determination. Pressing my father, Ellsberg asked whether the president would have accepted a South Vietnamese defeat. "We would have handled it like Laos," my father told him. Intrigued, Ellsberg pressed further. "What made him so smart?" Three decades afterward, Ellsberg would vividly recall my father's reaction: "Whap! His hand slapped down on the desk. I jumped in my chair. 'Because we were there!' He slapped the desk again. 'We saw what was happening to the French. We saw it. We were determined never to let that happen to us.'"
In 1951, JFK, then a young congressman, and my father visited Vietnam, where they marveled at the fearlessness of the French Legionnaires and the hopelessness of their cause. On that trip, American diplomat Edmund Gullion warned JFK to avoid the trap. Upon returning, JFK isolated himself with his outspoken opposition to American involvement in this "hopeless internecine struggle."
Three years later, in April 1954, he made himself a pariah within his own party by condemning the Eisenhower administration for entertaining French requests for assistance in Indochina, predicting that fighting Ho Chi Minh would mire the U.S. in France's doomed colonial legacy. "No amount of American military assistance in Indochina can conquer an enemy that is everywhere and at the same time nowhereâ.â.â.â[or an enemy] which has the sympathy and covert support of the people."
By the summer of 1963, JFK was quietly telling trusted friends and advisers he intended to get out following the 1964 election. These included Rep. Tip O'Neill, McNamara, National Security adviser McGeorge Bundy, Sen. Wayne Morse, Washington columnist Charles Bartlett, Canadian Prime Minister Lester Pearson, confidant Larry Newman, Gen. Taylor and Marine Commandant Gen. David M. Shoup, who, besides Taylor, was the only other member of the Joint Chiefs that JFK trusted. Both McNamara and Bundy acknowledged in their respective memoirs that JFK meant to get out â which were jarring admissions against self-interest, since these two would remain in the Johnson administration and orchestrate the war's escalation.
That spring, JFK had told Montana Sen. Mike Mansfield, who would become the Vietnam War's most outspoken Senate critic, "I can't do it until 1965, after I'm re-elected." Later that day, he explained to Kenneth O'Donnell, "If I tried to pull out completely from Vietnam, we would have another Joe McCarthy Red scare on our hands, but I can do it after I'm re-elected." Both Nelson Rockefeller and Sen. Barry Goldwater, who were vying to run against him in 1964, were uncompromising Cold Warriors who would have loved to tar JFK with the brush that he had lost not just Laos, but now Vietnam. Goldwater was campaigning on the platform of "bombing Vietnam back into the Stone Age," a lyrical and satisfying construct to the Joint Chiefs and the CIA. "So we had better make damned sure I am re-elected," JFK said.
The Joint Chiefs, already in open revolt against JFK for failing to unleash the dogs of war in Cuba and Laos, were unanimous in urging a massive influx of ground troops and were incensed with talk of withdrawal. The mood in Langley was even uglier. Journalist Richard Starnes, filing from Vietnam, gave a stark assessment in The Washington Daily News of the CIA's unrestrained thirst for power in Vietnam. Starnes quoted high-level U.S. officials horrified by the CIA's role in escalating the conflict. They described an insubordinate, out-of-control agency, which one top official called a "malignancy." He doubted that "even the White House could control it any longer." Another warned, "If the United States ever experiences a [coup], it will come from the CIA and not from the Pentagon." Added another, "[Members of the CIA] represent tremendous power and total unaccountability to anyone."
Defying such pressures, JFK, in the spring of 1962, told McNamara to order the Joint Chiefs to begin planning for a phased withdrawal that would disengage the U.S. altogether. McNamara later told an assistant secretary of defense that the president intended to "close out Vietnam by '65 whether it was in good shape or bad."
On May 8th, 1962, following JFK's orders, McNamara instructed a stunned Gen. Paul Harkins "to devise a plan for bringing full responsibility [for the Vietnam War] over to South Vietnam." Mutinous, the general ignored the order until July 23rd, 1962, when McNamara again commanded him to produce a plan for withdrawal. The brass returned May 6th, 1963, with a half-baked proposal that didn't complete withdrawal as quickly as JFK had wanted. McNamara ordered them back yet again.
On September 2nd, 1963, in a televised interview, JFK told the American people he didn't want to get drawn into Vietnam. "In the final analysis, it is their war," he said. "They are the ones who have to win or lose it. We can help them, we can give them equipment. We can send our men out there as advisers, but they have to win it, the people of Vietnam."
Six weeks before his death, on October 11th, 1963, JFK bypassed his own National Security Council and had Bundy issue National Security Action Memorandum 263, making official policy the withdrawal from Vietnam of the bulk of U.S. military personnel by the end of 1965, beginning with "1,000 U.S. military personnel by the end of 1963." On November 14th, 1963, a week before Dallas, he announced at a press conference that he was ordering up a plan for "how we can bring Americans out of there." The morning of November 21st, as he prepared to leave for Texas, he reviewed a casualty list for Vietnam indicating that more than 100 Americans to date had died there. Shaken and angry, JFK told his assistant press secretary Malcolm Kilduff, "It's time for us to get out. The Vietnamese aren't fighting for themselves. We're the ones doing the fighting. After I come back from Texas, that's going to change. There's no reason for us to lose another man over there. Vietnam is not worth another American life."
On November 24th, 1963, two days after JFK died, Lyndon Johnson met with South Vietnam Ambassador Henry Cabot Lodge, whom JFK had been on the verge of firing. LBJ told Lodge, "I am not going to lose Vietnam. I am not going to be the president who saw Southeast Asia go the way China went." Over the next decade, nearly 3 million Americans, including many of my friends, would enter the paddies of Vietnam, and 58,000, including my cousin George Skakel, would never return.
Dulles, fired by JFK after the Bay of Pigs, returned to public service when LBJ appointed him to the Warren Commission, where he systematically concealed the agency's involvement in various assassination schemes and its ties to organized crime. To a young writer, he revealed his continued resentment against JFK: "That little Kennedyâ.â.â.âhe thought he was a god."
On June 10th, 1963, at American University, Kennedy gave his greatest speech ever, calling for an end to the Cold War, painting the heretical vision of America living and competing peacefully with Soviet Communists. World peace, he proposed, would not be "a Pax Americana enforced on the world by American weapons of war." He challenged Cold War fundamentalists who cast the world as a clash of civilizations in which one side must win and the other annihilated. He suggested instead that peaceful coexistence with the Soviets might be the most expedient path to ending totalitarianism.
And he acknowledged that now, "above all, while defending our own vital interests, nuclear powers must avert those confrontations which bring an adversary to a choice of either humiliating retreat or nuclear war. To adopt that kind of course in the nuclear age would be evidence only of the bankruptcy of our policy â or a collective death wish for the world." In the nightmare reality of nuclear war, he said, "All we have built, all we have worked for, would be destroyed in the first 24 hours."
JFK went on to paint the picture of a world where different ideologies were allowed to flourish, supplanting the immoral and destructive Cold War with productive competition that, instead of "devoting massive sums to weapons," would divert them "to combat ignorance, poverty and disease." And, he added, "if we cannot now end our differences, at least we can make the world safe for diversity."
He concluded by proposing a blueprint for bringing the Cold War to an end. "Our primary long-range interest," he said, was "general and complete disarmament, designed to take place by stages permitting parallel political developments to build the new institutions of peace which would take the place of arms." He announced unilateral suspension of atmospheric nuclear weapons and proposed immediate disarmament talks with Moscow.
It's hard to understand today how heretical JFK's proposal for coexistence with the Soviets sounded to America's right wing. It was Cold War boilerplate that any objective short of complete destruction was cowardice or treachery. In his bestselling 1962 diatribe Why Not Victory? Barry Goldwater proclaimed, "Our objective must be the destruction of the enemy as an ideological force.â.â.â.âOur effort calls for a basic commitment in the name of victory, which says we will never reconcile ourselves to the communist possession of power of any kind in any part of the world."
Despite opposition to the treaty from the generals and Republican leaders, including liberals like Nelson Rockefeller, Kennedy's words electrified a world terrified by the prospect of nuclear exchange. JFK's recognition of the Soviet point of view had an immediate salving impact on U.S.-Soviet relations. Khrushchev, deeply moved, later told treaty negotiator Averell Harriman that the American University address was "the greatest speech by an American president since Roosevelt."
Knowing that America's military-industrial complex would oppose him, JFK had kept the text of his speech secret from the Pentagon, the CIA and the State Department. His call for a unilateral test-ban treaty shocked his own National Security and his military and diplomatic advisers.
Worse, in the month leading up to the speech, he had secretly worked with British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan to arrange test-ban negotiations in Moscow. Khrushchev embraced JFK's proposal, agreeing in principle to end nuclear testing in the atmosphere and water, and on land and in outer space, and proposed a nonÂaggression pact between NATO and the Soviet satellite countries of the Warsaw Pact. Kennedy supervised every detail of the negotiation, working at astounding speed to end-run his adversaries in the Pentagon. On July 25th, 1963, JFK approved the treaty. The next day, he went on TV, telling America, "This treaty can symbolize the end of one era and the beginning of another â if both sides can, by this treaty, gain confidence and experience in peaceful collaboration." Less than a month later, they both signed the treaty. It was the first arms-control agreement of the nuclear age. Historian Richard Reeves wrote, "By moving so swiftly on the Moscow negotiations, Kennedy politically outflanked his own military on the most important military question of the time."
Caught off guard, the military-intelligence apparatus quickly mobilized to derail the treaty, which still needed to be ratified by the Senate. The Joint Chiefs of Staff, who had announced months earlier that they were "opposed to a comprehensive ban under almost any terms," joined CIA director John McCone in lobbying against the agreement in the Senate. The Pentagon tried to sabotage its passage by hiding information about the ease of detecting underground tests.
The right-wing propaganda machine found plenty of arable ground in the American national consciousness to fertilize with fear. Initially, congressional mail ran 15-1 against the treaty. JFK believed the chances for passage in the Senate was "about in the nature of a miracle." He ordered his staff to pull out every stop to mobilize the population, saying that he was determined to get the treaty passed, even if it cost him the 1964 election.
By September, a monumental grassroots White House campaign had flipped public opinion to support the treaty by 80 percent. On September 24th, 1963, the Senate ratified the treaty 80-19. As Ted Sorensen noted, no other single accomplishment in the White House "gave the president greater satisfaction."
On October 10th, after signing the atmospheric-test-ban treaty, Khrushchev sent JFK the last of his personal letters. In that missive, Khrushchev proposed the next steps for ending the Cold War. He recommended the conclusion of a nonaggression pact between the NATO and the Warsaw Pact nations, and a number of steps to stop the spread of nuclear weapons and prevent their use in surprise attacks. JFK would never see the letter. State Department officials hostile toward Khrushchev intercepted it.
Khrushchev had already secretly proposed to his own government radical reductions in the Soviet military, including the conversion of missile plants to peaceful purposes. After JFK's death, Kremlin war hawks viewed Khrushchev's plan as a treasonous proposal for unilateral disarmament. Less than a year after Dallas, Khrushchev was removed from power.
JFK, at the time of his death, was planning his own trip to the Soviet Union, knowing nothing would do more to end the Cold War. Forty years later, Khrushchev's son Sergei wrote that he was "convinced that if history had allowed them another six years, they would have brought the Cold War to a close before the end of the 1960s.â.â.â.âBut fate decreed otherwise, and the window of opportunity, barely cracked open, closed at once. In 1963, President Kennedy was killed, and a year later, in October 1964, my father was removed from power. The Cold War continued for another quarter of a century."
JFK's capacity to stand up against the national-security apparatus and imagine a different future for America has made him, despite his short presidency, one of the most popular presidents in history. Despite his abbreviated tenure, John F. Kennedy is the only one-term president consistently included in the list of top 10 presidents made by American historians. A 2009 poll of 65 historians ranked him sixth in overall presidential performance, just ahead of Jefferson. And today, JFK's great concerns seem more relevant than ever: the dangers of nuclear proliferation, the notion that empire is inconsistent with a republic and that corporate domination of our democracy at home is the partner of imperial policies abroad. He understood the perils to our Constitution from a national-security state and mistrusted zealots and ideologues. He thought other nations ought to fight their own civil wars and choose their own governments and not ask the U.S. to do it for them. Yet the world he imagined and fought for has receded so far below the horizon that it's no longer even part of the permissible narrative inside the Beltway or in the mainstream press. Critics who endeavor to debate the survival of American democracy within the national-security state risk marginalization as crackpots and kooks. His greatest, most heroic aspirations for a peaceful, demilitarized foreign policy are the forbiddenÂ debates of the modern political era.
Every now and then, news breaks in the Obama administration that is so stereotypical, it is actually depressing. You might want to sit down for this.
Attorney General Eric Holder, made infamous by Operation Fast and Furious, is currently arguing before the Supreme Court that United Nations treaties trump the United States Constitution.
Thatâs right. The sitting Attorney General, charged with upholding and defending the Constitution, is arguing before the highest court that international law is in fact the law of the land.
The case in question, Bond v. United States, is actually pretty ridiculous. The defendant is charged with using a toxic substance to harass a friend who was having an affair with her husband. Under the law, this case would normally be handled at the State-level. But Federal prosecutors instead charged Bond with violating the Chemical Weapons Convention. This would be like taking a perpetrator of a domestic hate crime and instead charging him or her with genocide.
This case is basically a complex liberal experiment to see how far they can push the boundaries regarding the enforcement of international law. An Obama administration victory in this case could have huge ramifications for other contentious issues like abortion, citizenship, and even the Second Amendment.
Itâs no secret that the Obama administration is looking to enact gun control by any means necessary. That means exhausting all options. The United Nations Arms Trade Treaty would provide an excellent way to limit Americansâ access to firearms without dealing with Congress. The problem is, the treaty cannot become law without the Senate ratifying it (which wonât happen). If the Supreme Court rules in Obamaâs favor, the U.N. Arms Treaty could become the law of the land anyway.
The funny thing is that the U.N. Arms Trade Treaty specifically prohibits the exportation of small arms to countries if there is a reasonable expectation that they would be used against civilians. If Holder wins this case and ushers in the implementation of the treaty, his involvement in Fast and Furious, leading to the death of countless Mexican civilians, would make him an international criminal.
But since Holder would be in charge of investigating himself for international crimes, heâd likely be acquittedâŠ
All jokes aside, Bond v. United States represents a grave risk to the sovereignty of this great country and the supremacy of the U.S. Constitution. Everyone always posits that the liberals want to replace the Constitution with U.N. law, but no one actually expected them to try to.
If the Courts rule that international law is law of the land, and if the Executive branch is more than willing to implement this ruling, then only the Congress can stand against this rising tyranny.
A lot of times, Congressâ power can be overstated. But the Constitutionâs system of checks and balances exist for a reason. If one or two branches of government fall to tyranny, then a third branch would still remain to herald the cause of liberty. With the way the Supreme Court has been ruling lately, and Obamaâs burning desire to shred the Constitution, the Congress is all that stands between state sovereignty and global governance.
Unfortunately more often than not, Congressmen and Senators wouldnât recognize creeping tyranny if it slapped them in the face.
Thatâs where we come in. Believe it or not, we have reached a point in our history where we actually have to plead with our representatives to defend the Constitution from its domestic and foreign enemies.
If the Supreme Court rules in the administrationâs favor, you can say hello to universal weapons registration. You want to buy a firearm? Good luck explaining why you really need one. And good luck getting your hands on one of those imported World War II rifles youâve had your eye on.
Most of the time, slippery slope arguments are overblown. But thereâs no exaggeration to this. Even when the Senate refused to ratify the U.N. Arms Treaty, Obama had Secretary of State John Kerry sign it anyway. Talk about defiance!
The only thing that stands between Kerryâs signature and Obamaâs gun control agenda is that pesky piece of parchment called the Constitution. And if the Supreme Court rules in Obamaâs favor, you can kiss the Bill of Rights goodbye.
If you value your second amendment rights, or any of your rights for that matter, stand and fight. Urge Congress to honor its oath and reject Obamaâs globalist ambitions.
By J.D. Gordon Tuesday, November 12, 2013 - WashingtonTimes.com
âJ.D. Gordon is a retired Navy commander and former Pentagon spokesman who served in the Office of the Secretary of Defense from 2005 to 2009.â
The following, are Gordonâs own words summarizing the ongoing purge of military leadership:
What in the world is happening to senior military officers under the Obama administration?
It seems that every week since President Obama took office in 2009, weâve been hearing that another top leader has been summarily fired, despite his decades of loyal service and valuable experience in protecting the nation. Statistically speaking, itâs actually closer to one every 8.8 days, a staggering 200 military brass shown the door in less than five years.
The Pentagon has offered up a grab bag of reasons for these dismissals â from a simple âloss of confidence,â to more descriptive âinsensitive remarks,â âsexual misconduct,â and even âcounterfeit poker chips.â
The latest two to fall from grace, Navy Vice Adm. Ted âTwigâ Branch, director of naval intelligence, and Rear Adm. Bruce Loveless, director of intelligence operations, were stripped of their security clearances last week, effectively ending their careers. They allegedly engaged in âinappropriate conductâ over a Navy contracting scandal related to scheduling port visits in Southeast Asia during the past decade. According to Navy officials, the probe into Singapore-based Glenn Defense Marine Asia is expected to widen â meaning, weâll likely see other senior officers terminated in the weeks ahead.
Though firing senior military leaders was routine in different eras, including World War II and the Civil War, it was mostly related to lack of success on the battlefield. The battlefield has changed considerably since then, though, and those same metrics are harder to measure today.
Whatâs going on now? Is this really the most incompetent and corrupt military weâve ever seen? Or is it just easier these days to get hammered for real or perceived bad behavior and poor performance?
Some of our most revered and successful Army leaders during World War II, Gens. Douglas MacArthur, Dwight D. Eisenhower and George Patton, all had mistresses â yet in those days, such indiscretions were not public issues like today. Patton even reportedly boasted about an affair with his wifeâs half-niece. Itâs doubtful that would remain under wraps today, nor should it.
Personal indiscretions past and present notwithstanding, perhaps something even more sinister is going on today.
With massive defense-budget cuts amounting to $1 trillion planned over the next decade including sequestration, a shrinking military that includes axing 10 percent of flag and general officer positions worldwide, and 20 percent of headquarters positions at the Pentagon and top operational combatant commands, it seems entirely plausible that the steady stream of firings plays into the Obama administration strategy of military attrition.
Rather than giving these officers the benefit of the doubt, let alone having their back, there appears to be a rush and a push to get rid of them.
Senior officers must be extremely careful these days, in both their professional and personal lives. They must understand that they are under the microscope, and their careers have never been more vulnerable. If admirals, generals, colonels, captains and commanders feel like they must act like saints and walk on eggshells, well, that is todayâs reality. Itâs not quite 1692 Salem, Mass. â the operative word being âquite.â
Danger signs appear everywhere: disgruntled subordinates unafraid to blow the whistle on real or perceived mistakes; increased ways to get in trouble with email, social media, cameras and video recorders; heightened sensitivity to workplace behavior; political correctness run amok; ever-present investigative journalists, and now bloggers; and a presidential national security team bent on cutting down the ranks. Everyone who wears the uniform should realize theyâve been converted into de facto political pawns. Theyâre mostly targeted by the left, which is never shy about taking American power down a notch or two â or three.
Bad behavior and poor performance are never acceptable. Perhaps President Obama should apply the same tough standards to his political appointees at the White House and State Department over incidents such as the Benghazi terrorist attack; at the Justice Department over Operation Fast and Furious; and at the Treasury Department for the Internal Revenue Service targeting of conservative nonprofit groups.
Not surprisingly, while the president circles the wagons when it comes to his ideological allies, he is quick to throw a couple of hundred top military officers under the bus. Apparently, Mr. Obama and his team have no problem marginalizing the U.S. armed forces â and it shows. Maybe his top aide Valerie Jarrett said it best when addressing a four-star general, Army Vice Chief of Staff Peter Chiarelli, at Washingtonâs Alfalfa Club dinner in 2011. Mistaking him for a waiter, she asked him, âCould I please get another glass of wine?â Yeah, that about sums it up.
WASHINGTON â U.S. agencies collected and shared the personal information of thousands of Americans in an attempt to root out untrustworthy federal workers that ended up scrutinizing people who had no direct ties to the U.S. government and simply had purchased certain books.
Federal officials gathered the information from the customer records of two men who were under criminal investigation for purportedly teaching people how to pass lie detector tests. The officials then distributed a list of 4,904 people â along with many of their Social Security numbers, addresses and professions â to nearly 30 federal agencies, including the Internal Revenue Service, the CIA, the National Security Agency and the Food and Drug Administration.
Although the polygraph-beating techniques are unproven, authorities hoped to find government employees or applicants who might have tried to use them to lie during the tests required for security clearances. Officials with multiple agencies confirmed that theyâd checked the names in their databases and planned to retain the list in case any of those named take polygraphs for federal jobs or criminal investigations.
It turned out, however, that many people on the list worked outside the federal government and lived across the country. Among the people whose personal details were collected were nurses, firefighters, police officers and private attorneys, McClatchy learned. Also included: a psychologist, a cancer researcher and employees of Rite Aid, Paramount Pictures, the American Red Cross and Georgetown University.
Moreover, many of them had only bought books or DVDs from one of the men being investigated and didnât receive the one-on-one training that investigators had suspected. In one case, a Washington lawyer was listed even though heâd never contacted the instructors. Dozens of others had wanted to pass a polygraph not for a job, but for a personal reason: The test was demanded by spouses who suspected infidelity.
The unprecedented creation of such a list and decision to disseminate it widely demonstrate the ease with which the federal government can collect and share Americansâ personal information, even when thereâs no clear reason for doing so.
The case comes to light amid revelations that the NSA, in an effort to track foreign terrorists, has for years been stockpiling the data of the daily telephone and Internet communications of tens of millions of ordinary Americans. Though nowhere near as massive as the NSA programs, the polygraph inquiry is another example of the federal governmentâs vast appetite for Americansâ personal information and the sweeping legal authority it wields in the name of national security.
âThis is increasingly happening â data is being collected by the federal government for one use and then being entirely repurposed for other uses and shared,â said Fred Cate, an Indiana University-Bloomington law professor who specializes in information privacy and national security. âYet there is no constitutional protection for sharing data within the government.â
Several people who were on the list not only were stunned to learn about it, but they also questioned how the government could legally collect and share their information when they have no direct link to the inquiry. All of them said they were too nervous to be identified because they feared further scrutiny from the federal government or they didnât want their names published by the media.
âWhen it comes to national security, the government has a lot of leeway,â said one Washington lawyer whose husband landed on the list after the lawyer bought a book about how to pass lie detector tests. âBut to me, this list raises First Amendment, due process and privacy issues.â
The lawyer doesnât work for the federal government. The husband is a government employee but isnât required to take a lie detector test for a security clearance. âIâm concerned this may harm his career even though thereâs no reason that it should,â said the lawyer, who added that they planned to ask the government to take the husbandâs name off the list. âItâs very alarming and McCarthy-esque in its zeal. To put a person on a secret list because they bought the âwrong bookâ or are associated with someone who did is overly paranoid."
While the collection of the information likely passes constitutional muster, the federal agencies involved may have violated their own privacy policies by sharing the personal information of people who arenât government employees, several legal experts agreed.
Some federal security officials also questioned how useful the list would be. Not only are the polygraph-beating techniques unproven, but confirming that theyâve been used is nearly impossible as well, scientists agree. In fact, the polygraph itself is deemed so unreliable that most courts donât allow the results to be submitted as evidence against criminal suspects.
Federal agencies, however, are under increased pressure to detect security violators, also known as âinsider threats,â ever since former NSA contractor Edward Snowden leaked documents earlier this year outlining the agencyâs extensive collection of telephone and Internet data.
The Snowden case is only the latest in a series of what the government condemns as betrayals by âtrusted insidersâ whoâve harmed national security. As a result, the Obama administration has been pressing a government-wide crackdown on security threats that requires federal employees at agencies from the NSA to the CIA and the Peace Corps to the Department of Education to keep closer tabs on their co-workers and exhorts managers to punish those who fail to report suspicious behavior.
Officials say that one of the reasons for retaining the list of nearly 5,000 names is to help federal agencies detect future security violators, such as the next Snowden. Itâs unclear how helpful such a list would be in that regard, though. Snowden underwent two polygraphs for his NSA job but he wasnât found to have used polygraph-beating techniques to pass them, officials familiar with his tests told McClatchy. The NSA refused to comment.
Customs and Border Protection, the Department of Homeland Security agency thatâs leading the polygraph investigation, has described it as important in rooting out crooked customs officials at the U.S.-Mexico border. Customsâ internal affairs division launched the polygraph inquiry after identifying 10 applicants whoâd received the lie detector training from one of the instructors. Customs then assembled the list of customersâ names earlier this year as a result of court-approved search warrants that remain under seal in the criminal investigation, known as Operation Lie Busters.
Federal authorities acknowledge that the mere teaching of such techniques is protected by the First Amendment. However, prosecutors have pursued a novel legal theory in order to seek criminal charges. They assert that instructors who help federal applicants or employees try to hide lies during government polygraph tests are guilty of obstruction.
One of the Customs and Border Protection internal affairs officials involved in the case has urged authorities across the country to keep track of people who learn the techniques. The methods, known as countermeasures, include controlled breathing, muscle tensing, tongue biting and mental arithmetic.
âYou have access to all of this data â all of their financial records, all of their telephone records, all of their transactions . . . ,â Customs official John Schwartz said in a June speech to police polygraphers that McClatchy attended. âThen we can look at that list and determine for ourselves if we are good or not good at detecting these countermeasures.â
Schwartz didnât return calls about the case. Customs spokesman Michael Friel said that âsince the matter is under investigation it would be inappropriate to comment at this time.â
In an email disseminating one version of the list in a spreadsheet, Defense Department official Frank Maietta asked polygraph managers at each agency to check the list for any federal workers or job applicants who might have gotten training.
The agencies included federal law enforcement and intelligence agencies such as the FBI and the Defense Intelligence Agency and others such as the Department of Energy and the Transportation Security Administration. McClatchy contacted the federal agencies that received the list from Schwartz and Maietta but most refused to respond to questions, citing the criminal investigation. Several, however, defended their overall adherence to privacy laws.
In the email to the agencies, Maietta, a polygraph official with the Defense Intelligence Agency, described the information as âmerely a mailing list obtained from this case.â
âThereâs no indication that any of these individuals did anything wrong, actually received hands-on training, took a polygraph anywhere, utilized countermeasures or are with any federal agency," he wrote in the email in May.
Maietta said an earlier request for the same database check resulted in âvery fewâ responses.
âSome of you indicated your agencies would not allow you to share information,â he wrote.
Nonetheless, the search eventually yielded dozens of federal applicants, several security officials with knowledge of the case told McClatchy. As fresh personnel information was gathered, officials updated the lists and circulated them across the government.
However, only a small percentage of the people on the list were employees with security clearances, said the officials, who asked to remain anonymous because of the sensitivity of the matter. They included one NSA contractor who feared revealing financial problems, a potentially career-ending admission.
Of the several hundred people who might have been linked to the Defense Department, however, a fraction underwent lie detector tests. Also, a portion of them hadnât worked for the department since the 1980s.
âThere was serious effort put into this list but it turned out to be a whole lot of nothing,â said one federal security official with knowledge of the overall effort who asked not to be named for fear of retaliation. âOnly a handful of federal employees were directly involved.â
Sex offenders appeared on the list, including convicted child molesters who have to undergo post-conviction polygraph testing in some states, officials confirmed. But such offenders generally are monitored by state or local authorities, not the federal agencies that received the list. Federal prosecutors also donât have the jurisdiction to seek charges related to those offenders.
Many, if not all, of the 4,904 names appear to be customers of an instructor who hasnât been prosecuted and may never be. Federal agents collected the data in a search of Oklahoma instructor Doug Williamsâ computers and business records. Williams, however, has said that he hasnât committed a crime.
So far, one instructor has been prosecuted. Chad Dixon of Indiana began serving eight months in prison this month after pleading guilty earlier this year to obstruction charges, mainly as a result of an undercover sting. Dixon was recorded telling undercover agents that they shouldnât tell federal officials about learning the techniques.
Despite Dixonâs criminal investigation, one of the numerous nurses on the list questioned why federal agencies would have a legitimate interest in her personal information.
âIâm not a federal employee. Iâm a nurse,â she said. The 42-year-old woman declined to say why sheâd sought the advice, but nurses are required to pass lie detector tests in some states for their licenses. âThis does bother me,â she added about the effort. âMy information was supposed to be confidential.â
The Supreme Court, however, has held that people who voluntarily turn over information to a âthird party,â such as the polygraph instructors, would have no expectation of privacy under the Fourth Amendment.
âIt doesnât seem right to tar people and give them what is a scarlet letter of being likely liars just because theyâve been reading or thinking about beating lie detector tests,â said Lee Tien, a senior staff attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a civil liberties group. âBut the fact is government agencies have an enormous free zone when collecting and sharing data.â
Even so, itâs not clear under what circumstances various government agencies should continue retaining and sharing information about people whose only connection to the case was a book purchase.
âI think itâs a fair question to ask,â said Stephanie Pell, a former federal prosecutor with the Justice Departmentâs National Security Division. âWhat is the governmentâs rationale for continuing to retain and share the information once it is established that all someone did was buy a book?â
Others assert that the government clearly overreached. Customs officials recently confronted leaders of the agencyâs union about their purchase of Williamsâ book on beating lie detectors. Joseph Martin, the president of the Arizona chapter of the National Treasury Employees Union, said his vice president bought the book so the union could urge members not to voluntarily undergo a polygraph, because of its unreliability.
âWhat business is it of the governmentâs if we bought this book?â he said. âWe have a right to read about lie detectors and tell our members not to take them.â
A customs internal affairs policy allows for the collection and sharing of records on federal applicants and employees, but it doesnât appear to permit it when it involves people who have no federal government ties.
The Pentagon, however, said disclosures of personnel records for authorized law enforcement purposes were permitted, although it didnât specifically address the issue of book-buying.
The FBI echoed that reasoning.
âThe FBI routinely receives names of individuals from various law enforcement and criminal justice agencies to check previous criminal-history data or any other derogatory information that exists in our records,â bureau spokesman Paul Bresson said, adding, âAfter processing the names, we supply our results back to the submitting agency.â
The Air Forceâs Office of Special Investigations checked the list âto only positively identify Air Force personnel,â spokeswoman Linda Card said. Defense Department policy ârequires polygraph technical reports be maintained for a minimum of 35 years,â she said, without elaborating on whether the list could be kept that long.
The Pentagonâs inspector general, which also was involved in the database check, allows for the sharing of personal information of people who arenât Defense Department employees âwhen their activities have directly threatened the functions, property or personnel of the Department of Defense.â
Washington attorney Kel McClanahan called that interpretation âquite a reachâ in this instance, because people who buy books on beating lie detectors arenât necessarily a threat. Still, suing the government would be an uphill battle because the Privacy Act of 1974 leaves so much wiggle room for agencies to collect and share personal data for law enforcement purposes, said McClanahan, who handles lawsuits alleging privacy violations.
âEven the most extreme cases of overreach like this are virtually impossible to litigate because of a poorly written law from 1974,â McClanahan said. âThis is merely a symptom of the problem.â
Read more here: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2013/11/14/208438/americans-personal-data-shared.html#storylink=cpy
Written by: Tara Dodrill - November 11, 2013 - OffTheGridNews.com
President Obama has signed a climate change executive order that critics say amounts to a dramatic executive branch overreach in authority that could impact property rights and statesâ rights. The White House says the order will make the process of âstreamlining sustainability initiativesâ far easier. Obama signed the executive order in early November, some five months after announcing his new Climate Action Plan, which included climate pollution limits on both new and existing power plants for the very first time. The plan also includes plans to increase renewable energy production on federal land, aid communities in dealing with higher temperatures, and increase energy efficiency standards. But opponents of the plan say it paved the way for side-stepping Congressional oversight on environmental issues and once again diminished statesâ rights. The presidentâs executive order created a task force to advise his administration on the proper way to respond to wildfires, severe storms, droughts and other natural disasters allegedly brought on by climate change. President Obamaâs task force will also offer guidance on response standards for other âpotential impactsâ spawned by so-called climate change scenarios. The guiding group created by the executive order included seven Democratic governors and the Republican governor of Guam. Hand-picked mayors from 14 cities and two other local leaders round out the list of climate change advisors. The task force includes California Governor Jerry Brown, Washington Governor Jay Inslee, Hawaii Governor Neil Abercrombie, Delaware Governor Jack Markell, Maryland Governor Martin OâMalley, Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin and Illinois Governor Pat Quinn.
The climate change executive order task force will review how federal money is spent on bridges, roads, flood control projects and other infrastructure programs which President Obama believes are impacted by global warming. According to a FoxNews report, critics say the task force has the power to: âHold back money to communities unless they meet new standards on various items and agendas set by the Federal Government. For example, using new policies that will encourage communities to rebuild to pre-disaster standards instead of stronger ones. Issue a âmandate to bring sweeping new changes to land use and resource policies. Control and refocus âclimate change data and use of it to push a new agenda into every priority of the Federal Government. âCreate the need for a new internal organization for coordination efforts during a government sequestration and possible future shutdowns. A White House release after the climate change executive order was signed stated that even though the country has worked to curb carbon pollution, government officials need to âimprove how states and communitiesâ respond to extreme weather events, upgrade building codes, and address climate change impact on infrastructure. One former senior government official who spoke to Fox News about the climate change executive order said, âThe devil is in the details. Who gets to decides what sustainability is? Or what its outcome means? Others wonder if the plan is part of what is known as Agenda 21. As previously reported by Off The Grid News, Agenda 21 is a voluntary UN non-binding action plan which is supposedly focused solely on sustainable development. It based upon a program to abolish poverty and the âprotection of fragile environmentsâ by pushing citizens into metropolitan areas. America is a âsignatoryâ country to Agenda 21. Since the plan is a non-binding statement and not a treaty, a vote on inclusion was not needed. More than 528 major and moderate-sized American cities are members of an international sustainability organization that reportedly supports the implementation of Agenda 21. A White House release after the climate change executive order was signed stated that even though the country has worked to curb carbon pollution, government officials need to âimprove how states and communitiesâ respond to extreme weather events, upgrade building codes, and address climate change impact on infrastructure.
By Jim McElhatton - TheWashingtonTimes - Tuesday, November 12, 2013
Two months before enrollment began in the Obamacare exchanges, the administrationâs top health care official heaped praise on WebMD for launching an online resource to help Americans navigate the complex law.
The consumer health care site had the occasional nice thing to say about Obamacare, too. In one article, it predicted doctors might pick up more patients and crowed in an article titled â7 Surprising Things About the Affordable Care Actâ that many consumers already had received insurance refunds under the law. But what neither Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius nor WebMD mentioned at the time was that the company, which millions of Americans regularly read for health news, also stood to earn millions of dollars from a federal contract to teach doctors about Obamacare.
The contract documents, reviewed by The Washington Times, reward WebMD handsomely. For instance, the fee schedule offers dozens of products, including:
âą As much as $126,826 for a single 5,000-word review article on scientific advances in a clinical topic. âą Up to $68,916 for a four-minute video from an opinion specialist. âą More than $140,000 for an eight-question online quiz.
WebMD says it doesnât believe it had an obligation to disclose to its broad consumer base its $4.8 million contract with the government. The company says the contract, while awarded to WebMD, went through its Medscape platform, which provides continuing education to doctors in a password-protected portal and is run independently from WebMDâs news operation.
But a key senator disagrees.
Sen. Chuck Grassley, Iowa Republican, told The Washington Times that WebMDâs status as an Obamacare contractor merits more disclosure.
âDisclosure and transparency would be a good practice for any recipient of federal funding to promote the administrationâs health care plan,â said Mr. Grassley, an influential member of the Senate Finance and Budget committees.
âEven if certain content is not produced with federal funding, but the same company takes federal government money to produce other materials, consumers would be better-informed by knowing the financial relationships,â the senator said.
Beyond the contract, there are other signs of closeness between the administration and WebMD.
When the website announced its online portal in August, Mrs. Sebelius provided a quote for the companyâs press release saying the Web page would educate consumers and help âimprove the quality of healthcare for millions of people across our nation.â
Weeks later, the company received a $4.8 million task order on an existing contract from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to educate health care professionals about parts of Obamacare, records and interviews show.
WebMD says the contract is entirely separate from the companyâs news operation, which has published both positive and critical articles about the health care law.
âWe are a news and information company that is similar to newspapers, television news and other news sources that maintain strict editorial controls,â said WebMD spokeswoman Katherine Hahn. âIn fact, our editorial team has won multiple awards for the quality of their journalism. Our editorial group is a completely separate part of the organization than the group that works on sponsored programs.â
Still, few if any news outlets earn millions of dollars in training fees from the government on topics they cover, putting WebMD in a unique spot in the media landscape as it navigates not only potential conflicts but also the appearance of conflicts. The two projects have similar names. The online portal praised by Mrs. Sebelius is known as the Healthcare Reform Center, which officials say is different from the paid education project, known as Healthcare Reform Educational Initiative.
While WebMD said its presentations to doctors sponsored by CMS are always disclosed, finding those disclosures requires registering on the Medscape site, then clicking on specific online videos and other presentations backed by CMS.
CMS officials defended the contract. âAs part of our broad outreach and education efforts that we have conducted across CMS programs for years, we are working with Medscape, which is owned by WebMD, to inform Americans about the new opportunity to enroll, many for the very first time, in quality affordable health care coverage,â the CMS statement read. While the company hasnât provided any âconsumer educationâ about Obamacare for CMS, that work could be added âif the government chooses to do so,â Ms. Hahn confirmed. Neither CMS nor WebMD revealed any details about how that consumer education program would look, but Ms. Hahn said funding sources would be disclosed.
The $4.8 million contract to WebMD was awarded at the end of September and covers the upcoming fiscal year, so work hasnât begun, according to WebMD.
Under the contract, awarded through the General Services Administrationâs supply schedule, the training services consist of lectures, articles, podcasts and âexpert viewpointsâ in audio, video or writing, among other presentations. Doctors can get continuing education credits for watching the videos.
A four minute expert viewpoint video â described in GSA documents as a way for âkey opinion leaders to offer specific commentariesâ â costs the government up to $68,916 under the contract.
An âexclusively sponsoredâ five- to eight-question quiz âto convey key sponsor messagesâ costs more than $140,000 under the contract for a three-month term.
Several of the online offerings through Medscape feature CMS personnel discussing Obamacare on video.
âThe Health Insurance Marketplace: What does it mean for my practice?â features Dr. Eugene Freund, medical officer for the center for consumer information and insurance oversight at CMS.
In the video, Dr. Freund describes the enrollment, coverage changes, state and federal marketplaces and eligibility, but he also includes a hopeful message to doctors about the benefits of Obamacare.
âFirst, we should expect big changes in access,â Dr. Freund said on the video. âWe should expect to see more patients because there will be an increased number of insured Americans.
âThe one-shop stopping assistance and the financial assistance based on eligibility, including tax credits to offset cost and cost-sharing subsidies, should increase the number of your patients who now have insurance.â
Itâs unclear how much the presentation cost taxpayers, but records list varying prices for videos, including $129,219 for an âoriginally developed video webcast delivered by a single expert.â
The CMS contracting work for WebMD comes at a time when the company has told investors itâs not sure how Obamacare will impact its finances.
One one hand, pharmaceutical companies, insurers and other advertisers could cut back or delay advertising expenditures. But the company also sees opportunity in âour capabilities in providing health and wellness information and education, WebMD noted in a recent Securities and Exchange Commission filing.
Details of a highly secretive, multi-national trade agreement in the works have been published by WikiLeaks, and the whistleblower groupâs founder warns there will be vast implications for much of the modern world if the contract is approved.
Details of a highly secretive, multi-national trade agreement long in works has been published by WikiLeaks, and critics say there will be major repercussions for much of the modern world if its approved in this incarnation.
The anti-secrecy group published on Wednesday a 95-page excerpt taken from a recent draft of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP, a NAFTA-like agreement that is expected to encompass nations representing more than 40 percent of the worldâs gross domestic product when it is finally approved: the United States, Japan, Mexico, Canada, Australia, Malaysia, Chile, Singapore, Peru, Vietnam, New Zealand and Brunei.
From Twitter: WikiLeaks â @wikileaks Đ§ĐžŃĐ°ŃŃ #WikiLeaks release on secret #TPP that represents more than 40% of the world GDP - full negotiated IP draft text | http://wikileaks.org/tpp/
US President Barack Obama and counterparts from 11 other prospective member states have been hammering out the free trade agreement in utmost secrecy for years now, the result of which, according to the White House, would rekindle the economies of all of those involved, including many countries considered to still be emerging.
âThe TPP will boost our economies, lowering barriers to trade and investment, increasing exports and creating more jobs for our people, which is my number-one priority,â Obama said during a Nov. 2011 address. The deal, he said, âhas the potential to be a model not only for the Asia Pacific but for future trade agreementsâ by regulating markets and creating opportunities for small and medium-sized businesses in the growing global marketplace.
Upon the publication of an excerpt obtained by WikiLeaks this week, however, opponents of the act are insisting that provisions dealing with creation, invention and innovation could serve a severe blow to everyone, particularly those the internet realm.
Although the TPP covers an array of topics â many of which have not been covered by past agreements, according to Obama â WikiLeaks has published a chapter from a draft dated August 30, 2013 that deals solely on Intellectual Property, or IP, rights. Previous reports about the rumored contents of the TPP with regards to IP law have raised concern among activists before, with the California-based Electronic Frontier Foundation going as far as to warn that earlier leaked draft text suggested the agreement âwould have extensive negative ramifications for usersâ freedom of speech, right to privacy and due process and hinder peoples' abilities to innovate,â all of which is being agreed upon without any oversight or observation. Indeed, the thousands of words released by WikiLeaks this week has concreted those fears and has already caused the likes of the EFF and others to sound an alarm.
From Twitter: EFF â @EFF Đ§ĐžŃĐ°ŃŃ The newly leaked TPP text confirms it's a serious threat to users' rights. Help us stop it: https://www.eff.org/r.vfgd 11:42 ŃŃŃĐ° - 13 ĐœĐŸŃĐ±ŃŃ 2013
The IP chapter, wrote WikiLeaks, âprovides the public with the fullest opportunity so far to familiarize themselves with the details and implications of the TPP,â an agreement that has largely avoided scrutiny in the mainstream media during its development, no thanks, presumably, to the under-the-table arguments that have led prospective member states to the point theyâre at today.
Julian Assange, the Australian founder of the whistleblower site who has been confined to the Ecuadorian Embassy in London for over a year now, had particularly harsh words for the TPP in a statement published alongside the draft release.
âIf instituted, the TPPâs IP regime would trample over individual rights and free expression, as well as ride roughshod over the intellectual and creative commons,â Assange said. âIf you read, write, publish, think, listen, dance, sing or invent; if you farm or consume food; if youâre ill now or might one day be ill, the TPP has you in its crosshairs.â
Within the IP chapter, the partaking nations in one excerpt agree to âEnhance the role of intellectual property in promoting economic and social development,â but elsewhere suggest that the way in which such could be accomplished would involve serious policing of the World Wide Web. Later, the countries write they hope to âreduce impediments to trade and investment by promoting deeper economic integration through effective and adequate creation, utilization, protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights, taking into account the different levels of economic development and capacity as well as differences in national legal systems.â
âCompared to existing multilateral agreements, the TPP IPR chapter proposes the granting of more patents, the creation of intellectual property rights on data, the extension of the terms of protection for patents and copyrights, expansions of right holder privileges and increases in the penalties for infringement,â James Love of Knowledge Ecology International explained after reading the leaked chapter. âThe TPP text shrinks the space for exceptions in all types of intellectual property rights. Negotiated in secret, the proposed text is bad for access to knowledge, bad for access to medicine and profoundly bad for innovation.â
Opponents have argued in the past that stringent new rules under the TPP with regards to copyrighted material would cause the price of medication to go up: potentially catastrophic news for residents of member state who may have difficulties affording prescriptions. Public Citizen, a Washington-based consumer advocacy organization, has warned that US Trade Representatives privy to the TPP discussions have demanded provisions that âwould strengthen, lengthen and broaden pharmaceutical monopolies on cancer, heart disease and HIV/AIDS drugs, among others, in the Asia-Pacific region.â Indeed, the leaked chapter suggests drug companies could easily extend and widen patents under the TPP, prohibiting other countries from producing life-saving pills and selling them for less. Outside of the world of medicine, though, the implications that could come with new copyright rules agreed upon my essentially half of the worldâs economy are likely to affect everyone.
"One could see the TPP as a Christmas wish-list for major corporations, and the copyright parts of the text support such a view," Dr. Matthew Rimmer, an expert in intellectual property law, told the Sydney Morning Herald. "Hollywood, the music industry, big IT companies such as Microsoft and the pharmaceutical sector would all be very happy with this."
WikiLeaks wrote in response that the enforcement measures discussed have âfar-reaching implications for individual rights, civil liberties, publishers, internet service providers and internet privacy, as well as for the creative, intellectual, biological and environmental commons.â
âParticular measures proposed include supranational litigation tribunals to which sovereign national courts are expected to defer, but which have no human rights safeguards,â warned WikiLeaks. âThe TPP IP Chapter states that these courts can conduct hearings with secret evidence.â
According to the whistleblower site, the IP chapter also includes provisions that rehash some of the very surveillance and enforcement rules from the abandoned SOPA and ACTA treaties that were left to die after public outrage halted any agreement with regards to those legislation.
âThe WikiLeaks text also features Hollywood and recording industry inspired proposals â think about the SOPA debacle â to limit internet freedom and access to educational materials, to force internet providers to act as copyright enforcers and to cut off peopleâs internet access,â Burcu Kilic, an intellectual property lawyer with Public Citizen, explained to the website TorrentFreak.
SOPA, or the Stop Online Privacy Act, was abandoned last year after massive public campaign thwarted the US Congressâ attempt to censor access to certain internet sites where copyrighted content may be incidentally hosted. One of the billâs biggest opponents, Kim Dotcom of file-sharing sites Megaupload and Mega, was quick to condone WikiLeaks for their release of the TPP draft and condemned those responsible for drafting a bill that he warned would have major consequences for all if approved, including residents of New Zealand such as himself.
âNo wonder they kept it secret. What a malicious piece of US corporate lobbying. TPP is about world domination for US corporations. Nothing else. We will stop this madness in New Zealand,â he told RTâs Andrew Blake.
According to WikiLeaks, the Obama administration and senior heads of state from other potential TPP nations have expressed interest in ratifying the agreement before 2014. All of that could now be put in jeopardy.
William Blum - BoilingFrogsPost.com - Friday, 8. November 2013
Did You Know: George Soros Is Delighted to Join More Than One Million Americans in Supporting Ready for Hillary
Not that it really matters who the Democrats nominate for the presidency in 2016. Whoever that politically regressive and morally bankrupt party chooses will be at best an uninspired and uninspiring centrist; in European terms a center-rightist; who believes that the American Empire â despite the admittedly occasional excessive behavior â is mankindâs last great hope. The only reason I bother to comment on this question so far in advance of the election is that the forces behind Clinton have clearly already begun their campaign and Iâd like to use the opportunity to try to educate the many progressives who fell in love with Obama and may be poised now to embrace Clinton. Hereâs what I wrote in July 2007 during the very early days of the 2008 campaign:
Who do you think said this on June 20? a) Rudy Giuliani; b) Hillary Clinton; c) George Bush; d) Mitt Romney; or e) Barack Obama?
âThe American military has done its job. Look what they accomplished. They got rid of Saddam Hussein. They gave the Iraqis a chance for free and fair elections. They gave the Iraqi government the chance to begin to demonstrate that it understood its responsibilities to make the hard political decisions necessary to give the people of Iraq a better future. So the American military has succeeded. It is the Iraqi government which has failed to make the tough decisions which are important for their own people.â 6
Right, it was the woman who wants to be president because âŠ because she wants to be president âŠ because she thinks it would be nice to be president âŠ no other reason, no burning cause, no heartfelt desire for basic change in American society or to make a better world âŠ she just thinks it would be nice, even great, to be president. And keep the American Empire in business, its routine generating of horror and misery being no problem; she wouldnât want to be known as the president that hastened the decline of the empire.
And she spoke the above words at the âTake Back Americaâ conference; she was speaking to liberals, committed liberal Democrats and others further left. She didnât have to cater to them with any flag-waving pro-war rhetoric; they wanted to hear anti-war rhetoric (and she of course gave them a bit of that as well out of the other side of her mouth), so we can assume that this is how she really feels, if indeed the woman feels anything. The audience, it should be noted, booed her, for the second year in a row.
Think of why you are opposed to the war. Is it not largely because of all the unspeakable suffering brought down upon the heads and souls of the poor people of Iraq by the American military? Hillary Clinton couldnât care less about that, literally. She thinks the American military has âsucceededâ. Has she ever unequivocally labeled the war âillegalâ or âimmoralâ? I used to think that Tony Blair was a member of the right wing or conservative wing of the British Labour Party. I finally realized one day that that was an incorrect description of his ideology. Blair is a conservative, a bloody Tory. How he wound up in the Labour Party is a matter I havenât studied. Hillary Clinton, however, Iâve long known is a conservative; going back to at least the 1980s, while the wife of the Arkansas governor, she strongly supported the death-squad torturers known as the Contras, who were the empireâs proxy army in Nicaragua. 7
Now we hear from Americaâs venerable conservative magazine, William Buckleyâs National Review, an editorial by Bruce Bartlett, policy adviser to President Ronald Reagan; treasury official under President George H.W. Bush; a fellow at two of the leading conservative think-tanks, the Heritage Foundation and the Cato Institute â You get the picture? Bartlett tells his readers that itâs almost certain that the Democrats will win the White House in 2008. So what to do? Support the most conservative Democrat. He writes: âTo right-wingers willing to look beneath what probably sounds to them like the same identical views of the Democratic candidates, it is pretty clear that Hillary Clinton is the most conservative.â 8
We also hear from Americaâs premier magazine for the corporate wealthy, Fortune, whose recent cover features a picture of Clinton and the headline: âBusiness Loves Hillaryâ. 9
Back to 2013: In October, the office of billionaire George Soros, who has long worked with US foreign policy to destabilize governments not in love with the empire, announced that âGeorge Soros is delighted to join more than one million Americans in supporting Ready for Hillary.â 10
Thereâs much more evidence of Hillary Clintonâs conservative leanings, but if you need more, youâre probably still in love with Obama, who in a new book is quoted telling his aides during a comment on drone strikes that heâs âreally good at killing peopleâ. 11 Can we look forward to Hillary winning the much-discredited Nobel Peace Prize?