Apr 302013
 

Posted by greydogg, 99GetSmart

* THE MANIFESTO OF THE MEDITERRANEAN MEETING IN TUNISIA

Source: CADTM

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We, the representatives of progressive political parties from the Mediterranean region, gathered in Tunis from March 23 to 24, 2013, at the call of the Popular Front, and adopted the following resolution.

1. – For more than a quarter of a century, neoliberal capitalist globalization has extended its dominance over the entire planet. The processes launched have accelerated the commodization of the world in favour of a minority and have confiscated peoples´ citizenship and nations´ sovereignty. They are exacerbating economic insecurity and social inequality in the North and South and further widening the gap between the rich countries and the so-called poor countries.

Peoples of the South are subjected to a particularly devastating regime of structural adjustment policies and free trade policies which impedes a fair development, destroys the environment and deprives them of their sovereignty, thus weakening them even more and exacerbating their dependence on dominant economic areas of the North.

The fate of humanity is now decided by a handful of transnational corporations and by the international financial institutions over which people have no control.

Since 2008, in the midst of a crisis of the world capitalist system, structural adjustment policies have been extended to the countries of the northern Mediterranean, the so-called contemptuously PIGS.

In Tunisia, these policies have been imposed since 1986 by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. In 1995, these were reinforced by the Association Agreement imposed by the European Union and its Member States. The political dictatorship has ensured the application of such policies.

At present, the various neoliberal capitalist globalization actors intend to carry on with these policies, trying to take advantage of the revolutionary crisis, by strengthening and expanding their scope. Thus they seek to block the path that leads to the development of aspirations and the desire for radical change massively expressed by the masses, particularly youth, during the revolutionary uprising of December- January 2011.

2. – The removal of the dictator has disarmed the local neoliberal capitalist order without reversing it have led to some progress. The social system which is the historical product of imperialist domination and, more recently, of the restructuring of the neoliberal capitalist world, is still standing. But the revolutionary crisis that initiated the insurgency remains active. The victory of the democratic, social and national revolution in Tunisia, as in other countries in the region, still remains a possibility.

3. – The Tunisian revolution marked the beginning of the Arab revolution. To date, four dictators, whose average time in power exceeded 30 years, have been eliminated. These political changes are, without a doubt, the most important occurrence that has taken place in the Arab region and Maghreb in decades. This is clearly a turning point in the history of Tunisia and the Arab region.

This is, in the proper sense of the term, a “historic” moment. In fact, for the first time in their history, the peoples of the Arab region, who have not stopped fighting, are standing up today against their direct oppressors, bursting onto the political scene to take hold of their destiny in their own hands.

4. – The debt -odious, illegitimate- used under the dictatorship as a tool for political submission and as a mechanism for the transfer of income from labour to local but above all to world capital, currently serves the counter-revolution to maintain the neo-colonial economy and imperialist domination in Tunisia. Furthermore, in Egypt, Morocco, Greece, Cyprus, the Spanish State and in many other countries of the Mediterranean basin, debt continues to serve the interests of a minority against the interests of the vast majority. It is everywhere, it is the pretext for the implementation of austerity policies imposed by international financial institutions and the capitalistic states that violate human rights.

5. – Everywhere, both in the North and the South, the same logics of profit, domination and destruction of the planet operate and continue to be imposed on the peoples and on nature. The Tunisian revolution, the Arab revolution, the heroic struggles of all peoples of the world against a neoliberal capitalist order, such as in Greece, Portugal, Catalonia, Basque country or the Spanish state, are the political founding acts of a new world order; one based on solidarity, that is democratic, feminist peaceful that ensures popular sovereignty and self-determination of the peoples and environmentally friendly- for which all our respective political parties are fighting.

6. – But standing in opposition of this popular will for a radical shift are the ruling classes, the transnationals and global finance institutions. They form a united front to counter-attack and to implement even more antisocial and undemocratic policies in order to break through this liberating popular impulse and momentum, and thus continue to make the costs of the global capitalist system crisis fall on the same shoulders, those of the working people and the planet.

7. – We, the representatives of progressive political parties from the Mediterranean region in the world, are convinced that we must unite our efforts and our actions, both regionally and internationally, to support and contribute to the struggles of the people and of the exploited and oppressed classes, in the region and worldwide, who yearn for freedom, dignity and social justice. We support the revolutionary struggle of the Syrian people to achieve freedom, democracy, social justice, equality and national dignity. We condemn any foreign intervention that goes against the achievement of these objectives.
In order to work together in this direction, we the progressive political parties from the Mediterranean region, that participated in this meeting in Tunisia against debt, austerity policies and imperialist domination, advocate for a free, democratic, social, solidarity-based and environmentally friendly Mediterranean region. We therefore commit to:

  • Support the process of mobilization and struggle of social movements, trade unions and social organizations for a citizen audit
  • Promote motions for non-payment of illegitimate debt and the external debt relief in the institutions in which we participate.
  • Incorporate in our political programs the NON payment of the illegitimate debt and the promotion of citizen audit and the support of the struggle for the sovereignty of peoples and self-determination.
  • Advance on the development of a network of mutual support between the nations to assist those who decided not to pay the illegitimate debt
  • Establish a permanent communication network for the exchange of information and experiences.
  • Develop a concrete cooperation aiming at developing tools for the struggle and mobilization necessary to achieve our goals.
  • Organize the next meeting in the Spanish State.

The progressive political parties in the Mediterranean region and other parts of the world that participated in the Tunisian Mediterranean Meeting welcomed the World Social Forum that was held in Tunis from March 26 to 30, and that allowed to advance towards the realization of the objectives enshrined in the Charter of Porto Alegre.

Finally, we strongly condemn the killing of Chokri Belaid, Secretary General of the Unified Democratic Patriotic Party and leader of the Popular Front, which we refer to as a political crime. We demand the truth to be told about all those involved in this heinous crime. […]

READ @ http://cadtm.org/The-Manifesto-of-the-Mediterranean

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* SCIENTIST CONFIRM! “AUSTERITY IS TOO BAD FOR YOUR HEALTH”

Source: KeepTalkingGreece

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Scientists confirm what we already know: that recession-driven austerity measures are not just bad for your wealth, they are also harming your health. It’s not only that your pockets are robbed causing sleepless nights, depression and heart attacks. The austerity cuts that primarily target the health sector boost infectious diseases as medicine and treatment become prohibitively expensive.

British scientists examined the impact of austerity to health issues and thus on the example of Greece and Great Britain.

The after-effects of the financial crisis is driving a wave of suicide, depression and infectious diseases as medicine and treatment become prohibitively expensive across Europe and North America, according to new research by academics.

After examining a decade of studies , Oxford University political economist David Stuckler and Sanjay Basu, an assistant professor of medicine and an epidemiologist at Stanford University, have concluded austerity is seriously bad for health.

More than 10,000 suicides and up to a million cases of depression have been diagnosed during what they call the “Great Recession” and the austerity that followed it , the pair conclude in a book due to be published this week.

They cite examples in Greece, which has seen the rate of the Aids-causing HIV virus increase by 200pc as the health budget have been cut. The more than 50pc youth unemployment rate has also seen drug abuse on the increase, hastening the spread of the virus.

Greece also experienced its first malaria outbreak in decades following budget cuts to mosquito-spraying programmes.

In Britain, the academics claim 10,000 families have been pushed into homelessness by the austerity budget, and in the US 5m people no longer have access to healthcare since the recession.

“Politicians need to take into account the serious – and in some cases profound – health consequences of economic choices,” said Mr Stuckler, a senior researcher at Oxford University and co-author The Body Economic: Why Austerity Kills.

“The harms we have found include HIV and malaria outbreaks, shortages of essential medicines, lost healthcare access, and an avoidable epidemic of alcohol abuse, depression and suicide,” he said in a statement. “Austerity is having a devastating effect.”

Previous studies by Mr Stuckler published in journals such as The Lancet and the British Medical Journal have linked rising suicide rates in some parts of Europe to austerity measures, and found HIV epidemics to be spreading amid cutbacks in services to vulnerable people.

But he and Mr Basu said negative public health effects are not inevitable, even during the worst economic disasters. (full story Telegraph)

 Greeks get really sick

Also Greek scientists have collected data on the impact of the austerity cuts on the people’s health. According to Christodoulos Stefanadis, cardiology professor at the University of Athens with experience at the country’s public hospitals:

Cardiovascular incidents increased by 20% in the last two years.

Increased is also the number of patients with high blood pressure.

One in six patients with cholesterol does not follow the prescribed treatment due to financial inability to come up with the self-participation  percentage on prescribed medicine.

Unemployment, stress at work and depression are risk factors for cardiovascular diseases equal to risk factors like smoking, lack of exercise and unhealthy eating habits. […]

READ @ http://www.keeptalkinggreece.com/2013/04/29/scientists-confirm-austerity-is-too-bad-for-your-health/

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* CIA’s ‘BAGS OF CASH’ FUELED AFGHAN CORRUPTION, BOUGHT LITTLE INFLUENCE

By Jason Ditz, Anti-War

A Decade Later, CIA Still Throwing Money at Karzai

afghan

If you’re a top Afghan official money comes awfully easy. For Afghan President Hamid Karzai, you don’t even have to ask for it or leave your office, and people will show up with plastic shopping bags full of cash for you.

The “sacks of cash” phenomenon was unveiled in 2010, when officials revealed that Iran was showing up with $1 million in cash a few times a year for Karzai. The US was and is doing it too. The CIA has notoriously been showing up all the time with “ghost money” aimed at buying influence.

“It came in secret, and it left in secret,” noted Karzai’s former chief of staff. Over a decade later, the cash is still coming and going, but what influence if any was ever actually bought is unclear at best.

Officials are critical of the policy, saying that tens of millions of US dollars with no paperwork were actually a big part of how Afghanistan became one of the most corrupt nations in human history. Though there is of course no way of tracking all this money, US officials believe that large amounts were used to bribe politicians and warlords.

This is how all political business gets done in Afghanistan to this day, and despite officials insisting that the money is incredibly counterproductive, the CIA bags are still showing up regularly. […]

READ @ http://news.antiwar.com/2013/04/28/cias-bags-of-cash-fueled-afghan-corruption-bought-little-influence/

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* THE GUANTANAMO MEMOIRS OF MOHAMEDOU OULD SLAHI

By Larry Siems, Slate

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Mohamedou Ould Slahi began to tell his story in 2005. Over the course of several months, the Guantánamo prisoner handwrote his memoir, recounting what he calls his “endless world tour” of detention and interrogation. He wrote in English, a language he mastered in prison. His handwriting is relaxed but neat, his narrative, even riddled with redactions, vivid and captivating. In telling his story he tried, as he wrote, “to be as fair as possible to the U.S. government, to my brothers, and to myself.” He finished his 466-page draft in early 2006. For the next six years, the U.S. government held the manuscript as a classified secret.

When his pro bono attorneys were allowed to hand me a disk labeled “Unclassified Version” last year, Slahi had been a Guantánamo detainee for more than a decade. I sat down to start reading his manuscript nearly 10 years to the day from the book’s opening scene:

“[Redacted] July 2002, 22:00. The American team takes over. The music was off. The conversations of the guards faded away. The truck emptied.”

We’re in the middle of the action. Slahi’s life in captivity had begun eight months earlier, on Nov. 20, 2001, when Slahi, then 30, was summoned by Mauritanian police for questioning. He had just returned home from work; he was in the shower when police arrived. He dressed, grabbed his car keys—he went voluntarily, driving himself to the police station—and told his mother not to worry, he would be home soon. […]

READ @ http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/foreigners/2013/04/mohamedou_ould_slahi_s_guant_namo_memoirs_how_the_united_states_kept_a_gitmo.html

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* UNDERCOVER AT THE TAR SANDS

By Jerry Cleveland, Rolling Stone

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Editor’s Note: In recent months, many climate activists have focused their efforts on Canada’s tar sands and the companies set on extracting fossil fuels from them. With the debate raging louder than ever, Rolling Stone is in contact with one of the workers helping to build a pipeline to bring oil from the tar sands to the U.S. Read on for that anonymous correspondent’s first dispatch from one of the world’s most controversial jobs.

There’s something in the air in Fort McMurray, Alberta – and it’s not just fumes from the massive oil sands processing plants north of town. Spend enough time here, and you’ll pick up the pungent scents of machismo and money.

This is the heart of Canada’s controversial tar sands operation. If all goes as planned, this region will soon be sending its bitumen – the sticky, black petroleum byproduct colloquially known as “tar” – down the Keystone XL Pipeline. President Obama has yet to give the contentious project the green light, but work in the oil sands shows no sign of slowing down any time soon.

The region has 80,000 permanent residents, and hosts about 40,000 temporary workers at any given time – welders, pipefitters, heavy equipment operators, technicians, engineers and other hired hands who pass through Fort McMurray as the work ebbs and flows. I joined them this winter when, after hearing stories about Fort Mac for years, I signed on to help build a massive pipeline (not the Keystone XL). I was eager to see the tar sands for myself, experience life in Fort Mac firsthand – and, let’s be honest, I wanted to make some oil money, too.  I’m writing this story anonymously to protect my friends, my colleagues and myself.

The Fossil Fuel Resistance

Much of the work here relies on ice roads and freezing temperatures, so when spring comes, the work ends. The obvious irony is that the carbon economy itself is very likely contributing to the early springs, late winters and wacky weather that keeps interrupting our work.

Few in northern Alberta seemed to notice when thousands gathered in Washington, D.C. to protest the Keystone project in February. Instead, everyone was talking about the southern extension project coming up later this year, and the 14,000 jobs it would bring.

The recent rupture of an Exxon pipeline in Arkansas, spilling tens of thousands of Canadian crude, made some noise here. But most chalked it up to “bad timing” –folks are quick to point out that the pipeline in question was installed in the 1940s, and my foreman assured us that Exxon would “make sure everyone is taken care of.” The prevailing logic seems to be that if you throw enough money at a problem, it’ll go away. […]

READ @ http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/undercover-at-the-tar-sands-20130426

Apr 292013
 

Posted by greydogg, 99GetSmart

* THE GOOD GUYS ARE NOT COMING TO SAVE US

Source: Free-Man’s Perspective

goodguys

A lot of Americans know that the US government is out of control. Anyone who has cared enough to study the US Constitution even a little knows this. Still, very few of these people are taking any significant action, and largely because of one error: They are waiting for “the good guys” to show up and fix things.

Some think that certain groups of politicians will pull it together and fix things, or that one magnificent politician will ride in to fix things. Others think that certain members of the military will step in and slap the politicians back into line. And, I’m sure there are other variations.

There are several problems with this. I’ll start with the small issues:

  1. It doesn’t happen. A lot of good people have latched on to one grand possibility after another, waiting for a good guy to save the day, and it just doesn’t happen. Thousands of hours of reading, writing and waiting are burned with each new “great light” who comes along with a promise to run the system in the “right” way, and give us liberty and truth. (Or whatever.) Lots of decent folks grab on to one pleasant dream after another, only to end up right back where they started… but poorer in time, energy and finances.
  2. Hope is a scam. It’s a dream of someday, somehow, getting something for nothing. People who hope do not act – they wait for other people to act. Hope is a tool to neuter a natural opposition: they sit and hope, and never act against you. Even the biblical meaning of hope is something more like expectation (or sometimes waiting) than the modern use of hope.
  3. Petitioning an abuser for compassion. The “good guys” are considered to be a few people inside the abusive government. But if the good guys were really good, wouldn’t they have dissociated themselves with an abuser some time ago? By pleading for the good guys to rise up, people are asking one sub-group of the abusers to save them from the rest of the abusers. However, they all work for the same operation; they all get paid out of the same offices; according to the same rulebook. And if the good guys are so willing to turn against their employers, why would they have waited until now?
  4. Movies. We all grew up in the company of movie heroes who rode in at the last minute to save the noble victims. From John Wayne to Star Trek to Bruce Willis, the story line differs little. These are pleasant stories, of course, but cinema is not reality, and hoping for it to become reality is something that we should get over prior to adulthood.

But, as I say, those are the smaller issues. Let’s move on to the serious ones.

[…]

The Sad Truth

Let’s just say it:

No one is going to ride in and save you.

If you want things to get better, then YOU will have to make them better. YOU will have to stand up and take the arrows, yourself. Liberty, at this stage of human development, requires risk and pain. […]

READ @ http://www.freemansperspective.com/good-guys-not-coming-to-save-us/

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* THE WORST CONGRESS MONEY CAN BUY

By Bill Moyers and Michael Winship, Moyers & Company

(Photo: Jorge Castro / Flickr)

(Photo: Jorge Castro / Flickr)

If you want to see why the public approval rating of Congress is down in the sub-arctic range — an icy 15 percent by last count — all you have to do is take a quick look at how the House and Senate pay worship at the altar of corporations, banks and other special interests at the expense of public aspirations and need.

Traditionally, political scientists have taught their students that there are two schools of thought about how a legislator should get the job done. One is to vote yay or nay on a bill by following the will of his or her constituency, doing what they say they want. The other is to represent them as that legislator sees fit, acting in the best interest of the voters — whether they like it or not.

But our current Congress — as cranky and inert as an obnoxious old uncle who refuses to move from his easy chair — never went to either of those schools. Its members rarely have the voter in mind at all, unless, of course, that voter’s a cash-laden heavy hitter with the clout to keep an incumbent on the leash and comfortably in office.

How else to explain a Congress that still adamantly refuses to do anything, despite some 90 percent of the American public being in favor of background checks for gun purchases and a healthy majority favoring other gun control measures? Last week, they ignored the pleas of Newtown families and the siege of violence in Boston and yielded once again to the fanatical rants of Wayne LaPierre and the National Rifle Association. In just the first three months of this year, as it shoved back against the renewed push for controls, the NRA spent a record $800,000 keeping congressional members in line. […]

READ @ http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/16038-do-nothing-congress-gives-inertia-a-bad-name

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* WHY IT’S STILL KICKING OFF EVERYWHERE

Source: NewLeftProject

Photo by Elias Theodoropoulos

Two years on from the Arab Spring, I’m clearer about what it was that it inaugurated: it is a revolution. In some ways it parallels the revolutions of before – 1848, 1830, 1789 – and there are also echoes of the Prague spring, the US civil rights movement, the Russian ‘mad summer of 1874’ … but in other ways it is unique. Above all, the relationship between the physical and the mental, the political and the cultural, seems to be inverted. There is a change in consciousness, the intuition that something big is possible, that a great change in the world’s priorities is within people’s grasp.

What is underpinning the unrest that has swept the globe? In reality it’s reducible to three factors. Firstly, the neoliberal economic model has collapsed, and this has then been compounded by persistent attempts to go on making neoliberalism work: to ram the square peg into the round hole, thereby turning a slump into what looks like being a ten year global depression. Secondly there has been a revolution in technology that has made horizontal networks the default mode of activism and protest; this has destroyed the traditional means of disseminating ideology that persisted through two hundred years of industrial capitalism, and has made social media the irreversible norm. Thirdly, there has been a change in human consciousness: the emergence of what Manuel Castells calls ‘the networked individual’ – an expansion of the space and power of individual human beings and a change in the way they think; a change in the rate of change of ideas; an expansion of available knowledge; and a massive, almost unrecordable, revolution in culture.

What we are seeing is not the Arab Spring, the Russian Spring, the Maple Spring, Occupy, the indignados. We’re seeing the Human Spring. We are seeing something that reminds us, long after the historians reduced it to a list of battles and constitutions, why they called 1848 the springtime of the nations; and why Hegel, in the aftermath of the first French revolution, wrote: ‘Our epoch is a birth-time.  The spirit of man has broken with the old order of things, and with the old ways of thinking, and is in the mind to let them all sink into the depths of the past and to set about its own transformation (Phenomenology of Mind, 1807)

The collapse of neoliberalism

As an economic model neoliberalism died on 15 September 2008. Alan Greenspan’s words in the subsequent House Committee hearing were prophetic: ‘I found a flaw’, he said: ‘A flaw in the model that I perceived [to be] … a critical functioning structure that defines how the world works… That’s precisely the reason I was shocked, because I’ve been going for 40 years or more with very considerable evidence that it was working exceptionally well’ (October 2008). Neoliberalism told us that the market was self-regulating; that the self-interest of the deal participant was a better policeman than the regulator. It created a dominant finance sector and told that sector to enrich itself – and that sector has now crashed the world economy.

We are left with what Nomura economist Richard Koo calls a ‘balance sheet recession’ – in which fiscal stimulus, zero interest rates and a $6 trillion global money printing operation can only keep the patient alive. The Western elite can’t address this prolonged stagnation because it can’t bear to do any of the things that would end the depression: write off the debts, inflate them away, or step back from globalisation to protect their own populations from its depressive effect on living standards. So they’re left staring at the old model: and not only is the dynamo of it knackered, it is rapidly losing social legitimacy. All attempts to make the old model work without solving the global imbalances on which it rests lead to the policy of austerity: not just fiscal austerity, as in Britain and southern Europe, but a long-term strategy of reducing the wages, welfare benefits and labour rights of the workforce in the West.

And there is one massively important group that has been dealt not just a tactical setback but a strategic one. In Why It’s Kicking Off Everywhere I called these ‘graduates without a future’ – the first generation in the West since the 1930s who will be poorer than their parents.[1] They will leave college with £30, 40, 50k debts. The jobs on offer are – as the famous Santa Cruz ‘Communiqué from an Absent Future’ told us in 2009 – the same jobs you do while on campus: interning, barista, waiting tables, sex work. The first post-college job is often working for free or for the minimum wage. There is no way onto the housing ladder, the ladder is now horizontal; and in retirement, pension schemes will be gone.

You can add in further specific grievances, country by country: medieval attempts to roll back reproductive rights; endless small wars conducted against civilians; racism everywhere; torture as the default option not just in anti-terrorism but in the policing of minorities. In Europe there is relentless austerity – of the kind that forces you to eat or pay the rent. A whole generation is being forced to live as drifters – to relive the plots of 1930s movies: to get on a bus to look for work, to migrate, to sofa-surf, to enter relationships that are stark compromises between love and economics.

For this generation it is not a question of simple economic grievance but of the theft of the promised future. And I’ve become sick of hearing that the movement has ‘petered out’. No. It has been massively repressed. Tear gas fired indiscriminately into crowds in Athens, rubber bullets in Madrid, tasers and pepper spray on campuses across America. Non-lethal policing is highly effective against non-violent protests. It tends to clear them away. But do not think it has cleared away the grievances in people’s minds that led them to demonstrate in the first place. What it does is push those who don’t want to get their heads broken into a more sullen, silent, passive resistance: a resistance of ideas; or a resistance of small, granular social projects; or, as in Greece, anomie – where people just embrace the beauty of being hopeless, roll a joint, stare into each other’s eyes.

The crisis of neoliberalism, compounded by the total failure to emerge of any alternative within official politics, simply leaves unanswered the next generation’s question: how does capitalism secure my future?  […]

READ @ http://www.newleftproject.org/index.php/site/article_comments/why_its_still_kicking_off_everywhere

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* GLENN GREENWALD ON THE HIGH COST OF GOVERNMENT SECRECY

Source: Moyers and Company

VIDEO @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bsqwErd6sPg

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* EVERYONE’S TALKING ABOUT “FALSE FLAGS” … ISN’T THAT ANOTHER BOGUS HISTORICAL CONSPIRACY THEORY?

Source: Washington’s Blog

SEE-NO-EVIL-HEAR-NO-EVIL-SPEAK-NO-EVIL-random-16251226-350-274

Forget Boston, 9/11 and Oklahoma City … Is False Flag Terror Even a REAL Historical Concept?

More people are using the term “false flag” than ever before.

Some claim that the Boston marathon bombing, 9/11 and the Oklahoma City bombing were false flag attacks.

Others claim that anyone who uses the phrase “false flag” is a nut conspiracy theorist.

This post does not discuss Boston, 9/11 or Oklahoma City.  It simply looks at whether there is any real historical concept regarding false flags.

What Is False Flag Terror?

“False flag terrorism” 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 one’s own. False flag operations are not limited to war and counter-insurgency operations, and have been used in peace-time; for example, during Italy’s 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 enemy’s flag, instead of the flag of the real country of the attacking ship, was hung, it was called a “false flag” 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:

“This and no other is the root from which a tyrant springs; when he first appears he is a protector.”
– Plato

“If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy.”
– U.S. President James Madison

“Terrorism is the best political weapon for nothing drives people harder than a fear of sudden death”.
– Adolph Hitler

“Why of course the people don’t want war … 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 … 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.”
– Hermann Goering, Nazi leader.

“The 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 threatened”.
– Josef Stalin

Governments from Around the World ADMIT that they Carry Out False Flag Terror

But don’t take our word for it.

Governments from around the world admit they carry out false flag terror: […]

READ @ http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2013/04/forget-boston-911-and-oklahoma-city-is-false-flag-terrorism-even-a-real-concept.html

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* THE BOSTON BOMBING WEB OF LIES

By Julie Levesque, Global Research

disinformation

As with many “terrorism” related events since 9/11, the Boston bombing official narrative proves to be a web of lies as important facts are revealed. It turns out that the FBI has lied about its knowledge of the alleged suspects, Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, already being presented as guilty not only in the mainstream press but by the President himself.

According to the suspects’ mother, the FBI had been following them for years:

The FBI originally feigned ignorance over the identity of the two Boston bombing suspects, Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, as they appealed to an unwitting public to help them “identify” and “find” the suspects. […]

Russia Today, in an article titled, “‘They were set up, FBI followed them for years’- Tsarnaevs’ mother to RT,” stated of the suspects’ mother:

But her biggest suspicion surrounding the case was the constant FBI surveillance she said her family was subjected to over the years. She is surprised that having been so stringent with the entire family, the FBI had no idea the sons were supposedly planning a terrorist act.

She would say of the FBI to Russia Today:

They used to come [to our] home, they used to talk to me…they were telling me that he [the older, 26-y/o Tamerlan] was really an extremist leader and that they were afraid of him. They told me whatever information he is getting, he gets from these extremist sites… they were controlling him, they were controlling his every step…and now they say that this is a terrorist act! Never ever is this true, my sons are innocent!

[…] The FBI would then be forced to concede that indeed it had interviewed the suspects, in 2011, two years before the Boston bombings.  (Tony Cartalucci Boston Bombing Suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev Reported Killed, Was Alive When Detained: Tamerlan’s Aunt, Global Research, April 22, 2013.)

We were also told that Tamerlan Tsarnaev was killed in an exchange of gunfire after he and his brother had robbed a 7-Eleven:

When the shootout ended, one of the suspects, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, a former boxer, had been shot and fatally wounded. He was wearing explosives, several law enforcement officials said. (Katharine Q. Seelye, William K. Rashbaum and Michael Cooper 2nd Bombing Suspect Caught After Frenzied Hunt Paralyzes Boston, The New York Times, April 19, 2013.)

With a bomb strapped to his chest, one of the Boston Marathon suspects was killed early Friday after he and his accomplice brother robbed a 7-Eleven, shot a police officer to death, carjacked an SUV and hurled explosives in an extraordinary firefight with law enforcement, authorities told NBC News. (Pete Williams, Richard Esposito, Michael Isikoff and Erin McClam, NBC News, One Boston Marathon suspect killed; second suspect, his brother, on loose after firefight, NBC News, April 19, 2013.)

The events surrounding Tamerlan’s death reported by the media are simply not true. It turns out that Tamerlan’ aunt identified him as a  “naked, cuffed, clearly alive and well detainee seen in video aired by CNN”:

CBSBOS_1904201303234793634AA-1.mp4-20130421-125402

Tamerlan Tsarnaev in custody photo

Was Tamerlan Assassinated? […]

READ @ http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-boston-bombing-web-of-lies/5332981

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* EVERYONE’S MISSING THE BIGGER PICTURE IN THE REINHART-ROGOFF DEBATE

Source: Washington’s Blog

images

You’ve heard that an incredibly influential economic paper by Reinhart and Rogoff (RR) – widely used to justify austerity – has been “busted” for “excel spreadsheet errors” and other flaws.

As Google Trends shows, there is a raging debate over the errors in RR’s report:

Even Colbert is making fun of them.

Liberal economists argue that the “debunking” of RR proves that debt doesn’t matter, and that conservative economists who say it does are liars and scoundrels.

Conservative economists argue that the Habsburg, British and French empires crumbled under the weight of high debt, and that many other economists – including Niall Ferguson, the IMF and others – agree that high debt destroys economies.

RR attempted to defend their work yesterday:

Researchers at the Bank of International Settlements and the International Monetary Fund have weighed in with their own independent work. The World Economic Outlook published last October by the International Monetary Fund devoted an entire chapter to debt and growth. The most recent update to that outlook, released in April, states: “Much of the empirical work on debt overhangs seeks to identify the ‘overhang threshold’ beyond which the correlation between debt and growth becomes negative. The results are broadly similar: above a threshold of about 95 percent of G.D.P., a 10 percent increase in the ratio of debt to G.D.P. is identified with a decline in annual growth of about 0.15 to 0.20 percent per year.”

This view generally reflects the state of the art in economic research

***

Back in 2010, we were still sorting inconsistencies in Spanish G.D.P. data from the 1960s from three different sources. Our primary source for real G.D.P. growth was the work of the economic historian Angus Madison. But we also checked his data and, where inconsistencies appeared, refrained from using it. Other sources, including the I.M.F. and Spain’s monumental and scholarly historical statistics, had very different numbers. In our 2010 paper, we omitted Spain for the 1960s entirely. Had we included these observations, it would have strengthened our results, since Spain had very low public debt in the 1960s (under 30 percent of G.D.P.), and yet enjoyed very fast average G.D.P. growth (over 6 percent) over that period.

***

We have never advised Mr. Ryan, nor have we worked for President Obama, whose Council of Economic Advisers drew heavily on our work in a chapter of the 2012 Economic Report of the President, recreating and extending the results.

In the campaign, we received great heat from the right for allowing our work to be used by others as a rationalization for the country’s slow recovery from the financial crisis. Now we are being attacked by the left — primarily by those who have a view that the risks of higher public debt should not be part of the policy conversation.

But whether you believe that the errors in the RR study are fatal or minor, there is a bigger picture that everyone is ignoring. […]

READ @ http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2013/04/everyones-missing-the-bigger-picture-in-the-reinhart-rogoff-debate.html

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* WHAT BP DOESN’T WANT YOU TO KNOW ABOUT THE 2010 GULF SPILL

By Mark Hertsgaard, Daily Beast

The 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill was even worse than BP wanted us to know.

An agonizing 87 days passed before the BP oil spill was finally sealed off. According to US government estimates, 210 million gallons of Louisiana sweet crude had escaped into the Gulf, making this disaster the largest unintentional oil leak in world history. (Benjamin Lowy/Getty)

An agonizing 87 days passed before the BP oil spill was finally sealed off. According to US government estimates, 210 million gallons of Louisiana sweet crude had escaped into the Gulf, making this disaster the largest unintentional oil leak in world history. (Benjamin Lowy/Getty)

“It’s as safe as Dawn dishwashing liquid.” That’s what Jamie Griffin says the BP man told her about the smelly, rainbow-streaked gunk coating the floor of the “floating hotel” where Griffin was feeding hundreds of cleanup workers during the BP oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. Apparently, the workers were tracking the gunk inside on their boots. Griffin, as chief cook and maid, was trying to clean it. But even boiling water didn’t work.

“The BP representative said, ‘Jamie, just mop it like you’d mop any other dirty floor,’” Griffin recalls in her Louisiana drawl.

It was the opening weeks of what everyone, echoing President Barack Obama, was calling “the worst environmental disaster in American history.” At 9:45 p.m. local time on April 20, 2010, a fiery explosion on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig had killed 11 workers and injured 17. One mile underwater, the Macondo well had blown apart, unleashing a gusher of oil into the gulf. At risk were fishing areas that supplied one third of the seafood consumed in the U.S., beaches from Texas to Florida that drew billions of dollars’ worth of tourism to local economies, and Obama’s chances of reelection. Republicans were blaming him for mishandling the disaster, his poll numbers were falling, even his 11-year-old daughter was demanding, “Daddy, did you plug the hole yet?”

Griffin did as she was told: “I tried Pine-Sol, bleach, I even tried Dawn on those floors.” As she scrubbed, the mix of cleanser and gunk occasionally splashed onto her arms and face.

Within days, the 32-year-old single mother was coughing up blood and suffering constant headaches. She lost her voice. “My throat felt like I’d swallowed razor blades,” she says.

Then things got much worse. […]

READ @ http://tinyurl.com/cbwveay

Apr 282013
 

By James Petras, 99GetSmart

bostonmanhunt1-400x247

Introduction

Two major terrorists’ attacks took place almost simultaneously:  in Boston, two Chechen terrorists set off bombs during the annual Boston Marathon killing three people and injuring 170; in Venezuela, terrorist-supporters of defeated presidential candidate, Henrique Capriles, assassinated 8 and injured 70 supporters of victorious Socialist Party candidate Nicolas Maduro, in the course of firebombing 8 health clinics and several Party offices and homes.  In the case of Boston, the terrorist spree resulted in one further fatality – one of the perpetrators; in Venezuela, some of the terrorists are under arrest but their political mentors are still free and active – in fact they are now presented as ‘victims of repression’  by the US media.

By examining the context, politics, government responses and mass media treatment of these terrorist acts we can gain insight into the larger meaning of terrorism and how it reflects, not merely the hypocrisy of the US government and mass media, but the underlying politics that encourages terrorism.

Context of Terrorism:  From Chechnya to Boston:  A Dangerous Game

Chechnya has been an armed battleground for over two decades pitting the secular Russian State against local Muslim fundamentalist separatists.  Washington, fresh from arming and financing Muslim jihadis in a successful war against the secular Soviet-backed Afghan regime in the 1980’s, expanded its aid program into Central Asian and Caucasian Muslim regions of the former Soviet Union.  Russian military might ultimately defeated the Chechen warlords but many of their armed followers fled to other countries, joining armed, extremist, Islamist groups in Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan and later Egypt, Libya and now Syria.  While accepting Western, especially US arms, to fight secular adversaries of the US Empire, the jihadis’ ultimate goal has been a clerical (Islamic) regime.  Washington and the Europeans have played a dangerous game:  using Muslim fundamentalists as shock troops to defeat secular nationalists, while planning to dump them in favor of neo-liberal ‘moderate’ Muslim or secular client regimes afterwards.

This cynical policy has backfired everywhere – including in the US.  Fundamentalists in Afghanistan took state power after the Soviets pulled out.  They opposed the US, which invaded Afghanistan after the attacks of September 11, 2001, and have successfully engaged in a 12 year war of attrition with Washington and NATO, spawning powerful allies in Pakistan and elsewhere.  Taliban-controlled areas of Afghanistan serve as training bases and a ‘beacon’ for terrorists the world over.

The US invasion of Iraq and overthrow of President Saddam Hussein led to ten years of Al Qaeda and related-clerical terrorism in Iraq, wiping out the entire secular society.  In the case of Libya and Syria, NATO and Gulf State arms have greatly expanded the arsenals of terrorist fundamentalists in North and Sub-Sahara Africa and the Middle East.  Western-sponsored fundamentalist terrorists were directly related to the perpetrators of the 9/11 attacks on New York and Washington and there is little doubt that the recent actions of the Chechen bombers in Boston are products of this latest upsurge of NATO-backed fundamentalist advances in North Africa and the Middle East.

But against all the evidence to the contrary, Chechen terrorists are viewed by the White House as “freedom fighters” engaged in liberating their country from the secular Russians … Perhaps after the Boston terror attack, that appraisal will change.

 Venezuela: Presenting Terrorism as “Peaceful Dissent”

The candidate of the US backed and financed opposition, Henrique Capriles, has lived up to his reputation for violent politics.  In the run-up to his failed candidacy in the Venezuelan presidential election on April 15, his followers sabotaged power lines causing frequent national blackouts.  His supporters among the elite hoarded basic consumer items, causing shortages, and repeatedly threatened violence if the election went against them.  With over 100 international observers from the United Nations, European Commission and the Jimmy Carter Center there to certify the Venezuelan elections, Capriles and his inner circle unleashed their street gangs, who proceeded to target Socialist voters, campaign workers, health clinics, newly-built low-income housing projects and Cuban doctors and nurses.

The “white terror” resulted in 8 deaths and 70 injuries.  Over 135 right-wing street thugs were arrested and 90 were charged with felonies, conspiracy to commit murder and destroy public property.  Capriles, violent political credentials go back at least a decade earlier when he played a major role in the bloody coup which briefly overthrew  President Hugo Chavez in 2002.  Capriles led a gang of armed thugs and assaulted the Cuban embassy, ‘arresting’ legitimate Cabinet ministers who had taken refuge.  After a combined military and popular mass movement restored President Chavez, Capriles was placed under arrest for violence and treason.  The courageous Venezuelan Attorney General, Danilo Anderson, was in the process of prosecuting Capriles and several hundred of his terrorist supporters when he was assassinated by a car bomb – planted by supporters of the failed coup.

Though Capriles electoral propaganda was given a face-lift – he even called himself a candidate of the “center-left” and a supporter of several of President Chavez’s “social missions”, his close ties with terrorist operatives were revealed by his call for violent action as soon as his electoral defeat was announced.  His thinly veiled threat to organize a “mass march” and seize the headquarters of the electoral offices was only called off when the government ordered the National Guard and the Armed Forces on high alert.  Clearly Capriles’ terror tactics were only pulled back in the face of greater force.  When the legal order decided to defend democracy and not yield to terrorist blackmail, Capriles temporarily suspended violent activity and regrouped his forces, allowing the legal-electoral face of his movement to come to the fore.

Responses to Terror:  Boston and Venezuela

In response to the terrorist incident in Boston, the local, state and federal police were mobilized and literally shut down the entire city and its transport networks and went on a comprehensive and massive ‘manhunt’:  the mass media and the entire population were transformed into tools of a police state investigation.  Entire blocks and neighborhoods were scoured as thousands of heavily armed police and security forces went house to house, room to room, dumpster to dumpster looking for a wounded 19 year old college freshman.  A terror alert was raised for the entire country ad overseas police networks and intelligence agencies were involved in the search for the terrorist assassins.  The media and the government constantly showed photos of the victims, emphasizing their horrific injuries and the gross criminality of the act:  it was unthinkable to discuss any political dimensions to the act – it was presented, pure and simple, as an act of political terror directed at ‘cowering the American people and their elected government’.  Every government official demanded that anyone, even remotely linked, to the crime or criminals face the full force of the law.

On the other hand and coinciding with the attack in Boston, when the Venezuelan oppositionist terrorists launched their violent assault on the citizens and public institutions they were given unconditional support by the Obama regime, which claimed the killers were really ‘democrats seeking to uphold free elections’.  Secretary of State Kerry refused to recognize the electoral victory of President Maduro. Despite the carnage, the Venezuelan government did not declare martial law: at most the National Guard and loyalist police upheld the law and arrested several dozen protestors and terrorists; many of the former – not directly linked to violence – were quickly released.  Moreover, despite the internationally certified elections by over 100 observers, the Maduro government conceded the chief demand for an electoral recount – in the hope of averting further right-wing bloodshed.

US Media Response

All the major Western news agencies, including the principle ‘respectable’ print media (Financial Times, New York Times and Washington Post) converted the Venezuelan political assassins into ‘peaceful protestors’ who were victimized for attempting to register their dissent.  In other words, Washington and the entire media came out in full force in favor of political terror perpetrated against an adversarial democratic government, while invoking a near-martial law state for a brutal, but limited, act of terror in the US.  Washington apparently does not make the connection between its support of terrorism abroad and its spread to the US.

The US media has blocked out discussion of the ties between Chechen terrorist front groups, based in the US and UK, and leading US neoconservatives and Zionists, including Rudolph Giuliani, Richard Perle, Kenneth Adleman, Elliott Abrams, Midge Dector, Frank Gaffney and R. James Woolsey – all leading members of the self-styled ‘American Committee for Peace in Chechnya’ (re-named Committee for Peace in the Caucasus after the horrific Beslan school massacre).  These Washington luminaries are all full-throated supporters of the ‘war on terror’ or should we say supporters of ‘terror and war’ (“Chechen Terrorists and the Neocons” by former FBI official Coleen Rowley 4/19/13).  The headquarters and nerve center for many ‘exile’ Chechen leaders, long sought by Russian authorities for mass terrorist activities, is Boston, Massachusetts – the site of the bombing – another ‘fact’ thus far ignored by the FBI and the Justice Department, perhaps because of long-standing and on-going working relations in organizing terrorist incidents aimed at destabilizing Russia.

Former Presidential candidate and New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, after the bombing, stated that Chechens ‘were only focused (sic) on Russia’ and not on the US (his Chechens perhaps).  Interpol and US intelligence Agencies are well aware that Chechen militants have been involved in several Al Qaeda terrorist groups throughout South and Central Asia as well as the Middle East.  The Russian government’s specific inquiries regarding any number of suspected Chechen terrorists or fronts have been given short shrift – apparently including the activities of one Tamerlan Tsarnaev, recently deceased.

(As a historical aside (and perhaps not unrelated), the Boston-based FBI was notorious from the 1970’s through the 1990’s for protecting a brutal gangster hit man, James ‘Whitey’ Bulger, as a privileged informant, while he murdered dozens of individuals in the New England area.)

The Deeper Meaning of the War on Terrorism

US support for Venezuelan terrorists and their political leader, Henrique Capriles, is part of a complex multi-track policy combining the exploitation of electoral processes and the clandestine funding of NGO’s for “grass roots” agitation of local grievances, together with support for ‘direct action’ including ‘trial runs’ of political violence against the symbols and institutions of social democracy.   The versatile Capriles is the perfect candidate to run in elections while orchestrating terror.  Past US experience with political terror in Latin America has had a boomerang effect – as evident in the Miami-based Cuban terrorist engagement with numerous bombings, gun-running and drug trafficking within the USA, especially the 1976 car bombing assassination of the exile Chilean Minister Orlando Letelier and an American associate on Embassy Row in the heart of Washington, DC – an action never characterized as ‘terrorism’ because of official US ties to the perpetrators.

Despite financial, political and military links between Washington and terrorists, especially fundamentalists, the latter retain their organizational autonomy and follow their own political-cultural agenda, which in most cases is hostile to the US.  As far as the Chechens, the Afghans and the Al Qaeda Syrians today are concerned, the US is a tactical ally to be discarded on the road to establishing independent fundamentalist states.  We should add the scores of Boston victims to the thousands of US citizens killed in New York, Washington, Libya, Afghanistan and elsewhere by former fundamentalist allies of the US.

By siding with terrorists and their political spokespeople and refusing to recognize the validity of the elections in Venezuela, the Obama regime has totally alienated itself from all of South America and the Caribbean.  By supporting  violent assaults against democratic institutions in Venezuela,  the White House is signaling to its clients in opposition to the governments of Argentina, Bolivia and Ecuador – that violent assaults against independent democratic governments is an acceptable road to restoring the neo-liberal order and US centered ‘regional integration’.

Conclusion

Washington has demonstrated no consistent opposition to terrorism – it depends on the political goals of the terrorists and on the target adversaries.  In one of the two recent cases – the US government declared virtual “martial law” on Boston to kill or capture two terrorists who had attacked US citizens in a single locale; whereas in the case of Venezuela, the Obama regime has given political and material support to terrorists in order to subvert the entire constitutional order and electoral regime.

Because of the long-standing and deep ties between the US State Department, prominent neo-con leaders and Zionist notables with Chechen terrorists, we cannot expect a thorough investigation which would surely embarrass or threaten the careers of the major US officials who have long-term working relations with such criminals.

The White House will escalate and widen its support for the same Venezuelan terrorists who have sabotaged the electrical power system, the food supply and the constitutional electoral process of that country.  Terror, in that context, serves as its launch pad for a full scale assault against the past decade’s social advances under the late President Hugo Chavez.

Meanwhile, in order to cover-up the Chechen-Washington working alliance, the Boston Marathon bombing will be reduced to an isolated act by two misguided youths, lead astray by an anonymous fundamentalist website – their actions reduced to ‘religious fundamentalism’.  And despite an economy in crisis, tens of billions of more dollars will be allocated to expand the police state at home, citing its effectiveness and efficiency in the aftermath of the bombings while secretly sending more millions to foment ‘democratic’ terror…in Venezuela.

Apr 272013
 

Posted by SnakeArbusto, 99GetSmart

U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel stands with an Egyptian army official as he salutes before laying a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier on Wednesday in Cairo, Egypt. Pool/Getty Images

U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel stands with an Egyptian army official as he salutes before laying a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier on Wednesday in Cairo, Egypt.
Pool/Getty Images

Isn’t it funny that just a week after the Boston bombings and the announcement that a terrorist plot driven by Iran was foiled in Canada, the word has gone out that what we have feared for so long (or to put it another way, what we have been prepared to accept for so long) has come about: Dr. Assad has stepped over the red line – or is at least standing on it, with one foot ready to come down on the other side (the former is the Republican take, the latter the Democrat)?

In contrast, take a look at this (note the date – March 19th): http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article34344.htm
And look quick, because it might not be there much longer.

Also note how Chuck Hagel said yesterday that the reports were not to be taken seriously, while stopping short of criticizing Israeli intelligence:

“(Reuters) – Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said on Wednesday the U.S. effort to determine whether Syria has used chemical weapons is a “serious business” that cannot be decided in a rush just because several countries believe evidence supports that conclusion.

“Suspicions are one thing, evidence is another,” Hagel told reporters as he wrapped up a visit to Egypt that included talks about Syria and other regional issues.

“I think we have to be very careful here before we make any conclusions (and) draw any conclusions based on real intelligence. That’s not at all questioning other nations’ intelligence. But the United States relies on its own intelligence.” “

But today, 24 hours later, Mr. Hagel… stepped over the line:

“ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — U.S. intelligence has concluded “with some degree of varying confidence,” that the Syrian government has used sarin gas as a weapon in its 2-year-old civil war, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said Thursday.

Hagel, speaking to reporters in Abu Dhabi, said the White House has informed two senators by letter that, within the past day, “our intelligence community does assess, with varying degrees of confidence, that the Syrian regime has used chemical weapons on a small scale in Syria, specifically, the chemical agent sarin.”

“It violates every convention of warfare,” Hagel said. “

When you’re a new defense secretary, you learn fast…

Apr 262013
 

Posted by greydogg, 99GetSmart

* EVERYTHING IS RIGGED: THE BIGGEST PRICE-FIXING SCANDAL EVER

By Matt Taibbi

Illustration by Victor Juhasz

Illustration by Victor Juhasz

The Illuminati were amateurs. The second huge financial scandal of the year reveals the real international conspiracy: There’s no price the big banks can’t fix

Conspiracy theorists of the world, believers in the hidden hands of the Rothschilds and the Masons and the Illuminati, we skeptics owe you an apology. You were right. The players may be a little different, but your basic premise is correct: The world is a rigged game. We found this out in recent months, when a series of related corruption stories spilled out of the financial sector, suggesting the world’s largest banks may be fixing the prices of, well, just about everything.

You may have heard of the Libor scandal, in which at least three – and perhaps as many as 16 – of the name-brand too-big-to-fail banks have been manipulating global interest rates, in the process messing around with the prices of upward of $500 trillion (that’s trillion, with a “t”) worth of financial instruments. When that sprawling con burst into public view last year, it was easily the biggest financial scandal in history – MIT professor Andrew Lo even said it “dwarfs by orders of magnitude any financial scam in the history of markets.”

That was bad enough, but now Libor may have a twin brother. Word has leaked out that the London-based firm ICAP, the world’s largest broker of interest-rate swaps, is being investigated by American authorities for behavior that sounds eerily reminiscent of the Libor mess. Regulators are looking into whether or not a small group of brokers at ICAP may have worked with up to 15 of the world’s largest banks to manipulate ISDAfix, a benchmark number used around the world to calculate the prices of interest-rate swaps.

Interest-rate swaps are a tool used by big cities, major corporations and sovereign governments to manage their debt, and the scale of their use is almost unimaginably massive. It’s about a $379 trillion market, meaning that any manipulation would affect a pile of assets about 100 times the size of the United States federal budget.

It should surprise no one that among the players implicated in this scheme to fix the prices of interest-rate swaps are the same megabanks – including Barclays, UBS, Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase and the Royal Bank of Scotland – that serve on the Libor panel that sets global interest rates. In fact, in recent years many of these banks have already paid multimillion-dollar settlements for anti-competitive manipulation of one form or another (in addition to Libor, some were caught up in an anti-competitive scheme, detailed in Rolling Stone last year, to rig municipal-debt service auctions). Though the jumble of financial acronyms sounds like gibberish to the layperson, the fact that there may now be price-fixing scandals involving both Libor and ISDAfix suggests a single, giant mushrooming conspiracy of collusion and price-fixing hovering under the ostensibly competitive veneer of Wall Street culture. […]

READ @ http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/everything-is-rigged-the-biggest-financial-scandal-yet-20130425

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* POP QUIZ: HOW BIG IS THE BAILOUT OF CYPRUS

By Antonis Polemitis and Andreas Kitsios

Unknown

Most publications talk about the 10B or 17B Cyprus bailout. Let’s take a pop quiz on the right answer:

(a) 17 B Euros (89% of GDP)

(b) 10B Euros (52% of GDP)

(c) 2.5B Euros (13% of GDP)

(d) -3.0B Euros (-15% of GDP)

(e) -7.5B Euros (-39% of GDP)

Now let’s work through the answers, in steps:

(a) The 17B figure was calculated assuming the bailout would provide 7B for the banks. The final number provided not a single Euro for the banks who were asked, against the approach taken in the last 147 banking crises worldwide tracked by the IMF, to find the whole 7B out of their depositor base. So, part (a) is wrong

(b) The remaining 10B is described as a bailout of the government. Of this 10B however, 7.5B is being used to refinance maturing debt.

This debt, I would guess, is mostly at this point beneficially held by ECB. This is just an assumption, but we know that 75% of it was held domestically, largely by the banks. This was probably the first collateral pledged by the banks via the ELA, so ultimately if the Central Bank and the government default it will ultimately fall on the ECB’s balance sheet. The 25% is probably traded internationally and, again outside of Cyprus hands.

So, the 7.5B is being lent to Cyprus in order to be paid right back to Europe. That is not charity, that is ‘hiding their embarrassing losses until later when someone else is in office’. If moral hazard requires clueless Cypriot retail depositors to pay for their banks’ decision to lend to the insolvent Greek government, then presumably it also applies to the financial wizards at ECB that lent to the insolvent Laiki, despite having full access to their financial information.

That leaves 2.5B of fresh financing for the government which I will concede is new money, though until we see the Memorandum and the terms under which we receive this money, I am not too excited about it. Cyprus could raise this amount domestically so long as it did not have to do it overnight (which it does not – it is to fund deficits over the next few years). […]

READ @ http://www.cyprus.com/pop-quiz—how-big-is-the-bailout-of-cyprus.html

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* HUNDREDS OF LOCAL NAMES IN OFFSHORE LEAKS

By Alan Hope, FlandersToday

Antwerp diamond dealers “among most prominent” users of tax havens

130410_hundreds

The Belgian tax authorities will investigate the cases of any nationals named in the so-called Offshore Leaks – a major journalistic investigation of leaked files dealing with offshore companies and tax havens. Last week an international consortium of 86 magazines and newspapers, including Belgium’s Le Soir, revealed some of the names of approximately 130,000 wealthy individuals and companies accused of using offshore corporations to avoid up to €25 trillion in tax in their 170 respective countries.

No specific names were revealed by Le Soir journalist Alain Lallemand, but there were “hundreds” of Belgians involved, he said. He has been in touch with some of those whose names appear in the documents, and they have admitted involvement. “I think Antwerp diamond traders are among the most prominent names,” on the list, he said.

Belgium has a shield law protecting journalists’ sources, so the Offshore documents are only being handed over to authorities voluntarily. According to Kristof Spagnoli of the law office Eubelius, the fact that the data have been manipulated by the journalists handling the documents could make them useless if it came to a prosecution. […]

READ @ http://www.flanderstoday.eu/content/hundreds-local-names-offshore-leaks

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* GREEK GOVERNMENT TO LAUNCH LEGAL BATTLE FOR REPARATIONS FROM GERMANY

Source: RT

Photo taken in December 1944 in Athens. (AFP Photo)

Photo taken in December 1944 in Athens. (AFP Photo)

Greece has officially declared it will seek reparations from Germany dating back to the Nazi occupation during World War II, which could amount to over €100 billion, likely putting further strain on relations between the two Eurozone countries.

“We will exhaust every means available to arrive at a settlement,” Greek Foreign Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos told parliament in Athens on Wednesday. “One can’t compare the times, but also one cannot erase the memories.”

A Greek Finance Ministry report leaked to local media earlier this month showed that Greece believes that Berlin owes it €162 billion – €108 billion for infrastructure damage during the occupation between 1941 and the end of the war, and €54 billion as compensation for an interest-free loan Germany took from the country to support its war effort.

If paid in full, the sum would nearly empty the national currency and gold reserves of Germany (€185 billion as of last month), though this would still not be enough to cover Greece’s national debt (over €350 billion).

Demands for such a reparation scheme have been voiced intermittently by Greek politicians over the past 60 years, but have gained renewed energy amid the recent financial crisis, in which the country has been subjected to tough austerity measures in exchange for largely German-backed loans.

The latest campaign is driven by radical Socialist opposition leader Alexis Tsipras, and is supported by 4 out of 5 Greeks, according to polls.

It remains unlikely that Germany will part with the money voluntarily. […]

READ @ http://rt.com/news/greece-wwii-reparations-germany-339/?utm_source=feedly

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* GREECE IS TRYING TO KILL ITS BIGGEST ANTI-GOVERNMENT WEBSITE AND RADIO STATIONS

By Yiannis Baboulias, Motherboard

Photo of police from a February protest in Athens via Vice

Photo of police from a February protest in Athens via Vice

The Athens branch of Indymedia, an independent open network of journalists who report on political and social issues, was shut down last Thursday. Before its plug was pulled, the site was used for such principled purposes as reporting on cases of police brutality and exposing underground dealings between the Greek police force and the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party. If you’ve somehow managed not to come across it before, it’s a kind of localised WikiLeaks, only without that tricky stigma that comes with rape allegations and overstaying your welcome at South American embassies.

You might also remember the case of 15-year-old Alexandros Grigoropoulos, whose death in 2008 at the hands of a Greek police officer spurred the riots that plunged Athens into apocalyptic tumult for almost a month. Indymedia helped to uncover the details of that shooting and played a large part in helping demonstrators mobilise and communicate in the riots that followed.

So it would be fair to assume, based on those facts, that neither Greece’s head of police, nor his bosses in the government were particularly enamoured by the website or the results its stories prompted.

Hours after the site went offline, a tweet from Adonis Georgiadis, an MP for the ruling New Democracy party, confirmed the suspicions many activists had already voiced online: that the government – specifically, MP Nikos Dendias – had decided it was time to silence the website that had been causing them all of this trouble. […]

READ @ http://motherboard.vice.com/blog/greece-is-trying-to-kill-its-biggest-anti-government-website

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* CHILD HUNGER IS EXPLODING IN GREECE – AND 14 SIGNS THAT IT IS STARTING TO HAPPEN IN AMERICA TOO

By Michael, TheEconomicCollapse

250413tile3

The world is heading into a horrific economic nightmare, and an inordinate amount of the suffering is going to fall on innocent children.  If you want to get an idea of what America is going to look like in the not too distant future, just check out what is happening in Greece.  At this point, Greece is experiencing a full-blown economic depression.  As I have written about previously, the unemployment rate in Greece has now risen to 27 percent, which is much higher than the peak unemployment rate that the U.S. economy experienced during the Great Depression of the 1930s.  And as you will read about below, child hunger is absolutely exploding in Greece right now.  Some families are literally trying to survive on pasta and ketchup.  But don’t think for a moment that it can’t happen here.  Sadly, the truth is that child hunger is already rising very rapidly in our poverty-stricken cities.  Never before have we had so many Americans unable to take care of themselves.  Food stamp enrollment and child homelessness have soared to brand new all-time records, and there are actually thousands of Americans that are so poor that they live in tunnels underneath our cities.  But for millions of other Americans, the suffering is not quite so dramatic.  Instead, they just watch their hopes and their dreams slowly slip away as they struggle to find a way to make it from month to month.  There are millions of parents that lead lives that are filled with constant stress and anxiety as they try to figure out how to provide the basics for their children.  How do you tell a child that you can’t give them any dinner even though you have been trying as hard as you can?  What many families go through on a regular basis is absolutely heartbreaking.  Unfortunately, more poor families slip through the cracks with each passing day, and these are supposedly times in which we are experiencing an “economic recovery”.  So what are things going to look like when the next major economic downturn strikes?

A recent New York Times article detailed the horrifying child hunger that we are witnessing in Greece right now.  At some schools there are reports of children actually begging for food from their classmates…

As an elementary school principal, Leonidas Nikas is used to seeing children play, laugh and dream about the future. But recently he has seen something altogether different, something he thought was impossible in Greece: children picking through school trash cans for food; needy youngsters asking playmates for leftovers; and an 11-year-old boy, Pantelis Petrakis, bent over with hunger pains.

“He had eaten almost nothing at home,” Mr. Nikas said, sitting in his cramped school office near the port of Piraeus, a working-class suburb of Athens, as the sound of a jump rope skittered across the playground. He confronted Pantelis’s parents, who were ashamed and embarrassed but admitted that they had not been able to find work for months. Their savings were gone, and they were living on rations of pasta and ketchup.

Could you imagine that happening to your children or your grandchildren?

Don’t think that it can’t happen.  Just a few years ago the Greek middle class was vibrant and thriving.

[…]

#1 Today, approximately 17 million children in the United States are facing food insecurity.  In other words, that means that “one in four children in the country is living without consistent access to enough nutritious food to live a healthy life.”

#2 We are told that we live in the “wealthiest nation” on the planet, and yet more than one out of every four children in the United States is enrolled in the food stamp program.

#3 The average food stamp benefit breaks down to approximately $4 per person per day.

#4 It is being projected that approximately 50 percent of all U.S. children will be on food stamps before they reach the age of 18.

#5 It may be hard to believe, but approximately 57 percent of all children in the United States are currently living in homes that are either considered to be either “low income” or impoverished.

#6 The number of children living on $2.00 a day or less in the United States has grown to 2.8 million.  That number has increased by 130 percent since 1996.

#7 According to Feeding America, “households with children reported food insecurity at a significantly higher rate than those without children, 20.6 percent compared to 12.2 percent”.

#8 According to a Feeding America hunger study, more than 37 million Americans are now being served by food pantries and soup kitchens.

#9 For the first time ever, more than a million public school students in the United States are homeless.  That number has risen by 57 percent since the 2006-2007 school year.

#10 Approximately 20 million U.S. children rely on school meal programs to keep from going hungry.

#11 One university study estimates that child poverty costs the U.S. economy 500 billion dollars each year.

#12 In Miami, 45 percent of all children are living in poverty.

#13 In Cleveland, more than 50 percent of all children are living in poverty.

#14 According to a recently released report, 60 percent of all children in the city of Detroit are living in poverty. […]

READ @ http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/archives/child-hunger-is-exploding-in-greece-and-14-signs-that-it-is-starting-to-happen-in-america-too

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* AMERICA THE FALLEN: 24 SIGNS THAT OUR ONCE PROUD CITIES ARE TURNING INTO POVERTY-STRICKEN HELLHOLES

By Tyler Durden, zerohedge

Hellholes-Photo-by-Lyzadanger-300x185

What is happening to you America?  Once upon a time, the United States was a place where free enterprise thrived and the greatest cities that the world had ever seen sprouted up from coast to coast.  Good jobs were plentiful and a manufacturing boom helped fuel the rise of the largest and most vibrant middle class in the history of the planet.  Cities such as Detroit, Chicago, Milwaukee, Cleveland, Philadelphia and Baltimore were all teeming with economic activity and the rest of the globe looked on our economic miracle with a mixture of wonder and envy.  But now look at us.  Our once proud cities are being transformed into poverty-stricken hellholes.

Did you know that the city of Detroit once actually had the highest per-capita income in the United States?  Looking at Detroit today, it is hard to imagine that it was once one of the most prosperous cities in the world.  In fact, as you will read about later in this article, tourists now travel to Detroit from all over the globe just to see the ruins of Detroit.  Sadly, the exact same thing that is happening to Detroit is happening to cities all over America.  Detroit is just ahead of the curve.

We are in the midst of a long-term economic collapse that is eating away at us like cancer, and things are going to get a lot worse than this.  So if you still live in a prosperous area of the country, don’t laugh at what is happening to others.  What is happening to them will be coming to your area soon enough.

The following are 24 signs that our once proud cities are turning into poverty-stricken hellholes…

#1 According to the New York Times, there are now approximately 70,000 abandoned buildings in Detroit.

#2 At this point, approximately one-third of Detroit’s 140 square miles is either vacant or derelict.

#3 Back during the housing bubble, an acre of land in downtown Phoenix, Arizona sold for about $90 a square foot.  Today, an acre in downtown Phoenix sells for about $9 a square foot.

#4 The city of Chicago is so strapped for cash that it is planning to close 54 public schools.  It is being estimated that Chicago schools will run a budget deficit of about a billion dollars in 2013.

#5 The city of Baltimore is already facing unfunded liabilities of more than 3.2 billion dollars, but the city government continues to pile up more debt as if it was going out of style. […]

READ @ http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-04-24/america-fallen-24-signs-our-once-proud-cities-are-turning-poverty-stricken-hellholes

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* LISA GRAVES UPDATES US ON ALEC

By Theresa Riley, Moyers & Company

Lisa Graves, Center for Media and Democracy

Lisa Graves, Center for Media and Democracy

Last fall, Moyers & Company aired the United States of ALEC, a report on the most influential corporate-funded political force most of America has never heard of — ALEC, the American Legislative Exchange Council. In statehouses around the country, hundreds of pieces of boilerplate ALEC legislation are proposed or enacted that would, among other things, dilute collective bargaining rights, make it harder for some Americans to vote, and limit corporate liability for harm caused to consumers — each accomplished without the public ever knowing who’s behind it.

The response from viewers has been amazing. We’ve received updates to our interactive map naming local legislators who are affiliated with ALEC, as well as hundreds of comments and emails about the revelations contained in the report. Lisa Graves, the executive director of the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD), one of the watchdog organizations keeping tabs on ALEC, recently visited our offices and updated us on what ALEC’s been up to lately.

Riley: On the PR Watch website last week, I saw that ALEC may be about to undergo a makeover, starting with its name. What happened?

Lisa Graves: ALEC is urging its members to no longer use the acronym. In a note to ALEC legislators and private sector members, ALEC’s spokesman said: “You may have noticed we are limiting the use of the acronym ‘ALEC.’ Over the past year, the word ‘ALEC’ has been used to conjure up images of a distant, mysterious, Washington alphabet organization of unknown intentions,” which he says could not be further from the truth, adding that “the organization has refocused on the words ‘Exchange’ and ‘Council’ to emphasize our goal of a broad exchange of ideas to make government work better and more efficiently.” This re-branding is a classic PR technique. Big Tobacco used it to try to distance some of its brands with negative consumer users.

This latest PR manuever underscores the success of ALECexposed.org, the investigation that we at CMD launched two years ago, to make more Americans aware of ALEC’s extreme agenda. This rebranding news comes from open records requests that CMD has been pursuing with Common Cause, to try to uncloak ALEC communications with public officials. […]

READ @ http://billmoyers.com/2013/04/23/lisa-graves-updates-us-on-alec/

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* CISPA – CORPORATIONS BUY POLITICIANS AND YOUR PRIVACY

Source: The Young Turks

“Activists and Internet users protesting the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act — a cybersecurity bill that passed the House of Representatives Thursday — have spun the battle as big business interests versus the privacy of individual citizens. If lobbying dollars are anything to go by, they’re right: Pro-CISPA businesses and interests have spent 140 times more money on lobbying than anti-CISPA interests, according to the Sunlight Foundation.”

CISPA passed overwhelmingly in the house, despite its promise to allow corporations and the government access to your private data, completely unchecked. It’s no wonder after seeing how much money was poured into lobbying for the invasive bill, and who stands to profit. Cenk Uygur and Ana Kasparian break it down with Kim Horcher

VIDEO @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=BHZCxvauY9c

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* 2012 ANNUAL REPORT OF THE RACIST VIOLENCE RECORDING NETWORK

Source: Greek Left Reviews

hoodiehijab1

Introduction

The present report consists of two parts: First, the quantitative and qualitative findings of recording incidents of racist violence, through interviewing victims, by organizations participating in the Racist Violence Recording Network during 2012; and, second the Network’s positions on state responses and initiatives to combat racist crimes, including the adoption or amendment of relevant legislation or initiatives to do so.

1) Findings

During the period January-December 2012, the Racist Violence Recording Network documented, through interviews with victims, 154 incidents of racist violence, of which 151 were committed against refugees and migrants and 3 against European citizens (1 Romanian, 1 Bulgarian and 1 Greek).

Location of incidents: 107 incidents occurred within the geographical area of the Municipality of Athens, and particularly in areas of the city centre, such as Aghios Panteleimonas, Attica Square, America Square and other areas around Omonia Square, while 23 incidents were recorded in the broader area of Attica prefecture. Moreover, 13 incidents occurred in Patras, 3 in Corinth, while 3 incidents recorded in Igoumenitsa and Evros have occurred in detention centers. Finally, incidents have also taken place in Rhodes, Chios, Konitsa and Nea Manolada Ilias.

The majority of incidents occurred in public places, while 6 were more particularly recorded on public transport. There are also 7 incidents which occurred in detention facilities (police stations and detention centers) and 16 were perpetrated in private places such as migrants’ houses, shops and places used as lodges.

Characteristics of the attacks: The majority of incidents concern physical attacks against foreigners, while the types of crimes are mainly severe body injuries (in 66 cases) and assaults (in 76 cases). Threats against foreigners have also been reported as well as cases of verbal abuse and property damage. It is worth noting that at least 22 incidents combine property damage and assault against a person (or persons), as shows the case involving the arson of a barber’s shop owned by a Pakistani national near the area of Metamorfosi. Most incidents occurred at night or in the early morning hours.

The Racist Violence Recording Network registered a homicide case in 2012, following communication with the victim’s family; the victim was a 31 year-old Egyptian citizen who died after 17 days in coma after being savagely beaten. This incident, like the atrocious murder of a 19 year-old Iraqi boy at the center of Athens in August 2012 and that of a 26 year-old Pakistani male who was fatally attacked by two people on a motorcycle near the area of Petralona at the beginning of 2013, constitute a dramatic reminder that violent attacks with racist motives are not merely a continuous phenomenon, but one the degree of violence of which is frighteningly increasing within the Greek society.

The victims: The victims who approached the members of the Network and reported the incidents, consisted of 149 men (average age 27 years old) and 5 women (average age 24,6 years old), mainly from Afghanistan (47), Pakistan (13), Algeria (12), Bangladesh (12), Egypt (10) Morocco (7), Somalia (6), Soudan (6), Guinea (6), Tunisia (5) and Iraq (4). Nationalities of victims also include Iran, Mauritania, Syria, Eritrea, Congo, Senegal, Palestine, Comoros, the Ivory Coast, Albania, Georgia, Gambia and Ghana. In addition, the Network recorded 3 European citizens: 1 Romanian, 1 Bulgarian and 1 Greek who was victim of homophobic attack.

As regards the legal status of the victims, except those who have the nationality of an EU Member State, 44 were asylum seekers, 4 were recognized refugees, 15 were holders of residence permits and 79 held no legal documents or were under deportation order (in 8 cases the victim’s status was unknown).

In the vast majority of cases, the victims consider the fact that their characteristic as foreigners is the reason for the attack; they believe that they were targeted because either of their skin color or of any other characteristic revealing the fact they were not natives (the majority of migrant victims were Muslims). It is worth noting that 2 out of 5 female victims believe they were attacked because they were wearing the hijab.

Also, in most cases, the victims themselves were able to identify the motive of the attack, since the attacks followed a question or a comment about the origin of the victims and were accompanied by verbal insults and threats against the foreigners. In many other instances (in particular cases where the victims were present in the country only for a short period of time and were unaware of racist violence incidents), the racist motive of the attack was clearly expressed to them by the perpetrators when victims requested on the reason of the attack.

Finally, the Racist Violence Recording Network recorded for the first time an attack where the motive was related to the sexual orientation of the victim. This record should not lead to the conclusion that there were no such attacks in recent years, but it is linked to the mobilization and participation of LGBT organisations in the Network only recently, and their active follow-up of relevant attacks.

The perpetrators: The perpetrators in the recorded attacks were men, with the exception of 8 incidents where the perpetrators acted as a group in which the participation of women has also been recorded. At least in those cases where victims could assess the age of the perpetrators, the average age was 27 years old and they were in the vast majority Greek citizens. Incidents where the perpetrators belonged to different ethnic groups have also been recorded (i.e. attack at the centre of Athens in which ethnic Albanian immigrants participated). In only 6 out of 154 incidents the perpetrator acted alone.

According to the victims’ testimonies, in 91 cases, the perpetrators are believed to belong to extremist group. This fact also emerges from the qualitative elements recorded concerning the attacks: in these instances, the perpetrators are believed to act in an organized manner and in groups, moving either by motorcycle or on foot, often being accompanied by aggressive dogs. They are dressed in black and at times with military trousers, wearing helmets or having their faces covered. In similar attacks the participation of minors is also recorded. Most incidents occurred after sunset or in the early morning hours. Motorcycle or foot “patrols” by people dressed in black are described as the most common practice; they act as self-proclaimed vigilante groups who attack refugees and migrants in the streets, squares or public transportation stops.

The victims speak of areas in Athens which have become inaccessible to them due to the fear of being attacked. In at least 8 cases, the victims or witnesses to the attacks reported that they recognized persons associated to Golden Dawn among the perpetrators, because either they wore the insignia of the organization, or they were seen participating in public events of the organization in the area, or they were known as associated with the local branch of the organization. […]

READ @ http://greekleftreview.wordpress.com/2013/04/25/2012-annual-report-of-the-racist-violence-recording-network/

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* THE HIJACKING OF HUMAN RIGHTS

By Chris Hedges, Truthdig

Flickr/Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights Suzanne Nossel.

Flickr/Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights
Suzanne Nossel.

The appointment of Suzanne Nossel, a former State Department official and longtime government apparatchik, as executive director of PEN American Center is part of a campaign to turn U.S. human rights organizations into propagandists for pre-emptive war and apologists for empire. Nossel’s appointment led me to resign from PEN as well as withdraw from speaking at the PEN World Voices Festival in May. But Nossel is only symptomatic of the widespread hijacking of human rights organizations to demonize those—especially Muslims—branded by the state as the enemy, in order to cloak pre-emptive war and empire with a fictional virtue and to effectively divert attention from our own mounting human rights abuses, including torture, warrantless wiretapping and monitoring, the denial of due process and extrajudicial assassinations.

Nossel, who was deputy assistant secretary of state for international organization affairs under Hillary Clinton in a State Department that was little more than a subsidiary of the Pentagon, is part of the new wave of “humanitarian interventionists,” such as Samantha Power, Michael Ignatieff and Susan Rice, who naively see in the U.S. military a vehicle to create a better world. They know little of the reality of war or the actual inner workings of empire. They harbor a childish belief in the innate goodness and ultimate beneficence of American power. The deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocents, the horrendous suffering and violent terror inflicted in the name of their utopian goals in Iraq and Afghanistan, barely register on their moral calculus. This makes them at once oblivious and dangerous. “Innocence is a kind of insanity,” Graham Greene wrote in his novel “The Quiet American,” and those who destroy to build are “impregnably armored by … good intentions and … ignorance.”

There are no good wars. There are no just wars. As Erasmus wrote, “there is nothing more wicked, more disastrous, more widely destructive, more deeply tenacious, more loathsome” than war. “Whoever heard of a hundred thousand animals rushing together to butcher each other, as men do everywhere?” Erasmus asked. But war, he knew, was very useful to the power elite. War permitted the powerful, in the name of national security and by fostering a culture of fear, to effortlessly strip the citizen of his or her rights. A declaration of war ensures that “all the affairs of the State are at the mercy of the appetites of a few,” Erasmus wrote. […]

READ @ http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/the_hijacking_of_human_rights_20130407/

Apr 252013
 

Posted by greydogg, 99GetSmart

In response to the Chicago Public Schools’ plan to close more than 50 schools in June, some CPS high school juniors are boycotting the standardized Prairie State Achievement Exam (PSAE) test today.

The state mandates the PSAE and students have to take it in order to graduate, but organizers of the campaign say it’s the students’ First Amendment right to protest the test.

Some of the students and other education activists also plan to give a letter to the Chicago Board of Education in opposition of the district’s school closing proposal.

Here’s more about why some students are skipping the test:

Yesterday, Chicago Public Schools officials sent letters home and robo-called the homes of students urging that parents send their children to school today.

The district also released a statement about the continued concerns surrounding the effect the school closure plan will have on the safety of students:

Ensuring the safety and security of our students is CPS’s top priority. That’s why we continue to partner with the Chicago Police Department, as well as community- and faith-based organizations, to create customized safety plans for each welcoming school. This will include an expansion of our successful Safe Passage program, in which Safe Passage workers stand post along safe routes that are specially designed by CPS and CPD. These workers know their neighborhood and provide the extra set of eyes and ears to proactively identify and report safety risks. Since 2009, Safe Passage has resulted in increased attendance, fewer in-school incidents and decreased criminal activity around Safe Passage routes and the schools they serve.

Chicago Student’s Boycott Information:

Find out more, contact us at: 
csosos.chicago@gmail.com
www.facebook.com/csosos

Check out Brian Sturgis Youth Leader
https://soundcloud.com/csosos/brian-s…

Links to know your rights at CPS
http://www.cps.edu/Documents/Resource…

VOYCE Coordinator Emma Tai
http://dianeravitch.net/2013/04/21/ch…

Check me out
https://www.facebook.com/ARCADEKID1

Follow them on twitter @ChiStudentsOrg
hash-tag #cpsboycott

All music is third party own by Eminem: Lose Yourself

Created By Tre-Walker

Source: ABC 7

SOLIDARITY TO CHICAGO STUDENTS!

Apr 252013
 

El análisis de James Petras, 99GetSmart

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El sociólogo norteamericano James Petras esclareció este lunes en Radio Centenario (*), los cabos sueltos que quedaban tras los atentados de Boston. Para eso se preguntó quién se beneficio con los mismos y a continuación fue terminante: “la posición política y económica del aparato de Seguridad estadounidense”, ya que se fortalece la militarización y la ‘lucha contra el terrorismo’ que estaba muy desprestigiada en los Estados Unidos; Israel que a partir de esto se anunció que recibirá “más de 5.000 millones en ayuda militar adicional que facilita una agresión contra Irán”; y también, debilita a la oposición a los recortes sociales estadounidenses ya que “se desvía la atención de la gente hacia el problema del terrorismo, mientras el Congreso y la Casa Blanca están avanzando en los recortes sociales”. Lo que sigue es la trascripción de la Columna de James Petras del lunes 22 de abril.

Efraín Chury Iribarne: Como cada lunes en este espacio recibimos el análisis que tiene preparado en los Estados Unidos James Petras, a quien ya le estamos dando la bienvenida. Buenos días ¿cómo está?

James Petras: Estamos bien, tratando de analizar las noticias de hoy y hacer algunos comentarios medianamente inteligentes.

EChI: Sabemos que tus comentarios son siempre inteligentes y la gente, por lo menos aquí en el sur así los valora.

Bueno, para comenzar si le parece planteamos dos temas, por un lado darle seguimiento a la situación de Venezuela y por otro, que dejó las elecciones de este domingo en el Paraguay.  También está el tema Boston.

JP: Podríamos empezar con Venezuela y después volver a tocar algunos temas vinculados con los atentados en Boston porque hay varios cuestionamientos que están surgiendo bastante complicados y controversiales. Pero empezamos con Venezuela.

La primera cosa que hay que anotar es que el nuevo gobierno de (Nicolás) Maduro ha tomado algunas medidas muy enérgicas y muy justas. Han anunciado una serie de medidas, encarcelando a los asesinos que mataron a ocho activistas chavistas el pasado lunes y martes. Y es una buena señal de que el gobierno no va a tolerar la impunidad ni la violencia de los terroristas de la oposición. Porque ya sabemos que Enrique Capriles tiene un prontuario violento desde el golpe de Estado de 2002 donde estuvo activamente involucrado en el asalto a la Embajada Cubana.

Después, el juicio pendiente donde coincidentemente mataron al procurador Danilo Anderson que era el encargado de la persecución de Capriles, donde existe la fuerte sospecha de que  personas vinculada con Capriles estuveran involucrada en el coche bomba.

Es una buena señal de que Maduro va a actuar con más fuerza contra la violencia y el terrorismo sembrado por la oposición.

Más allá de eso han anunciado varias medidas contra oficiales corruptos en el gobierno. Estas son grandes reivindicaciones popular– la lucha contra la delincuencia, ya sea política o simplemente criminal, y el gobierno han tomado estos primeros pasos.

Segundo,  lo importante es que busca en este momento revitalizar la economía y ha nombrado nuevo ministro de Finanzas y han fortalecido el Ministerio de Energía Eléctrica, que son otros problemas que deben arreglar.Porque las finanzas en el último período no marcharon bien, muchos intermediarios están comprando dólares baratos y vendiéndolos en el mercado negro fomentando así la inflación y encareciendo el costo de la mercancía importada.

Y también los apagones eléctricos que son una táctica favorita de la oposición para fomentar el caos. Ahora, con el nuevo ministro Jesse Chacón  tenemos una persona que tiene la firmeza y la eficiencia para arreglar y enfrentar este problema.

Más allá de eso,  Venezuela está preparándose para revitalizar los programas sociales y tiene  proyecto para profundizar la expansión de la participación productiva de la población. Y eso hay que verlo, porque los planteamientos generales no siempre tienen resultados en el impacto que tienen sobre la Economía.

En otras palabras  el gobierno está tomando cuenta de que debe lanzarse ya, pero manteniendo la seguridad y actuando con más energía contra las fuerzas que están sembrando el caos.

Hasta ahora el gobierno de (Barack) Obama está jugando la carta dura. No ha reconocido el gobierno, a pesar de que casi todo el mundo reconoció los resultados.  Washington está en un proyecto ofensivo, tratando de derrocar gobiernos y apoyando candidatos de la derecha. Una contrarreforma, una contrarrevolución, que es ya plenamente evidente en países como Honduras y ahora con el nuevo presidente del Partido Colorado en Paraguay, el multimillonario Horacio Cartes.

Washington está tratando de revertir los cambios de la década pasada y buscando debilitar el Mercosur, la Unasur con estos planteamientos y agresiones. No han aceptado ninguna organización regional, ningún cambio político, quiere volver a los años ‘90 donde tenía toda una serie de gobiernos neoliberales. Y está en este camino.

Venezuela, Argentina, Ecuador y otros países deben entender que Washington está en una onda agresiva y va a utilizar las instituciones -como en Venezuela, o sea, auditar elecciones y otros planteamientos simples- como trampolines para fomentar la lucha golpista y desgastar los gobiernos. No hay que esperar ninguna tregua, ninguna conciliación, Washington está en un camino de confrontación.

La idea de Maduro de aplicar mano dura me parece la única respuesta, siempre que esté combinada con un programa de revitalizar la economía, las Misiones sociales y las instituciones que fomentan la participación popular.

La mejor defensa es una ofensiva contra la nueva agresión norteamericana.

EChI: En esta suerte de revitalización de lo que en Estados Unidos se publicita como el terrorismo. ¿Qué pasó concretamente en Boston? ¿O qué se sabe hasta ahora?

JP: En Massachusetts  se aplica un tipo de Ley marcial, la policía, la guardia nacional, coparon toda la ciudad de Boston, los suburbios y estaban en control de todo lo que pasaba por las calles, por los aviones, por el transporte público, fozosamente entraran casas.

Ahora, la pregunta que uno tiene que plantear es si Washington tenía algún indicio de que los acusados estaban planificando algo?. Y hay algunas indicaciones de si; por ejemplo, la Policía Federal admitió que sus efectivos estaban involucrados en una entrevista o en un interrogatorio con el principal actor acusado y las agencias Rusos informaron a Washington sobre la necesidad de seguir a este individuo.

En tanto, el padre y la madre de los acusados dicen que la Policía Federal fabricó o hizo provocaciones para involucrar a sus hijos en esta acción.

Ahora, estas indicaciones sugieren que Washington podría estar explotando el descontento de este señor involucrado y precipitando o facilitando el acto, para después relanzar esta guerra contra el terrorismo.

Hay que recordar que en los últimos años hemos dicho que el antiterrorismo en Estados Unidos ha caído en mucho desprestigio y poca eficiencia. Después del 9/11, años y años, de gritar lobo– la gente se cansa.

Y en este momento sale un acto sin ninguna preparación, sin ninguna técnica importante, con personas que ni se disfrazan en el acto, frente a las cámaras que están montadas en todos los rincones y esquinas del país… Era evidente que iban a identificarlos, no hay ninguna otra forma de decirlo, no hay ningún descubrimiento de las caras de los actores.

Ahora, en el día de ayer, el asesor de Israel dice que ahora con este acto de terrorismo el pueblo y el gobierno norteamericano van a estrechar relaciones con Israel porque ‘somos los principales enemigos del terrorismo islámico’.

En otras palabras, Israel anunció que ellos se van a beneficiar del acto terrorista y de repente Washington anuncia que va a vender o a entregar a Israel más de 5.000 millones de nuevas armas capaces de atacar a Irán.

O sea, el presupuesto de aparatos de Seguridad va a aumentar,El peso político del antiterrorismo recupera fuerzas.El gobierno ahora tiene mano libre de relanzarse en el Medio Oriente, supuestamente en la lucha contra el terrorismo. Y todos los factores reaccionarios de poder que estaban en repliegue, ahora están en una situación mucho más fuerte, con gran respaldo público por las víctimas y por la campaña masiva de los medios de comunicación aterrorizando a los pueblos y haciendo acusaciones sin ninguna prueba.

Es decir, ya juzgaron a los dos acusados como culpables sin ningún esfuerzo de entender qué relaciones podrían tener con las autoridades y otros grupos.

Ahora, los chechenos tienen su centro en Estados Unidos, en Boston. Tienen vinculaciones con la Universidad de Harvard y con el gobierno norteamericano. Hace años vienen recibiendo subvenciones y muchos personajes como los Rudy Giuliani, el ex alcalde de Nueva York, y otros reaccionarios, son afiliados a un grupo de apoyo a los chechenos terroristas.

Ahora, los chechenos terroristas siempre en el pasado actuaban contra Rusia, pero entre ellos  haber muchos chechenos musulmanes vinculados con Washington en las luchas en el Medio Oriente y algunos en contra de Washington. Con los talibanes y ahora los involucrados en Siria. Hay individuos y grupos chechenos involucrados en diferentes lugares conflictivos.

Tienen antecedentes de terrorismo en Rusia donde mataron a más de 300 personas en una escuela y docenas en el metro de Moscú; y otros.

Tienen antecedentes. Pero también vínculos con el servicio secreto de EE.UU.

Entonces, hay muchas preguntas y debemos examinar, por ejemplo, la acusación de los padres, la madre particularmente, de los sospechosos diciendo que ella está segura de que la Policía Federal norteamericana seguía a sus hijos desde hacía dos años por lo menos, desde que llegaron a la madurez; y asegura que ella sospecha que montaron todo eso y los utilizan como chivos expiatorios.

Bueno, en parte puede ser que la madre trate de salvar la vida de su hijo, pero por otro lado debe saber algo más que lo que la prensa está contando. Además, el gobierno niega todos los derechos constitucionales al sobreviviente en el hospital; dice que no tiene derecho a un abogado, no tiene derecho de habeas corpus, no tiene ninguna necesidad de presentar algunas pruebas antes de interrogarlo. O sea, pueden interrogarlo indefinidamente sin ningún proceso legal.

¿Y por qué quieren aislarlo, interrogarlo e imponer los resultados unilateralmente frente a las noticias? ¿Por qué no le permiten un abogado?

(Nota: Aquí se cortó la comunicación que se retoma minutos después)

EChI: Petras, se nos cortó la comunicación cuando tú venías narrando el caso de los chechenos acusados de ser los autores de lo que pasó en Boston.

JP: Bueno, el hecho es que hay muchos cuestionamientos.

Primero por el hecho de que la Policía Federal tenía noticias de sus actividades con los grupos en Rusia. Segundo, tenemos información de parte de los padres de los sospechosos, de que la Policía Federal estaba involucrada en investigaciones y estaban monitoreando las actividades de los dos jóvenes desde hacía un buen tiempo.

Ahora, si analizamos las consecuencias del acto: ¿quién se beneficia con esto?

Primero, la Policía Federal y todo el aparato de seguridad es el gran beneficiario porque estaban muy desprestigiados. Llevan años agitando el antiterrorismo, con enormes presupuestos asignados mientras se suceden los recortes sociales y presupuestales. En cambio, ahora tienen mucho prestigio, han sembrado otra vez la idea del terrorismo pendiente, etc.

En segundo lugar, Israel. Que según se supo ayer, que a partir del acto terrorista en Boston ellos van a recibir más de 5.000 millones en ayuda militar adicional que facilita una agresión contra Irán.

En tercer lugar, tenemos el hecho de que en el último período hemos encontrado varios incidentes donde musulmanes cayeron en trampas de provocadores que incitaron a acciones violentas para justificar la captura y procesamiento judicial, mostrando que el terrorismo existe como un factor en la política norteamericana.

Otro asunto a tener en cuenta es que en este momento sigue avanzando en Washington el debate sobre los recortes sociales pero con menos atención. O sea, esto es una gran distracción para el pueblo que está contra los recortes sociales, se desvía la atención de la gente hacia el problema del terrorismo, mientras el Congreso y la Casa Blanca están avanzando en los recortes sociales.

Entonces, sirve para fortalecer la posición política y económica de aparato de Seguridad, fortalece la militarización, armas más avanzadas para Israel para atacar Irán y también debilita la oposición contra los recortes sociales.

Por estas razones uno tiene que preguntarse: ¿por qué el gobierno no quiere  permitir un abogado presente durante el interrogatorio del acusado en el hospital? Porque quieren negar todas las garantías constitucionales y protecciones de la Ley y simplemente quedar con un interrogatorio controlado por la Policía, sin ninguna observación de los derechos del acusado.

Por esta razón mucha gente está cuestionando estos procedimientos.

¿Por qué no investigamos la influencia que tiene la Policía Federal en los meses, días y semanas antes de este acto?

¿Y cómo estas dos personas pueden hacer un acto sin disfraces bajo las cámaras que están en todos lados, sin ninguna precaución?

Obviamente cayendo en una trampa de cámaras y policía.

O eran muy ignorantes, incapaces de entender el contexto de su acto, o bien alguien plantó la idea y ellos lo llevan a cabo, pero por intereses fuera de sus ideologías, más como una manera de consolidar un poder policial en Estados Unidos.

Por lo menos hay muchas preguntas y todavía no hemos recibido ninguna respuesta.

EChI: ¿Y qué pasa con esos sobres que han llegado con veneno a varios personajes? El tema es que todos han sobrevivido al recibimiento de esos sobres. ¿Qué es eso concretamente?

JP: Bueno, en este caso parece que pescaron a un ultraderechista que estaba a favor de las armas más pesadas sin controles y lanzó estas cartas de amenazas con veneno. Eso ha pasado en diferentes ocasiones.

En este momento no hay nada más que un individuo involucrado. Pero hay muchos ultraderechistas en este país, cada día hay algún tiroteo, hay grupos armados de la derecha que tienen mucho poder para proteger sus propias milicias y el uso de armas en cualquier lugar, incluso pueden llevarlas en público, como los vaqueros del siglo pasado.

En otras palabras, es un país peligroso, no sólo por las injusticias sociales y oficiales, sino también por las amenazas que vienen de grupos armados con protección de la Constitución y de los congresistas.

EChI: Bien James Petras, el gusto de haber hablado contigo, que nos hayas aclarado una cantidad de cosas, así que lo único que resta es decirte muchas gracias por todo esto y que nos reencontramos el próximo lunes.

JP: Muy bien, gracias por la invitación y espero continuar con esto, esclarecer algunas cuestiones sobre lo que pasó en Boston en el último período. Porque más allá de Boston, están en juego todos los derechos democráticos frente a esta ofensiva de las fuerzas represivas.

Gracias.

Un saludo a la audiencia.

(*) Escuche en vivo los lunes a las 11:30 horas (hora local) la audición de James Petras por CX36, Radio Centenario desde Montevideo (Uruguay) para todo el mundo a través de www.radio36.com.uy

Apr 242013
 

Posted by greydogg, 99GetSmart

* ALL TERROR ATTACKS ARE PSYOPS

By Jon Rappoport, JonRapport’s Blog   

psyops

Whether the Boston Marathon murders were staged as a false flag, and if so, by whom, there are certainly contradictions in the media story line so far.

Mike Adams, at natural news, has pointed out several key absurdities in the official scenario, including the apparent controlled demolition of a bomb at the JFK library, a mile away from the explosions at the Marathon finish line.

This demolition, unreported by the press, was mentioned just before it took place, by a Boston Globe tweet: “There will be a controlled explosion opposite the library within one minute as part of bomb squad activities.”

The demolition would have taken place about an hour after the two explosions at the Marathon finish line, which means the bomb squad was able to find the Library device, rig it for demolition, and blow it up in record time.

Whatever the cause of the fire/explosion in the Library, that “incendiary device” was spent, and the bomb squad found another unexploded bomb on the premises.

A local Boston TV reporter, Eileen Curran, took a photo of the Library. The exterior of the building, at the employee’s entrance, shows blackened walls. If the “electrical fire” or the “incendiary device” caused this damage, the room in the Library where the fire or explosion took place must have been just inside the building. No media sources are specifically reporting that, which seems quite odd.

The press is merely stating there was a fire in a room in the Library. The fact that the fire was quite close to an entrance certainly rates a mention. It adds juicy media drama to the report. But there is no coverage of the fact.

All terror attacks, no matter who launches them, have a psychology. They have a purpose. Inducing fear, of course. Causing the public to give in to a new set of “security regulations,” which tighten the screws on freedom, of course. Painting some designated group as heinous, of course.

The third Monday in April, is Patriot’s Day. It commemorates the April 19, 1775, opening battles in the Revolutionary War against England, at Lexington and Concord. Previously celebrated on April 19th, it is also the anniversary of the Oklahoma City Bombing (1995), and the final FBI attack on the Waco, Texas, Branch Davidian compound that killed 76 men, women, and children (1993). April 15 is also tax day.

So some media commentators are already opining that “anti-tax-pro-patriot-anti-government” persons are behind the Boston murders.

At an elite level, where psyop research is conducted, the psychology of terror attacks involves disrupting the normal perception of reality.

Most people live their days in a more or less steady state of mind. They perform routine tasks over and over. They see their daily environment as quite familiar. All this produces what could be called a light trance.

If that seems improbable, notice what happens when something completely unexpected intrudes on habitual perception and experience. Shock is what happens.

It’s as if the person had been sleeping and suddenly and forcibly wakes up.

On a quiet residential street, a car plows into a lamp post. On a peaceful boulevard, a gust of wind blows a sign from its hinges into a store window, smashing it.

People are shocked. They look up. “Wow. Where was I?” Yes, it’s like waking from a dream.

Multiply that effect by a thousand. Bombs go off. The sounds of the explosions, the shock waves, people falling, people bleeding, grotesque injuries, death. In the space of a few seconds, and on a street where nothing ever happens.

And one layer removed from this, the world watches it unfold on television.

It’s a rip in the fabric of perceived reality. Right now.

Retired psyop planner, Ellis Medavoy (pseudonym), told me in a 2002 interview: “People think it’s very esoteric to talk about disruption in the space-time wave. But setting up certain psyops is very much about that. The theory of these operations has everything to do with the fact that people exist in an average and consistent space-time wave.

“They become used to that. They’re not even aware of it. So a psyop can go two ways. It can encourage that form of sleep, to make it continue. Or it can blow people right out of their wave into something that’s very disorienting.

“In the latter case, you’re forcing people out of their average perception of space and time, but you’re not giving them anything to replace it. They’re hanging in a void, so to speak.

“What’s the result? People desperately want a resolution of the psyop, so they can return to their former continuum. And because they feel desperate, they’ll take whatever and whoever you give them. You can say a deer chewed on a power cable and blew out the power for the entire east coast for a week, and they’ll believe you.

“And that’s what you want. The ability to say anything and have people believe you.”

I asked Medavoy if this included peppering the public with contradictions in the official account of a terrorist attack.

“Of course,” he said. “They’ll overlook those contradictions. They won’t pay any attention to them. They’re so panicked, they just want a resolution. You can plug in anybody as the guilty party, and they’ll buy it.”

Later in the conversation, I went back to the subject of the “space-time wave.”

Medavoy said: “The psychology on this is clear. An overwhelming percentage of people deal with space-time in a passive way. They receive it, so to speak. They are presented with that fundament of reality and they blindly accept it. Therefore, when you take it away, they’re lost. A tiny percentage of the population, those who are intensely creative, react differently. That’s because they are, in a real sense, projecting their own space and time.”

Psyops planners who stage events are aware of these factors. They want to create a world, a picture of a world, that is in dangerous flux and absolutely requires our “leaders” to stop that flux.

One of my more vivid experiences of this came in the mid-1980s. I was interviewing a relative of a soldier who died in Vietnam. When the subject of whether the war was justified came up, he flew off the handle. He went into a towering rage.

The fact that his cousin had been killed there automatically made the war a necessary policy of the government, a correct action. That conclusion stopped the unbearable flux for him. Otherwise, he was lost.

It was, of course, that way on 9/11, too, and in many other such instances.

There is a psychology operating here, and it isn’t merely some academic brand of nonsense. It cuts to the heart of how people literally exist in reality, and how it affects their deep response to events managed by professionals, who understand that psychology.

Jon Rappoport, the author of two explosive collections, THE MATRIX REVEALED and EXIT FROM THE MATRIX, Jon was a candidate for a US Congressional seat in the 29th District of California. Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, he has worked as an investigative reporter for 30 years, writing articles on politics, medicine, and health for CBS Healthwatch, LA Weekly, Spin Magazine, Stern, and other newspapers and magazines in the US and Europe. Jon has delivered lectures and seminars on global politics, health, logic, and creative power to audiences around the world. You can sign up for his free emails at www.nomorefakenews.com

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* SIBEL EDMUNDS ON THE BOSTON BOMBING: THE U.S. ROOTS OF “CHECHEN” TERRORISM

Source: Boiling Frogs / Corbett Report

VIDEO @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=2RCN1w5J80E#!

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* FULL CRIMINAL COMPLAINT AGAINST DXHOKHAR TSARNAEV, INCLUDING NEW DETAILS

By Tyler Durden, zerohedge

dzhokhar-tsarnaev-600

The charges against Dzhokhar may have been filed under seal but it took minutes to find the full 11 page affidavit by FBI agent Daniel Genck, against the alleged bomber. And while there have been many discrepancies in various official versions of the narrative leading to the capture of the younger Tsarnaev, this is the final, final draft, which means any changes to the story from now on will be greeted by substantial popular skepticism.

Some of the newly emerging highlights:

From the day of the marathon:

  • At approximately 2:42 p.m. (i.e., approximately seven minutes before the first explosion), Bomber One can be seen detaching himself from the crowd and walking cast on Boylston Street towards the Marathon finish line.
  • Approximately 15 seconds later, he can be seen passing directly in front of the Forum Restaurant and continuing in the direction of the location where the first explosion occurred. His knapsack is still on his back.
  • At approximately 2:45 p.m., Bomber Two can be seen detaching himself from the crowd and walking cast on Boylston Street toward the Marathon finishing line. He appears to have the thumb of his right hand hooked under the strap of his knapsack and a cell phone in his left hand. Approximately 15 seconds later, he can be seen stopping directly in front of the Forum Restaurant and standing near the metal border among numerous spectators, with his back to the camera, facing the runners, He then can be seen apparently slipping his knapsack onto the ground. A photograph taken from the opposite side of the street shows the knapsack on the ground at Bomber Two’s feet.
  • The Forum Restaurant video shows that Bomber Two remained in the same spot for approximately four minutes, occasionally looking at his cell phone and once appearing to take a picture with it. At some point he appears to look at his phone, which is held at approximately waist level, and may be manipulating the phone. Approximately 30 seconds before the first explosion, he lifts his phone to his ear as if he is speaking on his cell phone, and keeps it there for approximately 18 seconds. A few seconds after he finishes the call, the large crowd of people around him can be seen reading to the first explosion. Virtually every head turns to the east (towards the finish line) and stares in that direction in apparent bewilderment and alarm. Bomber Two, virtually alone among the individuals in front of the restaurant, appears calm. He glances to the cast and then calmly but rapidly begins moving to the west, away from the direction of the finish line. He walks away without his knapsack, having left it on the ground where he had been standing. Approximately 10 seconds later, an explosion occurs in the location where Bomber Two had placed his knapsack. […]

READ @ http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-04-22/full-criminal-complaint-against-dzhokhar-tsarnaev-including-new-details

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* CISPA, THE FOURTH AMENDMENT, AND YOU

By Scott Bomboy, National Constitution Center

effcispa

Overshadowed by congressional action on guns and immigration is an Internet privacy bill that could affect most Americans, without them knowing it, on a daily basis.

Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (or CISPA) is making its way through Congress, and it’s passed a House vote on Thursday.

The final vote in the House was 248-168, as 42 Democrats voted for the bill, while 28 Republicans voted against it.

And like gun control, it’s far from a done deal after the House passes CISPA. It would need Senate approval, and President Barack Obama has indicated he’ll possibly veto CISPA if it comes to his desk.

Both sides of Congress would need to muster a two-thirds majority vote to override the president’s veto, which would seem unlikely in the current political atmosphere of Washington.

At the heart of CISPA is a Fourth Amendment issue.

The amendment reads:

“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.” […]

READ @ http://news.yahoo.com/cispa-fourth-amendment-143420272.html

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* THERE’S NO NEED FOR ALL THIS ECONOMIC SADOMASOCHISM

By David Graeber, Guardian 

Illustration by Andrzej Krauze

Illustration by Andrzej Krauze

If Reinhart and Rogoff’s ‘error’ has discredited the prevailing policy dogma, now is the time for an alternative that works.

The intellectual justification for austerity lies in ruins. It turns out that Harvard economists Carmen Reinhart and Ken Rogoff, who originally framed the argument that too high a “debt-to-GDP ratio” will always, necessarily, lead to economic contraction – and who had aggressively promoted it during Rogoff’s tenure as chief economist for the IMF –, had based their entire argument on a spreadsheet error. The premise behind the cuts turns out to be faulty. There is now no definite proof that high levels of debt necessarily lead to recession.

Will we, then, see a reversal of policy? A sea of mea culpas from politicians who have spent the last few years telling disabled pensioners to give up their bus passes and poor students to forgo college, all on the basis of a mistake? It seems unlikely. After all, as I and many others have long argued, austerity was never really an economic policy: ultimately, it was always about morality. We are talking about a politics of crime and punishment, sin and atonement. True, it’s never been particularly clear exactly what the original sin was: some combination, perhaps, of tax avoidance, laziness, benefit fraud and the election of irresponsible leaders. But in a larger sense, the message was that we were guilty of having dreamed of social security, humane working conditions, pensions, social and economic democracy.

The morality of debt has proved spectacularly good politics. It appears to work just as well whatever form it takes: fiscal sadism (Dutch and German voters really do believe that Greek, Spanish and Irish citizens are all, collectively, as they put it, “debt sinners”, and vow support for politicians willing to punish them) or fiscal masochism (middle-class Britons really will dutifully vote for candidates who tell them that government has been on a binge, that they must tighten their belts, it’ll be hard, but it’s something we can all do for the sake of our grandchildren). Politicians locate economic theories that provide flashy equations to justify the politics; their authors, like Rogoff, are celebrated as oracles; no one bothers to check if the numbers actually add up.

If ever proof was required that the theory is selected to suit the politics, one need only consider the reaction politicians have to economists who dare suggest this moralistic framework is unnecessary; or that there might be solutions that don’t involve widespread human suffering. […]

READ @ http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/apr/21/no-need-for-economic-sadomasochism

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* MERKEL TO EUROPE: “PREPARE TO CEDE SOVEREIGNTY”

By Tyler Durden, zerohedge

Frau Merkelavelli

Frau Merkelavelli

The liquidity tsunami that started in September of 2012 in the Marriner Eccles building and continued with the BOJ’s own epic QEasing expansion three weeks ago, has so far provided the impetus for Europe to kick the can of its inevitable dissolution for a few more months, yet slowly but surely the market is starting to read through the artificial levels implied by Italian and Spanish bonds, driven by recycled ECB funding via bank and repo conduits and of course Japanese carry cash, and rumblings of a return to crisis conditions are back.

And as always happens, once the crisis talk is back, so is discussion of a fiscal union. Sure enough, earlier today Germany’s Angela Merkel once again reminded everyone just what the stakes are in order to achieve a truly stable, and sustainable European union: nothing short of ceding sovereignty to Germany. And with that we are back to square one, because that has always been the trade off – want a unified, fiscally and monetarily, Europe? You can get it: just bow down to Merkel.

From Reuters:

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Monday that euro zone members must be prepared to cede control over certain policy domains to European institutions if the bloc is truly to overcome its debt crisis and win back foreign investors.

Speaking at an event hosted by Deutsche Bank in Berlin alongside Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk, Merkel also defended her approach to the crisis against critics who argue she has put too much emphasis on austerity, saying Europe must find a way to deliver both growth and solid finances.

The comments came two months before European leaders are due to gather in Brussels to discuss moving towards a so-called “fiscal union”.

The punchline:

We seem to find common solutions when we are staring over the abyss,” Merkel said. “But as soon as the pressure eases, people say they want to go their own way.

“We need to be ready to accept that Europe has the last word in certain areas. Otherwise we won’t be able to continue to build Europe,” she added. […]

READ @ http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-04-22/merkel-europe-prepare-cede-sovereignty

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* GREECE – FURY AT RACIST SHOOTINGS

By Dave Sewell, Socialist Worker

manolada

Farm supervisors opened fire into a crowd of 200 migrant workers on a strawberry farm in the village of Manolada, western Greece, last week. They hit more than 30 workers, mostly from Bangladesh, and seriously injured eight of them.

The workers were demanding unpaid wages. They hadn’t received their meagre pay of just £2.70 an hour in seven months.

“They hit us and said, ‘We will kill you’” one of the workers told aid workers. “Three of them were shooting at us while the others beat us with sticks. The shooting went on for more than 20 minutes.”

But the workers are getting organised, along with activists from the anti-racist coalition KEERFA and the union of immigrant workers. Petros Constantinou from KEERFA said, “More than 1,000 migrant workers came to an open assembly.”

Workers voted for a mass demonstration in the centre of the village on Sunday of this week. Their slogans will be “stop the racist terror of the bosses,” and “legalise all immigrants now”.

Hundreds joined the union of migrant workers, and now plan to organise a strike on May Day. Petros and others have been visiting other unions in the region to build support. […]

READ @ http://socialistworker.org.uk/art/33122/Greece+-+fury+at+racist+shootings

Apr 232013
 

Posted by greydogg, 99GetSmart

Source: AlJazeera

More than 10 years ago, the 9/11 attacks left a gaping hole in New York – and across the US as a whole. This open wound continues to divide communities to this day. In this two-part documentary, Al Jazeera follows the stories of some of those caught up in the anti-terrorist crackdown that followed 9/11 as they speak out about the injustices they have endured and their fears of a rising Islamophobia.

Part 1:

Part 2: 

VIDEO @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&list=PL_IlIlrxhtPNn8fkW7BGPYGI9eiPR2abB&v=cRt8WW_FKbU