Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Angry Government Employees Protest Lay Offs - Its has started!

Stuart Pfeifer
Los Angeles Times
December 24, 2008
Faced with a gaping budget deficit, Orange County officials disclosed plans Tuesday to lay off nearly 60 Probation Department employees and to start releasing some juvenile criminal suspects rather than holding them in juvenile hall.

Word of the cutbacks came the same day that 1,000 angry workers stormed the Orange County Hall of Administration to protest previously announced plans to lay off 210 social services employees.
The social services cuts stem from a steep reduction in state funding that county officials said left them with no option but to eliminate jobs. In addition to the layoffs, the county has disclosed plans to require 4,000 social services employees to take two weeks off without pay next year.
Read article

ER doctors: Police use excessive force

Emergency Medicine Journal
December 24, 2008
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – In a survey of a random sample of U.S. emergency physicians, virtually all said they believed that law enforcement officers use excessive force to arrest and detain suspects.

The sample included 315 respondents. While 99.8 percent believed excessive force is used, almost as many (97.8 percent) reported that they had managed cases that they suspected or that the patient stated had involved excessive use of force by law enforcement officers.
Nearly two thirds (65.3 percent) estimated that they had treated two or more cases of suspected excessive use of force per year among their patients, according to a report of the survey published in the January 2009 issue of the Emergency Medicine Journal.
Dr. Jared Strote of the University of Washington, Seattle, and a multicenter team also found that emergency physicians at public teaching hospitals were roughly four times more likely to report managing cases of suspected use of excessive force than those at university or community teaching emergency departments.
Blunt trauma inflicted by fists or feet was the most common type of injury cited in cases of suspected use of excessive force, followed by “overly tight” handcuffs.
Most emergency physicians (71.2 percent) admitted that they did not report cases of suspected use of excessive force by law enforcement officers.
Read article

Posing As A Bidder, Utah Student Disrupts Government Auction of 150,000 Acres Of Wilderness For Oil & Gas Drilling

Pravda: USA needs nuclear explosion to turn the world into dictatorship

December 24, 2008
Is the United States going to put dictatorship into effect under the guise of the anti-terrorist struggle? What may trigger another major transformation in 2009? The answer is obvious: another 9/11 in the USA.
Terrible and bloody events are in store for the world in the beginning of 2009. Most likely, the world will witness a reality show with a nuclear blast, which will be used as a reason for the US administration to change the world order again and leave the new Great Depression behind. There is every reason to believe that the Russian Federation may suffer as a result of this possible initiative too.

Joe Biden made a sensational statement on October 19, 2008. He said that Barack Obama would have to undergo an ordeal during the first six months of his stay in the White House. It will be the time of a very serious international crisis, when Obama would have to make tough and possibly unpopular decisions both in home and foreign politics. Biden said that there were four or five scenarios for the development of the international crisis. Afghanistan, North Korea or the Russian Federation may become the source of one of them.
When Obama learned of Biden’s speech, he tried to explain everything with rhetorical exaggerations. However, Biden’s remarks gave food for thought, taking into consideration the fact that former secretary of state Madeleine Albright described his remarks as statement of fact.
Apparently, the political elite in the United States is certain that their nation would soon suffer another mammoth terrorist act. This assumption became the subject of Michel Chossudovsky’s article “A Second 9/11„: An Integral Part of US Military Doctrine.”
The independent analysts presented a selection of statements, which US top officials released during the recent several years. For example, Michael Chertoff, the Homeland Security Secretary, said at Yale April 7, 2008 that modern technologies let even a small terrorist group kill hundreds of thousands of people. Dick Cheney stated May 26, 2008: “Nobody can guarantee that we won’t be hit again.”

# 8 Executive Orders Can Be Changed Secretly

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse website, December 7, 2007
Title: “In FISA Speech, Whitehouse Sharply Criticizes Bush Administration’s Assertion of Executive Power”
Author: Senator Sheldon Whitehouse
The Guardian, December 26, 2007
Title: “The Rabbit Hole”
Author: Marcy Wheeler
Student Researchers: Dana Vaz and Bill Gibbons
Faculty Evaluator: Noel Byrne, PhD
On December 7, 2007, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, as a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, disclosed on the floor of the US Senate that he had declassified three legal documents of the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) within the Department of Justice that state:
1. An executive order cannot limit a president. There is no constitutional requirement for a president to issue a new executive order whenever he wishes to depart from the terms of a previous executive order. Rather than violate an executive order, the president has instead modified or waived it.
2. The President, exercising his constitutional authority under Article II, can determine whether an action is a lawful exercise of the President’s authority under Article II.
3. The Department of Justice is bound by the President’s legal determinations.
Whitehouse discovered the OLC’s classified legal opinions while researching the Protect America Act legislation passed in August 2007, which Whitehouse warns will allow the administration to bypass Congress and the Courts in order to facilitate unchecked spying on Americans. He noted that for years under the Bush administration, the Office of Legal Council has been issuing highly classified secret legal opinions related to surveillance.
The senator warned of the danger of the poorly written Protect America Act legislation, which provides no statutory restrictions on government wiretapping of Americans and eliminates checks and balances from the legislative and judicial branches. The only restriction on government eavesdropping on Americans is an executive order that limits surveillance to those who the attorney general determines to be agents of a foreign power. However, in light of the first declassified OLC proclamation that the president can secretly change his signing statements at will, we are left exposed to the whims of a secret, unchecked executive agenda.
Of the second OLC legal determination, Whitehouse reminded Senate that Marbury v. Madison, written by Chief Justice John Marshall in 1803, established the proposition that it is “emphatically the province and duty of the judicial department to say what the law is.” Yet the OLC, operating out of the judicial department, has declared that it is now the president who decides the legal limits of his own power.
Lastly, Whitehouse repeated the third of these legal declarations several times as if in disbelief, asking members of Senate to allow the assertion to sink in: “The Department of Justice is bound by the President’s legal determinations.”
Whitehouse said, “These three Bush administration legal propositions boil down to this: one, ‘I don’t have to follow my own rules, and I don’t have to tell you when I’m breaking them’; two, ‘I get to determine what my own powers are’; and three, ‘The Department of Justice doesn’t tell me what the law is, I tell the Department of Justice what the law is.’”
Whitehouse closed his address to Senate with the statement, “When the Congress of the United States is willing to roll over for an unprincipled president, this is where you end up. We should not even be having this discussion. But here we are. I implore my colleagues: reject these feverish legal theories. I understand political loyalty, trust me, I do. But let us also be loyal to this great institution we serve in the legislative branch of our government. Let us also be loyal to the Constitution we took an oath to defend, from enemies foreign and domestic. And let us be loyal to the American people who live each day under our Constitution’s principles and protections. . . . The principles of congressional legislation and oversight, and of judicial approval and review, are simple and longstanding. Americans deserve this protection . . .”
The president’s claimed authority to be able to ignore his own executive orders without revising the orders themselves—reported in “The Rabbit Hole”—was one of several issues discussed in an April 29, 2008, Senate Judiciary Hearing on “Secret Laws and the Threat to Democratic and Accountable Government.”
In that hearing, the Office of Legal Counsel Deputy Assistant Attorney General John Elwood confirmed the proposition that “The activities authorized by the President cannot violate an executive order in any legally meaningful sense.” Effectively, the Department of Justice’s key advisory lawyers confirmed they believe the President can act contrary to his own executive orders without formally changing those executive orders.
The hearing attracted some new media attention to this story. In the New York Times’ reporting of the hearing, Scott Shane and David Johnston referred to the “previously unpublicized method to cloak government activities,” for example. In addition, commentator Nat Hentoff wrote a column on the hearing as a whole.
The hearing did not answer one question raised in “The Rabbit Hole”: whether the President had altered the executive order on classification (12958, as amended by 13292) as well as the executive order on intelligence activities (12333) that Senator Whitehouse cited in his first comments on the OLC opinion. But Bill Leonard, the former head of the Information Security Oversight Office who testified at the hearing, did reveal that top administration lawyers were seemingly violating that executive order with regards to a key opinion on torture even as they were revising the order itself.
What is most disturbing is that at the exact time these officials were writing, reviewing, and being briefed on the classified nature of this memorandum [on enhanced interrogation], they were also concurring with the president’s reaffirmation of the standards for proper classification, which was formalized the week after the OLC memo was issued when the president signed his amended version of the executive order governing classification.
In other words, it remains unclear whether the administration has “altered” this executive order, or whether it is simply ignoring it when convenient.
And that remains the significance of this story. The Yoo Memo on torture, by all accounts, should have been released to the public in 2003. Had it been, the US’s policy on torture—and the dubious opinions on which that policy is based—would have been exposed five years earlier. But for some reason, it wasn’t. In the arbitrary world where the president can ignore his own executive orders, we have no way of knowing what to expect.
For information on Senator Whitehouse, see
For the Senate Hearing (including the statements of witnesses), see
For Leonard’s statement, see
For Nat Hentoff’s article, see
For the New York Times coverage, see 05/01/washington/01justice.html?_r=1&oref =slogin.

Ron Paul on the Martial Law


ARE you afraid that the eco nomic downturn could get out of hand? I mean, really out of hand?
Well, don't worry.
The US Army War College is on the case - ready to handle "unforeseen economic collapse" and the "rapid dissolution of public order in all or significant parts of the US."
And you thought we were just dealing with a recession!
In a report published Nov. 4 - just in time for the holiday season - the War College's Strategic Studies Institute posited a number of shocks that the country should be prepared for, including unrest caused by the economy's failure.
The report has a snappy title, "Known Unknowns: Unconventional 'Strategic Shocks' in Defense Strategy Development," and was written by Nathan Freier, a visiting professor at the college. The foreword was written by Col. John A. Kardos, director of the Peacekeeping and Stability Operations Institute.
Freier lists a number of possible things we should worry about - because we probably don't have enough of our own - including run-of-the-mill terrorism and the fact that China and Russia could align against us politically and economically.
"Some of the most plausible defense-relevant strategic shocks remain low-probability events," Freier soft-pedals before going on to scare the hell out of us.
The War College says "widespread civil violence inside the US would force the defense establishment to reorient priorities in extremis to defend basic domestic order and human security."
Among things Freier wants us to worry about are "deliberate employment of weapons of mass destruction. . . unforeseen economic collapse, loss of functioning political and legal order, purposeful domestic resistance or insurgency and catastrophic natural and human disasters."
Oh, and by the way, have a Merry Christmas!
I have a confession to make: I am a member of the United Auto Workers union.
It's not a "confession" in the sense that there is anything wrong with it.
Here's how my membership happened.
I teach a course at New York University. And a couple of years ago, the United Auto Workers unionized the university's adjunct professors, or teachers who are happy to be underpaid because we earn a living elsewhere.
The union apparently thought untenured teachers were a better bet than people who make cars. And, guess what, it was right.
Anyhow, after being threatened by the union with dismissal from NYU if I didn't join, I reluctantly began paying dues. And I completely forgot about it until the matter came up at a Christmas party at the university last week.
So, you are probably wondering if I think my brother union members should give concessions to keep GM, Ford and Chrysler alive.
I'll have to get back to you on that after I check with headquarters.
So, you are losing sleep because of the financial markets.
Maybe it's because of your mattress.
A research firm in Cleveland says the economy and financial stress are affecting sales of bedding.
Longbow Research reports that 87 percent of retail ers it surveyed said mattress sales are declining.
Longbow says that the sales decline worsened in Octo ber and November.
Maybe people are afraid to change mat tresses because that's where all their money is hidden.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Hans Blix Would Testify Against Bush-Cheney War Crimes

Bob Fertik
December 21, 2008
On their History Rewrite Tour, Bush and Cheney insist the pre-war intelligence about Iraq’s WMD’s was bad and they were innocent dupes.
Of course we all know the truth from the Downing Street Memos and dozens of other sources, which is that “the intelligence and facts were fixed” around the policy of invasion. And here’s one more damning piece of evidence, courtesy of Roads to Iraq. (The Aljazeera link is in Arabic - someone needs to translate it.)
In an interview with Aljazeera today, former Chief of the UN weapons inspectors in Iraq told the TV that he and the Head of the IAEA “Mohamed Al-Baradei” were subjected to direct threats from Dick Cheney before the war.
Blix said that Cheney threatened to defame both men’s reputations if they didn’t came with the “required” answers.
It’s the same story from everyone else - Bush and Cheney demanded pro-war lies under one threat or another - being defamed, getting fired, and even outing covert CIA operatives. The Bush Administration was nothing more than a mafia operation.
But here’s the good part:
Blix also added that he is ready to be a witness on the United States’ false allegations before an International tribunal.
You go, Hans!

Elements of an Inside Job in Mumbai Attacks

Jeremy R. Hammond
Foreign Policy Journal
December 21, 2008
Indian police last week arrested Hassan Ali Khan, who was wanted for investigations into money laundering and other illicit activities, and who is also said to have ties to Dawood Ibrahim, the underworld kingpin who evidence indicates was the mastermind behind the terrorist attacks in Mumbai last month.
Ibrahim is also alleged to have close ties with both Pakistan’s Inter-Service Intelligence (ISI) agency and the CIA.
Another character linked to the CIA whose name is now beginning to figure into the web of connections between the Mumbai attacks, criminal organizations, and intelligence agencies is Saudi arms dealer Adnan Khashoggi, of Iran-Contra infamy. Khashoggi has been implicated in arms deals with drug traffickers and terrorist groups, including within India.
Dawood Ibrahim is a known major drug trafficker whom India claims is being protected by Pakistan. As Foreign Policy Journal previously reported, there are also some indications that the CIA has a similar interest in preventing Ibrahim from being handed over to India. Ibrahim is wanted by India for the recent Mumbai attacks as well as for bombings that occurred there in 1993.
Ibrahim is a native of India who rose through the ranks of the criminal underworld in Bombay (now Mumbai). According to media reports in India, he got his start as an undercover informant for the police at a young age and thus has an intimate knowledge of Indian law enforcement and intelligence, and is alleged to have fostered close ties with individuals within the political system.
Another known associate of Ibrahim’s in Mumbai, Mohammed Ali, is suspected of assisting the terrorists, who were met by an individual in Uran before continuing on to Mumbai, where inflatable rubber dinghies had been arranged to take them ashore by the same individual. Numerous earlier press accounts indicated that the dinghies, along with other logistical assistance, were provided by an associate of Ibrahim’s.
The Times of India, for instance, reported on November 28 that according to police sources the Mumbai attack “was enabled by the Dawood Ibrahim gang”, and that “It would not have been possible to carry out a terror operation on this scale without a collaborative local network and this was provided by the D Gang. As the terrorists had entered via the sea, the needle of suspicion is clearly pointing at Mohammed Ali, the new poinstman of Dawood.”
Yet Indian news reports indicate that officials have been slow to act against Hassan Ali Khan, and Mohammed Ali continues smuggling operations out of Mumbai for Ibrahim’s crime syndicate, D-Company, completely unmolested by Indian investigators and law enforcement.
As the November 28 Times of India article observed, Ali “is known to indulge in smuggling of diesel, petroleum, naptha, drugs and arms with impunity and it appears that the terrorists had used his networks to enter the city by the sea route…. Despite having a detailed dossier on him, the authorities have not taken any action against him. What is more worrying is that Ali is believed to have also penetrated naval intelligence.”
A further report from the Times of India on December 4 noted that Dawood Ibrahim is “sitting pretty in Karachi” under the protection of Pakistan and his “hawala channel between Mumbai and Karachi remains busy”. “But central agencies question why the Maharashtra government has not taken any action against the D-company here.”
“‘What’s the point of asking Islamabad to hand over Dawood when we’re not doing anything to destroy his empire in Mumbai and other places in India?’ a senior official asked.”
The article observed that Mohammed Ali “continues to operate with impunity.
Again, on December 11, Times of India reported that “Mumbai police has still not called Ali for questioning”, adding that “Ali is also known to have the backing of two powerful politicians of south Mumbai and that could be the reason why he is still untouched.”
In addition to links to Ibrahim, both men are also alleged, like Ibrahim himself, to have ties to political officials in India, and there are numerous other indications emerging that the attacks were assisted by elements within India being protected by the political establishment.
Hassan Ali Khan
India’s Daily News & Analysis reported last week that it appears Hassan Ali Khan “was part of a multi-crore [Indian numerical unit equivalent to ten-millions] hawala syndicate racket and may have joined hands with the organized crime operated by underworld don Dawood Ibrahim. He is also suspected to have funded terror organizations.”
India’s Enforcement Directorate (ED) “had also told the Bombay High Court that there were indications that Ali was part of a strong international crime syndicate with money flowing in from ‘proceeds of heinous crimes like terrorism, arms trade, gun running, corruption and organized forgery’.”
A series of news reports from March 2007 in the Times of India revealed that Khan was being investigated for money laundering and other illicit activities. A laptop recovered from his home showed that he had accounts at a Swiss bank. Khan had reportedly tried to take advantage of tax waivers granted on investments originating outside India in countries with double taxation avoidance agreements with India. The funds were also be used to invest in the stock market.
Khan would send funds abroad through illegal channels and re-route them into India through shell companies in countries with such a tax arrangement with India. According to the Times of India, “Khan has no known sources of income in India but owns stud farms and often travels abroad.” His wealth is estimated to be in the billions, and he owns property in Mumbai and Pune.
Investigators from the Enforcement Directorate (ED) “had crucial input from the Intelligence Bureau, which was concerned about this unaccounted money having implications for national security.”
One of the countries used to route money back into India was Mauritius, an island chain off the east coast of Africa near Madagascar and a former British colony. The UK still maintains a military presence there. It expelled the inhabitants of the island of Diego Garcia in order to turn it into a military base, which has also been used by the US for its own military operations.
According to reports, prior to the terrorist attacks in Mumbai, a team had been sent ahead and checked into the Taj Mahal hotel, one of the key targets of the attacks, and established a control room where they had food, weapons, and other supplies waiting in anticipation of the siege of the hotel by police and special forces. An identification card from Mauritius was used to check into the room.
Hassan Ali Khan has an interest in horse-racing and trades in thoroughbreds. The Times of India reported that “he had attracted attention on the Pune racing turf where he surfaced about five years ago as a small-time punter who suddenly became one of the biggest players. His contacts, by default, were with some of the top industrialists who have an interest in horse-trading.”
Last February, the Hindustan Times reported that the Swiss bank involved in the money transfers, USB (United Bank of Switzerland) AG, was reluctant to assist Indian investigators, and the investigation had been stalled as a result. The ED had advised the Indian government not to approve a plan by UBS AG to buy Standard Chartered Bank, an Indian mutual fund business, because of its lack of cooperation in tracking Khan’s money transfers. According to the ED, Khan had $8 billion in the bank’s accounts.
Adnan Khashoggi
The Hindustan Times also revealed that there was evidence that Saudi arms dealer Adnan Khashoggi of Iran-Contra infamy had transferred $300 million to Khan from a Chase Manhattan bank account in New York. It added that Khashoggi’s “arms supplies to Tamil terrorists, the LTTE, were revealed during an investigation into the 1991 assassination of Rajiv Gandhi.”
Khashoggi acted as a middle-man during the Iran-Contra affair, brokering an arrangement for Israel to sell US arms from its own stockpiles to Iran. The CIA then channeled money from the sales to the Contras in support of their terrorist war against the democratically-elected government of Nicaragua. The World Court later condemned the United States for the “unlawful use of force” - a euphemism for international terrorism or the even greater crime of a war of aggression.
Investigative journalist Wayne Madsen recently reported that, according to Asian intelligence sources, Khashoggi was also involved with the CIA in an effort to support Bosnian Muslims that “brought [Dawood] Ibrahim and [Osama] Bin Laden into the same big CIA tent, along with Saudi arms dealer Adnan Khashoggi, a key Iran-contra figure in George H. W. Bush’s global arms smuggling venture while he served as Vice President under Ronald Reagan. There have been reports that Ibrahim considers Khashoggi to be a hero figure.”
In 1991, a Defense Intelligence Agency report listed Khashoggi as “An international arms trafficker who allegedly has sold arms to the Colombian drug traffickers, especially to the Medellin Cartel.”
The DIA report also listed Washington’s man in Columbia, Alvaro Uribe Velez, as “A Colombian politician and senator dedicated to collaboration with the Medillin Cartel at high government levels. Uribe was linked to a business involved in narcotics activities in the US…. Uribe has worked for the Medillin Cartel and is a close personal friend of Pablo Escobar Gaviria.”
Uribe is now the President of Colombia, which receives enormous amounts of US financing and military support, surpassed perhaps only by US support for Israel, Egypt, and now Iraq.
Manuel Noriega was another infamous narcotics trafficker and CIA asset, as well as a graduate of the School of Americas (SOA), which has since changed its name to the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (WHINSEC). The SOA was responsible for training numerous Latin American dictators and military commanders who were responsible for torturing, murdering, or otherwise “disappearing” countless political opponents and other individuals.
Colombia is also another case where the government has been caught red-handed staging false-flag terrorist attacks. In the late 1970s, a series of bombings, kidnappings, and assassinations against leftist targets was carried out by a terrorist group known as the American Anti-Communist Alliance (AAA or Triple-A). Documents available online at the George Washington University National Security Archives confirm that Triple-A “was secretly created and staffed by members of Colombian military intelligence in a plan authorized by then-army commander Gen. Jorge Robledo Pulido.”
John Perkins, author of Confessions of an Economic Hitman, wrote in his follow-up book The Secret History of the American Empire that a second lieutenant in the US army sent to Colombia to establish a “United States-commanded Southern Unified Army” told him, “Everything we do in Colombia just makes it more attractive for the drug business. Why do you think the situation keeps getting worse there? Because we want it to, we’re behind the drug trafficking. The CIA is–just like it was in Asia’s Golden Triangle.” 
One might add the “Golden Crescent” to that list. As Foreign Policy Journal previously reported, Dawood Ibrahim “is known to be a major drug trafficker responsible for shipping narcotics into the United Kingdom and Western Europe.” While most Afghan opium is smuggled to Europe over land through Iran and Turkey, much of the amount that goes to Pakistan seems to be taken either by plane or by ship directly to the Europe, principally the UK.
While Pakistan claims Ibrahim is not even in the country, India insists he has been living in Karachi under the protection of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency.
The ISI worked closely with the CIA during the Soviet-Afghan war and acted as the CIA’s intermediary to provide funding, weapons, and training to the Afghan mujahedeen. The opium trade was used to finance the CIA-backed mujahedeen, and the principle beneficiary of CIA support was Gulbaddin Hekmatyar, who was also a principle drug lord.
And while Western media accounts typically tend to characterize today’s opium trade as being under the control of the Taliban, the fact is that the estimated amount of funds going to the Taliban and all other anti-government elements combined is less than 14 percent of the total estimated export value, and US intelligence agencies are aware of the involvement of high-level officials within the Afghanistan government in the drug trade, such as Rashid Abdul Dostum, former Chief of Staff to the Commander-in-Chief of the Afghan Armed Forces. Dostum was also among the warlords of the Northern Alliance the CIA doled out suitcases of cash to during the initial phase of the US war to overthrow the Taliban.
Viktor Ivanov, the director of Russia’s federal anti-narcotics service, said in an interview recently that “The gathered inputs testify that infamous regional drug baron Dawood Ibrahim had provided his logistics network for preparing and carrying out the Mumbai terror attacks by the militants.” He added that “The super profits of the narco-mafia through Afghan heroin trafficking have become a powerful source of financing organized crime and terrorist networks, destabilizing the political systems, including in Central Asia and Caucasus.”
A Protected Man in India
The $300 million transfer to Hassan Ali Khan from Adnan Khashoggi was “only the tip of the iceberg”, an official from ED told the Hindustan Times. There was also evidence of another $290 million, for instance, in two shell companies in the British Virgin Islands. This was among the evidence obtained from the laptop computer seized from Khan’s home in Pune.
In addition to the money transfers, the ED was investigating Khan’s possession of three Indian passports. He held passports issued from Pune, Patna, and Mumbai, and had also applied for additional passports from Guwahati and Chandigarh. He and his wife had applied for citizenship in Switzerland.
But it wasn’t only the Swiss bank’s apparent unwillingness to cooperate with Indian investigators that was slowing progress in the inquiry into Khan’s dealings. The Times of India reported in February that although the Prevention of Money Laundering Act provided for his arrest, the ED had yet to do so. The ED was “acting cautiously in this case, sources said.” The paper added that “It is shocking that Khan could have concealed all that money without Indian agencies getting to know of it.”
The report says that “The lack of evidence on the transactions seems to have prevented ED from arresting Khan”, while at the same time noting that “The alleged presence of names of Indian politicians also found from Khan’s initial questioning by the income tax and ED officials immediately after the raid last year, don’t figure anywhere in the submissions made by the ED to the HC [High Court]. The Income tax department has failed to get information from the ED on the sources of the $8 bn, despite asking for it again and again.”
In September, the Times of India reported that the intelligence community was “seething with anger for being blamed by politicians for its ‘failure’ to prevent” a series of bombings across the country. A senior intelligence official responded to the charges by telling the Times of India that it was the politicians who were at fault, and connected Khan to investigations of terrorism.
“Take the case of Hassan Ali, the Pune-based businessman,” he said. “He was under the scanner of several Central agencies, including the Intelligence Bureau, Enforcement Directorate, Directorate of Revenue Intelligence and other bodies. Finally it was found that he had handled hawala transactions valued at a mind-numbing Rs 35,000 crore through Swiss banks.”
Hawala is an informal money transfer system that is an alternative to formal banking institutions. Often, relatively little money actually exchanges hands between hawala brokers, who operate on an honor system. An amount deposited with one broker is not actually moved to another broker on the receiving end. Rather, that amount is simply taken from the receiving broker’s own reserves. The only funds that actually need be transferred are those used to offset imbalances between brokers, and there is no record of the transaction between the sender of the funds and the beneficiary.
The hawala system is thus ideal for moving illicit funds and for money laundering. According to a World Bank report, “The bulk of drug-related financial flows within Afghanistan, and also to and from neighboring countries (primarily Pakistan), occur through the ubiquitous hawala (informal financial transfer) system.”
The report also notes that “Dubai appears to be a central clearing point for international hawala activities, and various cities in Pakistan also are major transaction centers.” Dubai is a central location for the financial operations of Dawood Ibrahim’s D-Company.
The September article from the Times of India continued, “The bank accounts were traced and he [Khan] was brought in for interrogation. How was it possible for a businessman to have access to so much cash, was the question on everyone’s mind. The probe was stymied midway by vested interests with political clout. Ali has done the vanishing act. His wife and brother-in-law too are missing. ‘Why was he allowed to go scot free?’ asked an IPS [Indian Police Service] officer.
“Sources said there was no evidence of any concrete link between Ali and terror funds. ‘Nevertheless, why was he taken off the hook? In any other country, he would have been put through the grind given the volume of his transactions. But in India he has been treated with kid gloves because of the political backing that he enjoys,’ another official said.
“In another case, the Mumbai crime branch had gathered evidence about the alleged links between a famous Pune businessman and Pakistan-based brother of don Dawood Ibrahim, Anees Ibrahim.
“An eyewitness gave a detailed account of the goings-on between the businessman and Hamid Antulay, Dawood’s nephew in Dubai, and later between the trader and Anees in Karachi. However, the businessman has not been arrested despite the disclosures made more than a year ago. ‘We are expected to fight crime, but politicians do not give us a free hand,’ a crime branch officer complained.”
Mohammed Ali
The Times of India also noted that “Dawood Ibrahim’s key contact person is Mohammed Ali, who is known to control smuggling operations in city docks. ‘Any consignment can be taken out or brought into the country by Ali’s huge gang. A detailed dossier on his activities, which has serious security implications for the country, has been sent to the Union home department. But there has been no response so far,’ an official said.”
Mohammed Ali also seems to be a protected person in India. Just days after the Mumbai terrorist attacks, the Times of India stated that Mumbai residents “now know their government has done nothing at all to protect the country’s financial capital”, and again noted that “The Intelligence Bureau (IB) has sent a detailed dossier about the activities of one Mohammed Ali, who is the uncrowned king of the docks. A close aide of Karachi-based terrorist Dawood Ibrahim, Ali smuggles petrol, diesel, drugs, arms and other contraband with impunity.”
 ”There are strong indications,” the Times of India added, “that the D-gang actively collaborated with the terrorists in these attacks. And yet, the government is reluctant to move against Ali and his gang because he enjoys the patronage of a powerful politician, known to be a business partner of Dawood.”
The article adds, however, that “Any terror operations needs vast funds, via the hawala route. But the authorities are still to crack down on hawala operators. Recently, they picked up Hasan Ali, a racehorse owner in Pune.
“A joint probe by the IB [Intelligence Bureau], enforcement directorate [ED] and directorate of revenue intelligence revealed that Hasan Ali had handled hawala transactions worth a whopping Rs 35,000 crore, much of it belonging to two Maharashtra politicians.”
A police officer told the Times of India at the time, before his recent arrest and while he was still missing, “I will not be surprised if Hasan Ali has been done away with. He is the man who knows too much.”
Hemant Karkare and False Flag Terror
Maharashtra Anti Terrorism Squad (ATS) chief Hemant Karkare, who also formerly an officer in India’s Research Analysis Wing (RAW) intelligence agency, had been in the spotlight for leading the investigation into a series of bombings in the town of Malegaon that was originally blamed on Pakistani-based Muslim terrorists. But Karkare’s probe revealed that the perpetrators were in fact Hindu extremists. Included in the arrests was a serving army officer, Lt. Col. Prasad Shrikant Purohit.
The revelations of false-flag terrorism being carried out by home-grown elements sent shock waves through the political establishment.
As the Independent reported on November 23, just days before the attacks on Mumbai, “Bomb attacks are not uncommon in India - there has been a flurry in recent months - but police usually blame them on Muslim extremists, often said to have links to militant groups based in either Pakistan or Bangladesh. As a result, the recent cracking of the alleged Hindu cell has forced India to face some difficult issues. A country that prides itself on purported religious and cultural toleration - an ambition that in reality often falls short - has been made to ask itself how this cell could operate for so long. India’s military, which prides itself on its professionalism, has been forced to order an embarrassing inquiry.
“The near-daily drip of revelations from police has also caused red faces for India’s main political opposition, the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), ahead of state polls and a general election scheduled for early next year. The BJP and its prime ministerial candidate, Lal Krishna Advani, have long accused the Congress Party-led government of being soft on terrorism that involved Muslims. However, the BJP has refused to call for a clampdown on Hindu groups, and last week Mr Advani even criticized the police over the way they questioned one of the alleged cell members…”
Karkare was put under immense political pressure and was heavily criticized by Hindutva (Hindu nationalist) leaders and members of the BJP. He had received a number of death threats as a result of his investigation, including a threatening call just one day prior to the attacks in Mumbai last month.
Karkare was killed during those attacks. Rumors with far-reaching implications began to spread immediately that he had been deliberately targeted.
Images of Karkare putting on an ill-fitted bullet proof vest just before his death were widely shown on Indian television. Indian Express noted, “His last visuals as seen on TV showed him working with his men near the VT station [Victoria Terminus, the former name of the Chatrapati Shivaji central train station], the target of one of the attacks, although it is perplexing at this point in time why such a senior officer ended up getting exposed to a brazen terrorist attack. Initially, he was shown wearing a shoddy helmet normally seen used by constables during riots. A little later, a policeman lowers a flimsy bulletproof vest over his shoulders, one that was obviously of little protection when those fatal shots were fired at him.”
According to the Pakistan Daily Mail, Karkare and several of his colleagues “had received information that their colleague Sadanand Dutt had been injured in the gunfire at the Cama and Albless Hospital for women and children.” As they were driving their truck to the scene, according to the only police officer to survive that attack, Arun Jadhav, “two terrorists stepped out from behind a tree and opened fire with automatic rifles”.
The Daily Mail article implicated Hindutva elements and Indian intelligence in terrorist attacks, stating that Bal Thakeray, the leader of Shiv Sena, a Hindu nationalist party, has “publicly pronounced in the past to setup Hindu suicide squads to target Muslims in India and Pakistan”, and claiming that “The terrorist activities and training needs of these groups are closely coordinated by the Indian intelligence agencies, particularly RAW”, which “trained the Tamil separatists groups of Sri Lanka such as the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam (LTTE) to start [a] militant secessionist movement based on terrorism in the Sri Lanka’s Jaffna peninsula.”
A government investigation into the assassination of Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, the Jain Commission, in fact confirmed that “The LTTE was getting its supplies, including arms, ammunition, explosives, fuel and other essential items for its war in northern Sri Lanka against the Indian Peace Keeping Force from Tamil Nadu. That too with the support of the Tamil Nadu government and the connivance of the law enforcement authorities.”
As noted previously, the investigation found that Adnan Khoshoggi had dealt arms to the LTTE. The commission’s report also noted that LTTE’s involvement in arms smuggling and other illicit activities “were tolerated” and that a number of murders demonstrated the “impunity with which the LTTE could operate in India.”
Earlier this week, Amin Solkar, a lawyer in Mumbai, pressed the High Court to launch an independent investigation into the circumstances under which Karkare was killed. According to India Today, “The Muslims in Malegaon have always claimed Karkare was killed by Hindutva militants and not by Qasab.”
“Qasab” is an alternate spelling for “Kasab”, a reference to Azam Amir Kasab, the only terrorist from last month’s attacks to be captured alive. A transcript of his confession to interrogators was leaked to the media and contains the following statements: “When we were coming out of the hospital premises, we suddenly saw one police vehicle passing in front of us. Therefore, we took shelter behind a bush.
“Another vehicle passed in front of us and stopped at some distance. One police officer got down from the said vehicle and started firing at us. One bullet hit my hand and my AK-47 dropped down. I bent to pick it up when second bullet hit me on the same hand. I got injured. Ismail opened fire at the officers who were in said vehicle. They got injured and firing from their side stopped.” Kasab and his companion, Ismail, then removed the bodies of three dead officers and apprehended the vehicle.
Assuming this incident is the one in which Karakare and his colleagues were killed, this characterization of events seems to cast doubt on the theory that the officials were deliberately targeted for assassination, set up and ambushed. But the Joint Commissioner of Police Rakesh Maria, who is in charge of the investigation into the attacks, Rakesh Maria, has rejected the authenticity of the confession document.
Pakistan’s The News reported earlier this week that “A Pakistani lawyer C M Farooque claimed that many people, including Ajmal Kasab, were arrested before 2006 from Kathmandu by the Indian agencies with the help of Nepalese forces.” Farooque said he was contacted by Kasab’s parents and had filed a petition with the Nepalese Supreme Court with regard to the disappeared individuals last February. “The people arrested in Nepal,” the report added, “had gone there on legal visa for business but Indian agencies were in the habit of capturing Pakistanis from Nepal and afterwards implicated them in the Mumbai-like incidents to malign Pakistan.”
Kasab is from the Punjab province of Pakistan. Rakesh Maria said last week that “He expressed his desire to write a letter to his parents. He wants to write the letter saying he was misled by the group.”
More questions about the death of Hemant Karkare were raised this week by Union Minority Affairs Minister A. R. Antulay, who also implied that he may have been deliberately targeted with the involvement of others. “Superficially speaking they [the terrorists] had no reason to kill Karkare. Whether he was a victim of terrorism or terrorism plus something I do not know,” he told reporters.
“Karkare found that there are non-Muslims involved in the acts [of] terrorism during his investigations in some cases. Any person going to the roots of terror has always been the target.” He added that “There is more than what meets the eye” with regard to Karkare’s killing.
After coming under fire for his remarks, he responded by asking, “How come instead of going to Hotel Taj or Oberai or even the Nariman House, he went to such a place where there was nothing compared to what happened in the three places?” He asked, “Why all the three (Hemant Karakre, Vijay Salaskar and Ashok Kamte) went together. It is beyond my comprehension.”
He later defended his remarks further, asking, “Who had sent them to Cama Hospital? What were they told that made them leave for the same spot in the same vehicle?” He added, “I repeat what I had said. I had not said who had killed them but only questioned who had sent them there in that direction.”
Rajiv Pratap Rudy, spokesman for the BJP party called the remarks “obnoxious” and called for a “clarification from the Prime Minister” whether this was a private view or one held by his government. Congress spokesman Abhishek Singhvi said, “we do not accept the innuendo and the aspersions cast” by Antulay’s remarks. “This should be the end of the matter. The Congress does not agree with Antulay’s statement.”
Others were more inclined to take the remarks seriously. Union Minister Vilas Paswan noted that Antulay was from Maharashtra and suggested he must therefore have “more information”.
Vijay Salaskar, who, as previously noted, was killed along with Karkare, “had closely investigated the entrenched links between a prominent gutka [a betel-nut and tobacco based product] manufacturer and the Dawood gang,” The Times of India reported in an editorial piece. “He had unearthed a mass of evidence about the manufacturer’s visit to Dubai, where he met Hamid Antulay, a nephew of Dawood, and then went on a false Pakistani passport to Karachi where he met the don and his brother Anees. The purpose of the visit was to settle a business dispute with a rival.
“Salaskar found out that the manufacturer was Dawood’s partner in the gutka business, alongside a leading politician who dabbles in real estate development. Despite Salaskar’s best efforts, he was never allowed even to summon the manufacturer for questioning.”
The editorial continued, “The details of Dawood’s vast business transactions and the man fronting it are available with the Central government. But there is inaction. Is it any wonder the security agencies are deeply cynical about enforcing law and order and protecting the country? Is it any wonder the people are enraged?”
On December 6, Maharashtra’s former revenue minister Narayan Rane alleged in a press conference that the terrorists who had attacked Mumbai the week before received “logistical and financial” support from a number of politicians. According to the Press Trust of India, Rane also alleged that former chief minister Vilasrao Deshmukh had links with a person connected with fugitive gangster Dawood Ibrahim.”
Indians Arrested in Connection with Attacks
Two Indians were also arrested in connection with the recent Mumbai attacks. One of the men, Tauseef Rahman, reportedly bought SIM cards that were used by the terrorists, which were purchased in Calcutta according to a report from the Associated Press. The other, Mukhtar Ahmed, was an undercover operative of for a special counter-insurgency unit of the Calcutta police force.
Another Indian citizen, Faheem Ansari, was arrested in February and is now being questioned about his possible involvement. According to the AP, he was found “carrying hand-drawn sketches of hotels, the train terminal and other sites that were later attacked”. According to lead investigator Rakesh Maria, “Ansari was trained by Lashkar and sent to do reconnaissance.”
India’s top law enforcement official, Home Minister Palaniappan Chidambaram, apologized for failing to stop the attacks, saying “There have been lapses. I would be less than truthful if I said there had been no lapses.”
In fact, as previously reported by Foreign Policy Journal, Indian intelligence had numerous warnings of an imminent attack, both from its own sources and from the US. The warnings were specific, including that it would come from the sea. Mumbai, and even the Taj Mahal hotel, were identified as specific targets.
Additionally, Rakesh Maria said his investigation was looking into the possible involvement of Riyaz Bhatkal, the leader of the Indian Mujahideen (IM), in the attacks. “We are looking at various possibilities about who could have provided vital local support and intelligence. Bhatkal being a local person is known to have links with terror outfits.”
In October, Indian Express reported that Bhatkal and a terrorist named “Shahrukh” might be the same individual. “Sources said that since his name was linked to the 1993 Mumbai blasts, Bhatkal may have used the name Shahrukh to protect his identity,” the newspaper said. One official said, “For the 1993 blasts, he arranged money from Pakistan through hawala channels. But he could not be arrested.” In addition, “Officials also suspect an underworld link to the blasts. ‘Since Bhatkal’s name came up in the Mumbai blasts, it is evident that he is an important financial link for the underworld,’ said a source.”
Whitewash of the Attacks
Foreign Policy Journal previously reported on indications that the role of Dawood Ibrahim and his network of organized crime in the attacks in Mumbai last month is being downplayed by both Pakistan and the US and assessed that this was “possibly the result of a deal taking place behind the scenes between the governments of the US, Pakistan, and India, to have others involved in the Mumbai attacks turned over while quietly diverting attention from a man who some say could reveal embarrassing secrets about the CIA’s involvement in criminal enterprises.”
What’s clear now, as further developments have come to light, is that there are also elements within India, both in the criminal underworld and the government, that are perfectly willing to see the role in the Mumbai attacks of an even larger shadowy international criminal network whitewashed; a network with links to numerous moneyed interests, including trafficking in drugs and arms, and to numerous intelligence agencies, including the ISI, the CIA, and India’s own RAW.
While Dawood Ibrahim is officially a wanted man in the US and India, and is on Interpol's wanted list, the evidence emerging from last month’s terrorist attacks in Mumbai is yet another indication that what is commonly referred to as a “shadow government” or “deep state” extending well beyond national boundaries is really pulling the strings behind the scenes in countries around the world, while the public–such as the residents of Mumbai–and well-intentioned individuals within their democratically-elected governments are left paying the price, often in blood.
Related Articles:
Jeremy R. Hammond is the editor of Foreign Policy Journal, a website dedicated to providing news, critical analysis, and opinion commentary on U.S. foreign policy from outside of the standard framework offered by government officials and the mainstream corporate media, particularly with regard to the "war on terrorism" and events in the Middle East. He has also written for numerous other online publications. You can contact him at

Bush Insider Who Planned To Tell All Killed In Plane Crash, Non-Profit Demands Full Federal Investigation

Sunday, Dec 21, 2008
Michael Connell, the Bush IT expert who has been directly implicated in the rigging of George Bush’s 2000 and 2004 elections, was killed last night when his single engine plane crashed three miles short of the Akron airport. Velvet Revolution (”VR”), a non-profit that has been investigating Mr. Connell’s activities for the past two years, can now reveal that a person close to Mr. Connell has recently been discussing with a VR investigator how he can tell all about his work for George Bush. Mr. Connell told a close associate that he was afraid that George Bush and Dick Cheney would “throw [him] under the bus.”
A tipster close to the McCain campaign disclosed to VR in July that Mr. Connell’s life was in jeopardy and that Karl Rove had threatened him and his wife, Heather. VR’s attorney, Cliff Arnebeck, notified the United States Attorney General , Ohio law enforcement and the federal court about these threats and insisted that Mr. Connell be placed in protective custody. VR also told a close associate of Mr. Connell’s not to fly his plane because of another tip that the plane could be sabotaged. Mr. Connell, a very experienced pilot, has had to abandon at least two flights in the past two months because of suspicious problems with his plane. On December 18, 2008, Mr. Connell flew to a small airport outside of Washington DC to meet some people. It was on his return flight the next day that he crashed.
On October 31, Mr. Connell appeared before a federal judge in Ohio after being subpoenaed in a federal lawsuit investigating the rigging of the 2004 election under the direction of Karl Rove. The judge ordered Mr. Connell to testify under oath at a deposition on November 3rd, the day before the presidential election. Velvet Revolution received confidential information that the White House was extremely concerned about Mr. Connell talking about his illegal work for the White House and two Bush/Cheney 04 attorneys were dispatched to represent him.

An associate of Mr. Connell’s told VR that Mr. Connell was involved with the destruction of the White House emails and the setting up of the off-grid White House email system. Mr. Connell handled all of John McCain’s computer work in the recent presidential campaign. VR has received direct evidence that the McCain campaign kept abreast of the legal developments against Mr. Connell by reading the VR dedicated website,
VR demands that the Ohio Attorney General and the United States Justice Department conduct a complete investigation into the activities of Mr. Connell and determine whether there was any foul play in his death. VR demands that federal law enforcement officials place the following people under protective custody pending this investigation. Heather Connell who is the owner of GovTech Solutions, Randy Cole, the former President of GovTech Solutions, and Jeff Averbeck, the CEO of SmartTech in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Both GovTech and SmartTech have been implicated in the rigging of the 2000 and 2004 elections and the White House email scandal. Our prior request to have Mr. Connell protected went unheeded and now he is dead.

World faces “total” financial meltdown: Bank of Spain chief

December 22, 2008
MADRID — The governor of the Bank of Spain on Sunday issued a bleak assessment of the economic crisis, warning that the world faced a “total” financial meltdown unseen since the Great Depression.
“The lack of confidence is total,” Miguel Angel Fernandez Ordonez said in an interview with Spain’s El Pais daily.
“The inter-bank (lending) market is not functioning and this is generating vicious cycles: consumers are not consuming, businessmen are not taking on workers, investors are not investing and the banks are not lending.
“There is an almost total paralysis from which no-one is escaping,” he said, adding that any recovery — pencilled in by optimists for the end of 2009 and the start of 2010 — could be delayed if confidence is not restored.

Ordonez recognised that falling oil prices and lower taxes could kick-start a faster-than-anticipated recovery, but warned that a deepening cycle of falling consumer demand, rising unemployment and an ongoing lending squeeze could not be ruled out. “This is the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression” of 1929, he added.

Schwarzenegger “Absolutely” Wants To Be President

Chicago Tribune
Monday, December 22, 2008
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger hasn’t said if he would pursue another job in politics after his term ends in two years. But there’s one position he might be interested in, if he were eligible for it: president.
“Yeah, absolutely,” Schwarzenegger said in an interview Sunday when asked by “60 Minutes” correspondent Scott Pelley if he would like to be president.
At the moment, becoming president would be impossible. Schwarzenegger, who was born in Austria and became a U.S. citizen in 1983, is not a “natural born citizen” of the U.S., as required by the Constitution.

The son of an SS nazi officer, Schwarzenegger has publicly stated that he has dreamed of being a dictator and that he admires Hitler. He campaigned for war criminal Kurt Waldhiem after it had been made public that he was a top nazi.
The stories of Arnold’s barbaric harrassment of women are legendary.
He supported Enron chief, Ken Lay during the California energy crisis and now his political operatives have launched a blitzkrieg promoting him for President and seeking to end the Constitutional bar against him holding that office.
Americans Against Arnold has launched defensive measures against Arnold Schwarzenegger’s bliztkrieg attack on the Constitution because we love America and believe that the Founding Fathers were right: only someone born in America should be able to be President.
Just as important, we are dedicated to exposing the individual, Arnold Schwarzenegger, who is totally unfit to be Governor of California, much less President of the United States. Arnold will serve as a meticulously documented encyclopedia of Arnold’s sinister, grotestque and even barbaric activites, from his nazi links to illegal drug use and sexual harrassment.

Obama & Biden To Protect Bush Administration Criminals

Nuremberg trials also judged “a waste of time”

Paul Joseph Watson
Monday, December 22, 2008
It’s par for the course for Obama and Biden, the men who promised “change” but in every step of their preparations for assuming office have pursued nothing but continuity, to acknowledge that they will protect criminals in the Bush administration from prosecution for authorizing torture, a complete violation of both the U.S. constitution and the Geneva Conventions.
When asked by ABC host George Stephanopoulos if top level Bush administration officials would be prosecuted for mandating prisoner abuse, Biden said that he and Obama would be “focusing on the future,” adding “I think we should be looking forward, not backwards.”
Such rhetoric goes to the very heart of the gigantic con job the “Obama change” hoax has wrought upon millions of befuddled Americans who naively presumed that voting for the lesser of two evils would result in anything other than more evil.
Perhaps Göring, Ribbentrop and the rest of the Nazis prosecuted at Nuremberg for their war crimes were following the wrong line of defense when they claimed they were merely “following orders,” they should have just proclaimed that the world should be “looking forward not backwards” and according to the Biden/Obama view of justice, they would have got off scot free.
Likewise, pedophiles and rapists who abuse children and women in ways not far removed from what was approved at Abu Ghraib should merely tell police that since the abuse and rape occurred in the past, everybody should just move on, “looking forwards not backwards”.
Obama and Biden, with their de-facto pardons of the Bush administration torture masters, are ensuring that what happened at places like Abu Ghraib, including beating people to death, raping people with acid covered batons and sexual abuse of children, will continue to happen in future without consequence.
Of course, those that protect war criminals from prosecution should be treated no better than the war criminals themselves, and when real “change” comes to America, Obama and Biden will face the same justice as Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld.

IMF warns of Great Depression

December 23, 2008
LONDON (AFP) — Britain edged ever closer to a recession on Tuesday and the IMF’s top economist warned of a second Great Depression, as stock markets awaited fresh US growth data in the hope of some Christmas cheer.
Britain’s economy shrank by 0.6 percent in the three months to September compared with the previous quarter, against a previous estimate of 0.5-percent contraction given last month, the Office for National Statistics said.
The IMF’s top economist, Olivier Blanchard, meanwhile said governments around the world should boost domestic demand in order to avoid a Great Depression similar to the downturn that shook the world in the 1930s.

“Consumer and business confidence indexes have never fallen so far since they began. The coming months will be very bad,” Blanchard said in an interview with the French newspaper Le Monde. “It is imperative to stifle this loss of confidence, to restart household consumption, if we want to prevent this recession developing into a Great Depression,” he added.

Ohio TV station: Was Connell crash an accident or murder?

David Edwards and Muriel Kane
Raw Story
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
The death of Republican “IT guru” Mike Connell last Friday in a fiery plane crash has been the subject of intense speculation online about whether it might have been murder — but very little of that speculation has made it into the national media. Now one local TV station in Connell’s home state of Ohio is acknowledging that there are questions about his death.
“Well, this sounds like a made up story,” Scott Taylor of 19 Action News in Cleveland began. “One man rigging state elections to help his boss, President George Bush. After it’s done, power players in Washington say ‘Get rid of the guy.’ Do I believe it? No — for now.”
Taylor noted that “bad weather could have played a part in the crash” but “some in Washington have a different opinion.”
“Some say Connell was about to reveal embarrassing details involving senior members of the Bush Administration,” Taylor explained, “including their involvement in destroying incriminating emails and rigging elections. Connell died on impact, and was only 3 miles from the Akron-Canton Airport. He was an experienced pilot. Was it an accident, or murder?”

Connell had played a central role in two separate Bush administration scandals. He had created the website for the Ohio secretary of state’s office which some have linked to suspected election fraud during the 2004 presidential race. He also set up the domains which White House staff used for their off-the-books emails concerning the firing of US Attorneys, emails which are now said to have been destroyed. In a press release cited by 19 Action News, the website Velvet Revolution revealed that “a person close to Mr. Connell has recently been discussing with a VR investigator how Mr. Connell can tell all about his work for George Bush. Mr. Connell told a close associate that he was afraid that the George Bush and Dick Cheney would ‘throw [[him] under the bus.’ A tipster close to the McCain campaign disclosed to VR in July that Mr. Connell’s life was in jeopardy and that Karl Rove had threatened him and his wife.”
19 Action News also reported on Sunday that Connell had previously been warned by a friend that his plane might be sabotaged and had canceled two flights because of suspicious problems.
BradBlog notes that although the Velvet Revolution press release has appeared on the New York Times website, that paper has not offered any comment of its own on Connell’s death, nor have US media in general reported on the growing speculation — although even the British press has mentioned it — which makes the Action News coverage all the more striking.
“Was it an accident — or murder?” Taylor wondered, before concluding that the crash “was probably not a conspiracy.”
This video is from 19 Action News, broadcast Dec. 22, 2008.

FDNY Lieutenant Admitted Plan To ‘Take Down’ WTC 7

Reinforcing conviction that Silverstein was referring to demolition with infamous comments on PBS documentary

Paul Joseph Watson
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Newly uncovered video from 9/11 featuring an interview with FDNY lieutenant David Rastuccio on MSNBC confirms that there was a plan to deliberately demolish WTC Building 7, as was originally indicated in Larry Silverstein’s infamous statement on the PBS documentary, America Rebuilds.
In the clip, Rastuccio responds to the host’s statement that “You guys knew this was coming all day,” by stating, “We had first reports that the building was unstable and that it was best for it to come down on its own or it would be taken down, I would imagine that it came down on its own.”
Though Rastuccio expresses his opinion that the building had collapsed without the aid of explosives, he admits that a plan had been in place to deliberately demolish the structure.
Watch the clip.

This reinforces the fact that when Larry Silverstein infamously told a 2002 PBS documentary that a consideration had been made to “pull it,” which is a demolition industry term for deliberate implosion, he did indeed mean that WTC 7 was considered for deliberate demolition.
This would mean that Silverstein’s later qualification of his comments, that “pull it” simply meant to pull the firefighters out of the building, despite FEMA’s assertion that no firefighting operations even took place inside WTC 7, was an outright lie intended to deflect possible ramifications arising out of the $7 billion dollar payout Silverstein received in insurance after the WTC complex was destroyed.
Numerous other eyewitnesses have come forward to express their conviction that WTC 7 was deliberately demolished.
Emergency Medical Technician Indira Singh described to a radio show how she learned that WTC 7 was going to be “brought down” and the context was clear that it was to be deliberately demolished.
“After midday on 9/11 we had to evacuate that because they told us Building 7 was coming down. If you had been there, not being able to see very much just flames everywhere and smoke - it is entirely possible - I do believe that they brought Building 7 down because I heard that they were going to bring it down because it was unstable because of the collateral damage,” said Singh.
Former Air Force Special Operations for Search and Rescue expert Kevin McPadden also reported his conviction that a countdown preceded the collapse of the building.
“While we were on the right side, there was firefighters getting ready, they were bussing them back and forth, and a couple of vets that were there - they got the vibe that something was coming down,” said McPadden.
“We started asking questions, everybody started asking questions, and the next thing you know there was a Red Cross representative pacing back and forth in front of the crowd holding his hand over the radio - I couldn’t hear what it was saying but it was like pulsed - whatever the speech was on there it was pulsed - and that means to me most likely it was a countdown.”
“But he took his hand off at the last three seconds and he gave this heartfelt look - like just run for your life - because he didn’t want to bring it on his conscience - he didn’t want to go to his grave with that - and then we had a couple of seconds to put our heads together,” said McPadden.
Former NYPD officer Craig Bartmer also reported hearing bombs tear down WTC 7 as he ran away from its collapse.
Several TV news networks received advance knowledge that the building was likely to collapse, with both the BBC and CNN reporting at least 26 minutes in advance that the building had already collapsed when it still stood.
Rastuccio’s newly uncovered comments about a plan to demolish Building 7 are likely to provoke a firestorm of fresh suspicion surrounding the implosion of the structurally reinforced 47-story skyscraper, which collapsed in 7 seconds within its own footprint despite suffering relatively minor damage from the collapse of the twin towers.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Hamas: Israel can invade, by all means - Israel is going to get its ass kicked!!!

Despite increasing calls among Israeli ministers of a need to launch a military operation to tackle the escalating threat of rocket attacks on the southern border, Hamas leaders in the Gaza Strip seemed unperturbed, with one senior member even daring Israel to take the action.

Senior Hamas official Mahmoud...

Senior Hamas official Mahmoud Zahar.
Photo: AP

Slideshow: Gaza flare-up

"For three years we've been hearing comments about an Israeli invasion into the Gaza Strip. Israel is like a teenager who begins to smoke, chokes, then stops," Mahmoud Zahar, a top Hamas leader in the Gaza Strip, said during an interview with a Nazareth radio station. "If they want to [invade] - by all means,"

"Even in the days of the ceasefire, Israel didn't allow vital supplies into the Gaza Strip, and this is a callous violation," he continued. "Israel promised to open the crossing but that never happened on the ground."

Earlier on Tuesday, Shin Bet chief Yuval Diskin warned ministers during the weekly cabinet meeting that rocket attacks against Israel may get much worse than the current situation.

"The military wing of Hamas is prepared to continue the military confrontation with Israel," Diskin said. "It has improved its rocket-firing capability to long range, and as of today, is able to reach Kiryat Gat, Ashdod, and even the outskirts of Beersheba."

"However, we must not err, Hamas is interested in keeping the calm," he continued, adding that the group "Wants to improve the conditions [of the ceasefire] - to remove the blockade, to get a commitment from Israel that it won't attack, and to expand to ceasefire to the West Bank."

"The Hamas political leadership is concerned that a military confrontation with Israel would make them lose the assets which they acquired during a long period," Diskin said.

Responding to Diskin's comments, spokesman of the Beersheba municipality, Amnon Yosef, said that the city was prepared for any scenario including rockets firing.

"Beersheba operates year-round on the maintenance of the bomb shelters, and together with the Home Front Command we run exercises for all sorts of scenarios," Yosef said.

"We didn't receive any warnings regarding such a situation," he continued, "but we are prepared for this option as well."

Shelly Paz contributed to this report.

Bailiffs get power to use force on debtors

The government has been accused of trampling on individual liberties by proposing wide-ranging new powers for bailiffs to break into homes and to use “reasonable force” against householders who try to protect their valuables.

Under the regulations, bailiffs for private firms would for the first time be given permission to restrain or pin down householders. They would also be able to force their way into homes to seize property to pay off debts, such as unpaid credit card bills and loans.

The government, which wants to crack down on people who evade debts, says the new powers would be overseen by a robust industry watchdog. However, the laws are being criticised as the latest erosion of the rights of the householder in his own home.

“These laws strip away tried and tested protections that make a person’s home his castle, and which have stood for centuries,” said Paul Nicolson, chairman of the Zacchaeus 2000 Trust, a London-based welfare charity. “They could clearly lead to violent confrontations and undermine fundamental liberties.”

Bailiffs have for hundreds of years been denied powers to break into homes for civil debt or to use force against debtors, except in self-defence. In a famous declaration, William Pitt the Elder, the 18th-century prime minister, said: “The poorest man may in his cottage bid defiance to all the forces of the crown.” Ministers have now proposed bailiffs be given powers to physically remove debtors who try to defend their property, for example by draping themselves over a car or blocking the door of their home. Lord Bach, a junior justice minister, has assured the House of Lords that any new powers will be implemented only after a consultation and will not be used to search debtors’ pockets or to remove jewellery.

It emerged last week that Her Majesty’s Courts Service has already handed out guidance to privately employed bailiffs, pointing out that under legislation passed in 2004 they can already break down doors as a last resort to collect court fines.

Some restraint should be exercised, according to the “search and entry powers” guidelines. “If a person locks himself in their home, it might be reasonable to break open the door, but probably not to smash a hole in the wall,” it advises.

Details of the new guidelines were obtained under freedom of information laws. They say homes should not be broken into when nobody is in. Reasonable grounds for breaking down the door include the “movement of a curtain”, a radio being heard or a figure being spotted inside which “may be the offender”.

It is claimed these powers are already abused. In one case, an 89-year-old grandmother returned home to find a bailiff sitting in her chair having drawn up a list of her possessions. He was pursuing a parking fine owed by her son, who did not even live at the address.

Protectionist dominoes are beginning to tumble across the world

(We are coming for you!)

The riots have begun. Civil protest is breaking out in cities across Russia, China, and beyond.

Greece has been in turmoil for 11 days. The mood seems to have turned "pre-insurrectionary" in parts of Athens - to borrow from the Marxist handbook.

This is a foretaste of what the world may face as the "crisis of capitalism" - another Marxist phase making a comeback - starts to turn two hundred million lives upside down.

We are advancing to the political stage of this global train wreck. Regimes are being tested. Those relying on perma-boom to mask a lack of democratic or ancestral legitimacy may try to gain time by the usual methods: trade barriers, saber-rattling, and barbed wire.

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the head of the International Monetary Fund, is worried enough to ditch a half-century of IMF orthodoxy, calling for a fiscal boost worth 2pc of world GDP to "prevent global depression".

"If we are not able to do that, then social unrest may happen in many countries, including advanced economies. We are facing an unprecedented decline in output. All around the planet, the people have reacted with feelings going from surprise to anger, and from anger to fear," he said.

Russia has begun to shut down trade as it adjusts to the shock of Urals oil below $40 a barrel. It has imposed import tariffs of 30pc on cars, 15pc on farm kit, and 95pc on poultry (above quota levels). "It is possible during the financial crisis to support domestic producers by raising customs duties," said Premier Vladimir Putin.

Russia is not alone. India and Vietnam have imposed steel tariffs. Indonesia is resorting to special "licences" to choke off imports.

The Kremlin is alarmed by a 13pc fall in industrial output over the last five months. There have been street protests in Moscow, St Petersburg, Kaliningrad, Vladivostok and Barnaul. Police crushed "Dissent Marchers" holding copies of Russia's constitution above their heads in Moscow's Triumfalnaya Square.

"Russia has not seen anything like these nationwide protests before," said Boris Kagarlitsky from Moscow's Globalization Institute.

The Duma is widening the treason law to catch most forms of political dissent, and unwelcome forms of journalism. Jury trials for state crimes are to be abolished.

Yevgeny Kiseloyov at the Moscow Times said it feels eerily like December 1 1934 when Stalin unveiled his "Enemies of the People" law, kicking off the Great Terror.

The omens are not good in China either. Taxis are being bugged by state police. The great unknown is how Beijing will respond as its state-directed export strategy hits a brick wall, leaving exposed a vast eyesore of concrete and excess plant.

Exports fell 2.2pc in November. Toy, textile, footwear, and furniture plants are being closed across Guangdong, now the riot hub of South China. Some 40m Chinese workers are expected to lose their jobs. Party officials have warned of "mass-scale social turmoil".

The Politburo is giving mixed signals. We don't yet know how much of the country's plan to boost domestic demand through a $586bn stimulus package is real, and how much is a wish-list sent to party bosses in the hinterland without funding.

Shortly after President Hu Jintao said China is "losing competitive edge in the world market", we saw a move towards export subsidies for the steel industry and a dip in the yuan peg - even though China already has the world's biggest reserves ($2 trillion) and the biggest trade surplus ($40bn a month).

So is the Communist Party mulling a 1930s "beggar-thy-neighbour" strategy of devaluation to export its way out of trouble? Such raw mercantilism can only draw a sharp retort from Washington and Brussels in this climate.

"During a global slowdown, you can't have countries trying to take advantage of others by manipulating their currencies," said Frank Vargo from the US National Association of Manufacturers.

It is a view shared entirely by President-elect Barack Obama. "China must change its currency practices. Because it pegs its currency at an artificially low rate, China is running massive current account surpluses. This is not good for American firms and workers, not good for the world," he said in October. The new intake of radical Democrats on Capitol Hill will hold him to it.

There has been much talk lately of America's Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act, which set off the protectionist dominoes in 1930. It is usually invoked by free traders to make the wrong point. The relevant message of Smoot-Hawley is that America was then the big exporter, playing the China role. By resorting to tariffs, it set off retaliation, and was the biggest victim of its own folly.

Britain and the Dominions retreated into Imperial Preference. Other countries joined. This became the "growth bloc" of the 1930s, free from the deflation constraints of the Gold Standard. High tariffs stopped the stimulus leaking out.

It was a successful strategy - given the awful alternatives - and was the key reason why Britain's economy contracted by just 5pc during the Depression, against 15pc for France, and 30pc for the US.

Could we see such a closed "growth bloc" emerging now, this time led by the US, entailing a massive rupture of world's trading system? Perhaps.

This crisis has already brought us a monetary revolution as interest rates approach zero across the G10. It may overturn the "New World Order" as well, unless we move with great care in grim months ahead. This is where events turn dangerous.

The last great era of globalisation peaked just before 1914. You know the rest of the story.