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joeb
http://www.collapsenet.com/free-resourc ... ris-hedges


“The NDAA lawsuit is one of the key topics we have written about over the past year or so. For those of you that aren’t up to speed, one of the most popular posts we ever wrote was NDAA: The Most Important Lawsuit in American History that No One is Talking About. Basically, Section 1021 of the NDAA allows for the indefinite detention of American citizens without charges or a trial. Journalist Chris Hedges and several others sued Obama on the grounds of it being unconstitutional. Judge Katherine Forrest agreed and issued an injunction on it. This was immediately appealed by the Obama Administration to a higher court, which promptly issued a temporary stay on the injunction.

Yesterday, oral arguments began in front of this aforementioned higher court; the 2nd Circuit. As Chris Hedges states in the interview below, if they win the case then it will likely be brought in front of the Supreme Court within weeks. On the other hand, if the Obama Administration wins and the Supreme Court refuses to hear the appeal, Hedges states: “at that point we’ve just become a military dictatorship.”
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joeb
see link for full story
“According to a report released this week by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, West African drug smugglers are playing a more direct role in trafficking the $1.25 billion worth of cocaine moving through the region every year. Most of the region’s cocaine still originates with Latin American cartels like the FARC, but these cartels’ direct involvement in trafficking drugs through Africa to Europe has declined. In their place, West African trafficking groups are building their own narcotics transport and distribution systems, pushing out the Latin Americans, and are now producing their own methamphetamine on a large scale.” - See more at: http://www.collapsenet.com/free-resources/collapsenet-public-access/news-alerts/item/10686-out-latin-american-drug-cartels-in-african-drug-cartels#sthash.uzOIQPZU.dpuf

“According to a report released this week by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, West African drug smugglers are playing a more direct role in trafficking the $1.25 billion worth of cocaine moving through the region every year. Most of the region’s cocaine still originates with Latin American cartels like the FARC, but these cartels’ direct involvement in trafficking drugs through Africa to Europe has declined. In their place, West African trafficking groups are building their own narcotics transport and distribution systems, pushing out the Latin Americans, and are now producing their own methamphetamine on a large scale.” - See more at: http://www.collapsenet.com/free-resources/collapsenet-public-access/news-alerts/item/10686-out-latin-american-drug-cartels-in-african-drug-cartels#sthash.uzOIQPZU.dpuf

“According to a report released this week by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, West African drug smugglers are playing a more direct role in trafficking the $1.25 billion worth of cocaine moving through the region every year. Most of the region’s cocaine still originates with Latin American cartels like the FARC, but these cartels’ direct involvement in trafficking drugs through Africa to Europe has declined. In their place, West African trafficking groups are building their own narcotics transport and distribution systems, pushing out the Latin Americans, and are now producing their own methamphetamine on a large scale.” - See more at: http://www.collapsenet.com/free-resources/collapsenet-public-access/news-alerts/item/10686-out-latin-american-drug-cartels-in-african-drug-cartels#sthash.uzOIQPZU.dpuf


“According to a report released this week by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, West African drug smugglers are playing a more direct role in trafficking the $1.25 billion worth of cocaine moving through the region every year. Most of the region’s cocaine still originates with Latin American cartels like the FARC, but these cartels’ direct involvement in trafficking drugs through Africa to Europe has declined. In their place, West African trafficking groups are building their own narcotics transport and distribution systems, pushing out the Latin Americans, and are now producing their own methamphetamine on a large scale.” - See more at: http://www.collapsenet.com/free-resources/collapsenet-public-access/news-alerts/item/10686-out-latin-american-drug-cartels-in-african-drug-cartels#sthash.uzOIQPZU.dpuf
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joeb
see link for full story
http://www.mainjustice.com/2012/02/15/watchdog-group-names-doj-most-secretive-in-2011/


Watchdog Group Names Justice Department Most Secretive Agency
By Elizabeth Murphy | February 15, 2012 4:26 pm
 

The Justice Department has been awarded the Rosemary Award for Worst Open Government Performance .

The prize — awarded by the National Security Archive, which is based at George Washington University — is named after Watergate figure Rose Mary Woods, President Richard Nixon’s secretary who erased 18-some minutes of important Oval Office tapes.

 

In its report, directorTom Blanton said, “Justice edged out a crowded field of contending agencies and career officials who seem in practical rebellion against President [Barack] Obama’s open-government orders.”

Obama in 2009 issued a memo ordering improved openness and transparency, pointing to a greater “presumption of favor” of Freedom of Information Act requests. Attorney General Eric Holder followed suit with guidance to federal agencies that reversed then-Attorney General John Ashcroft’s October 2001 policy of denying records requests whenever legally possible.

At the time, Holder’s guidance was seen as a repudiation of George W. Bush-era secrecy. But those times have changed.

The watchdog group’s report found that the Justice Department has moved forward with “abusive prosecutions using espionage laws against whistleblowers as ostensible ‘leakers’ of classified information,” a mixed record on information requests and “recycled legal arguments for greater secrecy throughout the Justice’s litigation posture.”

The report found that there have been more ‘leaker’ prosecutions in the last three years than all previous years combined.

The department has failed to be the “change agent and role model” for Obama’s FOIA reforms that it promised to be, the report states.

Former Public Integrity Section chief William M. Welch II is “the single individual in 2011 who did the most to stomp on President Obama’s open government message,” the watchdog group said, pointing to Welch’s leading role prosecuting government employees who leaked information to the press. Welch has also come under scrutiny in the botched prosecution of former Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens.

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joeb
see link for full story
http://consortiumnews.com/2013/03/09/rethinking-watergateiran-contra/

Rethinking Watergate/Iran-Contra
March 9, 2013

Special Report: New evidence continues to accumulate showing how Official Washington got key elements of the Watergate and Iran-Contra scandals wrong, especially how these two crimes of state originated in treacherous actions to secure the powers of the presidency, writes Robert Parry.

By Robert Parry

A favorite saying of Official Washington is that “the cover-up is worse than the crime.” But that presupposes you accurately understand what the crime was. And, in the case of the two major U.S. government scandals of the last third of the Twentieth Century – Watergate and Iran-Contra – that doesn’t seem to be the case.

Indeed, newly disclosed documents have put old evidence into a sharply different light and suggest that history has substantially miswritten the two scandals by failing to understand that they actually were sequels to earlier scandals that were far worse. Watergate and Iran-Contra were, in part at least, extensions of the original crimes, which involved dirty dealings to secure the immense power of the presidency.

Presidents Richard Nixon, George H.W. Bush and Ronald Reagan photographed together in the Oval Office in 1991. (Cropped from a White House photo that also included Presidents Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter.)

In the case of Watergate – the foiled Republican break-in at the Democratic National Committee in June 1972 and Richard Nixon’s botched cover-up leading to his resignation in August 1974 – the evidence is now clear that Nixon created the Watergate burglars out of his panic that the Democrats might possess a file on his sabotage of Vietnam peace talks in 1968.

Shortly after Nixon took office in 1969, FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover informed him of the existence of the file containing national security wiretaps documenting how Nixon’s emissaries had gone behind President Lyndon Johnson’s back to convince the South Vietnamese government to boycott the Paris Peace Talks, which were close to ending the Vietnam War in fall 1968.

The disruption of Johnson’s peace talks then enabled Nixon to hang on for a narrow victory over Democrat Hubert Humphrey. However, as the new President was taking steps in 1969 to extend the war another four-plus years, he sensed the threat from the wiretap file and ordered two of his top aides, chief of staff H.R. “Bob” Haldeman and National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger, to locate it. But they couldn’t find the file.

We now know that was because President Johnson, who privately had called Nixon’s Vietnam actions “treason,” had ordered the file removed from the White House by his national security aide Walt Rostow.

Rostow labeled the file “The ‘X’ Envelope” and kept it in his possession, although having left government, he had no legal right to possess the highly classified documents, many of which were stamped “Top Secret.” Johnson had instructed Rostow to retain the papers as long as he, Johnson, was alive and then afterwards to decide what to do with them.

Nixon, however, had no idea that Johnson and Rostow had taken the missing file or, indeed, who might possess it. Normally, national security documents are passed from the outgoing President to the incoming President to maintain continuity in government.

But Haldeman and Kissinger had come up empty in their search. They were only able to recreate the file’s contents, which included incriminating conversations between Nixon’s emissaries and South Vietnamese officials regarding Nixon’s promise to get them a better deal if they helped him torpedo Johnson’s peace talks.

So, the missing file remained a troubling mystery inside Nixon’s White House, but Nixon still lived up to his pre-election agreement with South Vietnamese President Nguyen van Thieu to extend U.S. military participation in the war with the goal of getting the South Vietnamese a better outcome than they would have received from Johnson in 1968.

Nixon not only continued the Vietnam War, which had already claimed more than 30,000 American lives and an estimated one million Vietnamese, but he expanded it, with intensified bombing campaigns and a U.S. incursion into Cambodia. At home, the war was bitterly dividing the nation with a massive anti-war movement and an angry backlash from war supporters.

Pentagon Papers

It was in that intense climate in 1971 that Daniel Ellsberg, a former senior Defense Department official, gave the New York Times a copy of the Pentagon Papers, the secret U.S. history of the Vietnam War from 1945 to 1967. The voluminous report documented many of the lies – most told by Democrats – to draw the American people into the war.

The Times began publishing the Pentagon Papers on June 13, 1971, and the disclosures touched off a public firestorm. Trying to tamp down the blaze, Nixon took extraordinary legal steps to stop dissemination of the secrets, ultimately failing in the U.S. Supreme Court.

But Nixon had an even more acute fear. He knew something that few others did, that there was a sequel to the Pentagon Papers that was arguably more explosive – the missing file containing evidence that Nixon had covertly prevented the war from being brought to a conclusion so he could maintain a political edge in Election 1968.

If anyone thought the Pentagon Papers represented a shocking scandal – and clearly millions of Americans did – how would people react to a file that revealed Nixon had kept the slaughter going – with thousands of additional American soldiers dead and the violence spilling back into the United States – just so he could win an election?

A savvy political analyst, Nixon recognized this threat to his reelection in 1972, assuming he would have gotten that far. Given the intensity of the anti-war movement, there would surely have been furious demonstrations around the White House and likely an impeachment effort on Capitol Hill.

So, on June 17, 1971, Nixon summoned Haldeman and Kissinger into the Oval Office and – as Nixon’s own recording devices whirred softly – pleaded with them again to locate the missing file. “Do we have it?” a Nixon asked Haldeman. “I’ve asked for it. You said you didn’t have it.”

Haldeman: “We can’t find it.”

Kissinger: “We have nothing here, Mr. President.”

Nixon: “Well, damnit, I asked for that because I need it.”

Kissinger: “But Bob and I have been trying to put the damn thing together.”

Haldeman: “We have a basic history in constructing our own, but there is a file on it.”

Nixon: “Where?”

Haldeman: “[Presidential aide Tom Charles] Huston swears to God that there’s a file on it and it’s at Brookings.”

Nixon: “Bob? Bob? Now do you remember Huston’s plan [for White House-sponsored break-ins as part of domestic counter-intelligence operations]? Implement it.”

Kissinger: “Now Brookings has no right to have classified documents.”

Nixon: “I want it implemented. … Goddamnit, get in and get those files. Blow the safe and get it.”

Haldeman: “They may very well have cleaned them by now, but this thing, you need to –“

Kissinger: “I wouldn’t be surprised if Brookings had the files.”

Haldeman: “My point is Johnson knows that those files are around. He doesn’t know for sure that we don’t have them around.”

But Johnson did know that the file was no longer at the White House because he had ordered Rostow to remove it in the final days of his own presidency.

Forming the Burglars

On June 30, 1971, Nixon again berated Haldeman about the need to break into Brookings and “take it [the file] out.” Nixon even suggested using former CIA officer E. Howard Hunt to conduct the Brookings break-in.

“You talk to Hunt,” Nixon told Haldeman. “I want the break-in. Hell, they do that. You’re to break into the place, rifle the files, and bring them in. … Just go in and take it. Go in around 8:00 or 9:00 o’clock.”

Haldeman: “Make an inspection of the safe.”

Nixon: “That’s right. You go in to inspect the safe. I mean, clean it up.”

For reasons that remain unclear, it appears that the Brookings break-in never took place, but Nixon’s desperation to locate Johnson’s peace-talk file was an important link in the chain of events that led to the creation of Nixon’s burglary unit under Hunt’s supervision. Hunt later oversaw the two Watergate break-ins in May and June of 1972.

While it’s possible that Nixon was still searching for the file about his Vietnam-peace sabotage when the Watergate break-ins occurred nearly a year later, it’s generally believed that the burglary was more broadly focused, seeking any information that might have an impact on Nixon’s re-election, either defensively or offensively.

As it turned out, Nixon’s burglars were nabbed inside the Watergate complex on their second break-in on June 17, 1972, exactly one year after Nixon’s tirade to Haldeman and Kissinger about the need to blow the safe at the Brookings Institution in pursuit of the missing Vietnam peace-talk file.

Ironically, too, Johnson and Rostow had no intention of exposing Nixon’s dirty secret regarding LBJ’s Vietnam peace talks, presumably for the same reasons that they kept their mouths shut back in 1968, out of a benighted belief that revealing Nixon’s actions might somehow not be “good for the country.”

In November 1972, despite the growing scandal over the Watergate break-in, Nixon handily won reelection, crushing Sen. George McGovern, Nixon’s preferred opponent. Nixon then reached out to Johnson seeking his help in squelching Democratic-led investigations of the Watergate affair and slyly noting that Johnson had ordered wiretaps of Nixon’s campaign in 1968.

Johnson reacted angrily to the overture, refusing to cooperate. On Jan. 20, 1973, Nixon was sworn in for his second term. On Jan. 22, 1973, Johnson died of a heart attack.

Toward Resignation

In the weeks that followed Nixon’s Inauguration and Johnson’s death, the scandal over the Watergate cover-up grew more serious, creeping ever closer to the Oval Office. Meanwhile, Rostow struggled to decide what he should do with “The ‘X’ Envelope.”

On May 14, 1973, in a three-page “memorandum for the record,” Rostow summarized what was in “The ‘X’ Envelope” and provided a chronology for the events in fall 1968. Rostow reflected, too, on what effect LBJ’s public silence then may have had on the unfolding Watergate scandal.

“I am inclined to believe the Republican operation in 1968 relates in two ways to the Watergate affair of 1972,” Rostow wrote. He noted, first, that Nixon’s operatives may have judged that their “enterprise with the South Vietnamese” – in frustrating Johnson’s last-ditch peace initiative – had secured Nixon his narrow margin of victory over Hubert Humphrey in 1968.

“Second, they got away with it,” Rostow wrote. “Despite considerable press commentary after the election, the matter was never investigated fully. Thus, as the same men faced the election in 1972, there was nothing in their previous experience with an operation of doubtful propriety (or, even, legality) to warn them off, and there were memories of how close an election could get and the possible utility of pressing to the limit – and beyond.” [To read Rostow’s memo, click here, here and here.]

What Rostow didn’t know was that there was a third – and more direct – connection between the missing file and Watergate. Nixon’s fear about the file surfacing as a follow-up to the Pentagon Papers was Nixon’s motive for creating Hunt’s burglary team in the first place.

Rostow apparently struggled with what to do with the file for the next month as the Watergate scandal expanded. On June 25, 1973, fired White House counsel John Dean delivered his blockbuster Senate testimony, claiming that Nixon got involved in the cover-up within days of the June 1972 burglary at the Democratic National Committee. Dean also asserted that Watergate was just part of a years-long program of political espionage directed by Nixon’s White House.

The very next day, as headlines of Dean’s testimony filled the nation’s newspapers, Rostow reached his conclusion about what to do with “The ‘X’ Envelope.” In longhand, he wrote a “Top Secret” note which read, “To be opened by the Director, Lyndon Baines Johnson Library, not earlier than fifty (50) years from this date June 26, 1973.”

In other words, Rostow intended this missing link of American history to stay missing for another half century. In a typed cover letter to LBJ Library director Harry Middleton, Rostow wrote: “Sealed in the attached envelope is a file President Johnson asked me to hold personally because of its sensitive nature. In case of his death, the material was to be consigned to the LBJ Library under conditions I judged to be appropriate. …

“After fifty years the Director of the LBJ Library (or whomever may inherit his responsibilities, should the administrative structure of the National Archives change) may, alone, open this file. … If he believes the material it contains should not be opened for research [at that time], I would wish him empowered to re-close the file for another fifty years when the procedure outlined above should be repeated.”

Ultimately, however, the LBJ Library didn’t wait that long. After a little more than two decades, on July 22, 1994, the envelope was opened and the archivists began the long process of declassifying the contents.

Yet, because Johnson and Rostow chose to withhold the file on Nixon’s “treason,” a distorted history of Watergate took shape and then hardened into what all the Important People of Washington “knew” to be true. The conventional wisdom was that Nixon was unaware of the Watergate break-in beforehand – that it was some harebrained scheme of a few overzealous subordinates – and that the President only got involved later in covering it up.

Sure, the Washington groupthink went, Nixon had his “enemies list” and played hardball with his rivals, but he couldn’t be blamed for the Watergate break-in, which many insiders regarded as “the third-rate burglary” that Nixon’s White House called it.

Even journalists and historians who took a broader view of Watergate didn’t pursue the remarkable clue from Nixon’s rant about the missing file on June 17, 1971. Though a few other historians did write, sketchily, about the 1968 events, they also didn’t put the events together.

So, the beloved saying took shape: “the cover-up is worse than the crime.” And Official Washington hates to rethink some history that is considered already settled. In this case, it would make too many important people who have expounded on the “worse” part of Watergate, i.e. the cover-up, look stupid. [For details, see Robert Parry’s America’s Stolen Narrative.]

The Iran-Contra Cover-up

Similarly, Official Washington and many mainstream historians have tended to dismiss Ronald Reagan’s Iran-Contra scandal as another case of some overzealous subordinates intuiting what the President wanted and getting everybody into trouble.

The “Big Question” that insiders were asking after the scandal broke in November 1986 was whether President Reagan knew about the decision by White House aide Oliver North and his boss, National Security Advisor John Poindexter, to divert some profits from secret arms sales to Iran to secretly buy weapons for the Nicaraguan Contra rebels.

Once, Poindexter testified that he had no recollection of letting Reagan in on that secret – and with Reagan a beloved figure to many in Official Washington – the inquiry was relegated to insignificance. The remaining investigation focused on smaller questions, like misleading Congress and a scholarly dispute over whether the President’s foreign policy powers overrode Congress’ power to appropriate funds).

At the start of the Iran-Contra investigation, Attorney General Edwin Meese had set the time parameters from 1984 to 1986, thus keeping outside of the frame the possibility of a much more serious scandal originating during Campaign 1980, i.e., whether Reagan’s campaign undermined President Jimmy Carter’s negotiations to free 52 American hostages in Iran and then paid off the Iranians by allowing Israel to ship weapons to Iran for the Iran-Iraq War.

So, while congressional and federal investigators looked only at how the specific 1985-86 arms sales to Iran got started, there was no timely attention paid to evidence that the Reagan administration had quietly approved Israeli arms sales to Iran in 1981 and that those contacts went back to the days before Election 1980 when the hostage crisis destroyed Carter’s reelection hopes and ensured Reagan’s victory.

The 52 hostages were not released until Reagan was sworn in on Jan. 20, 1981.

Over the years, about two dozen sources – including Iranian officials, Israeli insiders, European intelligence operatives, Republican activists and even Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat – have provided information about alleged contacts with Iran by the Reagan campaign.

And, there were indications early in the Reagan presidency that something peculiar was afoot. On July 18, 1981, an Israeli-chartered plane crashed or was shot down after straying over the Soviet Union on a return flight from delivering U.S.-manufactured weapons to Iran.

In a PBS interview nearly a decade later, Nicholas Veliotes, Reagan’s assistant secretary of state for the Middle East, said he looked into the incident by talking to top administration officials. “It was clear to me after my conversations with people on high that indeed we had agreed that the Israelis could transship to Iran some American-origin military equipment,” Veliotes said.

In checking out the Israeli flight, Veliotes came to believe that the Reagan camp’s dealings with Iran dated back to before the 1980 election. “It seems to have started in earnest in the period probably prior to the election of 1980, as the Israelis had identified who would become the new players in the national security area in the Reagan administration,” Veliotes said. “And I understand some contacts were made at that time.”

When I re-interviewed Veliotes on Aug. 8, 2012, he said he couldn’t recall who the “people on high” were who had described the informal clearance of the Israeli shipments but he indicated that “the new players” were the young neoconservatives who were working on the Reagan campaign, many of whom later joined the administration as senior political appointees.

Neocon Schemes

Newly discovered documents at the Reagan presidential library reveal that Reagan’s neocons at the State Department – particularly Robert McFarlane and Paul Wolfowitz – initiated a policy review in 1981 to allow Israel to undertake secret military shipments to Iran. McFarlane and Wolfowitz also maneuvered to put McFarlane in charge of U.S. relations toward Iran and to establish a clandestine U.S. back-channel to the Israeli government outside the knowledge of even senior U.S. government officials.

Not only did the documents tend to support the statements by Veliotes but they also fit with comments that former Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir made in a 1993 interview in Tel Aviv. Shamir said he had read the 1991 book, October Surprise, by Carter’s former National Security Council aide Gary Sick, which made the case for believing that the Republicans had intervened in the 1980 hostage negotiations to disrupt Carter’s reelection.

With the topic raised, one interviewer asked, “What do you think? Was there an October Surprise?”

“Of course, it was,” Shamir responded without hesitation. “It was.”

And, there were plenty of other corroborating statements as well. In 1996, for instance, while former President Carter was meeting with Palestine Liberation Organization leader Arafat in Gaza City, Arafat tried to confess his role in the Republican maneuvering to block Carter’s Iran-hostage negotiations.

“There is something I want to tell you,” Arafat said, addressing Carter in the presence of historian Douglas Brinkley. “You should know that in 1980 the Republicans approached me with an arms deal [for the PLO] if I could arrange to keep the hostages in Iran until after the [U.S. presidential] election,” Arafat said, according to Brinkley’s article in the fall 1996 issue of Diplomatic Quarterly.

As recently as this past week, former Iranian President Abolhassan Bani-Sadr reiterated his account of Republican overtures to Iran during the 1980 hostage crisis and how that secret initiative prevented release of the hostages.
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joeb
see link for full story
http://wcfcourier.com/news/regional/former-fbi-agent-rallies-student-democrats-at-wartburg/article_fc6e336d-21a9-58c7-bbfe-f29a388aac82.html

Former FBI agent rallies student Democrats at Wartburg

January 19, 2006
 

WAVERLY - Years before Coleen Rowley found national attention for revealing government mistakes prior to the Sept. 11 attacks, she supported President Bush.

"I believed he would reduce the deficit and play nice with other countries. I actually believed that."

On Wednesday, the former Federal Bureau of Investigation agent urged Wartburg College students not to be fooled again. Rowley, a New Hampton native, said radical Republicans have hijacked the party, and the 2006 election is the time to stop their efforts.

"I'm 51, and I've never seen a situation like this that is facing our country right now," she said. "I honesty don't think we have had these problems."

Rowley gained national recognition in 2002 for charging FBI supervisors blew a chance to unravel the Sept. 11 hijacking plot. Time Magazine named the Wartburg alum a person of the year for blowing the whistle on superiors. In 2003, before leaving the agency, Rowley opposed the Iraq War in front of a Senate committee.

She is now running for Congress in Minnesota's 2nd District. She was at Wartburg to inspire student Democrats.

"My last visit here was in 2002, and each time I come back to this place, it's a reminder - a humbling experience," she said.

Rowley, once a Republican, said she became a Democrat, because she doesn't agree with new conservative leadership.

"I don't think conservatives have changed," she said. "What has changed is the group that has grabbed power."

Rowley said President Bush believes he can create his own realities. But in the true reality is his policies have injured the nation, increasing the threat of war and terrorism and eroding civil rights.

"I would be willing to give up my privacy if we were getting something out of it, but what are we getting out of it?" she asked. "I would argue that terrorism has increased."

Rowley believes voters need to come forward to return the United States to its foundation.

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joeb

Was Bergoglio Complicit in Argentina's Dirty War?

By Hugh O'Shaughnessy, Guardian UK

13 March13

 

enedict XVI gave us words of great comfort and encouragement in the message he delivered on Christmas Eve.

"God anticipates us again and again in unexpected ways," the pope said. "He does not cease to search for us, to raise us up as often as we might need. He does not abandon the lost sheep in the wilderness into which it had strayed. God does not allow himself to be confounded by our sin. Again and again he begins afresh with us".

If these words comforted and encouraged me they will surely have done the same for leaders of the church in Argentina, among many others. To the judicious and fair-minded outsider it has been clear for years that the upper reaches of the Argentine church contained many "lost sheep in the wilderness", men who had communed and supported the unspeakably brutal Western-supported military dictatorship which seized power in that country in 1976 and battened on it for years. Not only did the generals slaughter thousands unjustly, often dropping them out of aeroplanes over the River Plate and selling off their orphan children to the highest bidder, they also murdered at least two bishops and many priests. Yet even the execution of other men of the cloth did nothing to shake the support of senior clerics, including representatives of the Holy See, for the criminality of their leader General Jorge Rafael Videla and his minions.

As it happens, in the week before Christmas in the city of Córdoba Videla and some of his military and police cohorts were convicted by their country's courts of the murder of 31 people between April and October 1976, a small fraction of the killings they were responsible for. The convictions brought life sentences for some of the military. These were not to be served, as has often been the case in Argentina and neighbouring Chile, in comfy armed forces retirement homes but in common prisons. Unsurprisingly there was dancing in the city's streets when the judge announced the sentences.

What one did not hear from any senior member of the Argentine hierarchy was any expression of regret for the church's collaboration and in these crimes. The extent of the church's complicity in the dark deeds was excellently set out by Horacio Verbitsky, one of Argentina's most notable journalists, in his book El Silencio (Silence). He recounts how the Argentine navy with the connivance of Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, now the Jesuit archbishop of Buenos Aires, hid from a visiting delegation of the Inter-American Human Rights Commission the dictatorship's political prisoners. Bergoglio was hiding them in nothing less than his holiday home in an island called El Silencio in the River Plate. The most shaming thing for the church is that in such circumstances Bergoglio's name was allowed to go forward in the ballot to chose the successor of John Paul II. What scandal would not have ensued if the first pope ever to be elected from the continent of America had been revealed as an accessory to murder and false imprisonment

One would have thought that the Argentine bishops would have seized the opportunity to call for pardon for themselves and put on sackcloth and ashes as the sentences were announced in Córdoba but that has not so far happened.

But happily Their Eminences have just been given another chance to express contrition. Next month the convicted murderer Videla will be arraigned for his part in the killing of Enrique Angelelli, bishop of the Andean diocese of La Rioja and a supporter of the cause of poorer Argentines. He was run off the highway by a hit squad of the Videla régime and killed on 4th August 1976 shortly after Videla's putsch.

Cardinal Bergoglio has plenty of time to be measured for a suit of sackcloth – perhaps tailored in a suitable clerical grey - to be worn when the church authorities are called into the witness box by the investigating judge in the Angelelli case. Ashes will be readily available if the records of the Argentine bishops' many disingenuous and outrightly mendacious statements about Videla and Angelelli are burned.

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joeb
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https://www.eff.org/press/releases/national-security-letters-are-unconstitutional-federal-judge-rules

March 15, 2013
National Security Letters Are Unconstitutional, Federal Judge Rules
Court Finds NSL Statutes Violate First Amendment and Separation of Powers

San Francisco - A federal district court judge in San Francisco has ruled that National Security Letter (NSL) provisions in federal law violate the Constitution. The decision came in a lawsuit challenging a NSL on behalf of an unnamed telecommunications company represented by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF).

In the ruling publicly released today, Judge Susan Illston ordered that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) stop issuing NSLs and cease enforcing the gag provision in this or any other case. The landmark ruling is stayed for 90 days to allow the government to appeal.

"We are very pleased that the court recognized the fatal constitutional shortcomings of the NSL statute," said EFF Senior Staff Attorney Matt Zimmerman. "The government's gags have truncated the public debate on these controversial surveillance tools. Our client looks forward to the day when it can publicly discuss its experience."
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joeb
see link for full story


The Truth Behind Jorge Mario Bergoglio, Pope Francis: Breaking the Silence, the Catholic Church in Argentina and the ‘Dirty War’
By Horacio Verbitsky
Global Research, March 16, 2013

http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-truth-behind-pope-francis-breaking-the-silence-the-catholic-church-in-argentina-and-the-dirty-war/5327049

Argentina between 1976 and 1983 was wracked by a “dirty war” in which successive military regimes hunted down, tortured and “disappeared” tens of thousands of citizens. The process had begun when Argentina’s already febrile politics started to split open in the mid-1970s. The military seized power in a coup from Isabelita Peron’s government, in the wake of an armed insurgency by Montoneros guerrillas.

The dictatorship that followed consigned thousands of Argentineans into military detention. Most were tortured; a few were released, many were eventually murdered. These “disappeared” numbered in all around 30,000.

In 1979, the Inter-American Human Rights Commission visited Argentina and inspected the most notorious detention centre, the Navy Mechanical School in Buenos Aires. They found no prisoners. As Horacio Verbitsky reveals in this extract from his extraordinary book, the prisoners had been dispersed, some of them to El Silencio, an island property that had belonged to an official of the Catholic archbishop of Buenos Aires.

The Catholic church’s complicity in torture and murder in Argentina should be no surprise; it had, after all, long precedents in extreme doctrines that came to Argentina (and elsewhere in Latin America) from the far right in France. But many details of Horacio Verbitsky’s account are revelatory, and his researches are a vital contribution to continuing efforts in Argentina to reach a full historical, legal and moral accounting for the violations of the “dirty war” years.

 The River

“Transfer” was a word the prisoners feared, a word they all wanted to banish from their thoughts.

There were three weeks to the end of winter. The nights were still cold, but the sunshine brought a feeling of warmth returning, a good sign after all the hard months. They had been told they would be away until the end of the month. Some of them had told their families they would not be able to call or see them for several weeks. They had never been outside the Navy Mechanical School as a group before, and this novelty was disturbing. In the attic and basement of the officers’ mess that they were leaving, they had had enough time to get close. The links between them were recent but intense, cemented by the extreme situation they had shared, the outcome of which was still unclear.

Horacio Verbitsky’s new book “The Silence” has been longlisted for the 2005 Ulysses award for literary reportage

This time they were not called out by name and they were not lined up in the white-tiled corridor leading to the sickroom where they had been vaccinated. When the last of them climbed on board the bus, the officers’ mess was left empty to make room for a refurbishment. The aim was to deceive the members of the Inter-American Human Rights Commission, who were arriving with makeshift but accurate drawings of the installations.

The bathroom was to be completely altered, a marble worktop, stainless-steel sinks and a wall-to-wall mirror were to be fitted to make the place look less forbidding. Partitions were to be knocked down, and the metal rings in the floor removed. The staircase between the basement and the attic was to be closed off.

The bus headed north, parallel to the River Plate. With their casual clothes and sports bags they might have seemed like so many similar groups of light-hearted young men and women out on an excursion. They were well aware of the deceit and disguise.

They cannot have taken more than half an hour to reach the landing-stage. The guards identified the vehicle and let them through. Other prisoners were brought to the same spot by car, blindfolded.

They were put on board a coastguard launch, made of wood like the boats that carry passengers between all the islands, but with the seats removed. They were made to lie on the floor in the midst of bags, crates of food, radio equipment and weapons. The launch headed up the River Tuyú-Paré towards the Chaña-Miní.

Some of the prisoners estimate the journey took little more than half an hour; others, more accurately, say an hour and a half. In the 19th century, the liberal bourgeoisie in Argentina had called this area the Tigre, in honour of the Tigris region in Mesopotamia. Only the people who live on the islands of the delta can distinguish all the 350 rivers, streams and channels into which they are divided. A century and a half ago, Domingo Faustino Sarmiento described the shape of these islands as “the most capricious imaginable”, an area where “the surface is an illusion: not everything is land that appears to be so, and there is no way of knowing beforehand what is of any use.”

There was nothing out of the ordinary about the dock they tied up at; nor about the house, which they walked towards across worn wooden planks and a muddy path. The building must have been around eighty years old. It was the same as many others in the Paraná delta, with a pitched corrugated iron roof, floors, walls and partitions made of wood, and raised on stilts to protect it from the frequent floods. The eight large rooms must have covered an area of a little less than 200 square metres. Radio equipment was set up in one of the rooms. There was an electric generator and lots of tools. A gas water-heater supplied the bathroom and the kitchen, and there were four water tanks for drinking water.

A stand of poplars, another of willows, and a third of birches filled the cultivated part of the island. The rest needed clearing. A dense screen of thorn bushes grew wild everywhere, making it impossible to penetrate more than 500 metres inland from the river.

Another, smaller group made the same journey in the cold of early morning. They were frightened rather than excited. Handcuffed and blindfolded, some of them were taken in a large van, others were put into a lorry with a thick green canvas awning. When they reached the landing-stage, they heard the barking of dogs and the rattle of weapons. They were put into an open launch and covered with a canvas. If any of them moved they were beaten.

These prisoners were put into a second building, smaller and rougher than the first. Its external walls were made of corrugated iron, and the gap between them and the wooden stilts had been filled in to accommodate them. Each night one or two of them were taken to the big house for a bath, along dark earthen paths, their way lit by torches. Despite the primitiveness of the conditions, these prisoners were happy that they were left on their own in this house, where the guards refused to sleep. This was the first time they were able to talk freely to each other, and thanks to this, they discovered that one of them was missing.

The last prisoner to arrive was “The Old Lady”, so called because she was 52 years old. Unlike the others, she was brought on her own. When she reached the island she read on the wooden sign that it was called El Silencio.

This was where the last men and women kidnapped by the Navy Mechanics School Task Force spent a month in September 1979.

The Catholic City

Cardinal Antonio Caggiano and his secretary Bishop Emilio Grasselli worked together in the two decades when Argentina’s defining tragedy was prepared. The cardinal played an important role in those preparations.

Elements of the Catholic church elsewhere had long taken an interest in “counter-terrorism”. In 1958, an advance party of La Cité Catholique arrived in Argentina. This was an offshoot of the French Catholic monarchist movement known as L’Action Française, created by in 1889 by Charles Maurras, the brilliant French philosopher and later apologist for Fascism. La Cité Catholique brought a doctrine of counter-revolutionary warfare and torture, justified as part of Thomist dogmatism.

Jean Ousset, Maurras’s private secretary, established La Cité Catholique in 1946. The idea originated in the French armed forces. In his book Le Marxisme-leninisme, Ousset states that this enemy can only be successfully combated by a “profound faith, an unlimited obedience to the Holy Father, and a thorough knowledge of the Church’s doctrines”.

Charles Lacheroy, a member of La Cité Catholique, was the first person to reflect on the ideological and technical reasons behind the defeat of the French colonial army in Indochina in 1954. Another member, Roger Trinquier, theorised on the use of torture in Modern Warfare, a bible for its followers.

Another of Ousset’s recruits was the chief French expert in psychological warfare – Colonel Jean Gardes. Between them they developed a new concept, that of subversion. This conceived a protean, quintessential enemy who, rather than being defined by his actions, was seen as a force trying to subvert Christian order, natural law, or the Creator’s plan. For this reason, Ousset states that “the revolutionary apparatus is ideological before it is political, and political before it is military”. This explains the wide range of enemies he sought to define.

When the torture that French paratroopers used in Algeria during the bloody war of 1954-62 aroused protests and debate, French military chaplains calmed the officers’ troubled consciences. One of them, Louis Delarue, wrote a text that was distributed to all units:

    “If, in the general interest, the law allows a murderer to be killed, why should it be seen as monstrous to submit a delinquent who has been recognised as such and is therefore liable to be put to death, to an interrogation which might be painful, but whose only object is, thanks to the revelations he may make about his accomplices and leaders, to protect the innocent? Exceptional circumstances call for exceptional measures”.

As success in the Algerian war gradually slipped away from the crusaders, Ousset decided to create branches of La Cité Catholique in other parts of the world. The first of these was in Buenos Aires in 1958. Its members had been part of the clandestine Organisation of a Secret Army (OAS), which brought terror to Paris itself and attempted to assassinate General Charles de Gaulle, whom they accused of treason for withdrawing French forces from Algeria and thus facilitating its independence from French rule.

Charles de Gaulle succeeded in destroying the OAS and had several of his former military colleagues shot. The OAS chaplain, Georges Grasset, organised the flight of many members of the organisation along a route which led from Paris to Madrid and finally to Buenos Aires. Grasset himself arrived in 1962 to take charge of the Argentine branch.

Horacio Verbitsky is a leading Argentinean investigative journalist. He was given an International Press Freedom Award by the Committee to Protect Journalists in 2001. Among his books are The Flight: Confessions of an Argentine Dirty Warrior (New Press, 2005) and The Silence: from Paulo VI to Bergoglio, the secret links between the Church and the Navy Mechanics School (Buenos Aires, Editorial Sudamericana, 2005), which uncovers the assistance and protection that the Catholic Church gave to Argentina’s brutal military dictatorship.

Another founder of the OAS describes Grasset as “a true soldier-monk, a virulent anti-communist, who became the spiritual guide of the OAS. Thanks to him and the Cité Catholique network, of which he was one of the mainstays, several of the OAS leaders managed to find refuge abroad, particularly in Argentina”.

Jean Gardes reached Argentina in 1963. Forty years later, his daughter Florence showed the French journalist Marie-Monique Robin the notes her father had made. They show that, in March 1963, a naval lieutenant commander called Roussillon offered Gardes a deal: he would arrange Argentine government protection so that Gardes could settle in Neuquén; in exchange, he would deliver a series of lectures in the Navy Mechanics School on the counter-subversive techniques developed in France’s colonial wars.

Gardes, who soon established a small factory making paté de foie in Neuquén, did not ask to be paid or to have a fixed post, but only wanted to be an adviser. Gardes’ notes, as conserved by his daughter, coincide with those of the file on naval officer Federico Lucas Roussillon.

In 1955, the then Lieutenant Roussillon took part in the Catholic nationalist movement led by Eduardo Lonardi, which overthrew President Juan Domingo Perón. One of Lonardi’s general staff was Major Juan Francisco Guevara, who proposed that the password the conspirators should use should be: “God is Just”. By 1963 Roussillon was a member of the Naval Intelligence Service; he retired with the rank of captain in 1979, as Cardinal Caggiano was approaching the end of his life.

Soon after Gardes met Roussillon, the cadets at the Navy Mechanics School were also introduced to the world of counter-revolutionary warfare. In one of their courses they were shown the film The Battle of Algiers, an Italian-Algerian co-production made by the communist director Gillo Pontecorvo with the intention of exposing the methods used in Algeria by the French colonial army.

The film was subsequently used in counter-insurgency classes in Argentina and the United States to teach those same methods. The naval chaplain introduced the film and added a commentary from the religious point of view. Thirty-five years later, two of the cadets described the experience to Marie-Monique Robin:

Did the chaplain justify the methods used in The Battle of Algiers?

Anibal Acosta: Absolutely.

Including torture?

Julio César Urien: Yes. Torture was seen not as a moral problem but as a weapon.

Anibal Acosta: Part of the Catholic hierarchy supported this kind of practice. They showed us that film to prepare us for a kind of war very different from the regular war we had entered the Navy School for. They were preparing us for police missions against the civilian population, who became our new enemy.

The first edition of Le Marxisme-leninisme to be published outside France appeared in Buenos Aires on 6 February 1961, translated and annotated by Juan Francisco Guevara (now a colonel) and with a prologue written by Cardinal Caggiano, who thanks the “men of La ciudad catolica of Argentina” for publishing Ousset’s book.

Marxism, continues Caggiano, is born of the negation of Christ and his Church, “put into practice by the Revolution”. He affirms that Ousset’s book is a training tool for the “fight to the death” to which “all the peoples of the western world, America and those in Asia who are still resisting, are in grave, imminent danger of falling victim”.

According to Caggiano, it is necessary to “prepare for the decisive battle” even though the enemies have not yet “taken up arms”. As often happens in a continent that imports ideas, the doctrine of annihilation preceded that of the revolutionary uprising. In order to reinforce his idea of a holy war, Caggiano compared this vigil to the one that preceded the 1571 battle of Lepanto “to save Europe from domination by the Turk”. The book includes a list of the papal bulls condemning communism; they were the cross which kept Satan at bay.

In October 1961, Caggiano and the then president of Argentina, Arturo Frondizi inaugurated the first course on counter-revolutionary warfare in the Higher Military College. One of the tasks set in the course was to explain this quotation from the bishop of Verden, Dietrick von Nieken in 1411:

    “When the existence of the Church is threatened, it is no longer bound by the commandments of morality. When unity is the aim, all means are justified: deceit, treachery, violence, usury, prison and death. Because order serves the good of the community, and the individual has to be sacrificed for the common good.”

Among the advisers for this course were the French colonels Robert Bentresque and Jean Nougues; among its instructors were priests such as Victorio Bonamín, whom Caggiano had chosen as his associate in the military vicariate general. At the start of the course, the director of the Higher Military College explained that it would be dealing with a new kind of warfare “which we could call ‘internal warfare’”, to be fought “without concern for the means, or scruples, or ethical principles”.

This warfare knew no boundaries. Among the enemies were demagoguery, immorality, vices of all kinds, and low passions, all of which were employed “through the dialectic of communist action” in order to create “confusion and contradictions”. Caggiano, who attended the ceremony at Frondizi’s right hand, gave his blessing and invoked God’s aid so that the military might “discover the true path to defend the peace of our nations”. As usual, Grasselli was at his side. A few months later, Frondizi was overthrown, accused of being too tolerant towards communism.

The Island

When the photographer Marcelo Camilo Hernández, who had been forced to work as a laboratory technician in the Navy Mechanics School, went to the federal police to renew his passport, the navy task force kept his enrolment papers. They used the number and all his personal details to fake a new national identity document. Hernández left Argentina in mid-January 1979.

A fortnight later, the navy task force used his fake identity document to purchase El Silencio, an island a few metres from the mouth of the Chaná Miní river, where a huge coastguard detachment is based. The signature on the deed of sale is not that of the real Hernandez and there appears to have been no attempt even to make it look similar. This was how the navy got possession of the place it needed to hide the prisoners while the Inter-American Human Rights Commission was visiting Argentina.

According to the deed of transfer, the vendor of El Silencio was Emilio Teodoro Grasselli, secretary to the Military Vicar-General, who was well aware of what went on in the dictatorship’s clandestine concentration camps.

Grasselli had bought the island from Antonio Arbelaiz, a long-serving official of the curia (the papal civil service) who had been appointed diocesan administrator in 1966. It was said of Arbelaiz’s service in the curia: “Bishops come and go, but Arbelaiz remains”.

Every year, he would invite the priests and seminarians of the archdiocese to El Silencio for a classic barbecue. In his will, drawn up shortly after his appointment as diocesan administrator, he bequeathed everything to the archbishopric of the city of Buenos Aires, including the proceeds from the sale of the island.

Grasselli admitted that Arbelaiz had sold the island “to some friends of mine”. He claimed that they were motor-boat builders who needed a place to test, and that he himself had merely acted as an intermediary because he had worked with Arbelaiz in the curia. But the documentary evidence shows he was part of the group that bought it.

The deal was signed on 26 September 1975. Title deed Number 205 shows that Arbelaiz sold the island to Grasselli and his associates at a price equivalent to $21,350. The purchasers paid half the total amount, and guaranteed payment of the rest by mortgaging the island. Arbelaiz died in June 1976. Under the terms of his will, the curia was owed the other half of the agreed price, but on 28 November 1978 the curia asked for the mortgage to be cancelled and the land registry to be informed that “the entire sum has now been paid”. Did they already know of the transaction that was to take place two months later?

Jorge Alfredo Regenjo, one of the longest-standing residents of the Tigre, had worked as caretaker at El Silencio. He recalls that in 1979 the place became the property of someone called Señor Ríos. He saw coastguard launches arriving carrying 40-50 people. Some of the local inhabitants thought that Ríos was a colonel who worked in the presidential residence.

A boat contractor described how Archbishop Aramburu used to contract one of his launches to take people to the island. The cardinal would arrive in the morning, have a barbecue on El Silencio, then return to the city or to his residence in Olivos.

When questioned by the judicial authorities about the island and the concentration camp there, Grasselli said he had never met Marcelo Camilo Hernández. And perhaps he had not: whilst Hernández was out of Argentina, his father went to see a magistrate and declared that his son had never either bought or sold the island. Others did so by falsely assuming his identity.

In 1980, Hernández’s identity document was used yet again, this time to sell the island to Mario Pablo Verone, a member of Lande Ltd, an import-export company, who is the current owner. He paid $35,000 for it. A curious detail: there is no record of a deposit having changed hands, and the vendor declared that he had been paid before the contract was signed. A comparison with Hernández’s handwriting on a power of attorney he left for his father before leaving Argentina confirms that his signature was forged.

The deed states that the vendors and the purchaser signed the document in the presence of the notary Rubens N Larumbe Sepic. Both transactions, 1979 and 1980, were carried out in his office. But the notary says he has no recollection of any of the persons involved, and refers everything to what appears on the public documents he signed. Both Grasselli and his associates maintain that a “Señor Ríos” carried out the operation on behalf of Hernández. In other words, it was performed by Jorge Radice, the person responsible for all the real-estate business in which the Navy School was involved.

Christmas 1979

At the end of August, a guard told Basterra, a prisoner at the Navy Mechanical School, that he was going to be taken somewhere else. He was transferred, wearing handcuffs, shackles and a hood, in the middle of the night (of either 4 or 5 September), on board a Swat vehicle containing bunks for the periods of waiting prior to the kidnapping and torture of any new victim.

Basterra thought they were going to kill him. Beneath the hood, he tried to decipher the meaning of every sound he heard. As dogs barked, they took him to open ground by the river. He heard the guards’ weapons, their jokes about firing at a house where they saw light, the blows on the canvas of a boat onto which he was being carried. “I was stuck up against a piece of metal which dug into my shoulder. Each time I moved because of the pain, I was beaten with a rifle butt”.

He was never able to identify the spot where he spent the next month. “They put us in a very damp room, the water tasted bad, there was a rotten smell, and all of us fell ill”. The guards used walkie-talkies to speak to each other, and a radio to communicate with the Navy School. Among the prisoners detained with him were Brodsky; Lepiscopo; Enrique Ardeti; Villaflor’s wife, sister and brother-in-law; and Norma Cozzi and her partner.

    “They put us in the lower half of a house built on stilts that had been bricked in to make a room. It was an enclosed space with no ventilation, and several prisoners fainted from the heat. Then they opened the door. There was a tremendous stampede because a neighbour went by and saw us. We never found out what had happened to that neighbour, but we heard shouts and several shots.”

The guards were in the upper half of the house. One night after they had drunk too much they terrified the prisoners down below by stamping loudly on the wooden floor of their room, which was the prisoners’ ceiling.

Despite all the testimonies, Grasselli denied that there were ever any people kept prisoner on the island. “I don’t see how it could have been possible, because they were raised wooden floors. The house was small and very uncomfortable, so how could they keep people there, anybody could have escaped”. In addition, “there is no proper security there, how could they guard them? And besides, the passenger launch passes by in front of the house, it’s very visible”. This sounds like the judgment of a jailer rather than a priest.

Norma Cozzi met Josefina Villaflor, and, in this miserable hovel on the island, became friendly with her mother-in-law, La gallega Martínez. “She was a very intelligent girl, but she looked very ill. She had no idea what had happened to her husband”.

On the island, Norma Cozzi was able to talk to her aunt without any witnesses. During a stroll in the sun, Thelma Jara de Cabezas told her that they had killed Raimundo Villaflor in the Navy School. When she returned to the bricked-off room, Norma could not bring herself to tell this to La Gallega because she was worried that she might lose control and be killed by the guards. But she did tell Enrique Ardeti, another leading member of the Popular Armed Forces (Fap), known as Fatty Ramón. “For two days, he couldn’t speak. All he did was sleep. On the third day, he talked to Villaflor’s wife and sister. La Gallega took it very badly. She asked for tranquillisers, and spent the first days after hearing the news in a stupor”.

They learnt from their guards that there was another group of prisoners on the island who were not kept with hoods or shackles. These were prisoners who had been kept a long time and had adapted. These were the ones who had been brought in a navy bus like students on an outing. They later met one of them when he was brought to their house as a punishment for insulting a member of the task force. Because of the foul smell, their guards used to shackle them and then go off and leave them, so they were able to talk to each other. To lift their spirits, Basterra told them stories. This was how they spent their month on the island.

One of those in this larger group was Carlos Muñoz, who had been captured by the Navy School task force in November 1978. His process of recuperation had started three months later. He was obliged to forge identity documents in the navy workshops in order to save his life and to recover increasing amounts of freedom.

At first he was allowed to see his family again, in very occasional visits and always accompanied by navy personnel. Afterwards the visits became more frequent, and he was allowed to come and go on his own, and to sleep outside the Navy School at weekends. On Monday mornings, he had to present himself at a bar opposite the Navy School, and telephone from there using a code so that a car could pick him up and bring him back to the workshop. Muñoz also states that in the house on the island where he stayed, those prisoners who had got furthest in this “recuperation process” lived in normal conditions, without shackles or hoods.

Another member of this group was Enrique Fuckman, known as Cachito. The police had killed his 17-year-old younger brother in 1977, after he had been chased in the street and finished off when he fell to the ground injured. Both of them were Montoneros activists. Fuckman was kidnapped in November 1978 at the age of 22, and went through the whole cycle of the Navy School. When the prisoners were transferred to the island, he was working in the archive. He was among the first group of prisoners taken to El Silencio.

The prisoners in the larger house had a daily routine. They got up at 7am, had breakfast, and then were put to work. The men were given machetes to clear the land. The guards cut down poplars and willow trees with a chainsaw. The prisoners stripped the trunks and carried them to the water’s edge, where a launch came to pick up the timber. They also gathered leaves to make rope with. The navy personnel sold all this production.

The head of the task force, Captain Horacio Estrada, once said jokingly that the man who bought the timber saw the prisoners and thought they were workmen. He asked how they were paid, and when Estrada told him they got an hourly rate, he replied: “They’re taking the piss, boss. They should produce much more”.

While the men were dealing with the timber, the women did the house-cleaning and prepared food. They used water that had been made drinkable thanks to the use of four fibro-cement tanks suspended in a metal tower. As the water passed through narrow tubes between the four tanks, it became purified. An architect had designed the filter, using sand; he had been freed in 1978, and been recalled after the task force bought the island.

There was also time for leisure. One day a guard called Giba blew on his whistle and ordered: “4 o’clock: game of volleyball, insurgents versus lawfuls”.

“We got together and agreed – we have to lose this game without them realising it”, says Cachito. They carried out their plan without too much trouble. But when the game finished, Giba shouted again: “Now for the return match”. The umpire was Cachito. “You should have seen us. We were barefoot or in rubber boots. They had on their Fred Perry or Lacoste T-shirts, and were wearing Adidas running shoes”. Each team had their supporters to cheer them on: on one side the guards, known as the Greens because of the colour of their uniforms, on the other the prisoners who weren’t in the team.

This time something went wrong, and the result was the opposite. “We didn’t win it, they lost it”, according to a prisoner called Lorkipanidse. A guard called Peyón then ordered them to play the decider, and all their plans went out of the window. “Our blood was up, and we killed ourselves trying to beat them. Peyón was furious. He snatched the whistle from Cachito and took over as judge. He cheated, but they still lost. When the game was over, we took it out on them. We sang We are the Champions to the music of the Peronist march”.

Reprisals were harsh, but not as bad as they had been expecting. One of the prisoners was sent to the punishment hole under the floor of the smaller house for insulting a guard during the game. “The next day they made us get up at five o’clock, gave us no breakfast, and sent us off to haul logs with snakes all around us”.

“We were given machetes to do the work with, but they had rifles. One day the neighbour from across the channel opened the door to the downstairs of the small house. The guards rushed out with all their hardware”. The shots heard that day were fired by the marine known as Fatty Tomás, who was shooting ducks with his Ithaka rifle.

What did the neighbours, whose life was going on as normal, know about this group; what did people for whom time had not stopped hear and see of the prisoners?

Their comments reached the socialist leader Fernando Barberini, who had a daughter among the disappeared. When the dictatorship was over, Barberini passed them on to the Radical congressman Alberto Firpo. The two men began an investigation which ended in a lawsuit.

A sergeant in the Buenos Aires police lived opposite El Silencio. His wife’s curiosity was aroused by the large sacks she saw on the coastguard launches, the way helicopters flew low overhead without ever landing, and the sound of gunshots she heard from time to time. What she found most curious was the difference between the number of people arriving and those leaving.

Yet, when the investigating magistrate asked her to testify, she denied all knowledge of any large bundles being shifted. She agreed there had been a helicopter, and said that a coastguard launch had brought about 50 people to the island, some of them women. Some of the people worked, others sunbathed. The gunshots were target practice. Nothing in particular caught her attention.

The owner of the general store in Paraná Miní and Tuyú Paré saw the inhabitants of El Silencio arrive in groups. There was always someone in charge, although it was not always the same person. They played cards, drank, and talked a lot, until their chief shut them up. They bought lots of foodstuffs, always the best, and did not mind how much it cost. He never saw anyone in uniform, but coastguard launches did berth at the island’s landing-stage.

The coastguard station had a football pitch. A team from the coastguards and some locals used to play against another from El Silencio. The Chaná Miní hospital is opposite the station. The policeman’s wife told the doctor on duty there that she had seen 59 moving bundles. Then someone from El Silencio warned her that if she carried on talking, they would chop her head off and feed it to the catfish. Perhaps that is why, as a general rule, nobody knew anything.

On 2-3 October 1979, the prisoners were taken back to the Navy Mechanics School. The Inter-American Human Rights Commission had finished its inspection, without finding anything it was looking for.
Horacio Verbitsky is a leading Argentinean investigative journalist. He was given an International Press Freedom Award by the Committee to Protect Journalists in 2001. Among his books is The Silence: from Paulo VI to Bergoglio, the secret links between the Church and the Navy Mechanics School (2005) and The Flight: Confessions of an Argentine Dirty Warrior (New Press, 2005).
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joeb
May 4, 2007
Kent State, Gov. Rhodes and the FBI
Why Four Died in Ohio

By BOB FITRAKIS

Ten days after Governor James A. Rhodes assumed office on January 14, 1963, a Cincinnati FBI agent wrote Director J. Edgar Hoover a memo stating:

"At this moment he [Rhodes] is busier than a one-armed paper hanger . . . . Consequently, I do not plan to establish contact with him for a few months. We will have no problem with him whatsoever. He is completely controlled by an SAC [Special Agent in Charge] contact, and we have full assurances that anything we need will be made available promptly. Our experience proves this assertion."

Why would the FBI assert that the newly-inaugurated governor of Ohio is "completely controlled"? Media sources like Life magazine noted the governor's alleged ties to organized crime and the Mafia in specific. Gov. Rhodes' FBI file, obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request, suggests that it may be because of the FBI's extensive knowledge of Rhodes' involvement in the numbers rackets in the late 1930's that the Bureau could count on his cooperation. FBI declassified material suggests that the Bureau's extensive influence over Governor Rhodes, perhaps due to their knowledge of his ties to the numbers rackets, may have played a role in the Governor's hard line law and order tactics that led to the deaths of four students at Kent State in 1970.

A November 19, 1963 FBI memo, again from a Cincinnati agent to Director Hoover, outlines specific allegations from a Bureau's confidential informant about Rhodes' involvement in the numbers racket between 1936-38. The informant, a bagman for local organized crime, gave detailed information about pick ups at a cigar store located between Buttles and Goodale Avenues reportedly owned by Rhodes' sister. Rhodes purportedly was running the gambling operation. Years ago, a Dispatch reporter told the Free Press that the governor had run a gambling operation in the Short North, called Jimmy's Place.

As Rhodes assumed public office, first as a Columbus School Board member, and later as the Mayor of the city, he began to make overtures to Director Hoover. In a February 1949 letter, Mayor Rhodes invited Hoover to sit on the advisory board of the All- American Newspaper Boys Sports Scholarships organization. Hoover declined. Rhodes thanked him and then invited him to address a banquet for the National Newspaper Boys Association in August of 1949. Hoover again declined.

Two years later, Rhodes was again attempting to contact Hoover. On July 27, 1951, Rhodes called the FBI director's office and at first refused to speak to Hoover's assistant L.B. Nichols. When told that the director was in "travel status," Rhodes explained the important nature of his call. He wanted "to invite the director to attend a celebrity golf tournament, . . . since its benefits were to go to youth organizations and he knew of the director's interest in youth work." Nichols declined on behalf of Hoover.

Finally, Rhodes persistence paid off. Rhodes and his wife were given a special tour of the FBI building in Washington D.C. on January 19, 1953. "During the tour Mr. Rhodes stated he wanted to say with all possible sincerity that during all these years he has had continued and absolute faith in one government agency ñ the FBI," reads the 1963 memo.

The "completely controlled" memo showed great sympathy to Rhodes' youthful gambling enterprise: "It is understandable that Rhodes has previously said that it was necessary during the Depression to do many things to keep body and soul together and to provide food for existence." Although the FBI fails to point out that Rhodes came from an affluent family who paid his way at Ohio State University during the Depression.

The memo goes on to describe Rhodes in the following manner: "He is a friend of law enforcement and believes in honest, hard- hitting law enforcement. He respects and admires FBI."

Moreover, the agency recommended taking "no further action" against Governor Rhodes and his alleged ties to the gambling racket since, "persons very close to him, such as SAC contact Robert H. Wolfe, Publisher, the Columbus Dispatch, speak very highly of Rhodes and his personal attributes. Wolfe knows Rhodes well and was an active financier of the campaign of Rhodes . . . ."

The SAC of the Cincinnati office took special interest in Rhodes' first election as governor. Incumbent Governor Michael V. Disalle had hired a former FBI agent to investigate and dig up dirt on Rhodes: "We have arranged with friendly newspaper contacts to endeavor to avoid any headline or other prominent mention of the former FBI status of [deleted]."

Following Rhodes' 1962 election, the FBI described the governor-elect in the following terms: "Rhodes is a Bureau friend of long standing. Our first contact of record was in November, 1943." The memo goes on to record that, "On June 18, 1945, the SAC of Cincinnati transmitted a news clipping from the 'Columbus Dispatch' of 6-7-45 indicating that Mayor Rhodes urged the establishment of a Bureau field office at Columbus." Rhodes is portrayed as very "active and very friendly toward the Bureau." Later FBI files would not include these early contacts between the FBI and Rhodes.

The Bureau does detail one obvious connection between Rhodes and organized crime in Columbus: "One informant stated that the gambling element in Columbus has made a great effort to influence Mayor Rhodes to permit open gambling in the city but without success. In 1949, however, it was noted that the informants alleged that Rhodes did not interfere with the 'numbers racket' as apparently he was still interested in the colored vote."

In July of 1963, a memo from the Cincinnati office on the subject of "Communist Speakers on College Campuses" noted that "Governor James A. Rhodes has signed into law legislation authorizing the trustees of any state-operated college or university to bar from using campus facility any person that they wish to bar."

The SAC in charge of the Cincinnati Bureau wrote Hoover on October 9, 1967 to relay a conversation he had with Rhodes three days earlier regarding the civil unrest and riots that had rocked the nation during the summer of 1967. "During the conference, we discussed matters of mutual interest, particularly civil disorders and the high crime rate. The Governor told me that he would extend his full facilities, and he is all for stopping racial discord the moment it starts. He revealed that his plan is to immediately deploy troops and/the state patrol as soon as trouble arises," the memo states.

The Cincinnati SAC concludes, "Our relationship with the Governor is of the highest order and he assured me that we can expect full cooperation from the State of Ohio on any matter of mutual concern."

By the mid-1960s, the CIA and the FBI were working together through the National Security Agency (NSA) to spy on radical groups and harass peace organizations. The FBI's operation was known as COINTELPRO. The CIA's was Operation CHAOS.

In 1967, declassified government documents reveal that CIA Director Richard Helms, Hoover and President Lyndon Johnson believed that the domestic protest movements against the Vietnam War were being orchestrated by the Communist governments in Moscow, Peking, Havana and Hanoi.

Governor Rhodes used former SAC Ed Mason as an intermediary in an attempt to meet with Hoover on March 25, 1968. The FBI memo on the matter reads, "He formerly served as mayor of Columbus, Ohio and is a good friend of [deleted] of the 'Columbus
Dispatch.'"

The FBI memo said, "SAC, Cincinnati advises that Rhodes has been extremely cooperative." Surprisingly, "there's no indication that Governor Rhodes has ever met Mr. Hoover and he has not received an autographed photograph."

Less than year before the tragic shootings at Kent State, the SAC of the Cincinnati Bureau sent Hoover a memo detailing Rhodes' attitude towards civil unrest: "He personally feels that the Director is the outstanding American and that he is the only person who has consistently opposed those persons who would subvert our government. He feels that the Director's stated position of dealing firmly with these groups is the only sensible method."

"He [Rhodes] commented on the riots and unrest which have occurred repeatedly and said that some of this might well have been avoided if the Director's warnings and advice had been followed. In Ohio, he has not hesitated to use the National Guard to deal with these situations and has instructed the Guard to act quickly and firmly. He feels that this is the only way to maintain law and order, and that the maintenance of law and order is the only way our government can survive," the memo records.

On May 4, 1970, Sandra Scheuer, Jeffrey Miller, Allison Krause and William Schroeder were shot dead by the Ohio National Guard at Kent State. Numerous investigative accounts have alleged that the FBI was involved in the burning of the campus ROTC building, which led to the deaths of the students.

The SAC in Cincinnati paid a "courtesy call" on Governor Rhodes 18 days after the shootings. Governor Rhodes informed the FBI agent that he intended to keep the Ohio State University campus open, despite what some historians regard as one of the largest student riots in U.S. history. ". . . He [Rhodes] intends to mobilize sufficient members of the Ohio National Guard (ONG) to accomplish this, 'even if he has to put a guard in every classroom,'" the memo reads.

The Governor blamed the unrest on outside agitators and "commented that of the upwards of 100 persons arrested on May 21 and May 22, 1970, only a few were OSU students. . ." the memo notes. The FBI memo cites that of the 78 arrests, 35 were OSU students and two OSU employees, even though the majority of the arrests were made off-campus.

". . . the Governor also referred to the current investigation at Kent State University (KSU) and commented that he felt this would present an excellent opportunity for the Department of Justice, through some detailed statement to the news media after the investigation is completed, to get to the public the true story of campus agitation and to identify the organizers of the violence. The Governor appeared somewhat concerned at the possibility that members of the Ohio National Guard might finally end up being charged with an offense in connection to the shooting of the students at Kent," the memo stated, "He commented at one point that if the ONG members were indicted in regards to this matter that he felt a million dollars should be spent to defend them, if necessary."

The memo also records for history that, "The Governor commented several times on the close relationship he has enjoyed with the Bureau locally and as a whole."

Critics have long charged that the FBI deliberately covered up information about those responsible for ordering the Kent State shootings. A tape was recently released revealing what appears to be an order to shoot at Kent State. FBI declassified docouments strongly suggest that the FBI's extensive influence over Governor Rhodes, perhaps due to their knowledge of his ties to organized crime and the numbers rackets, may have played a key role in the Governor's violent and repressive tactics that led to death of four students at Kent State in 1970.
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joeb
see link for full story
http://www.accuracy.org/release/31381/

Launch of Campaign to Revoke Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize
April 2, 2013


A campaign for revoking President Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize got underway today with a petition launched by a quarter-million member online group.

The petition, initiated by RootsAction.org, can be viewed along with a real-time tally of signers and their comments at: http://act.rootsaction.org/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=7647

Noting that the Obama administration “has widened the use of drones and other instruments of remote killing in several countries,” RootsAction said in a mass email today that “President Obama has made perpetual war look more perpetual than ever.”

Obama accepted the Nobel award 40 months ago with a December 2009 speech in Oslo.

The following policy analysts are available for interviews:

LEAH BOLGER
Bolger, CDR, USN (Ret), is past president of Veterans for Peace. She said today: “When the Nobel Committee gave the Peace Prize to President Obama in 2009, for ‘his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples,’ many criticized that decision, calling it premature and politically motivated. President Carter, himself a Nobel Laureate, called the decision ‘a bold statement of international support for his vision and commitment to peace and harmony in international relations.’ Since then, President Obama has emphatically disproven Carter’s belief by dramatically escalating the war in Afghanistan, killing thousands of innocent people with illegal drone strikes in Pakistan and elsewhere, and continuing to hold prisoners at Guantanamo.

Bolger added: “The Nobel Committee has deeply diminished the prize by awarding it to Obama in the first place; it is now obvious . . . that they made a serious mistake. The Committee needs to revoke the prize in order to restore its value.”

COLEEN ROWLEY
Rowley, a former FBI special agent and legal counsel in the Minneapolis field office, wrote a “whistleblower” memo in May 2002 and testified to the Senate Judiciary Committee about some of the FBI’s pre-9/11 failures. She says that the influential Nobel Committee Secretary Geir Lundestad “has repeatedly but unsuccessfully attempted to explain how it is to be expected that the 2009 recipient Obama would be engaged in two wars as leader of the world’s ‘superpower.’ So, how can the Prize continue to inspire peacemaking when it no longer is in keeping with Alfred Nobel’s original intent but instead has been turned on its head to promote militarism and war?”

Rowley also commented: “During the last five years the dispute over the implementation of Nobel’s prize for the ‘champions of peace’ has come to a head. The Norwegian awarders seem to reinterpret Nobel’s wishes and award the prize for whatever in their judgment is good and valuable, based on their own ‘broad concept of peace.’”

Rowley retired from the FBI in 2004 and is now a public speaker and writer. She interviewed Nobel Secretary Lundestad a year ago, when he was in Minnesota for the “Nobel Peace Forum.” For background, see Rowley’s 2012 Huffington Post article “Nothing ‘Purist’ — Just Everything Hypocritical About Awarding Nobel ‘Peace’ Prize to Promote Western Militarism”

NORMAN SOLOMON
Solomon, who wrote the book “War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death,” is founding director of the Institute for Public Accuracy and co-founder of RootsAction.org. He said today: “If President Obama is to remain as a Nobel Peace Prize winner, then Bernie Madoff may as well be Financial Planner of the Year.”
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joeb
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http://www.wnd.com/2013/04/the-growing-militarization-of-u-s-police/


The growing militarization of U.S. police
Thousands of SWAT-type raids changing face of law enforcement



As politicians exploit the Newtown tragedy to promote new laws to restrict firearms and implement universal background checks that could lead to gun registration and confiscation, another parallel trend– namely, the increasing militarization of law enforcement, most visibly demonstrated by the growing use of massive, SWAT-type raids on businesses and individuals, sometimes with federal involvement or authorization – is heightening concerns that America is moving toward a police state.

Mountain Pure SWAT raid: The Movie

Mountain Pure Water, LLC is headquartered on Interstate 30 just outside the town of Little Rock, Arkansas. The company manufactures and distributes beverage containers, spring water, fruit drinks, and teas. In January 2012, about 50 federal agents, led by Small Business Administration Office of Inspector General Special Agent Cynthia Roberts and IRS Special Agent Bobbi Spradlin, swooped in, guns drawn. Without explanation they shut down plant operations, herded employees into the cafeteria, and confined them to the room for hours. They could not so much as use the bathroom without police escort. Cell phones were confiscated and all Internet and company phones were disabled.

Plant Manager Court Stacks was at his desk when police burst through his office door, guns drawn and pointed at him—a thoroughly unprofessional violation of basic firearms discipline in this circumstance, and the cause of numerous accidental SWAT killings.

According to Mountain Pure CEO John Stacks, the search warrant was related to questions about an SBA loan he secured through the Federal Emergency Management Agency to recover tornado losses to his home, warehouse and associated equipment. Stacks says the SBA apparently doesn’t believe that assets listed as damaged in the storm were actually damaged.

The search warrant was extremely vague and some agents’ actions may have been illegal, according to company attorney, Timothy Dudley. Comptroller Jerry Miller was taken to a private room and interrogated for over three hours by SBA Special Agent Cynthia Roberts, the raid leader. He requested an attorney and was told, “That ain’t gonna happen.” According to Miller, the SBA unilaterally changed the terms of Stacks’ loan. He says he asked Roberts what gave the SBA authority to do that, and that she responded, “We’re the federal government, we can do what we want, when we want, and there is nothing you can do about it.” Miller said during the raid Roberts “strutted around the place like she was Napoleon.”

Stacks said the company has had three IRS audits in the past three years, including one following the raid, with no problems. The SBA has still not filed any charges, continues to stonewall about the raid’s purpose, and refuses to release most of the property seized during the raid.

Quality Assurance Director Katy Depriest, who doubles as the company crisis manager, described agents’ “Gestapo tactics.” She added that they confiscated CDs of college course work and educational materials for a class she had been taking that resulted in her flunking the course. Those materials have not yet been returned.

Attempts were made to contact Roberts for this article, but she is no longer employed by the SBA. Questions were directed to the Little Rock, Arkansas U.S. Attorney’s office. The USA’s public affairs officer had no comment; however they have convened a grand jury to evaluate the case.
Read more at http://www.wnd.com/2013/04/the-growing-militarization-of-u-s-police/#jXQP3sOruKxl04ic.99
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joeb
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http://www.counterpunch.org/2013/04/12/inhuman-radiation-experiments/

 April 12-14, 2013

Contaminated Nation
Inhuman Radiation Experiments
by JOHN LaFORGE

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the declassification of top secret studies, done over a period of 60 years, in which the US conducted 2,000 radiation experiments on as many as 20,000 vulnerable US citizens.[i]

Victims included civilians, prison inmates, federal workers, hospital patients, pregnant women, infants, developmentally disabled children and military personnel — most of them powerless, poor, sick, elderly or terminally ill. Eileen Welsome’s 1999 exposé The Plutonium Files: America’s Secret Medical Experiments in the Cold War details “the unspeakable scientific trials that reduced thousands of men, women, and even children to nameless specimens.”[ii]

The program employed industry and academic scientists who used their hapless patients or wards to see the immediate and short-term effects of radioactive contamination — with everything from plutonium to radioactive arsenic.[iii] The human subjects were mostly poisoned without their knowledge or consent.

An April 17, 1947 memo by Col. O.G. Haywood of the Army Corps of Engineers explained why the studies were classified. “It is desired that no document be released which refers to experiments with humans and might have adverse effect on public opinion or result in legal suits.”[iv]

In one Vanderbilt U. study, 829 pregnant women were unknowingly fed radioactive iron. In another, 188 children were given radioactive iron-laced lemonade. From 1963 to 1971, 67 inmates in Oregon and 64 prisoners in Washington had their testicles targeted with X-rays to see what doses made them sterile.[v]

At the Fernald State School, mentally retarded boys were fed radioactive iron and calcium but consent forms sent to parents didn’t mention radiation. Elsewhere psychiatric patients and infants were injected with radioactive iodine.[vi]

In a rare public condemnation, Clinton Administration Energy Sec. Hazel O’Leary confessed being aghast at the conduct of the scientists. She told Newsweek in 1994: “I said, ‘Who were these people and why did this happen?’ The only thing I could think of was Nazi Germany.”[vii] None of the victims were provided follow-on medical care.

Scientists knew from the beginning of the 20th century that radiation can cause genetic and cell damage, cell death, radiation sickness and even death. A Presidential Advisory Committee on Human Radiation Experiments was established in 1993 to investigate charges of unethical or criminal action by the experimenters. Its findings were published by Oxford U. Press in 1996 as The Human Radiation Experiments.

The abuse of X-radiation “therapy” was also conducted throughout the ’40s and ’50s. Everything from ringworm to tonsillitis was “treated” with X-radiation because the long-term risks were unknown or considered tolerable.

Children were routinely exposed to alarmingly high doses of radiation from devices like “fluoroscopes” to measure foot size in shoe stores.[viii]

Nasal radium capsules inserted in nostrils, used to attack hearing loss, are now thought to be the cause of cancers, thyroid and dental problems, immune dysfunction and more.[ix]

Experiments Spread Cancer Risks Far and Wide

In large scale experiments as late as 1985, the Energy Department deliberately produced reactor meltdowns which spewed radiation across Idaho and beyond.[x] The Air Force conducted at least eight deliberate meltdowns in the Utah desert, dispersing 14 times the radiation released by the partial meltdown of Three Mile Island in Pennsylvania in 1979.[xi]

The military even dumped radiation from planes and spread it across wide areas around and downwind of Oak Ridge, Tenn., Los Alamos, New Mexico, and Dugway, Utah. This “systematic radiation warfare program,” conducted between 1944 and 1961, was kept secret for 40 years.[xii]

“Radiation bombs” thrown from USAF planes intentionally spread radiation “unknown distances” endangering the young and old alike. One such experiment doused Utah with 60 times more radiation than escaped the Three Mile Island accident, according to Sen. John Glen, D-Ohio who released a report on the program 20 years ago.[xiii]

The Pentagon’s 235 above-ground nuclear bomb tests, and the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, are not officially listed as radiation experiments. Yet between 250,000 and 500,000 U.S. military personnel were contaminated during their compulsory participation in the bomb tests and the post-war occupation of Japan. [xiv]

Documents uncovered by the Advisory Committee show that the military knew there were serious radioactive fallout risks from its Nevada Test Site bomb blasts. The generals decided not to use a safer site in Florida, where fallout would have blown out to sea. “The officials determined it was probably not safe, but went ahead anyway,” said Pat Fitzgerald a scientist on the committee staff.[xv]

Dr. Gioacchino Failla, a Columbia University scientist who worked for the AEC, said at the time, “We should take some risk… we are faced with a war in which atomic weapons will undoubtedly be used, and we have to have some information about these things.”[xvi]

With the National Cancer Institute’s 1997 finding that all 160,000 million US citizens (in the country at the time of the bomb tests) were contaminated with fallout, it’s clear we did face war with atomic weapons — our own.

John LaForge works for the nuclear watchdog group Nukewatch in Wisconsin and edits its Quarterly newsletter.

Notes

[i] “Secret Radioactive Experiments to Bring Compensation by U.S.,” New York Times, Nov. 20, 1996

[ii] Eileen Welsome, The Plutonium Files,  Delta Books, 1999, dust jacket

[iii] Welsome, The Plutonium Files, p. 9

[iv] “Radiation tests kept deliberately secret,” Washington Post, Dec. 16, 1994; Geoffrey Sea, “The Radiation Story No One Would Touch,” Project Censored, March/April 1994

[v] Subcommittee on Energy Conservation and Power, “American Nuclear Guinea Pigs: Three Decades of Radiation Experiments on U.S. Citizens,” US Gov’t Printing Office, Nov. 1986, p. 2; St. Paul Pioneer, via New York Times, Jan. 4, 1994

[vi] “48 more human radiation experiments revealed, Minneapolis StarTribune, June 28, 1994; Milwaukee Journal, June 29, 1994

[vii] Newsweek, Dec. 27, 1994

[viii] Joseph Mangano, Mad Science: The Nuclear Power Experiment, OR Books, 2012, p. 36

[ix] “Nasal radium treatments of ’50s linked to cancer,” Milwaukee Journal, Aug. 31, 1994

[x] “Reactor core is melted in experiment,” Washington Post service, Milwaukee Journal, July 10, 1985

[xi] “Tests spewed radiation, paper reports,” AP, Milwaukee Journal, Oct. 11, 1994

[xii] “Secret U.S. experiments in ’40s and ’50s included dropping radiation from sky,” St. Paul Pioneer, Dec. 16, 1993

[xiii] Katherine Rizzo, Associated Press, “A bombshell: U.S. spread radiation,” Duluth News Tribune, Dec. 16, 1993

[xiv] Catherine Caufield, Multiple Exposures, p. 107; Greg Gordon in “Wellstone: Compensate atomic vets,” Minneapolis Star Tribune, Mach 17, 1995; Associated Press, “Panel Told of Exposure to Test Danger,” Tulsa World, Jan. 24, 1995

[xv] Philip Hilts, “Fallout Risk Near Atom Tests Was Known, Documents Show,” New York Times, March 15, 1995, p. A13; and Pat Ortmeyer, “Let Them Drink Milk,” Institute for Environmental & Energy Research, November 1997, pp. 3 & 11

[xvi] Philip J. Hilts, “Fallout Risk Near Atom Tests Was Known, Documents Show,” New York Times, March 15, 1995
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joeb

NEWS

Paranoid Shift

By Michael Hasty

January 10, 2004: (Online Journal) Just before his death, James Jesus Angleton, the legendary chief of counterintelligence at the Central Intelligence Agency, was a bitter man. He felt betrayed by the people he had worked for all his life. In the end, he had come to realize that they were never really interested in American ideals of "freedom" and "democracy." They really only wanted "absolute power."

Angleton told author Joseph Trento that the reason he had gotten the counterintelligence job in the first place was by agreeing not to submit "sixty of Allen Dulles' closest friends" to a polygraph test concerning their business deals with the Nazis. In his end-of-life despair, Angleton assumed that he would see all his old companions again "in hell."

The transformation of James Jesus Angleton from an enthusiastic, Ivy League cold warrior, to a bitter old man, is an extreme example of a phenomenon I call a "paranoid shift." I recognize the phenomenon, because something similar happened to me.

Although I don't remember ever meeting James Jesus Angleton, I worked at the CIA myself as a low-level clerk as a teenager in the '60s. This was at the same time I was beginning to question the government's actions in Vietnam. In fact, my personal "paranoid shift" probably began with the disillusionment I felt when I realized that the story of American foreign policy was, at the very least, more complicated and darker than I had hitherto been led to believe.

But for most of the next 30 years, even though I was a radical, I nevertheless held faith in the basic integrity of a system where power ultimately resided in the people, and whereby if enough people got together and voted, real and fundamental change could happen.

What constitutes my personal paranoid shift is that I no longer believe this to be necessarily true.

In his book, "Rogue State: A Guide to the World's Only Superpower," William Blum warns of how the media will make anything that smacks of "conspiracy theory" an immediate "object of ridicule." This prevents the media from ever having to investigate the many strange interconnections among the ruling class—for example, the relationship between the boards of directors of media giants, and the energy, banking and defense industries. These unmentionable topics are usually treated with what Blum calls "the media's most effective tool—silence." But in case somebody's asking questions, all you have to do is say, "conspiracy theory," and any allegation instantly becomes too frivolous to merit serious attention.

On the other hand, since my paranoid shift, whenever I hear the words "conspiracy theory" (which seems more often, lately) it usually means someone is getting too close to the truth.

Take September 11—which I identify as the date my paranoia actually shifted, though I didn't know it at the time.

Unless I'm paranoid, it doesn't make any sense at all that George W. Bush, commander-in-chief, sat in a second-grade classroom for 20 minutes after he was informed that a second plane had hit the World Trade Center, listening to children read a story about a goat. Nor does it make sense that the Number 2 man, Dick Cheney—even knowing that "the commander" was on a mission in Florida—nevertheless sat at his desk in the White House, watching TV, until the Secret Service dragged him out by the armpits.

Unless I'm paranoid, it makes no sense that Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld sat at his desk until Flight 77 hit the Pentagon—well over an hour after the military had learned about the multiple hijacking in progress. It also makes no sense that the brand-new chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff sat in a Senate office for two hours while the 9/11 attacks took place, after leaving explicit instructions that he not be disturbed—which he wasn't.

In other words, while the 9/11 attacks were occurring, the entire top of the chain of command of the most powerful military in the world sat at various desks, inert. Why weren't they in the "Situation Room?" Don't any of them ever watch "West Wing?"

In a sane world, this would be an object of major scandal. But here on this side of the paranoid shift, it's business as usual.

Years, even decades before 9/11, plans had been drawn up for American forces to take control of the oil interests of the Middle East, for various imperialist reasons. And these plans were only contingent upon "a catastrophic and catalyzing event, like a new Pearl Harbor," to gain the majority support of the American public to set the plans into motion. When the opportunity presented itself, the guards looked the other way . . . and presto, the path to global domination was open.

Simple, as long as the media played along. And there is voluminous evidence that the media play along. Number one on Project Censored's annual list of underreported stories in 2002 was the Project for a New American Century (now the infrastructure of the Bush Regime), whose report, published in 2000, contains the above "Pearl Harbor" quote.

Why is it so hard to believe serious people who have repeatedly warned us that powerful ruling elites are out to dominate "the masses?" Did we think Dwight Eisenhower was exaggerating when he warned of the extreme "danger" to democracy of "the military industrial complex?" Was Barry Goldwater just being a quaint old-fashioned John Bircher when he said that the Trilateral Commission was "David Rockefeller's latest scheme to take over the world, by taking over the government of the United States?" Were Teddy and Franklin Roosevelt or Joseph Kennedy just being class traitors when they talked about a small group of wealthy elites who operate as a hidden government behind the government? Especially after he died so mysteriously, why shouldn't we believe the late CIA Director William Colby, who bragged about how the CIA "owns everyone of any major significance in the major media?" 

Why can't we believe James Jesus Angleton—a man staring eternal judgment in the face—when he says that the founders of the Cold War national security state were only interested in "absolute power?" Especially when the descendant of a very good friend of Allen Dulles now holds power in the White House.

Prescott Bush, the late, aristocratic senator from Connecticut, and grandfather of George W Bush, was not only a good friend of Allen Dulles, CIA director, president of the Council on Foreign Relations, and international business lawyer. He was also a client of Dulles' law firm. As such, he was the beneficiary of Dulles' miraculous ability to scrub the story of Bush's treasonous investments in the Third Reich out of the news media, where it might have interfered with Bush's political career . . . not to mention the presidential careers of his son and grandson.

Recently declassified US government documents, unearthed last October by investigative journalist John Buchanan at the New Hampshire Gazette, reveal that Prescott Bush's involvement in financing and arming the Nazis was more extensive than previously known. Not only was Bush managing director of the Union Banking Corporation, the American branch of Hitler's chief financier's banking network; but among the other companies where Bush was a director—and which were seized by the American government in 1942, under the Trading With the Enemy Act—were a shipping line which imported German spies; an energy company that supplied the Luftwaffe with high-ethyl fuel; and a steel company that employed Jewish slave labor from the Auschwitz concentration camp.

Like all the other Bush scandals that have been swept under the rug in the privatized censorship of the corporate media, these revelations have been largely ignored, with the exception of a single article in the Associated Press. And there are those, even on the left, who question the current relevance of this information. 

But Prescott Bush's dealings with the Nazis do more than illustrate a family pattern of genteel treason and war profiteering—from George Senior's sale of TOW missiles to Iran at the same time he was selling biological and chemical weapons to Saddam Hussein, to Junior's zany misadventures in crony capitalism in present-day Iraq.

More disturbing by far are the many eerie parallels between Adolph Hitler and George W. Bush:

A conservative, authoritarian style, with public appearances in military uniform (which no previous American president has ever done while in office). Government by secrecy, propaganda and deception. Open assaults on labor unions and workers' rights. Preemptive war and militant nationalism. Contempt for international law and treaties. Suspiciously convenient "terrorist" attacks, to justify a police state and the suspension of liberties. A carefully manufactured image of "The Leader," who's still just a "regular guy" and a "moderate." "Freedom" as the rationale for every action. Fantasy economic growth, based on unprecedented budget deficits and massive military spending.

And a cold, pragmatic ideology of fascism—including the violent suppression of dissent and other human rights; the use of torture, assassination and concentration camps; and most important, Benito Mussolini's preferred definition of "fascism" as "corporatism, because it binds together the interests of corporations and the state."

By their fruits, you shall know them.

What perplexes me most is probably the same question that plagues most paranoiacs: why don't other people see these connections?

Oh, sure, there may be millions of us, lurking at websites like Online Journal, From the Wilderness, Center for Cooperative Research, and the Center for Research on Globalization, checking out right-wing conspiracists and the galaxy of 9/11 sites, and reading columnists like Chris Floyd at the Moscow Times, and Maureen Farrell at Buzzflash. But we know we are only a furtive minority, the human remnant among the pod people in the live-action, 21st-century version of "Invasion of the Body Snatchers."

And being paranoid, we have to figure out, with an answer that fits into our system, why more people don't see the connections we do. Fortunately, there are a number of possible explanations.

First on the list would have to be what Marshal McLuhan called the "cave art of the electronic age:" advertising. Joseph Goebbels, Hitler's Karl Rove, gave credit for most of his ideas on how to manipulate mass opinion to American commercial advertising, and to the then-new science of "public relations." But the public relations universe available to the corporate empire that rules the world today makes the Goebbels operation look primitive. The precision of communications technology and graphics; the century of research on human psychology and emotion; and the uniquely centralized control of triumphant post-Cold War monopoly capitalism, have combined to the point where "the manufacture of consent" can be set on automatic pilot.

A second major reason people won't make the paranoid shift is that they are too fundamentally decent. They can't believe that the elected leaders of our country, the people they've been taught through 12 years of public school to admire and trust, are capable of sending young American soldiers to their deaths and slaughtering tens of thousands of innocent civilians, just to satisfy their greed—especially when they're so rich in the first place. Besides, America is good, and the media are liberal and overly critical. 

Third, people don't want to look like fools. Being a "conspiracy theorist" is like being a creationist. The educated opinion of eminent experts on every TV and radio network is that any discussion of "oil" being a motivation for the US invasion of Iraq is just out of bounds, and anyone who thinks otherwise is a "conspiracy theorist." We can trust the integrity of our 'no-bid" contracting in Iraq, and anyone who thinks otherwise is a "conspiracy theorist." Of course, people sometimes make mistakes, but our military and intelligence community did the best they could on and before September 11, and anybody who thinks otherwise is a "conspiracy theorist."

Lee Harvey Oswald was the sole assassin of JFK, and anyone who thinks otherwise is a "conspiracy theorist."

Perhaps the biggest hidden reason people don't make the paranoid shift is that knowledge brings responsibility. If we acknowledge that an inner circle of ruling elites controls the world's most powerful military and intelligence system; controls the international banking system; controls the most effective and far-reaching propaganda network in history; controls all three branches of government in the world's only superpower; and controls the technology that counts the people's votes, we might be then forced to conclude that we don't live in a particularly democratic system. And then voting and making contributions and trying to stay informed wouldn't be enough. Because then the duty of citizenship would go beyond serving as a loyal opposition, to serving as a "loyal resistance"—like the Republicans in the Spanish Civil War, except that in this case the resistance to fascism would be on the side of the national ideals, rather than the government; and a violent insurgency would not only play into the empire's hands, it would be doomed from the start.

Forming a nonviolent resistance movement, on the other hand, might mean forsaking some middle class comfort, and it would doubtless require a lot of work. It would mean educating ourselves and others about the nature of the truly apocalyptic beast we face. It would mean organizing at the most basic neighborhood level, face to face. (We cannot put our trust in the empire's technology.) It would mean reaching across turf lines and transcending single-issue politics, forming coalitions and sharing data and names and strategies, and applying energy at every level of government, local to global. It would also probably mean civil disobedience, at a time when the Bush regime is starting to classify that action as "terrorism." In the end, it may mean organizing a progressive confederacy to govern ourselves, just as our revolutionary founders formed the Continental Congress. It would mean being wise as serpents, and gentle as doves.

It would be a lot of work. It would also require critical mass. A paradigm shift.

But as a paranoid, I'm ready to join the resistance. And the main reason is I no longer think that the "conspiracy" is much of a "theory."

That the US House of Representatives Select Committee on Assassinations concluded that the murder of John Fitzgerald Kennedy was "probably" the result of "a conspiracy," and that 70 percent of Americans agree with this conclusion, is not a "theory." It's fact.

That the Bay of Pigs fiasco, "Operation Zapata," was organized by members of Skull and Bones, the ghoulish and powerful secret society at Yale University whose membership also included Prescott, George Herbert Walker and George W Bush; that two of the ships that carried the Cuban counterrevolutionaries to their appointment with absurdity were named the "Barbara" and the "Houston"—George HW Bush's city of residence at the time—and that the oil company Bush owned, then operating in the Caribbean area, was named "Zapata," is not "theory." It's fact.

That George Bush was the CIA director who kept the names of what were estimated to be hundreds of American journalists, considered to be CIA "assets," from the Church Committee, the US Senate Intelligence Committe chaired by Senator Frank Church that investigated the CIA in the 1970s; that a 1971 University of Michigan study concluded that, in America, the more TV you watched, the less you knew; and that a recent survey by international scholars found that Americans were the most "ignorant" of world affairs out of all the populations they studied, is not a "theory." It's fact.

That the Council on Foreign Relations has a history of influence on official US government foreign policy; that the protection of US supplies of Middle East oil has been a central element of American foreign policy since the Second World War; and that global oil production has been in decline since its peak year, 2000, is not "theory." It's fact.

That, in the early 1970s, the newly-formed Trilateral Commission published a report which recommended that, in order for "globalization" to succeed, American manufacturing jobs had to be exported, and American wages had to decline, which is exactly what happened over the next three decades; and that, during that same period, the richest one percent of Americans doubled their share of the national wealth, is not "theory." It's fact.

That, beyond their quasi-public role as agents of the US Treasury Department, the Federal Reserve Banks are profit-making corporations, whose beneficiaries include some of America's wealthiest families; and that the United States has a virtual controlling interest in the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and the World Trade Organization, the three dominant global financial institutions, is not a "theory." It's fact.

That—whether it's heroin from Southeast Asia in the '60s and '70s, or cocaine from Central America and heroin from Afghanistan in the '80s, or cocaine from Colombia in the '90s, or heroin from Afghanistan today—no major CIA covert operation has ever lacked a drug smuggling component, and that the CIA has hired Nazis, fascists, drug dealers, arms smugglers, mass murderers, perverts, sadists, terrorists and the Mafia, is not "theory." It's fact.

That the international oil industry is the dominant player in the global economy; that the Bush family has a decades-long business relationship with the Saudi royal family, Saudi oil money, and the family of Osama bin Laden; that, as president, both George Bushes have favored the interests of oil companies over the public interest; that both George Bushes have personally profited financially from Middle East oil; and that American oil companies doubled their records for quarterly profits in the months just preceding the invasion of Iraq, is not "theory." It's fact.

That the 2000 presidential election was deliberately stolen; that the pro-Bush/anti-Gore bias in the corporate media had spiked markedly in the last three weeks of the campaign; that corporate media were then virtually silent about the Florida recount; and that the Bush 2000 team had planned to challenge the legitimacy of the election if George W had won the popular, but lost the electoral vote—exactly what happened to Gore—is not "theory." It's fact.

That the intelligence about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction was deceptively "cooked" by the Bush administration; that anybody paying attention to people like former UN weapons inspector Scott Ritter, knew before the invasion that the weapons were a hoax; and that American forces in Iraq today are applying the same brutal counterinsurgency tactics pioneered in Central America in the 1980s, under the direct supervision of then-Vice President George HW Bush, is not a "theory." It's fact.

That "Rebuilding America's Defenses," the Project for a New American Century's 2000 report, and "The Grand Chessboard," a book published a few years earlier by Trilateral Commission co-founder Zbigniew Brzezinski, both recommended a more robust and imperial US military presence in the oil basin of the Middle East and the Caspian region; and that both also suggested that American public support for this energy crusade would depend on public response to a new "Pearl Harbor," is not "theory." It's fact.

That, in the 1960s, the Joint Chiefs of Staff unanimously approved a plan called "Operation Northwoods," to stage terrorist attacks on American soil that could be used to justify an invasion of Cuba; and that there is currently an office in the Pentagon whose function is to instigate terrorist attacks that could be used to justify future strategically-desired military responses, is not a "theory." It's fact.

That neither the accusation by former British Environmental Minister Michael Meacham, Tony Blair's longest-serving cabinet minister, that George W Bush allowed the 9/11 attacks to happen to justify an oil war in the Middle East; nor the RICO lawsuit filed by 9/11 widow Ellen Mariani against Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and the Council on Foreign Relations (among others), on the grounds that they conspired to let the attacks happen to cash in on the ensuing war profiteering, has captured the slightest attention from American corporate media is not a "theory." It's fact.

That the FBI has completely exonerated—though never identified—the speculators who purchased, a few days before the attacks (through a bank whose previous director is now the CIA executive director), an unusual number of "put" options, and who made millions betting that the stocks in American and United Airlines would crash, is not a "theory." It's fact.

That the US intelligence community received numerous warnings, from multiple sources, throughout the summer of 2001, that a major terrorist attack on American interests was imminent; that, according to the chair of the "independent" 9/11 commission, the attacks "could have and should have been prevented," and according to a Senate Intelligence Committee member, "All the dots were connected;" that the White House has verified George W Bush's personal knowledge, as of August 6, 2001, that these terrorist attacks might be domestic and might involve hijacked airliners; that, in the summer of 2001, at the insistence of the American Secret Service, anti-aircraft ordnance was installed around the city of Genoa, Italy, to defend against a possible terrorist suicide attack, by aircraft, against George W Bush, who was attending the economic summit there; and that George W Bush has nevertheless regaled audiences with his first thought upon seeing the "first" plane hit the World Trade Center, which was: "What a terrible pilot," is not "theory." It's fact.

That, on the morning of September 11, 2001: standard procedures and policies at the nation's air defense and aviation bureaucracies were ignored, and communications were delayed; the black boxes of the planes that hit the WTC were destroyed, but hijacker Mohammed Atta's passport was found in pristine condition; high-ranking Pentagon officers had cancelled their commercial flight plans for that morning; George H.W. Bush was meeting in Washington with representatives of Osama bin Laden's family, and other investors in the world's largest private equity firm, the Carlyle Group; the CIA was conducting a previously-scheduled mock exercise of an airliner hitting the Pentagon; the chairs of both the House and Senate Intelligence Committees were having breakfast with the chief of Pakistan's intelligence agency, who resigned a week later on suspicion of involvement in the 9/11 attacks; and the commander-in-chief of the armed forces of the United States sat in a second grade classroom for 20 minutes after hearing that a second plane had struck the towers, listening to children read a story about a goat, is not "theoretical." These are facts.

That the Bush administration has desperately fought every attempt to independently investigate the events of 9/11, is not a "theory."

Nor, finally, is it in any way a "theory" that the one, single name that can be directly linked to the Third Reich, the US military industrial complex, Skull and Bones, Eastern Establishment good ol' boys, the Illuminati, Big Texas Oil, the Bay of Pigs, the Miami Cubans, the Mafia, the FBI, the JFK assassination, the New World Order, Watergate, the Republican National Committee, Eastern European fascists, the Council on Foreign Relations, the Trilateral Commission, the United Nations, CIA headquarters, the October Surprise, the Iran/Contra scandal, Inslaw, the Christic Institute, Manuel Noriega, drug-running "freedom fighters" and death squads, Iraqgate, Saddam Hussein, weapons of mass destruction, the blood of innocents, the savings and loan crash, the Bank of Credit and Commerce International, the "Octopus," the "Enterprise," the Afghan mujaheddin, the War on Drugs, Mena (Arkansas), Whitewater, Sun Myung Moon, the Carlyle Group, Osama bin Laden and the Saudi royal family, David Rockefeller, Henry Kissinger, and the presidency and vice-presidency of the United States, is: George Herbert Walker Bush. 

"Theory?" To the contrary.

It is a well-documented, tragic and—especially if you're paranoid—terrifying fact.

Michael Hasty is a writer, activist, musician, carpenter and farmer. His award-winning column, "Thinking Locally," appeared for seven years in the Hampshire Review, West Virginia's oldest newspaper. His writing has also appeared in the Highlands Voice, the Washington Peace Letter, the Takoma Park Newsletter, the German magazine Generational Justice, and the Washington Post; and at the websites Common Dreams and Democrats.com. In January 1989, he was the media spokesperson for the counter-inaugural coalition at George Bush's Counter-Inaugural Banquet, which fed hundreds of DC's homeless in front of Union Station, where the official inaugural dinner was being held.

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joeb
see link for full story

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/04/28/graham-says-fbi-should-confront-people-who-view-islamist-websites/


Graham says FBI should confront people who view ‘Islamist’ websites

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), appearing Sunday on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” said that he believes Americans would be made safer if Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) agents would physically confront non-criminals over their web surfing activities, especially if that person is on a watch list and has been looking at “Islamist” sites online.

Explaining that there were warning signs known to various U.S. law enforcement agencies that one of the accused Boston bombers may have been a threat, Graham said the attack was pulled off because of “a failure to share information and missing warning signs — we’re going back to the pre-9/11 stovepiping.”

He added that if someone federal agencies had received tips about “goes on the Internet for the whole world to see, to interact with radical Islamic websites, how do we miss that?”

“So, we’re going to have to up our game,” Graham continued. “When one of these guys goes into the system and then leaves the country, we need to make sure we know where they’re going and interview them. And when somebody in a database like this begins to openly interact with radical Islamist websites, an FBI agent should knock on his door and say, ‘You told us before you wanted to be an Olympic boxer, that you love this country. What the hell is going on here? We’re watching.’”

Graham’s comments illustrate not just the astonishing level of monitoring foreign nationals within the U.S. can be subjected to, but also the type of policing preferred by one of the Senate’s foremost advocates of drone bombing and the system of military justice set up by the Bush administration for terror war prisoners.

In the wake of the Boston Marathon attack, Graham has been adamantly calling for a more militarized response to domestic terrorism incidents, joining with fellow Sens. John McCain (R-AZ) and Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) to urge fellow lawmakers to expand the definition of terrorism so that anyone with a connection to “radical Islam” would automatically be classified as an “enemy combatant” with practically no legal rights.

Similarly, Graham has emerged as one of the Senate’s loudest voices on the Boston bombing, calling for the Obama administration to send the surviving suspect, 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, to a military prison despite any evidence that he or his brother were linked to a terrorist organization.

Former CIA Deputy Director Phillip Mudd, appearing on Fox News last week, took a position contrary to Graham’s, saying that Tsarnaev should be charged as a murderer instead of a terrorist. “This looks more to me like Columbine than it does al Qaeda,” he said. “Two kids who radicalized between themselves in a closed circle go out and commit murder. I would charge these guys as murders, not terrorists.”

Considering the militarized response to the Boston bombings, which involved massive surveillance, aerial drones with heat detection sensors and door-to-door searches that virtually shut the city down, it’s hard to imagine what Graham’s vision for a more overwhelming response would actually look like on the ground.

Still, it should be noted that authorities later credited the media for Tsarnaev’s capture, saying the turning point came when photos of the suspects were widely publicized on the Internet. The Obama administration has said that Tsarnaev will not be charged as an enemy combatant.

This video is from “Face the Nation,” aired Sunday, April 28, 2013.
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joeb
see link for full story

http://www.courthousenews.com/2013/05/03/57279.htm




Friday, May 03, 2013
 
Muslim on Watch List Stumbles With Lawsuit
 - A Muslim man chose the wrong court to fight inclusion on the terrorist watch list and the dozens of screenings that ensued, a federal judge ruled.

     Sadique Jaffer, a naturalized U.S. citizen, practicing Muslim and frequent traveler, said the government harasses and detains him every time he flies.
     The Zanzibar native allegedly appeared on the FBI's radar after he filed a defamation complaint in 2007 against "certain members of the local Shia Muslim community board."
     Jaffer said he is at odds with other members of his community because he is outspoken against those who would "use their faith as a political force."
     He allegedly agreed to cooperate with the FBI and report any threat, but quickly found himself repeatedly detained while re-entering the United States.
     At the first stop, in August 2007, Jaffer had reached Bush International Airport in Houston, Texas, on a return flight from Costa Rica. He claimed to have been detained for four hours, during which time he was deprived of food and water and verbally abused if he "so much as turned his head."
     Some time later, an FBI agent allegedly revealed that Jaffer's name was on the government's terrorist watch list.
     Jaffer said he wrote a letter to the Department of Homeland Security's redress program for traveler complaints, requesting the detentions stop. It went on for several months without resolution before the harassment stopped in 2009.
     But in June 2012, the secondary screenings and detentions resumed.
     Though U.S. District Judge Gregory Presnell noted that Jaffer has been detained more than 50 times since 2007, he dismissed the complaint Wednesday.

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joeb
see link for full story
http://www.mainjustice.com/2013/05/07/john-boles-fbi-cyber-division-deputy-assistant-director/



John Boles: FBI Cyber Division Deputy Assistant Director
  | May 7, 2013 8:43 am
 

John Boles started out his career as a cryptologic technician in the Navy before rising through the ranks of the FBI to his current position: Deputy Assistant Director of the Bureau’s Cyber Division.

FBI Cyber Division Deputy Assistant Director


Speaking before the House Judiciary subcommittee on crime, terrorism and homeland security in March, Boles classified the biggest cyber threatsU.S. businesses and government currently face as coming from any of four actors: “foreign intelligence services, terrorist groups, organized crime enterprises, and hactivists.”

Cybersecurity, he added, “may well become [the FBI's] highest priority in the years to come.” It is currently the FBI’s third priority, after counterterrorism and counterintelligence.

Boles was named to the position in September, less than a year after becoming the special agent in charge of the Norfolk Division last February. He first joined the FBI in 1995 as a special agent in the Sacramento Division, where he investigated cyber crime, white collar crime and terrorism, among other things. He also became the leader of a sniper team and worked as a SWAT team operator in Sacramento.

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joeb
Obama nominates new head of FBI , hand picked for him by Military-Industrial complex where he
recently worked . The nominee for FBI  Director James Comey refused to reveal an illegal spying operation
against American citizens when testifying before Congress .
Watch video to catch glimpse of next Obama Nightmare  soon to be playing
at the J Edgar Hoover building and Main street USA.
http://www.ticklethewire.com/2013/05/30/rachel-maddow-james-comey-fbi-confirmation-could-be-a-very-big-hairy-political-deal/

 Brought to you by the people who gave you:
1. President Kennedy assassination
2. Martin Luther King assassination
3. Congressman Hale Boggs assassination
4. Congressman Allard Lowenstein asasassination
5. 1993 1st World Trade Center bombing
6. Lockerbie bombing
7. Oklahoma City bombing
8. TWA Flight 800 bombing
9. 911
10. Senator Paul Wellstone assassination
12. Mumbai Terrorist attack
13. Boston Marathon bombing
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joeb
see link for full story
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/19/keith-alexander-hot-mic_n_3467193.html?ir=Politics

Keith Alexander To Deputy FBI Director Sean Joyce: 'Tell Your Boss I Owe Him Another Friggin' Beer'

  Posted: 06/19/2013

 

National Security Agency Director Keith Alexander got caught by a hot mic after the public hearing on the NSA's Internet and phone data sweeps Tuesday.

"Tell your boss I owe him another friggin' beer," Alexander said to FBI deputy director Sean Joyce.

HuffPost's Michael McAuliff reported earlier on the hearing:

The House Intelligence Committee's public hearing featured leaders from the office of the director of national intelligence, the NSA, the FBI and the Department of Justice, all called to respond to revelations from leaker Edward Snowden that the United States collects records on the phone calls of U.S. citizens and sweeps extensive data from the Internet. The remarkable array of spymasters in an open session highlighted how seriously the intelligence officials believe the leaks have hurt U.S. security, but the hearing also raised questions about whether counterterrorism officials were doing all they could to protect Americans' constitutional rights.
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joeb
 

see link for full story

http://www.digitaljournal.com/pr/1335529

New Book Series Alleges a Multibillion-Dollar Gold Theft Was Connected to President Kennedy’s Assassination
June 30, 2013

In the newly released book series, The Gold House trilogy, authors John Clarence and Tom Whittle allege that in the summer of 1961 the U.S. Attorney General, Secretary of the Interior, and high-ranking army officers reportedly met at a private residence in Alamogordo, New Mexico. Their purpose, according to an eyewitness: to gather information about a vast hoard of gold bars and ancient artifacts at a remote site named Victorio Peak situated on a nearby military installation. In July that summer the treasure was placed under the control of the U.S. Attorney General. In book two of the trilogy, authors Clarence and Whittle present an official July 31, 1961 transcribed phone conversation between the commanding general at the nearby installation and the Director of Silver & Gold Operations at the U.S. Mint that exposed an approved army operation to search for and remove the gold.

The Gold House trilogy books recounts how in the summer of 1963 President Kennedy and Vice President Lyndon Johnson traveled to White Sands, supposedly to witness a series of missile firings. But according to an article in the Hobbs Daily News-Sun (AP) that day, they also inspected a proposed landing site for future space missions. From there the authors allege the president and vice president secretly flew to Victorio Peak to examine its treasure.

Authors Clarence and Whittle allege in The Gold House trilogy books that sources reported the president later made arrangements to meet with the co-discoverer of the treasure in Denver to resolve the question of its ownership. The meeting was to take place after the president’s November 1963 trip to Dallas, Texas. Before that meeting occurred, 35th President of the United States was assassinated. Clarence and Whittle allege the assassination may well have stemmed from a conflict concerning the disposition of the treasure, a conversation overheard by an onsite witness who was nearby when the president and vice president inspected the treasure.

As recounted in The Gold House trilogy, other political and military individuals played a major role in the illegal removal of a large portion of the treasure. The Gold House books also allege that a remote ranch east of Camargo in Chihuahua, Mexico, was purchased from the former president of New Mexico. The ranch, Las Pampas, contained an airstrip reportedly used to facilitate the theft of Victorio Peak gold and its further transport out of Mexico. According to sources the flights began in 1969 and continued for about one year, transporting more than 100 tons of gold. Until these records were obtained, Terry Delonas, the grandson of Doc and Ova Noss, had no proof of what he had long-suspected: “The research Mr. Clarence has done explains exactly why the government was afraid of a full excavation of the chambers beneath Victorio Peak," he states in the video.

“The thefts did not stop with LBJ; in 1973 Nixon sent a recovery team to White Sands Missile Range...soon, 37 tons of gold disappeared. The value of the gold extracted is overwhelming, exceeded only by the evidence presented in The Gold House–The Lies, The Thefts. Clarence and Whittle present well-documented paper trails including: bank records, warehouse receipts and much more, enough to take to a jury––and win.”––Barr McClellan, attorney and ¬New York Times best-selling author

“The Gold House trilogy is a tour de force of research and reporting. Meticulously researched and explosive in the revelations it uncovers. Clarence and Whittle have uncovered information that will require scholars and commentators of modern U.S. political history to reevaluate the presidencies of Lyndon B. Johnson and Richard M. Nixon.” —Gerald D. McKnight, professor emeritus of history at Hood College and author of Breach of Trust: How the Warren Commission Failed the Nation and Why
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joeb
see link for full story
http://www.tomdispatch.com/blog/175722/


 Tomgram: Matthew Harwood, Counterterrorism in the Twilight Zone
 July 9, 2013.


They went without saying a word.  In the dead of night, the last U.S. troops slipped out of Iraq and across the Kuwaiti border.  There was no victory parade.  No departure ceremony.  They never said goodbye. They didn’t even cancel scheduled meetings with their Iraqi counterparts. They just up and left, weeks before their departure deadline in December 2010.

The Americans took home their weapons and vehicles, of course.  They took much of their heavy equipment and electronics gear, too.  They also took something far more intimate, something you might assume belonged to the Iraqi people, something you probably never knew existed: “a massive database packed with retinal scans, thumb prints, and other biometric data identifying millions of Iraqis,” as Spencer Ackerman put it when he wrote about those digital records in 2011.

In the years after the invasion of Iraq in March 2003, the U.S. military collected biometric data on around three million Iraqis.  It’s done the same for millions of Afghans.  And it’s keeping this information in perpetuity.  Back in 2011, a spokesman for the Tampa, Florida-based U.S. Central Command told Ackerman, “We have this information, and rather than cull through it all and say 'bad guy, good guy, bad guy, good guy,' it’s better to just keep it.”  Just why may be unclear, but the capture and retention of this data fit a pattern: the U.S. drive to expand its national security state into a global security initiative.
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joeb
see link for full story


Four Years in Jail for ‘FBI Fantasy’

• Retired U.S. Navy lieutenant commander says he has evidence to prove friend is innocent

By Pat Shannan

Readers of AMERICAN FREE PRESS will remember the series of articles run on these pages in 2010-11 concerning the plight of the Monroe County, Tennessee man who tried to expose fraud in the local court and grand jury system. Instead, United States Navy Lieutenant Commander Walter Fitzpatrick (Ret.) found himself jailed for trying to perform a citizen’s arrest when the cops wouldn’t enforce their own laws.

According to the man who started it all, the following federal attack on him and Darren Huff of Dallas, Georgia, in the small Tenn. town of Madisonville, was just one more Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) provocation, and he now has the evidence to prove it.

“Darren Huff is an innocent man in jail for four years for a crime that never happened,” said Fitzpatrick.

When interested citizens came to Madisonville on April 20, 2010 for a court hearing on the Fitzpatrick matter, Huff was followed from north Ga. by the FBI, detained at the interstate exit by state and local law enforcement and released after agreeing to lock his legally-registered rifle and handgun in the toolbox of his pickup truck. No arrest was made and Huff proceeded peacefully into town. The police saw that the supporters were not there to provoke violence but to stand up for a fellow American who was being wronged by the system.

“The FBI saw it as another invitation to create a crime where none existed,” said Fitzpatrick. He proved his point with Special Agent Mark Van Balen’s sworn affidavit on April 26.

Even though video shows Huff being determined not to be a security risk by the Tenn. authorities and released, six days later Van Balen swore out an affidavit “full of lies and deception,” according to Fitzpatrick, including Huff’s alleged threats to “make arrests on various individuals, that he was ready to die for his rights and that if they didn’t have enough people on April 20 to do all they planned to do that day, that they would be back in one to two weeks.”

Huff has repeatedly denied making any such outrageous statements, and Van Balen even admits in his affidavit that he never heard anything provocative from Huff.

Van Balen claims that Huff was heard making threats at the traffic stop by a Lt. Don Williams of the Drug Task Force and these were passed on to him. Van Balen makes no claims of personal knowledge as to any lawbreaking by Huff. In fact, court testimony showed that Huff was under FBI surveillance from the night of April 19. Huff was followed when he left home at 4 a.m. and was watched all day. There was never a moment when the FBI did not know where Huff was during that 24-hour period, and he was never a threat to anyone.

Fitzpatrick told AFP that he has located and interviewed 31 of the 33 people known to have been on the scene that morning outside of the Monroe County courthouse. None of the 31 was armed or even saw anyone other than law enforcement officers armed. The other two were a Knoxville news reporter and cameramen who refused to identify themselves when Fitzpatrick asked them to do so.

Not one of the 31 citizens was approached and questioned by any of the 150 law enforcement officers on the scene as to whether or not they were armed. Fitzpatrick has collected statements from all 31. It was a peaceful assembly.

“Furthermore,” said Fitzpatrick, “Darren Huff not only was unarmed the whole time but he spent his morning at Donna’s Old Town Café across the street and the only time he briefly set foot on the courthouse property was to take sausage biscuits and coffee to officers standing there. However, my hearing was being held four blocks away at a separate courthouse building unknown to Huff, and he was never there.

“Federal officials not only successfully prosecuted and convicted a U.S. citizen for a thought crime,” added Fitzpatrick, “but the only one with the thought was the fantasizing FBI agent.”

Huff is more than a year into serving a four-year sentence at the Federal Correctional Institution in Texarkana, Texas. He is still waiting for his attorney, Gerald Gulley of Knoxville, to file his appeal. Gulley did not return AFP’s calls.

Fitzpatrick cites a little known FBI program known as “Operation Vigilant Eagle” that involves surveillance of veterans who express views critical of the government. This includes those who discuss a pending revolution on the Internet.

“Anybody in America who stands up for the rights of American citizens as outlined by the Constitution is being targeted and jailed by the federal government,” he said.

This case is significant and chilling because the FBI has prepared it to stifle dissent.

In their slick description of it on their website, they brag that “Huff was sentenced to four years in prison for transporting firearms across state lines with the intent to cause a civil disorder. It was the first time this violation was successfully prosecuted.”

- See more at: http://americanfreepress.net/?p=11620#sthash.I5WwpxRV.dpuf

Four Years in Jail for ‘FBI Fantasy’
July 17, 2013   AFP
28_Huff FBI Fantasy

• Retired U.S. Navy lieutenant commander says he has evidence to prove friend is innocent

By Pat Shannan

Readers of AMERICAN FREE PRESS will remember the series of articles run on these pages in 2010-11 concerning the plight of the Monroe County, Tennessee man who tried to expose fraud in the local court and grand jury system. Instead, United States Navy Lieutenant Commander Walter Fitzpatrick (Ret.) found himself jailed for trying to perform a citizen’s arrest when the cops wouldn’t enforce their own laws.

According to the man who started it all, the following federal attack on him and Darren Huff of Dallas, Georgia, in the small Tenn. town of Madisonville, was just one more Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) provocation, and he now has the evidence to prove it.

“Darren Huff is an innocent man in jail for four years for a crime that never happened,” said Fitzpatrick.

When interested citizens came to Madisonville on April 20, 2010 for a court hearing on the Fitzpatrick matter, Huff was followed from north Ga. by the FBI, detained at the interstate exit by state and local law enforcement and released after agreeing to lock his legally-registered rifle and handgun in the toolbox of his pickup truck. No arrest was made and Huff proceeded peacefully into town. The police saw that the supporters were not there to provoke violence but to stand up for a fellow American who was being wronged by the system.

“The FBI saw it as another invitation to create a crime where none existed,” said Fitzpatrick. He proved his point with Special Agent Mark Van Balen’s sworn affidavit on April 26.

Hard Assets Alliance

Even though video shows Huff being determined not to be a security risk by the Tenn. authorities and released, six days later Van Balen swore out an affidavit “full of lies and deception,” according to Fitzpatrick, including Huff’s alleged threats to “make arrests on various individuals, that he was ready to die for his rights and that if they didn’t have enough people on April 20 to do all they planned to do that day, that they would be back in one to two weeks.”

Huff has repeatedly denied making any such outrageous statements, and Van Balen even admits in his affidavit that he never heard anything provocative from Huff.

Van Balen claims that Huff was heard making threats at the traffic stop by a Lt. Don Williams of the Drug Task Force and these were passed on to him. Van Balen makes no claims of personal knowledge as to any lawbreaking by Huff. In fact, court testimony showed that Huff was under FBI surveillance from the night of April 19. Huff was followed when he left home at 4 a.m. and was watched all day. There was never a moment when the FBI did not know where Huff was during that 24-hour period, and he was never a threat to anyone.

Fitzpatrick told AFP that he has located and interviewed 31 of the 33 people known to have been on the scene that morning outside of the Monroe County courthouse. None of the 31 was armed or even saw anyone other than law enforcement officers armed. The other two were a Knoxville news reporter and cameramen who refused to identify themselves when Fitzpatrick asked them to do so.

Not one of the 31 citizens was approached and questioned by any of the 150 law enforcement officers on the scene as to whether or not they were armed. Fitzpatrick has collected statements from all 31. It was a peaceful assembly.

“Furthermore,” said Fitzpatrick, “Darren Huff not only was unarmed the whole time but he spent his morning at Donna’s Old Town Café across the street and the only time he briefly set foot on the courthouse property was to take sausage biscuits and coffee to officers standing there. However, my hearing was being held four blocks away at a separate courthouse building unknown to Huff, and he was never there.

“Federal officials not only successfully prosecuted and convicted a U.S. citizen for a thought crime,” added Fitzpatrick, “but the only one with the thought was the fantasizing FBI agent.”

Huff is more than a year into serving a four-year sentence at the Federal Correctional Institution in Texarkana, Texas. He is still waiting for his attorney, Gerald Gulley of Knoxville, to file his appeal. Gulley did not return AFP’s calls.

Fitzpatrick cites a little known FBI program known as “Operation Vigilant Eagle” that involves surveillance of veterans who express views critical of the government. This includes those who discuss a pending revolution on the Internet.

“Anybody in America who stands up for the rights of American citizens as outlined by the Constitution is being targeted and jailed by the federal government,” he said.

This case is significant and chilling because the FBI has prepared it to stifle dissent.

In their slick description of it on their website, they brag that “Huff was sentenced to four years in prison for transporting firearms across state lines with the intent to cause a civil disorder. It was the first time this violation was successfully prosecuted.”
- See more at: http://americanfreepress.net/?p=11620#sthash.I5WwpxRV.dpuf

Four Years in Jail for ‘FBI Fantasy’

• Retired U.S. Navy lieutenant commander says he has evidence to prove friend is innocent

By Pat Shannan

Readers of AMERICAN FREE PRESS will remember the series of articles run on these pages in 2010-11 concerning the plight of the Monroe County, Tennessee man who tried to expose fraud in the local court and grand jury system. Instead, United States Navy Lieutenant Commander Walter Fitzpatrick (Ret.) found himself jailed for trying to perform a citizen’s arrest when the cops wouldn’t enforce their own laws.

According to the man who started it all, the following federal attack on him and Darren Huff of Dallas, Georgia, in the small Tenn. town of Madisonville, was just one more Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) provocation, and he now has the evidence to prove it.

“Darren Huff is an innocent man in jail for four years for a crime that never happened,” said Fitzpatrick.

When interested citizens came to Madisonville on April 20, 2010 for a court hearing on the Fitzpatrick matter, Huff was followed from north Ga. by the FBI, detained at the interstate exit by state and local law enforcement and released after agreeing to lock his legally-registered rifle and handgun in the toolbox of his pickup truck. No arrest was made and Huff proceeded peacefully into town. The police saw that the supporters were not there to provoke violence but to stand up for a fellow American who was being wronged by the system.

“The FBI saw it as another invitation to create a crime where none existed,” said Fitzpatrick. He proved his point with Special Agent Mark Van Balen’s sworn affidavit on April 26.

Even though video shows Huff being determined not to be a security risk by the Tenn. authorities and released, six days later Van Balen swore out an affidavit “full of lies and deception,” according to Fitzpatrick, including Huff’s alleged threats to “make arrests on various individuals, that he was ready to die for his rights and that if they didn’t have enough people on April 20 to do all they planned to do that day, that they would be back in one to two weeks.”

Huff has repeatedly denied making any such outrageous statements, and Van Balen even admits in his affidavit that he never heard anything provocative from Huff.

Van Balen claims that Huff was heard making threats at the traffic stop by a Lt. Don Williams of the Drug Task Force and these were passed on to him. Van Balen makes no claims of personal knowledge as to any lawbreaking by Huff. In fact, court testimony showed that Huff was under FBI surveillance from the night of April 19. Huff was followed when he left home at 4 a.m. and was watched all day. There was never a moment when the FBI did not know where Huff was during that 24-hour period, and he was never a threat to anyone.

Fitzpatrick told AFP that he has located and interviewed 31 of the 33 people known to have been on the scene that morning outside of the Monroe County courthouse. None of the 31 was armed or even saw anyone other than law enforcement officers armed. The other two were a Knoxville news reporter and cameramen who refused to identify themselves when Fitzpatrick asked them to do so.

Not one of the 31 citizens was approached and questioned by any of the 150 law enforcement officers on the scene as to whether or not they were armed. Fitzpatrick has collected statements from all 31. It was a peaceful assembly.

“Furthermore,” said Fitzpatrick, “Darren Huff not only was unarmed the whole time but he spent his morning at Donna’s Old Town Café across the street and the only time he briefly set foot on the courthouse property was to take sausage biscuits and coffee to officers standing there. However, my hearing was being held four blocks away at a separate courthouse building unknown to Huff, and he was never there.

“Federal officials not only successfully prosecuted and convicted a U.S. citizen for a thought crime,” added Fitzpatrick, “but the only one with the thought was the fantasizing FBI agent.”

Huff is more than a year into serving a four-year sentence at the Federal Correctional Institution in Texarkana, Texas. He is still waiting for his attorney, Gerald Gulley of Knoxville, to file his appeal. Gulley did not return AFP’s calls.

Fitzpatrick cites a little known FBI program known as “Operation Vigilant Eagle” that involves surveillance of veterans who express views critical of the government. This includes those who discuss a pending revolution on the Internet.

“Anybody in America who stands up for the rights of American citizens as outlined by the Constitution is being targeted and jailed by the federal government,” he said.

This case is significant and chilling because the FBI has prepared it to stifle dissent.

In their slick description of it on their website, they brag that “Huff was sentenced to four years in prison for transporting firearms across state lines with the intent to cause a civil disorder. It was the first time this violation was successfully prosecuted.”

- See more at: http://americanfreepress.net/?p=11620#sthash.I5WwpxRV.dpuf
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http://www.counterpunch.org/2013/07/24/obamas-fanaticism-over-secrecy-surveillance-and-repression/


 July 24, 2013

National Security State, Advent of Fascism
Obama’s Fanaticism Over Secrecy, Surveillance and Repression
by NORMAN POLLACK

If the US were not engaged in actions and policies that are illegal, immoral, aggressive, war-provoking, and therefore, it is fair to say, evil, the issue of leaks would never arise, there being no rhyme or reason for them and the increasingly widening effects of government’s stringent, escalating, and still counting,  countermeasures,  for  suffocating a public consciousness of wrongdoing through a campaign of massive surveillance in order to prevent further revelations and ensure continued societal blindness to, and even the endorsement of, interventions, assassinations, cyberwarfare, indefinite detentions, a global system of military bases poised for purposes of internal espionage leading to regime change, the enforcement of a favorable climate for trade, investment, and the extraction of resources,  and much else which can be subsumed under the heading of national self-interest (always taken for granted and non-negotiable), all in violation, or skirting the edges, of international law, itself largely crafted to serve American needs, and implemented largely through active support of world financial institutions, trading blocs, military organizations, of essentially kept nations seemingly anxious to do our bidding.  With a framework like that, no wonder the desire to keep the lid on.  Secrecy is not a nervous twitch, nor an excess of zeal in the promotion of a misconstrued American Innocence (saving the world for democracy, humanitarian interventionism, or similar self-advantaged formulas), but a central enabling mechanism in the use of power, primarily military-oriented, for ends capitalistic and nationalist encompassed in a single system defining the US’s Exceptionalist drive for unilateral dominance of the global structure.  Ideology alone doesn’t do the job (it never did!), nor do exports magically traverse the sea lanes, greeted at foreign ports with hosannas; capitalism is a fractionated international order, inclined to trade rivalries and the forcible settlement of differences.  War determines outcomes, and in turn requires the regimentation of thought on the home front.  Obama’s fanaticism about secrecy is therefore perfectly reasonable and rational, if one happens to subscribe to ruling-groups’ ends (along with an added dash of sadism, which he applies by diverting resources from a sound social safety net to satisfy the military appetite) of a government-assisted unrestrained capitalism, government itself, of course, simultaneously invisible in its subventionary function while whipped in place unmercifully when performing any sort of welfare or ameliorative function.

Secrecy is the ideal camouflage for surrounding, covering, and protecting the class-state, its system of power, its elites’ hidden agenda, and the political-cultural mechanisms which engineer consent to the national purpose as defined from above, not so much to hide ordinary hanky-panky–favoritism to contractors, political contributors, etc.– but war crimes real time, which seldom result in the internal democratization of the offending power, and instead contribute to wealth-and-power differentiation among the populace, which bears the brunt of such policies, whether drafted to fight in wars to enforce US capitalist objectives or placed in vulnerable positions domestically so as not to be in position to press for systemic reforms (essentially moderate, as measured by democratic theory and practice) such as the demand for collective bargaining rights, freedom of expression, and the curbing of the maldistribution of wealth.  For capitalism, especially in America, where political and economic democracy are disconnected so that pro forma electoral freedom coexists with corporate monopolization and the concentration of wealth, the ballot box somehow becomes an exhaustive remedy for  ruling groups’ hegemonic purposes abroad and the instilling of institutional-cultural docility at home.  These goals are mutually dependent; one cannot be fulfilled without the other.  Which suggests that a pattern of convergence is in process of formation, secrecy providing the bridge, or better, connecting rod, between foreign intervention and domestic surveillance, now becoming conflated into a singular mode of repression intended to bring into question, amenable to prosecution, whatever is considered to be politically-economically-militarily unacceptable, whether this means questioning either domestic or foreign policy and activity, with each sharing the other’s identity, and no doubt soon, degree of penalization.

In this light, a radical, whose social protest extends beyond the aforementioned moderate demands of the reformer (themselves stopping short of systemic overhaul, but nonetheless worth contesting in the absence of their achievement), is in the cross-hairs of a government unused to substantive criticism in either the domestic- or foreign-policy realms, hence under Obama the acceleration of countermeasures to stifle—again, the import of surveillance, even as a dark shadow making individuals think twice about holding, still less communicating, suspicious thoughts—a potentially awakened political consciousness, “awakened” given the Snowden and Manning Revelations on a unified US government pressing the total integration of military, capitalistic, and geostrategic assumptions, and behind that, the integration as well of structure, ideology, and policy making, to the end of maximizing State power both in its own right and the better to promote and service the political economy of capitalism, nay, an advanced mode of capitalism facing the strains of a changing, now multipolar, context of international politics.  Gaps in the integrative process leave room, i.e., mental space, for popular resistance through the perception of the forced joining of parts, integration as per se repression, whereby everything must be brought into conformity with an homogenous composition of forces focused on promoting  expansionist-aggressive systemic tendencies (particularly the mature stage of capitalism warns of senility, and therefore, the resort to extreme measures even to remain in place) while also promoting silence and/or complicity at home.  In this way, intervention (and with it, targeted assassination, regime change, global political and economic influence, counterrevolution as a generalized  posture) neatly dovetails with surveillance (and the further splintering of traditional civil liberties, presumably mandated by a counterterrorism policy), so that when we return to the radical, be it on either front, the lines between foreign and domestic “criminal” activity is starting to blur—the further conflation, facing the individual directly, so that our hypothetical whistleblower of the future in whichever realm is left open to the charge of treasonous conduct, as indeed is being contemplated or already decided with respect to Snowden and Manning.

The preceding overview, especially the overall convergence of structure, ideology, and policy, transcending narrow fields of operation, or boundaries of scope and practice (e.g., the CIA, contrary to its charter, is as much an operational as intelligence force, and perhaps as much involved in domestic as in foreign theaters of activity), speaks to Obama’s elaboration, inheriting much of, thence adding still more to, the work of his predecessors  dating from the immediate aftermath of the Second World War through his own presidency, of a Secretive, National-Security, Militarized State, whose monolithic façade is beginning to seriously break down, thanks in equal parts to overextension unsupported by sufficient political-economic (but not military) resources, a globalization process, ostensibly American-led yet actually witnessing the dispersion of power, with China and Russia independent centers, and peripheral nations, like Brazil, shaping into no-longer dependent industrializing countries, and finally, in a by no means exhaustive listing, the revelations themselves, in which, to Obama, Snowden is the Anti-Christ, and Manning, the Mephistophelian figure, upsetting expectations of an hypostatized democratic leadership phony in fact from the start.  Thus, with cracks showing in Leviathan’s armor, matters are tensing up; Obama is getting antsy.  The heavy-handed, until now still secretive, program of surveillance, which I initially took to be a means for scaring Americans into regimented, compliant mode, actually also is unwitting admission on the part of Obama, the National-Security State, and Authority in general of an unremitting  fear at the top as well, both that the tightly coiled structure of power is becoming unstuck, and that as layer upon layer of obfuscation is cleared away it will be seen that our political and military high-and-mighty trusted leaders, i.e., themselves, are merely run-of-the-mill war criminals.  Certainly, armed drones for targeted assassination, as one example, must have crossed their minds, if not troubled their sleep, that international-law violations stood on the horizon.  Nor did waterboarding comport well with democratic leadership, nor mass surveillance and data mining, nor indefinite detention, nor a 1000-and-1 daily favors to American business, banking, and industry, which makes the infliction of suffering on others worthwhile.

Turning, then, to the highlights of surveillance, just as occurring over the last few days (for anyone who questions the importance of Snowden, this heightened government activity, generously termed damage control, should put the issue to rest, for his revelations had and will continue to have an implosive force showing a central core naked of moral scruple, the vacuum to be filled with capitalist-military strivings for undisputed global power), I must quickly note that, first, counterterrorism has been the screen for the preliminaries of internal regimentation for some time (an implicit domestic antiradicalism  gained through creating a climate of superpatriotism—present already, though less organized—and obedience to regulations designed to stimulate respect for emergency powers and the whole concept of prevailing danger, and second, Obama is not a Johnny-come-lately to the use of repression, with purported threats from outside serving as a rationale, for we see from the earliest days of his administration the smooth transition from Bush II, with no inner qualms publicly manifested, that appeared to many—myself also fooled—as mere political inertia, when in reality it represented a purposeful, vital continuity which, in short order, blossomed into a full-scale qualitative escalation, so that by 2011 at the latest he had in place the secrecy-element, the determined prosecution of whistleblowers (under Bush there were no successful convictions, or even cases reaching that stage), a National-Security Team second-to-none in its interventionist, war-making, brook-no-opposition, at home or abroad, proclivities, in sum, a newly-articulated design and framework in which the intervention-surveillance duopoly was ready to spring forward in writing a new chapter in American capitalist-military expansion.

Ah, the Aspen Security Forum, an annual event:  we think of Tea Party nutcakes running around decrying big government, when it is the “respectables,” in such meetings as this, who represent the thinking and planning of Pentagon officials and interested citizens (aka, defense contractors, war-inspired think-tank fellows, consultants and lobbyists of every stripe anxious to push their ideological agendas and/or their military hardware and products), who are the aspirant, more sophisticated, better connected, and thus more dangerous power-wielders, adjuncts of, and sometimes, as now, members in good standing of, a practically-speaking ruling class of capitalist-military-(and slightly to the side) economic elites, whose names, such as General Keith B. Alexander, head of NSA, and Ashton B. Carter, from Harvard professor to deputy secretary of defense, need to be fleshed out and made familiar.  An unfailing barometer for determining the national-defense/national-security atmosphere, the Forum, last Thursday (July 18), bore witness to the Snowden Phenomenon, forcing a scrambling around to maintain the machinery of war—here, the magnification of cyberwar in the nation’s arsenal—and the continued institutionalization of government secrecy, both signifying a further convergence of unitary purpose.  Sanger and Schmitt write in the New York Times on the 18th that NSA “has imposed new rules designed to sharply restrict the sharing and downloading of top-secret material from its computer networks” following Snowden, as related by “two of the Pentagon’s most senior officials” at the Forum that day.  Discussing the “two-man rule,” applied to the handling of nuclear weapons (“two computer systems administrators [working] simultaneously when they are inside systems that contain highly classified material”), Alexander said that in future “the most sensitive data” will be put “in a highly encrypted form” and made limited in accessibility, to prevent its being moved “throughout the nation’s intelligence agencies and the Defense Department.”

So far, pretty obvious.  Alexander defended massive surveillance, his “You need a haystack to find a needle” statement perhaps vying with George Tenet’s “slam dunk” one for contemporary imbecilic honors, but he redeems himself by revealing for the first time that Obama, soon after taking office, was informed of Bush’s NSA-surveillance operations—specifically “the number of errors the agency made,” which the General termed, according to the reporters, “the inadvertent collection of information about American citizens.”  Inadvertent?  Here the account becomes intensely interesting.  Even Sanger and Schmitt want to get Obama off the hook.  Alexander continues: “When the president first came on board, we had a huge set of mistakes that we were working through in 2009.  He [Obama] said essentially, ‘I can see the value of these [italics, mine], but how do we ensure that we get these within compliance and that everything is exactly right?’”  At first, one—and the reporters—think a critical view of the Bush surveillance programs is being expressed.  Yet, Obama’s concern is not termination but legitimation, and here he called for an NSA self-policing of its actions, a “directorate of compliance,” and subsequently, ensuring the favorable approval of the FISA Court.  He did the same with the armed drone for targeted assassination: cover the government’s (and his own) rear via in-house legal justifications, including secret White House Counsel memos and secret FISA Court decisions.  Inadvertence = legalized criminal activity, whether massive surveillance or killing women and children as “collateral damage.”

The Forum breaks further new ground, Alexander and Carter revealing the formalization of cyberwarfare as “a new mission” using “a class of weapons that the Obama administration has rarely discussed in public,” with 4,000 military personnel deployed to the Pentagon to start operations.  Secrecy, thou art wondrous!  Obama “accelerated” Bush’s “Olympic Games” program, and then, as the purpose of our whole discussion, instigated (more politely, inaugurated), as here, programs of his own, more elaborate and devastating.  From targeted assassination to cyberwarfare, perhaps a new signature weapon to which he is committed, with Carter excitedly saying, as proof of its importance (never mind accusations leveled against China in this realm, our Exceptionalism is our badge of honor): “I wanted to start this fast.  Fundamentally, we’re spending everything we can think about spending intelligently for, notwithstanding our budget hassles, because this is an area we are protecting even as our military capabilities will be cut.”  Cyberteams are planned, under Alexander’s command, a revealing of details of “one of the military’s most closely held projects.”  The focus on teams, “in addition to the N.S.A. work force,” enables planning to start from scratch, with the possibility of modeling them after Special Ops units.  In all of this, Obama is not a passive onlooker.  Make it legit, but make it work:  cyberwarfare, another feather in his cap.

On July 19, Charlie Savage reported in The Times that the US Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit (Richmond, Va.), by a 2-1 vote, ruled that James Risen of the paper “must testify in the criminal trial” of a former CIA agent “charged with providing him with classified information.”  The majority opinion held that the  First Amendment did not protect a reporter receiving  “unauthorized leaks” from divulging his source—a clear test of freedom of the press, and, to the dissenting judge (Savage’s paraphrase) “a serious threat to investigative journalism.”  The judge stated, “The majority exalts the interests of the government while unduly trampling those of the press, and in doing so, severely impinges on the press and the free flow of information in our society.”  Apparently, the Supreme Court, 40 years before, had delineated a precedent applicable only to grand jury investigations, leaving the issue of trials up in the air; still, the Obama administration (here DOJ) immediately stated, “We agree with the decision,” as well they might, for Justice has prosecuted more than twice the number of leak cases under Obama than under previous president’s combined.  AG Holder, given the criticism over “subpoenaing Associated Press reporters’ phone records and portraying a Fox News reporter as a criminal conspirator [a serious charge] in order to obtain a warrant for his e-mails,”  in response “announced new guidelines for leak investigations,” which hardly alters my characterization: Obama’s fanaticism about leaks.  Risen’s case was first tried in a lower court, the decision held in his favor on the ground that he was protected “by a limited ‘reporter’s privilege’” under the First, the Obama administration then appealing, arguing “that such a reporter’s privilege did not exist,” and now, on July 19th, the Appeals Court reversed the decision of the lower court and Risen is compelled to testify or go to jail. The Obama people play hard ball; Risen “has vowed to go to prison,” rather than comply.

The flurry of activity of July18-19 is not happenstance, but a direct response to Snowden, his revelations, and the frustration on Obama’s part that he remains out there, seeking asylum world opinion on his side and in effect thumbing his nose at the Leviathan.  Towering America meets it match; a government that is afraid of its own transparency, is not a democratic government.  Slowly  the wheels are turning against the US, not just because of the outrage over surveillance, but a proper understanding if not in America then globally that surveillance is not cops-and-robbers child’s play but the linchpin of a repressive social order capable of striking out viciously against all who oppose it.  Why else surveillance?  The momentum continues, so long as Snowden remains free and capable of releasing further documents, fittingly, the fascistic state-secrets doctrine, USG’s favorite defense against judicial and/or public oversight, and launching pad for the Obama-Holder-DOJ prosecutions using the Espionage Act against whistleblowers, now being turned inside out and upside down.  Stripped of the state-secrets doctrine, i.e., of no avail when the information becomes revealed, America looks quite totalitarian in its pursuit of national policy (and pretty shabby in its need for conformity at home, deference, abroad).  Hegemony loses its luster, as do militarism and capitalism, when it is realized by others that US fine pronouncements are the cover for dominance: over the global structure,  markets, capital flows, and, the human underside, cheap, docile labor abroad (and increasingly, at home), all predicated on a compliant American public, consumerism their bread-and-circuses to ensure absolute devotion to the System of Enterprise, as meanwhile, the defense budget and the culture of militarization expand.  Yes, why else surveillance?

Then, on July 20th, another article in the New York Times, by Sharon LaFraniere, providing context for the Obamaean (i.e., the whole administration, in military lockstep about self-protection, whether national-security advisers, CIA, Pentagon, FDA, Interior, all having something to hide) fanaticism about secrecy—and the president’s own frenetic urge to strike out at leakers, masking a profound insecurity about being found out as a potential/actual war criminal, platitudinous leader, and simple careerist.  The title of the article, “Math Behind Leak Crackdown: 153 Cases, 4 Years, 0 Indictments,” superbly captures the reality, for it refers to the record of the Bush administration, not Obama’s, who would strain every muscle to rectify the situation.  Once again, in the Bush-Obama relationship, we see, first, overlap and continuity, second, the latter’s intensification of policy and program, and third, the progression from intensification to a qualitative leap: Obama on surveillance and prosecutions leaves Bush in swaddling clothes.  Here’s another name to remember in the White House cast of characters: Dennis C. Blair, Obama’s national intelligence director until 2010, who, examining the Bush record (as in the article’s title) “was dismayed by what he found.”  He said it “was pretty shocking to all of us,” which led to “a series of phone calls and meetings” with AG Holder to work out “a more aggressive strategy to punish anyone” leaking national-security secrets.  Blair put the matter well: “My background is in the Navy, and it is good to hang an admiral once in a while as an example to the others.  We were hoping to get somebody and make people realize that there are consequences to this and it needed to stop.”

This was precisely the mindset that, subsequent to his comment, would lead to the prosecution (along with solitary confinement) of Manning, and represent administration thinking and policy in the attempt to capture Snowden.  But, ironically, it is not “an admiral once in a while,” but retired General James E. Cartwright, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (until mid-summer 2011) who is being investigated for leaking classified information.  More on this momentarily, but we see right away the self-devouring nature of surveillance, the passion for secrecy, the fear of leaks—the net is cast ever wider, now a top-ranking general.  The reporter, picking up on Blair’s remark about consequences, gives us a convenient summary, including the preceding day’s Appeals Court decision: “The Obama administration has done its best to define those consequences, with an aggressive focus on leaks and leakers that has led to more than twice as many prosecutions as there were in all previous administrations combined.  It also led to a significant legal victory on Friday when a federal appeals court accepted the Justice Department’s argument that the First Amendment does not protect reporters from having to reveal the sources suspected of leaking information to them.” (Italics, mine)  So much for Obama’s respect for the First Amendment and for freedom of the press.

Whether, as the reporter, citing “present and former government officials,” claims the focus on leaks at the highest levels of the administration “was driven by pressure from the intelligence agencies and members of Congress,” or the reverse, Obama’s desire to prove himself in spirit one of the former and to placate conservatives and war hawks of both parties of the latter, the fact remains that he has drawn very close to the CIA (and CIA-JSOC paramilitary operations) and the Democratic head of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Dianne Feinstein, has carried water for him in demanding the zealous prosecution of leakers, chastising in closed hearings, as early as 2009, Holder, Blair, and FBI Director Mueller, for not doing enough.  To critics of the Manning-Snowden revelations (Snowden incidentally acknowledged Manning as a source of inspiration), things were getting out of hand; secrecy must be preserved in the national interest and at all costs.  To critics of the critics, perhaps, with the Cartwright case, things are getting out of hand the other way (a distinctly minority view, both in government and the nation as a whole, sold on national security as the holy of holies).  In his case, it was revelation of Obama’s new love—cyberwarfare, the attack on Iran’s nuclear program, that brought him to Coventry courtesy the DOJ.  (The case against Risen of The Times also had to do with his revealing information about Iran, “a covert operation to deceive” its nuclear scientists.)  Cartwright, though, by definition, “represents an escalation of effort,” in the reporter’s words, compared with previous prosecutions of officials, never above mid-level in ranking, and in the words of a member of the Federation of American Scientists, “The Cartwright case stands alone.  It is a sign that the administration is not backing off its anti-leak crusade.  It is still going full-tilt.”

Putting all of this together, Ms. LaFraniere also discusses administration procedural matters, such as DOJ imposition of “a tight deadline to decide whether to open criminal inquiries into leaks, shortening to just three weeks a review process that had often dragged on for months,” one finds overwhelming support for the idea that Obama’s actions have had a chilling effect on public scrutiny of all areas of government, a tightening both of rhetoric and practice, in which surveillance, prosecution, condemnation of divulging documents pointing to illegality and worse, indicate to me the advent of fascism in America.  The term “fascism” should not be bandied about.  I think it fits structurally (the high degree of concentration in the economic sector , along with the more significant marker, the interpenetration government and business), militarily (not only aggressive conduct of foreign policy, but the militarization of capitalism), culturally (a profound disregard for the valuing of equality, whether in race relations or in deference shown business, political, and military leaders as part of an hierarchical ordering of economic and social relations), and now, more overt signposts, as seen above, when a government resorts to massive surveillance, to hide its dirty linen.  A fitting close to these thoughts can be found in the excellent article by Carlos Borrero in today’s (July 23) CounterPunch, when he writes: “Systematic surveillance can only be understood as an essential part of state repression, the purpose of which is to intimidate those that question the status quo by promoting a culture of fear.  One can never be separated from the other.”  His reference is to US repression of anticolonist forces in Puerto Rico, yet the statement is equally valid for America (that which has been inflicted on the exploited comes back with equal force to the exploiter, fearful his pathological quest for dominance will someday prove his undoing).  If further indictment of Obama and the liberalization of militaristic capitalism to make it palatable to the American people is required, I cite the drone campaign for targeted assassination, a scenario for permanent war—the advent (arrival on the scene) of fascism, dressed in the fashion of humanitarian interventionism and domestic silence concerning the atrocities practiced at home, on the poor and the dissidents of every stripe and persuasion.

Norman Pollack is the author of “The Populist Response to Industrial America” (Harvard) and “The Just Polity” (Illinois), Guggenheim Fellow, and professor of history emeritus, Michigan State University. His new book, Eichmann on the Potomac, will be published by CounterPunch/AK Press in the fall of 2013.
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http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/long-island-woman-claims-online-search-pressure-cooker-helped-prompt-visit-feds-article-1.1415101
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http://dailycaller.com/2013/08/08/reuters-irs-manual-instructed-agents-how-to-hide-secret-deansa-intel/


Reuters: IRS manual instructed agents how to hide secret DEA/NSA intel
 08/08/2013



The nation’s tax collectors were instructed for two years on how to conceal evidence obtained by a secret unit inside the Drug Enforcement Administration cooperating with the National Security Agency.

An Internal Revenue Service manual posted online in 2005 and removed in 2007 instructed agents on how to conceal classified evidence forwarded by the DEA’s Special Operations Division (SOD) in investigations of Americans, Reuters reports.

Reuters reported Monday that the SOD forwards tips acquired from the National Security Agency, “wiretaps by foreign governments, court-approved domestic wiretaps,” and a DEA phone and Internet database called DICE. These tips go to federal agents and local law enforcement officers.

Officials at both the DEA and the NSA stressed that the DICE database and the NSA database currently at the center of controversy were different databases.

Recipients of the information are then instructed to engage in a decades-old law enforcement technique called “parallel construction;” the tipped-off agent might use other non-secret means to justify beginning an investigation into a suspect and conceal the origin of the evidence.

On Wednesday, Reuters reported that the IRS manual — no longer available online — instructed agents to use the evidence as leads, but find new “independent” evidence to justify the investigation.

Evidence obtained from SOD, which is closely guarded by the DOJ, cannot be directly used in an investigation.

The IRS already came under fire earlier this year for having a policy that allowed its criminal division to engage in the warrantless search of a suspect’s electronic communications. That policy was amended following pressure from members of Congress.

The parallel construction technique advised by the SOD is legal, but not without its critics.

Both Republican Congressman Mike Rogers, Chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, and Kentucky Republican Senator Rand Paul have both spoken critically of the program.

Rogers, a former FBI agent, told talk show host Mike Huckabee, “If they’re recreating a trail, that’s wrong and we’re going to have to do something about it.”

Paul, who has staked his claim on the defense of the Constitution, also expressed concern over the technique, noting that the protection of individual liberty was just as important a function of the government as national security.

Two dozen federal government agencies comprise the unit, which was formed in 1994, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Central Intelligence Agency, Department of Homeland Security, National Security Agency and Internal Revenue Service.

The unit engages in investigations involving drug crimes, money laundering, and organized crime.

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters during a Tuesday press conference that the Justice Department was “looking at some of the issues raised” by Reuters’ report on Monday.
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Monica M. Miller Named Special Agent in Charge of Sacramento Field Office

Director Robert S Mueller, III has appointed Monica M Miller as the special agent in charge of the Sacramento Field Office. Since 2012, Ms. Miller has served as an FBI senior detailee to the Central Intelligence Agency, where she oversaw counterespionage personnel. Ms.

Miller joined the FBI in 1989 as a special agent and was assigned to the Washington Field Office (WFO), where she worked a variety of violent crime cases. In 1994, she transferred to the New Orleans Field Office’s Shreveport Resident Agency to work white-collar crime and numerous other criminal violations. She joined the San Juan Field Office in 1999 and investigated public corruption cases and coordinated the division’s human source program. Ms.

Miller performed similar duties at WFO from 2004-2005. She was promoted to supervisory special agent at WFO in 2006 and managed linguists and personnel working counterintelligence cases. In 2008, she joined the Human Resources Division to serve as chief of the Transfer Unit, which manages personnel transfers within the FBI’s 56 field offices and its legal attaché offices. Ms.

Miller moved to Atlanta after being promoted in 2010 to assistant special agent in charge of the Administrative Branch, where her duties also included oversight of six resident agencies. Before joining the FBI, Ms. Miller served in the United States Army in military intelligence. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration from the University of Louisiana, Lafayette.
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