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Posts: 8,739
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The Last Chance to Stop the NDAA
Posted on Sep 2, 2013
By Chris Hedges


I and my fellow plaintiffs have begun the third and final round of our battle to get the courts to strike down a section of the National Defense Authorization Act(NDAA) that permits the military to seize U.S. citizens, strip them of due process and hold them indefinitely in military facilities. Carl Mayer and Bruce Afran, the lawyers who with me in January 2012 brought a lawsuit against President Barack Obama (Hedges v. Obama), are about to file papers asking the U.S. Supreme Court to hear our appeal of a 2013 ruling on the act’s Section 1021.


“First the terrorism-industrial complex assured Americans that they were only spying on foreigners, not U.S. citizens,” Mayer said to me recently. “Then they assured us that they were only spying on phone calls, not electronic communications. Then they assured us that they were not spying on American journalists. And now both [major political] parties and the Obama administration have assured us that they will not detain journalists, citizens and activists. Well, they detained journalist Chris Hedges without a lawyer, they detained journalist Laura Poitraswithout due process and if allowed to stand this law will permit the military to target activists, journalists and citizens in an unprecedented assault on freedom in America.”


Last year we won round one: U.S. District Judge Katherine B. Forrest of the Southern District of New York declared Section 1021 unconstitutional. The Obama administration immediately appealed her ruling and asked a higher court to put the law back into effect until Obama’s petition was heard. The appellate court agreed. The law went back on the books. I suspect it went back on the books because the administration is already using it, most likely holding U.S. citizens who are dual nationals in black sites in Afghanistan and the Middle East. If Judge Forrest’s ruling were allowed to stand, the administration, if it is indeed holding U.S. citizens in military detention centers, would be in contempt of court.


In July 2013 the appellate court, in round two, overturned Forrest’s ruling. All we have left is the Supreme Court, which may not take the case. If the Supreme Court does not take our case, the law will remain in place unless Congress strikes it down, something that federal legislators have so far refused to consider. The three branches of government may want to retain the ability to use the military to maintain control if widespread civil unrest should occur in the United States. I suspect the corporate state knows that amid the mounting effects of climate change and economic decline the military may be all that is left between the elite and an enraged population. And I suspect the corporate masters do not trust the police to protect them.


If Section 1021 stands it will mean that more than 150 years of case law in which the Supreme Court repeatedly held the military has no jurisdiction over civilians will be abolished. It will mean citizens who are charged by the government with “substantially supporting” al-Qaida, the Taliban or the nebulous category of “associated forces” will be lawfully subject to extraordinary rendition. It will mean citizens seized by the military will languish in military jails indefinitely, or in the language of Section 1021 until “the end of hostilities”—in an age of permanent war, for the rest of their lives. It will mean, in short, obliteration of our last remaining legal protections, especially now that we have lost the right to privacy, and the ascent of a crude, militarized state that serves the leviathan of corporate totalitarianism. It will mean, as Forrest pointed out in her 112-page opinion, that whole categories of Americans—and here you can assume dissidents and activists—will be subject to seizure by the military and indefinite and secret detention.


“As Justice [Robert] Jackson said in his dissent in the Korematsu case, involving the indiscriminate detention of Japanese-American citizens during World War II, once an unconstitutional military power is sanctioned by the courts it ‘lies about like a loaded weapon, ready for the hand of any authority,’ ” Mayer said.

In our lawsuit the appellate court never directly addressed the issue of using the military to hold citizens and strip them of due process—something that is clearly unconstitutional. Instead, the court held that I and the other plaintiffs did not have standing to bring the case. It said that because none of us had been imminently threatened with arrest we had no credible fear. This was an odd argument. When I was a New York Times reporter I was, as stated in court, arrested and held by the U.S. military in violation of my First Amendment rights as I was covering conflicts in the Middle East. In addition I was briefly detained, without explanation, in the Newark, N.J., airport by Homeland Security as I returned from Italy, the court was told.


During the five years I covered the war in El Salvador the Reagan administration regularly denounced reporters who exposed atrocities by the Salvadoran military as “fifth columnists”for the rebel movement, a charge that made us in the eyes of Reagan officials at the very least accomplices to terrorism. This, too, was raised in court, as was the fact that during my seven years as a reporter in the Middle East I met regularly with individuals and groups, including al-Qaida, that were considered terrorists by the U.S. government. There were times in my 20-year career as a foreign correspondent, especially when I reported events or opinions that challenged the official narrative, that the U.S. government made little distinction between me and groups that were antagonistic to the United States. In those days there was no law that could be used to seize and detain me. Now there is.


Journalist Alexa O’Brien, who joined the lawsuit as a plaintiff along with Noam Chomsky, Daniel Ellsberg and others, was incorrectly linked by the security and surveillance state to terrorist groups in the Middle East. O’Brien, who doggedly covered the trial of Chelsea (formerly Bradley) Manning, co-founded US Day of Rage, an organization dedicated to electoral reform. When WikiLeaks in February 2012 released 5 million emails from Stratfor, a private security firm that does work for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the Marine Corps and the Defense Intelligence Agency, it was revealed that the company was attempting to tie O’Brien and her organization to Islamic radicals and websites as well as jihadist ideology. Fred Burton, Stratfor’s vice president for counterterrorism and corporate security and a former deputy director of the counterterrorism division of the State Department’s Diplomatic Security Service, and Thomas Kopecky, director of operations at Investigative Research Consultants Inc. and Fortis Protective Services LLC, had an email exchange over this issue. Kopecky wrote: “I was looking into that US Day of Rage movement and specifically asked to connect it to any Saudi or other fundamentalist Islamic movements. Thus far, I have only hear[d] rumors but not gotten any substantial connection. Do you guys know much about this other than its US Domestic fiscal ideals?” Burton replied: “No, we’re not aware of any concrete connections between fundamentalist Islamist movements and the Day of Rage, or the October 2011 movementat this point.” But that soon changed. Stratfor, through others working in conjunction with the FBI, falsely linked US Day of Rage to al-Qaida and other Islamic terrorist organizations. Homeland Security later placed her group on a terrorism watch list.


This will be the standard tactic. Laws passed in the so-called war on terror will be used to turn all dissidents and activists into terrorism suspects, subjecting them to draconian forms of state repression and control. The same tactic was used during the anti-communist hysteria of the 20th century to destroy union leaders, writers, civil rights activists, intellectuals, artists, teachers, politicians and organizations that challenged entrenched corporate power.
“After 12 years of an undeclared permanent war against an undefined enemy and multiple revelations about massive unconstitutional spying by the government, we certainly hope that the Supreme Court will strike down a law that replaces our civilian system of justice with a military one,” said Mayer. “Unless this happens there will be little left of judicial review during wartime.”


Afran, a law professor at Rutgers University, asked last week during a conversation with me: “Does the Army have to be knocking on your door saying, ‘Come with me,’ before there will be the ability to challenge such a law?” He said the appellate court’s ruling “means you have to be incarcerated before you can challenge the law under which you’re incarcerated.”


“There’s nothing that’s built into this NDAA [the National Defense Authorization Act] that even gives a detained person the right to get to an attorney,” Afran said. “In fact, the whole notion is that it’s secret. It’s outside of any judicial process. You’re not even subject to a military trial. You can be moved to other jurisdictions under the law. It’s the antithesis of due process.”


The judges on the appellate court admitted that we as plaintiffs had raised “difficult questions.”
“This is a way of acknowledging they’re troubled by the apparent lack of constitutionality of the law,” Afran said during our conversation. “But they were not willing to face the question head on. So, in effect, they said, ‘Well, when someone’s threatened with arrest, then we have a concrete injury.’ But no one’s going to be threatened with arrest. They’ll simply be arrested. They’re not going to send a letter saying, ‘By the way, on Thursday next we’re going to place you in military custody.’ … The whole point of the law is that they’re going to come in and take you [in secrecy].”


The appellate court stated that the law does not apply to U.S. citizens and permanent residents. In reading the law this way the justices were saying, in effect, that I and the other plaintiffs had nothing to fear. Afran called this a “circular argument.” The court, in essence, said that because it did not construe the law as applying to U.S. citizens and lawful residents we could not bring the case to court.


“They seem to accept a lot of what we said, namely that the whole history of the jurisprudence, of the court decisions, is that American civilians cannot be placed in military custody,” Afran said. “And they accept the idea that Section E of the statute says, ‘Nothing herein shall be construed to affect existing authorities as to the detention of U.S. citizens.’ So on the basis of that they say this is not meant to add any new powers to the government and since the government doesn’t have power over civilians in this way the law can’t be extended to civilians. The problem is by saying there’s no standing, they deprive the district court of entering an order, saying and declaring that the statue does not apply to U.S. citizens or permanent residents, lawful residents in the U.S.”


The court, in essence, accepted the principle that citizens cannot be taken into military custody but refused to issue a direct order saying so that would be enforceable.
“We have the absurdity of the court of appeals, one of the highest courts in the country, saying this law cannot touch citizens and lawful residents, but depriving the trial court of the ability to enter an order blocking it from being used in that way,” Afran said. “The lack of an order enables future [military] detentions. A person may have to languish for months, maybe years, before getting a court hearing. The [appellate] court correctly stated what the law is, but it deprived the trial court of the ability to enter an order stopping this [new] law from being used.”


“A law is not constitutional just because habeas corpus says you have a right to go to court to try to get out,” Afran said in speaking about the legal mechanism by which someone might challenge custody. “The citizen is entitled not to be detained in the first place absent probable cause. Habeas corpus is a remedy of last resort. It’s not there to justify the use of unconstitutional detention laws.”


The Supreme Court takes between 80 and 100 cases a year from about 8,000 requests. There is no guarantee our appeal will ever be heard. If we fail, if this law stands, if in the years ahead the military starts to randomly seize and disappear people, if dissidents and activists become subject to indefinite and secret detention in military gulags, we will at least be able to look back on this moment and know we fought back.


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see link for full story

 10 Chemical Weapons Attacks The U.S. Government Doesn’t Want You To Know About

A couple of weeks ago I highlighted the fact that declassified documents analyzed by Foreign Policy proved that the U.S. government knew about Saddam Hussein’s egregious use of chemical weapons and in fact we helped him be more effective in their deployment. Well unfortunately that’s just the tip of the American chemical weapons iceberg.

From white phosphorus and depleted uranium (DU) usage in Iraq, to secret radioactive tests in poor black neighborhoods within the U.S. itself (something I previously covered here), the list is pretty horrific. While you might be able to say that this is the reality of war, then what the heck are we doing entering a civil war in a country where chemical weapons are being used that poses no threat to us? Absolutely insane and criminal.

I summarized the Top 10 list here, but I highly suggest also checking out the entire post with pictures from PolicyMic. Summary below:

Washington doesn’t merely lack the legal authority for a military intervention in Syria. It lacks the moral authority. We’re talking about a government with a history of using chemical weapons against innocent people far more prolific and deadly than the mere accusations Assad faces from a trigger-happy Western military-industrial complex, bent on stifling further investigation before striking.

1. The U.S. Military Dumped 20 Million Gallons of Chemicals on Vietnam from 1962 – 1971

Vietnam estimates that as a result of the decade-long chemical attack, 400,000 people were killed or maimed, 500,000 babies have been born with birth defects, and 2 million have suffered from cancer or other illnesses.

2. Israel Attacked Palestinian Civilians with White Phosphorus in 2008 – 2009

White phosphorus is a horrific incendiary chemical weapon that melts human flesh right down to the bone.

In 2009, multiple human rights groups, including Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, and International Red Cross reported that the Israeli government was attacking civilians in their own country with chemical weapons.

The Israeli military denied the allegations at first, but eventually admitted they were true.

3. Washington Attacked Iraqi Civilians with White Phosphorus in 2004

In 2004, journalists embedded with the U.S. military in Iraq began reporting the use of white phosphorus in Fallujah against Iraqi insurgents. First the military lied and said that it was only using white phosphorus to create smokescreens or illuminate targets. Then it admitted to using the volatile chemical as an incendiary weapon.

4. The CIA Helped Saddam Hussein Massacre Iranians and Kurds with Chemical Weapons in 1988

CIA records now prove that Washington knew Saddam Hussein was using chemical weapons (including sarin, nerve gas, and mustard gas) in the Iran-Iraq War, yet continued to pour intelligence into the hands of the Iraqi military, informing Hussein of Iranian troop movements while knowing that he would be using the information to launch chemical attacks.

5. The Army Tested Chemicals on Residents of Poor, Black St. Louis Neighborhoods in The 1950s

In the early 1950s, the Army set up motorized blowers on top of residential high-rises in low-income, mostly black St. Louis neighborhoods, including areas where as much as 70% of the residents were children under 12. The government told residents that it was experimenting with a smokescreen to protect the city from Russian attacks, but it was actually pumping the air full of hundreds of pounds of finely powdered zinc cadmium sulfide.

6. Police Fired Tear Gas at Occupy Protesters in 2011

The savage violence of the police against Occupy protesters in 2011 was well documented, andincluded the use of tear gas and other chemical irritants. Tear gas is prohibited for use against enemy soldiers in battle by the Chemical Weapons Convention.

7. The FBI Attacked Men, Women, and Children With Tear Gas in Waco in 1993

At the infamous Waco siege of a peaceful community of Seventh Day Adventists, the FBI pumped tear gas into buildings knowing that women, children, and babies were inside. The tear gas was highly flammable and ignited, engulfing the buildings in flames and killing 49 men and women, and 27 children, including babies and toddlers.

8. The U.S. Military Littered Iraq with Toxic Depleted Uranium in 2003

In Iraq, the U.S. military has littered the environment with thousands of tons of munitions made from depleted uranium, a toxic and radioactive nuclear waste product. As a result, more than half of babies born in Fallujah from 2007 – 2010 were born with birth defects. Some of these defects have never been seen before outside of textbooks with photos of babies born near nuclear tests in the Pacific.

9. The U.S. Military Killed Hundreds of Thousands of Japanese Civilians with Napalm from 1944 – 1945

Napalm is a sticky and highly flammable gel which has been used as a weapon of terror by the U.S. military. In 1980, the UN declared the use of napalm on swaths of civilian population a war crime. That’s exactly what the U.S. military did in World War II, dropping enough napalm in one bombing raid on Tokyo to burn 100,000 people to death, injure a million more, and leave a million without homes in the single deadliest air raid of World War II.

10. The U.S. Government Dropped Nuclear Bombs on Two Japanese Cities in 1945

It seems odd that the only regime to ever use one of these weapons of terror on other human beings has busied itself with the pretense of keeping the world safe from dangerous weapons in the hands of dangerous governments.

We have no moral authority. Period.

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Reply with quote  #3 

see link for full story

FBI agent from Sleepy Hollow asks to await trial in New York

Man faces federal charges in Utah and White Plains

Sep. 17, 2013   |  
A former FBI agent from Sleepy Hollow is asking to remain at the Westchester County jail while he awaits trial on two separate federal conspiracy cases against him — one in New York and one in Utah.

Robert Lustyik Jr., 51, who pleaded not guilty to the New York indictment before U.S. District Judge Vincent Briccetti in White Plains on Tuesday has been held in a Utah prison since his bail was revoked in that case in March, and faced a lengthy transport just to appear before Briccetti.

“Seven transfers to get here,” said defense attorney Ray Mansolillo, who noted that the Utah case is not expected to go to trial until at least March before U.S. District Judge Tena Campbell in Salt Lake City.

Prosecutors in White Plains arranged for Lustyik to be transferred here for the arraignment, and will now seek to negotiate with federal marshals, prosecutors and a federal judge in Utah to determine if Lustyik may remain here during preliminary hearings.

Mansolillo said he is willing to waive Lustyik’s presence in the Utah courtroom for hearings there.

Lustyik and childhood friend Johannes Thaler, a 49-year-old former Tarrytown resident, were first charged in the Utah case last year. Federal prosecutors in Salt Lake City alleged that Lustyik and Thaler attempted to thwart a federal investigation into a controversial defense contractor in exchange for lucrative payoffs.

Last month both men and a third man, Rizve Ahmed, 34, of Fairfield County, Conn., were named in a new indictment in New York. In that case, they are accused of accepting $1,000 and seeking tens of thousands more in exchange for an FBI “suspicious activity report” on an unnamed Bangladeshi political figure, according to a 15-page complaint unsealed last month in federal court in White Plains.

Lustyik and Thaler are accused of soliciting the bribes from Ahmed, identified as a rival of the Bangladeshi politician who was the subject of the FBI activity report.


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Reply with quote  #4 
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Monday, Sept. 23, 2013

Russian mobster-turned FBI informant denies murder charge

Mani Chulpayev speaks one-on-one with Channel 2 Action News
Mani Chulpayev speaks one-on-one with Channel 2 Action News


A former Atlanta car dealer who worked as a Russian mobster and FBI informant spoke to Channel 2 investigative reporter Jim Strickland while in custody at the Fulton County Jail.

Mani Chulpayev is expected to be the star witness in the case of a murdered rapper.

Rapper Lil Phat was shot and killed in his car in the parking lot of Northside Hospital in June 2012.

Prosecutors say it was a revenge killing ordered by drug dealers who believe the rapper stole from them. Prosecutors have accused Chulpayev of helping an assassin squad to hunt down the victim.


Strickland has learned that suspects charged in the murder are customers of Chulpayev's Atlanta car-leasing business.


However, Chulpayev told Strickland in the jailhouse interview that he was actually gathering intelligence on the drug operation for the FBI.

"If I'm such a bad guy and so violent and such a convicted criminal, why are three or four agencies simultaneously using me over and over again like a whore?" Chulpayev said. "Of course I'm mad."

Posts: 8,739
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I just got an email from Bill Ayers

see link for full story


The new book from Bill Ayers, Public Enemy: Confessions of an American Dissident
View this email in your browser
Public Enemy: Coming Oct. 8
"A brilliant, spirited document of a revolutionary life in our not-so-revolutionary age."
-Junot Diaz

On October 8, 2013, please order two copies of Public Enemy--one for you and one to give to your neighbor's children. Check the tour schedule to see when Bill Ayers will be in your city.

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FBI agent convinces rabbis to kidnap, torture man to force him to grant religious divorce during stings

Thursday, October 10, 2013


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JFK’s well-worn rosary beads could bring $1M at auction

An odd little bit of Camelot hits the market later this month: Almost exactly a month before the 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination, his rosary will go on sale at Boston's Omni Parker House hotel on Oct. 24.


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Renee McNeal was torn from her screaming children by police who were seeking a woman with a similar name — a woman who they should have known had been murdered seven months before. ¶ A clerical mistake set up the arrest, sloppy attention to fingerprints put her behind bars and months of indifference to the error cost McNeal her home, $15,000 and, for a while, her job driving a Metro bu

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2 southern Illinois jails allowing e-cigarettes



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Eric Holder was the Assistant AG who refused to reopen the Martin Luther King assassination after the King family gave him evidence that FBI  agents had assassinated Dr King.

Republican Lawmakers Plan to Remove AG Eric Holder From Office

attorney general/doj file photo
Steve Neavling
House Republicans are planning to remove AG Eric Holder from office by year’s end, Rep. Tod Yoho, R-Fla., told the Gainsville Sun.
“It’s to get him out of office — impeachment,” the Florida freshman said, adding “it will probably be when we get back in [Washington]. It will be before the end of the year. This will go to the speaker and the speaker will decide if it comes up or not.”
Among the reasons for removal is the botched “Fast and Furious” operation, which allowed guns to be placed in the hands of Mexican drug cartels.
The group plans to take the plan to House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, when the lawmakers return from break.
- See more at: http://www.ticklethewire.com/#sthash.naohGZWk.dpuf

Republican Lawmakers Plan to Remove AG Eric Holder From Office


attorney general/doj file photo

Steve Neavling

House Republicans are planning to remove AG Eric Holder from office by year’s end, Rep. Tod Yoho, R-Fla., told the Gainsville Sun.

“It’s to get him out of office — impeachment,” the Florida freshman said, adding “it will probably be when we get back in [Washington]. It will be before the end of the year. This will go to the speaker and the speaker will decide if it comes up or not.”

Among the reasons for removal is the botched “Fast and Furious” operation, which allowed guns to be placed in the hands of Mexican drug cartels.

The group plans to take the plan to House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, when the lawmakers return from break.

- See more at: http://www.ticklethewire.com/#sthash.naohGZWk.dpuf

Posts: 8,739
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From 1989-2002 we held 13 conferences looking at crimes committed by FBI  agents.  In the spring of 2001 we had our last conference at Bates College after holding the conference there for 10 years.We had a honor roll list of speakers that year that will probably never be matched.  We brought former LAPD narcotics detective Mike Ruppert to speak about the CIA  working with local police to distribute heroin and cocaine into our communities including Denver. Later that year after 911 Ruppert went on to make a documentary that is one of my favorites about 911 . see 
In 2009 a documentary about Mike Ruppert was made called COLLAPSE that film critic Roger Ebert put on his top 10 list of documentaries. see 

Other speakers on the dais in 2001 included attorney John DeCamp who was elected
to the Nebraska State Senate as a Republican while a soldier in Viet Nam. His book THE FRANKLIN COVERUP  details a national pedophile ring that tortured,sexually abused and murdered little children . The ring went all the way to the White House. FBI  agents were involved with the pedophile ring. DeCamp was probably responsible for getting his friend William Colby murdered. Colby mentored DeCamp in Viet Nam and would later head up the CIA. DeCamp sought Colby out for his advice about all the people getting murdered in his investigation. see

Daryl Cherney see  http://www.judibari.org/  shared the dais as well as attorney John Clarke whom I would urge you to visit his website. If there was ever a smoking gun linking Bill and Hillary Clinton to the murder of their friend and counselor Vince Foster Clarke has it on his website. see  http://www.fbicover-up.com/ There were other speakers
that weekend but you have more important things to do. In passing we never held our conference at Bates College after the spring of 2001.
The next year, after the 911 attack, FBI  supervisor Tom Carey quit his job at the FBI  investigating the 911 Anthrax Attack to run the campus police at Bates College. see this 2004 issue of the Bates Magazine about Tom Carey http://www.bates.edu/magazine/back-issues/y2004/winter04/quad-angles/

In other news 

Inconsistencies Haunt Official Record Of Kennedy's Death

by Marcus D. Rosenbaum
November 10, 2013 5:10 AM

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August 31, 2007 by CommonDreams.org
The Necessary Embrace of Conspiracy
by Robert Shetterly

Several years ago I gave a talk on Martha's Vineyard about many of the people whose portraits I've painted in the Americans Who Tell the Truth series. I spent some time talking about the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. When I talk about King, I like to focus on his last year --- the period when, defying the advice of many of his advisors in the civil rights movement, he spoke against the Vietnam War, equating racism with imperialism. King felt bound to make the point that the forces of capitalism, materialism, and militarism that were driving segregation were also driving the war, and until we confronted the source of the problem, the abuses would continue. It was April 4, 1967, in Riverside Church in New York, that he made that declaration. A year to the day before his assassination.

It has always confounded me every year when we celebrate Dr. King's life that no mention is made of that Riverside Church speech in the major media. We are always treated to sound bites of the 1963 I Have a Dream speech. That speech's oratory is as powerful as it is non-confrontational. Which is why it is re-played for modern audiences. Dr. King was about confrontation. Non-violence and confrontation, each ennobling and making the other effective. In 1967 he said, "... my country is the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today." And he explained how our economic system thrived on exploitation and violence, or, as Emma Goldman put it, "The greatest bulwark of capitalism is militarism." This was probably the most important speech King ever gave and not playing it when we ostensibly honor him, is tantamount to castrating him morally and intellectually. Just as there is a long history of White America castrating black men, there is an equal legacy of Elite America cutting the most important truths of our social prophets out of the history books. We pay homage to King's icon, the cardboard cutout, but not to his strongest beliefs and his most cogent analysis of our problems --- to what vision called forth his courage. And, if we think that he spoke the truth, to censor that truth is to promote a curious kind of segregation. He is segregated, not for the color of his skin, but for the accuracy of his perception, how close to the bone his words cut. We can't bear to hear the sound of truth's knife scraping on hypocrisy's bone. Only people who actually want to change the system dance to that music or want it to be heard.

Equally important, and part of the same neglect, is the intentional ignoring of the facts of his death. In my talk on Martha's Vineyard I spoke about William Pepper's book, An Act of State: The Execution of Martin Luther King, Jr. Pepper had been James Earl Ray's lawyer. Ray was the man convicted of killing King. But both Pepper and the King family were convinced that Ray was innocent. The King family hired Pepper to represent them in a suit; they asked only $100.00 in damages to clear Ray's name. Before the trial came to court in 1999, Ray had died in prison. The jury determined that King had been assassinated by a conspiracy involving the Memphis police, the Mafia, the FBI, and the Special Forces of the U.S. Army. Ray, the patsy, had left town before the shot was fired. Pepper had confessions from people involved from each of the organizations named. The verdict was barely mentioned in the U.S. media then and is not mentioned every year on the anniversary of his death. Why?

After my talk on Martha's Vineyard a man came up to me and said, "I enjoyed your speech and was with you until you started that conspiracy stuff about MLK, Jr." I said, "That's not conspiracy. What I told you are facts." End of conversation.

I think we're confronted with two conspiracies here: one to commit the crime, the other to ignore it even when the facts are known. ( Two sides of the same coin.) The man who accused me of slipping into the neurotic, aliens-are-among-us land of conspiracy nuts was unable to hear the evidence, perhaps because he was so utterly convinced by our government and media that conspiracies don't exist, people who espouse them are dangerous fruitcakes, and if you begin to think like that, your whole house of cards wobbles then topples. Who wants that? Better a standing tower of marked cards, than having to admit the game is rigged and the ground is shaking.

America is steeped in conspiracy, and even more steeped in propaganda that discredits those who try to expose the conspiracies. Whether we're talking about MLK, Jr., JFK, RFK, Iran-Contra, 9/11, or, most importantly, the status quo, anyone who works to uncover the truth is branded a "conspiracy nut" and discredited before any evidence has a fair hearing. The government/corporate/media version is THE VERSION. Anything else is illusory.

In fact, the cultural success of labeling investigative reporters and forensic historians, and, simply, anyone who tries to name reality, "conspiracy nuts" is perhaps the most successful conspiracy of our time. Well, not the most successful. That prize goes to the conspiracy to give corporations all the rights of individual persons under our Constitution. That conspiracy has codified and consolidated corporate power so that it controls our lives in almost every meaningful way. It controls the election funds of our candidates, and them once they are in office. It controls our major media including public broadcasting. It controls the content of our television programming. It controls how are tax dollars are spent making sure that the richest get the most welfare. It controls the laws, the courts, the prison system and the mind numbing propaganda that we are the greatest democracy on earth. It controls the values with which we raise our children. It controls our ability to dispense justice. It controls how we treat nature, how we deface our land with strip malls, and blow the tops off our mountains --- a form of corporate free speech. It dictates our modes of transportation. It controls our inability to respond to true crises like climate change. It attempts to create a spiritual deficiency in every person that can be filled and healed only with stuff --- and no stuff is ever enough.

As Richard Grossman puts it, "Isn't it an old story? People create what looks to be a nifty machine, a robot, called the corporation. Over time, the robots get together and overpower the people. ... For a century, the robots propagandize and indoctrinate each generation of people so they grow up believing that robots are people too, gifts from God and Mother Nature; that they are inevitable and the source of all that is good. How odd that we have been so gullible, so docile, obedient."

It is obvious to say that we have been engineered into a culture that values competitive consumption and consumers instead of community cooperation and citizenship. Capitalism with its obsessive and necessary appetite for consumption, expanding markets, resource depletion, and increasing profits has consumed democracy. Have you ever watched a small snake swallow a large frog? The snake's hinged jaw stretches wider and wider, squeezing the frog millimeter by millimeter into its gullet until finally the snake looks like the Holland Tunnel might if it had devoured the Titanic. Then the acids and enzymes do their corrosive work. The frog becomes the snake. And the snake claims it is the frog. Capitalism has gulped down democracy and claimed it is democracy. When, immediately after 9/11, President Bush advised Americans to demonstrate their love of freedom and their resistance to terrorism by courageously, selflessly, hurrying to the mall to buy something, he was speaking as the snake that identifies itself as a frog. He was asking us to play a little game with our brains' synapses, replace the snake icon with the frog's. Sadly, he may also have been speaking about democracy in the only way that he can understand or recognize it. And, for him, Christianity has been another tidy meal for the snake.

Perhaps this switcheroo is nowhere more obvious than in the military /industrial complex. We are told that the vulnerable frog needs protecting. The threats are grave. So we fork over our money and children's lives for war and weapons. We are told that we are building security and peace. More lives. More weapons. What we aren't told is that the largest US export to the world is weapons. What we aren't told is that enormous fortunes are being made from the arms trade. What we aren't told is that the more precarious and unstable the world is, the better the business for the arms dealers --- that the real promotion is not for security and peace but insecurity and war, that the lives of our children are the necessary collateral damage for this monster. What we aren't told is that the only real security is in cooperation, conservation, and fairness, not imperialism. The frog, who is a snake, wrapped in a flag, pleads for patriotism and counts the cash. The snake's forked tongue is a barbeque fork on which we've all been roasted.

I'd call that conspiracy.

The neocons have claimed, with some accuracy, that they can create reality faster than we can react: the deed is done, now deal with it. The troops have invaded, Halliburton, Blackwater, and Lockheed signed their contracts, the prisoners are tortured, your email is bugged, the resources for social programs are gone, the laws are changed, the Wal-Mart is built, the sludge dump has already polluted the aquifer, truth is hollowed out ---- catch me if you can! How is that not conspiracy?

The cooks & the crooks create a new status quo, legalize it, propagandize it, mythologize it, fundamentalize it, slather it with fear and patriotism, and force feed it to the complacent, sedated cow we call America. How is that not conspiracy?

Of course, ever since the Constitution was signed and didn't free the slaves or give the vote to women, poor folks, Native Americans and freed blacks so that people with power and money could continue to profit, America has been a conspiracy against itself. It's been cowboy grilling his own heart over a smoke & mirrors campfire, a CEO with inherited wealth and three hundred years of patrician, affirmative action crooning "Only in America."

The reason we can't talk about conspiracy is because it is the modus operandi. It isn't the elephant in the room, it is the room itself. We all live there. We can impeach a few elephants, and we should, but the architecture is in place. And they control it.

When I was in school, I was reminded - repeatedly --- to avoid using an indefinite pronoun without identifying whom it refers to, as in, "They are coming to get us," ... or, "They control everything." Who are They? It's bad practice to think and write like that. Without reference it just sounds like paranoia. But the hell of it is that it's damned hard to say who the They are that are in conspiracy to destroy democracy and, by exploitation, nature. Did They do it on purpose or merely discover by serendipity, like cavemen seeing copper ooze out of a rock by a fire, the wondrous possibility and power of what they had found. For instance, the invention of the TV was not a conspiracy. But once the realization of how TV could be used to submerge the public in a lobotomizing swamp of advertising, sound bites, inactivity, community destruction, titillation, false history, empty myth, consumption, and complicity in making fortunes for the sponsors, the program was clear. Conspiracy was the silent partner in the euphemism good business practice. And, once they saw the implications of giving corporations First Amendment rights, they were home free.

Time to re-think conspiracy.

We need to embrace conspiracy in two ways. One, admit that it's real, its quotidian, it's the fabric of our lives, the mercury in the air, the dioxin in the water, it's filling the airwaves and the marketplace and the courts and the halls of Congress before we even get out of bed every morning. Two, counter it with a conspiracy of our own. On our side we have the fundamental fact that although the corporate They can alter many of our realities, they can't alter Reality. They can't change the behavior of Nature. They can sell off the rain forest, but they can't leverage the effect of cutting it. They can keep the mileage of cars poor so we'll buy more gas, but they can't alter the amount of oil in the ground or the damage to the atmosphere. They can privatize every human interaction and every natural resource, but they can't privatize the laws of nature. They have conspired to change reality. We must conspire to live in harmony with Reality.

In the same way, they can conspire to kill Martin Luther King, Jr., but they can't totally eradicate the truth of who did it and why.

Con + spirare, from the Latin. To breathe together. Those are the roots of conspiracy. Breathing together doesn't sound like an activity of the ideologically deracinated whispering seditiously in a dank cellar or a board room, foul breaths denting a weak flame flickering over a candle nub, gunpowder or greed blackened fingers setting a timer, the whites of creased eyes glinting like knives with treason, murder, power, and deceit. Con + spirare sounds like healthy men and women standing in the sun figuring out how in the hell they are going to take care of each other and their aging mother Earth and love life while doing it. Breathing together, sharing the same air, plotting to make sure that what's mine is yours, conspiring to save their self-respect, their ideals, the future for their children.

I want to be part of a conspiracy. Pervasive, populist, revolutionary, and totally transparent. Grassroots. Idealistic. Simplistic. Life-affirming. Community building

A conspiracy to make the common good and the love of nature the common denominator of every economic transaction.

And the simple truth is either we start breathing together, conspiring big time, right out in the open, nakedly, unashamedly, or we will have conspired in secret, by default, in our own demise.

We have let them breathe for us, and they have stolen our breath, our air, our spirit.

Secret con + spirare is death. Open con + spirare is life.

Conspiracy is dead. Long live conspiracy!

Robert Shetterly lives in Brooksville, Maine

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see link for full story


When LAPD officers were accused, union dug up dirt to fight back

A case offers a look into how the L.A. Police Protective League mobilized to defend officers who union officials feel have been wrongly accused.


As far as news releases go, the one the Los Angeles police union put out was highly unusual.

It dealt with Brian C. Mulligan, a Hollywood executive turned banker, who had been arrested by LAPD officers. In the news release, the union portrayed Mulligan as a drug-abusing liar and accused him of trying to "shake down" the Police Department.

The evidence? A secret recording that a police officer in nearby Glendale had made of Mulligan a few days before his arrest. Sounding agitated and paranoid, Mulligan admitted on the recording to using a potent type of bath salts, a synthetic drug that can cause paranoia. The union embedded in the release a link to the recording, which it had uploaded to its website.

It was a counterattack on Mulligan. The Deutsche Bank executive had gone public with a strange, troubling account of his arrest, in which he was badly injured. Officers, he said through an attorney, had kidnapped him, forced him to go to a motel and then beat him in a brutal, unprovoked attack when he tried to flee. He also denied the officers' claim that he had admitted using bath salts and marijuana, and he accused the officers of lying in their arrest report to cover up the alleged abuse.

How the audio recording made its way into the hands of the Los Angeles Police Protective League and its decision to publish it are at the heart of a lawsuit filed recently by Mulligan. In it, and in a related lawsuit, Mulligan has accused union officials of conspiring with a lawyer in the L.A. city attorney's office and a media consultant to "publicly vilify" Mulligan and pressure him to drop his demands for millions of dollars in damages.

The union has stoutly defended its right to publish the audio recording, saying in a court filing that it was acting "to defend the reputation of the two officers" who arrested Mulligan and was free to release the recording because it was not confidential.

An attorney for Eric Rose, the union media consultant named in the recent lawsuit, echoed that idea, saying Rose and the union had the right to disseminate Mulligan's "very public truthful admission which he finds embarrassing."


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Dumbest cops in America video themselves laughing at and tasing mentally-ill, handcuffed man

Rob Beschizza at 12:55 pm Tue, Nov 26, 2013


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Mom of Teen Killed by Taser Loses $5.5M Award
 A woman whose 17-year-old had a fatal heart attack when a police officer Tasered him cannot take home $5.5 million in damages, the 4th Circuit ruled.

     The confrontation occurred at a Food Lion supermarket in Charlotte, N.C., on March 20, 2008, after a store manager fired 17-year-old employee Darryl Wayne Turner for insubordination.
     When an irate Turner refused to leave the store, Officer Jerry Dawson with the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department arrived to escort him out.
     Turner refused to calm down, however, leading Dawson to point the red "laser dot" from his Model X26 Taser at the subject's chest, as he had been trained.
     Dawson fired and, when Turner did not immediately collapse, continued to emit an electrical shock into Turner's body for 37 seconds before Turner collapsed. The officer held the trigger for an additional 5 seconds of shock once Turner was on the ground.
     Turner was in ventricular fibrillation when paramedics arrived and was pronounced dead at the hospital.
     Dawson later testified that he had no reason to think that firing the X26 at Turner's chest was dangerous because he was trained to aim it towards a subject's "center of mass," and TI's various training materials since 2003 state essentially "that application of the X26 Taser had no effect on a subject's heart rates."
     Turner's mother, Tammy Lou Fontenot, then sued the weapon's manufacturer Taser International Inc., for product liability.
     She claimed that TI negligently failed to warn X26 users of academic study results that showed the device posed a risk of ventricular fibrillation, which can cause cardiac arrest, especially when the electrical current from the Taser was applied near the subject's heart.
     A jury ultimately found that the company had been negligent and awarded her $10 million in damages.
     U.S. District Judge Robert Conrad Jr. then reduced the judgment to $5.5 million, but a divided three-judge panel of the 4th Circuit deemed this amount still too high Friday.
     The 39-page majority opinion emphasizes that the multimillion award implies "that Turner's services, care, and companionship had a value approaching $1000-$2000 per week, per parent."


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HONOR AND DECEPTION: A secretive Air Force program recruits academy students to inform on fellow cadets and disavows them afterward
By Dave Philipps Updated: December 1, 2013

Facing pressure to combat drug use and sexual assault at the Air Force Academy, the Air Force has created a secret system of cadet informants to hunt for misconduct among students.

Cadets who attend the publicly-funded academy near Colorado Springs must pledge never to lie. But the program pushes some to do just that: Informants are told to deceive classmates, professors and commanders while snapping photos, wearing recording devices and filing secret reports.

For one former academy student, becoming a covert government operative meant not only betraying the values he vowed to uphold, it meant being thrown out of the academy as punishment for doing the things the Air Force secretly told him to do.

Read more at http://gazette.com/honor-and-deception-a-secretive-air-force-program-recruits-academy-students-to-inform-on-fellow-cadets-and-disavows-them-afterward/article/1510262#FxZV7jRBFmmy1Ssa.99

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Ecuador Shuts Down Anti-Oil Drilling Environmental Group

President Rafael Correa's government shut down the nonprofit group Fundación Pachamama that opposes Amazon rainforest oil drilling, claiming it was involved in disturbing public order.


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Whistleblower Center founder Steve Kohn spoke at our 1st conference investigating crimes committed by FBI  agents

National Whistleblowers Center
P.O. Box 25074
Washington, D.C. 20027

Mary Jane Wilmoth
(202) 342-1902


Whistleblower Fears UBS Banker Raoul Weil
Will Get Sweetheart Deal
UBS Tax Fraud Kingpin Extradited to
United States Faces Hearing Today

Fort Lauderdale, Florida. December 16, 2013.  Raoul Weil, the former head of UBS’s Global Wealth Management business is scheduled to appear for a hearing in U.S. District Court in Fort Lauderdale today. He was extradited to the United States from Italy where he was arrested on an international warrant after being indicted for his role in conspiring to violate U.S. tax laws.  Weil was the top boss for UBS whistleblower Bradley Birkenfeld, and controlled the international illegal banking schemes worldwide.

As head of Global Wealth Management while Birkenfeld worked at the bank, Weil had responsibility for five international regions for which UBS actively solicited wealthy clients to establish secret and illegal accounts and other fraudulent enterprises that permitted hundreds of billions of dollars to be hidden from local taxing authorities, including the United States.  His regions were:  Asia, Middle East, Africa, Europe and Americas).  Martin Liechti, who was directly responsible for the illegal banking activities that Birkenfeld exposed, was the head of the America’s program, and reported to Weil.

In 2007, UBS banker Bradley Birkenfeld provided the IRS, SEC, U.S. Senate and Department of Justice with unprecedented access to thousands of pages of documents and other information revealing for the first time the international fraud schemes managed by Weil.  Birkenfeld’s historic disclosures led directly to Weil’s indictment in 2008 and his eventual arrest by Italian authorities.
In a statement issued today by Stephen M. Kohn, the Executive Director of the National Whistleblower Center and one of Mr. Birkenfeld’s attorneys, Kohn warned that the Justice Department “may give Weil a sweetheart deal that could cost U.S. taxpayers billions of dollars and set back international efforts to curb corruption.”

Kohn pointed to a highly improper “deal” cut with Martin Liechti, who formally ran the America’s program under Weil’s leadership at UBS.  “Liechti was caught red-handed in the United States, but was permitted to plead the ‘Fifth Amendment’ in testimony before Congress, and soon after permitted to leave the United States without having to face justice for his illegal actions in hiding billions of dollars from the IRS,” Kohn said. 

According to Kohn, Weil would have extensive knowledge of UBS’s PEP program:

“UBS had an ultra secret special program for which the bank would accept millions and billions of dollars from ‘Politically Exposed People.’  The program, known as PEP, required bankers to identify PEPs when seeking to open secret accounts.  PEPs would be highly placed government officials and very wealthy individuals from around the world who were seeking to hide dirty money, illicitly obtained from bribes, kick-backs and other illegal activities."

“PEPs would include American public officials who held illegal accounts,” Kohn said.

“We fear that political pressure from high ranking officials and extremely wealthy individuals, both from the United States and those in power in foreign countries, will result in a cover-up of the PEP scandal.  Weil is one of the very few people in the world who would have information about the PEPs, and any attempt to resolve this case without full accountability for the PEP program, and full exposure of any person enrolled in that program, no matter how high-up the scandal reaches, should be aggressively opposed," Kohn said.

“Moreover, we fear that Weil may use his knowledge of high placed PEPs to leverage a sweetheart deal.  Any attempt to give Weil leniency in exchange for protecting millionaires, billionaires and corrupt politicians who illegally stole money and tax revenue from their people would undermine the rule of law and further obstruct justice,” Kohn added.

"It is paramount that American taxpayers obtain justice and those responsible for stealing billions of dollars from our government be held fully accountable," Kohn concluded.

A copy of the UBS bank account opening forms, that Birkenfeld provided to the IRS, SEC, U.S. Senate and DOJ in 2007 are linked here. These forms explicitly reference the PEP program.


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FBI Raid In San Diego -ALF

Thursday Dec 19th, 2013 2:03 PM

My name is Nicole and my house was raided By the FBI, JTTF, and local
sheriffs. The agents shouted FBI opened up we have a search warrant, as we (my mom and I) got pulled outside they
stormed the house, we also have three companion animals, luckily the dogs were with us, but the
cat was upstairs. As soon as we got back inside I said I want to see the warrant,
one agent told me that I would have it momentarily. The two main agents
that I could tell, were agent Debbie Fry and agent Kyle Bremersiemeu.
Those were the first two agents that talked to me and said they wanted to
talk to me. Before we went upstairs I again asked to see the warrant and
they again said I would have it momentarily. They
introduced themselves and then said that they were both from the FBI
offices in San Francisco. I told them as soon as they started talking that
I would not answer any questions without my lawyer present. They started with Nicole we've been
following you for a little while now, showing me pictures of myself
getting gas. She told me that she knew I moved to Portland with another friend that they have been
keeping an eye on. She showed me pictures of different incidents and told me that it
was me. She showed me a picture from a surveillance camera of a car that
looked like mine and said that it was mine. She said that yes these are
just surveillance camera pictures but the FBI has better pictures of the
incidents and can tell that its my car. Then she showed me another picture
of two people in black and she told me that one of them was me. I was not
being responsive and kept looking at the ground. Than agent Debbie said you and this other persyn have been going on a lot
of trips and when you were back in Oakland, we searched your car. She
showed me pictures of what she told me were bolt cutters, and muriatic acid
found in my car. She also said she had attained mink hair found in my car and brought up two animal activist that were recently arrested in Illinois. I kept looking outside and agent Kyle and Debbie kept bringing up the other persyn.
They told me that when said persyn was still with me that they were seeing other womyn behind my back. Agent Kyle
noticed I kept looking outside and said why are you looking outside, you cant runaway now. Finally they stopped and we were taken back downstairs. While downstairs I asked to see the warrant again and again they told me I
would see it momentarily. So we sat in the living room while they conducted the search. Then
they told me I also had a warrant for my finger prints and my DNA. I told
them I didn't want to do that and then one agent womyn told me that she
would force me to do so because it was ordered by a judge. So they finally left my house around 12:45 pm and upon leaving I asked for
the agents cards and they ignored me and kept talking
to my mom. I said again I wanted their names and they told me they would
write it on the back of a card.

IN Solidarity with everyone of us that they are trying to silence.

The warrant was for anything relating to businesses of animal industries, mink, clothes, books/ zines pertaining to mink, bobcat, and animal rights, maps, and for my car.

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Nature Bats Last


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RB ROTARY – Retired FBI agent and author Bob Hamer discusses his work with the FBI at the Rancho Bernardo Rotary Club meeting noon Thursday, Jan. 30 at the Bernardo Heights Country Club.


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Informant testifies in Ga. militia plot trial

January 09, 2014
GAINESVILLE — A law enforcement informant testified Wednesday that two north Georgia men were involved in serious conversations about plotting against the federal government.

The informant, Joe Sims, testified in the trial of Samuel Crump and Ray Adams before U.S. District Judge Richard Story in Gainesville. Prosecutors also played recordings of conversations Sims made secretly that include voices Sims said belong to Crump, Adams and others.

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see link for full story

Federal prosecutor seeks to dismiss witness tampering charges
Courts » Case appeared tied to investigation of former attorneys general.

A federal prosecutor has moved to dismiss charges against four men accused of witness tampering for allegedly beating a man who was cooperating with investigators looking into fundraising by former Utah Attorney General John Swallow.

The prosecutor is asking a federal judge to dismiss charges against Robert W. Montgomery, his two brothers and another man for allegedly fighting with a former employee of his credit repair business who apparently was cooperating in the investigation by Utah and federal agents.

Montgomery held a fundraiser in 2012 for Swallow’s campaign that was co-hosted by then-Attorney General Mark Shurtleff. In search warrant affidavits issued during the investigation that led to a combined 23 criminal charges against Swallow and Shurtleff, a Swallow staffer was quoted as saying Montgomery had contributed to the campaign, though he doesn’t show up on any donor reports.

The four men were arrested in August for allegedly beating the man, who was identified as an employee of Montgomery’s Emmediate Credit Solutions who had been fired or quit and came back angry because his final check had not cleared.

Defense attorneys said the man, who has a criminal record, started the fight and that during the melee taunted the others by declaring he was cooperating with the FBI in an investigation.

The men were arrested on warrants signed by Scott Nesbitt of the State Bureau of Investigation, one of the lead investigators of Swallow and Shurtleff.

Both former attorneys general are facing felony charges f

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Sears Tower owned & controlled by 9/11 WTC conspirators, Siliverstein & Kroll:

In yet another creepy “coincidence”, on March 11, 2004, 911 days after 9/11 and the very day of the False Flag Madrid Train Bombings, the Sears Tower (now Willis Tower) was sold by MetLife to Larry Silverstein and his criminal cohorts, Lloyd Goldman, Joseph Cayre and Jeffrey Feil for $800 million.

Kroll Security Group, which ran security at the WTC complex on 9/11, oversaw the major bizarre shutdowns of the towers in the weeks prior, and removed bombs-sniffing dogs days prior, gained the contract to run security at the Sears (Willis) Tower shortly after 9/11



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September 28, 2014
Rabbi Yoshiyahu Yosef Pinto Alleges Israeli Cabinet Minister Threatened Him Over US Rep Michael Grimm Contributions

Rabbi Yoshiyahu Yosef Pinto 4A top official in Israel tried to intimidate Rabbi Yoshiyahu Yosef Pinto – who claims Staten Island Rep. Michael Grimm shook him down for donations, sources familiar with the investigation – likely Pinto's attorneys Alan Dershowitz and Arthur Aidala – told the New York Post.

Above: Rabbi Yoshiyahu Yosef Pinto

Last updated at 2:32 pm CDT

As you read the New York Post report below, remember two key facts the Post chose not to report:

1. Rabbi Yoshiyahu Yosef Pinto's associates allegedly stole millions of dollars in food and other donations earmarked for Holocaust survivors. It was a criminal investigation into those thefts from the Hazon Yeshaya charity that allegedly prompted Pinto to try to bribe senior police officers to get inside details of that investigation. In his pea bargain with state prosecutors, Pinto reportedly admitted to personally benefiting from $1.2 million of that stolen money.

2. Cops recorded the key bribe – $100,000 in Swiss francs – being given. The recipient was wearing a wire. The person who delivered the bribe was Pinto's wife, who served as Pinto's bag man. She tried to commit suicide after she and her husband were arrested shortly after the attempted bribe.

Knowing those key facts makes Pinto a much less likable figure, and makes the spin of much of the Post's reporting ring false – which is likely why the Post left those facts out.

Who is guilty here? Grimm? Pinto? Biton? Ne'eman? Likely all of them and many more. To present Pinto as a victim is bizarre.

The only true victims in this sordid tale are the hundreds of poor elderly Holocaust survivors who died hungry because of the Hazon Yeshaya embezzlement – yet the New York Post says nothing about it.

Alan Dershowitz has long track record of representing the most vile clients, and of unethically using the media to push what have later turned out to be false claims about opponents – like, for example, his smear of Sam Kellner.

That Dershowitz (and Arthur Aidala, disgraced former Brooklyn DA Charles J. Hynes' close associate and backer) chose to defend a haredi rabbi who admits he lived in luxury on money stolen from poor Holocaust survivors is despicable, and if Dershowitz's conduct toward Sam Kellner wasn't evidence enough to boot Dershowitz out of the Jewish community he claims to love, his conduct here with Pinto's case should be. There are lots of defense attorneys in the world and there is no ethical need for Dershowitz to defend or aid Pinto – unless, of course, Dershowitz is donating his entire fee to a legitimate nonprofit that feeds poor Holocaust survivors in Israel. But he isn't. (And if he claims to be defending Pinto for free, that only makes his lack of ethics worse.)

Here's the NY Post's report, which appears to have been spoonfed to it by (no surprise here) Dershowitz and Aidala:

A top official in Israel tried to intimidate the rabbi who claims Staten Island Rep. Michael Grimm shook him down for donations, sources familiar with the investigation told The Post.

The FBI is investigating allegations by Orthodox mystic Yoshiyahu Yosef Pinto, who testified against Grimm in 2010.

In 2011, then-Israeli Justice Minister Yaakov Neeman, a follower of the rabbi, visited Pinto at his home in the city of Ashdod in southern Israel and told him that if he continued to cooperate with the FBI, “you’re going to have a disaster in Israel,” a source told The Post. “In Israel they’re going to ruin you.”

“The rabbi started off as a victim and did the right thing by seeking out law enforcement, and now has been victimized once again,” said Arthur Aidala, Pinto’s Manhattan lawyer. He has been joined by famed attorney Alan Dershowitz, who is a follower and longtime friend of the rabbi.

It is unclear whether Grimm was directly involved, but Pinto’s supporters believe he exerted his own pressure on Israeli power brokers fearful of losing the Republican congressman as a supporter.

Grimm, who pleaded not guilty to tax fraud, perjury and obstruction in April — charges related to a Manhattan restaurant he owned — is the co-chair of the House Republican Israel Caucus. In 2011 during a trip to the country, he described attending “an intimate meeting” with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

A year after Neeman’s visit, Pinto, who divides his time between Ashdod and Manhattan, was charged with extortion in Israel. In October 2012, he was placed under house arrest, accused of paying a senior police official in exchange for information on an investigation which involved him and a branch of his charity, Shuva Israel.

Two weeks ago, Pinto struck a deal with Israeli authorities to plead guilty.

Pinto’s supporters say the guilty plea was made under duress when Israeli authorities threatened to press charges against Pinto’s ailing wife.

And they characterized the rabbi’s payments — several hundred thousand dollars — to senior police commander Ephraim Bracha as aid to a loyal follower. In fact, Pinto was open about the payments to his FBI handlers who even informed Israeli authorities, said the source.

In a statement, Grimm’s office denied any connection. “The notion that the congressman has even the slightest ability to influence legal matters in Israel is completely ridiculous and absurd on its face,” it wrote.

Pinto, a descendant of two Sephardic rabbinical dynasties and one of the wealthiest religious leaders in Israel, counts LeBron James, disgraced former Rep. Anthony Weiner and Ofer Yardeni, a founder of Stonehenge Partners, among his followers and associates. He is considered like a saint among his supporters, who follow him with cultlike devotion.

Grimm, 44, was one of them, at least until Pinto sparked a federal investigation against the congressman when he went to authorities to report that he was the victim of an alleged extortion scheme carried out by two former members of his inner circle, Israeli entrepreneur Ofer Biton and p.r. executive Ronn Torossian.

A close associate of the rabbi wrote a check for $135,000 to RDT, a consulting firm controlled by Torossian, according to court papers. More money flowed in from other followers. By May 2010, Biton had invested $500,000 in a business venture as a first step to securing a US investor’s visa. Torossian has denied any wrongdoing.

When the demands for money continued, Pinto and his wife reached out to Grimm, a former Marine and FBI agent who had been introduced to the rabbi by Biton. It’s unclear how Biton and Grimm knew each other.

Grimm promised to make the problems with Torossian and ­Biton go away if the rabbi prevailed upon his supporters to donate to Grimm’s first run for Congress in 2010, according to the source.

A large portion of Grimm’s donations for the November 2010 election came from the Orthodox Jewish community. There were accusations that some donations were over the $4,800 limit prescribed by federal campaign-finance rules and were made by foreign nationals, who are prohibited from donating.

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Cruel and usual punishment in jails and prisons

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How saving West African forests might have prevented the Ebola epidemic

see link for full story

Friday 3 October 2014 13.26 EDT

The world now knows in great detail how Thomas Eric Duncan, a man who just a few weeks ago showed admirable compassion for a sick, pregnant neighbor in Liberia, has become the first person to come down with Ebola in the United States.

What is less well known is how the virus came to West Africa to infect Duncan’s neighbor. Knowing and acting on that story is absolutely critical if we hope to contain future outbreaks of Ebola and other scary diseases before they turn into global headlines.

The Ebola epidemic in West Africa may have surprised most of the medical establishment – this is the first such outbreak in the region – but the risk had been steadily rising for at least a decade. The risk had grown so high, in fact, that this outbreak was almost inevitable and very possibly predictable.

All that was needed was to see the danger was a bat’s eye view of the region. Once blanketed with forests, West Africa has been skinned alive over the last decade. Guinea’s rainforests have been reduced by 80%, while Liberia has sold logging rights to over half its forests. Within the next few years Sierra Leone is on track to be completely deforested.

This matters because those forests were habitat for fruit bats, Ebola’s reservoir host. With their homes cut down around them, the bats are concentrating into the remnants of their once-abundant habitat. At the same time, mining has become big business in the region, employing thousands of workers who regularly travel into bat territory to get to the mines.
mine sierra leone africa deforestation Industrial kimberlite diamond pit mine in Sierra Leone, West Africa owned by Koidu holdings, one of a number of international mining companies who have come to Sierra Leone in search of diamonds. Mining is among major factors driving deforestation of the region. Photographer: David Levene

The result: virus, bats and people have had more opportunities to meet.

Fruit bats carry the Ebola virus, but generally don’t die from it. The virus could easily have migrated from Central to West Africa inside them in much the same way that birds spread West Nile virus across North America: passing it among flocks during seasonal migrations.

Although bats have long been on the menu in West Africa, there are other transmission routes for the virus besides bushmeat. It is conceivable the two-year-old boy in Guinea thought to be the first case in this outbreak was infected after eating bat-contaminated fruit. This mode of transmission may also explain how the disease gets into wild gorilla populations.

The bottom line is that there is no public health without environmental health. Deforestation didn’t cause this Ebola epidemic, but did make it much more likely. The region’s legacy of war and poverty, its beleaguered health care systems, and a series of bureaucratic fumbles fanned a small and isolated outbreak into a full-blown epidemic fire, which has already killed more people than all previous 25 known Ebola outbreaks put together.

It is shocking to realize that a tiny virus with just a handful of genes can fracture families, shred communities, destroy national economies and destabilize whole regions in just a matter of months. But this is what are witnessing with Ebola.

Even as global efforts intensify to quash the outbreak in West Africa, let’s not lose sight of what we can learn in this most sobering of teachable moments: we must give environmental science a much larger and more powerful role in public health practices. If West Africa’s forests had been harvested in a more sustainable manner and its wildlife monitored for health, Ebola might not have jumped into the human population. At the very least, efforts to treat the sick and contain the outbreak might have been better targeted earlier in the game.

Pathogens such as the Ebola virus are opportunists. To understand their perils and possibilities, first we need to see the connections. There is a clear connection to conservation and wise stewardship of forests to many public health goods, from from storing up atmospheric carbon to soaking up heavy rains – to acting as barriers to disease.

What a difference a bat’s eye view might have made to Thomas Eric Duncan, to his neighbor – and to us.

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Former Agent: The Secret Service Is In Collapse

In an exclusive interview, a high-ranking agent breaks code of silence: "Catastrophic failure of all procedures and protocols"
By Ken Kurson | 10/09/14 9:49am

Read more at http://observer.com/2014/10/former-agent-the-secret-service-is-in-collapse/#ixzz3FewtKocR
Follow us: @newyorkobserver on Twitter | newyorkobserver on Facebook

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Two gunmen walked into a radio station and killed a local activist while he was giving his weekly radio program, prosecutors in the northern Mexico state of Sinaloa said. It was the first on-air killing in recent memory in Mexico.

The victim, Atilano Roman Tirado, was the leader of a group of about 800 farm families whose lands were flooded by dam construction several years ago. His group, known as the Displaced Persons of Picachos - after the name of the dam - has been demanding compensation for the land.

Roman Tirado had a weekly variety program on the local Fiesta Mexicana radio station in the Pacific coast port of Mazatlan. In past years, the movement had staged blockades and protest marches, which had resulted in some arrests

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see link


Justices Will Rule on Police Scrutiny of Hotel Registries

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The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday agreed to decide whether a city ordinance authorizing police to search hotel and motel guest registries violates the Fourth Amendment.
City of Los Angeles v. Patel is the second Fourth Amendment case the justices have taken this term. The high court heard arguments on Oct. 6 in Heien v. North Carolina, which asks whether a traffic stop, based on a police officer's mistaken belief about what the law prohibits, violates the Fourth Amendment.
The city's petition poses two questions for the justices: whether facial challenges (that a law is unconstitutional in every application) to laws are permitted under the Fourth Amendment, and if so, whether the amendment requires those laws to provide for judicial review before police can inspect the registries.
Los Angeles' municipal code requires hotels to maintain guest registries and to make them available to police inspection at any time without consent or a search warrant. Failure to comply with an officer's inspection demand is a misdemeanor, punishable by up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.
Naranjibhai Patel and Ramilaben Patel are owners and operators of motels in Los Angeles. They challenged the city ordinance, arguing it was facially unconstitutional under the Fourth Amendment because it authorizes unreasonable invasions of their private business records without a warrant or pursuant to any recognized warrant exception.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, ruling 7-4, held that hotel operators have an expectation of privacy in their hotel registries, and that the ordinance is facially unconstitutional because it makes no provision for judicial review.
Deputy city attorney Gregory Orland told the justices that there is split between the Ninth and Sixth circuits regarding whether facial challenges are permitted under the Fourth Amendment. And, he added, there is a split between the Ninth Circuit and the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court over whether hotels enjoy expectations of privacy in guest registries under ordinances like the one in Los Angeles.
"Not only is there a multi-tier split of decision by severely divided courts, there is a compelling national interest to decide these issues," Orland wrote. "Hotel guest registry inspection statutes and ordinances are ubiquitous."
An appendix to the city's petition for review notes 70 such laws including two state statutes as well as county and city ordinances across the country, ranging from large cities to small towns representing 26 states.
"These laws expressly help police investigate crimes such as prostitution and gambling, capture dangerous fugitives and even authorize federal law enforcement to examine these registers, an authorization which can be vital in the immediate aftermath of a homeland terrorist attack," the petition says.
As an aside, the city's case brings to the court what has been called the "Patel Motel" phenomenon. A 1999 New York Times article, and a 2012 book, “Life Behind the Lobby: Indian American Motel Owners and the American Dream,” noted that about half of all motels in the United States are owned by Indian Americans. Although unrelated, 70 percent of them share the name "Patel" and come from the same region in India, according to the Asian American Hotel Owners Associatio

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Former Winston County sheriff's deputy faces federal charge of extorting woman to make meth

on November 10, 2014 at 3:38 PM, updated November 10, 2014 at 4:42 PM

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama - A former Winston County sheriff's deputy previously jailed on state charges now faces federal charges for extorting a woman to cook methamphetamine.

Grady Keith Concord, 42, of Lynn, has agreed to plead guilty to one count each of extortion under color of official right, manufacturing methamphetamine, and manufacturing and distributing methamphetamine on premises where children are present or reside.

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Ex-cop indicted for teaching clients how to beat polygraphs
Big News Network.com-19 hours ago
Williams boasted to an undercover investigator, according to the indictment, that he had coached a number of FBI, Secret Service

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FBI Database Is Anything but a Gold Standard for Employment

Dec. 3, 2014, 3:22 p.m.
The National Association of Professional Background Screeners applauds Reps. Mike Rogers, R-Mich., and Adam B. Schiff, D-Calif., for their commitment to protecting vulnerable populations from predators through stringent background screening (“Keeping Our Kids Safe From Predators: A Challenge With a Bipartisan Solution,” Roll Call, Nov. 17). We take issue, however, with their editorial in which they characterize the FBI’s fingerprint database as the “gold standard” for use in employment or volunteer screening. In reality, the FBI database is far from perfect and should never be regarded as the most reliable source for comprehensive and accurate background screening.
Because of TV shows such as “CSI” and “Criminal Minds,” most people think the FBI fingerprint database is flawless and complete. There persists a common misconception that a universal national database, containing complete criminal information for every suspect

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5 December 2014 Last updated
Jeremy Thorpe: Was there an establishment cover-up?

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Former Deputy Waives Preliminary Hearing

Posted: Dec 24, 2014 2:22 PM EST
A former Leflore County deputy sheriff facing federal drug trafficking charges has waived a preliminary hearing scheduled for Tuesday in federal court in Oxford.

Federal prosecutors say Mark Head is charged with one count of attempted distribution of cocaine. Prosecutors allege Head was paid $1,500 to pick up about one kilogram of cocaine for a Leflore County drug dealer in Little Round Park

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19 Jan 2015, 08:36

Uwe Jensen was imprisoned in 2006 for his plans to send weapons to the Colombian paramilitary group AUC in exchange for $25 million of cocaine.


78-year-old Uwe Jensen has had many titles throughout his long life: Danish MP, UN delegate, MEP, weapons seller, drug dealer, terrorist, prisoner. On Friday, he could add a few more to his varied CV: free man, ex-con.

Jensen was released from a prison in Houston, Texas after serving 12 years for his role in a weapons-for-drugs deal.

He was arrested in 2002 and imprisoned in 2006 for his plans to smuggle four containers filled with weapons to the paramilitary group the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC), which has been designated as a terrorist organization by both the United States and Europe.

The weapons were to be bought with $25 million worth of cocaine in what the FBI said was “the use of drug money to fuel terror”.

According to the FBI’s case against Jensen, the Dane wanted to move a shipment that consisted of 300,000 grenades, 300 guns, 9,000 AK-47 rifles and millions of rounds of ammunition.

Jensen was busted by an undercover FBI agent who had befriended the former Danish politician and followed his movements for over a year.

Upon his release on Friday, Jensen denied his guilt and told Ekstra Bladet that the entire business was a set-up by the FBI.

In the FBI’s official telling of the case, which it dubbed ‘Operation White Terror’, it says that Jensen was the one who came to them.

“Just four days after the 9/11 attacks, a man named Uwe Jensen approached one of our confidential sources and learned that our source had connections in Eastern Europe that might lead to the purchase of huge stores of military weapons for the AUC. Jensen—a naturalized U.S. citizen from Denmark living in Houston – was a weapons scout for [Carlos Ali] Romero-Varela,” the FBI writes on its website.

Although Jensen gave up his Danish passport to become an American, his time behind bars clearly soured his outlook on the US.

“[The US] is a police state that treats its people worse than Nazi Germany,” he told Extra Bladet outside of the Houston holding facility.

Jensen will spend the next five years on parole, and said he hopes to be able to serve that time in Denmark.

“Denmark is still my country,” he said.

Jensen released a book last


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Search form Search
ed to date. He was also ordered to pay $890,000 in restitution. EFF is disappointed to see that Brown wasn’t released today, after having spent nearly three years in prison on charges stemming from his work as an independent journalist.

Brown’s work has appeared in major outlets like Vanity Fair, the Huffington Post and the Guardian. He also founded Project PM, a project to crowdsource review on the documents for the purpose of reporting on them. Brown's legal trouble began in 2011, when hackers obtained a voluminous set of emails from government contractor HBGary and placed them on the Internet. He again turned to crowdsourcing to review records and emails taken from another government contractor, Stratfor, after hackers broke into their servers later in 2011. Those records included millions of emails discussing opportunities for rendition and assassination, and detailing attempts to subvert journalists, political groups and even foreign leaders. They also included tens of thousands of credit card numbers and their verification codes.

In September 2012, as the government intensified its investigation of the Stratfor hack and Brown specifically, he posted a series of YouTube videos and tweets allegedly threatening an FBI agent. Brown was immediately arrested and charged with a variety of criminal charges related to the threats. Two months later, he was indicted in a separate case, with twelve charges. In the new case, the government alleged trafficking in stolen authentication features (the three-digit numbers on the back of a credit card) and aggravated identity theft for sharing a link to the Stratfor records that contained credit card information. While the government claimed Brown transferred the link from one IRC channel to another, it never alleged he transferred the actual files or the credit card numbers, or was in any way responsible for the Stratfor hack itself.

The charges relating to the hyperlink represented a serious threat to press freedom. EFF and other press organizations planned to file an amicus brief supporting Brown's motion to dismiss eleven of the hyperlinking charges, noting that journalists routinely link to documents that, while illegally obtained, are of interest to the public. Thankfully, the government came to its senses in March 2014 and (before we could file our brief), dismissed eleven of the charges based on hyperlinking. The next month, Brown signed a sealed plea agreement that significantly reduced the remaining charges. Ultimately, he pleaded guilty to three crimes: being an accessory after the fact to the unauthorized access to Stratfor’s computers; interfering with the execution of a search warrant by hiding a laptop; and, most seriously, threatening an FBI agent.

But the lengthy sentence Brown received today was not primarily driven by the charges surrounding the Stratfor hack. Of the 63 months, only 15 months were attributable to the Stratfor hack. The bulk of the sentence—48 months—was for threatening the FBI agent, something that Brown himself admitted in a statement at his sentencing today was a mistake. There is no question that threatening violence to an FBI officer is illegal. But that action was caused, in part, by an extensive government investigation that turned out to be resolved with a relatively light sentence compared to the prison time Brown was facing for the underlying charges related to the Stratfor hack brought by the government.

In other words, the substantive criminal charges that brought the force of the federal criminal justice system on Brown ended up being less serious than the charges based on Brown’s reaction to the scrutiny.

This raises uncomfortable similarities to the disturbing saga of Aaron Swartz, who ultimately committed suicide after facing the threat of years in federal prison for violating the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act ("CFAA"). While the substantive criminal charges and motivations between Brown and Swartz may have been different, they present a clear view of just how powerful and uncomfortable the scrutiny of federal law enforcement can be. At a time when the White House is seeking to increase penalties under the CFAA, these cases highlight just how intense federal law enforcement power can be and calls for caution before we expand already harsh criminal laws.

While we're disappointed with the sentence Brown received, we hope everyone takes this sentencing as a clarion call to not only continue the fight for government transparency and press freedom that Brown’s work represents, but to make clear that increasing the criminal penalties and devastating consequences that come with a federal criminal indictment is a bad idea.

Free Speech
Bloggers' Rights

JULY 2013
Barrett Brown Prosecution Threatens Right to Link, Could Criminalize Routine Journalism Practices
MARCH 2014
Prosecution of Barrett Brown Still Threatens Journalistic Freedom in U.S.
EFF Submits Sentencing Support Letter for Jeremy Hammond
JUNE 2013
Jeremy Hammond Case Demonstrates the Draconian Nature of the CFAA

NSA Spying


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7th Ward neighbors question if Irish cop is being truthful about motives for being there
— The Irish community is organizing to help a vacationing policeman from Ireland after he was robbed and shot in the Seventh Ward. Off duty Irish cop, Brian Hanrahan, told New Orleans police he was shot twice after being lured by a stranger to the 7th Ward at 5:30 Tuesday morning. Hanrahan adds that they were looking for a place to drink.

Investigators say along the way he stopped at an ATM and withdrew $200.

When Hanrahan and the stranger got to the 2200 block of New Orleans Street, police say a second suspect approached and demanded money.

They say a struggle ensued and Hanrahan was shot twice and robbed of his money.

“Nobody likes to see that. Especially in our city,” says NOPD’s Chief Michael Harrison. “We’re doing everything that we can to solve this and bring whoever did this to justice.”

Police found Hanrahan lying in the driveway of a home.

New surveillance footage shows two persons of interest fleeing the scene. The suspected triggerman was described as 40 years old, wearing a gray shirt and dark-colored baseball cap.

Hanrahan told detectives he was “visiting New Orleans with his father from out of town.”

“This is unfortunate, but it’s not who we are,” says the owner at Irish House Matt Murphy, who went to the hospital to check in on his fellow Irishman. “He’s looking good just shocked if anything.”

Meantime neighbors are skeptical about Hanrahan’s motives following a stranger to the 7th Ward.

“You got yourself in a bad predicament,” says neighbor John Russell, who want to know more about the events leading up to the officer’s attack. “That’s more than suspicious. He went and got $200. Bourbon is way over there. He wasn’t looking for alcohol.”

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Meryl Mass MD has written about FBI agents coverup of 911 Anthrax attack

Wednesday, January 28, 2015
Can the Vaccine Wars Get Any Weirder? Father of (Unvaccinated) Boy With Leukemia Asks California School Officials to Bar Unvaccinated Students/ NY Times
The son has been treated for leukemia and is still immune-compromised, has not received the live measles vaccine, as it might be dangerous for him.

So the dad wants his child protected by forcing everyone else in the school to be vaccinated, to create a safe cocoon (at least while in school) for his child. Dad acknowledges his child will still be at risk everywhere else.

Except--there is another little boy in the same class who also has a medical condition that precludes vaccination. Where does that leave dad?

Maybe someone should tell the dad that when kids get live virus vaccinations they sometimes excrete the live virus and pass it on to their schoolmates, "vaccinating" them inadvertently. For a virus like polio, there is often increased virulence when spread this way. This is what caused all US polio infections for years. That is why live polio vaccine is no longer used in the US. But live measles, mumps, rubella, flu, chickenpox, rotavirus and some other vaccines are still used, and a crash vaccine program at the school might expose his child to live vaccine viruses.

Maybe someone should tell dad that no one has died from measles in the US for at least ten years.

The county health officer brought sanity to the issue. He pointed out that there has not been a single case of measles in Marin county, so in fact, there is no issue. From the NYTimes. And below is an abstract of an expert group opinion paper on this subject.

J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2014 Apr;133(4):961-6. doi: 10.1016/j.jaci.2013.11.043. Epub 2014 Feb 28.
Recommendations for live viral and bacterial vaccines in immunodeficient patients and their close contacts.
Medical Advisory Committee of the Immune Deficiency Foundation, Shearer WT1, Fleisher TA2, Buckley RH3, Ballas Z4, Ballow M5, Blaese RM6, Bonilla FA7,Conley ME8, Cunningham-Rundles C9, Filipovich AH10, Fuleihan R11, Gelfand EW12, Hernandez-Trujillo V13, Holland SM14, Hong R15, Lederman HM16,Malech HL14, Miles S17, Notarangelo LD7, Ochs HD18, Orange JS19, Puck JM20, Routes JM21, Stiehm ER22, Sullivan K23, Torgerson T18, Winkelstein J16.
Author information
The present uncertainty of which live viral or bacterial vaccines can be given to immunodeficient patients and the growing neglect of societal adherence to routine immunizations has prompted the Medical Advisory Committee of the Immune Deficiency Foundation to issue recommendations based on published literature and the collective experience of the committee members. These recommendations address the concern for immunodeficient patients acquiring infections from healthy subjects who have not been immunized or who are shedding live vaccine-derived viral or bacterial organisms. Such transmission of infectious agents can occur within the hospital, clinic, or home or at any public gathering. Collectively, we define this type of transmission as close-contact spread of infectious disease that is particularly relevant in patients with impaired immunity who might have an infection when exposed to subjects carrying vaccine-preventable infectious diseases or who have recently received a live vaccine. Immunodeficient patients who have received therapeutic hematopoietic stem transplantation are also at risk during the time when immune reconstitution is incomplete or while they are receiving immunosuppressive agents to prevent or treat graft-versus-host disease. This review recommends the general education of what is known about vaccine-preventable or vaccine-derived diseases being spread to immunodeficient patients at risk for close-contact spread of infection and describes the relative risks for a child with severe immunodeficiency. The review also recommends a balance between the need to protect vulnerable subjects and their social needs to integrate into society, attend school, and benefit from peer education.
Posted by Meryl Nass, M.D. at 7:56 PM 0 comments
Sunday, January 25, 2015
WHO mulls reforms to repair reputation after bungling Ebola; must guard against donor fatigue/ AP, BBC, Businessweek

From the AP:
GENEVA — The World Health Organization is debating how to reform itself after botching the response to the Ebola outbreak, a sluggish performance that experts say cost thousands of lives.
On Sunday, WHO's executive board planned to discuss proposals that could radically transform the United Nations health agency in response to sharp criticism over its handling of the West Africa epidemic.
"The Ebola outbreak points to the need for urgent change," said Dr. Margaret Chan, WHO's director-general. She acknowledged that WHO was too slow to grasp the significance of the Ebola outbreak, which is estimated to have killed more than 8,600 people, mainly in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.
Critics say the kinds of reform being debated are long overdue.
"The groundswell of dissatisfaction and lack of trust in WHO over Ebola has reached such a crescendo that

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Reply with quote  #45 

ASM Biodefense and Emerging Diseases Research Meeting
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Jan 22, 2015 - By government contracting standards, the effort might be moving at a ... A version of this article appears in print on January 23, 2015, on page ...

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Samsung's warning: Our Smart TVs record your living room chatter

Technically Incorrect: Samsung's small print says that its Smart TV's voice recognition system will not only capture your private conversations, but also pass the


February 8, 2015 2:10 PM PST

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see link for full story


11 FEBRUARY, 2015 -
Archaeological study explores drug-taking and altered states in prehistory
Neanderthals on speed 60,000 years ago; Paleolithic art inspired by psilocybin or Amanita muscaria mushroom trips; and alcohol-fueled religious worship all over the world down through the ages – these are just some of the drug-taking behaviors reported in a new research paper which looked at decades of archaeological evidence to see how prevalent the use of psychoactive substances and other reality-bending practices was in prehistory. The paper also explores the link between religion and hallucinogens, stimulants, alcoholic beverages and other substances.
Elisa Guerra-Doce, an archaeologist at the University of Valladolid in Spain, says that altered states of consciousness were very nearly ubiquitous in societies throughout prehistory and history. An anthropologist who studied 488 human societies published a paper in 1973 that said 437 or 90 percent of them reportedly incorporated altered states of consciousness (ASC) into their fundamental belief systems

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Professor seeking students for LSD experiment is ''battered'' with offers

17 February 2015 01:07 PM
Sarah Ridley

University academics at Imperial College are injecting students with LSD and psilocybin and using scanners like MRIs to see what happens in their brains


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see link for full story


Thursday, February 19, 2015Last Update: 4:33 PM PT
Rabbi Pleads Guilty to Secretly Taping Women
- A prominent Washington D.C. rabbi pleaded guilty on Thursday to 52 counts of videotaping naked women as they prepared for a ritual bath, the U.S. Attorney's Office announced.
Rabbi Barry Freundel was arrested on October 14, 2014, on charges he videotaped six women while was the spiritual leader at the orthodox Kesher Israel Congregation, in Washington's upscale Georgetown neighborhood.
According to prosecutors, the 63-year-old rabbi was seen entering the synagogue's large changing area and shower room two days earlier and placing a digital clock radio on a countertop facing the private bath.
A short time later, an unidentified individual associated with the mikvah, a ritual cleansing bath, discovered the clock contained a hidden recording device and turned it over to the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department.
After an initial investigation, the department executed search warrants to seek evidence at Freundel's home and office at Towson University, and computer forensic exam revealed the rabbi had taped scores of women on 25 different dates between March 4, 2012 and Sept. 19, 2014.
The search also allegedly revealed the taping was far more elaborate than originally believed, with three different hidden cameras being deployed to capture different naked women from a variety of angles, The Jewish Daily Forward said.
Since Freundel's arrest,, prosecutors have said the rabbi may have videotaped as many as 150 women as undressed for their mikvah. Of those, 52 were identified as having been taped within the three-year statute of limitations.
Freundel entered his guilty plea before Court Judge Geoffrey Alprin in the D.C. Superior Court.
Prior to his plea, prosecutors sent a note to victims assuring them they will still get a chance to submit written and/or oral victim impact statements at the rabbi's sentencing hearing, which is scheduled for May 15.
Freundel led Kesher Israel, one of the D.C. area's most prominent Orthodox synagogues for 25 years. Among those who worshiped there over the years were former Sen. Joseph Lieberman, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew and Atlantic magazine editor Leon Wieseltier, according to The Washington Post.
The synagogue's board fired Freundel in November, and ordered him to leave the home they provided for him by January 1. However, published reports suggest he has yet to do so.
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