TBR News April 1, 2012

Apr 01 2012

The Voice of the White House

          Washington, D.C. April 1, 2012: “I see that the oft-announced an ‘imminent attack’ on Iran for “developing atomic weapons” to use of Precious Israel has slowly vanished into the background. This is because that in spite of loud demands from the obnoxious ‘Bibi’ Netanyahu and his supporters, paid and voluntary, the Obama people are not going to carpet bomb southern Lebanon to kill all the Hezbollah above ground or pulverize Tehran. ‘We’ll do it alone!’ the frantic Israelis are screaming, tongue in cheek but Americans remember the faked stories about Hussein’s atomic problems and the Obama people do not have their heads stuck up the Israeli assholes to the degree that the pathetic Bush people did. Below is a most interesting bit of material from a man who was sentenced to prison for 30 months because he exposed other Israeli plans.”

Alien Voices: Signators to a Letter

            Some years ago, elements of the United States Army became increasingly alarmed at the undue, and unwanted, influence the state of Israel was achieving in the upper levels of the government of this country. Pentagon officials saw that Saddm Husein, an enemy of Israel, was attacked by the stupid and Israel-oriented George W. Bush and they have seen the frenzy Israel has been generating trying to force the Obama administration to attack Iran and blast their perceived enemies into pulp, removing an enemy from the board and getting someone else to do their murderous work for them. For these reasons, then, a branch of the American military has thoroughly infiltrated Israeli diplomatic and intelligence organs inside this country, and in several others, and are able to fully read, and listen to, the most sensitive communications. We received some copies of older material, including a list of American political and business figures who signed a letter, addressed to the Ambassador of Israel, offering their “full and unconditional” support of that state in “any way necessary” which included passing classified information, voting on Israel-supportive legislation and using “all their influence” to assist Israel and silence her enemies. Another study by the same American agency concerning the Israeli influence in the American media will follow:

April 1, 2012

by Germar Rudolf

Rep. Rush Holt  (R-NJ)

Lt. Gov. Ruth Ann Minner( D-DEVA Atty. General Mark Earley (R)-

State Sen. Susie Oppenheimer (D-NY)

Mayor Timothy Kaine  (R-Richmond, VA)

Mayor Pete Clavelle (Progressive-Burlington, VT)

IL State Sen. Lauren Beth Gash (D)

DE State Treasurer Jack Markell (D)

Mayor Meyera Oberndorf, (D-Virginia Beach, VA)-

Mary Lou Cooper, Program Manager, Council of State Governments. Western Regional  Conference (CSG-West), Santa Fe NM

ID State Sen. Bart M. Davis( R)

AZ State Rep. Debora Norris (D)

CA State Assemblyman Rod Pacheco (R)

NY State Assemblyman Paul A.Tokasz (D)

Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend (D-MD)

Lt. Gov.’s Chief of Staff Alan Fleischmann        

Lt. Gov.’s Special Assistant William Mann         

Michael R. Bloomberg, Mayor NYC, CEO Bloomberg L.P.-

Mayor Marc Morial (D) New Orleans LA

Michelle Miller (Mrs. Morial), Anchor/Reporter WWL-TV

Mayor Ralph Appezzato, (D) Alameda CA

Mayor Bill Purcell, Nashville TN

Mayor David Armstrong, Louisville KY

Tim Culver, Director of Communications, Office of Mayor Armstron-

Crystal Swann   , Assistant Executive Director, US Conference of Mayors

Sen. Jon Corzine (D-NJ)-

Rep. David Phelps (D-IL)

Rep. Tim Johnson (R-IL)-

IL State Sen. Dave Syverson (R)-

IL State Rep. Elizabeth Coulson (R)

Rep. Ernest Fletcher (R-KY)

Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA)

Rep. Elliot Engel (D-NY)

Rep. Martin Frost (D-TX)

Rep. Shelley Berkley (D-NV)

Rep. Brad Carson D-OK)

Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY)

Rep. Calvin Dooley D-CA)

Cheryl Reagan , Head, Grace News Network, Washington DC-

Sen. John Andrews (R), CO State Senate, Minority Leader

Rep. William Crane (R), CO State Senate

Rep. Michael Garcia      (D), CO State Senate

Sen. Kenneth Gordon (D), CO State Senate

Sen. Deanna Hanna(D), CO State Senate

Sen. Douglas Lamborn (R), CO State Senate

Rep. Mark Paschall (R), CO State Senat-

Bruce Peterson, Chair of Arapahoe County (CO) Republicans

Caryn Garber, Aide to Rep. Mark Kirk (R-IL)

Jonathan Greenspun NYC Commissioner, Mayor’s Community Assistance Unit

Ron Anderson, aide to Rep. James Walsh (R-NY)

Charles Dujon, Rep. Jesse Jackson (D-IL)

Kevin   Horan, aide to Rep. Peter King (R-NY)

Andrew Hunter, aide to Rep. Norman Dicks (D-WA)

Kenny Kraft, aide to Rep. David Hobson (R-OH)

Michael Liles, aide to Rep. Rob Simmons (R-CT)

Matt Mandel, aide to Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) Ein Kerem

Tina Mufford, aide to Rep. Tom Reynolds (R-NY)

Sean Mulvaney, aide to Rep. Jim Kolbe (R-AZ)

Tom O’Donnell, aide to Rep. Lane Evans (D-IL)

Julie Philp, aide to Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL)

Gail Ravnitzky, aide to Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA)

James Sharp, aide to Rep. Michael Doyle (D-PA)

Jennifer Thompson, aide to Rep. Robin Hayes (R-NC)

Polly Trottenberg, aide to Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY)

Richard Urey, aide to Rep. Shelley Berkley (R-NV)

Andy Vanlandingham, aide to Sen. Max Cleland (D-GA)

John Weaver, aide to Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC)

Rep. Peter Deutsch (D-FL)-

Eric Lynn, aide

Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY)-

David Lachman aide

Rep.Richard Gephardt (D-MO)-

Rep.Ray LaHood (R-IL)-

Janet Waxman  , wife of Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA)-

Rep. Leonard    Boswell (D-IA)-

Rep. Ciro Rodriguez (D-TX)-

Steve Elmendorf aide to Rep. Gephardt aide

Ted Van Der Mied, aide to Speaker Dennis Hastert

Joan Mitchell, aide to Rep. LaHood

Brett O’Brien, aide to Rep. Gephardt

Dan Turton, aide to Rep. Gephardt

Major Guermantes Lailari, Assistant Air Attache, US Embassy

 Dr. Nick Palarino, Senior Policy Analyst, House Committee on Government Reform- . Hillary Rodham Clinton, Secretary of State

Rep. Peter Deutsch (D-FL)

Eric Lynn, aide

Rep Joseph Hoeffel D-PA)

Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA)

Rep. David Price (D-NC)

Wayne Owens, former Utah congressman; President, Center for Middle East Peace and Economic Development

Henry H. “Hank” Perritt, Jr., (D)

Scott Waguespackide

Rev. Robert Tobi, Rector of Christ Church, Cambridge MA

Deborah Bodlander, aide to Rep. Ben Gilman (R-NY)

Lakshmi Anand, Morris Plains NJ

Dr. Raj Bothra, Detroit MI

Gope Gidwani, Boston MA

T. Kumar, Washington DC

Subash Razdan, Atlanta GA

Mohammad Shakir, Miami FL

Guy Billauer, Program Specialist, AJ Committee’s Arthur and Rochelle Belfer Center for American Pluralism, Acting Assistant Legislative Director, American Jewish Committee’s Office of Government and International Affairs

Malcolm Hoenlein ,Executive Vice Chairman, Conference of Presidents of Major -American Jewish Organizations  

Gary Bauer-leader Republican Right-

David R. Kotok, President, Cumberland Advisors, Inc-

Sergeant Robert L. Allen, West Palm Beach, FL

Leslie T. Annexstein, Washington, DC

Timothy Bradford, Pittsburgh, PA

Mayor Peggy J. Dunn,  Leawood, Kansas

Scott M. Lambers, City Administrator of Leawood, Kansas

Gepsie M. Metellus, Miami, FL

Alderman Marvin Pratt, Milwaukee, WI

Emily Georges Gottfried, AJC Area Executive Director, Portland OR

Mr. Marvin Szneler, AJC Kansas City Area Director, Kansas City KS

Bill de Blasio New York

Leroy Comrie-Majority Whip

James Davis    

Simcha Felder  

James Frederick Gennaro         

Eric Neil Gioia  

Melinda Rachel Katz    

Gifford Miller, Speaker of the Council

Joel Rivera-Majority Leader

James   Sanders           

Jose Marco Serrano     

David Wiprin    

Howard Pollack, NYC Council Senior Staff

Christopher Policano, NYC Council Senior Staff

Michael Miller, NY JCRC

David   Pollock, NY JCRC

Ronald Soloway  NY UJA-Federation

Sen. Maria Cantwell(D-WA)

Rep. Chris Shays (R-CT)

Laurence J. Halloran, Aide to Rep. Shays, Staff director and Counsel, Subcommittee on Human Resources, Committee on Government Reform and Oversight

Rep. Jane Harman (D-CA)

Mike Smith, Deputy Fire Chief, Washington DC

William Thompson-Comptroller of the City of New York

Betsy Gotbaum-City Advocate of the City of New York

Jose Rivera-State Assembly member

Stephen Kaufman-State Assembly member

Adriano Espaillat-State Assembly member

Peter Rivera-State Assembly member

Hiram Monserrate-City Council member

Eddie Castel-Deputy to the Comptroller of the City of New York

Tom Suozzi Nassau County Executive

Adam Clayton Powell IV-State Assembly member

Michael Miller-JCRC

Ronald Soloway-UJA Federation

Devora Goldberg, Crisis Communicator, American Red Cross-

Fmr VT Gov. Howard Dean (D),

IL Comptroller Daniel Hynes    

IL State Senator, Jeff Schoenberg          –

Hadassah Lieberman, wife of Sen. Joseph Lieberman (D-CT)-

Gregory Menken, aide to NY Gov. Pataki (R)-

Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL)-

Rep. Steve Chabot(R-OH)-

Rep. Mario Diaz -Balart (R-FL)-

Rep. Todd Platts (R-PA)-

Rep. William Janklow (R-SD)-

Alan Makovsky, Senior Professional Staff Member (Dem.), House Committee on International Relations-

Matthew Zweig, Staff Associate, Middle East and South Asia Subcommittee, House Committee on       International Relations-

Ms. Yleem Poblete, Staff Director, Middle East and South Asia Subcommittee, House

Jeannette Bogart          

Ambassador John Wolf 

Fmr House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-TX)

Rep Ander Crenshaw (R-FL)

Cory Alexander, aide to Rep. Steny Hoyer (MD)

Chuck Brimmer, aide to Rep. Robert Matsui (CA)

David Lafferty, aide to Rep. James Langevin (RI)

Brian Romick, aide to Rep. Steny Hoyer (MD)

Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. (D-IL)-

Rep Gregory Meeks(D-NY)

Rep Anthony Weiner (D-NY)

Rep. Elliot Engel (D-NY)

New York City Council member Robert Jackson (District 7)

New York City Council member Gale Brewer (District 6)

Rep. Mark Kirk (R-IL)-

Mike Brady, aide to Rep. Tom Reynolds (NY)

Brian Diffell, aide to Rep. Roy Blunt (MO)

Amy Steinmann, aide to aide to Rep. Roy Blunt (MO)

Shimmy Stein, Rep. Eric Cantor (VA)

Michael R. Bloomberg, Mayor, City of New York-

Ed Koch, former Mayor of the City of New York-

Rabbi Haskell Lookstein, member, Mayor’s Human Rights Commission-

Simcha Felder. NYC Council Member, (44th District)-

Jonathan D. Greenspun, Commissioner of the Mayor’s Community Assistance Unit-

Michael Miller, Head, NY JCRC-

MI Rep.Rick Johnson,(R)-Speaker of the House-

MI Rep.Marc Shulman,(R) Chair, House Appropriations Committee-

MI Rep. Chris Kol (D)-

MI Sen. Jason Allen (R)-

MI Sen. Samuel (Buzz) Thomas- (D)

Fmr Secretary of the Treasury John Snow          –

Delegate Anthony Brown, (D) Member of the Maryland House of Delegates

Delegate Tawanna Gaines, (D) Member of the Maryland House of Delegates

Delegate Susan Lee, (D) Member of the Maryland House of Delegates

Delegate Doyle Niemann, (D) Member of the Maryland House of Delegates

Council member Jay Fisette, Member of Virginia County Board of Supervisors

MD Delegate Norman Conway, (D) Member of the House of Delegates

David   Weaver, Director of Public Information, Montgomery County MD

MD Delegate Herman Taylor    , Jr. (D) Member of the Maryland House of Delegates

Delegate Norman Conway, (D) Member of the House of Delegates

David   Weaver, Director of Public Information, Montgomery County MD

Delegate Herman Taylor, Jr. Member of the Maryland House of Delegates

Sophie and Dr. Howard Hoffman, President, JCC of Greater Washington

Susan Weinberg, Vice President, Jewish Community Council of Greater Washington

Ronald Halber   , Executive Director, Jewish Community Council of Greater Washington

Leah Weissman, Assistant Director, Jewish Community Council of Greater Washington

Manny Mandel, Jewish lay leader

Art Abramson   -Executive Director of Baltimore. Jewish Council

Anthony Brandon-General Manager and co owner of WYPR (public radio station)

James DiPaula-“Chip”-State Secretary of Dept. of Budget and Management

Christopher Eddings -Publisher of the Balt. Daily Record newspaper

Alan Edelman   -President of BJC

Michael Enright-Deputy Mayor and Chief of Staff to Mayor Martin O’Malley

Deby Goldseker-Assistant Director of BJC

Betty Hines-wife of Ernest Hines

Ernest   Hines-President and CEO of American Skyline Insurance Co.

Timothy Kelly-Trustee of Weinberg Foundation

Vivian   Kelly    –

Alana Kirk       

Kim Morton-Deputy Council to Governor Ehrlich

Beverly Penn    –

Sandy Rosenberg (D)

Marilyn Sabatini-wife of below

NelsonSabatini-Secretary of Health and Mental Hygiene for State of Maryland

Rikki Spector-City Council Woman

James T. Smith-Baltimore County Executive

Mark Wasserman-Senior VP for External Affairs at Univ. of MD Medical systems

Donn Weinberg-VP of Weinberg Foundation

Sharon Weinberg-wife of above

Adrienne Jones-State delegate for Baltimore County; Speaker Pro Tem for House of Delegates

Tom Wilcox-President of the Baltimore Community Foundation

MD Gov. Robert L.Ehrlich, Jr.(R) –

Art Abramson, Ph.d. – Director, Baltimore Jewish Council

William (Bill) Askinazi– Asst. Secretary, Md. Dept. of Business & Development

Barry Bocage   – Executive Director, Maryland – Israel Development Center

Dan Callihan – VP of Marketing, Northrup Grumman

Paul Clark– VP of Homeland Security, BAE Systems, North America

Jonathan Cohen – President and CEO, 20/20 Gene Systems

Edward (Lee) Cowen– President & Managing Partner, Chesapeake Government Relations

Robert Diamond – VP, Corporate Services Manugistics

James (Chip) DiPaula, Jr.– Secretary, Md. Dept. of Budget and Management

John Erikson – Chairman and CEO, Erikson Retirement Communities

Christopher Foster– State Technology Coordinator, Md. Dept. of Business and Economic Development

Norman Freidkin– Partner, Freidkin, Matrone & Horn, P.A.

Mark Gembicki– National Managing Director, Homeland Security

Steve Goldsmith– Sr. VP. Government & Strategic Development, ACS State and Local Solutions

Wynee Elizabeth Hawk– VP, External Relations, Greater Baltimore Medical Center

Terry    Irgens   – President, Dynport Vaccines

Lynn KatzenM.S.W. –Director, Israel/Middle Eastern Affairs, Baltimore Jewish Council

Steven Kreseski– Chief of Staff, Governor of Md.

Mark Lezell – Partner, Heideman, Lezell, Nudelman & Kalik, PC

Lawrence Macks– General Partner, Boulder Ventures

Greg Massoni– Press Secretary, Office of the Governor

Dennis Miller– Factory Sales Manager, M/A Com-Sigint Products

Edward Miller – Chief of Staff, Md. Dept. of Business and Economic Development

Martha Nathanson – Director, Govt. & Community Relations, LifeBridge Health System, Sinai Hospital

Morton Rapoport – Former President and CEO, University of Maryland Medical Systems

Nelson Sabatini– Secretary, Md. Dept. of Health and Mental Hygiene

Hanan (Bean)   Sibel – Chairman, Maryland-Israel Development Center

Prof. Yonathan Zohar– Director, Center of Marine Biotechnology

Charlie Luken, Mayor of Cincinnati, with Solidarity Mission –

GA Lt. Governor Mark Taylor, with the Atlanta General Assembly Mission –

Christopher Carpenter, Taylor Chief of Staff

GA State Senator David Adelman          –

Sandra Pappas  – State Senator, Senate President Pro Tem

Phyllis Kahn– State Representative

Mary Jane Bridge         

Barbara Nordstom-Loeb            – Co-chair, Minnesota Jews for a Just Peace

Margaret (Peg) Sweeney– Duluth County Commissioner

Ardis Becklin   

Karen   Kirkwo

Carolyn Engebretson – Becker County Commissioner

Cynthia McDonald       

Michael R. Bloomberg, Mayor of NYC –

Rep. John Sweeney (R-NY) –

NY State Assemblyman Steve Kaufman            –

CO State Rep.Debbie Stafford, with Jewish Federation of Colorado –

CO State Rep. Lauri Clapp        –

CO Cabinet Member Rick O’Donnell      –

Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) –

Caryll Kyl,wife of Jon Kyl (R-AZ) –

Ben Chevat, COS, Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D)

Dean D’Amore, COS, Rep. Sherwood Boehlert (R)

Wendy Darwell, COS, Rep. Maurice Hinchey (D)

Andrew Moskowitz, COS, Rep. Gary Ackerman (D)

Brenda Pillors, COS, Rep. Edolphus Towns (D)

Amy Rutkin COS, Rep. Gerry Nadler (D)

Veronica Sullivan, COS, Rep. Tony Weiner (D)

David Torian, COS, Rep. Michael McNulty (D

Michael Miller, Executive Vice President, JCRC of New York

Harriet Mandel, JCRC of New York

Ronald Soloway, UJA-Federation

Dr. Homer Adams, AIPAC Member

Cathie   Adams  , AIPAC Member

Jim Arnold, Lt. Governor’s Campaign Manager

Ellen Arnold, Partner of Jim Arnold and Associates

Paul Colbert, Former State Representative, U.S/ Texas Expert

Bonnie Dadidakis,Republican Leader

Rep.Dianne Delisi, Texas House of Representatives, Defense Committee

Gary Polland, Mission Chair, Republican Chair Federation Board

Rep.Debbie Riddle, Texas House of Representative

Robert Silvers, Houston businessman

Senator Todd Staples    

Rep. Larry Taylor, Texas House of Representatives

Senator John Whitmire  

Whitney Whitmire, Daughter

John Goott, CRC International Relations Task Force Chair

Lisa Yoram, CRC Director

Kathleen Hollingsworth, Office of Rep. Dana Rohrabacher-

Dr. Fadi Essmael, Office of Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA)-

James Garner, Mayor of Hempstead NY, President, U.S. Conference of Mayors

Jane Campbell, Mayor of Cleveland OH

Christina Cruz-Madrid, Mayor of Azusa CA

Joseph Griffo, Executive, Oneida County NY

Rosemarie Ives, Mayor of Redmond WA

Charles Tooley, Mayor of Billings MT

David G. Wallace, Mayor of Sugar Land TX

Michael Wildes, Mayor of Englewood NJ

Sheila Young, Mayor of San Leandro CA

Barry Honig, National Leadership

Dr. Robert Ivker, National Leadership

Sandy Treadwell, Chairman, New York Republican State Committee

Greg Menken,Director, New York Regional Office, Republican Jewish Coalition

Gov. Linda Lingle (R-HI)

Vivian   Aiona, wife of Lt. Governor James R. “Duke” Aiona, Jr.

Stephanie Aveiro, Executive Director, Hawaii Housing Development Corporation

Gae Berquist Trommald– Commissioner, State Foundation on Culture and the Arts

Dr. Joyce Cassen – Member, Hawaii State Medical Advisory Board

Dr. Phillip Hellreich – President, Hawaii Medical Association; Member, Board of Election Judges

Miriam Hellreich– ranking member of the Republican Party

Lenny Klompus-Senior Communications Advisor to the governor

Lillian Koller     – Director, Hawaii Department of Human Services

Sandra Kunimoto– Director, Marketing and Business Development, Hawaii Agricultural Advisory Council

Ronald Lagareta– Head, East-West Center

Kitty Lagareta– University Of Hawaii Board of Regents, Vice-Chair/Oahu

Major General Bob Lee – State Adjutant General

Img Lee–Civil Defense Coordinator, Honolulu Dept. of Public Works

Ted Liu– Director, Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism

Rep. Mark Moses R) – Member Hawaii State Legislature

Alan Gifford Miller– Speaker

David Yassky   – 33rd District – Brooklyn

Peter Vallone, Jr.– 22nd District – Queens

Christine Quinn– 3rd District – Manhattan

Larry    Seabrook – 12th District – Bronx

Kendall Stewart – 45th District – Brooklyn

Helen   Sears – 25th District – Queens

Jo Ann Shapiro– Community Leader, Rockaway

Howard Pollack– Legislative Coordinator, Office of the Speaker

Gur Tsabar – Press Liaison, Office of the Speaker

Michael Miller – Executive Vice-President, NYJCRC

Phyllis Miller– Special Needs Advocate, NY Board of Jewish Education

Ronald Solloway– Managing Director for Government and External Relations, UJA- Federation of NY

David   Rosenthal– Director of City Policy, UJA-Federation of NY

Dennis R. Schrader, Director, Maryland Department of Homeland Security

Frederick E. Davis, Sheriff, Charles County, Maryland

Lt. Col. Stephen T. Moyer, Homeland Security and Intelligence Bureau, Maryland State Police

James M. Pettit, Communications Director, Maryland Department of Homeland Security

James Ports, Assistant Secretary, Maryland Department of Transportation

Stephen D. Sheehan, Deputy Executive Director Airport Operations, Maryland Aviation Administration

John H. Spearman, Vice President, Cowley Shock Trauma Center, University of Md. Medical Center

Dr. Melissa Brown        ,

Rep. Jim Gerlach (R-PA) –

Senator Armstrong Gibson        

Senator Stewart Greenleaf        

Senator Robert Jubelirer, Senate President Pro Tempore

Senator Robert Mellow 

Senator Raphael Musto 

Senator Michael Stack III         

Marx    Leopold , Budget Chief for Senator Fumo

Anthony Lepore , Chief of Staff to Senator Jubelirer

David Atkinson, Executive Assistant to Senator Jubelirer

Barton Hertzbach, Philadelphia Federation CRC

Robin Schatz, Govt. Relations Director, Philadelphia Federation

Joel Weisberg, Executive Director Pennsylvania Jewish Coalition

Gordon Bergh, Assistant Director, Austin-Travis County EMS

Chris Callsen, Senior Division Commander, Austin-Travis County EMS

William Steven Collier, Emergency Management Officer, Office of Emergency Management

Dr. Patrick James Crocker, Medical Director, Brackenridge Emergency Department

Harold Robert   Evans   Jr. Battalion Chief, Austin Fire Department

David Stuart Gruell, Clinical Practical Manager, Austin-Travis County EMS

State Senator Sam Aanestad      (R)

State Senator Jim Brulte (R)

State Assemblyman Rick Keene (R)

State Assemblyman Doug LaMalfa (R)

State Assemblyman Lloyd E. Levine (D) Majority Whip

State Assemblyman Kevin McCarthy     (R) Minority Leader

State Assemblywoman Cindy Montanez (D)

FL State Rep. Anne Gannon (D)-

Mayor Robert Walkup (R), Tucson AZ-

NY State Sen. Joseph    Robach (R)-

Maggie Brooks (R), Monroe County NY Executive-

Alan G Hevesi  (D), Comptroller, State of New York-

David   Loglisci, Deputy Comptroller, State of New York-

Rep. Shelley Berkley (D-NV)-

Dr. Carolyn Bennett, Canadian Minister of State (Public Health)-

Dr. Sylvie Stachenko, Deputy Chief Public Health Officer, Canada-

Member of Canadian Parliament Michael Savage            –

Member of Canadian Parliament Anita Neville    –

Michael Spowart, Chief of Staff, Canadian Minister of State (Public Health)-

Hillary Geller, Chief of Staff, Canadian Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness-

Natalie Berg, President, JCRC of San Francisco-

Miguel Bustos, Community Leader

Brian Cheu, Executive Director, Chinese for Affirmative Action

Supervisor Bevan Dufty, San Francisco Board of Supervisors-

Rabbi Douglas Kahn, Executive Director, JCRC of San Francisco-

Tom Kasten, vice-president JCRC,

Supervisor Sophie Maxwell, San Francisco Board of Supervisors-

Abby Michaelson-Porth, Associate Director, San Francisco JCRC

David Serrano-Sewall, Independent Citizens’ Oversight Committee, Deputy City Attorney of San Francisco

Jesse Smith, Member, San Francisco JCRC, Chief Assistant City Attorney of San Francisco-

Jeffrey Thomas, District Director, Office of Congresswoman Barbara Lee


Concerned Americans are invited to send their views, and any information of importance, on this subject to:

Germar Rudolf

P.O. Box 121,

Red Lion, PA, 



Police Are Using Phone Tracking as a Routine Tool

March 31, 2012

by Eric Lichtblau

New York Times

            WASHINGTON — Law enforcement tracking of cellphones, once the province mainly of federal agents, has become a powerful and widely used surveillance tool for local police officials, with hundreds of departments, large and small, often using it aggressively with little or no court oversight, documents show.

The practice has become big business for cellphone companies, too, with a handful of carriers marketing a catalog of “surveillance fees” to police departments to determine a suspect’s location, trace phone calls and texts or provide other services. Some departments log dozens of traces a month for both emergencies and routine investigations.

With cellphones ubiquitous, the police call phone tracing a valuable weapon in emergencies like child abductions and suicide calls and investigations in drug cases and murders. One police training manual describes cellphones as “the virtual biographer of our daily activities,” providing a hunting ground for learning contacts and travels.

But civil liberties advocates say the wider use of cell tracking raises legal and constitutional questions, particularly when the police act without judicial orders. While many departments require warrants to use phone tracking in nonemergencies, others claim broad discretion to get the records on their own, according to 5,500 pages of internal records obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union from 205 police departments nationwide.

The internal documents, which were provided to The New York Times, open a window into a cloak-and-dagger practice that police officials are wary about discussing publicly. While cell tracking by local police departments has received some limited public attention in the last few years, the A.C.L.U. documents show that the practice is in much wider use — with far looser safeguards — than officials have previously acknowledged.

The issue has taken on new legal urgency in light of a Supreme Court ruling in January finding that a Global Positioning System tracking device placed on a drug suspect’s car violated his Fourth Amendment rights against unreasonable searches. While the ruling did not directly involve cellphones — many of which also include GPS locators — it raised questions about the standards for cellphone tracking, lawyers say.

The police records show many departments struggling to understand and abide by the legal complexities of cellphone tracking, even as they work to exploit the technology.

In cities in Nevada, North Carolina and other states, police departments have gotten wireless carriers to track cellphone signals back to cell towers as part of nonemergency investigations to identify all the callers using a particular tower, records show.

In California, state prosecutors advised local police departments on ways to get carriers to “clone” a phone and download text messages while it is turned off.

In Ogden, Utah, when the Sheriff’s Department wants information on a cellphone, it leaves it up to the carrier to determine what the sheriff must provide. “Some companies ask that when we have time to do so, we obtain court approval for the tracking request,” the Sheriff’s Department said in a written response to the A.C.L.U.

And in Arizona, even small police departments found cell surveillance so valuable that they acquired their own tracking equipment to avoid the time and expense of having the phone companies carry out the operations for them. The police in the town of Gilbert, for one, spent $244,000 on such equipment. 

Cell carriers, staffed with special law enforcement liaison teams, charge police departments from a few hundred dollars for locating a phone to more than $2,200 for a full-scale wiretap of a suspect, records show.

Most of the police departments cited in the records did not return calls seeking comment. But other law enforcement officials said the legal questions were outweighed by real-life benefits.

The police in Grand Rapids, Mich., for instance, used a cell locator in February to find a stabbing victim who was in a basement hiding from his attacker.

“It’s pretty valuable, simply because there are so many people who have cellphones,” said Roxann Ryan, a criminal analyst with Iowa’s state intelligence branch. “We find people,” she said, “and it saves lives.”

Many departments try to keep cell tracking secret, the documents show, because of possible backlash from the public and legal problems. Although there is no evidence that the police have listened to phone calls without warrants, some defense lawyers have challenged other kinds of evidence gained through warrantless cell tracking.

“Do not mention to the public or the media the use of cellphone technology or equipment used to locate the targeted subject,” the Iowa City Police Department warned officers in one training manual. It should also be kept out of police reports, it advised.

In Nevada, a training manual warned officers that using cell tracing to locate someone without a warrant “IS ONLY AUTHORIZED FOR LIFE-THREATENING EMERGENCIES!!” The practice, it said, had been “misused” in some standard investigations to collect information the police did not have the authority to collect.

“Some cell carriers have been complying with such requests, but they cannot be expected to continue to do so as it is outside the scope of the law,” the advisory said. “Continued misuse by law enforcement agencies will undoubtedly backfire.”

Another training manual prepared by California prosecutors in 2010 advises police officials on “how to get the good stuff” using cell technology.

The presentation said that since the Supreme Court first ruled on wiretapping law in 1928 in a Prohibition-era case involving a bootlegger, “subtler and more far-reaching means of invading privacy have become available to the government.”

Technological breakthroughs, it continued, have made it possible for the government “to obtain disclosure in court of what is whispered in the closet.”

In interviews, lawyers and law enforcement officials agreed that there was uncertainty over what information the police are entitled to get legally from cell companies, what standards of evidence they must meet and when courts must get involved.

A number of judges have come to conflicting decisions in balancing cellphone users’ constitutional privacy rights with law enforcement’s need for information.

In a 2010 ruling, the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, in Philadelphia, said a judge could require the authorities to obtain a warrant based on probable cause before demanding cellphone records or location information from a provider. (A similar case from Texas is pending in the Fifth Circuit.)

“It’s terribly confusing, and it’s understandable, when even the federal courts can’t agree,” said Michael Sussman, a Washington lawyer who represents cell carriers. The carriers “push back a lot” when the police urgently seek out cell locations or other information in what are purported to be life-or-death situations, he said. “Not every emergency is really an emergency.”

Congress and about a dozen states are considering legislative proposals to tighten restrictions on the use of cell tracking.

While cell tracing allows the police to get records and locations of users, the A.C.L.U. documents give no indication that departments have conducted actual wiretapping operations — listening to phone calls — without court warrants required under federal law.

Much of the debate over phone surveillance in recent years has focused on the federal government and counterterrorism operations, particularly a once-secret program authorized by President George W. Bush after the Sept. 11 attacks. It allowed the National Security Agency to eavesdrop on phone calls of terrorism suspects and monitor huge amounts of phone and e-mail traffic without court-approved intelligence warrants.

Clashes over the program’s legality led Congress to broaden the government’s eavesdropping powers in 2008. As part of the law, the Bush administration insisted that phone companies helping in the program be given immunity against lawsuits.

Since then, the wide use of cell surveillance has seeped down to even small, rural police departments in investigations unrelated to national security.

“It’s become run of the mill,” said Catherine Crump, an A.C.L.U. lawyer who coordinated the group’s gathering of police records. “And the advances in technology are rapidly outpacing the state of the law.”

NYPD intelligence officers monitored liberal groups, files reveal

Undercover officers attended meetings and kept files on liberal political groups, particularly those opposed to racial profiling

March 23, 2012

by Adam Goldman and Matt Apuzzo, Associated Press


            Undercover New York police department officers attended meetings of liberal political organizations and kept intelligence files on activists who planned protests around the US, according to interviews and documents that show how police have used counter-terrorism tactics to monitor even lawful activities.

The infiltration echoes the tactics the NYPD used in the run-up to New York’s 2004 Republican national convention, when police monitored church groups, anti-war organizations and environmental advocates nationwide. That effort was revealed by the New York Times in 2007 and in an ongoing federal civil rights lawsuit over how the NYPD treated convention protesters.

Police said the pre-convention spying was necessary to prepare for the huge, raucous crowds that were headed to the city. But documents obtained by the Associated Press show that the police department’s intelligence unit continued to keep close watch on political groups in 2008, long after the convention had passed.

In April 2008, an undercover NYPD officer travelled to New Orleans to attend the People’s Summit, a gathering of liberal groups organized around their shared opposition to US economic policy and the effect of trade agreements between the US, Canada and Mexico.

When the undercover effort was summarized for supervisors, it identified groups opposed to US immigration policy, labor laws and racial profiling. Two activists — Jordan Flaherty, a journalist, and Marisa Franco, a labor organizer for housekeepers and nannies — were mentioned by name in one of the police intelligence reports obtained by the AP.

“One workshop was led by Jordan Flaherty, former member of the International Solidarity Movement Chapter in New York City,” officers wrote in an April 25, 2008, memo to David Cohen, the NYPD’s top intelligence officer. “Mr. Flaherty is an editor and journalist of the Left Turn Magazine and was one of the main organizers of the conference. Mr. Flaherty held a discussion calling for the increase of the divestment campaign of Israel and mentioned two events related to Palestine.”

The document provides the latest example of how, in the name of fighting terrorism, law enforcement agencies around the country have scrutinized groups that legally oppose government policies. The FBI, for instance, has collected information on anti-war demonstrators. The Maryland state police infiltrated meetings of anti-death penalty groups. Missouri counterterrorism analysts suggested that support for Republican congressman Ron Paul might indicate support for violent militias — an assertion for which state officials later apologized. And Texas officials urged authorities to monitor lobbying efforts by pro Muslim-groups.

Police have good reason to want to know what to expect when protesters take to the streets. Many big cities, such as Seattle in 1999, Cincinnati in 2001 and Toledo in 2005, have seen protests turned into violent, destructive riots. Intelligence from undercover officers gives police an idea of what to expect and lets them plan accordingly.

“There was no political surveillance,” Cohen testified in the ongoing lawsuit over NYPD’s handling of protesters at the Republican convention. “This was a program designed to determine in advance the likelihood of unlawful activity or acts of violence.”

The result of those efforts, however, was that people and organizations can be cataloged in police files for discussing political topics or advocating even legal protests, not violence or criminal activity.

By contrast, at the height of the Occupy Wall Street protests and in related protests in other cities, officials at the US homeland security department repeatedly urged authorities not to produce intelligence reports based simply on protest activities.

“Occupy Wall Street-type protesters mostly are engaged in constitutionally protected activity,” department officials wrote in documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act by the website Gawker. “We maintain our longstanding position that DHS should not report on activities when the basis for reporting is political speech.”

At the NYPD, the monitoring was carried out by the Intelligence Division, a squad that operates with nearly no outside oversight and is so secretive that police said even its organizational chart is too sensitive to publish. The division has been the subject of a series of Associated Press articles that illustrated how the NYPD monitored Muslim neighborhoods, catalogued people who prayed at mosques and eavesdropped on sermons.

The AP left phone messages with Cohen and two NYPD press officers last week seeking comment about the undercover operation in New Orleans. They did not return the calls.

The NYPD has defended its efforts, saying the threat of terrorism means officers cannot wait to open an investigation until a crime is committed. Under rules governing NYPD investigations, officers are allowed to go anywhere the public can go and can prepare reports for “operational planning.”

Though the NYPD’s infiltration of political groups before the 2004 convention generated some controversy and has become an element in a lawsuit over the arrest, fingerprinting and detention of protesters, the surveillance itself has not been challenged in court.

Flaherty, who also writes for the Huffington Post, said he was not an organizer of the summit, as police wrote in the NYPD report. He said the event described by police actually was a film festival in New Orleans that same week, suggesting that the undercover officer’s duties were more widespread than described in the report.

Flaherty said he recalls introducing a film about Palestinians but spoke only briefly and does not understand why that landed him a reference in police files.

“The only threat was the threat of ideas,” he said. “I think this idea of secret police following you around is terrifying. It really has an effect of spreading fear and squashing dissent.”

Before the terrorist attacks of September 2001, infiltrating political groups was one of the most tightly controlled powers the NYPD could use. Such investigations were restricted by a longstanding court order in a lawsuit over the NYPD’s spying on protest groups in the 1960s.

After the attacks, Cohen told a federal judge that, to keep the city safe, police must be allowed to open investigations before there’s evidence of a crime. A federal judge agreed and relaxed the rules.

Since then, police have monitored not only suspected terrorists but also entire Muslim neighborhoods, mosques, restaurants and law-abiding protesters.

Keeping tabs on planned demonstrations is a key function of Cohen’s division. Investigators with his Cyber Intelligence Unit monitor websites of activist groups, and undercover officers put themselves on email distribution lists for upcoming events. Plainclothes officers collect fliers on public demonstrations. Officers and informants infiltrate the groups and attend rallies, parades and marches.

Intelligence analysts take all this information and distill it into summaries for Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly’s daily briefing, documents show.

The April 2008 memo offers an unusually candid view of how political monitoring fit into the NYPD’s larger, post-9/11 intelligence mission. As the AP has reported previously, Cohen’s unit has transformed the NYPD into one of the most aggressive domestic intelligence agencies in the United States, one that infiltrated Muslim student groups, monitored their websites and used informants as listening posts inside mosques.

Along with the political monitoring, the document describes plans to use informants to monitor mosques for conversations about the imminent verdict in the trial of three NYPD officers charged in the 2006 shooting death of Sean Bell, an unarmed man who died in a hail of gunfire. Police were worried about how the black community, particularly the New Black Panther Party, would respond to the verdict, according to this and other documents obtained by the AP.

The document also contained details of a whitewater rafting trip that an undercover officer attended with Muslim students from City College New York.

“The group prayed at least four times a day, and much of the conversation was spent discussing Islam and was religious in nature,” the report reads.

Russia issues new warnings over US missile defense

March 23 2012

by Vladimir Isachenkov  


            MOSCOW (AP) — A United States-led NATO missile defence plan Washington says is aimed at deflecting potential Iranian threats will break existing nuclear parity with Russia and prompt it to retaliate, President Dmitry Medvedev warned Friday.

            Moscow has rejected Washington’s claim the plan is solely to deal with any Iranian threat, and voiced fears it will eventually become powerful enough to undermine Russia’s nuclear deterrent.

            “No one has explained to me why we should believe that the new missile defense system in Europe isn’t directed against us,” Medvedev said in a speech at a security conference, adding that the shield will “break the nuclear parity.”

            NATO has said it wants to cooperate with Russia on the missile shield, but has rejected Moscow’s proposal to run it jointly. Without a NATO-Russia cooperation deal, the Kremlin has sought guarantees from the U.S. that any future missile defense is not aimed at Russia and threatened to retaliate if no such deal is negotiated.

            “I will say honestly that no matter how warm relations between me and my colleagues are, no matter how advanced relations between Russia and NATO member states are, we will have to take that into account and, under certain circumstances, respond,” Medvedev said.

            Earlier this week, he told the top Russian military brass that the armed forces must prepare to counter U.S. missile defense plans even as talks between Moscow and Washington are continuing.

            “By 2017-2018 we must be fully prepared, fully armed,” Medvedev said, referring to his earlier threat to aim missiles at the U.S.-led NATO missile shield if no agreement is reached.

            Speaking at Friday’s conference, he reaffirmed that Russia isn’t “shutting the door to dialogue,” but warned that “the time is running out.” ”It’s in our mutual interests to quickly reach mutually acceptable agreements,” he said.

            Dmitry Rogozin, a deputy prime minister in charge of the military industries, was more hawkish in his remarks at the same conference, saying that the NATO shield has an “openly anti-Russian vector.”

            “The system that is being developed is intended to intercept heavy intercontinental missiles blasting off from the Russian territory,” Rogozin said, according to Russian newswires.

            “Missile defense isn’t the best way to ensure security,” he added. “Those who are smart know that the defensive arms race is no better than the offensive arms race. Strengthening of the shield entails strengthening of the sword.”

            Rogozin claimed that the new Russian missiles have been fitted with systems that would allow them to penetrate any prospective missile defense. “They would allow Russia to feel absolutely calm, even if the missile defense becomes global and affects our interests,” he said.

            Tensions over the missile shield, which long have tarnished ties between Moscow and Washington, are expected to flare up again in May when Vladimir Putin heads to the U.S. shortly after being sworn in for his third presidential term.

—– Mansur Mirovalev contributed to this report.

Russia says Syria must pull out troops


March 23, 2012

by Vladimir Isachenkov in Moscow


          Syrian President Bashar al-Assad must take the first step and pull his forces out of cities and allow humanitarian assistance, a senior Russian politician says.

            In a statement today that signals a marked shift in Moscow’s stance, Mikhail Margelov, the Kremlin-connected chairman of the foreign affairs committee in the upper house of Russian parliament, indicated Moscow’s increasing impatience with Mr Assad and its eagerness to raise pressure on an old ally.
            “Syrian President Bashar Assad must urgently fix numerous mistakes that he has made, according to Russia’s official position,” Margelov said, according to the ITAR-Tass and RIA Novosti news agencies.
            Commenting on Wednesday’s statement by the United Nations Security Council that spelled out UN mediator Kofi Annan’s proposals, including guaranteed humanitarian access and the pullout of government forces from Syrian cities and towns, Mr Margelov said that Mr Assad should now act first.

“Assad must take the first step,” Mr Margelov was quoted as saying.
            “He must pull out the Syrian army from big cities. It’s also necessary to deliver humanitarian assistance to the areas affected by fighting.”
            That is a departure from Russia’s previous position that both the Government and opposition forces need to simultaneously withdraw from cities.
            The Syrian Government has insisted that the opposition should be the first to end hostilities, while the US and European powers have demanded that Mr Assad’s military halts its offence first, followed by the opposition.
            Russia, along with China, has twice shielded Mr Assad from United Nations’ sanctions over his crackdown on an uprising in which the UN estimates more than 8000 people have been killed.
            But Moscow also has strongly supported a plan to settle the crisis by Mr Annan, the former UN secretary-general who is the joint UN and Arab League envoy for Syria.
            Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov said today that Mr Annan will visit Moscow in the next “couple of days” to discuss the settlement.
            Mr Bogdanov said that Russia will also play host to a Syrian opposition delegation, including members of the National Coordination Committee, one of Syria’s two main opposition groups, in Moscow in the next few days.
            He said that Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will meet with them.
            Speaking before Russian parliament last week, Mr Lavrov criticised Mr Assad for being too slow to implement long-needed reforms and warned that the conflict in the Arab state could spiral out of control.
            Meanwhile, UN humanitarian chief Valerie Amos said she was continuing to press for unhindered access for humanitarian organisations, including in pro-opposition areas.
            Technical staff from UN agencies and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation are part of a government-led humanitarian assessment mission of humanitarian needs that began on March 18.




Arab Spring bleeds deeper into Africa

March 14, 2012

by Derek Henry Flood

Asia Times
            “He is a black man! From Africa!” was how an exuberant Libyan rebel fighter described to Asia Times Online a purported Chadian national captured from pro-Gaddafi forces after the rebel victory in the immediate aftermath of the first battle of Brega on March 2, 2011.
            Brega, a key oil terminal town west of Benghazi, was significant for not only being the first clear military victory for the rebels against regime forces who had begun to creep eastward toward the rebel stronghold of Benghazi, but also for more quietly beingthe place where rebel forces began to disseminate statements to journalists about the importance of sub-Saharan Africans in the war that at times bordered on hysteria.
            Though the Libyan conflict in 2011 was lumped in with the revolutions in Tunisia, Egypt, Bahrain and elsewhere in the Arab world as yet another front in the mushrooming “Arab Spring”, it became immediately clear that Libya, due to both its geographic reality and its political history, was as much an African as well as an Arab conflict.
            The hype over the place of sub-Saharan Africans in the Libyan war seemed more propaganda than fact at many points because of the rebel claims were most often impossible to independently verify. Certainly there were plenty of black Africans in the Libyan theater, but many of them were migrant workers encouraged to look for work in Libya either by Muammar Gaddafi’s polices proclaiming “brotherhood” with Libya’s southern neighbors or simply drawn to Libya’s relatively immense energy-derived wealth coupled with Gaddafi’s renewed economic ties with an opportunistic West.
            Western companies and governments along with their autocratic counterparts in Russia and China were suddenly eager to do business with a post-sanctions Gaddafi. His image had been skillfully rehabilitated after the disastrous invasion of Iraq had made the “Mad Dog of the Middle East” appear, through the prism of a woefully distorted neoconservative worldview then dominating international affairs, as if he were a secular liberal
            Then there were those who simply hoped to transit Libya en route to Italian shores and the seemingly bountiful European Union across the Mediterranean. Given the long range of Gaddafi’s artillery men and snipers, journalists were mostly unable to get a close enough look at the regime troops to ascertain their ethnic makeup, relying solely on rebel conjecture along with some flat-out lies about the proportion of enemy forces made up of African “mercenaries”.
            In the midst of all this chaos, innocent Africans were tortured, imprisoned and even killed after being easily marked with the mercenary label. They were targets of rebel rage, xenophobia and ignorance of the “other”. They were also victims of an oversimplification of the ethnic dimension to the Libyan conflict. Asia Times Online observed a number of competent officers and logisticians of sub-Saharan background propelling forward the anti-Gaddafi forces of the The National Transitional Council of Libya (NTC) on the front lines in the battles for Brega, Ras Lanuf and the Jebel Nafusa region.The NTC ran a schizophrenic propaganda campaign emphasizing their fight as a colorblind one that did observably entail Libyans of all hues while constantly denouncing, in terms that seemed to stray into racism at certain points, their enemies’ exploitation of African soldiers.
            In the globalized conflicts raging in the early 21st century, few wars exist in a vacuum. Weapons, material and men move easily across porous borders, poorly thought out regime-change scenarios are imposed from outside, and assorted strong men fall throughout the developing world. Virtually all state and non-state actors alike trade barbs about their opponents utilizing so-called foreign fighters in order to bolster their own claims of victimhood while de-legitimizing the enemy’s supposed nationalist or indigenous war-fighting goals.
            Colonel Gaddafi did have foreign nationals fighting alongside his troops to be sure, but their role in the war is far from clearly understood. Gaddafi integrated himself into conflicts across the length and breadth of the African continent to make himself the indispensable interlocutor until he was pulled from a sewage portal on the outskirts of Sirte and summarily executed by jubilant NTC fighters on October 20, 2011.
            Gaddafi deftly positioned himself as the solution to many of Africa’s persistently unstable regions whilst often stoking these very same disputes with arms and boilerplate rhetoric about perennial Third World revolution. Now five months after Gaddafi’s deadly demise, Libya’s North Atlantic Treaty Organization and Gulf Cooperation Council-backed revolution threatens to destroy or at least bifurcate the wobbly Republic of Mali, whose president was overthrown in a military coup in the capital of Bamako on Thursday morning.
            As the Gaddafi ship was definitively sinking, Malian and Nigerian ethnic-Tuareg fighters returned to their respective bastions in the Sahara armed to the teeth with looted Libyan arms. The Malian state, which until earlier this week was led by President Amadou Toumani Toure, is now facing an almost insurmountable security challenge in the country’s vast under-governed north due south of the Algerian border as an insurgent group calling itself the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (Mouvement National pour la Liberation de l’Azawad-MNLA).
            Shown in footage careening across Mali’s Saharan north in vehicles identical to Libyan army issue Toyota Hi-Lux technical trucks brandishing Soviet bloc small arms, the MNLA seeks to secede from the Malian republic and form an independent nation called Azawad. The MNLA has overrun towns and army garrisons along the borders with Niger, Algeria and Mauritania, causing thousands of refugees and, in the case of Algeria, Malian soldiers themselves-to flee Mali’s borders.
            The current crisis began on January 17 with an MNLA attack on the eastern town of Menaka. It was however borne of Libya’s internationally backed war on the cheap and has the potential to create further destabilization in the wider Sahara and Sahel regions beyond the current chaos in Mali. In simplest terms, the Arab Spring has now bled into Africa. And the mercurial, egomaniacal Gaddafi is no longer available to mediate such deadly disputes.
            In response to President Toure’s impotency during his last days in office, a group of military officers led by an army captain named Amadou Sango and calling themselves the National Committee for the Restoration of Democracy and State (Comite national pour le redressement de la démocratie et la restauration de la democratie et la restauration de l’etat – or CNRDRE).
            The CNRDRE has announced that it has immediately suspended the Malian constitution and claims to have detained several government ministers in Bamako in one of its initial actions. None of this bodes well for Mali and Libya’s neighbor Niger, which suffered its own coup in 2010 and dealt with a Tuareg rebellion in its north from 2007-2009. With Gaddafi now gone, these enfeebled states will have to look to supranational bodies like the African Union and the Economic Community Of West African States (ECOWAS) to attempt to sort out their differences.
            In Niger, authorities arrested a notorious Tuareg rebel leader, Aghali Alambo, who led an armed revolt against the central government in Niamey from 2007-2009. Alambo was one of the key leaders of the Nigerien’s Movement for Justice (Mouvement des Nigériens pour la justice-MNJ) with which he agitated against the French-led uranium-mining consortium Areva.
            The Tuareg, Tubu and other traditionally nomadic and pastoralist minority groups in Niger’s rugged north claim to see virtually no benefit to their communities even as the price of uranium has climbed upward in international markets.
            After Gaddafi intervened in Niger’s Tuareg troubles, Alambo was exiled to Tripoli, conveniently enough, where he was reported to have quickly become a close confidant of the doomed Gaddafi. Nigerien police stated that Alambo was believed to have orchestrated the smuggling of a substantial amount of Libyan explosives in Niger before his arrest.
            Gaddafi, while crushing the aspirations of Libya’s Amazight (commonly referred to as Berber) minority at home, supported the national liberation struggles of various minorities abroad. In turn, Niger’s Tuareg still maintain a degree of loyalty to the late Libyan dictator, evidenced by the dilemma over son Saadi Gaddafi and three high-ranking military figures who were spirited into Niger following the fall of Tripoli late last August. Officially, Niamey states that it will not extradite Saadi to an NTC-ruled Libya due in large part to the gruesome, humiliating fate of his bedraggled father.
            Niger, one of the world’s poorest nations in absolute terms and unable to feed its own citizenry, has suddenly become a champion of human rights for wealthy, disgraced Libyan regime figures. But beneath the surface Niger has real, paramount security concerns.
            It cannot afford to rupture the tacit, Gaddafi-brokered peace with the Tuareg and other disgruntled groups in place since 2009. Niger does not want to further provoke the oft rebellious Tuareg by mishandling the Saadi case. Nigerien officials are also rightfully irate about the treatment of Nigeriens by the NTC’s rebel forces and the flight of Nigerien migrants back to Niger as well as those accused of fealty to Gaddafi stuck in limbo in the NTC’s ad hoc justice system.
            The independent states in West Africa that the Tuareg inhabit have been plagued by just how to manage the Tuareg question since their inception. Muammar Gaddafi was adroit at manipulating Tuareg historical grievances to his own advantage while simultaneously portraying himself as peacemaker to black African leaders troubled by recurring Tuareg insurrections.
            Now President Toure of Mali, who still claims to cling to power amidst a reported coterie of loyalist soldiers and was only to have theoretically remained in power until presidential elections scheduled to begin at the end of April – and Niger’s former opposition leader-cum-President Mahamadou Issoufou, who has been in power less than a year – must contend with insurgent leaders on their own.
            Complicating all of these matters is the specter of al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM). AQIM is described as everything from al-Qaeda’s North African franchise, an elaborate cover for a massive transnational kidnapping-for-ransom and drug smuggling operation to a front for Algeria’s Department of Intelligence and Security (Departement du Renseignement et de la Securite-DRS), as posited by more conspiratorially minded academics and journalists.
            In the Malian conflict, both belligerents are hurling mostly baseless accusations at each other with regard to the role of AQIM in the region. The MNLA has stated that part of the reason it is fighting for an independent state of Azawad is to rid the region of AQIM. Meanwhile, Bamako has put forth that the MNLA is in league with AQIM to impose a violent brand of Islamism in northern Mali.
            The MNLA’s agenda should not be confused with that of a more religious-minded, smaller outfit called Ancar Dine that has proclaimed it is fighting for the implementation of sharia law in Mali’s troubled northern regions. Ancar Dine is led by a nonagenarian Salafist and lifelong Tuareg rebel called Iyad ag Ghali, who stated that his men fight now not for the liberation of the imagined state of Azawad but for the establishment of an Islamic republic.
            The MNLA countered talk of Islamic law by issuing an official communique by its Paris-based spokesman, Mossa ag Attaher, that the rebel’s goal is solely for the secession of Azawad from Mali and intimated that no other ideological agendas will be entertained nor folded into their avowedly secular rebellion. However unpalatable Ançar Dine’s plans for Mali may be, the group is not to be confused with the Algeria-centric, Ayman al-Zawahiri affiliated AQIM.
            Until Wednesday, it may have been possible to paint the situation in Mali as relegated to that country’s isolated, rough northern reaches with limited refugee spillover into adjacent nation-states. Disaffected Malian soldiers who have suffered the brunt of the northern violence staged a mutiny at the Kati barracks just 20 kilometers outside the capital of Bamako.
            Tensions at the barrack spiraled out of control after a visit by Defense Minister Sadio Gassama meant to address troop worries about a lack of appropriate weapons to counter the MNLA’s sturdier Libyan armaments among other dire concerns. After embittered soldiers pelted the defense minister’s car with stones as he sped away in retreat, a mutiny gathered steam as soldiers stormed the state radio and television facilities in downtown Bamako. Conflicting reports vacillated on just whether or not Wednesday’s drama was a fit of mutinous rage or an attempted palace coup.
            President Toure’s official Twitter feed emphatically stated the soldiers were not engineering a coup, while Reuters quoted an unnamed Defense Ministry official as stating that the events were in fact a potential coup d’etat. By Thursday morning, the CNRDRE announced on state television that it had taken power. President Toure has supposedly been deposed – although at the time of this writing Toure was claiming otherwise.
            If it is true that the CNRDRE has gained control of the Malian capital, it means nothing for parts of the north, east and northwest that remain under MNLA rebel control. What is certain is that the Arab Spring has claimed its first African leader. Rather than a classic, autocratic “Big Man” of Africa, however, Toure was a democratically elected leader who was on the cusp of stepping down in what should have been a peaceful transition of power.
            Toure’s nickname in Mali is the “soldier of democracy”, in reference to the coup he lead in 1991 to help transform Mali from a military dictatorship to a reasonably representative government. Quite unlike the previous Nigerien leader, president Mamadou Tandja, who was ousted on February 2010 for amending the constitution in that country to extend his stay in power, Malian President Toure appeared to be making good on his word allowing to the preparation for elections meant to begin April 29.
            Mali faces escalating problems – among them the heavily armed rebels stemming from Libya and soldiers suffering from low morale after a series of strategic defeats like that of the capture of the remote northern town of Tessalit’s army base and airport.
            Now the capture of Gaddafi’s infamous intelligence chief, Abdullah Senussi, in Mauritania, arriving on a flight from Casablanca, Morocco, reportedly on a forged Malian passport, illustrates that the effects of regime change in Libya will be felt across Africa for some time to come.
            Following Wednesday and Thursday’s climatic affairs in Bamako, it is now clear that the consequences of the Western-backed Libyan campaign have now unequivocally traveled from North Africa to what is distinctly West Africa.

            Derek Henry Flood is a freelance journalist specializing in the Middle East and South and Central Asia and has covered many of the world’s conflicts since 9/11 as a frontline reporter

English Defence League tries to rally European far right


Anti-fascists plan counter demonstrations against EDL meeting in Denmark at which thousands are expected to attend

March 25, 2012

by Matthew Taylor


            Far right and anti-Islamic groups are due to hold a rally in Denmark on 31 March organised by the English Defence League (EDL) which it claims will be the start of a pan-European movement.

The rally will take place a few weeks before the start of the trial of Anders Behring Breivik, the far right extremist who has confessed to the murder of 77 people in Norway last July, and is expected to attract supporters of at least 10 anti-Islamic and far right groups from across the continent.

It is the second time the EDL has tried to hold a meeting in Europe. In October 2010 about 60 supporters turned up to a planned rally in Amsterdam and were attacked by Ajax football fans and anti-fascists.

The EDL claims the 31 March event will be bigger. It is expected to attract several hundred people drawn from defence leagues and other far right groups that have emerged around Europe over the past two years.

Observers are divided over whether the event is a significant step towards a coherent European far right movement but the possibility has raised concern.

Nick Lowles from Hope not Hate, which campaigns against racism and fascism, said he was not expecting a big turnout but added some key figures from emerging far right groups would be there.

“The march in Denmark will bring together many of the leaders of the so-called ‘counter-jihad movement’ and it is another sign of the growing international anti-Muslim networks,” he said.

The EDL says the Denmark rally will discuss the formation of a European Defence League with representatives from far right and anti-Islamic groups in Italy, Poland, Germany, Finland, Sweden and Norway expected to attend.

Lowles said: “Their focus on the threat of Islam, presenting it as a cultural war, has a far wider resonance amongst voters, especially in northern Europe, than old-style racists. They conflate Islamist extremists with immigration and in the current economic and political conditions it is extremely dangerous.”

Claude Moraes, the Labour MEP for London who chairs the all-party group on racism in the European parliament, described the demonstration as a critical moment and said there was widespread complacency about the threat posed by groups such as the EDL among mainstream European politicians.

“They have missed what is a fundamental change in the way the far right is working. Despite all the evidence of the growing influence and importance of these proxy groups there is still a real complacency about how they are operating, how deeply embedded they are becoming and how they are shaping the debate,” Moraes said.

Last year, a report from the thinktank Demos found a new generation of young, web-based supporters who embrace hardline nationalist and anti-immigrant groups. It concluded that far right and anti-Islamic groups were on the rise across Europe. The exception appeared to be the UK where the British National party failed to make any breakthrough last year in parliamentary and local elections.

In a separate report, Matthew Goodwin from Nottingham University and Jocelyn Evans of Salford University found that a hardcore of far right supporters in the UK appears to believe violent conflict between different ethnic, racial and religious groups is inevitable, and that it is legitimate to prepare even for armed conflict.

Breivik claimed he had contact with the EDL ahead of the attacks, adding that he had “spoken with tens of EDL members and leaders”. In response to the killings, the league issued a statement condemning the Norway killings and adding that it had no contact with Breivik.

The EDL, which emerged from Luton in 2009 to become the most significant far right street movement in the UK since the National Front, claims to be a peaceful, non-racist and set up to protest against “militant Islam”. Many of its demonstrations have descended into violence and Islamophobic and racist chanting, attracting known football hooligans and far right extremists.

In the last year it has staged demonstrations in communities with large Muslim populations including Bradford, Leicester and Tower Hamlets in London. However, it has been hit by divisions and internal rows and some of its supporters have been involved in smaller, but often more violent activities, such as targeting trade union meetings and anti-racist groups.

A big turnout of anti-facists from Denmark and other European countries is expected in protest at the rally in Denmark.

Projekt Antifa, a Danish coalition of anti-fascist groups, has booked coaches to take protesters from Copenhagen to Aarhus where the demonstration is being held, describing it as “the capital’s biggest anti-fascist mobilisation for more than 10 years.” British anti-racists are also planning to travel to the rally. Weyman Bennett from Unite Against Fascism said he would be travelling to the event with 30 supporters.

Rising Sea Levels Seen as Threat to Coastal U.S


March 13, 2012

by Justin Gillis

New York Times

About 3.7 million Americans live within a few feet of high tide and risk being hit by more frequent coastal flooding in coming decades because of the sea level rise caused by global warming, according to new research.

            If the pace of the rise accelerates as much as expected, researchers found, coastal flooding at levels that were once exceedingly rare could become an every-few-years occurrence by the middle of this century.

By far the most vulnerable state is Florida, the new analysis found, with roughly half of the nation’s at-risk population living near the coast on the porous, low-lying limestone shelf that constitutes much of that state. But Louisiana, California, New York and New Jersey are also particularly vulnerable, researchers found, and virtually the entire American coastline is at some degree of risk.

“Sea level rise is like an invisible tsunami, building force while we do almost nothing,” said Benjamin H. Strauss, an author, with other scientists, of two new papers outlining the research. “We have a closing window of time to prevent the worst by preparing for higher seas.”

The project on sea level rise led by Dr. Strauss for the nonprofit organization Climate Central appears to be the most elaborate effort in decades to estimate the proportion of the national population at risk from the rising sea. The papers are scheduled for publication on Wednesday by the journal Environmental Research Letters. The work is based on the 2010 census and on improved estimates, compiled by federal agencies, of the land elevation near coastlines and of tidal levels throughout the country.

Climate Central, of Princeton, N.J., was started in 2008 with foundation money to conduct original climate research and also to inform the public about the work of other scientists. For the sea level project, financed entirely by foundations, the group is using the Internet to publish an extensive package of material that goes beyond the scientific papers, specifying risks by community. People can search by ZIP code to get some idea of their own exposure.

While some coastal governments have previously assessed their risk, most have not, and national-level analyses have also been rare. The new package of material may therefore give some communities and some citizens their first solid sense of the threat.

Dr. Strauss said he hoped this would spur fresh efforts to prepare for the ocean’s rise, and help make the public more aware of the risks society is running by pumping greenhouse gases into the air. Scientists say those gases are causing the planet to warm and its land ice to melt into the sea. The sea itself is absorbing most of the extra heat, which causes the water to expand and thus contributes to the rise.

The ocean has been rising slowly and relentlessly since the late 19th century, one of the hallmark indicators that the climate of the earth is changing. The average global rise has been about eight inches since 1880, but the local rise has been higher in some places where the land is also sinking, as in Louisiana and the Chesapeake Bay region.

The rise appears to have accelerated lately, to a rate of about a foot per century, and many scientists expect a further acceleration as the warming of the planet continues. One estimate that communities are starting to use for planning purposes suggests the ocean could rise a foot over the next 40 years, though that calculation is not universally accepted among climate scientists.

The handful of climate researchers who question the scientific consensus about global warming do not deny that the ocean is rising. But they often assert that the rise is a result of natural climate variability, they dispute that the pace is likely to accelerate, and they say that society will be able to adjust to a continuing slow rise.

Myron Ebell, a climate change skeptic at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a Washington research group, said that “as a society, we could waste a fair amount of money on preparing for sea level rise if we put our faith in models that have no forecasting ability.”

Experts say a few inches of sea level rise can translate to a large incursion by the ocean onto shallow coastlines. Sea level rise has already cost governments and private landowners billions of dollars as they have pumped sand onto eroding beaches and repaired the damage from storm surges.

Insurance companies got out of the business of writing flood insurance decades ago, so much of the risk from sea level rise is expected to fall on the financially troubled National Flood Insurance Program, set up by Congress, or on state insurance pools. Federal taxpayers also heavily subsidize coastal development when the government pays to rebuild infrastructure destroyed in storm surges and picks up much of the bill for private losses not covered by insurance.

For decades, coastal scientists have argued that these policies are foolhardy, and that the nation must begin planning an orderly retreat from large portions of its coasts, but few politicians have been willing to embrace that message or to warn the public of the rising risks.

Organizations like Mr. Ebell’s, even as they express skepticism about climate science, have sided with the coastal researchers on one issue. They argue that Congress should stop subsidizing coastal development, regarding it as a waste of taxpayers’ money regardless of what the ocean might do in the future.

“If people want to build an expensive beach house on the Florida or Carolina coast, they should take their own risk and pay for their own insurance,” Mr. Ebell said.

The new research calculates the size of the population living within one meter, or 3.3 feet, of the mean high tide level, as estimated in a new tidal data set from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. In the lower 48 states, that zone contains 3.7 million people today, the papers estimate, a figure exceeding 1 percent of the nation’s population.

Under current coastal policies, the population and the value of property at risk in that zone are expected to continue rising.

The land below the 3.3-foot line is expected to be permanently inundated someday, possibly as early as 2100, except in places where extensive fortifications are built to hold back the sea. One of the new papers calculates that long before inundation occurs, life will become more difficult in the low-lying zone because the rising sea will make big storm surges more likely.

Only in a handful of places have modest steps been taken to prepare. New York City is one: Pumps at some sewage stations have been raised to higher elevations, and the city government has undertaken extensive planning. But the city — including substantial sections of Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island — remains vulnerable, as do large parts of Long Island, Connecticut and New Jersey.

Trayvon Martin, Obama, and the Persistence of Racial Bias

March 22, 2012

by Sally Kohn


            By now the facts are well-known: Trayvon Martin was a 17-year-old young black man who, on Feb. 26, 2012, was walking home from a 7-Eleven in Sanford, Florida, with a bag of Skittles and a bottle of iced tea. George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watchman of white and Latino heritage, though advised by police not to pursue Trayvon himself, got out of his car carrying his 9-millimeter handgun. Allegedly after some confrontation, Zimmerman shot Trayvon dead

            Should we think about this horrendous incident as a random encounter, or does it teach us something about the politics of race and the persistence of racial bias in America today?

When Zimmerman first called the police about Trayvon Martin, he said: “There’s a real suspicious guy. This guy looks like he’s up to no good, on drugs or something. It’s raining, and he’s just walking around looking about.” Writer E.J. Graff termed this “Walking While Black.” In other words, Trayvon was presumed to be guilty of something nefarious simply because of the color of his skin.

            Some who’ve listened to the tape of Zimmerman’s 911 call believe they heard him use an obscenity and a racial slur. But whether Zimmerman is an overt racist or not is largely beside the point. Focusing on relatively isolated instances of overt racism tends to obscure and excuse the very pernicious, very persistent reality of implicit racial bias that runs throughout our society — and very much shaped how the world saw Trayvon Martin and how the world sees President Obama still.

            Most people don’t throw around racial epithets, let alone admit they do so to researchers. Yet we know that racial stereotypes still exist in America, leading scientists now to focus on implicit bias: unconscious mental shortcuts that we form based on our life experience as well as the stories, culture and history we absorb around us.

            In one study, researchers used computers to generate several faces that were exactly the same except for the skin color — half were black and half were white. All respondents (yes, including black people studied for the project) were more likely to rate the black faces as showing greater hostility. In another study, scientists showed a group of subjects a video of one person pushing another person. When the “shover” was black and the “victim” was white, 75 percent of research subjects said the push was aggressive. When the “shover” was white and the victim was “black,” only 17 percent of subjects said the push was aggressive.

            mplicit racial bias has also been found in what researchers call a “shooter bias” — in which subjects playing a simulated video game are more likely to mistakenly pull the trigger on unarmed black men than on unarmed white suspects. The phenomenon has been tested and proved with police officers, too.

            Watching conservative attacks on Obama, it’s hard not to conclude that they are tainted by implicit bias. Consider: President Barack Obama is the first African-American president of the United States of America. From day one, conservatives have attacked the president’s religion, citizenship and essential patriotism. Conservatives condemned healthcare reform in general and the individual mandate in particular, even though the mandate was originally a Republican proposal. Republicans, who historically never met a tax cut they didn’t like, have opposed virtually every tax cut proposal that President Obama has put forth. Amidst high unemployment and a crumbling economy, Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said his number one goal was to destroy the president’s chance for re-election.

Now, I do not believe that Mitch McConnell or most Republican leaders or rank-and-file voters are overt racists. But their rhetoric often evokes the same racial animus that Zimmerman seems to have expressed. Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich has labeled President Obama “the most dangerous president in history.” Glenn Beck once accused President Obama of having a “deep-seated hatred of white people.” And long before he called Sandra Fluke a slut, conservative mascot Rush Limbaugh said: “Obama is an angry black guy.” The parallel imagery is clear: President Obama, like Trayvon Williams, is a dangerous, suspicious black man clearly up to no good, guilty of Governing While Black.

And implicit bias has been tested with respect to President Obama. Researchers have shown that those with high rates of implicit racial bias were not only less likely to vote for President Obama but less likely to support his healthcare reform proposal. In fact, researchers were able to demonstrate that subjects were more supportive of the exact same healthcare reform proposals if they were ascribed to President Bill Clinton as opposed to President Obama.

In his book The Trouble With Black Boys, New York University professor of education Pedro Noguera writes:

Unlike men and women from other racial and ethnic groups, Black males are rarely seen as individuals in possession of a full range of attributes and flaws, strengths and weaknesses.  The stereotypes that shape the American images of Black males are so stark and extreme that even the most ordinary and unexceptional Black males find they are forced to contend with the fantasies and fears that others hold toward them.

Trayvon Martin had a handful of Skittles. Barack Obama holds the presidential pen. But both are viewed, especially by white America, as holding weapons, and in my view, both have been mistakenly fired upon, whether with real bullets or unprecedented political vitriol.

Living alone ‘are more depressed’

March 22, 2012

BBC News

            People of working age who live alone increase their risk of depression by up to 80% compared with people living in families, says a Finnish study.

It says the main factors are poor housing conditions for women and a lack of social support for men, who are both equally affected.

The study tracked the use of anti-depressants in 3,500 Finnish people.

A mental health charity said people who lived alone must be given outlets to talk about their problems.

The study authors highlight the fact that the proportion of one-person households in Western countries has increased during the past three decades, with one in every three people in the US and the UK living alone.

The participants in the study, published in BioMed Central’s public health journal, were working-age Finns; 1,695 were men and 1,776 were women, and they had an average age of 44.6 years.

They were surveyed in 2000 and asked whether they lived alone or with other people.

Other information about their lifestyle was gathered, such as social support, work climate, education, income, employment status and housing conditions, in addition to details on smoking habits, alcohol use and activity levels.

Researchers found that people living alone bought 80% more anti-depressants during the follow-up period, between 2000 and 2008, than those who did not live alone.

Dr Laura Pulkki-Raback, who led the research at the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, said the real risk of mental health problems in people living alone could be much higher.

“This kind of study usually underestimates risk because the people who are at the most risk tend to be the people who are least likely to complete the follow up. We were also not able to judge how common untreated depression was.”


Researchers said that living with other people could offer emotional support and feelings of social integration, as well as other factors that protect against mental health problems.

Living alone, the study said, could be linked with feelings of isolation and a lack of social integration and trust, which are risk factors for mental health.

The study said all the factors involved needed to be addressed in order to understand and reduce depression in working-age people.

Beth Murphy, head of information at mental health charity Mind, said the rise in the number of people living alone had had a clear impact on the nation’s mental health.

“Loneliness and isolation results in people having fewer outlets to talk about how they are feeling, which is something that we know can really help to manage and recover from a mental health problem.

“It is therefore essential that people who live alone are given the most appropriate treatment such as talking therapies, which provide safe, supportive environments to discuss and work through problems, rather than simply being left to rely solely on antidepressants.”

Investors cash in on web-based scams


March 22,2012

by Mark Ward Technology correspondent,

BBC News

Some people are putting money into online scams even though they know they are fraudulent, suggests research.

One of the first significant studies of cons known as High Yield Investment Programs (HYIPs) reveals that a small number of people are trying to use them as regular investment vehicles.

The research suggests that the investors use website tools to help them spot when best to cash out.

Authorities warn that such schemes can backfire with no hope of compensation.

HYIPs are an example of what are known as Ponzi schemes which claim to offer huge returns for those that invest some cash in them. They depend on more and more people being enrolled in the scam, with funds from those who invest late in the scheme being used to reward early entrants.

While the instigator of the fraud makes money, most participants spend a lot of time recruiting more members to prop up their ever dwindling returns.

“It’s our belief that there may well be some people making money here,” said Dr Richard Clayton, one of the computer security experts behind the study.

“But running one of these scams is certainly far more lucrative than investing in one.”

Tracker sites

The researchers estimate that about $6m (£4m) a month passed through the 1600 HYIP schemes they tracked for nine months while gathering data.

“It’s not a trivial amount of money,” said Dr Clayton.

The schemes offered very different rates of return. The highest return claimed was an interest rate of 440% in 10 minutes, but many others said investors would receive the more modest figure of 1-2% a day.

Dr Clayton said the study uncovered aggregator or “tracker” sites that monitored the Ponzi schemes, some of which lasted for months. The trackers detail the returns the different schemes were paying out.

Using these sites investors spot when they start to crumble and make efforts to recover their initial investment.

“Their only purpose is to help people choose where they can put their money,” said Dr Clayton, though he was cautious of drawing any strong conclusions given the lack of corroborating evidence.

“If we believe that what we see on the net is true, then some people get money back and some get more back than they invested,” he said.

As with all Ponzi schemes, early investors rely on the naivete of late entrants who may not be aware that they are joining a financial scam that is likely to cost them dear.

“People who come across these sites not understanding them at all could well be misled into thinking this is a good investment,” Dr Clayton told the BBC.


Choking off supply

A spokesman for the UK’s Financial Services Authority cautioned against getting involved in a Ponzi scheme, even at the early stages.

“Consumers should be wary of any investment offering amazing returns,” he said. “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”

He added, because the investment scams were by definition unauthorised, consumers would have no protection or means to recover their money when they collapsed.

The research, carried out with computer scientists Jie Han and Tyler Moore from the Wellesley College in the US, also proposed some ways that regulators and governments could take action to stop their growth.

Regulators could apply pressure to the firms that operated the digital currencies that the scams used and choke off the supply of cash, said Dr Clayton.

Another useful target would be the trackers or aggregators, he suggested, as shuttering the domains they used could restrict access to information about how specific scams operated.

In addition, he said, education could help people spot such schemes.

“This is an area where the more people who know about it the less successful it will be to run one. People will be able to say ‘Aha! This is a Ponzi scheme’,” he said.

“You need the basic knowledge that 1% a day just cannot work.”


How a Ponzi scheme works


1.Original investors are initially rewarded with a high rate of return on their investment, but they need more investors in the scheme to maintain that level of return.

2. More investors are conned into joining the scheme, but as their investments are used to pay the original investors returns and inflate the scheme, they receive less returns on their investments. They in turn seek more investors to increase their returns.

3.Still more investors join the scheme, but receive still fewer returns on their investment. They cycle continues until the number of new investors dwindles, returns dry up and the scheme collapses.


For-Profit Education Scams

March 23, 2012

New York Times

Attorneys general from more than 20 states have joined forces to investigate for-profit colleges that too often saddle students with crippling debt while furnishing them valueless degrees. The investigations have just begun. But it is already clear from testimony before a Senate committee that Congress must do more to rein in the schools and protect students.

For-profit colleges are typically more expensive than public colleges, which means students graduate owing more. They account for nearly half of student loan defaults, even though they enroll a little more than 10 percent of higher education students.

State prosecutors are uncovering unconscionable examples of fraud. Lisa Madigan, the attorney general of Illinois, testified this week that she had recently filed suit against a for-profit school that had saddled individual students with up to $80,000 in loans while promising employment with law enforcement agencies that do not recognize the school’s credentials as valid.

Jack Conway, the attorney general of Kentucky who leads the multistate group, has identified two schools that went bankrupt, leaving students with loads of debt and worthless credits and still on the hook for those outstanding loans.

A bill introduced by Senator Richard Durbin, a Democrat of Illinois, would permit students to discharge their private student loans when they declare bankruptcy. Congress should also allow borrowers to have their private loans discharged when a school closes, preventing completion of the degree. (The federal loan program already allows this.) Lastly, Congress should require private lenders to make every effort to see whether students are eligible for affordable federal loans before trying to sell them more expensive private loans.


Newspaper finds suspicious test scores nationwide


March 24 2012

AP foreign

ATLANTA (AP) — Hundreds of school systems nationwide exhibit suspicious test scores that point to the possibility of cheating, according to an investigation by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

The newspaper (http://bit.ly/GNrxOW ) examined test results for 70,000 public schools and found high concentrations of scores in school systems from coast to coast.

The analysis doesn’t prove cheating. It reveals that scores in hundreds of cities followed a pattern that, in Atlanta, indicated cheating in multiple schools.

The AJC reported in 2008 and 2009 about statistically improbable jumps in test scores within the 109-school Atlanta Public Schools system. Those reports led to an investigation by Georgia officials, which found that at least 180 principals, teachers and other staff took part in widespread test-tampering in the 50,000-student district.

In Sunday’s editions, the AJC reports that 196 of the nation’s 3,125 largest school districts had enough suspect test results that the odds of the results occurring naturally were less than one in 1,000.

For 33 districts nationwide, the odds of their test scores occurring naturally were worse than one in a million.

Standardized test scores have been at the forefront of national and local efforts to improve schools. Test performance was the centerpiece of the federal No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, which demanded higher classroom accountability. Tougher teacher evaluations that many states are rolling out place more weight than ever on the tests.

But the AJC report found that the sweeping policy shifts rely on test results that may be unreliable.

While the federal government requires states to use standardized testing, it does not require educators to screen scores for anomalies or investigate those that turn up.

“If we are going to make important decisions based on test results — and we ought to be doing that — we have to make important decisions about how we are going to ensure their trustworthiness,” said Daria Hall, director of K-12 policy with the nonprofit Education Trust.

“That means districts and states taking ownership of the test security issue in a way that they haven’t to date.”

In nine districts — Atlanta, Baltimore, Dallas, Detroit, East St. Louis, Ill., Gary, Ind., Houston, Los Angeles and Mobile County, Ala. — scores careened so unpredictably that the odds of such dramatic shifts occurring without an intervention such as tampering were virtually zero, the newspaper found.

In Houston, test results for entire grades of students jumped two, three or more times the amount expected in one year, the analysis showed. When children moved to a new grade the next year, their scores plummeted — a finding that suggests the gains were not due to learning.

“These findings are concerning,” U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said in a statement after being briefed on the AJC’s analysis. He added that “states, districts, schools and testing companies should have sensible safeguards in place to ensure tests accurately reflect student learning.”

Many school district officials contacted by the AJC disputed any conclusion that cheating was to blame for the swings.

Some school leaders attributed steep gains to exemplary teaching. But experts said instruction isn’t likely to move scores to the degree seen in the AJC’s analysis.

Cheating is one of only a few plausible explanations for such dramatic changes in scores for so many students within a district, said James Wollack, a University of Wisconsin-Madison expert in testing and cheating who reviewed the newspaper’s analysis.

“I can say with some confidence,” he said, “cheating is something you should be looking at.”

In each state, the newspaper used statistics to identify unusual score jumps and drops on state math and reading tests by grade and school. Declines can signal cheating the previous year. The calculations also took into account other factors that can lead to big score shifts, such as small classes and dramatic changes in class size.

The newspaper also developed a statistical method to identify school systems with far more unusual tests than expected, which could signal endemic cheating similar to what occurred in Atlanta. In its approach, the score analysis used conservative measures that highlighted extremes. The methodology is more likely to overlook possible indications of cheating than to suggest problems where none exist.

The newspaper’s methodology was reviewed by outside experts.

The AJC’s analysis suggests that tens of thousands of children may have been harmed by inflated scores that could have kept them from getting the academic help they needed.

In 2010 alone, the grade-wide reading scores of 24,618 children nationwide — enough to populate a mid-sized school district — swung so improbably that the odds of it happening by chance were less than 1 in 10,000.

Experts said the findings warrant deeper investigation at the local level.

Statistical checks for highly improbable scores are like medical tests, said Gary Phillips, a vice president and chief scientist for the large nonprofit the American Institutes for Research, who advised the AJC on its methodology.

“This is a broad screening,” he said. “If you find something, you’re supposed to go to the doctor and follow up with a more detailed diagnostic process.”

Information from: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, http://www.ajc.com

Weekly Intelligence Summary: 2012-03-23

by Dave Kennedy
March 23, 2012


It’s that time of year again. Spring is upon us, flowers are budding, and The RISK Team and Verizon have released the 2012 Data Breach Investigations Report. Be sure to add it to your reading list. Speaking of data breaches, the University of Tampa reported that it mistakenly exposed information on 30,000 individuals for 8 months due to a server error and the UK-based Student Loans Company copped to leaking 8,000 customer email addresses. As for things that got attacked this week, a Saudi hacking group claimed to steal data on 400,000 Israelis from the Israeli sports website One, S3rver.exe defaced the website of the International Police Associate of Australia, and BlackJester has electronically taken a Qwest data center server hostage so that the company will contact him about its vulnerabilities. Not too long ago BlackJester walked into a UN office to report vulnerabilities in the organization’s website. Reporting vulnerabilities is one thing, taking a server hostage is a different beast altogether. A recently compiled Duqu driver was observed in the wild by Symantec and Kaspersky got answers to a question it had crowd sourced about the malware’s code. And finally, in a case of pot calling kettle black, China said it has observed an uptick in cyber-attacks recently and blames the United States, Japan, and South Korea.

Foreign spies ‘penetrate’ US military networks

March 23,  2012


Foreign spies should be assumed to have penetrated the computer networks of the US military, American politicians have been told.

Security experts testifying to the Senate Armed Services Subcommittee said the penetration was likely so complete that attempts to curb it should stop.

Instead, cyberdefence should be about protecting data not controlling access.

The experts said the US should look into ways to retaliate against nations that had access to its networks.

In an open session, experts from the US National Security Agency and government labs said America had to change the way it thought about protecting Department of Defense (DoD) computer networks.

“We’ve got the wrong mental model here,” said Dr James Peery, head of the Information Systems Analysis Centre at the Sandia National Laboratories. “I think we have to go to a model where we assume that the adversary is in our networks.”

‘Delayed drowning’

That change would mean spending less time shoring up firewalls and gateways and more time ensuring data was safe, he said.

Dr Kaigham Gabriel, current head of the Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency, likened the current cybersecurity efforts of the US DoD to treading water in the middle of the ocean.

All that did was slightly delay the day when the DoD drowned under the weight of maintaining its network defences, he said. The DoD oversees 15,000 networks that connect about seven million devices.

“It’s not that we’re doing wrong things, it’s just the nature of playing defence in cyber,” Dr Gabriel said.

The poor defences that the US military could muster were made weaker by its hiring system, said Dr Michael Wertheimer, director of research and development at the NSA.

Low pay, delays over promotion and wage freezes made it very hard for the US government to attract and keep talented computer security staff, he said.

The open session was followed by a closed debate about the capabilities the US was developing to hit back against those who had won access to sensitive networks

Government Now Allowed to Store Info on Innocent Americans

Under new Obama administration rules, information on Americans with no clear ties to terrorism can be held for at least 5 years

March 22, 2012

by John Glaser,


The U.S. intelligence community can now store information innocent Americans for up to five years under new Obama administration rules, expanding previous authority to hold details on individuals with no ties to terrorism.

The National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) was previously supposed to immediately destroy intelligence information about Americans when there were no clear ties to terrorism, but now new rules that basically justify spying on innocent Americans are being justified by terrorism fear-mongers.

“Following the failed terrorist attack in December 2009, representatives of the counterterrorism community concluded it is vital for NCTC to be provided with a variety of datasets from various agencies that contain terrorism information,” Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said in a statement late Thursday. “The ability to search against these datasets for up to five years on a continuing basis as these updated guidelines permit will enable NCTC to accomplish its mission more practically and effectively.”

Blogger Marcy Wheeler writes that “To justify this power grab,” advocates “ point to two attacks that had nothing to do with the length of data retention: the Nidal Hasan attack, in which information on his conversations with Anwar al-Awlaki hadn’t been shared throughout the government, and Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, in which his suspect status hadn’t been loaded into the no-fly list.”

“They don’t, however, point to a concrete example where 5 year old data of US persons might have helped solve an actual terror attack,” she added.

Those who care about the rights of innocent Americans are concerned. ”It is a vast expansion of the government’s surveillance authority,” said Marc Rotenberg, executive director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center. ”Total Information Awareness appears to be reconstructing itself,” Rotenberg said, referring to the Defense Department’s post-9/11 intelligence program that was killed in 2003 because of privacy concerns.

The Obama administration, as is usual in cases where they disregard the Constitution, promised the new tyrannical rules would come with strong safeguards and accountability. In reality, the war on terrorism is continuing to be used to justify major infringements on the civil liberties of Americans.

Regicide: The Official Assassination of JFK

by Gregory Douglas


Jack Rubenstein (“Ruby”)


                            Soviet Intelligence Study (translation)


47. Two days after the shooting of the American President, the alleged assassin, Oswald was shot to death in the basement of the Dallas Police Department while he was being transferred to another jail. On the day of the assassination, November 22, FBI Chief Hoover notified the authorities in Dallas that Oswald should be given special security.

48. This killing was done in the presence of many armed police officers by a known criminal and associate of the American Mafia named Jack Rubenstein, or “Ruby” as he was also known. “Ruby” had a long past of criminal association with the Mafia in Chicago, Illinois, a major area of gangster control in America. “Ruby” had once worked for the famous Al Capone and then for Sam Giancana. This man was head of the Chicago mob at the time of the assassination.

49. “Ruby” was the owner of a drinking establishment in Dallas that specialized in dancing by naked women and was also a close friend of many police officers in Dallas. “Ruby” had been seen and photographed in the Dallas police department while Oswald was being interrogated. It should be noted here that suspect Oswald was very often taken by Dallas police out into the completely unguarded hallways of the building and in the presence of many persons unknown to the police. This is viewed as either an attempt to have Oswald killed or a very incompetent and stupid breach of basic security.

50. The timing by “Ruby” of his entrance into the guarded basement was far too convenient to be accidental. Also, the method of his shooting of Oswald showed a completely professional approach. “Ruby” stepped out from between two policeman holding a revolver down along his leg to avoid detection. As he stepped towards the suspect, “Ruby” raised his right hand with the revolver and fired upwards into Oswald’s body. The bullet severed major arteries and guaranteed Oswald’s death.

51. Although “Ruby” subsequently pretended to be mentally disturbed, his actions showed professional calculation to a degree. This play-acting was continued into his trial and afterwards. “Ruby” was convicted of the murder of Oswald and sentenced to death. He died in prison of cancer in January of 1967 after an appeal from his sentence had been granted by the court judge. Information indicates that he was given a fatal injection.

52. “Ruby’s” statements should not be confused with his actions. He was a professional criminal, had excellent connections with the Dallas police, had been involved with activities in Cuba and gun running into that country and some evidence has been produced to show that he and Oswald had knowledge of each other.

53. Like Oswald, “Ruby” too had homosexual activities and one public witness firmly placed Oswald in “Ruby’s” club prior to the assassination.

54. In view of later developments and disclosures, the use of a Chicago killer with local Mafia connections to kill Oswald is not surprising. Stories of “Ruby’s” eccentricity were highlighted by American authorities to make it appear that he, like suspect Oswald, was an eccentric, single individual who acted out of emotion and not under orders.

55. As in the case of Oswald, there was never a proven motive for “Ruby’s” acts. Oswald had no reason whatsoever to shoot the President, had never committed any proven acts of violence. Although he was purported to have shot at a fascist General, it was badly presented and in all probability was a “red herring” to “prove” Oswald’s desire to shoot people. “Ruby”, a professional criminal with a long record of violence, claimed he shot Oswald to “protect” the President’s wife from testifying. This statement appears to be an obvious part of “Ruby’s” attempt to defend himself by claiming to be mad.

56. It is obvious that “Ruby” killed Oswald to silence him. Since Oswald was not involved in the killing of the President, continued interrogation of him leading to a court trial would have very strongly exposed the weakness of the American government’s attempt to blame him for the crime.

57. Silencing Oswald promptly was a matter of serious importance for the actual killers.

58. That Oswald could not be convicted with the evidence at hand, his removal was vital. He could then be tried and convicted in public without any danger.


The Warren Commission Report

Concerned that there might be an attempt on Oswald’s life, FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover sent a message to [Dallas Police] Chief Curry on November 22 through Special Agent Manning C. Clements of the FBI’s Dallas office, urging that Oswald be afforded the utmost security. Curry does not recall receiving the message. [WCR, p. 225]

Jack Ruby shot Lee Harvey Oswald at 11:21 a.m., on Sunday, November 24, 1963, shortly after Ruby entered the basement of the Dallas Police Department. Almost immediately, speculation arose that Ruby had acted on behalf of members of a conspiracy who had planned the killing of President Kennedy and wanted to silence Oswald. [WCR, p. 333]

Ruby is known to have made his way, by about 11:30 p.m., to the third floor of the Dallas Police Department where reporters were congregated near the homicide bureau. [WCR, p. 340]

(A photograph of Ruby taken in Dallas Police Headquarters about midnight November 22, 1963 is Commission Exhibit 2424)

Video tapes confirm Ruby’s statement that he was present on the third floor when Chief Jesse E. Curry and District Attorney Henry M. Wade announced that Oswald would be shown to the newsmen at a press conference in the basement. [WCR, p. 342]

Sunday morning trip to police department—Leaving his apartment a few minutes before 11 a.m., Ruby went to his automobile taking with him his dachshund, Sheba, and a portable radio. He placed a revolver which he routinely carried in a bank moneybag in the trunk of his car. [WCR, p. 354]

Ruby parked his car in a lot directly across the street from the Western Union office. He apparently placed his keys and billfold in the trunk of the car, then locked the trunk, which contained approximately $1,000 in cash, and placed the trunk key in the glove compartment. He did not lock the car doors. [WCR, p. 357]

Ruby entered the police basement through the auto ramp from Main Street and stood behind the front rank of newsmen and police officers who were crowded together at the base of the ramp awaiting the transfer of Oswald to the county jail. As Oswald emerged from a basement office at approximately 11:21 a.m., Ruby moved quickly forward and, without speaking, fired one fatal shot into Oswald’s abdomen before being subdued by a rush of police officers. [WCR, p. 357]

The assembly of more than 70 police officers, some of them armed with tear gas, and the contemplated use of an armored truck, appear to have been designed primarily to repel an attempt of a mob to seize the prisoner. [WCR, p. 227]

If Oswald had been tried for his murders of November 22, the effects of the news policy pursued by the Dallas authorities would have proven harmful both to the prosecution and the defense. The misinformation reported after the shootings might have been used by the defense to cast doubt on the reliability of the State’s entire case. [WCR, p. 238]

The DIA Analysis

57. The use of Jack Ruby to kill Oswald has been explained by the official reports as an aberrant act on the part of an emotional man under the influence of drugs. The Warren Commission carefully overlooked Ruby’s well-known ties to the Chicago mob as well as his connections with mob elements in Cuba.

58. Ruby’s early Chicago connections with the mob are certainly well documented in Chicago police files. This material was not used nor referred to in the Warren Report.

59. Ruby’s close connection with many members of the Dallas police infrastructure coupled with a very strong motivation to remove Oswald prior to any appointment of an attorney to represent him or any possible revelations Oswald might make about his probably knowledge of the actual assassins made Ruby an excellent agent of choice. If Oswald had gained the relative security of the County Jail and lawyers has been appointed for him, it would have proven much more difficult to remove him.

60. The Warren Commission was most particularly alarmed by attempts on the part of New York attorney Mark Lane, to present a defense for the dead Oswald before the Commission. Lane was refused this request. A written comment by Chief Justice Earl Warren to CIA Director Allan Dulles was that “people like Lane should never be permitted to air their radical views…at least not before this Commission…”

61. Ruby had been advised by his Chicago mob connections, as well as by others involved in the assassination, that his killing of Oswald would “make him a great hero” in the eyes of the American public and that he “could never be tried or convicted” in any American court of law.

62. Ruby, who had personal identity problems, accepted and strongly embraced this concept and was shocked to find that he was to be tried on a capital charge. Never very stable, Ruby began to disintegrate while in custody and mixed fact and fiction in a way as to convince possible assassins that he was not only incompetent but would not reveal his small knowledge of the motives behind the removal of Oswald.

63. In the presence of Chief Justice Warren, Ruby strongly intimated that he had additional information to disclose and wanted to go to the safety of Washington but Warren abruptly declared that he was not interested in hearing any of it.

64. A polygraph given to Ruby concerning his denial of knowing Oswald and only attempting to kill him as a last minute impulse proved to be completely unsatisfactory and could not be used to support the Commission’s thesis.

65. During his final illness, while in Parkland Hospital, Ruby was under heavy sedation and kept well supervised to prevent any death bed confessions or inopportune chance remarks to hospital attendants. An unconfirmed report from a usually reliable source states that Ruby was given an injection of air with a syringe which produced an embolism that killed him. The official cause of Ruby’s death was a blood clot.

66. It was later alleged that Ruby had metastated cancer of the brain and lungs which somehow had escaped any detection during his incarceration in Dallas. It was further alleged that this terminal cancer situation had existed for over a year without manifesting any serious symptoms to the Dallas medical authorities. This is viewed by non-governmental oncologists as highly unbelievable and it appears that Ruby’s fatal blood clot was the result of outside assistance.


Author’s comments

Although the American public was badly shaken by the events of November 22, 1963, the killing of Oswald two days later was a matter that brought into serious question the entire developing official explanation of the assassination.

The Katzenbach letter is an excellent indication of which way the official wind was blowing. At the same time, Director Hoover wrote similar letters, one to President Johnson about cutting off debate and clearly defining Oswald as the sole assassin.[1]

Oswald was not the sole assassin. In point of fact, Lee Harvey Oswald had nothing whatsoever to do with the assassination of John Kennedy. Oswald was a very convenient scapegoat for the murder and was set up for it by the real killers.

The question has been asked that if the FBI had been entrusted with the investigation, would they not have found evidence of a conspiracy, assuming there was one?

The answer would be affirmative. If there had been a conspiracy, the FBI would certainly have discovered it. That having been said, consider several important factors.

Oswald had been employed by a number of official U.S. agencies: the ONI,[2] the CIA, and, finally, the FBI. Given the intense, and growing, public concern over the stunning act in Dallas, it would have been political suicide for Hoover to acknowledge that an FBI paid informant had killed the President of the United States.

Hoover had found his position very insecure during the Kennedy administration. The President’s brother, Robert Kennedy, had been Attorney General and detested Hoover, calling him “an old faggot” and trying to find some way to leverage him out of his office.[3] It was only the fact that Hoover had enormous files on all the important personalities in Washington, including the President and members of his family, that kept him in office. Hoover’s files on the President included information on the illegal and socially outrageous activities of John Kennedy and his father Joe.[4]

The apparent ease with which Oswald’s killer had been able to penetrate a heavy screen of Dallas police officers was addressed by Hoover in his memo of November 29:

“The President asked if we have any relationship between the two (Oswald and Rubenstein) as yet. I replied that at the present time we have not; that there was a story that the fellow had been in Rubenstein’s nightclub but it has not been confirmed. [… Ruby] knew all of the police officers in the white light district; let them come in and get food and liquor, etc.; and that is how I think he got into police headquarters. I said if they ever made any move, the pictures did not show it even when they saw his approach and he got right up to Oswald and pressed the pistol against Oswald’s stomach; that neither officer on either side made any effort to grab Rubenstein—not until after the pistol was fired. I said, secondly, the chief of police admits

he moved Oswald in the morning as a convenience and at the request of the motion picture people who wanted daylight.”[5]

The truth of the Kennedy assassination is not to be found in the deliberate obfuscations, untruths, and omissions of the Warren Report but in the files of the Director of the FBI and, more especially, in the files of the CIA.

If, as postulated here, Kennedy was not killed by a lone, disgruntled societal misfit, who then did kill him and why?

The answers are to be found in both the Soviet intelligence report and the DIA commentary. Additional answers can be found in current FBI and CIA files, but as these are not available for public viewing, nor are ever likely to be, it is to these other papers that one must look.

 Files aside, the most important tool that a historian can use is logic. A very complex series of theories, postulations, and presentations may simply be reduced to a very common denominator. By not multiplying entities beyond necessity, the truth quickly becomes evident to the investigator. Cutting away the concealing jungle growth brings the stalking tiger into full view.

As the Warren Commission Report obviously has nothing to say about any reasonable suspects other than the unfortunate Lee Harvey Oswald and his friends, its comments are not included in the final chapters of the drama.

Persons with an interest in going into government service are encouraged to read the Warren Commission Report to learn how to conceal their mistakes in a matrix

[1]    Hoover wrote several documents for President Johnson. See especially the Hoover Memorandum, note Error! Bookmark not defined..

[2]    Office of Naval Intelligence, the Navy’s secret service.

[3]    The bitter animosity between the Attorney General and the Director of the FBI has been well covered in a number of works. See William Sullivan, The Bureau: My Thirty Years in Hoover’s FBI, New York: Norton, 1979.

[4]    For a study of the criminal activities of Joseph P. Kennedy, as they are mentioned hereafter, see S. Hersh, op. cit. (note Error! Bookmark not defined.), pp. 44-60.

[5]    Hoover letter, op. cit. (note Error! Bookmark not defined.), pp. 2f.

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