Tag Archive: whistleblowers


Listening Post – Blowing the whistle on Obama’s America

Published on Jun 9, 2012 by

This week: A Listening Post special – Whistleblowing and the US media.

Four years ago, on the campaign trail, candidate Barack Obama shared his views on whistleblowers. He said: “Often the best source of information about waste, fraud and abuse in government is a government employee committed to public integrity, willing to speak out. Such acts of courage and patriotism … should be encouraged rather than stifled.”

As president, the reality has been very different. On his watch, six whistleblowers have been charged under the Espionage Act for allegedly mishandling classified information. That is twice as many as all past presidents combined.

The threat facing whistleblowers has implications in many areas, including defence, intelligence and national security. And then there is the impact it is having on the US media – as the sources dry up, so too do the stories and the American people are left knowing less and less about what their government is doing.

In the first half of this full edition special, we blow the whistle on President Obama’s America.

In the second half of the show, Jesselyn Radack, a lawyer who worked as an ethics adviser for the US Department of Justice, talks to us about the impact whistleblowing has had on US journalism and what news organisations are doing about it.

Politics and Legislation

The Hill: Obama shifts healthcare defense

By Sam Baker

The Obama administration has shifted its legal arguments as it prepares to defend the president’s healthcare law before the Supreme Court.

http://thehill.com/blogs/healthwatch/health-reform-implementation/216361-obama-shifts-healthcare-defense

The Hill: Republican bill would enroll seniors in same health plans as lawmakers

By Julian Pecquet

A group of Senate Republicans has introduced legislation that would end traditional Medicare and sign seniors up for the same private healthcare plans received by members of Congress.

http://thehill.com/blogs/healthwatch/medicare/216303-gop-medicare-bill-would-enroll-seniors-into-lawmakers-plans

Washington elites queue up to see nine justices on hot seat

By Janet Adamy and Jess Bravin

The hottest ticket in the capital is for a spot inside the Supreme Court to watch three days of arguments challenging the 2010 health-care law that begin here a week from Monday.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303863404577283631472580966.html?mod=ITP_AHED

Tape A Cop, Face A Felony Charge

Well, now the news is that in Chicago the police will continue to
enforce, arrest, and prosecute citizens under this law as long as
it remains on the books.

Coming to Chicago in May is an upcoming NATO summit and it is
expected to bring with it huge numbers felonious camera carrying
members of the public, and you can bet the police will have their
own cameras trained on them.

Supreme Court rules out television cameras for healthcare arguments

By Sam Baker

The Supreme Court on Friday rejected calls to allow television cameras into its chambers during arguments over President Obama’s healthcare law.??

The court said it would release same-day audio recordings of the arguments, scheduled for March 26-28. It cited the “extraordinary public interest” in the case, which could lead to President Obama’s signature domestic achievement being struck down in the midst of the campaign season.

http://thehill.com/blogs/healthwatch/legal-challenges/216447-supreme-court-no-cameras-in-healthcare-case

GOP Super PAC Men Seek to Overturn Donation Limits

Michael Beckel, News Report:

McCutcheon is a 44-year-old general contractor in Alabama. He’s the owner, founder and president of Coalmont Electrical Development. He’s a member of the Republican Party who admits he may have a bit of a libertarian streak. And he’s also the treasurer of a super PAC called the “Conservative Action Fund.” That’s a group that spent more than $43,000 opposing House Financial Services Committee Chairman Spencer Bachus (R-Ala.) in Tuesday’s GOP primary in Alabama, although it has mostly targeted Democrats with its attacks.

http://www.nationofchange.org/gop-super-pac-men-seek-overturn-donation-limits-1331907498

Democratic Senators Issue Strong Warning About Use of the Patriot Act

For more than two years, a handful of Democrats on the Senate intelligence committee have warned that the government is secretly interpreting its surveillance powers under the Patriot Act in a way that would be alarming if the public – or even others in Congress – knew about it. On Thursday, two of those senators – Ron Wyden of Oregon and Mark Udall of Colorado – went further. They said a top-secret intelligence operation that is based on that secret legal theory is not as crucial to national security as executive branch officials have maintained. The senators, who also said that Americans would be “stunned” to know what the government thought the Patriot Act allowed it to do, made their remarks in a letter to Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. after a Justice Department official last month told a judge that disclosing anything about the program “could be expected to cause exceptionally grave damage to the national security of the United States.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/16/us/politics/democratic-senators-warn-about-use-of-patriot-act.html?_r=1

Economy

UK could lose coveted AAA rating, warns Fitch

Britain’s hopes of retaining its prized triple-A credit rating were dealt a blow last night after Fitch said the country was more likely than not to be downgraded.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/economics/9144551/UK-could-lose-coveted-AAA-rating-warns-Fitch.html

The Global Economy is Now More Vulnerable to Oil Prices than Ever

This paper examines the impact of oil price changes on global economic growth. Unlike some recent studies, this paper finds that oil price rises have had significant negative impacts on world economic growth. A time-series analysis of the data from 1971 to 2010 finds that an increase in real oil price by 10 dollars is associated with a reduction of world economic growth rate by between 0.4 and 1% in the following year. As oil prices approach historical highs, the global economy may be vulnerable to another oil price shock.

http://oilprice.com/Energy/Oil-Prices/The-Global-Economy-is-Now-More-Vulnerable-to-Oil-Prices-than-Ever.html

Gold “Vulnerable” as U.S. Treasury Bond Market Sell-Off Worsens

The WHOLESALE-MARKET gold price twice rose within a few cents of $1650 per ounce in London Thursday morning, adding 0.9% from yesterday’s fresh 8-week low as industrial commodities ticked lower again.

The price of silver bullion rallied 2.3% to $32.40 per ounce, but remained over 5% down for the week so far, being “very much influenced” by the gold price according to one Swiss precious-metals dealer.

http://www.marketoracle.co.uk/Article33621.html

Europe’s Economic Crisis: Portugal, Ireland, Spain, Italy and Belgium Following Greece

It isn’t over until it is over. Of course, we are referring to Europe and its version of 1984. We find it profound that the bankers, politicians and bureaucrats of Europe can do what they have done with a straight face. Investor had a haircut shoved down their throats and the ECB, the European Central Bank and the IMF were exempt.

http://www.marketoracle.co.uk/Article33614.html

Retail sales suggest consumers shrugging off gas prices

Dave Prokupek doesn’t like the high price of gasoline either. But business is good enough at Smashburger that the chain where Prokupek is CEO opened its 150th restaurant Wednesday, and plans to open up to 75 this year, even though eating out is theoretically the first thing gas-strapped consumers would trim.

http://www.usatoday.com/money/economy/story/2012-03-14/gas-prices-consumer-spending/53536216/1

S&P 500 ends best week since December with quiet day

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The S&P 500 closed out its best week in three months with a slim gain on Friday as investors continued to propel equities near four-year highs.

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/p-ends-over-1-400-024934926.html;_ylt=ApQL0mCH094ssRZYbqrtjyiiuYdG;_ylu=X3oDMTQzcjhzN29wBG1pdANGaW5hbmNlIEZQIEp1bWJvdHJvbiBMaXRlBHBrZwM4NmU2MDcwOC1mNmVhLTNkMDUtYWUzZC0yMjI0OWUzZjI0MjIEcG9zAzEEc2VjA2p1bWJvdHJvbgR2ZXIDZTc4ODAwZDAtNmYxMi0xMWUxLTk2NmItNzIxM2Q2ZDI2ZmJl;_ylg=X3oDMTFvdnRqYzJoBGludGwDdXMEbGFuZwNlbi11cwRwc3RhaWQDBHBzdGNhdANob21lBHB0A3NlY3Rpb25zBHRlc3QD;_ylv=3

Jobless claims fall, manufacturing holds up

WASHINGTON/NEW YORK (Reuters) – Economic growth showed signs of becoming more self-sustaining as the number of Americans claiming new jobless benefits fell back to a four-year low last week and manufacturing activity in the Northeast picked up this month.

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/jobless-claims-fall-manufacturing-holds-025406890.html;_ylt=AvsoQHMJwEqo4vsQWGfhQHqiuYdG;_ylu=X3oDMTQ0NWxhc2xjBG1pdANGaW5hbmNlIEZQIFRvcCBTdG9yeSBSaWdodARwa2cDYTFkNjVjNjktNjY3Ny0zY2RmLTg4MzQtYjdkODNjY2NkZTQ0BHBvcwMxBHNlYwN0b3Bfc3RvcnkEdmVyAzk4YWNmOGMwLTZmMTMtMTFlMS1iNWZmLWZmOTYwOTBjZDY4OA–;_ylg=X3oDMTFvdnRqYzJoBGludGwDdXMEbGFuZwNlbi11cwRwc3RhaWQDBHBzdGNhdANob21lBHB0A3NlY3Rpb25zBHRlc3QD;_ylv=3

Secret “Occult Economy” Coming Out of the Shadows?

During December 2011 and January 2012, I wrote two articles dealing with the announcement of two different lawsuits being filed in U.S. District Courts regarding astronomical amounts of money in the forms of U.S. Bonds, Federal Reserve Notes, foreign government-issued bonds, and other financial instruments.

http://www.activistpost.com/2012/03/secret-occult-economy-coming-out-of.html

Appropriators warn legislative agencies of further funding cuts

By Debbie Siegelbaum

Members of the Senate Appropriations subcommittee on The Legislative Branch are warning congressional agencies that the current atmosphere of economic austerity will likely not abate any time soon.

http://thehill.com/homenews/senate/216321-senate-appropriators-warn-legislative-agencies-of-further-funding-cuts

CBO finds Obama budget adds $3.5T to deficits

By Erik Wasson

President Obama’s 2013 budget would add $3.5 trillion to annual deficits through 2022, according to a new estimate from the Congressional Budget Office.

It also would raise the deficit next year by $365 billion, according to the non-partisan office.

The CBO estimate is in sharp contrast to the White House claims last month that the Obama budget would reduce deficits by $3.2 trillion over the next decade.?

http://thehill.com/blogs/on-the-money/budget/216397-obama-budget-adds-35-trillion-in-deficits-cbo-finds

Fourth straight monthly fall in FDI

Foreign direct investment (FDI) shrank in February from a year earlier, the fourth straight fall, while investment from Europe witnessed a sharp decline, according to the Ministry of Commerce.

Experts were not optimistic about the inflow of foreign investment into China as the European debt crisis continues and domestic economic growth slows down.

http://usa.chinadaily.com.cn/business/2012-03/16/content_14847086.htm

The View From Muppetland

Veena Trehan, Op-Ed:

Banks relentless search for profits has racked up immense “collateral damage”. Investment banks have injured individuals and institutions of every stripe. Institutions include the country Greece whose books Goldman cooked; Jefferson County, Alabama, and many European cities devastated by risky derivatives; colleges like the University of Virginia and Harvard who have held cut-rate sales on private equity; and pension funds and others who sued for fraudulent trades.

http://www.nationofchange.org/view-muppetland-1331903343

Four Whistleblowers Who Sounded the Alarm on Banks’ Mortgage Shenanigans

Cora Currier, News Analysis:

“Buried in the sweeping mortgage settlement with banks, for which final documents were filed this week, are five whistleblower cases that shed light on the litany of foreclosure abuses by the banks. According to one suit, Bank of America allegedly passed bad loans on to the Federal Housing Administration. According to another, the bank allegedly denied qualified homeowners access to HAMP, the government’s loan modification program.”

http://www.nationofchange.org/four-whistleblowers-who-sounded-alarm-banks-mortgage-shenanigans-1331912410

Wars and Rumors of War

Azerbaijan arrests 22 of their own citizens for allegedly being Iranian spies

The Azerbaijani government has announced the arrest of 22 of their own citizens who they claim are Iranian spies.

The tensions between Iran and neighboring Azerbaijan have only increased over recent months and this latest announcement is, without a doubt, not going to make anything less heated.

http://www.blacklistednews.com/Azerbaijan_arrests_22_of_their_own_citizens_for_allegedly_being_Iranian_spies/18467/0/38/38/Y/M.html

GOP senator dismisses ‘CliffsNotes’ explanation for killing citizens abroad

By Jordy Yager

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) on Thursday demanded that the White House hand over documents that detail the administration’s legal case for killing U.S. citizens abroad who are believed to be terrorist threats.

http://thehill.com/blogs/defcon-hill/policy-and-strategy/216263-gop-senator-dismisses-holders-cliffs-notes-explanation-for-killing-citizens-abroad

Obama: Window for diplomacy in Iran shrinking

US President says administration will do “everything we can” for diplomatic solution, but urges Tehran to negotiate.

http://www.jpost.com/IranianThreat/News/Article.aspx?id=261878

U.K’s Cameron: No justification for Israeli attack on Iran

In interview to NBC’s Brian Williams, British Prime Minister says Iran could maintain a civilian nuclear project if it did away with the military aspects of its program.

http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/u-k-s-cameron-no-justification-for-israeli-attack-on-iran-1.419068

US admits Israel is arming and training terrorist groups to create terrorism

Uploaded by 91177info on Feb 9, 2012

So much for this War on Terror! It is actually War OF Terror. This is proof THEY are creating terror directly and indirectly. This was shown live on US television !!

Deadly attacks on Iranian nuclear scientists are being carried out by an Iranian dissident group that is financed, trained and armed by Israel’s secret service, U.S. officials tell NBC News, confirming charges leveled by Iran’s leaders.
The group, the People’s Mujahedin of Iran, has long been designated as a terrorist group by the United States, accused of killing American servicemen and contractors in the 1970s and supporting the takeover of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran before breaking with the Iranian mullahs in 1980.

The attacks, which have  U.S. Embassy in Tehran since 2007 and may have destroyed a missile research and development site, have been carried out in dramatic fashion, with motorcycle-borne assailants often attaching small magnetic bombs to the exterior of the victims’ cars.

U.S. officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the Obama administration is aware of the assassination campaign but has no direct involvement.

Currency Wars: Iran’s banks to be blocked from global banking system

Swift, the body that handles global banking transactions, says it will cut Iran’s banks out of the system on Saturday to enforce sanctions.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-17390456

78 Percent of Americans Oppose Invading Syria

Strong Opposition Also Seen to Arming Rebels

http://news.antiwar.com/2012/03/15/78-percent-of-americans-oppose-invading-syria/

Environmental

Proposed UN Environmental Constitution For The World Would Establish An Incredibly Repressive System Of Global Governance

Most people have no idea that the United Nations has been drafting an environmental constitution for the world that is intended to supersede all existing national laws. This document has a working title of “Draft International Covenant on Environment and Development” and you can read the entire thing right here. Work on this proposed world environmental constitution has been going on since 1995, and the fourth edition was issued to UN member states on September 22nd, 2010. This document is intended to become a permanent binding treaty and it would establish an incredibly repressive system of global governance.

http://endoftheamericandream.com/archives/proposed-un-environmental-constitution-for-the-world-would-establish-an-incredibly-repressive-system-of-global-governance

Activism

Occupy-Monsanto to Wear Bio-Hazmat Suits as They Protest a Genetically Modified Congress

News Report: The GCU will arrive at the metro station wearing bio-hazmat suits to assess whether Members of Congress and their staff have been victims of genetic crimes. The GCU will hold a banner that reads, “Congress is Genetically Modified,” as they circulate on Capitol Hill sidewalks. This day of action is part of a larger international call to ‘Occupy Monsanto’ taking place all over the globe including Spain, Africa, New Zealand, Australia, Canada, and at least 28 cities throughout the US.

http://www.nationofchange.org/occupy-monsanto-wear-bio-hazmat-suits-they-protest-genetically-modified-congress-1331912438

The American Spring: A Time for Occupy to Blossom

Kevin Zeese, News Report:

The weekend of March 31st and April 1st includes a two day “Bail Out America” direct action training organized by the Backbone Campaign which will provide information on strategies and tactics and developing creative actions that advance the causes of Occupy.

http://www.nationofchange.org/american-spring-time-occupy-blossom-1331906460

Cyber Space

House Dems demand meeting with Apple over privacy policy for iPhone, iPad apps

By Brendan Sasso

Two prominent House Democrats demanded a briefing with Apple over its privacy policies for mobile device applications in a letter to CEO Tim Cook on Thursday.

http://thehill.com/blogs/hillicon-valley/technology/216299-house-democrats-demand-meeting-with-apple-over-privacy

LulzSec-linked STRATFOR hacker appears in court

The Chicago-based hacker who took credit for a devastating computer attack on intelligence company Stratfor made his first appearance in a New York federal courtroom, after his March 5 arrest. Hammond, 27, faces federal charges of conspiracy to commit computer hacking, computer hacking and access device fraud… Hammond chuckled when his attorney, Liz Fink, asked a prosecutor if today was the Ides of March and said, “Et tu Brutus?” a possible reference to the betrayal Hammond might have felt at learning he and other hackers were undone by LulzSec leader-turned government informant [traitor] Hector Xavier Monsegur, known online as “Sabu.” Monsegur’s FBI handler was present but declined to comment after the proceeding.

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/03/15/lulzsec-linked-hacker-who-threatened-to-burn-white-house-appears-in-court/

Radiation

4 more steam tubes fail in tests at troubled San Onofre nuclear plant’s Unit 3 reactor

Four more tubes that carry radioactive water at a Southern California nuclear power plant failed pressure tests, prompting new safety concerns, officials disclosed Friday. The four tubes in a massive steam generator failed Thursday in the Unit 3 reactor at the San Onofre coastal plant in northern San Diego County, Southern California Edison said. Three other tubes failed earlier tests, the company said Wednesday, bringing the total to seven.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/4-more-steam-tubes-fail-in-tests-at-troubled-southern-calif-nuclear-plant-unit-3-reactor/2012/03/16/gIQAhcoHGS_story.html

Heavy tube wear a mystery at Calif. nuclear

Forty-five days after a radioactive water leak prompted a Southern California utility to shut down a nuclear reactor, investigators Friday sought to pinpoint why tubing in the plant eroded at an alarming rate while the prospect of an extended repair job raised questions about summertime power supply. Tests on massive steam generators at the troubled Unit 3 reactor at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, which was shut down as a precaution after the leak on Jan. 31, revealed seven alloy tubes that carry radioactive water are in danger of rupturing under high pressure. Traces of radiation escaped during the January leak.

http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/03/16/2697689/4-more-tubes-fail-in-tests-at.html

UK nuclear sites at risk of flooding, report shows

As many as 12 of Britain’s 19 civil nuclear sites are at risk of flooding and coastal erosion because of climate change global warming, according to an unpublished government analysis obtained by the Guardian. Nine of the sites have been assessed by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) as being vulnerable now, while others are in danger from rising sea levels and storms in the future. The sites include all of the eight proposed for new nuclear power stations around the coast, as well as numerous radioactive waste stores, operating reactors and defunct nuclear facilities.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/mar/07/uk-nuclear-risk-flooding

Misc

The Obama Flag: Who Decided That It Was Okay To Replace The Stars On The American Flag With The Face Of Barack Obama?

Democrat Party headquarters in Lake County, Florida has been flying an American flag with a face of Barack Obama on it. Yes, you read that correctly. The “Obama flag” features a huge picture of the face of Barack Obama in the area where the stars are usually located. To many Americans today, the American flag may be “just a piece of cloth”, but when I was young I was taught that one must never desecrate the American flag. The American flag is our highest national symbol. Millions of Americans have fought and died defending freedom and liberty under that banner. To see a photo of Barack Obama plastered on it is an absolute disgrace. Sadly, there are lots of these flags floating around. In fact, you can buy them online for $12.95. Down in Florida, the chairwoman of the Lake County Democratic Party took down the “Obama flag” after a group of veterans protested, but she also said that she is not promising that she will not put it back up and that she is going to consult an attorney about all of this.

Needless to say, a lot of veterans had steam coming out of their ears when they heard about the Obama flag. Korean war veteran Don Van Beck said that he was absolutely furious when he saw what they had done to the American flag….

http://endoftheamericandream.com/archives/the-obama-flag-who-decided-that-it-was-okay-to-replace-the-stars-on-the-american-flag-with-the-face-of-barack-obama

GRIME WAVE

It’s a dirty job: Police nationwide take on soaring Tide detergent theft

Law enforcement officials across the country are puzzled over a crime wave targeting an unlikely item: Tide laundry detergent.

Theft of Tide detergent has become so rampant that authorities from New York to Oregon are keeping tabs on the soap spree, and some cities are setting up special task forces to stop it. And retailers like CVS are taking special security precautions to lock down the liquid.

http://www.thedaily.com/page/2012/03/12/031212-news-tide-theft-1-4/

McCain sees another Solyndra in Navy biofuels spending

By Carlo Munoz

The Navy’s push to develop biofuels to run its fleet of planes and warships could devolve into a “Solyndra situation” for the Pentagon, a top Republican senator said today.

http://thehill.com/blogs/defcon-hill/army/216261-mccain-warns-navy-biofuels-plan-could-become-another-solyndra

Department of Agriculture to offer beef without ‘pink slime’ to schools

By Mike Lillis

Facing increasing pressure over its embrace of “pink slime,” the Obama administration announced Thursday that it will offer schools ground beef absent the controversial product.

http://thehill.com/blogs/hillicon-valley/technology/216299-house-democrats-demand-meeting-with-apple-over-privacy

Norway Military Plane Lost During Exercise
C-130 presumed crashed; 5 missing

AP) – A Norwegian military transport plane with five people on board went missing today during an exercise and was feared to have crashed in northern Sweden, officials said. The C-130 was heading from Evenes in northern Norway to the Swedish city of Kiruna where it was supposed to pick up personnel. Air traffic controllers lost contact with the plane when it was about 50 miles west of Kiruna, a Norwegian military spokesman said.

http://www.newser.com/story/141930/norway-military-plane-lost-during-exercise.html

Lawyer wants WikiLeaks case dropped

A lawyer for an army private accused of leaking hundreds of thousands of pages of classified information has asked a military judge to dismiss the charges, arguing the government bungled the handover of documents to the defence. The request came during a pre-trial hearing for Private Bradley Manning at a military courtroom at Fort Meade, Maryland. Manning’s lawyer, David Coombs, asked that charges against his client be dismissed because the government has “hopelessly” messed up the document turnover in the nearly two years Manning has been held.

http://www.theage.com.au/world/lawyer-wants-wikileaks-case-dropped-20120316-1vaky.html

State Dept. moves to fire author of book critical of Iraq reconstruction effort

Peter Van Buren, a foreign service officer who wrote an unflattering book about his year leading two reconstruction [sic] teams in Iraq, was stripped of his security clearance, banned from State Department headquarters for a time and transferred to a telework job that consists of copying Internet addresses into a file. Now the State Department is moving to fire him based on eight charges, ranging from linking on his blog to documents on the whistleblowing site WikiLeaks to disclosing classified information. Van Buren called the termination notice he received Friday the coup de grace in a series of blows he received since his book, “We Meant Well: How I Helped Lose the Battle for the Hearts and Minds of the Iraqi People” was published last fall.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/federal-eye/post/state-dept-moves-to-fire-peter-van-buren-author-of-book-critical-of-iraq-reconstruction-effort/2012/01/31/gIQAiXNSCS_blog.html

CIA Chief: We’ll Spy on You Through Your Dishwasher

More and more personal and household devices are connecting to the internet, from your television to your car navigation systems to your light switches. CIA Director David Petraeus cannot wait to spy on you through them. Earlier this month, Petraeus mused about the emergence of an “Internet of Things” – that is, wired devices – at a summit for In-Q-Tel, the CIA’s venture capital firm. “‘Transformational’ is an overused word, but I do believe it properly applies to these technologies,” Petraeus enthused, “particularly to their effect on clandestine tradecraft.” All those new online devices are a treasure trove of data if you’re a “person of interest” to the spy community.

http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2012/03/petraeus-tv-remote/

HAZMAT situation: ‘Non-emergency significant event’ declared at Los Alamos –DP Road open after HAZMAT situation on Los Alamos property

With sirens blaring, emergency management vehicles raced down DP Road Wednesday, responding to a Hazmat situation at Enclosure 12 in TA-21. For two hours, DP Road was closed as the LANL Hazmat team, Los Alamos Fire and Police Department and FEMA assessed the situation. Most of DP Road was reopened around 1:45 p.m. as LAPD decreased its perimeter. Capt. Randy Foster said the initial call came into dispatch at 11:53 a.m. The road was closed east of 272 DP Road until the all-clear from the LANL Hazmat teams came in Wednesday evening. The situation has been categorized as a “non-emergency significant event” by the laboratory… Police said a voluntary evacuation was taking place on DP Road. Police said for those who are working on DP Road to remain inside if they chose to stay. Businesses along DP Road still were waiting for an all-clear signal as of 7:30 p.m. An automated 911 call was received at the Los Alamos Monitor at 1:05 p.m. advising all people on DP Road to shelter in place until the all-clear signal is sounded.

http://www.legitgov.org/HAZMAT-situation-Non-emergency-significant-event-declared-Los-Alamos

Whistleblower details unreported mercury spill at Hill AFB

A whistleblower’s claim that a 2007 spill of more than 60 pounds of mercury was not properly reported or cleaned up at this military base, where more than 24,000 military personnel and civilians work and live, has prompted a federal criminal investigation. The Utah Department of Environmental Quality has backed that claim, concluding after an investigation in September and October that the base violated permits because it failed to report the spill and cleanup, improperly stored the cleaned-up material, improperly labeled storage containers that were also not in good condition and failed to inspect containers storing the hazardous waste.

http://www.ksl.com/?nid=960&sid=19583627http://www.ksl.com/?nid=960&sid=19583627&title=whistleblower-details-unreported-mercury-spill-at-hill-afb

The NSA Is Building the Country’s Biggest Spy Center (Watch What You Say)

The spring air in the small, sand-dusted town has a soft haze to it, and clumps of green-gray sagebrush rustle in the breeze. Bluffdale sits in a bowl-shaped valley in the shadow of Utah’s Wasatch Range to the east and the Oquirrh Mountains to the west. It’s the heart of Mormon country, where religious pioneers first arrived more than 160 years ago. They came to escape the rest of the world, to understand the mysterious words sent down from their god as revealed on buried golden plates, and to practice what has become known as “the principle,” marriage to multiple wives.

http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2012/03/ff_nsadatacenter/all/1

‘Media – West proxy to fuel Syria conflict’

Uploaded by RussiaToday on Mar 14, 2012

Syria’s turmoil has been laid bare on our TV screens for more than a year, but some networks are being accused of affecting rather than reflecting the conflict. Maria Finoshina reports now, on how there’s more to the coverage on the Qatari-owned Al Jazeera TV channel, than meets the eye.

Politics

Saudi diplomat shot dead in Bangladesh

http://www.cnn.com/2012/03/06/world/asia/saudi-diplomat-killed-bangladesh/index.html

Why No One Would Listen

Eyal Press, News Analysis: “What’s worse: to be persecuted and indicted for trying to expose an act of wrongdoing — or to be ignored for doing so? Whistleblowers have been under intense scrutiny in Washington lately, at least when it comes to the national security state.”

http://www.nationofchange.org/why-no-one-would-listen-1331142258

Tribes rip Abramoff, ethics watchdogs

By Jordy Yager
Native American tribes are questioning the ethics of government watchdog groups that have partnered with Jack Abramoff since his release from prison.

http://thehill.com/business-a-lobbying/214593-tribes-rip-abramoff-watchdogs

Economy

Modern Alchemy: The Money Illusion

Have you ever wondered why the vast majority of hard working people on this planet does not make enough earnings to have a reasonable standard of living without being in debt? Our personal debt is modern version of slavery*.

http://blog.world-mysteries.com/ancient-writings/modern-alchemy-the-money-illusion/

Iran may stop oil exports to Belgium, Czech Republic, Netherlands

http://www.tehrantimes.com/politics/96113-iran-may-stop-oil-exports-to-belgium-czech-republic-netherlands

Texas tycoon R. Allen Stanford convicted of bilking $7B from investors in 20-year Ponzi scheme

http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/judge-says-jury-has-reached-verdict-in-7b-ponzi-scheme-trial-of-texas-financier-stanford/2012/03/06/gIQAY9yzuR_story.html?wpisrc=emailtoafriend

Goldman Secret Greece Loan Shows Two Sinners as Client Unravels

Greece’s secret loan from Goldman Sachs Group Inc. was a costly mistake from the start.

On the day the 2001 deal was struck, the government owed the bank about 600 million euros ($793 million) more than the 2.8 billion euros it borrowed, said Spyros Papanicolaou, who took over the country’s debt-management agency in 2005. By then, the price of the transaction, a derivative that disguised the loan and that Goldman Sachs persuaded Greece not to test with competitors, had almost doubled to 5.1 billion euros, he said.

ECB Blows Up Europe? Creates ‘Super-Immune’ Elite Bonds … Throws Credit Market into Disarray

Investors call on ECB to play fair in sovereign credit … Resentment at the European Central Bank’s immunity from losses on Greek debt has left fund firms wondering about the strength of their creditor rights and whether they should blacklist bonds purchased during emergency sprees by the lender of last resort. By sidestepping markdowns on Greek bonds, the ECB has effectively robbed fellow senior creditors of their top rank status, investors say, forcing each to forgive a greater proportion of the debt than they might otherwise have needed to. “I think many investors believed that as they were holding the same bond as the ECB, they should therefore be considered in the same boat as the ECB,” said Michael Krautzberger, head of the Euro fixed income business at BlackRock. – Reuters

Dominant Social Theme: What central banks do is “legal.” What YOU do is something else again.

Free-Market Analysis: We have often written the goal of the Anglosphere power elite is to create a worldwide depression on the way to one-world government. They are seemingly well on their way to doing that using the power of monopoly central banking, which they certainly seem to control.

http://thedailybell.com/3676/ECB-Blows-Up-Europe-Creates-Super-Immune-Elite-Bonds-Throws-Credit-Market-into-Disarray

15 Potentially Massive Threats To The U.S. Economy Over The Next 12 Months

We live in a world that is becoming increasingly unstable, and the potential for an event that could cause “sudden change” to the U.S. economy is greater than ever.  There are dozens of potentially massive threats that could easily push the U.S. economy over the edge during the next 12 months.  A war in the Middle East, a financial collapse in Europe, a major derivatives crisis or a horrific natural disaster could all change our economic situation very rapidly.  Most of the time I write about the long-term economic trends that are slowly but surely ripping the U.S. economy to pieces, but the truth is that just a single really bad “black swan event” over the next 12 months could accelerate our economic problems dramatically.

http://www.blacklistednews.com/15_Potentially_Massive_Threats_To_The_U.S._Economy_Over_The_Next_12_Months_/18310/0/0/0/Y/M.html

Wars and Rumors of War

Netanyahu tells Obama: I have yet to decide whether to attack Iran

U.S. president and Israeli premier agree to increase their coordination on Iran, in two hour White House meeting.

http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/netanyahu-tells-obama-i-have-yet-to-decide-whether-to-attack-iran-1.416711

What are the Saudis really looking for in Baghdad?

http://www.tehrantimes.com/component/content/article/96118

IAEA: Iran tripled higher-grade uranium production

Amano voices “serious concern” over Tehran’s nuclear program to UN atomic watchdog’s 35-nation governing board.

http://www.jpost.com/IranianThreat/News/Article.aspx?id=260522

Britain admits funding Syria rebels

06 Mar 2012 The UK government has acknowledged that it has provided an extra GBP 2 million to the Western-backed rebels fighting the popular government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Prime Minister David Cameron told a hearing at the House of Commons Liaison Committee on Tuesday afternoon that his government provided cash and equipment to foreign-backed rebels in Syria under such names as ‘aid agencies’ operating on the ground to help deliver emergency medical supplies and food. The acknowledgement is yet another proof that the rebellion in the Middle Eastern Arab country has its root somewhere in Britain and France.

http://www.eutimes.net/2012/03/britain-admits-funding-syria-rebels/comment-page-1/

Assad determined to fight ‘foreign-backed terrorism’

06 Mar 2012 Syria’s president defied mounting international pressure to end the year-old crackdown on an [Western-backed] uprising against him and said Tuesday he was determined to go on fighting what he called [and is] “foreign-backed terrorism.” After a powerful American senator called for airstrikes on Syria, President Barack Obama said unilateral U.S. military action against President Bashar Assad’s government would be a mistake. The United States said it is proposing a new United Nations Security Council resolution demanding an end to violence in Syria, first by government forces and then by opposition fighters. Russia and China, powerful allies that have blocked a Security Council resolution against Syria, made clear they were still standing by the government in Damascus.

http://www.cp24.com/servlet/an/local/CTVNews/20120306/120306_syria_crisis/20120306/

Tears for Somali’s “Baby Soldiers”

http://stratrisks.com/geostrat/4525

Syria: Game Over for Western Propaganda

Why should the West intervene in Syria when it turns out “activists” giving daily body counts, the sole source of “evidence” for the UN’s ever climbing grand total, are caught not only lying, but staging entire interviews complete with fake gunfire directed “off stage?” Why should the US, UK, EU, or the West’s stable of Arab proxy-regimes be allowed to arm Syrian rebels admittedly carrying out their own horrific atrocities? Clearly Syria’s opposition have turned out, just as they have in Libya, to be craven, murderous, and ultimately deceitful extremists – making any further contact with them by the West a direct violation of their own national and international laws…..

http://www.blacklistednews.com/Syria%3A_Game_Over_for_Western_Propaganda_/18314/0/0/0/Y/M.html

Eastern Libya pulls away from central government

BENGHAZI, Libya (AP) — Tribal leaders and militia commanders declared oil-rich eastern Libya a semiautonomous state on Tuesday, a unilateral move that the interim head of state called a “dangerous” conspiracy by Arab nations to tear the country apart six months after the fall of Moammar Gadhafi.

http://news.yahoo.com/eastern-libya-pulls-away-central-government-200358649.html

Economic Warfare and Strangling Sanctions: Punishing Iran for its “Defiance” of the United States

The economic sanctions imposed upon Iran are having the desired effect of punishing the population through hunger and economic strangulation, making life miserable for the many. As tensions increase between the “international community” (the West) and Iran, talk of war is in the air. For years, sanctions have been imposed upon Iran in an attempt to devastate its dependence upon the oil industry for 80% of its revenues. The West seeks ‘regime change,’ and we hear a never-ending proliferation of proclamations from Western leaders about respecting democratic rights and freedom for Iranians, in lambasting the Iranian government for its human rights record, portraying it as a state sponsor of terrorism, and, of course, that Iran is seeking to develop nuclear weapons with a stated goal of wanting to ‘wipe Israel off the map.’

http://www.blacklistednews.com/Economic_Warfare_and_Strangling_Sanctions%3A_Punishing_Iran_for_its_%E2%80%9CDefiance%E2%80%9D_of_the_United_States/18305/0/38/38/Y/M.html

Obama seeks to calm ‘beat of war’ over Syria, Iran

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-03-07/obama-warns-against-military-action-in-syria/3872982/?site=sydney

Environmental

How do you stop a synthetic-biology disaster?

http://www.terradaily.com/reports/How_do_you_stop_a_synthetic_biology_disaster_999.html

UN’s Environmental “Solution”: More Government

With the time counting down to the next United Nations conference on “sustainable development,” a new report recently published by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) clearly indicates that the UN’s approach to the entire topic is to expand the power of government to regulate and control all levels of economic development throughout the world.

http://thenewamerican.com/tech-mainmenu-30/environment/11089-uns-environmental-qsolutionq-more-government

BP vs. Gulf Coast: It’s Not Settled Yet

Antonia Juhasz, Op-Ed: “On March 2, the first agreement in the historic trial against BP and all of the companies responsible for the largest maritime oil spill in world history was announced. The settlement proposal between BP and some 120,000 individuals and businesses includes key provisions long sought by those most economically and physically devastated by the gulf oil disaster. It also entails a number of critical unknowns, with vital details under negotiation for up to forty-five days.”

http://www.nationofchange.org/bp-vs-gulf-coast-it-s-not-settled-yet-1331134971

Cyber Space

Five arrested in high-profile cyberattacks

06 Mar 2012 Top members of the computer hacker group “Anonymous” and its offshoots were arrested and charged Tuesday after a wide-ranging investigation used the help of a group leader who was working as a secret government informant. Five of the suspects, considered by investigators among the “most sophisticated hackers in the world,” were arrested in the United States and Europe and charged in a Manhattan federal court over their alleged role in high-profile cyberattacks against government agencies and large companies, according to an indictment. A sixth man, Hector Xavier Monsegur, a notorious hacker known as “Sabu,” pleaded guilty in August to computer hacking and other crimes.

http://edition.cnn.com/2012/03/06/us/new-york-hacker-arrests/index.html

LulzSec boss Hector Monsegur was working for us – FBI

Monsegur, aka Sabu, turned by FBI last June –‘We’re chopping off the head of LulzSec’ 07 Mar 2012 Police on two continents swooped on top members of computer hacking group LulzSec early today, and acting largely on evidence gathered by the organisation’s leader – who sources say has been secretly working for the government for months – arrested three and charged two more with conspiracy. Charges against four of the five were based on a conspiracy case filed in New York federal court. An indictment charging the suspects, who include two men from Great Britain, two from Ireland and an American from Chicago, is expected to be unsealed today in the Southern District of New York. “This is devastating to the organisation,” an FBI official involved with the investigation said. “We’re chopping off the head of LulzSec.” [We’ll see.]

http://www.news.com.au/technology/computer-hacking-group-lulzsec-brought-down-by-own-leader/story-e6frfro0-1226291313158

STRATFOR email on Assange refers to ‘switching him off’

http://www.legitgov.org/STRATFOR-email-Assange-refers-switching-him

The accepted culture at Stratfor includes sharing advice about how to take control of informants ‘by means of financial, sexual or psychological control’.

Assange Counts Down to Sweden

http://newmatilda.com/2012/03/07/assange-counts-down-sweden

07 Mar 2012 Julian Assange has worn an electronic manacle for 454 days. Every day for 454 days he has signed in at a police station. Every night for 454 nights Serco has ensured he is home by 10pm, monitoring him in a fixed location for a required 10 hours, an equivalent of 225 days in prison. These bail conditions are maintained in the absence of any charge being laid against him – or even a decision to prosecute. They were set after an Interpol Red Notice was issued for Assange’s arrest. Gaddafi attracted an orange notice around the same time. The emails about Assange and Wikileaks are vicious; one little charmer refers to “switching him off”, that is, murder. Others lament when Assange is not killed in a car accident and joke, “Screw the terrorist. He’ll be eating cat food forever… Assange is going to make a nice bride in prison”. Their language and suggestions are sadistic and their strategy reads like spooky prophecy because Stratfor’s advice is being taken.

Top Republican publishes full ACTA text for public look-see

‘Secret negotiations not the American way’ 06 Mar 1012 Republican congressman Darrell Issa of California has published the full text of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), saying that the public has a right to know what their governments have been hiding from them. “ACTA represents as great a threat to an open Internet as SOPA and PIPA and was drafted with even less transparency and input from digital citizens,” Issa said in a statement.

Negotiations on ACTA started under President [sic] Bush the Younger, and have been carried on by the current administration. [Of course they have. Obusha hasn’t deviated much from the previous regime, and in most situations (NDAA, killer drone attacks) has moved farther to the right than Bush. For some reason, he gets a ‘pass.’ –LRP]

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/03/06/issa_opens_acta/

US, Israeli hackers fail in their effort to take down Press TV

[Press TV needs to *return the favor.*] 06 Mar 2012 A recent cyber attack launched by US and Israeli hackers against the website of Iran’s 24-hour English-language news channel, Press TV, has failed to take down the website. According to the Press TV report, the attack against the website took place from 14:00 on March 5 to 04:00 local time on March 6. However, the effective security countermeasures taken by the Press TV technical team foiled the cyber attack on the website. This is not the first cyber attack on Press TV. A similar attack was launched on the website on February 18, from 07:50 to 10:05 local time, which also failed.

http://www.legitgov.org/US-Israeli-hackers-fail-their-effort-take-down-Press-TV

US, Israeli hackers fail in their effort to take down Press TV

http://www.presstv.ir/detail/230303.html

Attacking The Hacker Hydra: Why FBI’s LulzSec Takedown May Backfire

from the top-down-approach-to-a-bottom-up-threat dept

Interesting timing. Just about the same time that we had our story concerning how LulzSec kept its own site from getting hacked, the news was breaking that the key leaders of LulzSec were being arrested, in large part because the “leader” of the group had become an FBI informant after they tracked him down last year. Of the various hacking efforts out there, LulzSec has definitely been the most brazen, so it’s not a huge surprise that it would be targeted by the FBI. Also, unlike “Anonymous,” LulzSec was pretty clearly an effort by a few key individuals, rather than a loose collective of folks joining and leaving at will.

http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20120306/09451918000/attacking-hacker-hydra-why-fbis-lulzsec-takedown-may-backfire.shtml

Misc

What is the New World Order?

The nations of the world are increasingly recognizing the authority of international law. We now have the World Bank, the World Trade Organization, the World Health Organization and the World Court just to name a few. We have a World Court to adjudicate the international laws of the emerging world government.          –Irvin Baxter

http://blog.world-mysteries.com/ancient-writings/what-is-the-new-world-order/

State Investigators, Workers Cite Labor Abuses in Warehouse Empire

Lilly Fowler, News Analysis: “As a warehouse worker in the Inland Empire region of Southern California, the nation’s biggest distribution hub for consumer goods, Jorge Soto handles shipments for retail giant Walmart every day. But Soto, who works for a subcontractor, claims that, along with routine jobs such as unloading trucks, he also has been ordered to perform an illegal task: falsifying employees’ time sheets to cheat them out of getting the minimum wage.”

Four years ago, undercover video recorded workers on forklifts forcing “downer” cows into slaughter at the Hallmark and Westland meat plant in Chino, CA, which at the time was a top supplier to the USDA
The sting, by the Humane Society of the United States, put Hallmark and Westland out of business. When USDA saw the undercover video, it demanded the largest beef recall in U.S. history and it immediately cut off Hallmark and Westland from the lucrative school lunch business.
The damaged meat going to the National School Lunch program was also the subject of a $150 million lawsuit against Hallmark and Westland.
Other animal rights organizations have pulled off their own stings since the big one at Chino.   These undercover investigations usually involve sending someone in to get a job with the company being targeted.
Until now, whenever one of these undercover videos was released, it usually meant whoever owned the animal facility where abuses were filmed was in big trouble.
But not any more in Iowa. Within a few hours on Wednesday, the Iowa Senate took up an “ag-gag” bill, made some amendments, and passed it on a 40-10 vote. The House then immediately took up the Senate changes and approved them without debate on a 69-28 vote.
The bill, House File 589, now on Iowa House File 589‘s desk, is all but certain to be signed into law, and it will be the first “ag-gag” law in America, says Nathan Runkle, executive director of Chicago-based Mercy for Animals (MFA), an animal rights group that has been active in Iowa.
The new law, if it passes constitutional muster, could turn the tables on animal rights groups doing these undercover investigations. It gives Iowa’s county sheriffs a long list of possible violations to charge once it is disclosed that any filming or recording was done without the permission of the animal facility owner.
If the Iowa law had been in effect in California in 2008, Hallmark and Westland would have been able to go to court claiming status as victims of “animal facility tampering” for an “amount equaling three times all the actual and consequential damages” against “the person causing the damages.”
“This flawed and misdirected legislation could set a dangerous precedent nationwide by throwing shut the doors to industrial factory farms and allowing animal abuse, environmental violations, and food contamination issues to flourish undetected, unchallenged and unaddressed,” says Runkle.  “This bill is bad for consumers, who want more, not less, transparency in production of their food.”
Some of the more likely unconstitutional language was removed from the bill, but Runkle told Food Safety News the intent of the legislation remains exactly the same – “to shield animal abusers from public scrutiny and prosecute investigators who dare to expose animal cruelty, environmental violations, dangerous working conditions or food safety concerns.”
Animal rights organizations like HSUS and MFA – working with investigators to expose violations – could themselves be prosecuted under the new Iowa law.  And, the law does not just apply to animal facilities but also any “crop operation.”
Recent investigations by MFA in Iowa are certainly among those getting the attention of lawmakers. In 2011, the Chicago animal rights group turned its cameras on a large Iowa egg farm owned by Sparboe, and an Iowa Select Farms pig operation.
It found over-crowding in battery cages, some containing dead hens, on the egg farm, and at the pig operation sows being penned in confinement cages and testicles being removed from piglets without painkillers.
 And in 2009, MFA exposed the Iowa-based Hy-Line Hatchery’s practice of throwing more than 150,000 live male chicks into grinding machines every day.
Runkle says passage of the  “ag-gag” law proves Iowa agriculture “has a lot to hide.”
“This law is un-American and a broad government overreach. It seeks to shield animal abusers from public scrutiny and prosecute the brave whistleblowers who dare to speak out against animal cruelty, environmental pollution and corporate corruption.”
The new law shields animal abusers from public scrutiny, makes criminals out of those who dare to expose cruelty to farm animals and threatens the consumers’ right to know, according to the MFA.
Wayne Pacelle, president and chief executive of HSUS, has written Gov. Branstad, urging the Republican governor to veto HF 589.
 “The intent of this bill is simple: shield animal agribusiness from public scrutiny by punishing whistleblowers and protecting animal abusers,” wrote Pacelle. “By signing this bill into law, animal agribusiness will have unbridled and unchecked power over worker safety, public health and animal welfare.”
Pacelle said the Iowa Senate and House rushed the bill through at a speed rarely found in the legislative process. Normally, he said, deliberations of such consequence take weeks, or at least several days.
Iowa’s sudden passage of an “ag-gag” law has brought together opposition to these state measures by a broad spectrum of national organizations, including animal rights, civil liberties, public health, food safety, public health, environmental and other groups.
Many see HF589 as an unconstitutional infringement on First Amendment rights.
Ag-gag bills were introduced in four states last year, including Iowa. None of those passed.  This year, ag-gag bills have been introduced in Utah, Nebraska, Minnesota, Missouri, Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, Florida and New York.
The Florida bill was defeated.  Except for Iowa, the others are pending.
The Wednesday night passage of the Iowa ag-gag bill came with support from some of the state’s most powerful agricultural lobbyists including: The Institute for Cooperatives, The Agribusiness Association of Iowa, Iowa Select Farms, Iowa Cattlemen’s Association, Iowa Dairy Association, Iowa Farm Bureau, Iowa Corn Growers Association and Monsanto Co.
Under the new law, anyone making “a false statement or representation” as part of an application of employment at an animal facility could, after a first conviction, be charged with a class D felony.
To produce a record of image or sound without the owner’s permission is defined as the new crime of “animal facility interference.”

http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2012/03/iowa-approves-nations-first-ag-gag-law/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=120301