Are cardinals electing the last pope? If you believe Nostradamus…
By Carol Grisanti, Producer, NBC News
ROME— Church bells are sounding the alarm for doomsayers and conspiracy theorists here as cardinals convene to elect a new leader for the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics.
According to an ancient prediction, this next pope will be the last.
That theory dates back more than 900 years to when Malachy O’Morgair, the 12th century Archbishop of Ireland, had a vision.
Legend has it that St. Malachy, as he is now known, had a strange dream while on a visit to Rome. He “saw” all the names of the future popes – complete with identifying characteristics – who would rule the church until the end of time.
Malachy’s “Prophecy of the Popes,” as his vision is called, named Benedict XVI as the 111th – and penultimate – pope. The vision ended with the 112th pope.
Clairvoyant or crazy?
In his book, “Life of St. Malachy,” St. Bernard of Clairvaux wrote that Malachy was respected as a clairvoyant who predicted the exact day and hour of his own death. At least one 20th century pope, Pius X, was convinced Malachy’s vision was divine, according to Rafael Merry del Val, his biographer.
But theologians and clerics argue there was never an authentic written manuscript. Malachy’s list was curiously discovered in 1590 in the Vatican archives, hundreds of years later.
“There is no historical foundation at all to St. Malachy’s list,” said Roberto Rusconi, professor of the History of Christianity at Rome’s University. “Malachy’s gift was to make other people believe in his predictions.”
Others have taken hold of Malachy’s list and compared it with history.
The first pope, according to the list, would be “from a castle on the Tiber” – for believers, that was clearly Pope Celestine II who was born on the shores of the Tiber River.
Pope Benedict was apparently described as “glory of the olives” and doomsayers point to his choice of the name Benedict, since the founder of the Benedictine Order was also known as Olivetans.
And in Malachy’s vision, the last pope – who will soon be elected – is described this way: “in extreme persecution, the seat of the Holy Roman Church will be occupied by Peter the Roman…”
While none of the Italian Cardinals are called Peter, one favorite to become Pope is Cardinal Peter Turkson of Ghana.
Lighting strikes the basilica of St.Peter’s dome in Vatican City during a storm on Feb.11, 2013, the same day Pope Benedict XVI announced his resignation.
If that was not enough to send shivers down a few spines, Nostradamus, the 16th century French astrologer and seer, predicted much the same as Malachy.
Nostradamus, a mild-mannered healer, was content to mix potions until the Italian-born French queen, Catherine de Medici, raised his profile from physician to prophet.
Nostradamus warned that the next-to-last pope would “flee Rome in December when the great comet is seen in the daytime.”
Taking into account the calendar months were different hundreds of years ago, Nostradamus wasn’t so far off. The Comet ISON, with its 40,000 mile-long tail, has been visible the past couple months as Benedict prepared to abdicate and leave Rome for his temporary home in Castel Gandolfo.
And for those well-versed in the language of brimstone and fire, the signs could not have been more transparent when just hours after Benedict announced he would abdicate, a bolt of lightning struck St. Peter’s Basilica, the very heart of Christianity. A few days later a shower of meteorites fell and devastated a village in Russia.
Cynics shrugged all this off as natural phenomena, while the doomsayers suffered from one more dose of existential angst.
In St. Paul Outside the Walls, another major cathedral in Rome, medallions line the walls with the names of every pope and the dates of his papacy. Legend says that when all the medallions are full, the world will finally end. On the walls of St. Paul’s, there are still some empty spaces.
When a pollster or strategist for a struggling political campaign presents what seems like a sugar-coated view of his candidate’s chances, do you ever think: I wish I could give that adviser some truth serum, or maybe put him under oath?
Well, truth serum may be pushing it, but the put-him-under-oath part has actually happened. And when a pollster is required to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, under penalty of perjury, what emerges is quite a bit different than what you hear in the waning days of a presidential campaign.
In May, the pollster for Al Gore’s presidential bid in 2000 and John Edwards’s in 2004 and 2008, Harrison Hickman, took the stand in the federal criminal case against Edwards over alleged campaign finance violations stemming from payments to support Edwards’s mistress.
Under oath, Hickman admitted that in the final weeks of Edwards’s 2008 bid, Hickman cherry-picked public polls to make the candidate seem viable, promoted surveys that Hickman considered unreliable, and sent e-mails to campaign aides, Edwards supporters and reporters which argued that the former senator was still in the hunt —even though Hickman had already told Edwards privately that he had no real chance of winning the Democratic nomination.
“They were pounding on me for positive information. You know, where is some good news we can share with people? We were monitoring all these polls and I was sending the ones that were most favorable because [campaign aides] wanted to share them with reporters,” Hickman testified on May 14 at the trial in Greensboro, N.C. “We were not finding very much good news and I was trying to give them what I could find.”
Hickman testified that when circulating the polls, he didn’t much care if they were accurate. “I didn’t necessarily take any of these as for—as you would say, for the truth of the matter. I took them more as something that could be used as propaganda for the campaign,” the veteran pollster said.
Edwards’s viability from late 2007 through January 2008 was a hotly disputed issue at his trial because federal prosecutors were seeking to prove that nearly $1 million in expenses Edwards backers paid for his mistress in and around that time frame amounted to donations to advance his bid for the presidency. Edwards’s defense contended that his inner circle viewed his prospects of winning the presidency as zero or close to it, once Sen. Barack Obama’s juggernaut gathered steam, so the payments must have been made out of personal affection for Edwards or for some other reason unrelated to the presidential campaign.
However, Hickman’s testimony also opened a rare window into the way major presidential campaigns try to use polling numbers to spin the press and laid bare the fact that top campaign operatives sometimes propound a version of the truth starkly at odds with what they themselves believe.
Hickman, called by the former senator’s defense, testified that he told Edwards in “early to middle of November 2007,” that the campaign wasn’t going to succeed.
“I told him that the odds were overwhelming that we were not going—that he was not going to be the nominee for president. I mean, we talked about a variety of things might change, do differently, and all that, but none of them translated into winning the nomination,” the North Carolina-based pollster told Edwards attorney Alan Duncan.
However, under cross-examination by lead prosecutor David Harbach, Hickman acknowledged sending a series of emails in November and December, and even into January, endorsing or promoting polls that made Edwards look good. Asked about what appeared to be a New York Times/CBS poll released in mid-November showing an effective “three-way tie” in Iowa with Hillary Clinton at 25 percent, Edwards at 23 percent and Obama at 22 percent, Hickman acknowledged he circulated it but insisted he didn’t think it was correct.
“The business I’m in is a business any fool can get into, and a lot can happen. I’m sure there was a poll like that,” the folksy Hickman told jurors when first asked about a poll showing the race tied. “I kept up with every poll that was done, including our own, and there may have been a few that showed them a tie, but… that’s not really what my analysis is. Campaigns are about trajectory, and… there could have been a point at which it was a tie in the sense that we were coming down, and Obama was going up, and Clinton was going up.”
Hickman also indicated that senior campaign staffers knew many of the polls were poorly done and of little value. “We didn’t take these dog and cat and baby-sitter polls seriously,” he said.
Hickman acknowledged that on January 2, 2008, a day before the Iowa caucuses, he sent out a summary of nine post-Christmas Iowa polls showing Edwards in contention in the Hawkeye State. However, he testified two-thirds of them were from firms he considered “ones we typically would not put a lot of credence in.” Hickman put Mason-Dixon, Strategic Vision, Insider Advantage, Zogby and Research 2000 in the “less reputable” group. He also told the court that ARG polls “have a miserable track record.”
Hickman said he considered the Des Moines Register polls, CNN and Los Angeles Times polls more accurate. (A full transcript of his testimony is posted here.)
The prosecutor was clearly trying to suggest that Edwards was more viable than Hickman, a longtime friend of the ex-senator, admitted in his initial testimony. Harbach may have even been trying to suggest that Hickman’s basic credibility was impugned by the heavy spin he acknowledged offering late in the 2008 primary campaign. However, the line of questioning was baffling to reporters in the courtroom who seemed not at all surprised that a campaign would insist on its viability until moments before the candidate dropped out or lost.
In short, to many journalists, what Hickman admitted doing in late 2007 and 2008 was no more a sign of bad character than an actor spinning a yarn on stage during a play or a lawyer mounting an implausible defense for a clearly guilty client.
When the defense got to question Hickman again, he was unapologetic about what he termed an effort to “keep up morale” among Edwards backers and aides.
“They were being inundated with bad news. I didn’t have to give them bad news. I was trying to pick out morsels, you know, acorns. Out of a big stack of acorns, I was trying to pick out a few good ones that they could pass along to other people, you know, to keep them working,” Hickman testified. “I mean, I wasn’t going to say, you know, all hope is lost, you know, take a couple of weeks off. I mean, that was not the object of it. I mean, the object was to keep going as hard as we could. And we all worked as hard as we could. I mean, the working hard and promoting the candidacy are independent, in my mind, to the evaluation of what the likely outcome is.”
Asked if what he did to that end in the 2008 race was at all unusual when compared with other contests, Hickman told Duncan: “No. No. I did — you know, I did what I was supposed to do…. I did my job the way I’ve always done my job.”
While the discussion of polling and the legitimate bounds of spin did offer an unusual behind-the-scenes look at a major presidential campaign, it’s not at all clear that it had any impact on the outcome of the case against Edwards. Indeed, U.S. District Court Judge Catherine Eagles at one point admonished Hickman and Duncan that the grad-school polling seminar seemed pretty tangential to anything jurors were being asked to consider.
“I don’t think we need quite this much detail about particular polls,” the judge said.
“That’s fine, your honor,” Duncan replied.
“I’m sorry,” Hickman quickly chimed in.
After nine days of deliberation, the jury revealed on May 31 that it had acquitted Edwards on one felony count and was hopelessly deadlocked on five others. The Justice Department quickly announced that it would not retry the case.
The Most Powerful Man in the World: The Black Pope
Black Pope Adolfo Nicolas, Superior General of the Society of Jesus Diabolical Plan for a New World Order.
1. The Superior General of the Jesuits The Black Pope, Adolfo Nicolas and his 6 generals control the “White Pope” Pope Benedict XVI and the Vatican.
2. The Illuminati, Zionists, globalist Elites, Council on Foreign Relations, Bilderberg group, Freemasons, Council of 300 and the evil Council of Trent.
3. The Jesuits control the Knights Templar, Knights of Columbus and the Knights of Malta.
4. The CIA, FBI, NSA, ASIO, MI5, MI6, NCIS, FSB, DGSE, Mossad and every intelligence agency in the world are masonic and controlled by the Jesuits.
5. The Jesuits have infiltrated all governments & Leaders like Obama, Rudd, Blair, Jintao, Sarkozy, Peres are only puppets that carry out Jesuit orders.
The”NEW WORLD ORDER” is the GLOBAL TOTALITARIANISM dream that a BANKER called Mayer Amschel Rothschild, helped revive in 1760?s to protect his private bank from global government regulation. His grand blue print is best described by his paid social engineer called Dr. Adam [Spartacus] Weishaupt, Professor of Canon Law in the university of Ingolstadt. Weishaupt adopted the term “Illuminati.” This nightmare is still sought after today by their family’s decedents. Below is the ‘outline’ Weishaupt set out for his banker financier master! Carefully notice the similarities between Karl Marx’s 10 Plank’s of his Communist Manifesto and Weishaupt’s outline. Also, please read Communism & The New World Order.
The blue print for the NWO is:
* Abolition of all ordered governments
* Abolition of private property
* Abolition of inheritance
* Abolition of patriotism
* Abolition of the family
* Abolition of religion
* A global population of 500 million
* Creation of a world government
Mayer Amschel Rothschild 1828 “Allow me to issue and control the money of a nation, and I care not who writes the laws.” [Even a 4 year old can understand that people with control of money…write the laws!]
“Some of the biggest men in the United States, in the field of commerce and manufacture, are afraid of something. They know that there is a power somewhere so organized, so subtle, so watchful, so interlocked, so complete, so pervasive, that they had better not speak above their breath when they speak in condemnation of it.” – Woodrow Wilson
So who is this subtle, complete organized power that Wilson is talking about? The answer to that my friends is the Jesuits.
Who are the Jesuits you may ask? Arent they just missionaries, priests and general do-gooders who establish schools, universities and pride themselves in being pillars in the community? If so, then why was The Jesuit Order abolished in over 80 countries in 1773? J.E.C. Shepherd states that “Between 1555 and 1931 the Society of Jesus [i.e., the Jesuit Order] was expelled from at least 83 countries, city states and cities, for engaging in political intrigue and subversion plots against the welfare of the State, according to the records of a Jesuit priest of repute [Thomas J. Campbell]. Practically every instance of expulsion was for political intrigue, political infiltration, political subversion, and inciting to political insurrection.” They are overlords of chaos. In a nut shell the Jesuits are Warlords, Assassins, Teachers, Infiltrators, Tyrants. They tried their hand at global domination with the “League of Nations” but it failed, now they are trying again, under a new name…The United Nations, and its about to work!
What people are not understanding is that the Jesuits command the White Pope and the Vatican City, Obama /Bush’s/ Clinton’s / Blair’s / Peres/ Rudd / Jintao / Sarkozy / Medvedev (and frankly every government on earth) including the the evil Council of Trent, CFR, Illuminati, the Zionists, the Bilderberg group, the Freemasons, the Knights of Malta, the Knights of Columbus, the Knights Templar, Council of 300, and every intelligence organization in the world all have ties to the Jesuit Order and more specifically, the Superior General of the Jesuits known as The Black Pope Adolfo Nicolas who as of January the 19th, 2008 succeeded Peter-Hans Kolvenbach as the 30th Superior General of the Jesuit Order.
Officer accuses U.S. military of vast Afghan deception
By Stephen C. Webster
An internal report on the occupation of Afghanistan, penned by an active-duty military officer and published weeks ago — but not released by the Pentagon — was leaked on Friday by Rolling Stone reporter Michael Hastings, who called the 84-page examination “one of the most significant documents published by an active-duty officer in the past ten years.”
The document, written by Lt. Col. Daniel L. Davis, explains there has been a 12-year-long cover-up of the reality on the ground in Afghanistan. Davis was the source of a New York Times feature last Sunday, which cited his report but did not release it.
The Pentagon has since launched an investigation of Davis for possible security violations.
Davis reportedly wrote two versions — one classified and one not — and briefed four members of Congress, both Republican and Democrat. Senior Pentagon officials also have the report, but they’ve decided not to release it. For that reason, the unclassified report was published by Rolling Stone on Friday afternoon.
“As I will explain in the following pages I have personally observed or physically participated in programs for at least the last 15 years in which the Army’s senior leaders have either “stretched the truth” or knowingly deceived the US Congress and American public,” Davis explains in his introduction.
“What I witnessed in my most recently concluded 12 month deployment to Afghanistan has seen that deception reach an intolerable low. I will provide a very brief summary of the open source information that would allow any American citizen to verify these claims. But if the public had access to these classified reports they would see the dramatic gulf between what is often said in public by our senior leaders and what is actually true behind the scenes. It would be illegal for me to discuss, use, or cite classified material in an open venue and thus I will not do so; I am no WikiLeaks guy Part II.”
He essentially concludes that America’s top generals should be placed under oath and questioned about incidents detailed in the report.
Correcting the ‘fairy tale’: A SEAL’s account of how Osama bin Laden really died
Forget whatever you think you know about the night Osama bin Laden was killed. According to a former Navy SEAL who claims to have the inside track, the mangled tales told of that historic night have only now been corrected.
“It became obvious in the weeks evolving after the mission that the story that was getting put out there was not only untrue, but it was a really ugly farce of what did happen,” said Chuck Pfarrer, author of Seal Target Geronimo: The Inside Story of the Mission to Kill Osama Bin Laden.
In an extensive interview with The Daily Caller, Pfarrer gave a detailed account of why he believes the record needed to be corrected, and why he set out to share the personal stories of the warriors who penetrated bin Laden’s long-secret compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan.
In August the New Yorker delivered a riveting blow-by-blow of the SEALs’ May 1, 2011 raid on bin Laden’s hideaway. In that account, later reported to lack contributions from the SEALs involved, readers are taken through a mission that began with a top-secret helicopter crashing and led to a bottom-up assault of the Abbottabad compound.
Freelancer Nicholas Schmidle wrote that the SEALs had shot and blasted their way up floor-by-floor, finally cornering the bewildered Al-Qaida leader:
“The Al Qaeda chief, who was wearing a tan shalwar kameez and a prayer cap on his head, froze; he was unarmed. ‘There was never any question of detaining or capturing him—it wasn’t a split-second decision. No one wanted detainees,’ the special-operations officer told me. (The Administration maintains that had bin Laden immediately surrendered he could have been taken alive.) Nine years, seven months, and twenty days after September 11th, an American was a trigger pull from ending bin Laden’s life. The first round, a 5.56-mm. bullet, struck bin Laden in the chest. As he fell backward, the SEAL fired a second round into his head, just above his left eye.”
Chuck Pfarrer rejects almost all of that story.
“The version of the 45-minute firefight, and the ground-up assault, and the cold-blooded murder on the third floor — that wasn’t the mission,” Pfarrer told TheDC.
“I had to try and figure out, well, look: Why is this story not what I’m hearing? Why is it so off and how is it so off?” he recounted. “One of the things I sort of determined was, OK, somebody was told ‘one of the insertion helicopters crashed.’ OK, well that got muddled to ‘a helicopter crashed on insertion.’”
The helicopters, called “Stealth Hawks,” are inconspicuous machines concealing cutting-edge technology. They entered the compound as planned, with “Razor 1? disembarking its team of SEALs on the roof of the compound — not on the ground level. There was no crash landing. That wouldn’t occur until after bin Laden was dead.
Meanwhile, “Razor 2? took up a hovering position so that its on-board snipers, some of whom had also participated in the sea rescue of Maersk Alabama captain Richard Phillips, had a clear view of anyone fleeing the compound.
The SEALs then dropped down from the roof, immediately penetrated the third floor, and hastily encountered bin Laden in his room. He was not standing still.
“He dived across the king-size bed to get at the AKSU rifle he kept by the headboard,” wrote Pfarrer in his book. It was at that moment, a mere 90 seconds after the SEALs first set foot on the roof, that two American bullets shattered bin Laden’s chest and head, killing a man who sought violence to the very end.
President Obama stepped up to a podium in the East Room of the White House that night to announce bin Laden’s death. That rapid announcement, explained Pfarrer, posed a major threat to U.S. national security.
“There was a choice that night,” Pfarrer told TheDC. “There was a choice to keep the mission secret.” America, Pfarrer explained, could have left things alone for “weeks or months … even though there was evidence left on the ground there … and use the intelligence and finish off al-Qaida.”
But Obama’s announcement, he said, “rendered moot all of the intelligence that was gathered from the nexus of al-Qaida. The computer drives, the hard drives, the videocasettes, the CDs, the thumb drives, everything. Before that could even be looked through, the political decision was made to take credit for the operation.”
And in the days that followed, as politicians sought to thrust their identities into the details of the bin Laden kill, the tale began to grow out of control, said Pfarrer.
“The president made a statement, and as far as that goes, that was fine, that was the mission statement,” he explained. “But, soon after … politicians began leaking information from every orifice. And it was like a game of Chinese telephone. These guys didn’t know what they were talking about. Very few of them had even seen the video feed.”
Pfarrer suggests that much of the misinformation was likely born out of operational ignorance, even among those sitting in the White House.
“One of the things that happened was that there were only a handful of people who know about this mission,” he said. “On the civilian side, there were only a handful of people in the situation room who were watching the drone feed. They were looking at the roof of a building taken from a rotating aircraft at 35,000 feet.”
“None of those guys, not a single one of them, had a background in special operations, with the exception of General Webb who was sitting there running a laptop,” Pfarrer went on. “No one knew or could even imagine what was going on inside the building. They didn’t know.”
“There was an alternative feed going to CIA headquarters where Leon Panetta sat there with the communications brevity codes [a guide sheet for the mission’s radio lingo] in his lap and a SEAL off-screen by his side to be able to tell him what was going on,” he said. “But these guys, none of them, really knew what they were looking at.”
As the media raised more questions, officials gave more answers.
Whether or not bin Laden resisted ultimately developed into a barrage of murky official and unofficial explanations in the days following. And statements from as high as then-CIA Director Leon Panetta offered confirmation that the endeavor was a “kill mission.”
Pfarrer dismisses that assertion.
“An order to go in and murder someone in their house is not a lawful order,” explained Pfarrer, who maintains that bin Laden would have been captured had he surrendered. “Unlike the Germans in World War II, if you’re a petty officer, a chief petty officer, a naval officer, and you’re giving an order to murder somebody, that’s an unlawful order.”
Pfarrer also suggests some of the emerging claims were simply self-aggrandizing “fairy tales.”
“The story they tried to tell — it’s preposterous. And the CIA tried to jump in. About mid-June the CIA tried to jump into the car and drive the victory lap. There’s this whole stuff about the CIA guy joining the operation, the gallant interpreter — he couldn’t even fast rope!” exclaimed Pfarrer, referring to a technique for descending from an airborne helicopter.
“There’s this fairy tale about him walking out of the compound during the operation to tell crowds of Pakistanis to go home and everything’s OK.”
Pfarrer tried to put this in perspective: “Do you mean that during the middle of this military operation at night, with hovering helicopters over this odd house in this neighborhood, that people came out of their houses to ask what’s going on, instead of [remaining] huddled in their basement?”
“And I think that there were so many of these leaks that were incorrect, the administration couldn’t walk them all back,” Pfarrer explained. “And so, in the middle of May, they froze everything.”
It was that freeze-out that left Chuck Pfarrer with nowhere to turn for the real story but the SEALs themselves.
Seal Target Geronimo delivers an account of the night Osama bin Laden died with a level of detail unlike anything previously reported. Pfarrer bills the story as “absolutely factual.”
“That’s the other thing. I’m prepared for the White House to say, you know, ‘this is full of inaccuracies,’ et cetera,” offered Pfarrer. He told TheDC that in order to protect American interests, his book is “full of names that are made up, and it is full of bases that are not quite where they really should be.”
“But the timeline of my events,” he cautions, “and the manner in which it happened is 100 percent accurate. And they’ll know that.”
22 “Fast and Furious” facts: What did the Obama White House know and when did they know it?
“Fast and Furious” is not about cars and women but about guns, drugs and murder!
“What did the President know, and when did he know it?”: Howard Baker, Vice Chairman of the Senate Watergate Committee
What do President Obama and Eric Holder know, when did they know it and will the “Fast and Furious” operation to sell weapons to Mexican drug cartels be the scandal that brings the Obama White House down?
Are there still any truly investigative mainstream media journalists out there along the lines of Woodward and Bernstein of The Washington Post, who actually felt it was their job and duty to break the Watergate story?
There actually may be a few still out there (H/T Sharyl Attkisson of CBS News)!
22 “Fast and Furious” facts that could be extremely problematic for the Obama White House and for the President’s 2012 reelection bid!
#1 During Operation Fast and Furious, ATF agents purposely allowed thousands of guns to be sold to individuals that they believed would get them into the hands of Mexican drug cartels.
#2 ATF agents were specifically ordered not to intercept the guns before they crossed the border. The following is a brief excerpt from a CBS News report that detailed the fierce objections that many ATF agents expressed when they were ordered to stand down….
On the phone, one Project Gunrunner source (who didn’t want to be identified) told us just how many guns flooded the black market under ATF’s watchful eye. “The numbers are over 2,500 on that case by the way. That’s how many guns were sold – including some 50-calibers they let walk.”
50-caliber weapons are fearsome. For months, ATF agents followed 50-caliber Barrett rifles and other guns believed headed for the Mexican border, but were ordered to let them go. One distraught agent was often overheard on ATF radios begging and pleading to be allowed to intercept transports. The answer: “Negative. Stand down.”
CBS News has been told at least 11 ATF agents and senior managers voiced fierce opposition to the strategy. “It got ugly…” said one. There was “screaming and yelling” says another. A third warned: “this is crazy, somebody is gonna to get killed.”
#3 Operation Fast and Furious remained a secret until the murder of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry last December. Two guns that were sold during Operation Fast and Furious were found at the scene of the murder.
#4 ATF Special Agent John Dodson was one of the first to blow the whistle on Operation Fast and Furious. Dodson explained to the House Government Reform and Oversight Committee on June 15, 2011 that many ATF agents were becoming extremely frustrated when they were ordered to cut off surveillance on the weapons that were being sold because they knew “that just days after these purchases, the guns that we saw these individuals buy would begin turning up at crime scenes in the United States and Mexico.”
#5 It appears that Operation Fast and Furious began some time around September 2009. At that time, the ATF began pressuring gun shops near the border with Mexico to participate in a new covert operation that was being set up. The gun storeowners were told to help the ATF get guns into the hands of people that would take them back to the Mexican drug cartels.
The following description of the mechanics of Operation Fast and Furious comes from a recent Los Angeles Times article….
In the fall of 2009, ATF agents installed a secret phone line and hidden cameras in a ceiling panel and wall at Andre Howard’s Lone Wolf gun store. They gave him one basic instruction: Sell guns to every illegal purchaser who walks through the door.
For 15 months, Howard did as he was told. To customers with phony IDs or wads of cash he normally would have turned away, he sold pistols, rifles and semiautomatics. He was assured by the ATF that they would follow the guns, and that the surveillance would lead the agents to the violent Mexican drug cartels on the Southwest border.
When Howard heard nothing about any arrests, he questioned the agents. Keep selling, they told him. So hundreds of thousands of dollars more in weapons, including .50-caliber sniper rifles, walked out of the front door of his store in a Glendale, Ariz., strip mall.
#6 In some gun stores, cameras were set up so that top ATF officials could actually watch these transactions take place. Back in June, U.S. Representative Darrell Issa stated the following….
“Acting Director Melson was able to sit at his desk in Washington and himself watch a live feed of straw buyers entering the gun stores and purchasing dozens of AK-47 variants.”
#7 It has also come out that in some cases ATF agents were actually the ones buying the guns and getting them into the hands of Mexican drug cartels. The following is how author Michael A. Walsh recently explained this in an article in the New York Post….
This just might be the smoking gun we’ve been waiting for to break the festering “Fast and Furious” gun-running scandal wide open: the Department of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives apparently ordered one of its own agents to purchase firearms with taxpayer money, and sell them directly to a Mexican drug cartel.
Let that sink in: After months of pretending that “Fast and Furious” was a botched surveillance operation of illegal gun-running spearheaded by the ATF and the US attorney’s office in Phoenix, it turns out that the government itself was selling guns to the bad guys.
#8 According to the Los Angeles Times, guns that were purchased during Operation Fast and Furious have “turned up at dozens of additional Mexican crime scenes, with an unconfirmed toll of at least 150 people killed or wounded.”
#9 Mexican authorities were never informed that thousands upon thousands of guns were being allowed into Mexico.
#10 Authorities in Mexico have asked the U.S. government over and over to explain what in the world happened during Operation Fast and Furious but they have not been given an adequate answer. In fact, according to the Los Angeles Times, the Obama administration has not even responded to questions from the attorney general of Mexico….
Marisela Morales, Mexico’s attorney general and a longtime favorite of American law enforcement agents in Mexico, told The Times that she first learned about Fast and Furious from news reports. And to this day, she said, U.S. officials have not briefed her on the operation gone awry, nor have they apologized.
#11 U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has been withholding key documents about Fast and Furious from Congress and has been consistently stonewalling U.S. Representative Darrell Issa, U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley and other members of Congress that have attempted to look into this matter.
#12 The acting director of the ATF, Kenneth Melson, had been cooperating with the investigation. At the end of August he was suddenly transferred to the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Policy.
#13 Several other key officials that were heavily involved in Operation Fast and Furious actually got promoted.
#14 On May 3rd, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder testified under oath in front of the House Judiciary Committee on Operation Fast and Furious. During that testimony, Holder made the following statement….
“I probably heard about Fast and Furious for the first time over the last few weeks.”
#15 Since that time, a large amount of evidence has come out that Holder was not telling the truth. For example, a recent Fox News article discussed some of the very revealing memos about Fast and Furious that have been discovered recently….
However, newly discovered memos suggest otherwise. For instance, one memo dated July 2010 shows Michael Walther, director of the National Drug Intelligence Center, told Holder that straw buyers in the Fast and Furious operation “are responsible for the purchase of 1,500 firearms that were then supplied to the Mexican drug trafficking cartels.”
Other documents also indicate that Holder began receiving weekly briefings on the program from the National Drug Intelligence Center “beginning, at the latest, on July 5, 2010,”
#16 Holder now claims that he simply misunderstood the question. He now says that he had heard of Operation Fast and Furious previously but that he was not aware of the specific details.
#17 Emails exchanged between two Department of Justice officials last October make it abundantly clear that high-level officials at the DOJ were very aware of what was going on…
Two Justice Department officials mulled it over in an email exchange Oct. 18, 2010. “It’s a tricky case given the number of guns that have walked but is a significant set of prosecutions,” says Jason Weinstein, Deputy Assistant Attorney General of the Criminal Division. Deputy Chief of the National Gang Unit James Trusty replies, “I’m not sure how much grief we get for ‘guns walking.’ It may be more like; “Finally they’re going after people who sent guns down there.”
#18 House Republicans are now asking for a special prosecutor to be appointed to investigate whether or not U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder lied to Congress during his recent testimony in front of the House Judiciary Committee on Operation Fast and Furious.
#19 U.S. Representative Darrell Issa believes that those involved in the Fast and Furious gun trafficking operation may have violated international arms trafficking agreements and could potentially face very serious criminal charges.
#20 U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley is absolutely convinced that a major cover-up is going on….
“But I can tell you this. They’re doing everything they can, in a fast and furious way, to cover up all the evidence or stonewalling us. But here’s the issue, if he didn’t perjure himself and didn’t know about it, the best way that they can help us, Congressman Issa and me, is to just issue all the documents that we ask for and those documents will prove one way or the other right or wrong.”
#21 Did Barack Obama ever know about Operation Fast and Furious? He says that he did not authorize the program. On March 22, 2011 Obama made the following statement….
“I did not authorize [Fast and Furious]. Eric Holder, the attorney general, did not authorize it. There may be a situation here in which a serious mistake was made. If that’s the case, then we’ll find — find out and we’ll hold somebody accountable.”
#22 CBS News investigative journalist Sharyl Attkisson claimed on the Laura Ingraham show the other day that officials in the Obama administration were literally screaming and yelling at her for aggressively investigating the Fast and Furious scandal….
Ingraham: So they were literally screaming at you? ?Attkisson: Yes. Well the DOJ woman was just yelling at me. The guy from the White House on Friday night literally screamed at me and cussed at me. [Laura: Who was the person? Who was the person at Justice screaming?] Eric Schultz. Oh, the person screaming was [DOJ spokeswoman] Tracy Schmaler, she was yelling not screaming. And the person who screamed at me was Eric Schultz at the White House.”
How covert cameras detecting hot flushes will reveal who is lying at airport security
By Eleanor Harding
Secret lie detectors which can rumble fraudsters without them even knowing they were suspected are to be installed at a British airport.
High definition video and thermal imaging cameras could be used at passport control or in customs interviews to detect those trying to trick immigration officials.
The cameras, which would be installed covertly, would be able to pick up tell-tale signs of people giving false accounts of themselves based on research under way now.
Tell tales: High definition video measures changes in facial expression based on distances between measured points while thermal imaging shows increases in blood flow
They are able to pick up the minuscule changes in a person’s temperature which can indicate they are spinning a yarn.
Scientists hope the technology will enable officials to be able to detect liars ‘with the click of a button’ – but critics fear the devices could violate privacy if they become more widespread.
The Home Office and HM Revenue & Customs are sponsoring research into the system.
It is an improvement from conventional lie detectors, which involve hooking people up to machines to take a series of metabolic measurements, as it can be applied without people knowing.
It is not yet known which airport will test it out but if successful it could be installed in others across the UK.
The system was designed by Hassan Ugail, professor of visual computing at the University of Bradford.
He told The Sunday Times: ‘In an interview you can be talking to a person, then you basically just press a computer button and say: “Was this person lying or not?” ‘
The devices work by monitoring tiny changes in facial expression, including eye movement and micro facial expressions, which indicate the increased brain activity as a liar works out the most plausible story.
The brain activity also triggers tiny fluctuations in facial skin temperature, which can be picked up by thermal imaging cameras.
The pictures are then compared with a computer database containing the types of changes seen in people who are known to be lying.
Those with suspect changes can then be put under deeper scrutiny.
Prof Ugail said: ‘With polygraphs, you try and get measurements of things, like the heartbeat and the temperature.
‘What we try and do is experiment with the face itself, but it is purely non-invasive, which means the person is probably not aware the measurements are being taken.
Research: Questionnaires are given to test subject
In a video presentation to fellow academics Ugail said: ‘When people lie they make up things in their brain which they haven’t really thought about before.
‘So what tends to happen is your brain activity increases, so the blood-flow pattern in your actual face changes, especially at the eye area.
‘There’s usually a heat change on the spectrum, so when we look through a thermal camera there is a slight rise in temperature when we tell lies.
‘Usually people get nervous as well, so that comes out quite nicely on the camera.
Research: Questionnaires are given to test subject while reactions are video-taped
He is still developing the system, which has a current success rate of 60-70 per cent.
It could also have other uses in the police and security services and even help nervous people perform better in interviews – but critics fear widespread use could see schools, businesses and even jealous spouses adopting the technology.
Professor Ugail will be holding an event during the British Science Festival, which is in Bradford from September 10 to 17, when he will guide the audience through the lie-detection technology.
With four times as many oil rigs pumping domestic oil today than eight years ago and declining domestic demand, the United States is awash in oil. In fact, the U.S. exports more oil than it imports, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration – and has done so for nearly two decades.
The country’s oil industry is primarily interested in who will pay the most on the global marketplace. They call that “energy security” when it suits, but in reality it is “oil company security” through maximising profits, say energy experts like Steve Kretzman of Oil Change International, an NGO that researches the links between oil, gas and coal companies and governments.
The only reason U.S. citizens may be forced to endure a risky, Canadian-owned oil pipeline called Keystone XL is so oil companies with billion-dollar profits can get the dirty oil from Canada’s tar sands down to the Gulf of Mexico to export to Europe, Latin America or Asia, according to a new report by Oil Change International released Wednesday.
“Keystone XL will not lessen U.S. dependence on foreign oil, but rather transport Canadian oil to American refineries for export to overseas markets,” concludes the report, titled “Exporting Energy Security”.
Little of the 700,000 to 800,000 barrels of tar sands oil pumped through the 2,400-kilometre, seven-billion-dollar Keystone XL will end up in U.S. gas tanks because the refineries on the Gulf Coast are all about expanding export markets. One huge refinery operator called Valero has been touting the potential export revenues of tar sands oil to investors, the report found.
Because Keystone XL crosses national borders, President Barack Obama has to issue a permit declaring the pipeline serves the “national interest” in order to be approved.
“The only way Keystone XL could be considered in the national interest is if you equate that with profits for the oil industry,” said Kretzman, who wrote the report.
Lieper recently said that without new pipelines “our greatest risk in Alberta is that by 2020 we will be landlocked in bitumen”. Bitumen is thick tarry oil from the tar sands that needs lots of high-energy and chemical processing to be useable – one reason it’s widely considered the world’s dirtiest oil.
The shortest route to the big Asian markets is through the Rocky Mountains to Canada’s west coast via the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline. However, Canadian native people live on some of the land and are staunchly opposed, so the industry thought it would be easier to put an export pipeline right through the U.S. heartland, said Kretzman.
“The oil industry would have done the Northern Gateway first but gambled that resistance to the pipeline would be far weaker in the mid-west,” he told IPS.
They were wrong.
Thousands of people, including landowners and religious leaders, have gone to Washington DC in the past two weeks to tell President Obama to reject Keystone. Nearly 850 people have been arrested for standing on the sidewalk in front of the White House in what protesters call the largest civil disobedience in the history of the U.S. climate movement.
“It’s remarkable, a very dignified and moving protest much like the civil rights demonstrations in the 1960s,” said Maude Barlow, chairperson of the Council of Canadians, a large environmental NGO.
“This is about the rights of the environment and future generations. It is the blossoming of a new movement,” Barlow told IPS from Washington.
Other massive pipelines are being planned, including ones bringing tar sands crude to New England and the Great Lakes, she said. “Keystone is just the beginning. Once these are built they will have to put something in them.”
Infrastructure dictates policy, she stressed. Once pipelines, refineries or power plants are built, it is nearly impossible for governments to shut them down.
Last year, scientists writing in the journal Science concluded there is already enough fossil fuel burning capacity to raise global temperatures by 1.5 degrees C by 2060. Any additional power plants, vehicles, or other fossil fuel burning equipment built from 2011 onward puts humanity at ever greater risk of catastrophic climate change.
“We conclude that sources of the most threatening emissions have yet to built,” the scientists wrote.
The Obama administration knows this but the powerful oil lobby can use its unlimited funds to attack Democratic officials during the next election cycle if they don’t approve the pipeline, says Kretzman.
Changes to U.S. law in 2010 allow corporations to spend as much as they want on elections, and there is no sector with more money than the oil industry.
“That scares the hell out of the Obama administration,” he said.
It’s never been clearer that corporations wield the real power in the United States and Canada, activists say.
“This is the beginning of a very big fight for the future,” Barlow told IPS.
Visit IPS news for fresh perspectives on development and globalization.
Huge Marine Drill Confirms Ground Invasion of Libya
June 20, 2011
On Sunday, CNN reported on a huge Marine war exercise dubbed Exercise Mailed Fist.
“The exercise is designed to test the capability of every type of Marine Corps aircraft, including MV-22 Ospreys and F/A 18 Hornets, as well as some Navy ships and Air Force planes,” CNN reported.
The exercise will encompass a large area on the U.S. East Coast – from Quantico Marine Base in northern Virginia to the Navy’s Pinecastle Bombing Range in Florida. Most of the exercise activity will occur above North and South Carolina.
The drill begins today and ends on Friday.
Thousands of Marines will take part. According to CNN, it will be biggest drill of its kind ever held on the East Coast.
“Exercise Mailed Fist is the first exercise of its specific kind and the largest 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing exercise conducted in recent history,” Staff Sgt. Roman J. Yurek, Marine Corps spokesman, told CNN. “In the past, 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing units had to deploy to the West Coast to conduct this type of training.”
It appears the Pentagon has released information about the exercise exclusively to CNN. A Google News Search produces scant results on Exercise Mailed Fist.
CNN is a notorious focal point for Pentagon psyops. In 2000, the Pentagon confirmed that psyops personnel, soldiers and officers, have worked in the CNN headquarters in Atlanta. In February of that year, Dutch journalist, Abe de Vries, reported on the presence of U.S. Army personnel at CNN for the Dutch daily newspaper Trouw.
Obama will visit Fort Drum in New York on Thursday. It is speculated he will announce a decision on drawing down U.S. forces in Afghanistan, but the visit may also be related to a plan to send ground troops into Libya.
The huge military exercise comes at a critical time. As we reported last week, the United States is in the preparatory stages of a ground invasion of Libya and a campaign against Syria.
“Infowars.com has received alarming reports from within the ranks of military stationed at Ft. Hood, Texas confirming plans to initiate a full-scale U.S.-led ground invasion in Libya and deploy troops by October,” Aaron Dykes reported on June 15.
Moreover, the source stated that additional Special Forces will be sent to Libya in July, with the 1st Calvary Division (heavy armor) and III Corps deploying in late October and early November. Initial numbers are estimated at 12,000 active forces and another 15,000 in support, totaling nearly 30,000 troops.
Other calls to the Alex Jones Show from military personnel confirmed the reports.
Lies, Damn Lies And Bin Laden’s Death
By Stephen Lendman
Winston Churchill rightly explained that “(a) lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.” He said it perhaps before television. For sure before 24-hour cable TV and modern technology instantly communicating globally.
It applies to Obama’s latest lie, announced at 11:35PM EDT on bin Laden, saying:
“Tonight, I can report to the American people and to the world that the United States has conducted an operation that killed Osama bin Laden, the leader of al Qaeda, and a terrorist who’s responsible for the murder of thousands of innocent men, women, and children.”
Highlighting 9/11, he painstakingly discussed everything but the truth. America’s media repeated it. Celebratory crowds in front of the White House, in Times Square, and at “ground zero” cheered it past midnight, mindlessly believing a lie. More on that below.
On May 1, New York Times writers Peter Baker, Helene Cooper and Mark Mazzetti headlined, “Bin Laden Is Dead, Obama says: continuing:
Calling him “the mastermind of the most devastating attack on American soil in modern times and the most hunted man in the world,” Obama announced his death Sunday night, declaring “justice has been done.”
Cheerleading, not reporting, Baker, Cooper and Mazzetti called his “demise….a defining moment in the American-led fight against terrorism, a symbolic stroke affirming the relentlessness of the pursuit of those who attacked New York and Washington on Sept. 11, 2001.”
New Year’s eve arrived early in America, celebrating a lie, the “bewildered herd” again seduced by presidential deception.
A USA Today editorial headlined, “At last, bin Laden is dead,” saying:
“Could there be any more satisfying words to hear?”
The Boston Globe highlighted “a moment of unity” after nearly a decade of war, calling Obama’s announcement a “vindication of a manhunt spanning presidential administrations, and involving numerous agencies and countless intelligence officers.”
AP quoted Bill Clinton saying:
“I congratulate the president, the national security team and the members of our armed forces on bringing Osama bin Laden to justice after more than a decade of murderous al Qaeda attacks.”
House speaker John Boehner (R. OH) said it was “great news…”
House Democrat leader Nancy Pelosi called it “historic.”
Senate Democrat leader Harry Reid “reaffirm(ed) our resolve to defeat the terrorist forces that killed (9/11 victims) and thousands of others across the globe.”
Expect lots more cheerleading ahead, led by major media reports doing what they do best, providing sanitized, managed news, not truth.
Separating Fact from Fiction
Post-9/11, bin Laden became “Enemy Number One,” the nation’s top “security threat.” In fact, if he hadn’t existed, he’d have been invented for political advantage.
In March 1985, after Ronald Reagan signed National Security Decision Directive (NSDD) 166 to arm Afghan Mujahideen fighters, Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) recruited bin Laden to fight Soviet Afghan forces as a CIA asset. He likely remained one until his death, while simultaneously called “Enemy Number One,” using him advantageously both ways.
David Ray Griffin wrote seminal books on 9/11, including “The New Pearl Harbor,” “The 9/11 Commission Report,” “9/11 and American Empire,” “9/11 Contradictions,” “Mysterious Collapse of World Trade Center 7,” and “Osama Bin Laden: Dead of Alive?”
It was also the title of his October 9, 2009 Global Research article, covering two types of evidence:
(1) Objective evidence that he’s dead:
After December 13, 2001, his regularly intercepted messages stopped.
On December 26, 2001, according to “a leading Pakistani newspaper” story, a prominent Taliban official said he attended his funeral.
Bin Laden, in fact, was very ill with kidney disease. In September 2001, CBS News anchor Dan Rather reported that he was admitted to a Rawalpindi, Pakistan hospital on September 10, 2001, and France’s Le Figaro said:
“Dubai….was the backdrop of a secret meeting between Osama bin Laden and the local CIA agent in July (2001). A partner of the administration of the American Hospital….claims that (bin Laden) stayed (there) between the 4th and 14th of July (and) received visits from many members of his family as well as prominent Saudis and Emiratis. (During the same period), the local CIA agent, known to many in Dubai, was seen taking (the hospital’s) main elevator (to) bin Laden’s room.”
Why not if he was a valued asset.
In July 2002, “CNN reported that (his) bodyguards had been captured in February of that year, adding: ‘Sources believe that if the bodyguards were captured away from bin Laden, it is likely the most wanted man in the world is dead.”
Finally, despite Washington offering a $25 million reward for information leading to his capture or killing, no one came forward.
(2) Testimonial evidence of his death:
In 2002, influential “people in a position to know” that he died included:
— Pakistan President Musharraf;
— FBI counterterrorism head Dale Watson;
— Oliver North saying, “I’m certain that Osama is dead….and so are all the other guys I stay in touch with;”
— Afghanistan President Karzai;
— Israeli intelligence saying supposed bin Laden messages were fake; and
— Pakistan’s ISI “confirm(ing) the death of….Osama bin Laden (and) attribut(ing) the reasons behind Washington’s hiding (the truth) to the desire of (America’s hawks) to use the issue of al Qaeda and international terrorism to invade Iraq.”
Other evidence includes former CIA case officer Robert Baer telling National Public Radio (NPR): “Of course he’s dead.”
Then in March 2009, “former Foreign Service officer Angelo Codevilla published an essay in the American Spectator entitled ‘Osama bin Elvis,’ ” saying:
“Seven years after (bin Laden’s) last verifiable appearance among the living, there is more evidence of Elvis’s presence among us than for his.”
Griffin also explained fake messages and videos, saying today’s advanced technology can fool experts, but not all of them.
For years, bin Laden tapes surfaced at strategically-timed moments. Consider one on Friday, September 7, 2007 ahead the sixth 9/11 anniversary. Hector Factor’s Neal Krawetz, a digital image forensics expert, said it was full of low quality visual and audio splices, a likely fake.
Striking also was bin Laden’s beard that was gray in recent images. In this one, it was black. In addition, he was dressed in a white hat and shirt, as well as a yellow sweater, the same attire as on an October 29, 2004 video. Moreover, the background, lighting, desk and camera angle were identical.
Krawetz noted that “if you overlay the 2007 and 2004 videos, bin Laden’s face is the same (unaged).” Only his beard was darker, and the picture contrast was adjusted. Most important are the edits showing obvious splices, at least six video ones in all. Even more audio ones were used that appeared to be words and phrases spliced together, making Krawetz suspect a vocal imitator was used.
A Final Comment
Clear evidence showed bin Laden died years ago, likely in December 2001. However, reporting it was concealed to pursue America’s “war on terror.”
As a result, “Enemy Number One” was used to stoke fear as pretext for imperial wars on Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Libya, perhaps others now planned, and numerous proxy ones in Somalia, Yemen, Bahrain, Palestine, Central Africa, Colombia, and elsewhere.
Griffin wrote his bin Laden book, hoping to shorten America’s wars. He also wished to expose “fake bin Laden tapes (used as) one part of an extensive propaganda operation….furthering the militarization of America and its foreign policy” while popular needs go begging.
Obama’s latest lie left America’s imperial agenda unchanged. In fact, his announcement likely bolsters public support for what’s clearly become unpopular, saying:
“(T)hink back to the sense of unity that prevailed on 9/11,” urging people to show it again despite how militarism harms their security, well-being and futures by draining funds badly needed for domestic needs.
Instead, expect increasing amounts used for corporate handouts and wars, Obama as uncaring about human needs as extremist Republicans. He’s also an inveterate liar.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at [email protected] Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.
The Deliberate Lies That Shift Attention Away From The Economy
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made a blatant admission during a U.S. Foreign Policy Priorities committee meeting by arguing that the State Department needs more money because the US military-industrial complex is losing the information war to the likes of Russia Today and Al Jazeera. This loss of course is due to the US corporate media having completely abandoned real news.
This holds true especially with the propaganda war being waged in the United States that specifically targets the American public. Why is it that Hillary thinks she’s losing the infowar? Perhaps because people are now becoming more skeptical to the recent string of FBI entrapment cases deceitfully called “sting operations,” by which young Muslim men have been caught trying to use “weapons of mass destruction” and were directed to plant bombs on synagogues by their FBI handlers. A clear onslaught of disinformation, half-truths, and especially the paralyzing appeal to fear and prejudice have gripped the American psyche.
Even the supposed parcel bomb, which originated from Yemen, caught the controlled media with their pants down when it turned out to be a complete and utter farce. Synagogues have insidiously and deliberately been chosen as targets by the government in order to bring about tensions between the Jewish and Muslim communities in the United States. Divide and conquer is an old COINTELPRO tactic. Take for example the case that involved FBI informant, Shahed Hussain, who lured 4 men to plant bombs at synagogues. Shahed became a government informant after being caught “scamming illegal immigrants trying to get driver’s licenses” according to reports. Disgustingly enough, Shahed became the prosecution’s top witnesses in the trial of the Newburgh four.
The following is perhaps the greatest analysis of the recent synthetic terror gripping this nation. It concerns the latest government orchestrated terror propaganda entitled the “Christmas Tree Bomber,” christened by the news media:
As the United States slowly erodes into third world status, the police state apparatus tightens its grip on the increasingly ignorant, poorer and jobless people of America. Tyranny is marketed in different ways, but this time it’s not packaged as “fighting communism” or “the war on drugs,” rather it is vernacular first used by Reagan, when he declared a “war on terror.” McCarthyism continues under the name of fighting terror, as Muslims are juxtaposed with 911 truthers and have become the new radicals and extremists plaguing society. The new communist today is: The Muslims!
In a recent interview with Max Keiser, Gerald Celente accurately states that “when the money stops flowing to mainstream the blood starts flowing on the streets” and “they [the government] know that things are getting out of control and they’re going to try to stop it before it spreads.” It is a clear attempt to shift the current “crisis” from an issue of finacial terrorism to a religious one.
As Wall Street continues to rot and Main Street continues to starve, the controlled press has and will continue distracting people from the disaster they have created. It is really a sign of the times that they’ll go as far as to outsource the investigation as to how or why the economy is collapsing, then have the audacity to blame it on foreign terrorists.
Dr. Paul Craig Roberts said it best when he wrote:
Americans are too gullible, too uneducated, and too jingoistic to remain a free people. As another Nazi leader Herman Goering said, ‘The people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. Tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peace-makers for lack of patriotism and for exposing the country to danger.’
This is precisely what the Bush and Obama regimes have done. America, as people of my generation knew it, no longer exists.
Other sources for this article:
Paul Craig Roberts Video Interview — FBI Creating Police State
Rick Gedeon is graduate from USAF Air University, amateur historian, and anti-imperial/anti-police brutality activist. Rick Gedeon has traveled extensively throughout the US and Asia. A political marketeer, routinely bringing together and forging alliances with different political organizations that share similar goals. He considers himself a Political Atheist and sympathizes with many Libertarian causes. He can be reached at [email protected]
Why Almost Everything You Hear About Medicine Is Wrong
Illustration by Jacob Thomas
If you follow the news about health research, you risk whiplash. First garlic lowers bad cholesterol, then—after more study—it doesn’t. Hormone replacement reduces the risk of heart disease in postmenopausal women, until a huge study finds that it doesn’t (and that it raises the risk of breast cancer to boot). Eating a big breakfast cuts your total daily calories, or not—as a study released last week finds. Yet even if biomedical research can be a fickle guide, we rely on it.
But what if wrong answers aren’t the exception but the rule? More and more scholars who scrutinize health research are now making that claim. It isn’t just an individual study here and there that’s flawed, they charge. Instead, the very framework of medical investigation may be off-kilter, leading time and again to findings that are at best unproved and at worst dangerously wrong. The result is a system that leads patients and physicians astray—spurring often costly regimens that won’t help and may even harm you.
It’s a disturbing view, with huge im-plications for doctors, policymakers, and health-conscious consumers. And one of its foremost advocates, Dr. John P.A. Ioannidis, has just ascended to a new, prominent platform after years of crusading against the baseless health and medical claims. As the new chief of Stanford University’s Prevention Research Center, Ioannidis is cementing his role as one of medicine’s top mythbusters. “People are being hurt and even dying” because of false medical claims, he says: not quackery, but errors in medical research.
This is Ioannidis’s moment. As medical costs hamper the economy and impede deficit-reduction efforts, policymakers and businesses are desperate to cut them without sacrificing sick people. One no-brainer solution is to use and pay for only treatments that work. But if Ioannidis is right, most biomedical studies are wrong.
In just the last two months, two pillars of preventive medicine fell. A major study concluded there’s no good evidence that statins (drugs like Lipitor and Crestor) help people with no history of heart disease. The study, by the Cochrane Collaboration, a global consortium of biomedical experts, was based on an evaluation of 14 individual trials with 34,272 patients. Cost of statins: more than $20 billion per year, of which half may be unnecessary. (Pfizer, which makes Lipitor, responds in part that “managing cardiovascular disease risk factors is complicated”). In November a panel of the Institute of Medicine concluded that having a blood test for vitamin D is pointless: almost everyone has enough D for bone health (20 nanograms per milliliter) without taking supplements or calcium pills. Cost of vitamin D: $425 million per year.
Ioannidis, 45, didn’t set out to slay medical myths. A child prodigy (he was calculating decimals at age 3 and wrote a book of poetry at 8), he graduated first in his class from the University of Athens Medical School, did a residency at Harvard, oversaw AIDS clinical trials at the National Institutes of Health in the mid-1990s, and chaired the department of epidemiology at Greece’s University of Ioannina School of Medicine. But at NIH Ioannidis had an epiphany. “Positive” drug trials, which find that a treatment is effective, and “negative” trials, in which a drug fails, take the same amount of time to conduct. “But negative trials took an extra two to four years to be published,” he noticed. “Negative results sit in a file drawer, or the trial keeps going in hopes the results turn positive.” With billions of dollars on the line, companies are loath to declare a new drug ineffective. As a result of the lag in publishing negative studies, patients receive a treatment that is actually ineffective. That made Ioannidis wonder, how many biomedical studies are wrong?
His answer, in a 2005 paper: “the majority.” From clinical trials of new drugs to cutting-edge genetics, biomedical research is riddled with incorrect findings, he argued. Ioannidis deployed an abstruse mathematical argument to prove this, which some critics have questioned. “I do agree that many claims are far more tenuous than is generally appreciated, but to ‘prove’ that most are false, in all areas of medicine, one needs a different statistical model and more empirical evidence than Ioannidis uses,” says biostatistician Steven Goodman of Johns Hopkins, who worries that the most-research-is-wrong claim “could promote an unhealthy skepticism about medical research, which is being used to fuel anti-science fervor.”
Even a cursory glance at medical journals shows that once heralded studies keep falling by the wayside. Two 1993 studies concluded that vitamin E prevents cardiovascular disease; that claim was overturned by more rigorous experiments, in 1996 and 2000. A 1996 study concluding that estrogen therapy reduces older women’s risk of Alzheimer’s was overturned in 2004. Numerous studies concluding that popular antidepressants work by altering brain chemistry have now been contradicted (the drugs help with mild and moderate depression, when they work at all, through a placebo effect), as has research claiming that early cancer detection (through, say, PSA tests) invariably saves lives. The list goes on.
Despite the explosive nature of his charges, Ioannidis has collaborated with some 1,500 other scientists, and Stanford, epitome of the establishment, hired him in August to run the preventive-medicine center. “The core of medicine is getting evidence that guides decision making for patients and doctors,” says Ralph Horwitz, chairman of the department of medicine at Stanford. “John has been the foremost innovative thinker about biomedical evidence, so he was a natural for us.”
Ioannidis’s first targets were shoddy statistics used in early genome studies. Scientists would test one or a few genes at a time for links to virtually every disease they could think of. That just about ensured they would get “hits” by chance alone. When he began marching through the genetics literature, it was like Sherman laying waste to Georgia: most of these candidate genes could not be verified. The claim that variants of the vitamin D–receptor gene explain three quarters of the risk of osteoporosis? Wrong, he and colleagues proved in 2006: the variants have no effect on osteoporosis. That scores of genes identified by the National Human Genome Research Institute can be used to predict cardiovascular disease? No (2009). That six gene variants raise the risk of Parkinson’s disease? No (2010). Yet claims that gene X raises the risk of disease Y contaminate the scientific literature, affecting personal health decisions and sustaining the personal genome-testing industry.
Statistical flukes also plague epidemiology, in which researchers look for links between health and the environment, including how people behave and what they eat. A study might ask whether coffee raises the risk of joint pain, or headaches, or gallbladder disease, or hundreds of other ills. “When you do thousands of tests, statistics says you’ll have some false winners,” says Ioannidis. Drug companies make a mint on such dicey statistics. By testing an approved drug for other uses, they get hits by chance, “and doctors use that as the basis to prescribe the drug for this new use. I think that’s wrong.” Even when a claim is disproved, it hangs around like a deadbeat renter you can’t evict. Years after the claim that vitamin E prevents heart disease had been overturned, half the scientific papers mentioning it cast it as true, Ioannidis found in 2007.
The situation isn’t hopeless. Geneticists have mostly mended their ways, tightening statistical criteria, but other fields still need to clean house, Ioannidis says. Surgical practices, for instance, have not been tested to nearly the extent that medications have. “I wouldn’t be surprised if a large proportion of surgical practice is based on thin air, and [claims for effectiveness] would evaporate if we studied them closely,” Ioannidis says. That would also save billions of dollars. George Lundberg, former editor of The Journal of the American Medical Association, estimates that strictly applying criteria like Ioannidis pushes would save $700 billion to $1 trillion a year in U.S. health-care spending.
Of course, not all conventional health wisdom is wrong. Smoking kills, being morbidly obese or severely underweight makes you more likely to die before your time, processed meat raises the risk of some cancers, and controlling blood pressure reduces the risk of stroke. The upshot for consumers: medical wisdom that has stood the test of time—and large, randomized, controlled trials—is more likely to be right than the latest news flash about a single food or drug.