Radiation levels at Japan nuclear plant reach new highs
By Chico Harlan and Brian Vastag, Monday, March 28, 1:35 AM
TOKYO — As radiation levels at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant reached a new high Sunday, workers contended with dark, steamy conditions in their efforts to repair the facility’s cooling system and stave off a full-blown nuclear meltdown. Wearing respirators, face masks and bulky suits, they fought to reconnect cables and restore power to motor pumps the size of automobiles.
Leaked water sampled from one unit Sunday had 100,000 times the radioactivity of normal background levels, although the Tokyo Electric Power Co., which operates the plant, first calculated an even higher, erroneous, figure it didn’t correct for hours.
Tepco apologized Sunday night when it realized the mistake; it had initially reported radiation levels in the leaked water from the unit 2 reactor as being 10 million times the norm, which prompted an evacuation of the building.
After the levels were correctly measured, airborne radioactivity in the unit 2 turbine building still remained so high — 1,000 millisieverts per hour — that a worker there would reach his yearly occupational exposure limit in 15 minutes. A dose of 4,000 to 5,000 millisieverts absorbed fairly rapidly will eventually kill about half of those exposed.
The latest confusion in the operation to stave off a full-scale nuclear meltdown at the crippled facility underscores the immense challenges for the several hundred workers in a desperate battle to restart the critical cooling systems. Seventeen workers have been exposed to high levels of radiation, including three who were hospitalized last week, as technicians conducted highly nuanced electrical work in dark conditions that one nuclear industry expert termed “hellish.”
Japanese authorities say efforts to control Fukushima’s overheated reactors will take months and during that time radiation will continue to leak into the environment, extending a nuclear emergency that already ranks as the world’s most serious in a quarter-century. Several hundred workers now shoulder the responsibility for limiting the crisis, amid potentially lethal radiation levels, and on Saturday the chief of Japan’s nuclear agency called on Tepco to improve its worker safety.
On Monday morning, Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano made a plea to residents from the 12-mile radius evacuation zone surrounding the crippled nuclear plant to please stay away “until safety is confirmed.”
Police stationed in the area have noticed more people returning to gather belongings and “there is a risk” of returning home now, Edamo said. Many families fled quickly after the earthquake and tsunami struck more than two weeks ago with only the clothes they were wearing.
Evidence of rising contamination in and around the plant has tempered optimism from a week ago, when engineers began work to restore power to the first of the damaged reactor buildings. Japan’s Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency said Sunday that a new measurement of seawater taken about 1,000 feet from the facility showed an iodine level 1,850.5 times the legal limit, higher than a reading taken the previous day.
The dangers in unit 2 merely add to the growing challenges. Radioactive water is pooling in four of Fukushima’s six turbine rooms, and engineers have no quick way to clean it up, although they have begun to try in unit 1.
While a Tepco spokesman said Sunday that he did not know how the radioactive water was leaking from the reactor cores, Yukio Edano, chief cabinet secretary, said in a televised interview Sunday morning that the reactor itself had not been breached.
He said it was clear that water that could have been inside the unit 3 reactor had leaked but the reactor had not been breached. Still, he said, “Unfortunately, it seems there is no question that water, which could have been inside the reactor, is leaking.’’
Unlike in newer reactor designs, the older boiling-water reactors at Daiichi are pierced by dozens of holes in the bottoms of their reactor vessels. Each hole allows one control rod — made of a neutron-absorbing material that quickly stops nuclear fission inside the reactor — to slide into the reactor from below, as happened when the earthquake shook the plant March 11. During normal operations, a graphite stopper covers each hole, sealing in highly radioactive primary cooling water, said Arnie Gundersen, a consultant at Fairewinds Associates with 40 years of experience overseeing boiling-water reactors.
But at temperatures above 350 degrees Fahrenheit, the graphite stoppers begin to melt.
“Since it is likely that rubble from the broken fuel rods .?.?. is collecting at the bottom of the reactor, the seals are being damaged by high temperature or high radiation,” Gundersen said. As the graphite seals fail, water in the reactor will leak into a network of pipes in the containment buildings surrounding each reactor — the very buildings that have been heavily damaged by explosions. Gundersen said that this piping is probably compromised, leaving highly radioactive water to seep from the reactor vessels into broken pipes — and from there into the turbine buildings and beyond.
To stabilize the facility, workers are trying to repair the elaborate cooling system, necessary to keep the reactor cores and spent fuel pools from overheating. For now, they are conducting this work in dark, steamy conditions. Nuclear safety experts say they must shift out of the most dangerous areas every 30 minutes to an hour, to prevent radiation overexposure.
Meanwhile, they are racing to repair motor pumps. Their environment resembles a cavern of cables. Some of the equipment was damaged during the March 11 earthquake and tsunami. Other equipment has been corroded by salt water, which was poured into the facility during earlier efforts to cool the reactors.
“To a layman, you’d be scared to death,” said Lake Barrett, a nuclear engineer who directed the cleanup of Three Mile Island. “You’re working with salt water around your feet. This is not the way electricians usually work.”
The number of workers at the Daiichi plant fluctuates from day to day, ranging between 500 and 1,000. But Tepco employees account for only a part of the labor force. Last Tuesday, for instance, there were 700 people at the plant, a nuclear agency official said. The figure included 500 Tepco employees, 100 subcontracted workers, and 100 members of Japan’s Self-Defense Forces or the Tokyo Fire Department.
One subcontracted worker who laid cables for new electrical lines March 19 described chaotic conditions and lax supervision that made him nervous. Masataka Hishida said neither he nor any of the workers around him was given a dosimeter, a device used to measure one’s exposure to radiation. He was surprised that workers were not given special shoes; rather, they were told to put plastic bags over their street shoes. When he was trying on the gas mask for the first time, he said, the supervisor told him and other subcontractors, “Listen carefully, I’m only going to say this one time,” while explaining how to use it.
When Hishida finished his work shift, an official scanned his whole body for radiation. He came up clean, except for the very tip of his beard. He was sent into a shower where he lathered up and scrubbed his beard. He was tested again and passed.
A few days later, still worried about the extent of his radiation exposure, he trimmed his beard.
Joe Lieberman and the neocons will not be satisfied until the Muslim and Arab Middle East is reduced to a smoldering ruin like Iraq. The next target on the list following Libya is Syria.
On Sunday, Lieberman said he would support military intervention in Syria if its president, Bashar al-Assad, resorts to the kind of violent tactics used by Libya’s Muammar al-Qaddafi, according to Fox News. Lieberman is the chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee.
“There’s a precedent now that the world community has set in Libya, and it’s the right one,” he said.
In essence, Lieberman said the “Arab street” wants us to kill civilians and bomb hospitals.
The precedent in Libya is the slaughter of Arabs, same as it continue to be in Iraq. This was recently confirmed by a team of Russian doctors in the country. NATO bombs have hit hospitals – including the Beir al-Osta Milad hospital – and residential areas in Tripoli and other cities, but this of course is not mentioned by the corporate media. “The bombing of Tripoli and other cities in Libya is aimed not only at the objects of air defense and Libya’s Air Force and not only against the Libyan army, but also the object of military and civilian infrastructure,” the doctors from Ukraine, Belarus and Russia wrote.
Medical infrastructure and personnel are protected under the rules of war established in the Geneva Law, specifically Article 12 of Protocol II. Neocons and neolibs of Obama’s stripe do not follow such laws, of course. Democrats and supposed anti-war libs are more than happy to support this murderous insanity, so long as a Democrat president calls the shots.
Beginning with Bush Senior’s 1991 invasion, the U.S. and its coalition partners – now described as the “international community” – have consistently inflicted “apocalyptic damage” to the civilian infrastructure of Iraq, at one time the envy of the Arab world.
Iraq now has 25 to 50 percent unemployment, rampant disease, an epidemic of mental illness, and sprawling slums, writes Adil E. Shamoo. Libya, Syria, and other recalcitrant Arab nations can expect the same globalist medicine if they continue to resist the forays of the globalists, who plan to turn the entire planet into a slave labor gulag.
For the time being, though, Syria will not become another Libya, despite the wishes of Joe Lieberman. Secretary of State Clinton said that there is a need to differentiate between what’s going on in Syria and in Libya.
In other words, for now, Freedom House-style external troublemaking imported into Syria will suffice. The Freedom House NGO is shorthand for the State Department, USAID, NED, the CIA, and the usual globalist suspects endeavoring to overthrow governments and make it look like the will of the people.
Military intervention is not required until there is a “humanitarian” crisis of the sort the globalists declared in Libya. They are in the process of cooking one up in Syria as well.
Joe Lieberman has jumped the gun. But he always does that when it comes down to invading impoverished Arab and Muslim nations and killing civilians in the name of saving them – after the CIA overthrows their governments, of course.
Chilean President Talks New International Order, Calls For Full Americas Integration Like E.U during Obama visit
During President Obama’s visit to Latin America last week was a call for further integration of the Americas, as well as extended cooperation with Asia under a Trans-Pacific Partnership, that went almost unnoticed in the media. This is par for the course, as plans for borderless, regional government have patently development “by stealth” (as the documents released under FOIA request by Judicial Watch revealed).
Chile’s President Sebastián Piñera was quite direct in calling for “a new international order.”
Air Date March 21, 2011
PRESIDENT PINERA: And in America, we are much behind that. In America, 20 years ago, President Bush, father, raised the idea of a free trade area from Alaska to “Fire Land” (Tierra del Fuego) generating a lot of enthusiasm in the region, but it never came true, never materialized. […] And in our view, that will call for a new international order that will replace that which emerged in Bretton Woods after the Second World War, and to be appropriate and adaptive to the needs and challenges of the 21st century, where the only constant thing we have is change.
With little fanfare and a world focused on other pressing events, President Obama and Chilean President Sebastián Piñera coordinated and furthered an agenda to integrate the entire Americas (both North and South) into a regional government. This agenda has been going on, really, for more than a century, as the Organization of American States (OAS) demonstrates. The creation of a North American Union is ultimately one stepping stone to a complete world government with a planned economy.
PRESIDENT PINERA: I want to tell you President Obama that when you announced your visit to Chile, Brazil and El Salvador on the occasion of your State of the Union address, you said you were coming to forge new partnerships for the progress of the Americas […] we have discovered that our two nations have a road of collaboration that can be built on rock and not on sand, because we coincide in that which is key — the values, the principles, the visions. That facilitates the road. And with that we can convincingly embrace this new alliance, this new partnership between the United States of America and the rest of the American countries — we are all Americans — an alliance that should be much deeper and forward-looking than the Alliance for Progress. And this partnership, this alliance is one of our times, of our 21st century, of the society of information and technology. […] That we may have a continent as we have dreamt it always from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego, from the Pacific to the Atlantic Ocean, that will become a land of freedom, of opportunities, of progress, but also a land of fairness and camaraderie as dreamt by the Founding Fathers of that great nation of the United States, like the case of Jefferson, a great patriot like Lincoln, but also like San Martin and O’higgins from our continent.
President Obama incorporated much of this message in his response:
[…] These events remind us that in our interconnected world, the security and prosperity of nations and peoples are intertwined as never before. And no region is more closely linked than the United States and Latin America. And here in the Americas, one of our closest and strongest partners is Chile. […] We’re moving ahead with efforts to expand trade and investment, as the President mentioned. Under our existing trade agreement, trade between the United States and Chile has more than doubled, creating new jobs and opportunities in both our countries […] So today we recommitted ourselves to fully implementing our free trade agreement to include protections of intellectual property so our businesses can innovate and stay competitive. We agreed to build on the progress we’re making towards a Trans-Pacific Partnership so we can seize the full potential of trade in the Asia Pacific, especially for our small and medium businesses.
During Questions, President Pinera even more boldly discused the plan for fuller-integration throughout the Americas:
RESIDENT PINERA: (As translated.) No doubt that insofar as integration of the Americas, we are lagging behind. And the best way to illustrate this is to compare what has happened in America with what happened in Europe. […] Last century, the Europeans had two world wars with a toll of more than 70 million casualties. But at some point, they had the wisdom, the courage to abandon the rationale of Line Maginot, or Siegfried Line and to embrace Maastricht Treaty. With the leadership and the vision of such renowned statesmen like Adenauer and De Gasperi, Housman, Truman — they began to build what today we know of as European Union.
And in America, we are much behind that. In America, 20 years ago, President Bush, father, raised the idea of a free trade area from Alaska to “Fire Land” (Tierra del Fuego) generating a lot of enthusiasm in the region, but it never came true, never materialized. […] And in our view, that will call for a new international order that will replace that which emerged in Bretton Woods after the Second World War, and to be appropriate and adaptive to the needs and challenges of the 21st century, where the only constant thing we have is change. […] No child should be left behind — I’ve heard this from President Obama. And here, we say in Latin America, no country should be left behind.
Free Shipping on food storage
Organization of American States (Pan-American Union)
Pan-American UnionThe Organization of American States (OAS, or, as it is known in the three other official languages, OEA) is an regional international organization, headquartered in Washington, D.C., United States. Its members are the thirty-five independent states of the American Continent, although Honduras was suspended as a result of the June 28, 2009 coup d’état that expelled President Manuel Zelaya from office.
The notion of closer hemispheric union in America was first put forward by Simón Bolívar who, at the 1826 Congress of Panama, proposed creating a league of American republics, with a common military, a mutual defense pact, and a supranational parliamentary assembly. This meeting was attended by representatives of Gran Colombia (comprising the modern-day nations of Colombia, Ecuador, Panama, and Venezuela), Peru, the United Provinces of Central America, and Mexico, but the grandly titled “Treaty of Union, League, and Perpetual Confederation” was ultimately ratified only by Gran Colombia. Bolívar’s dream soon floundered with civil war in Gran Colombia, the disintegration of Central America, and the emergence of national rather than continental outlooks in the newly independent American republics. Bolívar’s dream of American unity was meant to unify Latin American nations against imperial domination by external power.
The pursuit of regional solidarity and cooperation again came to the forefront in 1889–90, at the First International Conference of American States. Gathered together in Washington, D.C., 18 nations resolved to found the International Union of American Republics, served by a permanent secretariat called the Commercial Bureau of the American Republics (renamed the “International Commercial Bureau” at the Second International Conference in 1901–02). These two bodies, in existence as of 14 April 1890, represent the point of inception to which today’s OAS and its General Secretariat trace their origins.
At the Fourth International Conference of American States (Buenos Aires, 1910), the name of the organization was changed to the “Union of American Republics” and the Bureau became the “Pan American Union”.
FLASHBACK: Secretary Rice, CFR Usher in Pan-American Community
Trade Agreements for Peru, Colombia and Panama Have ‘Concluded’ Forming an “Unbroken Chain of Trading Partners from Tierra del Fuego to the Arctic Circle” that Will “Level” U.S. Wages
Aaron Dykes / JonesReport.com | October 16, 2007
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice made remarks at the C.F.R. hosted Organization of American States event on October 9 that the “concluded” trade agreements with Peru, Colombia and Panama are a significant step towards the broader ‘vision’ of a Pan-American Community.
“The founding ideal of our Pan-American Community, borne across many centuries and carried by us still, is the hope that life in the hemisphere would signify a break with the Old World, and a new beginning for all mankind… and the creation of a new system of international politics, based on mutual respect and cooperation among independent nations.”
Radiation detected in Massachusetts rainwater as Fukushima crisis worsens
March 28, 2011
The Fukushima crisis continues to worsen by the day, with nuclear experts around the world finally realizing and admitting we’ve all been lied to. “I think maybe the situation is much more serious than we were led to believe,” said Najmedin Meshkati of the University of Southern California, in a Reuters report (http://www.reuters.com/article/2011…). That same article revealed that recent radiation readings at Fukushima show “contamination 100,000 times normal in water at reactor No. 2 and 1,850 times normal in the nearby sea.”
Massachusetts rainwater has also been found to be contaminated with low levels of radiation from Fukushima, indicating just how widespread the radioactive fallout has become. It’s not just the West Coast of North America that’s vulnerable, in other words: even the East Coast could receive dangerous levels of fallout if Fukushima suffers a larger release of radioactive material into the air.
Rolling blackouts are now continuing throughout Japan due to the drop in power production from Fukushima diminishing Japan’s electricity generating capacity (http://english.kyodonews.jp/news/20…). The only reason Japan isn’t experiencing widespread power blackouts right now is because so many factories were damaged or swept away from the tsunami itself. Once a serious rebuilding effort gets underway, Japan is going to find itself critically short of electrical power.
The radiation leaking from Reactor No. 2 is now measured at 1,000 millisieverts an hour — more than enough to cause someone’s hair to fall out from a single exposure event. Radiation sickness can begin at just 100 millisieverts. The extremely high levels of radiation are, in fact, making it nearly impossible for workers to continue working at the reactor. “You’d have a lot of difficulty putting anyone in there,” said Richard Wakeford, a radiation epidemiology expert at the Dalton Nuclear Institute in Manchester. “They’re finding quite high levels of radiation fields, which is impeding their progress dealing with the situation.” (http://www.businessweek.com/news/20…)
Taiwan looking to ditch nuclear power?
The worsening Fukushima situation is also starting to spook nearby nations such as Taiwan, which also depends on nuclear power. The DPP opposition party there announced today that it wanted to see nuclear power phased out by 2025. Taiwan is a relatively small island nation, and a Fukushima-like catastrophe would leave most of the island residents with nowhere to go. And like Japan, Taiwan is also vulnerable to earthquakes and tsunamis (as well as hurricanes).
In Germany, massive demonstrations (200,000 people in four large cities) have brought the nuclear safety issue to the forefront, contributing heavily to the defeat of Merkel and the rise to power of the Green Party in southwestern Germany (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/28/w…). Germans tend to have very strong opposition to nuclear power, in much the same way that most Europeans despise genetically modified foods.
The nuclear power industry turns out to be just as corrupt as Big Pharma
The truth is that many nations are rethinking nuclear power right now, thanks to the corruption, cover-ups and outright deceptions that we’re now finding out were behind the Fukushima power plant catastrophe. The nuclear industry, it turns out, is one big profit incest fest where the regulators are deeply in bed with the very industry they’re supposed to regulate (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB100…).
Then again, what rich, powerful industry isn’t in bed with its regulators? It’s true with Big Pharma and the FDA just as much as it is with the nuclear power industry and its corrupt regulators. Every government-run regulator eventually becomes a marketing extension of the industry it was supposed to regulate.
That’s why Big Government never really works: Most of the regulators who are supposed to protect the people inevitably end up operating as industry whores. This entire Fukushima incident is a direct result of that deep-rooted corruption coming back to haunt humanity.
Watch for more reporting on this incident here at NaturalNews.com, and subscribe to our daily email alerts to be kept up to date on the situation: http://www.naturalnews.com/ReaderRe…
The Fukushima situation is nowhere near over. Now regulators are saying this might take not just weeks or months to sort out, but even years to fully rectify.
The half life of plutonium, it turns out, is a whole lot longer than the entire history of human civilization (24,000 years) (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plutonium). We would be wise to remember what we’re playing with when we attempt to harness the power of fission.
Iranian Video Says Mahdi ( Islamic Messiah) is ‘Near’
By Erick Stakelbeck
CBN News Terrorism Analyst
New evidence has emerged that the Iranian government sees the current unrest in the Middle East as a signal that the Mahdi–or Islamic messiah–is about to appear.
CBN News has obtained a never-before-seen video produced by the Iranian regime that says all the signs are moving into place — and that Iran will soon help usher in the end times.
While the revolutionary movements gripping the Middle East have created uncertainty throughout the region, the video shows that the Iranian regime believes the chaos is divine proof that their ultimate victory is at hand.
‘The Coming is Near’
The propaganda footage has reportedly been approved at the highest levels of the Iranian government.
It’s called The Coming is Near and it describes current events in the Middle East as a prelude to the arrival of the mythical tweflth Imam or Mahdi — the messiah figure who Islamic scriptures say will lead the armies of Islam to victory over all non-Muslims in the last days.
“This video has been produced by a group called the Conductors of the Coming, in connection with the Basiji — the Iranian paramilitary force, and in collaboration with the Iranian president’s office,” said Reza Kahlil, a former member of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards who shared the video with CBN News.
Kahlili, author of the book, A Time to Betray, worked as a double agent for the CIA inside the Iranian regime.
“Just a few weeks ago, Ahmadenijad’s office screened this movie with much excitement for the clerics,” Kahlili told CBN News. “The target audience is Muslims in the Middle East and around the world.”
The video claims that Iran is destined to rise as a great power in the last days to help defeat America and Israel and usher in the return of the Mahdi. And it makes clear the Iranians believe that time is fast approaching.
“The Hadith have clearly described the events and the various transformations of countries in the Middle East and also that of Iran in the age of the coming,” said a narrator, who went on to say that America’s invasion of Iraq was foretold by Islamic scripture–and that the Mahdi will one day soon rule the world from Iraq.
Other ‘Prophetic‘ Signs
The ongoing upheavals in other Middle Eastern countries like Yemen and Egypt–including the rise of the Muslim Brotherood — are also analyzed as prophetic signs that the Mahdi is near — so is the current poor health of the king of Saudi Arabia, an Iranian rival.
“Isn’t the presence of Abdullah, his illness, and his uncertain condition, great news for those anxious for the coming?” asks the narrator.
Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Khameini, and Hassan Nasrallah, leader of Iran’s terrorist proxy Hezbollah, are hailed as pivotal end times players, whose rise was predicted in Islamic scriptures.
The same goes for Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadenijad, who the video says will conquer Jerusalem prior to the Mahdi’s coming.
“I think it’s a very grave development,” Mideast expert Joel Rosenberg, author of The Twelfth Imam, told CBN News, “because it gives you a window into the thinking of the Iranian leadership: that they believe the time for war with Israel may be even sooner than others had imagined.”
Kahlili says The Coming is Near will soon be distributed by the Iranian regime throughout the Middle East. He explained that their goal is to instigate further uprisings in Arab countries.
The best professional poker players in the world earn millions by reading and reacting to “tells,” their opponents’ verbal and nonverbal traits. They notice the way an opponent is smiling, frowning, laughing, tapping their hands, sweating, or blinking their eyes. All these “tells” can be a sign of their opponent’s cards. The ability to read “tells” is the difference between living the life of your dreams versus bankruptcy and depression.
The same holds true in deciphering our economic troubles. If you’ve been paying attention to the news, several ominous signs have appeared that foretell economic disaster.
The first sign is the fact Bill Gross, head of the world’s largest bond fund (PIMCO), has just sold all his domestic government bond holdings. Every single dollar.
In my opinion Bill Gross is one of the 10 smartest men on this planet. He knows everything about the economy and bonds. His sell-off indicates he believes local, state and our federal government are all on the verge of disaster — insolvency, bankruptcy, and default on bond obligations.
To make matters worse, Gross disclosed he bought emerging market bonds with the money from the sale of U.S. bonds. That means Gross has more faith in Brazil, Russia, and African nations than in the Unites States.
The next “tell” of economic disaster is even more ominous. Wall Street insiders are startled at how much money the Fed is pumping into the financial system. With over $500 billion pumped in during just the past three months, the vertical line for 2011 now reaches straight to the stars — a sign of complete financial panic.
The last time such large amounts of money were pumped into the system was in the fall of 2008, when the U.S. economic system was on the verge of epic collapse.
The next “tell” is that secretive Fed officials normally do not talk publicly about how bad things are. That’s why it is so frightening that, only days ago, Dallas Federal Reserve President Richard Fisher admitted in a media interview “the U.S. is on a fiscal path towards insolvency.” When a Fed official talks about “fiscal insolvency,” it’s time to get concerned, very concerned.
The next “tell” is a recent housing study proving the housing market is actually worse off now than in the depths of the Great Depression. From 1929 to 1932 new home sales in the United States declined 80 percent. From 2005 to today, new home sales have plunged 82 percent. Even more frightening, the plunge seems to be accelerating.
Other disastrous “tells” that financial Armageddon is upon us are new reports that the consumer confidence index just suffered the 5th largest drop in history, and inflation at the producer level just spiked up in the largest one-month rise since the dreaded inflation and economic malaise of the 1970s.
The final “tell” is moronic leftist moviemaker Michael Moore recently stating that America is not broke. He thinks we have plenty of money to keep spending on entitlements, more stimulus, and obscene pensions for millions of government employees.
Moore is the guy who thinks Cuba’s medical system is better than ours. He obviously thinks the answer to unsustainable debt and spending addiction is . . . more spending.
Moore is a symbol of the delusional thinking of Obama and his entire socialist cabal, which has wrecked the U.S. economy, spent us into insolvency, encouraged our entitlement addiction, and left us at the brink of economic Armageddon.
I believe these “tells” are sure signs that the Great Obama Depression has arrived. How we respond will determine if America survives, or we face the same fate as other great empires (Greek, Roman, British) that self-destructed based on mountains of debt, entitlements, welfare, corruption, too many citizens working for or dependent on government, and great armies spread throughout the globe fighting expensive wars.
I say to my fellow patriots and freedom fighters — libertarians, conservatives and tea partyers — let’s lead the charge for change. The lives and freedom of our children and grandchildren depend on winning this battle. And we shall.
Wayne Allyn Root is a former libertarian vice presidential nominee. He now serves as chairman of the Libertarian National Congressional Committee. He is the best-selling author of “The Conscience of a Libertarian: Empowering the Citizen Revolution with God, Guns, Gold & Tax Cuts.” His website: ROOTforAmerica.com
The Creature from Jekyll Island – The History of the Fed
Creation of First and Second Central Bank
The first U.S. institution with central banking responsibilities was the First Bank of the United States, chartered by Congress and signed into law by President George Washington on February 25, 1791 at the urging of Alexander Hamilton. This was done despite strong opposition from Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, among numerous others. The charter was for twenty years and expired in 1811 under President Madison, because Congress refused to renew it.
In 1816, however, Madison revived it in the form of the Second Bank of the United States. Years later, early renewal of the bank’s charter became the primary issue in the reelection of President Andrew Jackson. After Jackson, who was opposed to the central bank, was reelected, he pulled the government’s funds out of the bank. Nicholas Biddle, President of the Second Bank of the United States, responded by contracting the money supply to pressure Jackson to renew the bank’s charter forcing the country into a recession, which the bank blamed on Jackson’s policies. Interestingly, Jackson is the only President to completely pay off the national debt. The bank’s charter was not renewed in 1836. From 1837 to 1862, in the Free Banking Era there was no formal central bank. From 1862 to 1913, a system of national banks was instituted by the 1863 National Banking Act. A series of bank panics, in 1873, 1893, and 1907, provided strong demand for the creation of a centralized banking system.
Creation of Third Central Bank
History of the Federal Reserve System
The main motivation for the third central banking system came from the Panic of 1907, which caused renewed demands for banking and currency reform. During the last quarter of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century the United States economy went through a series of financial panics. According to many economists, the previous national banking system had two main weaknesses: an inelastic currency and a lack of liquidity.In 1908, Congress enacted the Aldrich-Vreeland Act, which provided for an emergency currency and established the National Monetary Commission to study banking and currency reform. The National Monetary Commission returned with recommendations which later became the basis of the Federal Reserve Act, passed in 1913.
Federal Reserve Act
Newspaper clipping, December 24, 1913
The head of the bipartisan National Monetary Commission was financial expert and Senate Republican leader Nelson Aldrich. Aldrich set up two commissions—one to study the American monetary system in depth and the other, headed by Aldrich himself, to study the European central banking systems and report on them. Aldrich went to Europe opposed to centralized banking, but after viewing Germany’s monetary system he came away believing that a centralized bank was better than the government-issued bond system that he had previously supported.
In early November 1910, Aldrich met with five well known members of the New York banking community to devise a central banking bill. Paul Warburg, an attendee of the meeting and long time advocate of central banking in the U.S., later wrote that Aldrich was “bewildered at all that he had absorbed abroad and he was faced with the difficult task of writing a highly technical bill while being harassed by the daily grind of his parliamentary duties.” After ten days of deliberation, the bill, which would later be referred to as the “Aldrich Plan”, was agreed upon. It had several key components including: a central bank with a Washington-based headquarters and fifteen branches located throughout the U.S. in geographically strategic locations, and a uniform elastic currency based on gold and commercial paper. Aldrich believed a central banking system with no political involvement was best, but was convinced by Warburg that a plan with no public control was not politically feasible. The compromise involved representation of the public sector on the Board of Directors.
Aldrich’s bill was met with much opposition from politicians. Critics were suspicious of a central bank, and charged Aldrich of being biased due to his close ties to wealthy bankers such as J. P. Morgan and John D. Rockefeller, Jr., Aldrich’s son-in-law. Most Republicans favored the Aldrich Plan, but it lacked enough support in Congress to pass because rural and western states viewed it as favoring the “eastern establishment”. In contrast, progressive Democrats favored a reserve system owned and operated by the government; they believed that public ownership of the central bank would end Wall Street’s control of the American currency supply. Conservative Democrats fought for a privately owned, yet decentralized, reserve system, which would still be free of Wall Street’s control.
The original Aldrich Plan was dealt a fatal blow in 1912, when Democrats won the White House and Congress. Nonetheless, President Woodrow Wilson believed that the Aldrich plan would suffice with a few modifications. The plan became the basis for the Federal Reserve Act, which was proposed by Senator Robert Owen in May 1913. The primary difference between the two bills was the transfer of control of the Board of Directors (called the Federal Open Market Committee in the Federal Reserve Act) to the government. The bill passed Congress in late 1913 on a mostly partisan basis, with most Democrats voting “yea” and most Republicans voting “nay”.
By BEN SMITH | 3/26/11 7:23 AM EDT Updated: 3/27/11 5:06 PM EDT
The liberal group Media Matters has quietly transformed itself in preparation for what its founder, David Brock, described in an interview as an all-out campaign of “guerrilla warfare and sabotage” aimed at the Fox News Channel.
The group, launched as a more traditional media critic, has all but abandoned its monitoring of newspapers and other television networks and is narrowing its focus to Fox and a handful of conservative websites, which its leaders view as political organizations and the “nerve center” of the conservative movement. The shift reflects the centrality of the cable channel to the contemporary conservative movement, as well as the loathing it inspires among liberals — not least among the donors who fund Media Matters’ staff of about 90, who are arrayed in neat rows in a giant war room above Massachusetts Avenue.
“The strategy that we had had toward Fox was basically a strategy of containment,” said Brock, Media Matters’ chairman and founder and a former conservative journalist, adding that the group’s main aim had been to challenge the factual claims of the channel and to attempt to prevent them from reaching the mainstream media.
The new strategy, he said, is a “war on Fox.”
In an interview and a 2010 planning memo shared with POLITICO, Brock listed the fronts on which Media Matters — which he said is operating on a $10 million-plus annual budget — is working to chip away at Fox and its parent company, News Corp. They include its bread-and-butter distribution of embarrassing clips and attempts to rebut Fox points, as well as a series of under-the-radar tactics.
Media Matters, Brock said, is assembling opposition research files not only on Fox’s top executives but on a series of midlevel officials. It has hired an activist who has led a successful campaign to press advertisers to avoid Glenn Beck’s show. The group is assembling a legal team to help people who have clashed with Fox to file lawsuits for defamation, invasion of privacy or other causes. And it has hired two experienced reporters, Joe Strupp and Alexander Zaitchik, to dig into Fox’s operation to help assemble a book on the network, due out in 2012 from Vintage/Anchor. (In the interest of full disclosure, Media Matters last month also issued a report criticizing “Fox and Friends” co-host Steve Doocy’s criticism of this reporter’s blog.)
Brock said Media Matters also plans to run a broad campaign against Fox’s parent company, News Corp., an effort which most likely will involve opening a United Kingdom arm in London to attack the company’s interests there. The group hired an executive from MoveOn.org to work on developing campaigns among News Corp. shareholders and also is looking for ways to turn regulators in the U.S., U.K., and elsewhere against the network.
The group will “focus on [News Corp. CEO Rupert] Murdoch and trying to disrupt his commercial interests — whether that be here or looking at what’s going on in London right now,” Brock said, referring to News Corp.’s — apparently successful — move to take a majority stake in the satellite broadcaster BSkyB.
A spokeswoman for Fox News, Irena Briganti, declined to comment on Media Matters’ efforts, but the group draws regular barbs from Fox hosts Beck and Bill O’Reilly.
“Tonight is not an episode you casually watch and take out of context like Media Matters does,” Beck remarked last month.
A more extended attack came in February on the freewheeling late night show Red Eye, which conducted a mock interview with a purported Media Matters employee.
“It’s horrible. All we do is sit and watch Fox News and make up stuff about Fox News. It is the saddest place I have ever seen in my life. I think about it, and I want to throw up,” the mock employee said. “I get to work and I take off my clothes, and they strap me into a chair in front of a TV with [Fox News Channel] on. They keep my eyelids propped open like in “Clockwork Orange,” and I sit and type all day.
“If there was no Beck, George Soros would come down and demand we make it up,” the “interviewee” continued. “I would watch the “Flintstones” and transcribe Fred Flintstone’s words and attribute them to Beck. It was the only way to get Soros to stop hitting me.”
(A Soros associate said the financier, who gave Media Matters $1 million last year, did not earmark it for the Fox campaign. Soros suggested in a recent CNN interview that the Fox depictions of him as a sinister media manipulator would better be applied to Murdoch.)
In some views, the war between Media Matters and Fox is not, necessarily, bad for either side. Media Matters has transformed itself into a pillar of the progressive movement with its aggressive new brand of media campaigning. And the attacks cement Fox’s status on the right.
“Fox is happy about it — and it makes their position more vivid among their supporters,” said Paul Levinson, a media studies professor at Fordham University. “One way of keeping your core supporters happy is to be attacked by people your core supporters don’t like.”
But Media Matters says its digging has begun to pay off. The group has trickled out a series of emails from Washington Bureau Chief Bill Sammon, leaks from inside the network, which show him, for instance, circulating a memo on “Obama’s references to socialism, liberalism, Marxism and Marxists.”
The leaks are part of a broader project to take advantage of internal dissent, Media Matters Executive Vice President Ari Rabin-Havt said.
“We made a list of every single person who works for Fox and tried to figure out who might be disgruntled and why, and we went out to try to meet them,” he said. “Clearly, somebody in that organization is giving us primary source documents.”
Media Matters, he said, is also conducting “opposition research” on a dozen or so “mid- and senior-level execs and producers,” a campaign style move that he and Brock said would simply involve recording their public appearances and digging into public records associated with them.
And Brock’s 2010 planning memo offers a glimpse at Media Matters’ shift from media critic to a new species of political animal.
“Criticizing Fox News has nothing to do with criticizing the press,” its memo says. “Fox News is not a news organization. It is the de facto leader of the GOP, and it is long past time that it is treated as such by the media, elected officials and the public.”
A Nazi in the (pocket) is worth four in the Bush (family)
Part One – Part II ‘Frauds-R-Us’
Prescott Bush, granpa of Dubya
The Nazi’s American Banker
What is interesting about the history of the Bush family are the connections; Avril Harriman, Allen Dulles, the Rockefellers (the start of the oil connection), James Baker III, Gulf Oil, Pennzoil, Osama bin Laden…on and on it goes.
A lapse of memory?
By William Bowles
05/07/03: (Information Clearing House) It’s as well to remember that the Web never forgets, at least the US pres should take note of this fact and be careful of his utterances and how they can come back to haunt him. In fact four generations of Bush family history and too many skeletons in too many closets to count are to be found on the Web.
And given all the ‘pullpit pounding’ (more of which below) by ol’ Duyba and his minions, over the dubious moral character of Saddam and his cronies, much of which has underpinned the justification for the invasion and occupation of Iraq, it’s as well to compare the two sets of rogues. Not surprisingly, there’s little to choose between the two except that, in the case of the Bush gang, they have a ‘pedigree’ in perfidy which extends back almost a century and four generations that makes Saddam look positively angelic by comparison.
Prescott Bush – setting a family example
In a previous piece (http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article3243.htm) a quote I used mentioned Prescott Bush the present pres’s granpa (http://www.americanpolitics.com/20030210Koop.html) so I decided to do a little researching to see what other dirty little secrets the Bush family have hidden in the dark recesses of the WWW and lo and behold, there’s a load of stuff out there (7,630 links to be precise, according to good ol’ google just on granpa Prescott Bush).
It’s 1918 and, well you know students, they’re always up to innocent pranks. It seems Grandpa Bush set his grandson some fine family precedents starting with digging up Geronimo’s skull,
“In 1918, Prescott Bush and two companions crept into the cemetery near Fort Sill and pried open the grave of Geronimo.
The head was taken out, spiffed up and forwarded to New Haven, where it was given pride of place for goofy rituals that have been attended by generations of Bushes and a veritable army of powerful types.”
The Apache nation (what was left of it anyway) was not amused. Okay, we’ll forgive granpa Bush his ‘juvenile pranks’ but it seems that this set the scene for the rest of his miserable life until his death in 1972 from carcinoma of the lung.
From skulls to Zyklon B (and back again)
But it seems that great-granpa George Walker was also in on the business of making money out of death (like great-granpa like great grand-son),
“George Walker, GW’s great-grandfather, also set up the takeover of the Hamburg-America Line, a cover for I.G. Farben’s Nazi espionage unit in the United States. In Germany, I.G. Farben was most famous for putting the gas in gas chambers; it was the producer of Zyklon B and other gasses used on victims of the Holocaust. The Bush family was not unaware of the nature of their investment partners. They hired Allen Dulles, the future head of the CIA, to hide the funds they were making from Nazi investments and the funds they were sending to Nazi Germany, rather than divest.”
It just doesn’t stop does it, as Prescott Bush, son of George continued in the ‘grand tradition’ of skullduggery by also doing deals with the Nazis,
“On October 20, 1942, the US Alien Property Custodian, under the “Trading With the Enemy Act,” seized the shares of the Union Banking Corporation (UBC), of which Prescott Bush was a director and shareholder. The largest shareholder was E. Roland Harriman. (Bush was also the managing partner of Brown Brothers Harriman, a leading Wall Street investment firm.)
“The UBC was established to send American capital to Germany to finance the reorganization of its industry under the Nazis. Their leading German partner was the notorious Nazi industrialist Fritz Thyssen, who wrote a book admitting much of this called “I Paid Hitler.”
“Among the companies financed was the Silesian-American Corporation, which was also managed by Prescott Bush, and by his father-in-law George Herbert Walker, who supplied Dub-a-Ya with his name. The company was vital in supplying coal to the Nazi war industry. It too was seized as a Nazi-front on November 17, 1942. The largest company Bush’s UBC helped finance was the German Steel Trust, responsible for between one-third and one-half of Nazi iron and explosives.
“Prescott Bush was also a director of the Harriman Fifteen Corporation, (this one owned largely by Roland’s brother, Averell Harriman), which owned about a third of the Consolidated Silesian Steel Corporation, the rest owned by Friedrich Flick, (a member of Himmler’s “Circle of Friends” who donated to the S.S.).”
What is interesting about the history of the Bush family are the connections; Avril Harriman, Allen Dulles, the Rockefellers (the start of the oil connection), James Baker III, Gulf Oil, Pennzoil, Osama bin Laden…on and on it goes. It looks like this’ll have to be part one of an on-going series on the Bush dynasty and their dirty dealings.
The story of steel magnate and billionaire bankroller of the Nazis, Fritz Thyssen and his Bush family connection is so incredible, that it deserves to be turned into a movie (obviously not by Hollywood). It all starts with John Loftus, a former U.S.Department of Justice Nazi War Crimes prosecutor who is the source of the following,
“From 1945 until 1949, one of the lengthiest and, it now appears, most futile interrogations of a Nazi war crimes suspect began in the American Zone of Occupied Germany…. [The interrogation of] [m]ultibillionaire steel magnate Fritz Thyssen-the man whose steel combine was the cold heart of the Nazi war machine.”
They were trying to find out what had happened to Thyssen’s billions but without success. Why?
“What the Allied investigators never understood was that they were not asking Thyssen the right question. Thyssen did not need any foreign bank accounts because his family secretly owned an entire chain of banks. He did not have to transfer his Nazi assets at the end of World War II, all he had to do was transfer the ownership documents – stocks, bonds, deeds and trusts–from his bank in Berlin through his bank in Holland to his American friends in New York City, Prescott Bush and Herbert Walker. Thyssen’s partners in crime were the father and father-in-law of a future President of the United States [my emph. WB].
“The British and American interrogators may have gravely underestimated Thyssen but they nonetheless knew they were being lied to. Their suspicions focused on one Dutch Bank in particular, the Bank voor Handel enScheepvaart, in Rotterdam. This bank did a lot of business with the Thyssens over the years. In 1923, as a favor to him, the Rotterdam bank loaned the money to build the very first Nazi party headquarters in Munich.
“If the investigators realized that the US intelligence chief in postwar Germany, Allen Dulles, was also the Rotterdam bank’s lawyer, they might have asked some very interesting questions. They did not know that Thyssen was Dulles’ client [my emph. WB] as well. Nor did they ever realize that it was Allen Dulles’s other client, Baron Kurt Von Schroeder who was the Nazi trustee for the Thyssen companies which now claimed to be owned by the Dutch [my emph. WB]. The Rotterdam Bank was at the heart of Dulles’ cloaking scheme, and he guarded its secrets jealously.
“[T]he Dutch connection remained unexplored until 1994 when I published the book “The Secret War Against the Jews.” As a matter of historical curiosity, I mentioned that Fritz Thyssen (and indirectly, the Nazi Party) had obtained their early financing from Brown Brothers Harriman [my emph. WB], and its affiliate, the Union Banking Corporation. Union Bank, in turn, was the Bush family’s holding company for a number of other entities, including the “Holland American Trading Company.”
There are so many twists and turns to this story, that this is not the place to to go into all the labyrinthine links between the Nazis, the Bush Family and the CIA (via Allen Dulles) or indeed, a host of other corporate connections. But this final quote from the same source, gives you an idea of just how much money is involved,
“The enormous sums of money deposited into the Union Bank prior to 1942 is the best evidence that Prescott Bush knowingly served as a money launderer for the Nazis. Remember that Union Banks’ books and accounts were frozen by the U.S. Alien Property Custodian in 1942 and not released back to the Bush family until 1951. At that time, Union Bank shares representing hundreds of millions of dollars worth of industrial stocks and bonds were unblocked for distribution. Did the Bush family really believe that such enormous sums came from Dutch enterprises? One could sell tulip bulbs and wooden shoes for centuries and not achieve those sums. A fortune this size could only have come from the Thyssen profits made from rearming the Third Reich, and then hidden, first from the Nazi tax auditors, and then from the Allies.”
For the full story please go to the link above.
All of which makes the following quote from Dubya all the more sickening,
“In April 1999, [then] Texas Governor George W. Bush proclaimed a week of remembrance for the Holocaust. He said, “I urge Texans to never forget the inhumanity of those who perpetrated the Holocaust, and reflect upon our own humanity and our responsibility to respect all peoples.”
Like granpa like grand-son? Well given where Dubya got his money from, and his continuing in the ‘grand tradition of the Bush gang, I’m feeling quite biblical about things, so I thought following,
Would be useful. I know there will be some among you who think I’ve just got it in for the Bushes, so in my wanderings over the Web, I came across this little gem from http://www.townhall.com/bookclub/herskowitz.html
“Duty, Honor, Country
The Life and Legacy of Prescott Bush
By Mickey Herskowitz
This paean to the life of Prescott Bush, by a conservative writer is a salutory warning to us all. I quote,
“He [Prescott Bush] was a unifier, not a divider. And he was of such high integrity [sic] that behind the scenes was where he was at his best. He was a man of great faith. His grandfather was a minister whose faith and integrity were fully ingrained in the Bush family. Prescott always emphasized honesty, charity, fairness and proactive dedication to God, family and country.”
From a review by Susan Kurz.
I could go on quoting, but I’m afraid I’ll throw up. Check it out for yourself at http://www.townhall.com/bookclub/herskowitz.html. Townhall.com is, by the way, “the first truly interactive community on the Internet to bring Internet users, conservative public policy organizations, congressional staff, and political activists together under the broad umbrella of “conservative” thoughts, ideas and actions.”
There’s none so blind as those that refuse to see.
From Eugenicist to anti-abortionist
Not content with digging up the ancestors, supporting Fascism,laundering Nazi money through a Dutch-based bank, selling weapons to the mullahs of Iran, trading guns for drugs, doing business deals with Osama bin Laden, the Bush family in the form of ol’ granpa Prescott was an early supporter of the Eugenics movement (or racial purity, to give it its real name). And a rather embarassing connection it is too, as Bush Snr discovered,
“…And the Birth Control League was there, which had long trumpeted the need for eugenical births–fewer births for parents with “inferior” bloodlines. Prescott [Bush’s] partner Tighe was a Connecticut director of the league, and the Connecticut league’s medical advisor was eugenics advocate Dr. Winternitz of Yale Medical School.
Now in 1950, people who knew something about Prescott Bush knew that he had very unsavory roots in the eugenics movement. There were then, just after the anti-Hitler war, few open advocates of sterilization of “unfit” or “unnecessary” people. (That would be revived later, with the help of General Draper and his friend George Bush
Then, very late in the 1950 senatorial campaign, Prescott Bush was publicly exposed for being an activist in that section of the old fascist eugenics movement. Prescott Bush lost the election by about 1,000 out of 862,000 votes
In his foreword to a population control propaganda book, George Bush wrote about that 1950 election: “My own first awareness of birth control as a public policy issue came with a jolt in 1950 when my father was running for United States Senate in Connecticut. Drew Pearson, on the Sunday before Election day, ‘revealed’ that my father was involved with Planned Parenthood…. Many political observers felt a sufficient number of voters were swayed by his alleged contacts with the birth controllers to cost him the election….”
The Bush story is such a fascinating history of capitalist corruption and power that it needs to be presented to a public that is consistently lied to, not only by the corporate media but by our so-called leaders. In Part Two, I’m going to give you the low-down on the Bush family’s involvement in the scams and dealings of the Reagan years, the Iran-Contra scandal and one of the biggest rip-offs in history, the savings and loan scandal, which cost the US taxpayer literally trillions of dollars. Yeah, you read right, trillions!
From The Progressive Review: http://prorev.com/bush2.htm
Great moments in a great American family
1918 – 1994
Much of this article originally appeared in the Progressive Review during the 1992 campaign. It has been updated
BEHIND THE BUSHES INDEX
Prescott Bush Sr., leads a raid on a Indian tomb to secure Geronimo’s skull for Skull & Bones.
Prescott Bush’s investment firm sets up deal for the Luftwaffe so it can obtain tetraethyl lead.
Three firms with which Prescott Bush is associated are seized under the Trading with the Enemy Act.
SARASOTA HERALD-TRIBUNE: The president of the Florida Holocaust Museum said Saturday that George W. Bush’s grandfather derived a portion of his personal fortune through his affiliation with a Nazi-controlled bank. John Loftus, a former prosecutor in the Justice Department’s Nazi War Crimes Unit, said his research found that Bush’s grandfather, Prescott Bush, was a principal in the Union Banking Corp. in Manhattan in the late 1930s and the 1940s. Leading Nazi industrialists secretly owned the bank at that time, Loftus said, and were moving money into it through a second bank in Holland even after the United States declared war on Germany. The bank was liquidated in 1951, Loftus said, and Bush’s grandfather and great-grandfather received $1.5 million from the bank as part of that dissolution . . . Loftus pointed out that the Bush family would not be the only American political dynasty to have ties to the “wrong side of World War II.” The Rockefellers had financial connections to Nazi Germany, he said. Loftus also reminded his audience that John F. Kennedy’s father, an avowed isolationist and former ambassador to Great Britain, profited during the 1930s and ’40s from Nazi stocks that he owned. “No one today blames the Democrats because Jack Kennedy’s father bought Nazi stocks,” Loftus said. Still, he said, it is important to understand these historical connections for what they tell us about politics today. The World War II experience points out how easy it was then — and remains today — to hide money in multinational funds.
SARASOTA HERALD TRIBUNE
George Bush and the Liedtke brothers form Zapata Petroleum. Zapata’s subsidiary, Zapata Offshore, later becomes known for its close ties to the CIA.
The Bush family buys out the Liedtke brothers.
George Bush sets up a Mexican drilling operation, Permago, with a frontman to obscure his ownership. The frontman later is convicted of defrauding the Mexican government of $58 million.
Manuel Noriega recruited as an agent by the US Defense Intelligence Agency.
Some investigators believe George Bush spent part of this year and the next in Miami on behalf of the CIA, organizing rightwing exiles for an invasion of Cuba. Is said to have worked with later Iran-Contra figure Felix Rodriguez.
According to the Realist, CIA official Fletcher Prouty delivers three Navy ships to agents in Guatemala to be used in the Bay of Pigs invasion. Prouty claims he delivered the ships to a CIA agent named George Bush. Agent Bush named the ships the Barbara, Houston and Zapata.
Bay of Pigs invasion fails. Right-wingers blame Kennedy for failure to provide air cover. CIA loses 15 men, another 1100 are imprisoned.
George Bush invites Rep. TL. Ashley — a fellow Skull & Boner — down to Texas for a party in order to meet “an attractive girl.” Bush writes that “she may be accompanied by an Austrian ski instructor but I think we can probably flush him at the local dance hall.” Bush notes that he’s had to unlist his phone because “Jane Morgan keeps calling me all the time.” [From a letter in the Ashley archives uncovered by Spy magazine.]
Zapata annual report boasts that the company has paid no taxes since it was founded.
John F. Kennedy is assassinated. Internal FBI memo reports that on November 22 “reputable businessman” George H. W. Bush reported hearsay that a certain Young Republican “has been talking of killing the president when he comes to Houston.” The Young Republican was nowhere near Dallas on that date.
According to a 1988 story in The Nation, a memo from J. Edgar Hoover states that “Mr. George Bush of the CIA” had been briefed on November 23rd, 1963 about the reaction of anti-Castro Cuban exiles in Miami to the assassination of President Kennedy. George says it ain’t him, admits he was in Texas but can’t remember where.
George Bush runs as a Goldwater Republican for Congress. Campaigns against the Civil Rights Act.
Bush, runs as a moderate Republican, gets elected to Congress. Robert Mosbacher chairs Oil Men for Bush.
Apache leader Ned Anderson meets with the Skull & Bones lawyer and George Bush’s brother Jonathan who attempt to return the skull Prescott Bush had looted. Anderson refuses the skull because he says it isn’t Geronimo’s.
George W. Bush joins Skull & Bones at Yale
Bush loses Senate race to Lloyd Bentsen, despite $112,000 in contributions from a White House slush fund. Jim Baker is campaign chair. Bush later claims to have reported correctly all but $6000 in cash –which he denies he got. A 1992 story in the New York Times says the $6000 was listed in records of Nixon’s “townhouse operation” which was designed in part to make GOP congressional candidates vulnerable to blackmail.
Bush is named UN Ambassador by Nixon.
Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs finds enough evidence of Noriega’s involvement in drug dealing to indict him, but US Attorney’s office in Miami considers grabbing Noriega in Panama for trial here to be impractical. State Department also urges BNDD to back off.
Bill Liedtke gathers $700,000 in anonymous contributions for the Nixon campaign, delivering the money in cash, checks and securities to the Committee to Re-Elect the President (the infamous CREEP) one day before such contributions become illegal. Bill says he did it as a favor to George.
Bush is named GOP national chair. Brings into the party the Heritage Groups Council, an organization with a number of Nazi sympathizers.
Bush, according to Lowell Weicker, inquires as to whether records of the “townhouse operation” should be burned.
Robert Mosbacher wins an offshore drilling concession from Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos.
Watergate tapes indicate concern by Nixon and aide HR Haldeman that the investigation into Watergate might expose the “Bay of Pigs thing.” Nixon also speaks of the “Texans” and the “Cubans.” and mentions “Mosbacher.”
In another tape, Nixon decides following his re-election to get signed resignations from his whole government so he can centralize his power. Says Nixon to John Erlichman: “Eliminate everyone, except George Bush. Bush will do anything for our cause.”
Bush is named special envoy to China.
DEA report notes Noreiga’s involvement in drug trade.
George W. Bush graduates from Harvard Business School
Jerry Ford names George Bush CIA director, his fourth political patronage job in a little over five years. Bush later claims this is the first time he ever worked for the CIA. At his confirmation hearings, Bush says, “I think we should tread very carefully on governments that are constitutionally elected.”
Bush holds first known meeting with Noriega. Noriega starts receiving $110,000 a year from the CIA.
Noriega found to be working for Cubans as well, but keeps his CIA gig.
Bush sets up Team B within the CIA, a group of neo-conservative outsiders and generals who proceed to double the agency’s estimate of Soviet military spending.
Senate committee headed by Frank Church proposes revealing size of the country’s black budget — intelligence spending that, in contradiction to the Constitution, is kept secret even from the Hill. According to journalist Tim Weiner, Bush argues that the revelation would be a disaster and would compromise the agency beyond repair. By a one vote margin the matter is referred to the Senate. It never reaches the floor.
Chilean dissident Orlando Letelier is assassinated by Chilean secret police agents. CIA fails to inform FBI of pending plot and of assassins’ arrival in US. CIA claims the hit was the work of left-wingers in search of a martyr.
Bush writes internal CIA memo asking to see cable on Jack Ruby visiting Santos Trafficante in jail. In 1992, Bush will deny any interest in the JFK assassination while CIA head.
Bush claims nuclear war is winnable.
Philippine dictator Marcos buys back Robert Mosbacher’s oil concession. Mosbacher claims he was swindled. Philippine officials say they never saw any expenditures by Mosbacher on the project.
Bush, Mosbacher and Jim Baker become partners in an oil deal.
From a Washington Post article by Bob Woodward and Walter Pincus: “According to those involved in Bush’s first political action committee, there were several occasions in 1978-79, when Bush was living in Houston and traveling the country in his first run for the presidency, that he set aside periods of up to 24 hours and told aides that he had to fly to Washington for a secret meeting of former CIA directors. Bush told his aides that he could not divulge his whereabouts, and that he would not be available.” Former CIA chief Stansfield Turner denies such meetings took place.
George W. Bush declares his candidacy for the Midland Congressional district. He wins the Republican primary and loses in the general election.
George W. Bush begins operations of his oil firm, Arbusto Energy. With the help of Jonathan Bush, he assembles several dozen investors in a limited partnership including Dorothy Bush, Lewis Lehrman, William Draper, and James Bath, a Houston aircraft broker
Bush becomes Reagan’s vice presidential candidate. Runs as a rightwinger again.
Mosbacher becomes chief fundraiser for Bush’s presidential campaign. Forms a millionaire’s club of 250 contributors, each of whom cough up $100,000.
William Casey forms a working group to prepare for possible Carter October political surprise. In early October, an Iranian official meets with three top Reagan campaign aides. All three deny memory of the meeting in subsequent proceedings.
On October 21, Reagan hints he has a secret plan to release the hostages. This is right around the alleged date of a Paris meeting at which the so-called “October Surprise” was settled. Some allege that at this meeting it was agreed to end the arms embargo against Iran if Iran would release its hostages after the election. While Bush’s presence at this meeting has been denied by the House committee investigating the October Surprise, Bush’s whereabouts at this critical time remain in doubt. The White House, in fact, has leaked conflicting stories.
Rep. Dan Quayle goes on a Florida golfing vacation with seven other men and Paula Parkinson — an insurance lobbyist who later posed nude for Playboy. Parkinson describes Quayle as a husband on the make, but says she turned him down because she was already having an affair with another congressman. Marilyn Quayle says, “anybody who knows Dan Quayle knows he would rather play golf than have sex.”
The Reagan-Bush campaign receives stolen copies of Carter’s briefing books.
Bush’s campaign manager, James Baker, forces the dismissal of Bush aide Jennifer Fitzgerald, described in a 1982 Time story as having “much to say about where Bush goes, what he does and whom he sees.” Bush continues to pay Fitzgerald out of his own pocket.
Reagan-Bush inaugurated. Hostages released moments before. Shortly thereafter, arms shipments to Iran resume from Israel and America. In July, an Argentinean plane chartered by Israel crashes in Soviet territory. It is found to have made three deliveries of American military supplies to Iran. In a 1991 story in Esquire, Craig Unger quotes Alexander Haig as saying “I have a sneaking suspicion that someone in the White House winked.” Says Unger: “This secret and illegal sale of military equipment continued for years afterwards.”
James Baker named Reagan’s chief of staff.
SEC filings for Zapata Oil for 1960-66 are found to have been “inadvertently destroyed.”
Reagan authorizes CIA assistance to Contras.
CIA director William Casey begins Operation Black Eagle to expand US role in Central America. Urges use of “selected Latin American and European governments, organizations and individuals” in the project.
Inslaw, a computer software company, signs a $10 million contract to install a case-tracking program in 94 US Attorney’s offices. Four months later, after obtaining a copy of Inslaw’s proprietary version of the program, the government cancels the contract and begins an aggressive campaign to force the company into bankruptcy. Later sources claim that the program was installed by the CIA and sold to various foreign intelligence agencies.
After $3 million is poured into Arbusto with little oil and no profits, just tax shelter George W. Bush changes the company name to Bush Exploration Oil Co. Subsequently he is kept afloat by an investment from Philip Uzielli, a Princeton friend of James Baker III. For the sum of $1 million, Uzielli bought 10% of the company at a time in 1982 when the entire enterprise was valued at less than $400,000. Subsequently, to save the company George W. Bush merges with Spectrum 7, a small oil firm owned by William DeWitt and Mercer Reynolds. DeWitt had graduated from Yale a few years earlier than Bush and was the son of the former owner of the Cincinnati Reds. Bush becomes president of Spectrum 7. He also gets 14% of the Spectrum’s stock. Meanwhile, 50 original investors in Arbusto get paid off at about 20 cents on the dollar.
Noriega meets again with George Bush.
Bush presents an autographed photo to a WWII Ukrainian leader under the Nazis, whose regime killed 100,000 Jews.
KAL 007 crashes under circumstances that remain suspicious to this day.
Bush promotes Jennifer Fitzgerald from appointments secretary to executive assistant. Seven staffers resign in protest. Fitzgerald tells the New York Post: “Everyone keeps painting me as this old ogre. I really don’t worry about it. All these bizarre things just simply aren’t true.”
Neil Bush forms his first oil company. He puts in $100, his partners contribute $160,000 and Neil is named president of the firm, JNB Exploration.
Jeb Bush’s business partner, Alberto Duque, goes bankrupt, is eventually convicted of fraud and is sentenced to 15 years in prison.
Jeb Bush lobbies the Department of Health & Human Services on behalf of Cuban-American businessman Miguel Recarey, Jr., whose medical firm later collapses. Recarey, who was close to mobster Santos Trafficante, later flees the US under indictment with at least $12 million in federal funds.
George Bush takes part in meetings to plan increased “third country” aid to the Contras..
CIA mines Nicaraguan harbors.
Jennifer Fitzgerald is sent to work on Capitol Hill after stories arise linking her romantically with George Bush.
Stuart Spencer’s public relation firm starts receiving over $350,000 from Panama to improve Noriega’s image.
CIA starts using BCCI as a conduit.
George Bush thanks Oliver North for “dedication and tireless work with the hostage thing, with Central America.” Bush will later deny knowing about the Contra effort until late 1986.
Neil Bush joins the board of Silverado S&L, serves until 1988. Silverado loans his partners in JNB $132 million which they never repay. Silverado will eventually collapse at a taxpayer cost of $1 billion.
408 TOW anti-tank missiles are shipped from Israel to Iran. A day later, US hostage Benjamin Weir is released.
VP Bush goes to Honduras to promote support for the Contras. Takes along baseball players Nolan Ryan and Gary Carter.
Contra figure Felix Rodriguez meets with Donald Gregg, Bush’s national security advisor, to complain about Iran-Contra operatives skimming funds from the Contras.
Bush may have made several secret visits to Damascus between 1986-88 according to a 1992 report in Time, which said two senior GOP senators were pressing for a probe. The allegation is that Bush went to negotiate the release of hostages in Lebanon but in fact stonewalled Syria, “playing for campaign timing. Republicans want to get to the bottom of intelligence-community suspicions that the US somehow blew a chance to free Terry Anderson and his fellow captives.”
Iranian arms runner Manucher Ghorbanifar proposes “diversion” of profits from Iran arms sales to Contras.
George W. Bush and partners receive more than $2 million of Harken Energy stock in exchange for a failing oil well operation, which had lost $400,000 in the prior six months. After Bush joined Harken, the largest stock position and a seat on its board were acquired by Harvard Management Company. The Harken board gave Bush $600,000 worth of the company’s publicly traded stock, plus a seat on the board plus a consultancy that paid him up to $120,000 a year. When Harken runs short of cash it hooks up with investment banker Jackson Stephens of Little Rock, Arkansas, who arranges a $25 million stock purchase by Union Bank of Switzerland. Sheik Abdullah Bakhsh, who joins the board as a part of the deal, is connected to the infamous BCCI.
Bush’s former chief of staff, Daniel Murphy, flies to Panama with South Korean influence peddler Tongsun Park on a private plane owned by arms dealer Sargis Soghnalian to meet with Noriega. Murphy later tells a Senate subcommittee that he informed Noriega that he need not resign before the 1988 election despite the Reagan administration public pressure to the contrary.
Bill Casey dies.
Lee Atwater accuses Robert Dole of spreading stories about Bush and Jennifer Fitzgerald. An agreement is worked out, as reported by Sidney Blumenthal in the Washington Post: “The Dole people didn’t spread any rumors and promised not to do it again. And the Bush people haven’t spread rumors about the Dole people spreading rumors and won’t do it again. ”
Harken Energy project gets rescued by aid from the BCCI-connected Union Bank of Switzerland in a deal brokered by Jackson Stephens, later to show up as a key supporter of Bill Clinton.
Jeb Bush and a partner default on a $4.5 million loan from a Florida S&L. The default will cost taxpayers’ millions. Bush and his partners will repay only ten percent of the loan but will keep all real estate collateralized by it.
Silverado S&L goes under after receiving 126 cease & desist orders in past four years from the Topeka office of the Office of Thrift Supervision. These orders found conflict of interests, insider abuse and other violations.
Dwight Chapin, ex-Nixon dirty trickster, gets job in Bush campaign.
Rudi Slavoff becomes head of Bulgarians for Bush. In 1983, Slavoff organized an event honoring Austin App, promoter of the theory that the Holocaust was a hoax.
Slavoff joins other GOP ethnic leaders in the Coalition of American Nationalities co-chaired by Edward Derwinski. Among them is a former member of an Hungarian pro-Nazi party. After press revelations, eight of the leaders accused of anti-semitism resign from the campaign. Bush says: “Nobody’s giving in… These people left of their own account.”
GOP flier warns that “all the murderers, rapists and drug pushers and child molesters in Massachusetts vote for Michael Dukakis.”
Bush establishes Team 100, which will eventually grow to 249 individuals who contribute nearly $25 million in soft money to help the GOP cause. The contributions also apparently help the contributors, various of whom get ambassadorial appointments, legislative favors, and intervention on regulatory and criminal matters.
Bush denies knowledge of Noriega’s involvement in drug dealing.
The Willie Horton ad is aired. Credit for similar tactics is given to campaign guru Lee Atwater, whose PR firm had represented drug-connected Bahamian prime minister Oscar Pinding and the Philippines’ Marcos. Atwater himself had represented UNITA, the CIA-backed Africa rebel group.
Fred Malek, ex-Nixon aide, resigns from the Bush campaign after it’s revealed that he compiled a list of Jews in the Labor Dept. as part of a Nixon investigation of a “Jewish cabal.”
A few days before the supposedly surprise arrest of five BCCI officials, some of the world’s most powerful drug dealers quietly withdraw millions of dollars from the bank. Some government investigators believe the dealers were tipped off by sources within the Bush administration.
Although Felix Rodriguez, former leading cop under Batista, claims he left the CIA in 1976, Rolling Stone reports that he is still going to CIA headquarters monthly to receive assignments and get his bulletproof Cadillac serviced.
Bankruptcy judge George Bason Jr. concludes that the government stole Inslaw’s software through “trickery, fraud and deceit.”
Stock market drops 43 points on false rumor that Washington Post was about the publish the Bush-Fitzgerald story.
Bush inaugurated. Aides tell the press that the new administration would rather “stay one step behind than be one step ahead.”
Bush authorizes CIA support to Noriega’s opposition, giving Noriega an excuse to annul Panama’s elections.
Bush claims executive privilege to avoid testifying in the Oliver North trial, thus becoming first president to use this power to keep his acts as vice president under wraps.
Dan Quayle declares changes in Soviet Union “just a public relations extravaganza.”
Bush brother Prescott flies to Shanghai after the Tiananmen Square massacre to close a deal for an $18 million resort there, despite his brother’s ban on high-level Chinese contacts. Prescott says, “We aren’t a bunch of carrion birds coming in to pick the carcass. But there are big opportunities in China, and America can’t afford to be shut out.”
Prescott Bush also visits Japan, searching for consulting contracts just ten days before his brother arrives on a presidential tour. The Japanese firm that paid Prescott a quarter-million dollar consulting fee comes under investigation for exchange law violations and links to the Japanese mob.
C. Boyden Gray, the president’s top ethics official, corrects his 1985 and 1986 financial disclosure forms. He forgot to include $98,000 in income.
George Bush signs the S&L bailout bill promising that “these problems will never happen again.”
The Chicago Tribune reports: “After 14 fishing outings, the President has failed to catch a single fish.”
At White House behest, the DEA lures drug dealer to Lafayette Park to make arrest in front of presidential home for the benefit of Bush’s upcoming drug speech. At first, drug dealer is dubious, asks DEA agent, “Where the fuck is the White House?”
Defense secretary nominee John Tower runs into confirmation troubles when it is revealed that he has received hundreds of thousands of dollars in consulting fees from defense contractors. Runs into more trouble with revelations of womanizing and drinking. His nomination is rejected.
The sale of three communications satellites to China is announced. Prescott Bush is a $250,000 consultant in the deal.
GOP memo is leaked implying that House Speaker Tom Foley is a homosexual.
President Bush signs a top-secret directive ordering closer ties with Iraq, which opens the way for $1 billion in new aid just a little more than a year before Bush goes to war against that country. The agricultural credit allows Saddam Hussein to use his hard currency for a massive military buildup.
A second judge concurs that the government stole Inslaw’s software.
The Statistical Abstract of the United States, published by the US government, reports that the GNP of East Germany during the 1980s was greater than that of West Germany. The figures come from the CIA.
Bahrain officials suddenly break off offshore drilling negotiations with Amoco and decide to deal with Harken Energy, George Bush Jr.’s firm. Harken has had a series of failed ventures and no cash, so the Bass brothers are brought in to finance Harken’s efforts at a cost of $50 million.
Neil Bush bails out of JNB Exploration, the firm where he became president with a $100 ante, leaving his partners to worry about its debt. Days earlier he forms Apex Energy with a personal investment of $3000. The rest of the money — $2.7 million — comes from an SBA program designed to help “high risk start-up companies.” Like JNB, it proves to be just that. Apex will later go belly-up with no assets.
Two months after his father’s inauguration, George W. Bush announces that he and a syndicate of investors have purchased the Texas Rangers. The investors are Edward “Rusty” Rose, Richard Rainwater, Bill DeWitt, Roland Betts (a former Yale frat brother) and Tom Bernstein (Bett’s partner in a film investment concern). While Bush appears to lead the group, Rainwater makes clear that Rose is to control how the business is run. Bush’s stake in the $86 million deal is 2%, financed with a $500,000 loan from a Midland Bank of which he had been a director and $106,000 from other sources. Rainwater and Rose put up 14.2 million, Betts and Bernstein invested about $6 million and the balance comes from smaller investors and loans. Bush will eventually sell his share for $15 million.
Federal regulators give Bush son Neil the mildest possible penalty in the $1 billion failure of the Silverado S&L. The deal is so good that Bush drops his appeal. Among other things, Neil, as a Silverado director, voted to approve over $100 million in loans to his business partners.
January: Bahrain awards exclusive offshore drilling rights to Harken Oil. This is a surprise as Harken is in very shaky financial condition, has never drilled outside of Texas, Louisiana and Oklahoma and had never drilled undersea at all. The Bass brothers are brought in by Harken for sufficient equity to proceed with the effort. Harken’s stock price increases from $4.50 to $5.50.
George W. Bush sells two-thirds of his Harken Energy stock at the top of the market for $850,000, a 200% profit, but makes no report to the SEC until March 1991. Bush Jr. says later the SEC misplaced the report. An SEC representative responds: “nobody ever found the ‘lost’ filing.” One week after Bush’s sale, Harken reports an earnings plunge. Harken stock falls more than 60%. Bush uses most of the proceeds to pay off the bank loan he had taken a year earlier to finance his portion of the Texas Rangers deal.
August: Saddam Hussein invades Kuwait. Harken’s stock price drops substantially. Two months after Bush sells his stock, Harken posts losses for the 2nd quarter of well over $20 million and is shares fall another 24 %, by year end Harken is trading at $1.25. Bush has insisted that he did not know about the firm’s mounting losses and that his stock sell-off was approved by Harken’s general counsel.
George W. Bush is asked by Carlyle Group to serve on the board of directors of Caterair, one of the nation’s largest airline catering services which it had acquired in 1989. The offer is arranged by Fred Malek, long time Bush associate who is then an advisor to Carlyle.
October: Arlington, Texas Mayor Richard Greene signs a contract that guarantees $135 million toward the new Texas Ranger Stadium’s estimate price of $190 million. The Rangers put up no cash but finance their share through a ticket surcharge. From the team’s operating revenues, the city will earn a maximum of $5 million annually in rent, no matter how much the Rangers reap from ticket sales and television (a sum that will rise to $100 million a year). Another provision permitts the franchise to buy the stadium after the accumulated rental payments reached a mere $ 60 million. The property acquired so cheaply by the Rangers includes not just a fancy new stadium with a seating capacity of 49,000 but an additional 270 acres of newly valuable land. Legislation is passed and signed that authorizes the Arlington Sports Facilities Development Authority with power to issue bonds and exercise eminent domain over any obstinate landowners. Never before had a Texas municipal authority been given the license to seize the property of a private citizen for the benefit of other private citizens. A recalcitrant Arlington family refuses to sell a 13 acre parcel near the stadium site for half its appraised value. The jury awards more than $4 million to the family.
Fred Malek returns to power with ambassador status to head up planning for the economic summit.
S&L industry is losing money at the rate of $3 million a minute. Bailout chief estimates total cost at $325-500 billion.
Some 200 young soccer players have their games canceled for security reasons because Bush wants to go fishing on the Potomac nearby. Says one seven-year-old player: “We had a tough soccer game and he’s just going fishing. He could play somewhere else.”
Bush brother Jonathan’s east coast brokerage fined in two states for violating laws and Jonathan is barred from public trading in Massachusetts.
Bush’s attorney general, Richard Thornberg, is warned about BCCI but does nothing.
Federal court of appeals throws out the Inslaw case on the grounds that it did not belong in bankruptcy court.
Bush says, “The economy is headed in the right direction.”
Former top aide to White House Chief of Staff John Sununu goes to work for a prominent figure in the BCCI scandal less than a month after leaving the Bush administration. Edward Rogers Jr. signs a $600,000 contract to give legal advice to Sheik Kamal Adham, an ex-Saudi intelligence officer who is being investigated for his role in BCCI’s takeover of First American Bancshares.
The Miami acting US Attorney is allegedly rebuffed by the Justice Department in his efforts to indict BCCI and some of its principal officers on tax fraud charges. Justice Department later denies this occurred.
Danny Casolaro, a reporter investigating the Inslaw story, is found dead in a motel room bathtub, the day after he met a key source. The death was ruled a suicide. Perhaps he is despondent over the loss of his briefcase, which is missing from the room.
George Bush spends three nights in a Houston hotel so he can claim Texas residency. Texas has no income tax.
Neil Bush bails out of Apex Energy after collecting $320,000 in salary plus expenses. Bill Daniels, cable-TV magnate who has been lobbying against regulation of the cable industry, offers Neil a job. According to a representative, he “thought Neil deserved a second chance.”
New York Times reports that three of Bush’s top fundraisers are being sued in connection with bank failures and another pleaded guilty to mail fraud in connection with an S&L. These men include the GOP national finance chair, vice chair and two co-chairs of the President’s Dinner, which raised $9 million for Republican causes.
Former US Attorney General Elliot Richardson, representing the owners of Inslaw, tells Mother Jones, “I don’t know any case where the government has stonewalled like this.”
First of Harken Energy’s wells off Bahrain comes up dry. George W. Bush takes a leave of absence from the firm to work in his father’s campaign, saying “I don’t want to involve this company in any kind of allegations of conflicts or whatever may arise.”
Village Voice reports that President Bush has taken at least 76 partisan flights during his term, at a cost to the taxpayers of over $6 million.
Nixon’s Jew hunter Fred Malek is back as Bush’s campaign manager.
Campaign sells photo opportunities with the president at a fundraiser for $92,000 each.
Washington, DC, loses $52,000 in taxes because Bush claims to be a Texas resident.
Donald H. Alexander contributes $100,000 to Team 100; shortly thereafter he’s named ambassador to the Netherlands.
Bush says: “I will do what I have to do to be reelected.”
JERRY URBAN, HOUSTON CHRONICLE, JUNE 4, 1992: The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network — known as FinCEN — and the FBI are reviewing accusations that entrepreneur James R. Bath guided money to Houston from Saudi investors who wanted to influence US policy under the Reagan and Bush administrations, sources close to the investigations say . . . The federal review stems in part from court documents obtained through litigation by Bill White, a former real estate business associate of Bath . . . White became entangled in a series of lawsuits and countersuits with Bath, who for some six years has prevailed in the courts. . . . In sworn depositions, Bath said he represented four prominent Saudis as a trustee and that he would use his name on their investments. In return, he said, he would receive a 5 percent interest in their deals. Tax documents and personal financial records show that Bath personally had a 5 percent interest in Arbusto ’79 Ltd., and Arbusto ’80 Ltd., limited partnerships controlled by George W. Bush, President Bush’s eldest son. Arbusto means ‘bush’ in Spanish. Bath invested $ 50,000 in the limited partnerships, according to the documents. There is no available evidence to show whether the money came from Saudi interests. George W. Bush’s company, Bush Exploration Co., general partner in the limited partnerships, went through several mergers, eventually evolving into Harken Energy Corp., a suburban Dallas-based company . . . Bush said that to his knowledge, Bath’s investment was from personal funds, and no Saudi money was invested in Arbusto. Bath, 55, a former U.S. Air Force pilot, declined to comment for the record. Spokesmen for FinCEN and the FBI also declined to comment. According to a 1976 trust agreement, drawn shortly after Bush was appointed director of the Central Intelligence Agency, Saudi Sheik Salem M. Binladen appointed Bath as his business representative in Houston. Binladen, along with his brothers, owns Binladen Brothers Construction, one of the largest construction companies in the Middle East. According to White, Bath told him that he had assisted the CIA in a liaison role with Saudi Arabia since 1976. Bath has previously denied having worked for the CIA . . . Bath received a 5 percent interest in the companies that own and operate Houston Gulf Airport after purchasing it on behalf of Binladen in 1977.
With the new Ranger stadium being readied to open the following spring, George W. Bush announces that he would be running for governor. He is says his campaign theme will be self-reliance and personal responsibility rather than dependence on government.
PBS FRONTLINE: [From a French source] The Saudi authorities’ decision to issue an arrest warrant for Osama bin Laden on 16 May 1993 does not threaten to affect the relationship between the bin Ladens and the royal family. Osama, one of Mohammed’s youngest son, has been known for years for his fundamentalist activities . . . King Fahd’s two closest friends were: Prince Mohammed Ben Abdullah (son of Abdul Aziz’ youngest brother), who died in the early ’80s and whose brother, Khaled Ben Abdullah (an associate of Suleiman Olayan), still has free access to the king; and Salem bin Laden, who died in 1988 . . . Like his father in 1968, Salem died in a 1988 air crash…in Texas. He was flying a BAC 1-11 which had been bought in July 1977 by Prince Mohammed Ben Fahd. The plane’s flight plans had long been at the center of a number of investigations. According to one of the plane’s American pilots, it had been used in October 1980 during secret Paris meetings between US and Iranian emissaries. Nothing was ever proven, but Salem bin Laden’s accidental death revived some speculation that he might have been “eliminated” as an embarrassing witness. In fact, an inquiry was held to determine the exact circumstances of the accident. The conclusions were never divulged . . . There was also a political aspect to Salem bin Laden’s financial activities . . . Salem bin Laden played a role in the US operations in the Middle East and Central America during the ’80s. On his death in 1968, Sheik Mohammed left behind not only an industrial and financial estate but also a progeny made up of no less than 54 sons and daughters, the fruit of a number of marriages . . . Upon Sheik Salem’s death, the leadership of the group passed to his eldest son, Bakr, along with thirteen other brothers who make up the board of the bin Laden group. The most important of these are Hassan,Yeslam and Yehia. Most of these brothers have different mothers and different nationalities as well. Each has his own set of affinities, thus contributing to the group’s international scope. Bakr and Yehia are seen as representatives of the “Syrian group”; Yeslam, of the “Lebanese group”. There is also a “Jordanian group.” Abdul Aziz, one of the youngest brothers, represents the “Egyptian group” and is also manager of the bin Laden group’s Egyptian branch, which employs over 40,000 people. Osama bin Laden is, incidentally, the only brother with a Saudi mother.
George W. Bush is elected Governor of Texas, defeating Ann Richards 53 to 46 %.
The BCCI affair
CARTER, REAGAN, BUSH,
CLINTON, BUSH, AND BCCI
THE GREATEST FINANCIAL scandal in history — the BCCI affair — left American participants virtually untouched. The media covered the scandal poorly even though, according to one investigative journalist, up to a hundred Washington politicians and lawyers might have been criminally liable.
As a result — much like Clinton and the Dixie Mafia — Americans have but the vaguest notion of what happened. In fact, the two stories overlap. And like many contemporary sagas of corruption, the two stories reached deep into both the major parties. In fact, if George W. Bush is elected, we will be entering our fifth consecutive presidential administration (two Democratic and three Republican) with direct ties to leading figures in the biggest financial scandal of all time.
This time line suggests some of the interplay of individuals and parties:
National Bank of Georgia president Bert Lance, whom former Georgia Governor Jimmy Carter described as being like a brother and was Carter’s chosen but defeated successor, meets with Jackson Stephens, a Naval Academy classmate of Carter. Stephens Inc. arranges public offering of NBG stock. Stephens would later be described by the New York Post as the man who was to “Clinton what Bert Lance was to candidate Jimmy Carter.”
Both Stephens and Lance help Carter in his race for the White House. Carter uses the NBG corporate plane without disclosing it. Campaign is later fined.
Two Indonesian billionaires come to Arkansas. Mochtar Riady and Liem Sioe Liong are close to Suharto. Riady is looking for an American bank to buy. Riady’s agent is Jackson Stephens.
Lance comes to Washington as director of the Office of Management and Budget. He quickly comes under investigation for his past financial dealings and in September resigns. His lawyer is Clark Clifford, later embroiled in the BCCI case.
Hillary Clinton, the Arkansas governor’s wife, is getting considerable business from Stephens Inc.
George W. Bush begins operations of his oil firm, Arbusto Energy. He assembles several dozen investors in a limited partnership including Dorothy Bush (a friend of BCCI figure Robert Altman), Lewis Lehrman, William Draper, and James Bath, a Houston aircraft broker who bought several planes from Air America, a CIA front. Bath’s firm appears to be owned by Saudi investors. He also was a part-owner of a Houston’s Main Bank, along with a couple of BCCI figures.
Stephens brokers the arrival of BCCI to this country, and steers BCCI’s founder, Hassan Abedi to Bert Lance.
Stephens Inc tries to sell Riady stock in the National Bank of Georgia. The Washington Post quotes a US banker suggesting that Riady is working for Suharto, who is trying to butter up Carter: “They think of this country like a ‘regime’ similar to their own and they just don’t realize that such a ploy wouldn’t work.” There’s no deal. Lance’s bank will eventually be taken over by a BCCI front man — Ghaith Pharaon. Pharaon later sells his bank to First American. Pharaon will be fined $37 million by the Federal Reserve Board and become a fugitive.
Abedi moves to secretly take over First American Bankshares — later the subject of the only BCCI-connected scandal to be prosecuted in the US.
Mochtar Riady and Stephens Inc set up Stephens Finance Ltd. In Hong Kong.
Lance is indicted on charges of violating federal banking laws. Clifford’s partner, Robert Altman, represents Lance who eventually achieves a hung jury.
During this same period, Stephens is, according to Peter Truell and Larry Gurwin in “False Profits,” playing “a crucial role in BCCI’s penetration of the US market.”
Mochtar Riady buys a stake in the Worthen holding company whose assets include the Stephens-controlled Worthen Bank. Price: $16 million. Other Worthen co-owners will eventually include BCCI investor Abdullah Taha Bakhish. Deal handled by C. Joseph Giroir II. Giroir is the Rose law firm chair who hired Hillary Clinton. Giroir will continue to be a deal-maker for the Riadys.
Arkansas state pension funds — deposited in Worthen by Governor Bill Clinton — suddenly lose 15% of their value because of the failure of high risk, short-term investments and the brokerage firm that bought them. The $52 million loss is covered by a Worthen check written by Jack Stephens in the middle of the night, an insurance policy, and the subsequent purchase over the next few months of 40% of the bank by Mochtar Riady. Clinton and Worthen escape a major scandal. Mochtar’s son James comes back to Arkansas to manage Worthen as president.
Worthen is investigated by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency for improper loans to companies owned by the Riadys and Stephenses.
George W. Bush and partners receive more than $2 million of Harken Energy stock in exchange for a failing oil well operation, which has lost $400,000 in the prior six months. After Bush joins Harken, the largest stock position and a seat on its board is acquired by Harvard Management Company. The Harken board gives Bush $600,000 worth of the company’s publicly traded stock, plus a seat on the board plus a consultancy that pays him up to $120,000 a year. When Harken runs short of cash it hooks up with Jackson Stephens, who arranges a $25 million stock purchase by Union Bank of Switzerland. Sheik Abdullah Bakhsh, who joins the board as a part of the deal, is connected to BCCI.
Stephens’ wife Mary Ann runs George Bush’s campaign in Arkansas. He is a member of Team 100 — individuals who have given $100,000 to the Republican party.
A few days before the supposedly surprise arrest of five BCCI officials, some of the world’s most powerful drug dealers quietly withdraw millions of dollars from the bank. Some government investigators believe the dealers were tipped off by sources within the Reagan administration.
Bahrain officials suddenly break off offshore drilling negotiations with Amoco and decide to deal with Harken Energy, George W. Bush’s firm. Harken has had a series of failed ventures and no cash, so the Bass brothers are brought in to finance Harken’s efforts at a cost of $50 million. Harken’s investment banker is the same firm that helped in BCCI’s acquisition of First American. Among the other BCCI-connected figures that help the deal: Bahrain’s prime minister.
Bush’s attorney general, Richard Thornberg, is warned about BCCI but does nothing.
Stephens Inc gives $100,000 to a Bush dinner committee.
With Stephens, Mochtar Riady buys BCCI’s former Hong Kong subsidiary from its liquidators.
A former top aide to White House Chief of Staff John Sununu goes to work for a prominent figure in the BCCI scandal less than a month after leaving the Bush administration. Edward Rogers Jr. signs a $600,000 contract to give legal advice to Sheik Kamal Adham, an ex-Saudi intelligence officer who is being investigated for his role in BCCI’s takeover of First American Bankshares.
The Miami acting US Attorney is reportedly rebuffed by the Justice Department in his efforts to indict BCCI and some of its principal officers on tax fraud charges. Justice Department later denies this occurred.
Ronald Reagan is introduced at the GOP convention by former senator Paul Laxalt, whose law firm represented BCCI in a drug money case. The chair of the convention, Craig Fuller, has been the number two official of Hill & Knowlton which was involved in the BCCI-First American case. Bush’s campaign press representatives has done PR for a Saudi sheik accused of involvement in the BCCI affair, earning $200,000 in fees in just two months.
Employees of Stephens Inc. give more money to the Clinton campaign than those of any other firm except Goldman, Sachs and the NY law firm of Wilke, Farr & Gallagher.
Stephens’ Worthen Bank gives Clinton a $3.5 million line of credit allowing the cash-strapped candidate to finish the primaries. Little Rock Worldwide Travel provides Clinton with $1 million in deferred billing for his campaign trips. Without the Worthen and Worldwide largess, it is unlikely that the cash-strapped candidate could have survived through the later primaries.
Webster Hubbell, a former Rose law firm partner — although not known for skill in Asian trade matters — goes to work for a Lippo Group affiliate after being forced out of the Clinton administration and before going to jail. Hubbell represented both Worthen and James Riady during the 1980s.
With the settlement of civil fraud charges against Clark Clifford and Robert Altman, the puny and often diverted investigation into the American branch of the BCCI scandal effectively comes to an end. Under the deal, the pair will have to surrender $5 million in stock in First American Bankshares, which had been illegally controlled by BCCI. They will, however, get to keep $10-15 million in proceeds obtained during their tenure as First American attorneys.
The BCCI scandal cheated depositors out of over $10 billion worldwide. Many of these were lower income people now being paid off at 15 and 25 cents on the dollar for damage done by a illegal operation willingly used not only by hundreds of drug dealers and other criminals from various countries but by the intelligence services of five nations (including the CIA) and at least one government, Pakistan, seeking to finance its nuclear weapons development.
Things always moved a little too smoothly in the BCCI investigation, leaving scores of unanswered questions and, so far as can be determined, hardly anyone to blame. One exception, Swaleh Naqvi, BCCI’s number two man, was given a mild sentence — over the objections of Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau. He later told prosecutors that he had never explained to Altman and Clifford who really owned First American.
Naqvi’s plea bargain with Justice appeared to have been what the Wall Street Journal called “sweetheart justice.” Said the Journal: “When drugs and money laundering arrive, political corruption cannot be far behind. If we had an explanation of how BCCI got away with its illegal purchase of First American, we could afford to dismiss such ambiguous connections as lawyer-client relationships. But we have no such answer, and are left to speculate why, in the Naqvi plea-bargain, the Justice Department does not seem to be pressing for one.”
The American media has studiously downplayed the story to the end. The New York Times, for example, put the Altman-Clifford settlement on its business page.
But while the story has disappeared not all the characters connected to this saga have. One, for example, is still president and another is ahead in the polls.
[The best book on the BCCI scandal is False Profits]
Smedley Darlington Butler (July 30, 1881 – June 21, 1940), nicknamed “The Fighting Quaker” and “Old Gimlet Eye”, was a Major General in the U.S. Marine Corps, and at the time of his death the most decorated Marine in U.S. history. During his 34-year career as a Marine, he participated in military actions in the Philippines, China, in Central America and the Caribbean during the Banana Wars, and France in World War I. By the end of his career he had received 16 medals, five of which were for heroism. He is one of 19 people to twice receive the Medal of Honor, one of three to be awarded both the Marine Corps Brevet Medal and the Medal of Honor, and the only person to be awarded the Brevet Medal and two Medals of Honor, all for separate actions.
In addition to his military achievements, he served as the Director of Public Safety in Philadelphia for two years and was an outspoken critic of U.S. military adventurism. In his 1935 book War is a Racket, he described the workings of the military-industrial complex and, after retiring from service, became a popular speaker at meetings organized by veterans, pacifists and church groups in the 1930s.
In 1934 he was involved in a controversy known as the Business Plot when he told a congressional committee that a group of wealthy industrialists had approached him to lead a military coup to overthrow Franklin D. Roosevelt. The individuals that were involved denied the existence of a plot, and the media ridiculed the allegations. The final report of the committee stated that there was evidence that such a plot existed, but no charges were ever filed. The opinion of most historians is that while planning for a coup was not very advanced, wild schemes were discussed.
Allegations of the Business Plot
In November 1934, Butler alleged the existence of a political conspiracy of Wall Street interests to overthrow President Roosevelt, a series of allegations that came to be known in the media as the Business Plot. A special committee of the House of Representatives headed by Representatives John W. McCormack of Massachusetts and Samuel Dickstein of New York, who was later revealed to have been a paid agent of the NKVD, heard his testimony in secret. The McCormack-Dickstein committee was a precursor to the House Committee on Un-American Activities.
In November 1934, Butler told the committee that a group of businessmen, saying they were backed by a private army of 500,000 ex-soldiers and others, intended to establish a fascist dictatorship. Butler had been asked to lead it, he said, by Gerald P. MacGuire, a bond salesman with Grayson M–P Murphy & Co. The New York Times reported that Butler had told friends that General Hugh S. Johnson, a former official with the National Recovery Administration, was to be installed as dictator. Butler said MacGuire had told him the attempted coup was backed by three million dollars, and that the 500,000 men were probably to be assembled in Washington, D.C. the following year. All the parties alleged to be involved, including Johnson, said there was no truth in the story, calling it a joke and a fantasy.
In its report, the committee stated that it was unable to confirm Butler’s statements other than the proposal from MacGuire, which it considered more or less confirmed by MacGuire’s European reports. No prosecutions or further investigations followed, and historians have questioned whether or not a coup was actually close to execution, although most agree that some sort of “wild scheme” was contemplated and discussed. The news media initially dismissed the plot, with a New York Times editorial characterizing it as a “gigantic hoax”. When the committee’s final report was released, the Times said the committee “purported to report that a two-month investigation had convinced it that General Butler’s story of a Fascist march on Washington was alarmingly true” and “… also alleged that definite proof had been found that the much publicized Fascist march on Washington, which was to have been led by Major. Gen. Smedley D. Butler, retired, according to testimony at a hearing, was actually contemplated”.
The McCormack-Dickstein Committee confirmed some of Butler’s accusations in its final report. “In the last few weeks of the committee’s official life it received evidence showing that certain persons had made an attempt to establish a fascist organization in this country…There is no question that these attempts were discussed, were planned, and might have been placed in execution when and if the financial backers deemed it expedient.” [n 1][n 2]
You Call This An Economic Recovery? 44 Million Americans On Food Stamps and 10 Other Reasons Why The Economy Is Simply Not Getting Better
When Barack Obama, the Federal Reserve and the mainstream media tell us that we are in the middle of an economic recovery, is that supposed to be some kind of sick joke? According to newly released numbers, over 44 million Americans are now on food stamps. That is a new all-time record and that number is 13.1% higher than it was just one year ago. So how many Americans have to go on food stamps before we can all finally agree that the U.S. economy is dying? 50 million? 60 million? All of us? The food stamp program is the modern equivalent of the old bread lines. More than one out of every seven Americans now depends on the federal government for food. Oh, but haven’t you heard? The economy is showing dramatic improvement. Corporate profits are up. The stock market is soaring. Happy days are here again.
It just seems inconceivable that anyone can claim that the economy is improving when the number of Americans on food stamps continues to set a brand new record every single month. But the food stamp program is not the only indicator that the economy is still having massive problems. The following are 10 more reasons why the U.S. economy is simply not getting any better….
#1 Some recent statistics actually indicate that the number of unemployed Americans is still going up. According to Gallup, unemployment in the United States rose to 10.3%at the end of February. That is the highest number Gallup has reported since early last year.
#2 The housing industry is still a complete and total disaster. In fact, new home sales in the U.S. in January were 11.2% lower than they were in December. Not only that, the number of new home sales in January was 18.6% lower than the number of new home sales in January 2010. That is not a sign of improvement.
#3 There wouldn’t even be much of a housing industry at all at this point if it was not for the U.S. government. Right now the U.S. government is either writing or guaranteeing well over 90 percent of all mortgages in the United States. So what would the housing market look like in 2011 if the government was not in the picture?
#4 In 2010, more than a million U.S. families lost their homes to foreclosure for the first time ever, and that number is expected to go even higher in 2011.
#5 Due to rampant economic decay and record numbers of foreclosures there are areas in most of our major cities that now look like “war zones”. For example, the Huffington Post is reporting that there are now approximately 15,000 vacant buildings in the city of Chicago and there are approximately 60,000 vacant houses and apartments in the city of Las Vegas.
#6 According to the Oil Price Information Service, U.S. drivers spent an average of $347 on gasoline during the month of February, which was 30 percent more than a year earlier. This represented 8.5% of median monthly income. So what is going to happen when gas prices go even higher? Sadly, the average price of gasoline in the U.S. has risen another 4 cents since yesterday and it is likely to go much higher from here.
#7 The U.S. trade deficit continues to grow. The trade deficit was about 33 percent larger in 2010 than it was in 2009, and the 2011 trade deficit is expected to be even bigger.
#8 The CredAbility Consumer Distress Index, which measures the average financial condition of U.S. households, declined in every single quarter in 2010.
#9 The number of Americans that have become so discouraged that they have given up searching for work completely now stands at an all-time high.
#10 The U.S. national debt is growing faster than ever. The Obama administration is projecting that the federal budget deficit for this fiscal year will be a new all-time record 1.65 Trillion dollars. It is hard to even imagine how much money that is. If you went out today and started spending one dollar every single second, it would take you over 31,000 years to spend one trillion dollars. Long ago the U.S. government should have been getting these deficits under control, but instead they are just getting even larger.
So in light of the statistics above, can anyone really claim that we are in the middle of an economic recovery?
The truth is that there is no sign that any of the long-term trends that are destroying the U.S. economy are even slowing down.
Millions of jobs continue to be shipped overseas.
The U.S. dollar continues to be devalued.
The federal government continues to go into more debt.
State and local governments continue to go into more debt.
Our trade deficit continues to grow.
Our cities continue to be transformed into wastelands as they are being systematically deindustrialized.
The number of Americans that are dependent on the government continues to soar.
The U.S. middle class continues to shrink.
I know that I harp on these themes over and over, but it is vitally important that everyone understands that the mainstream media is lying to us.
The U.S. economy is dying a very painful death and there is no hope on the horizon.
Things are not going to be getting better. Well, they may get a bit better for the boys down on Wall Street, but for the rest of us our standards of living are going to continue to decline.
The best days for the U.S. economy are already behind us. What lies ahead is a whole lot of pain.
We are going to pay the price for decades of corruption and incompetence.
An economic collapse is coming and you had better get ready.
Defense Secretary: Libya Did Not Pose Threat to U.S., Was Not ‘Vital National Interest’ to Intervene
Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said that Libya did not pose a threat to the United States before the U.S. began its military campaign against the North African country.
On “This Week,” ABC News’ Senior White House Correspondent Jake Tapper asked Gates, “Do you think Libya posed an actual or imminent threat to the United States?”
“No, no,” Gates said in a joint appearance with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. “It was not — it was not a vital national interest to the United States, but it was an interest and it was an interest for all of the reasons Secretary Clinton talked about. The engagement of the Arabs, the engagement of the Europeans, the general humanitarian question that was at stake,” he said.
Gates explained that there was more at stake, however. “There was another piece of this though, that certainly was a consideration. You’ve had revolutions on both the East and the West of Libya,” he said, emphasizing the potential wave of refugees from Libya could have destabilized Tunisia and Egypt.
“So you had a potentially significantly destabilizing event taking place in Libya that put at risk potentially the revolutions in both Tunisia and Egypt,” the Secretary said. “And that was another consideration I think we took into account.”
During his campaign for the Presidency, in December, 2007, Barack Obama told The Boston Globe that “The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.”
Earlier in 2007, then-Senator Hillary Clinton said in a speech on the Senate floor that, “If the administration believes that any — any — use of force against Iran is necessary, the President must come to Congress to seek that authority.”
Tapper asked Clinton, “Why not got to Congress?”
“Well, we would welcome congressional support,” the Secretary said, “but I don’t think that this kind of internationally authorized intervention where we are one of a number of countries participating to enforce a humanitarian mission is the kind of unilateral action that either I or President Obama was speaking of several years ago.”
“I think that this had a limited timeframe, a very clearly defined mission which we are in the process of fulfilling,” Clinton said.
(AP) Libyan rebels jubilate on a checkpoint in Al-Egila, east of Ras Lanuf, eastern Libya, Sunday, March…
WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S.-led military action in Libya has bolstered rebels fighting Moammar Gadhafi’s forces, but the international operation could continue for months, the Obama administration says.
Ahead of President Barack Obama’s national address Monday to explain his decision to act against the Libyan leader, Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said in appearances on the Sunday talk shows that the intervention had effectively rendered Gadhafi’s forces defenseless against air attacks and created the conditions for opposition advances westward.
In interviews taped Saturday, Gates and Clinton also defended the narrowly defined U.N. mandate to prevent atrocities against Libyan civilians and said the U.S. had largely accomplished its goals.
“We have taken out his armor,” Gates said, adding that the U.S. soon would relinquish its leading role in enforcing a no-fly zone and striking pro-Gadhafi ground targets intent on violence.
Clinton said “we’re beginning to see, because of the good work of the coalition, his troops begin to turn back toward the west – and to see the opposition begin to reclaim the ground they had lost.”
Libyan rebels reclaimed an important oil town and kept pushed westward Sunday toward the capital, Tripoli. Brega, a main oil export terminal in eastern Libya, fell after a skirmish late Saturday. Rebel forces also seized the tiny desert town of Al-Egila on their way to the massive oil refining complex of Ras Lanouf.
U.S.-led airstrikes allowed anti-government forces to recapture the key eastern city of Ajdabiya.
NATO’s top decision-making body was to meet Sunday to expand its enforcement of the no-fly zone to include air strikes against Libyan ground targets.
The military progress follows deep criticism against Obama from lawmakers upset that the administration hadn’t sought greater congressional input on Libya.
Gates said the no-fly zone was fully in place and could be sustained with “a lot less effort than it took to set it up.” He said the Pentagon was planning how to draw down resources that will be assigned to European and other countries pledging to take on a larger role.
But asked on ABC’s “This Week” if that would mean a U.S. military commitment until year’s end, Gates said, “I don’t think anybody knows the answer to that.”
The lack of clarity on that question reflects a worry for lawmakers clamoring to hear fuller explanations from the administration on why the U.S. was embroiling itself in another Muslim conflict and what the ultimate goals of the intervention are.
Clinton and Gates insisted that the objective was limited to protecting civilians, even as they hoped the pressure of concerted international penalties and isolation might strip away Gadhafi’s remaining loyalists and cause his government to crumble.
“One should not underestimate the possibility of the regime itself cracking,” Gates said on NBC‘s “Meet The Press.”
He said Gadhafi shouldn’t feel too comfortable after 42 years of dictatorship: “I wouldn’t be hanging any new pictures if I were him.”
Clinton added that Gadhafi’s military and political advisers were increasingly seeking talks as they feel the international pressure.
The administration is “sending a message to the people around him,” she said. “Do you want to be a pariah? Do you really want to end up in the international criminal court? Now is your time to get out of this and to help change the direction.”
Yet even after a week of air strikes, Pentagon officials say forces loyal to Gadhafi are a potent threat to civilians. Defense officials are looking at plans to expand the firepower and airborne surveillance systems in the military campaign, including using the Air Force’s AC-130 gunship armed with cannons that shoot from the side doors, as well as helicopters and drones. Gates said the U.S. could supply rebels with arms, but the administration hadn’t made a decision.
Talk of any escalation will surely raise concerns. With the United States already trying to exit long wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the administration has gone to great efforts to define the Libya operations as limited in scope and duration – and necessary to prevent Gadhafi from possibly massacring civilians while his forces were reaching the rebel stronghold of Benghazi.
Asked if the Libyan conflict posed a threat to the United States, Gates said it was “not a vital national interest” but he insisted that the situation nevertheless demanded U.S. involvement. With tenuous democratic transitions under way in the neighboring countries of Tunisia and – more important to the U.S. – Egypt, allowing the entire region to be destabilized was a dangerous option.
Clinton noted how the strife affects Europe’s key interests, from oil to immigration, and that their concerns were important. “We asked our allies, our NATO allies, to go into Afghanistan with us 10 years ago,” she said. “They have been there. And a lot of them have been there despite the fact they were not attacked.”
“When it comes to Libya, we started hearing from the U.K., France, Italy, other of our NATO allies,” she added. “This was in their vital national interest.”
Those themes will likely be taken up by Obama, who cited “significant success” in the war and defended the U.S. intervention as lawful and critical to save thousands of lives. In his weekend radio and Internet address, he noted that the U.S. cannot get involved in every world crisis, but said if Gadhafi was threatening a “bloodbath that could destabilize an entire region … it’s in our national interest to act. And it’s our responsibility.”
With the tumult spreading so widely throughout the Arab world, it has been hard for the U.S. to avoid questions of double-standards. The administration took some criticism as it gradually hardened its position against a long-time ally in Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak before he left power, and has faced the same with the decision to back the U.N.’s call for a Libyan no-fly zone and arms embargo with military force.
Clinton declined to say if the U.S. might be willing to enter other conflicts where governments attack their own people. She told CBS'”Face The Nation” that it was too early to talk of intervention in Syria, where security forces have opened fire on protesters amid nationwide unrest. Unlike Gadhafi, Syrian President Bashar Assad is a “different leader” and many members of Congress who have visited the country “believe he’s a reformer,” Clinton said.
Asked about Yemen, where the embattled U.S. ally Ali Abdullah Saleh was just barely holding on to his 33-year-old grip on power, Gates cited grave concerns.
“The most aggressive branch of al-Qaida … operates out of Yemen,” he said. “We have had a lot of counterterrorism cooperation from President Saleh and the Yemeni security services, so if the government collapses or is replaced by one that is dramatically more weak, then I think we’ll face some additional problems out of Yemen.
Saleh’s allies and opponents failed to make progress Saturday in talks on a possible exit for their president.
Islamic militants seized control of a weapons factory and a nearby town in Yemen’s south Sunday, according to a witness and security officials.
Will Financial Problems In Portugal Cause The European Debt Crisis To Spiral Out Of Control?
Most Americans have no idea just how bad the financial problems over in Europe are right now. The truth is that the entire European financial system is teetering on the brink of disaster. Ireland and Greece have already received bailouts and Portugal, Spain, Italy, France and Belgium are all drowning in an ocean of unsustainable debt. Sovereign credit ratings all over Europe have being slashed in recent months. For example, a while back Moody’s Investors Service cut Ireland’s bond rating by five levels. Up until now Europe has weathered all of this financial instability fairly well, but now huge new financial problems in Portugal threaten to send the European debt crisis spinning out of control.
The Prime Minister of Portugal, Jose Socrates, resigned on Wednesdayafter the major opposition parties banded together to vote down the austerity measures that he was requesting. The package of budget cuts and tax increases was intended to get Portugal’s horrible debt crisis under control. Prior to the vote, the prime minister warned that he would no longer be able to run the country if the austerity package was not passed.
Now there are all kinds of questions about what is going to happen to Portugal. At this point most financial authorities in Europe seem to be assuming that Portugal is going to need a bailout.
Today, Standard & Poor’s reduced the credit rating of long-term Portuguese government debt from from \"A-\" to \"BBB\". Standard & Poor’s is also warning that the credit rating may be cut further if negotiations for a bailout do not go well.
Without a bailout, it seems almost certain that Portugal will default.
Interest rates on Portuguese government debt have risen to unsustainable levels. The yield on 10-year Portuguese bonds hit 7.78%on Friday. That was the highest it has been since Portugal joined the euro.
Authorities in Portugal are publicly saying that they simply cannot afford to pay that kind of interest. Unfortunately for them, it appears that Portugal is going to be forced to issue more bonds by June at the very latest.
However, the concern is that the crisis in Portugal could have a domino effect.
There is increasing worry in Europe that Portugal’s neighbor, Spain, could also need a bailout. But a bailout of Spain would potentially be so large that it would cause a financial nightmare for Europe.
Portugal’s admission that it will probably need a financial bailout raises a question that will shape the outcome of the euro zone’s debt crisis: Is Spain next? The cost of saving Spain, a €1.1 trillion ($1.56 trillion) economy, would dwarf previous bailouts and could test the financial strength of Europe as a whole.
The truth is that the rest of Europe simply does not have the kind of financial muscle necessary to continue putting together huge bailouts indefinitely. If Spain does go down, it is going to put a massive amount of strain on the rest of the continent.
There are other financial problems simmering in Europe right now as well.
According to a recent Business Insiderarticle, the financial problems in Ireland are also creating a lot of concern at the moment….
Ireland’s banks are likely to need another $39 billion in support, which would use up 80% of its current bailout funds.
Ireland is a financial basket case right about now. Confidence in Irish debt is rapidly evaporating. In fact, the yield on 10-year Irish bonds recently hit 10.12%.
But that is nothing compared to what Greece is being forced to pay.
The yield on 10-year Greek bonds recently reached an astounding 12.58%.
There are persistent rumors that Greece is going to need yet another bailout. The truth is that Germany and the other European nations that are coming up with the cash for these bailouts are just pouring their money into financial black holes.
Nations like Greece and Ireland are just money pits at this point.
As I have written about previously, the financial collapse of Europe has basically become inevitable. The EU can keep coming up with bailout plan after bailout plan, but they are only putting off the crash for a while.
Eventually a point will come when all of the balls simply cannot be kept up in the air anymore.
So what is going to happen once that point is reached?
Well, many believe that we could actually see the end of the euro and potentially even the break up of the European Union.
Of course top politicians in Europe will fight tooth and nail to keep that from happening, but the truth is that at some point we are going to see some incredibly challenging financial problems in Europe. How the EU responds to the crisis is going to be extremely interesting to watch.
So many people talk about the death of the U.S. dollar, but the truth is that we could very easily see a financial collapse and a major currency crisis in Europe prior to the collapse of the dollar. Europe is in really, really bad shape right now.
Of course it doesn’t help that the entire world is so incredibly unstable right now. The disaster in Japan, the war in Libya, the revolutions across the Middle East and the surging price of oil all threaten to throw the global economy into turmoil.
As I discussed in a previous article, people need to start preparing for economic disaster. The entire global financial system is coming apart. The U.S. economy is crumbling, Europe is dealing with an unprecedented debt crisis and Japan has just been struck with the worst economic disaster that it has seen since World War 2.
Most Americans don’t pay much attention to what is going on in Portugal (or in the rest of Europe for that matter), but they should. The world is more interconnected than ever, and if Europe experiences a financial meltdown it will have dramatic consequences for the United States as well.
The financial crash of 2008 swept the entire globe and virtually every nation on earth was deeply affected. The next wave of the financial crisis is also going to be felt globally.
We live in one of the most interesting times in the history of the world.
Rich vs Poor: 14 Funny Statistics And 14 Not So Funny Statistics About This “Economic Recovery
Today there are two very different Americas. In one America, the stock market is soaring, huge bonuses are taken for granted, the good times are rolling and people are spending money as if they will be able to “live the dream” for the rest of their lives. In the other America, the one where most of the rest of us live, unemployment is rampant, a million families were kicked out of their homes last year and hordes of American families are drowning in debt. The gap between the rich and the poor is bigger today than it ever has been before. In fact, this article is not so much about “rich vs poor” as it is about “the rich vs the rest of us”. Barack Obama and Ben Bernanke keep touting an “economic recovery”, but the truth is that the only ones that seem to be benefiting from this recovery are those at the very top of the economic food chain.
Below you will find 14 funny statistics about this economic recovery and 14 not so funny statistics about this economic recovery. Actually, if you find yourself deeply struggling in this economy you will probably not find any of the statistics funny. In fact, you will probably find most of them infuriating. After all, there are very few people that actually enjoy hearing about how well the rich are doing when they are barely able to pay the mortgage and put food on the table.
In any event, the 28 statistics below show the stark contrast between the “two Americas” that share this nation today. Many liberals will likely try to use these statistics as an example of why we should tax the rich. But handing more money to the government is not going to magically create more jobs for the poor. What the American people desperately need are good jobs, and many liberals don’t seem to understand that. Many conservatives will likely try to use these statistics as evidence that “capitalism” is working. But the truth is that what we have in the United States today is not capitalism. Rather, it is more aptly described as “corporatism”, because money and power is increasingly becoming concentrated in the hands of gigantic corporations that individuals and small businesses simply cannot compete with. The truth is that when wealth is concentrated at the very top it does not “trickle down” to the rest of us. In the old days the wealthy at least were forced to hire the rest of us to run their factories and their businesses, but with the advent of globalism that isn’t even true anymore. Now they can just move their factories and businesses overseas to places where they can legally pay slave labor wages to their employees.
Very large concentrations of money and power are almost always bad for the prosperity of average citizens. Our founding fathers never intended for our central government to have so much power and they never intended for giant corporations to have so much power. But we have abandoned the principles of our founding fathers.
When large concentrations of power (whether governmental or corporate) are allowed to flourish, it almost becomes inevitable that the gap between the rich and the poor will grow. We are seeing this happen all over the world today.
Unfortunately, it does not appear that any of this is going to change any time soon. In the United States, both the federal government and multinational corporations are constantly attempting to grab even more power. It has gotten to the point where individual Americans really don’t have much power left at all.
In any event, hopefully you will find the following statistics informative or at least entertaining. The wealthy are most definitely enjoying an “economic recovery” while most of the rest of us are still really struggling….
Funny – Who said that the titans of Wall Street couldn’t look hot? According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, facelifts for men jumped 14 percentlast year.
Not Funny – According to the U.S. Labor Department, unemployment actually increased in 351 of the 372 largest U.S. cities during the month of January.
Funny – The average bonus for a worker on Wall Street in 2010 was only $128,350. It appears that more Wall Street bailouts may be needed.
Not Funny – During this most recent economic downturn, employee compensation in the United States has been the lowest that it has been relative to gross domestic product in over 50 years.
Funny – According to DataQuick Information Systems, the sale of million dollars homes rose an average of 18.6 percent in the top 20 major metro areas in the U.S. in 2010. But is spending a million dollars on one house really worth it? After all, over the past several years there have been times when you could buy a house in some bad areas of Detroit for just one dollar.
Not Funny – In 2010, for the first time ever more than a million U.S. families lost their homes to foreclosure, and that number is expected to go even higher in 2011.
Funny – According to Moody’s Analytics, the wealthiest 5% of households in the United States now account for approximately 37% of all consumer spending. Most of the rest of us don’t have much discretionary income to spend these days, but at least we have Justin Bieber, American Idol and Dancing with the Stars to keep us entertained.
Not Funny – According to Gallup, the U.S. unemployment rate in mid-March was 10.2%, which was virtually unchanged from the 10.3% figure that it was sitting at exactly one year ago.
Sales of private jumbo jets are so strong that Airbus and Boeing now have special sales forces devoted to potentates and the hyper-rich.
Not Funny – There are now over 6.4 million Americans that have given up looking for work completely. That number has increased by about 30 percent since the economic downturn began.
Funny – Porsche recently reported that sales increased by 29 percentduring 2010. Even Porsche jokes are coming back into style….
Question: Why did the blonde try and steal a police car?
Answer: She saw “911” on the back and thought it was a Porsche.
Not Funny – Approximately half of all American workers make $25,000 a year or less.
Funny – Cadillac recently reported that sales increased by 36 percent during 2010.
Not Funny – According to the U.S. Energy Department, the average U.S. household will spend approximately $700 more on gasoline in 2011 than it did during 2010.
Funny – Rolls-Royce recently reported that sales increased by 171 percent during 2010.
Not Funny – According to a new study by America’s Research Group, approximately 75 percent of all Americans are doing less shopping because of rising gasoline prices.
Funny – According to the New York Post, Barack Obama enjoyed a total of 10 separate vacations that stretched over a total of 90 vacation days during the years of 2009 and 2010. Apparently Barack Obama was not talking about himself when he told the American people the following….
“If you’re a family trying to cut back, you might skip going out to dinner, or you might put off a vacation.”
Not Funny – When 2007 began, 26 million Americans were on food stamps. Today, an all-time record 44 million Americans are on food stamps.
Funny – Ralph Lauren reported a 24 percent increase in revenue in the fourth quarter of 2010. It is good to know that preppies are thriving in this economy.
Not Funny – The Ivex Packaging Paper plant in Joliet, Illinois is shutting down for good after 97 years in business. 79 good jobs will be lost. Meanwhile, China has become the number one producer of paper products in the entire world.
Funny – Luxury jewelry retailer Tiffany & Co. recently announced that their profits increased by 29 percent in the 4th quarter of 2010. All of the men that did not buy their women jewelry during the holidays are trying to keep this particular news item from getting passed around.
Not Funny – Average household debt in the United States has now reached a level of 136% of average household income.
Funny – In 2009, only 18,288 vehicles with a price tag of $100,000 or more were sold in the United States. In 2010, 32,144 such vehicles were sold. It appears that “showing off for chicks” is now very much back in style.
Not Funny – The U.S. economy now has 10 percent fewer “middle class jobs” than it did just ten years ago.
Funny – Porsche has announced that they will soon be taking orders for their first hybrid sports car, the 918 Spyder. The price tag on one of these puppies will only be $845,000.
Not Funny – The average CEO now makes approximately 185 times more money than the average American worker.
Funny – Barack Obama recently played only his 61st round of golf since moving into the White House. Many are now concerned that Obama is simply not getting enough free time.
Not Funny – According to one recent study, 21 percent of all children in the United States were living below the poverty line during 2010.
How Is The Central Economic Planning That The Federal Reserve Does Different From The Central Economic Planning That Communist China Does?
Most Americans believe that we still live in a capitalist system and that free markets primarily determine the growth and development of our economy. But is that really the case? No, sadly it is not. The truth is that the U.S. Federal Reserve does a tremendous amount of central economic planning. So what makes the central economic planning that the Federal Reserve does different from the central economic planning that communist China does? Yes, in China it is the government that does the central planning and in the United States it is a private central bank that does the central planning, but other than that are there any huge differences? And if our economy is centrally planned, then how can we continue to claim that we still have a free market capitalist system?
Certainly China goes into greater detail in their economic planning, but that does not mean that the economic planning that the Federal Reserve and the U.S. government do is not similar.
After all, free markets do not set interest rates in this country – the Federal Reserve does.
The Federal Reserve also determines what the money supply will be.
The Federal Reserve is the one that decides if inflation is too high or too low.
The Federal Reserve is the one that decides if unemployment is too high or too low.
In addition, the Federal Reserve has a tremendous amount of regulatory power over U.S. banks and the entire financial system. Most Americans simply do not realize how much power the Federal Reserve has over our banks. Just last year Federal Reserve officials walked into one bank in Oklahoma and demanded that they take down all the Bible verses and the Christmas buttons that the bank had been displaying.
Like the communist Chinese, the Federal Reserve is not elected and it is essentially accountable to nobody.
Like the communist Chinese, the Federal Reserve also picks winners and losers. You see, not all financial institutions are treated equally by the Fed. For example, some have access to the Fed’s discount window and others do not.
How is that fair?
Certainly the Federal Reserve does not do all of the central economic planning in this country. The U.S. government loves to get involved in economic planning as well. For example, the U.S. government has decided that there are certain types of light bulbs that we are allowed to buy and certain types of light bulbs that we are no longer going to be allowed to buy. It doesn’t matter that the new light bulbs are far more dangerous to children or that most of us would still like to have the choice to buy the old light bulbs.
But getting back to the Federal Reserve, how “democratic” or how “capitalist” is it to have 12 unelected people sitting around a table deciding the economic direction of this country?
The truth is that we live in a system that simply does not trust free markets and that believes that our economy needs to be “managed”.
I have to admit that my thinking on these issues was stimulated when I recently read an excellent article by Vitaliy Katsenelson in which he asked the following question….
It is a fundamental tenant of American capitalism that central planning of economies doesn’t work in the long term, whether in Soviet Union historically or in China today. But I often wonder: How is the Fed’s Board of Governors – the proverbial 12 guys in a room – any different than the 24 guys in a room who make up the Chinese politburo?
Is Katsenelson not right about this?
How in the world is the Fed’s Board of Governors all that much different from the Chinese Politburo?
In both cases, a group of unelected elitists makes the major economic decisions for all the rest of us.
That certainly does not sound like “capitalism” to me.
Would the free markets really produce worse results for our economy than the Federal Reserve does?
Would America ever have gone through the Great Depression if the Federal Reserve had not been created in 1913?
Would we have experienced the financial crash of 2008 if the policies of Greenspan and Bernanke had not created tremendous bubbles in the financial system?
Would the U.S. dollar have lost over 95 percent of its value since 1913 if the Federal Reserve was not around to constantly inflate our currency?
Would the U.S. government have the largest debt in the history of the world if we were not using the debt-based monetary system imposed upon us by the elite international bankers?
Now that the total debt of the U.S. government is $14,228,193,126,138.72, it is getting really hard to deny that the federal government is drowning in debt.
Dallas Federal Reserve Bank President Richard Fisher unknowingly indicted the very system he serves when he recently made the following statement….
“If we continue down on the path on which the fiscal authorities put us, we will become insolvent, the question is when.”
If the Federal Reserve had never been created, and the U.S. government had been issuing debt-free currency all this time, it is entirely conceivable that we would have absolutely no federal government debt at this point.
But defenders of the Federal Reserve tell us that if not for the brilliant people over at the Fed, America would be an economic basket case by now.
In case anyone has not noticed, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke has a very long track record of incompetence. Nearly every major judgment that he has made since taking over that position has been wrong. If one of us could go down the street and appoint the manager of our local Dairy Queen as the Chairman of the Federal Reserve, it is very doubtful that person could do a worse job than Bernanke has done.
Unfortunately, most Americans do not understand this. Most Americans are still convinced that “the greatest economy on earth” will just keep roaring along forever. Most Americans are spending and partying as if everything is going to be just fine.
Sadly, as Richard Daughty recently pointed out, most Americans will not wake up and realize just how bad our economic problems really are until it is too late….
In fact, to use an analogy, the economy is like a group of overpaid people, milking the government for every dollar and benefit they can get, on a chartered airplane that has been certified as “unsafe,” where one minute everybody is having fun, drunk as skunks, laughing and telling dirty jokes, and the next minute the plane is plunging out of the sky, out of fuel, one wing is in flames, the engines are dead, the entire electrical system is kaput, and, worst of all, the beverage cart is completely empty of cold beer and those little bottles of different kinds of tasty liquors. Uh-oh!
Most Americans have become so “dumbed down” that they still won’t even understand what is happening even after the economy has collapsed. Newsweekrecently found that 63 percent of Americans do not know how many justices are on the Supreme Court and 29 percent of Americans cannot even name the current Vice-President.
America today is rapidly degenerating in many of the same ways that the Roman Empire once did. Tens of millions of Americans are lazy, slothful and absolutely addicted to entertainment. It is frightening to see just how many Americans did not show any empathy during the recent crisis in Japan or when we started launching missiles on Libya. The following mini-documentary that was recently posted on YouTube does a beautiful job of making this point….
So is there any hope for America?
Let us hope that people wake up, because there are going to be even more economic disasters coming our way. Right now a large percentage of the American people don’t even know enough to realize what the real problems are, much less what the solutions may be.
When most Americans talk about economics, they instantly start blaming “Obama” or “Bush” and a lot of them never even bring up the Federal Reserve.
But it is the Federal Reserve that has the most power over our economy.
If Americans want to blame someone in Washington D.C. for the economic mess that we are in, the number one culprit is the Federal Reserve.
Yes, Obama, Bush and virtually every member of Congress has played a role in our economic nightmare as well. But it is the Federal Reserve that is actually “managing” our economy.
We would have been much better off if we had allowed free markets to “manage” our economy all this time, but very few Americans actually seem to still believe in free markets anymore.