Archive for February, 2011

US Army to build a Cheetah robot that can run faster than humans… let’s hope it doesn’t get a taste for flesh

By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 11:12 AM on 28th February 2011


But despite spending taxpayer millions on the android the Department of Defense officials don’t know what they will use it for

A new robot that can outrun the fastest man on Earth and a Terminator-type android that will work alongside troops is being developed for the US Army.

The speedy robot – called, unsurprisingly, the Cheetah – is being developed by Boston Dynamics, which brought to the world the $18million BigDog robot used to help soldiers carry equipment over tough terrain.

But despite the multi-million dollar contracts awarded by the Department of Defense, army officials still don’t know exactly what the robots will be used for, according to the company’s boss.

Scroll down for a video of the BigDog and Petman robots in action

The Cheetah-bot will be developed by Boston Dynamics and could reach speeds of 70mph. The first prototype is due in 20 monthsThe Cheetah-bot will be developed by Boston Dynamics and could reach speeds of 70mph. The first prototype is due in 20 months

Marc Raibert, lead investigator on the project and president of Boston Dynamics told the Boston Herald the Department of Defense is ‘not so focused on what the ultimate use will be.’

He added: ‘They’re most focused on developing the technology and seeing what uses they can be applied to.’

The four-legged Cheetah will have a flexible spine and articulated head, and, when built, it will be added to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s impressive robot arsenal.

Boston Dynamics boss, Marc Raibert, who will oversee the multi-million project, said the army doesn't know what purpose the Cheetah will haveBoston Dynamics boss, Marc Raibert, who will oversee the multi-million project, said the army doesn’t know what purpose the Cheetah will have

It will be able to sprint, take sharp corners, zigzag and be precise enough to stop on a dime.

The costs have not been revealed, but the multi-million dollar contract is expected to take quite a bite out of the department’s $3.2billion annual budget.

Real Cheetahs – the faster animal on land – can reach speeds of up to 70mph, and the company are hopeful their robot will be able to match them pound for metal.

The company hopes to have a prototype built in 20 months which will hit between 20 and 30mph.

The Atlas robot, which looks not too dissimilar to the androids in Terminator, will be a force to reckon with, the company hopes.

It has a body, two arms and two legs but no head and will be able to walk over rough terrain, fit through tight gaps and crawl on its hands and knees if needed.

The makers hope it will be a more technologically advanced version of its Petman robot, which is used to test out chemical weapons protection suits for the army and is capable of walking at 3mph and remain standing, even when pushed.

BigDog robot
Atlas robot

Robots in disguise: The BigDog, left, was unveiled in 2008 and the Atlas, right, is set to be the newest robot built for the Department of Defense’s Advanced Research Projects Agency alongside the Cheetah

Boston Dynamics hope to recreate the success its BigDog robot had when it was unveiled in 2008.

The BigDog supports American troops by carrying up to four backpacks of equipment over bumpy and rocky ground that wheeled vehicles cannot move over.

The 2ft tall and 3ft long metal beast also comes with high-tech gadgets including laser gyroscopes, video camera sensors and an on-board computer.

It wowed the world in 2008 and the company hopes to eventually sell the dogs to farmers for transporting crops.
Read more:–lets-hope-doesnt-taste-flesh.html#ixzz1FILbujEp


US : Wisconsin Police Have Joined Protest Inside State Capitol

February 27, 2011 at 13:18

Wisconsin Police Have Joined Protest Inside State Capitol
From inside the Wisconsin State Capitol, RAN ally Ryan Harvey reports:

“Hundreds of cops have just marched into the Wisconsin state capitol building to protest the anti-Union bill, to massive applause. They now join up to 600 people who are inside.”

Ryan reported on his Facebook page earlier today:

“Police have just announced to the crowds inside the occupied State Capitol of Wisconsin: ‘We have been ordered by the legislature to kick you all out at 4:00 today. But we know what’s right from wrong. We will not be kicking anyone out, in fact, we will be sleeping here with you!’ Unreal.”

You can find more updates from Ryan Harvey on Twitter @ryanharveysongs and his blog Even If Your Voice Shakes.

UPDATE: This video says it all. It makes me proud of my neighbors. “Let me tell you Mr. Walker, this is not your house, this is all our house.”



Al Qaeda in North Africa Tied to Sarkozy and Netanyahu

February 26, 2011 posted by Veterans Today


Behind Al Qaeda in North Africa there are Sarkozy and Netanyahu, who is in control of the CIA embassy in Tunisia where the fake ‘Al Qaeda videos’ were manufactured with the help of the harkas (traitors) of Algeria

US terror ally Mummar Gadhafi blames same fictitious ‘Al-Qaeda’ organisation for unrest in Libya
The revolution for freedom which started in Tunisia is fast spreading to several other Arab countries, such as Egypt, Yemen, Jordan, Libya, Algeria, Bahrein, and so on. It is not true that those are revolutions for European democracy which is a corrupt, capitalist, militaristic and repressive political system where votes are bought, and is a system based on the manipulation by a Zionist-controlled media. If anything, they are revolutions to dismantle those systems imposed by those corrupt European capitalist democracies and to replace them with a free and fair system appropriate to the peoples of those countries.

YouTube – Veterans Today –

Zionist Muammar Qaddafi speaking the language of his masters in Tel Aviv about fake ‘al Qaeda’ in Libya (official translation). Does it not sound like mad dogs Netanyahu, Clinton, Sarkozy, Cameron and Merkel when they insult Muslims and Islaam ? Make this video goes viral on the internet. Jazakum Allah kheyren

In an attempt to avoid such a revolution in ‘Saudi’ Arabia, the Saudi pro-West European dictators are increasing the salaries of Arabs in the democratic process of buying votes and acceptance of tyranny and corruption. Hence, the term ‘pro-democracy protestors’ is a complete misnomer and merely used for propaganda purposes.

Those revolutions are about freedom, justice, the liberation of Arab countries, including Palestine, the establishment of a pan-Arab economic system much less dependent on West Europeans and a defence force to better defend Arab countries from the aggression and occupation they have been experiencing for nearly a century.

Lockerbie and US terror friendship with Gadhafi
As the predominantly Muslim Arab world reels under its peoples’ will to free themselves from pro-Zionist terror regimes, we hear the same Western and pro-Western European rhetoric of Al-Qaeda to justify the massacres and persecution of Muslims at home and abroad. The uprising against US-supported Gadhafi’s Libyan regime is no surprise.

Gadhafi has been in power for 42 years. At one point, when his policy changed to denounce the US and Israel, he was branded the « mad dog of the Mediterranean ». On 15 April 1986, the US bombed the Libyan Capital Tripoli in an attempt to assassinate Gadhafi. They missed him and murdered his 15-month old adopted daughter Hanna instead. They accused Gadhafi of the Berlin discotheque bombing in 1986 and of supporting freedom movements, such as the IRA which wanted a unified Ireland and the removal of what they regarded as British armed terrorists from Irish soil, which the West Europeans branded as terrorist organisations.

Although there are clear indications that the bombing of the Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, on 21 December 1988 may have been the response of Iranians (and Palestinians) after the US Navy’s guided missile cruiser The USS Vincennes shot down, earlier, an Iranian Air Flight 655 on 3 July 1988 over the Strait of Hormuz in the Persian Gulf murdering all the crew and passengers, the US, who originally pointed the finger at Iran, shifted against Gadhafi and Libya for the Lockerbie bombing and even named the suspects they wanted to try.

After years of sanctions and with the intervention of Nelson Mandela, the Libyan leader allowed the two suspects to be released to Scottish custody, tried in the ‘neutral’ Netherlands in 2000. One suspect was freed but Libyan agent Abdelbaset Al-Megrahi was convicted in 2001 on the most doubtful uncorroborated ‘recollection’, 12 years earlier, of the Maltese tailor Tony Gauci who allegedly identified Megrahi buying (in Malta) the clothes allegedly used to conceal the bomb.

So flimsy was this evidence that even many parents and relatives of the victims did not believe Megrahi was the culprit (Ref. Robert Fisk & Mrs Irvine whose brother, Bill Cadman, was killed in the crash).
On 15th Oct 08, the High Court gave Megrahi leave of appeal to the Criminal Appeal Court against his conviction on the ground that a miscarriage of justice may have occurred. This appeal, which would have exculpated Magrahi, was never to be heard in 2009 because Megrahi (who is still alive) was, in the meantime, released on compassionate ground because he was terminally ill with prostate cancer.

This saved the justice system a lot of embarrassment and the authorities would have had to look for other suspects. Parallel with Megrahi’s release, British Petroleum had clinched a deal worth billions of dollars to explore oil in Libya, while Gadhafi and the US had become new friends. Gadhafi also benefited many other juicy deals for him and his regime, including a Chair on the United Nations Human Rights Council, which includes the US, the greatest human rights violator of all – how vulgar!

Now, the US want Libya out without stating on what ground Gadhafi’s Libya was admitted in the first place. Surely, if the tyrant Gadhafi is toppled, why should Libya be removed from the HRC? On the contrary Libya should remain as the people are fighting for their rights.

Gadhafi blames Bin Laden and Al Qaeda

Surely, the terror friendship between Gadhafi and US was not destined to last. The Libyan people opted to throw out the pro-US, tyrannical and oppressive Gadhafi regime where no political parties are allowed. The European West never campaigned for the freedom of the Libyans. They armed the regime to repress the people. The same arms, tanks, fighter planes and so on, are being used to murder protesting Libyans in the thousands like Palestinians are murdered by the European Israelis against whom no sanctions have ever been enforced.

To legitimise such genocide, Muammar Gadhafi made out he was fighting Osama Bin Laden and Al-Qaeda just like the US did when they put the blame of the 9/11 sophisticated military-precision attacks on the non-existent organisation. Gadhafi has clearly been well-trained by his masters. In a twist in the whole affair, Gadaffi’s Justice Minister Mustafa Abdel-Jalil now speaks out against Gadhafi alleging that he had ordered the Pam Am Flight 103 bombing over Lockerbie in a clear European Western strategy to promote him as Gadhafi’s successor.

Stealing assets of the Libyan people

When US President Obama says « By any measure, Muammar Gadhafi’s government has violated international norms and common decency and must be held accountable », he fails to mention Israel and fails to point out that Gadhafi is his agent, bearing in mind that any sanctions will affect the people and not the Libyan regime. Similarly, when Switzerland, Germany, the US and other European countries freeze Gadhafi’s assets, they are effectively stealing the assets of the Libyan people like they did for Iran when the Shah was toppled.

They will subsequently use those illegally frozen assets as a bargaining chip with any new government. This is one aspect which clearly demonstrates how they use the capitalist system and globalisation to subjugate countries. When people denounce capitalism, they are branded as anarchists. The Gadhafi’s story is not over yet? At the same time, people should also ask themselves why the West Europeans have gone so quiet on Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe. Why not freeze his assets too? How about freezing the assets of the Saudi dictators and tyrants?

M Rafic Soormally London 26 February 2011


The Conquer of the Americas : Mass Grave Sites Across Canada to be Surveyed by International Tribunal

related >Boarding Schools<  vids :


this Video is crying out :



Matt Taibbi: “Why Isn’t Wall Street in Jail?” (Complete Interview)

found on :

org. Art. with video

Nobody goes to jail,” “writes Matt Taibbi in his the new issue of Rolling Stone magazine. “This is the mantra of the financial-crisis era, one that saw virtually every major bank and financial company on Wall Street embroiled in obscene criminal scandals that impoverished millions and collectively destroyed hundreds of billions, in fact, trillions of dollars of the world’s wealth.” Here is the complete interview from which we played an excerpt on our Feb. 22 show. Taibbi explains how the American people have been defrauded by Wall Street investors and how the financial crisis is connected to the situations in states such as Wisconsin and Ohio.

AMY GOODMAN: We turn now to Matt Taibbi. But before I do, let me read a sentence from a recent paper by Dean Baker, who concludes, “Most of the pension shortfall using the current methodology is attributable to the plunge in the stock market in the years 2007-2009. If pension funds had earned returns just equal to the interest rate on 30-year Treasury bonds in the three years since 2007, their assets would be more than $850 billion greater than they are today.”

And this—he quotes David Cay Johnston of “The average Wisconsin pension is $24,500 a year, which is hardly lavish. But what is stunning is that 15% of the money contributed to the fund each year is going to Wall Street in fees,” which is why we now ask the question, “Why isn’t Wall Street in jail?”

Actually, that’s the title of reporter Matt Taibbi’s new article for Rolling Stone magazine. In the piece, Matt writes, quote, “Nobody goes to jail. This is the mantra of the financial-crisis era, one that saw virtually every major bank and financial company on Wall Street embroiled in obscene criminal scandals that impoverished millions and collectively destroyed hundreds of billions, in fact, trillions of dollars of the world’s wealth.”

Well, I interviewed Matt Taibbi on Sunday about his report, “Why Isn’t Wall Street in Jail?”

AMY GOODMAN: Welcome to Democracy Now!, Matt Taibbi.

MATT TAIBBI: Thanks for having me back.

AMY GOODMAN: Well, we’re seeing these mass protests in Madison, Wisconsin, and there’s other protests that are happening. We see the working poor, the middle class, under tremendous stress, and yet they’re the ones who are being hit hardest, not Wall Street. Explain what has happened. Why isn’t Wall Street in jail?

MATT TAIBBI: Well, it’s an incredible story. I mean, just to back up and provide some context, I think, for this Wisconsin thing, and especially for the Ohio thing, given what their governor used to do for a living—


MATT TAIBBI: Well, he was an employee for Lehman Brothers, and he was—

AMY GOODMAN: This is Governor Kasich.

MATT TAIBBI: Governor Kasich, yeah, and he was intimately involved with selling—getting the state of Ohio’s pension fund to invest in Lehman Brothers and buy mortgage-backed securities. And of course they lost all that money. And this, broadly, was really what the mortgage bubble and the financial crisis was all about. It was essentially a gigantic criminal fraud scheme where all the banks were taking mismarked mortgage-backed securities, very, very dangerous, toxic subprime loans, they were chopping them up and then packaging them as AAA-rated investments, and then selling them to state pension funds, to insurance companies, to Chinese banks and Dutch banks and Icelandic banks. And, of course, these things were blowing up, and all those funds were going broke. But what they’re doing now is they’re blaming the people who were collecting these pensions—they’re blaming the workers, they’re blaming the firemen, they’re blaming the policemen—whereas, in reality, they were actually the victims of this fraud scheme. And the only reason that people aren’t angrier about this, I think, is because they don’t really understand what happened. If these were car companies that had sold a trillion dollars’ worth of defective cars to the citizens of the United States, there would be riots right now. But these were mortgage-backed securities, it’s complicated, people don’t understand it, and they’re only now, I think, beginning to realize that they were defrauded.

AMY GOODMAN: Explain what the crime is. Who has profited? Who should be on trial?

MATT TAIBBI: Well, you know, again, the broad crime in all of this was just fraud. They were taking—these banks were taking, again, these subprime mortgages, and they would have these billion-dollar pools of mortgages where, in some cases, 70 or 80 percent of the loans were to people who had no identification or no jobs or who had put no money down into the mortgage. And then they were taking these loans and applying this phony baloney, hocus pocus math, these derivative instruments, and turning them into AAA-rated investments. And they were marketing, again, these securities to, say, state pension funds as AAA-rated investments, which means credit risk almost zero. So they took the stuff that they knew was very, very risky and very, very likely to default, and they were going to the state of Wisconsin, the state of Ohio, the state of New York, and saying, “Hey, this is almost as safe as—or in fact, it is as safe as United States Treasury bonds. You should buy this, and you’ll earn a little bit more than you’ll earn if you buy T-bills.” The reality was, they were just taking absolutely worthless stuff and sticking it with these people and then fleeing the scene. This is no different than drug dealers who take a bag of oregano and sell it to you as, you know, a pound of weed. That’s exactly the same scam.

AMY GOODMAN: Talk about John Mack and Gary Aguirre.

MATT TAIBBI: This is an amazing story, just because it demonstrates how far above the law these people are. John Mack is one of the most powerful people on Wall Street. Right now he’s the chairman of the board at Morgan Stanley. He used to be their CEO. Way back in 2001, when he was sort of between jobs, he had left Morgan Stanley and was interviewing with Credit Suisse First Boston. He was involved in a case that was investigated by the SEC. A hedge fund called Pequot made a very suspicious investment into a company called Heller Capital, which was about to be acquired by General Electric. This hedge fund bought, you know, an enormous amount of Heller stock three weeks before this acquisition by GE of Heller. Credit Suisse First Boston was Heller’s investment banker. John Mack was interviewing for the job with Credit Suisse a few days before Pequot made its purchases, and he was in direct contact with the hedge fund guy who made those purchases. Under any normal circumstances, he would be targeted for investigation by the SEC.

AMY GOODMAN: And his name was?

MATT TAIBBI: The investigator’s name was Gary Aguirre. And Aguirre—

AMY GOODMAN: And the guy buying up?

MATT TAIBBI: Art Samberg was the name of this hedge fund manager. He was a big star on Wall Street. In fact, there are articles about, you know, how does Art Samberg manage his amazing returns year after year? Well, you know, this was sort of a clue as to how.

Anyway, this SEC investigator named Gary Aguirre wanted permission to go interview John Mack, and his superiors at the SEC told him—they basically told him that he couldn’t, and the reason they said was because Mack has, quote-unquote, “powerful political connections.” At the time, he was a Ranger, one of Bush’s fundraising Rangers. He would later become a major fundraiser for Hillary Clinton. So he played both sides of the fence. This, again, is very typical of Wall Street. And Aguirre, when he pressed the matter, he was fired by the SEC.

AMY GOODMAN: And talk about the high-level people involved, like Mary Jo White.

MATT TAIBBI: Mary Jo White was the former U.S. attorney in the Southern District of New York. She was basically Rudy Giuliani for a few years. This is the top cop on Wall Street, basically. And she, at the time, was representing Morgan Stanley for the defense firm Debevoise & Plimpton. Again, this is what all these investigators do. When you leave a high-ranking position from the SEC or the U.S. attorney’s office, they all jump to these lucrative partnerships at corporate defense firms, where they make, you know, $2, $3, $4 million a year. So the incentives to really prosecute these guys are all backwards. And they all leave, and they take these jobs. Mary Jo White had left the U.S. attorney’s office. She’s representing Debevoise & Plimpton. She intercedes on behalf of Mack. And one of the SEC officials that she was in contact with, Paul Berger, Aguirre’s superior, ended up working for Debevoise & Plimpton a year later. And this is a very typical situation.

AMY GOODMAN: And Aguirre is fired.

MATT TAIBBI: He’s fired. He was—

AMY GOODMAN: He’s told to investigate, and then he starts to seriously investigate, and he’s fired.

MATT TAIBBI: Right. They gave him—two days after he started work at the SEC, one of his superiors handed him Pequot, just generally. They said, you know, “Look at this company.” Within a year or so, he was onto the Samberg case, and he had targeted Mack as a clear suspect in the case. He had overwhelming evidence. I mean, there were emails, there was documentary evidence. They put Martha Stewart in jail for much, much less than they had on Mack.

AMY GOODMAN: What did they have on Mack?

MATT TAIBBI: Well, again, they had emails demonstrating that Mack had been in touch by telephone with Samberg. They had the fact that Samberg had a personal relationship with Mack. They knew that the company had never had any meetings about this Heller Capital. It was—Aguirre described it to me as though Samberg awoke one morning, and God Himself told him to start buying shares of Heller Capital. And they had the fact that Mack was clearly privy to the inside information. He had had this meeting with Credit Suisse. He would later say that he destroyed his notes of his meeting with Credit Suisse on the way home from Switzerland, after that meeting. But clearly, he was—under any normal circumstances, he would have been targeted, would have been interviewed, but he was not.

AMY GOODMAN: So, Pequot is bought up?

MATT TAIBBI: Right. Well, no, Heller was bought.

AMY GOODMAN: Heller was bought up.

MATT TAIBBI: By GE, of course.

AMY GOODMAN: By GE. And how much does Samberg make? How much does—

MATT TAIBBI: He made—Samberg made $18 million on that trade. Another important part of the story is that Mack—Samberg cut Mack into a different deal that Pequot was doing, and as a result of that deal, Mack made about $10 million. So, all the dots connect. You know, Mack comes back from Switzerland. Samberg starts buying Heller. GE acquires Heller. Samberg makes $18 million. Mack gets cut in for $10 million. This is the outlines of a classic insider trading case.

AMY GOODMAN: So you think Mack should be in jail.

MATT TAIBBI: Well, he should—absolutely he should have been on trial. I mean, you know, it’s not for me to say; I’m not a jury. But clearly, they have prosecuted on far less evidence before.

AMY GOODMAN: Matt Taibbi, talk about Dick Fuld.

MATT TAIBBI: Well, Richard Fuld, whose nickname on Wall Street was “The Gorilla,” he was the head of Lehman Brothers. He was a much feared and ferocious character on Wall Street. And Fuld, again, he oversaw Lehman during this period when it was going through its death spiral, and there were a number of irregularities about Fuld that were extremely interesting.

I talked to a former Lehman Brothers lawyer named Oliver Budde, who was responsible for vetting some of Lehman’s public disclosures, and Budde discovered that Lehman had been hiding about $250 million worth of Fuld’s income from the SEC in its public disclosures. He, too, ended up having to leave his job because he was told that he couldn’t do his job. He protested the way that Lehman was doing its disclosures. He got kicked out. He went to the SEC in 2008, six months before its collapse. He gave them a huge packet of information about what Fuld was doing, and he was completely blown off by the SEC. He tried repeatedly over a period of six months to get them interested in the case. They said no.

When Fuld later testified before Congress, after the company’s collapse, he told Congress that he had only earned somewhere in the region of $350 million during his tenure at Lehman. Budde knew that the real number was more like $520 million. He told the committee members in Congress that Fuld had probably lied while he was testifying. And they weren’t interested in that, either. So here we have a situation where Roger Clemens is being investigated—you know, the state is trying to put Roger Clemens, baseball star, in jail for lying to Congress, but Dick Fuld apparently is not worth going after.

AMY GOODMAN: A man recently named the worst CEO of all time—


AMY GOODMAN:—by Portfolio magazine.

MATT TAIBBI: Absolutely. Again, Fuld presided over Lehman during this period where it was engaged in all sorts of irregularities. I mean, aside from this matter of hiding his own personal income, Lehman, during the last few years of its existence, was engaged in these very, very shady transactions called the “Repo 105” transactions. This was a kind of Enron-esque accounting where they were essentially borrowing tens of billions of dollars at the end of every quarter and then booking all that money as revenue. So, if you were an investor in Lehman Brothers and you’re looking at their bottom line, you’re thinking, “Hey, they’re making a lot of money. They’re doing great.” In fact, those were all loans, and after the quarter was over they were repaying that money. And it was guys like Fuld who were cashing out while everybody else was staying in.

AMY GOODMAN: Oliver Budde, who was he?

MATT TAIBBI: He was Lehman’s lawyer. He was the guy who uncovered those irregularities about Fuld’s reporting income, and he was the guy who went to the SEC and was told that, you know, they weren’t interested in his story.

AMY GOODMAN: No regulation?

MATT TAIBBI: Well, no. I mean, clearly—you know, the interesting thing about the Fuld case is that Lehman had been taking advantage of a loophole in the SEC’s rules in the early part of the 2000s to misreport Fuld’s income. But they actually caught themselves. They noticed that this practice was very widespread, and they created a new rule specifically to target this kind of income hiding that Fuld was doing. But they created the rule, but they didn’t do anything about it. They had clear cases of this rule being misused, and they chose not to do anything about it. So, even when we do have regulation on Wall Street, the laws are really often meaningless, because you need someone who has the will to prosecute, the will to investigate, to make them real.

AMY GOODMAN: Has anyone gone to jail?

MATT TAIBBI: Well, Bernie Madoff. And clearly, he’s the only person in this whole tableau—

AMY GOODMAN: Always called the greatest swindle of all time.

MATT TAIBBI: Right. But Bernie Madoff, honestly, compared to all these other guys, he’s really small potatoes. He’s also not really representative of what went on on Wall Street during this period. He’s a garden variety Ponzi scheme artist. Of course, he did it on a much bigger scale than most Ponzi scheme artists, but this is a crime that could have happened in the ’20s, the ’30s, the ’40s. It had nothing to do with this incredibly sophisticated, complex criminal fraud scheme involving, you know, the mortgage bubble and the sale of these phony baloney mortgage-backed securities. Madoff had nothing to do with that. He was just a garden variety criminal. And this is exactly the kind of case that the SEC and the Justice Department do prosecute: these outliers, these guys who are not part of the top echelon executives. And they make these cases, and they say, “Here’s evidence we’re doing our job.” The reality is very different.

AMY GOODMAN: So, talk, Matt Taibbi, about what are the repercussions of what happened. What did the 2008 crash mean?

MATT TAIBBI: Well, it was—you know, this was the collapse of a giant bubble scheme. You know, when they did this, when they pumped the whole country full of these defective cars, which were these defective mortgages, it created a very, very dangerous situation for the entire country. They ended up essentially bankrupting or fatally wounding pension funds and insurance companies and banks all over the country. And so, now we’re all paying for those phony scams.

But the other amazing thing that they did is, you know, the banks, when they flooded the market with these phony securities, some of them were smart enough to realize that they were eventually going to blow, so they started betting against them. They went to companies like AIG, and they took out trillions of dollars of credit default swaps and pseudo-insurance policies on these mortgages. When they all blew up, you know, it blew up some of these companies, like AIG. And that’s what the bailout was really all about. The bailout wasn’t really to pay off real losses in these mortgages. It was really to pay off the bets on these mortgages. So, not only did they flood the market with a trillion dollars of defective merchandise, they got the United States taxpayer to pony up $5, $6, $7 trillion worth of bailout money to pay off their bets on all this stuff.

AMY GOODMAN: Which brings in the Obama administration. You talk about a lot of this happening under President Bush, but talk about what the Obama administration, what Geithner—talk about also Alan Greenspan, through the Bush years.

MATT TAIBBI: Right. Well, the most important thing to get from the Obama administration is that its economic policy represented absolute continuity with the policy of the previous administration. Timothy Geithner was the principal architect of Bush’s bailouts, and he was retained. Ben Bernanke, who was the head of the Fed under Bush, stayed on under Obama.

And they essentially continued the same bailout policy, which, again, was essentially to tell Wall Street that we’re going to make you whole again. You know, after they flooded the entire international economy with all these toxic debt instruments, their policy was to get Wall Street well again, and ostensibly they were supposed to reinvest in the economy and put people back to work. But instead, they just kept the money. And, I mean, they literally went from being completely insolvent to, you know, making $150 billion bonus pools every year, and that money is all public money. It’s pure bailout gift from the taxpayer.

AMY GOODMAN: Is Obama doing this because he’s got to raise a billion dollars in 2012 for the presidential race, and he’s going to turn to Wall Street for this?

MATT TAIBBI: Well, clearly. You know, look, Barack Obama’s number one private campaign contributor was Goldman Sachs. He took more money from Wall Street than any other presidential candidate in history. He was heavily influenced by Wall Street guys. When he was elected, he immediately put Citigroup executives in charge of his economic transition team. I remember when I was covering his campaign how he promised never to bring a registered lobbyist into his cabinet. And one of the first things he did was put Mark Patterson, Goldman Sachs’s lobbyist, in the number two job at the Treasury. He’s got a JPMorgan Chase executive, who has $8 million in Chase stock, as the chief of staff right now. He’s been incredibly friendly to Wall Street. These guys have remained the architects of his economic policy.

AMY GOODMAN: And Jeffrey Immelt, head of GE?

MATT TAIBBI: Well, yeah. I mean, obviously he was a key player, as well. Again, its continuity with the previous administration is the key thing to focus on.

AMY GOODMAN: Alan Greenspan?

MATT TAIBBI: Well, Greenspan—I think what people don’t understand about the Fed is what an important role the Fed plays in this entire mess. Going back, you know, 20, 25 years, every time Wall Street gets in a lot of trouble, the Fed has been there to bail them out. They even had a term for it on Wall Street called the “Greenspan Put,” which essentially meant that every time the banks blew up a speculative bubble, they could go back to the Fed and borrow money at zero or one or two percent, and then start the game all over again.

After the crash in 2008, interest rates were slashed to basically nothing. The banks could go to the Fed and get money for free, and then they’re out lending it to us at five, six, seven—I mean, how much is your interest on your credit cards? It’s 15, 20 percent. It’s almost impossible not to make money in banking if your cost of capital is zero. That’s what banking is all about. And that’s what the Fed has done. It’s provided a massive subsidy system for the banks on Wall Street.

AMY GOODMAN: You say in your article that the justice system has actually evolved into a highly effective mechanism for protecting financial criminals, not just not prosecuting them, but protecting them.

MATT TAIBBI: Right. Well, one of the things that I found out when I was interviewing former SEC officials and whistleblowers, people who had been involved in some of these cases, is, you know, when you look at the revolving door situation with all these—the Mary Jo Whites and the Gary Lynches and the Linda Thompsons, these former high-ranking financial cops who leave government service and they go to work in these millionaire partnerships on Wall Street, it creates this collegial atmosphere where it’s just a few—a small group of lawyers who all know each other, and they’re in this constant merry-go-round, from government, back to private service, back to government again, and they’re really in this—it’s far too collegial.

There’s a scene in my story where the current head of the SEC enforcement, Robert Khuzami, is giving a speech to all these lawyers, and he’s saying, you know, “We have a new policy now where if you’re a defendant or if you’re a company that’s being investigated, you can come to the SEC, and we will get you answers as to whether or not the Department of Justice has a criminal interest in your case.” So, essentially, the SEC is now acting as a middleman for these companies, so they can go and find out whether they’re going to be criminally prosecuted. Then, once they get that information, they can make a decision about whether or not to settle financially with the SEC. And they pay a settlement. Nobody gets criminally prosecuted. No individuals ever get fined. They pay these fines, and they almost always have a little section in there that says that they do not admit wrongdoing. So, they don’t even have to say they’re sorry, essentially. These companies go and they pay their fines. No individuals have to suffer at all. And it’s all done in a very collegial way.

AMY GOODMAN: You suggest in your piece that Bernie Madoff went to jail because it was rich people who were the victims.

MATT TAIBBI: Absolutely. Every single former investigator or current investigator that I talked to said the same thing: Madoff went to jail because the wrong people suffered. You know, it was famous actors. It was, you know, the glitterati in New York. If these were teachers and firemen and all the usual suspects—you know, look at the—we have a million people in foreclosure in this country right now, and a lot of them are there because of predatory lending and because of this fraud scheme, but there are no criminal prosecutions. I think that’s the reality now, is that we don’t see anybody being criminally targeted unless their victims were powerful people themselves.

AMY GOODMAN: Talk about Lynn Turner, the former chief accountant for the SEC, the Securities and Exchange Commission.

MATT TAIBBI: Yeah, Lynn Turner was the guy that I talked to, the former chief accountant—the chief accountant’s job at the SEC is actually an investigatory position. What they do is they look at disclosure violations, which means, you know, when companies issue their SEC quarterly reports, they have to make sure that everything that they say in those reports are accurate. That’s the chief accountant’s job. And Turner told me that, you know, that was his job, and in his experience, he saw case after case in which they had good evidence against companies that were involved in very shady dealings, and these cases were either slowed down or not pursued at all.

He gave me an example, you know, the Rite Aid case, which of course turned into—there were many cases like Rite Aid, that, you know, they had this case years before the Enron case blew up. They maybe could have done something about Enron if they had proceeded fast enough.

AMY GOODMAN: And the Rite Aid case was?

MATT TAIBBI: Well, Rite Aid was a company that was hiding billions of dollars in losses. It’s similar to the Lehman Brothers situation. They were trying to make their bottom line look better for shareholders, so they created, you know, these little cookie jar companies to hide their losses in. This is very similar to what Enron was doing, very similar to what WorldCom was doing. They had plenty of evidence on this case, but the case went nowhere for seven, eight years. And this is the typical MO of the SEC. They just do not act fast enough.

AMY GOODMAN: You mention that before the corruption starts, the state is at a disadvantage because policing Wall Street requires serious intellectual firepower, and the banks seize a huge advantage from the start by hiring away the top talent.

MATT TAIBBI: Yeah, you know, one lawyer I talked to put it to me this way. He said everybody knows that the top 80 percent of all the graduating classes of all the best law schools, they go to Wall Street. They go to these corporate defense firms where they get the real money-making jobs. The bottom 20 percent, he says, go to the SEC. That’s the way this works. And, you know, the way he described it, he says, “It’s just such a mismatch, it’s not even funny.” And even that 20 percent, of course, they get roped into the revolving door situation, so if any talent rises from that pool into positions of responsibility, they get lured away by the million-dollar partnerships.

So what your left is—you know, not to insult the people who work at the SEC, but clearly, the very best and brightest lawyers are working for these banks, where they continually come up with these very fiendish and almost brilliant defenses for the schemes that their companies are involved with. They always find a way to claim that what we did was legal, and they come up with these elaborate justifications. And some of these lawyers are really overwhelmed by these justifications, and they end up, you know, not having the gumption to prosecute or move forward with cases.

AMY GOODMAN: You think of the thousands of people who have been deported in the last years?

MATT TAIBBI: Three hundred and ninety-three thousand last year.

AMY GOODMAN: You think of the people who have gone to prison and what they’ve gone to prison for.

MATT TAIBBI: Right, right. You know, it’s incredible. I mean, there was a case in Ohio that somebody forwarded to me, where a woman, a single—a black single mother of two children, she lied about where she was living so that her two kids could get into a better school system. And the state of Ohio actually prosecuted her for fraud, and the judge in that case insisted—they sentenced her to, actually, I think it was five years in jail, but they insisted that she actually do 15 days. And the judge’s quote in that case was that if she didn’t do real jail time, that would demean the seriousness of the offense. And so, I mean, the case was ultimately commuted because of the public outcry, but this, to me, is symptomatic of what we’re dealing with here.

You have people in this country who—we have two-and-a-half million people in jail this country, you know, more than a million who are in jail for nonviolent crimes. And yet, we couldn’t find a single person on Wall Street to do even a day in jail for losing 40 percent of the world’s wealth in a criminal fraud scheme? And that tells you that we have—this goes beyond the cliché that rich people have better lawyers and they have an advantage. This is a step beyond that. This is a situation where the system is completely corrupted, and it’s true regulatory capture. The SEC and the Justice Department are essentially subsidiaries of Wall Street.

AMY GOODMAN: Finally, you mentioned Obama’s chief of staff, Bill Daley, newly appointed. What, $20 million he made last year, mainly from Chase.

MATT TAIBBI: Right, right. I mean, it’s—

AMY GOODMAN: What about the media coverage, when people are being appointed, when these deals are made, talking about just basic tenets of good journalism, following the money, talking about who’s profiting where and who’s surrounding those who are making these decisions?

MATT TAIBBI: Well, it’s funny. The general narrative with political journalism in this country—and I know, because I was one of these people for a long time. I covered presidential campaigns and presidential politics. A lot of the reporters who cover the stuff don’t know a whole lot about economics, and so they believe this sort of general notion that the guys on Wall Street are the experts; if you want to have somebody running your economy, you have to go to the experts; so it makes perfect sense that the President would want to surround himself with executives from Citigroup and Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase. And I think that their thinking doesn’t really get any more sophisticated than that. And so, a lot of these guys get a pass. Then people don’t really look at what these companies have been up to, what kind of influence they might have over the President’s decision making. And so, I think there isn’t very much coverage. There isn’t enough debate about what these appointments mean.

AMY GOODMAN: If you were president, what would you do right now?

MATT TAIBBI: Well, I would certainly get rid of all those guys, you know, from Wall Street. I think there needs to be a freeze on foreclosures. I mean, there’s all kinds of things that need to be done. But the most important thing is we have to, you know, get the right people into bodies like the SEC and the Justice Department. Everybody I talked to said the same thing. The existing laws we have, you know, they’re not perfect, but they’re probably good enough to do some real good. It’s just that we don’t have the right people in the jobs, and the will isn’t there to do these prosecutions. So, I think we’ve just got to get the right people in the right jobs.

AMY GOODMAN: Matt Taibbi, his latest piece, “Why Isn’t Wall Street in Jail?” It’s in the latest issue of Rolling Stone magazine. Thanks so much.

MATT TAIBBI: Thank you, Amy.

Matt Taibbi, political reporter for Rolling Stone magazine. His new article for Rolling Stone magazine is titled ‘Why Isn’t Wall Street in Jail?’

Star Wars In Iraq

Filed under: Military/War by iw2010 
February 19, 2011

Al Ghezali reported that he had seen three passengers in a car all dead with their faces and teeth burnt, the body intact, and no sign of projectiles. There were other inexplicable aspects: the terrain where the battle took place was dug up by the American military and replaced with other fresh earth, the bodies that were not hit by projectiles had shrunk to just slightly more than one meter in height.

As in any war, the war in Iraq left us a dreadful gallery of horror, images of mutilations that not even doctors can explain. The witnesses refer to laser weapons, arms with mysterious effects. We do not know what kind of weapons could produce such terrible effects. We tried to learn more about it by asking for interviews to members of companies manufacturing laser and microwave weapons. Yet, the U.S. Defense Department prevented any information from being released to us, they also did not answer, up to the time to almost edited, the questions we have sent them in order to know whether or not experimental weapons had been tested in Iraq and Afghanistan.

We tracked down the Pentagon press conferences from before the beginning of the second Gulf War to see if they spoke about any new weapons being tested. The words of the Secretary of Defense and General Meyers indicated a willingness to try weapons that had never been used before. And the questions from the press about direct energy and microwave weapons made them visibly uncomfortable.

YEAR: 2006

RUNTIME: 25 min

TORRENT Download



Italian Parliament finger four forgers – Ahmad Chalabi , Francis Brookes, Dewey Clarridge, and Michael Ledeen.

Original french at

July 22, the democratic group of the American Senate held a capital hearing to evaluate the extent of the political implications and of safety caused by the disclosure with the press of the identity of the secret agent Valerie Plame. They also examined the behavior of the White House and president Bush which, while refusing to seek and sanction the persons in charge, worsened the damage.

Hearing was chaired by the deputy Henry Waxman and the senator Byron Dorgan, director of Senate Democratic Policy Committee. For Waxman, the revelation of the identity of Limes constitutes not only “one treason and an affront indefensible in its opposition and towards those which work on the lines of face to protect America”, but also “an indefensible violation of our national safety”. Deputy, which had voted in favour of the invasion of Iraq on the basis of what proved to be lies and half-truths as for the weapons of destruction massive (ADM) Iraqi, clearly implied that the Plame scandal is also a history of lie “Today, says it, we know the truth. I was misled, as the American people were misled, and it is the husband of Valerie Plame, the ambassador Joe Wilson, who contributed to restore the truth.

“Until now, the White House did not provide any credible proof of an agreement of uranium sale between Iraq and Niger”, which however constituted one of the key parts of is saying Iraqi threat nuclear “It seems rather than the advisers of the President launched a smear campaign (…) We have only one partial information on what occurred in the hours and the days which followed [ the publication of the article of Wilson bringing back the conclusions of its mission to Niger ] (…) but we know that a secret memorandum of the State Department exposing the identity of Valerie [ Limes that Karl Rove, to advise nearest of the President, spoke about the identity of Mrs. Wilson with the chronicler Robert Novak and the journalist of the magazine Time Matthew Cooper; and that Lewis Libby, head of cabinet of the office of the vice-president, also spoke about Mrs. Wilson with at least a journalist “According to Waxman, the White House gave a report on eleven escapes on the subject.

Various former analysts of the services of information deposited in front of the senators and all underlined at which point it is serious to reveal the identity of a secret agent. That endangers not only the agent, but all the network of people with whom it is in contact, clandestinely, in foreign countries where the information is collected.

“the consequences are much more serious than I imagined it at the beginning”, declared the deputy John Conyers. Appointed the Louise Slaughter asked the witnesses if they had already intended to say, during their professional life, that the White House had revealed the identity of a secret agent. Larry Johnson, former analyst with the CIA, was categorical: “With large never! It is without precedent. ”

The former officer of the military information (DIA) Patrick LANG insisted on the importance of the factor confidence in the recruitment of foreign citizens to become advisors of the CIA In the event of escape, it is all their confidence towards the United States which is blamed “When not only community of the information, but the elected government (…) of the first country in the world decides, deliberately and apparently for transitory political reasons and without interest, to reveal the identity of a secret agent, the new one makes the effect of a shock in the whole world (…)” One cannot make confidence with the Americans”, is said one never does it. ”

Larry Johnson contradicted the assertions of the republican Party according to which Plame was not really a clandestine agent since it worked at the HQ of the CIA with Langley, or that it is it which had organized the mission of her husband in Niger. These untrue assertions were repeated by various republican members of Parliament.

For the former treating officer of the CIA Jim Marcinkowski, the refusal of high persons in charge for the government to take their responsabilities following this rupture for confidence, created large a faintness with the power station “They played hide-and-seek with the truth and to semantic plays for more than two years, at the expense of the safety of the American people”, he has said.

While were held these hearings, one learned in the New York Times that the special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald considers the possibility of accusing of perjury Karl Rove and Lewis Libby because of contradictions in their testimonys and of obstruction of justice.

The White House hopelessly tries to bury the business of uranium native of Niger

EIR learned from several sources in Washington that the White House makes its possible to prevent three bodies of press from revealing the origins of the falsified documents of the government native of Niger, intended to make believe that Saddam Hussein sought to obtain significant quantities of uranium native of Niger to produce nuclear weapons. After having taken knowledge of these documents, appeared in Italy at the end of 2001, Dick Cheney asked the information agencies to check information, which was to lead to the mission of the Wilson ambassador in Niger in February 2002.

A news service, a chain of American television and a newspaper have each one surveyed into the origin of the forgeries. Last year, the emission of CBS, “60 minutes”, cancelled at the last minute the diffusion of a special sequence on the business of uranium native of Niger to cover the “scandal” which had just burst concerning the military service of George W Bush. The two other media are about to finish their investigations, and according to our sources, the White House exerts pressures so that they extinguish the business.

In Italy, the Parliament comes to conclude a study on the origins and the consequences from the forgeries, and according to certain sources, the report/ratio mentions among the principal suspects Michael Ledeen, Dewey Clarridge, Ahmed Chalabi and Francis Brookes.

Let us recall that Ledeen works like “consultant” near the service of Italian information SISMI since long years (since the beginning of the Eighties and the bursting of the scandal around the P2 cabin). To December 2001, at the time where the documents natives of Niger were transmitted to the SISMI, it went to Rome in company of Harold Rhode and of Lawrence Franklin of the Pentagon, officially to meet Manucher Ghorbanifar, large protagonist of the Business Iran-Countered. Franklin is at the present time accused to have transmitted secret information to the AIPAC like with a person in charge for the embassy of Israel.

The fact that Clarridge, Chalabi and Brookes (related to Iraqi National Congress (Inc)), are mentioned is particularly interesting. With the end of the year 2001, the tsar of the counter-terrorism of the White House was the General (Cr) Wayne DOWNING. He proposed to take Clarridge for assistant. Brookes came from Rendon Group, a cabinet of “public relations” that the Pentagon engaged to promote Chalabi and the Inc.

Which is the role of the White House in these forgeries? Did the government only exploit the information to arrive to its ends, or a group of néo-conservative around Cheney it took part in their manufacture? No one will not be astonished by the current efforts of the White House to prevent this business from bursting at the great day.


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