Police caught on tape trying to recruit protester as spy

By Paul Lewis~London Guardian

Undercover police are running a network of hundreds of informants inside protest organisations who secretly feed them intelligence in return for cash, according to evidence handed to the Guardian.

They claim to have infiltrated a number of environmental groups and said they are receiving information about leaders, tactics and plans of future demonstrations.

The dramatic disclosures are revealed in almost three hours of secretly recorded discussions between covert officers claiming to be from Strathclyde police, and an activist from the protest group Plane Stupid, whom the officers attempted to recruit as a paid spy after she had been released on bail following a demonstration at Aberdeen airport last month.

Matilda Gifford, 24, said she recorded the meetings in an attempt to expose how police seek to disrupt the legitimate activities of climate change activists. She met the officers twice; they said they were a detective constable and his assistant. During the taped discussions, the officers:

• Indicate that she could receive tens of thousands of pounds to pay off her student loans in return for information about individuals within Plane Stupid.

• Say they will not pay money direct into her bank account because that would leave an audit trail that would leave her compromised. They said the money would be tax-free, and added: “UK plc can afford more than 20 quid.”

• Accept that she is a legitimate protester, but warn her that her activity could mean she will struggle to find employment in the future and result in a criminal record.

• Claim they have hundreds of informants feeding them information from protest organisations and “big groupings” from across the political spectrum.

• Explain that spying could assist her if she was arrested. “People would sell their soul to the devil,” an officer said.

• Warn her that she could be jailed alongside “hard, evil” people if she received a custodial sentence.

The meetings took place in a Glasgow police station last month and in a supermarket cafe on Tuesday. Gifford used a mobile phone and device sewn into her waistcoat to record what they described as a “business proposal” that she should think of as a job.

Full Article from PuppetGov

LEAKED! Bank Stress Test Results!

The Turner Radio Network has obtained “stress test” results for the top 19 Banks in the USA. (Corrections/clarifications below in orange)

The stress tests were conducted to determine how well, if at all, the top 19 banks in the USA could withstand further or future economic hardship.

When the tests were completed, regulators within the Treasury and inside the Federal Reserve began bickering with each other as to whether or not the test results should be made public. That bickering continues to this very day as evidenced by this “main stream media” report.

The Turner Radio Network has obtained the stress test results. They are very bad. The most salient points from the stress tests appear below.

1) Of the top nineteen (19) banks in the nation, sixteen (16) are already technically insolvent. (Based upon the “alternative more adverse” scenario which had a 3.3 percent contraction of the U.S. Economy in 2009, accompanied by 8.9 percent unemployment, followed by 0.5 percent growth of the U.S. Economy but a 10.3 percent jobless in 2010.) 

2) Of the 16 banks that are already technically insolvent, not even one can withstand any disruption of cash flow at all or any further deterioration in non-paying loans. (Without further government injections of cash)

3) If any two of the 16 insolvent banks go under, they will totally wipe out all remaining FDIC insurance funding.

4) Of the top 19 banks in the nation, the top five (5) largest banks are under capitalized so dangerously, there is serious doubt about their ability to continue as ongoing businesses.

5) Five large U.S. banks have credit exposure related to their derivatives trading that exceeds their capital, with four in particular – JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, HSBC Bank America and Citibank – taking especially large risks.

6) Bank of America`s total credit exposure to derivatives was 179 percent of its risk-based capital; Citibank`s was 278 percent; JPMorgan Chase`s, 382 percent; and HSBC America`s, 550 percent. It gets even worse: Goldman Sachs began reporting as a commercial bank, revealing an alarming total credit exposure of 1,056 percent, or more than ten times its capital! (HSBC is NOT in the top 19 banks undergoing a stress test, but is mentioned in the report as an aside because of its risk capital exposure to derivatives)

7) Not only are there serious questions about whether or not JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs,Citibank, Wells Fargo, Sun Trust Bank, HSBC Bank USA, can continue in business, more than 1,800 regional and smaller institutions are at risk of failure despite government bailouts!

The debt crisis is much greater than the government has reported. The FDIC`s “Problem List” of troubled banks includes 252 institutions with assets of $159 billion. 1,816 banks and thrifts are at risk of failure, with total assets of $4.67 trillion, compared to 1,568 institutions, with $2.32 trillion in total assets in prior quarter.

Put bluntly, the entire US Banking System is in complete and total collapse.

Bonifides 

For those who may be skeptical about the veracity of the stress test report above, be reminded that only last Sunday, April 12, this radio network obtained and published a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Memo outlining their concerns that returning US military vets posed a domestic security threat as “right wing extremists.” That memo,available here, is marked “FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY” and contained strict warnings that it was not to be released to the public or to the media. We obtained it and published it days before other media outlets.

Link to Reuters deleted at their request 0842 HRS 21 April 2009

Further, todays Wall Street Journal (April 20, 2009) is confirming at this link that lending by the largest banks has DECREASED 23% since the government began the T.A.R.P. program, causing many in Congress to ask where the money has actually been going. Apparently, it has been going into propping-up the failing banks instead of out in loans to the public.

Additional details and proofs are forthcoming. . . . . continue to check back on this developing story.

UPDATE 1154 HRS EDT April 20, 2009 —

The United States Treasury has openly and brazenly lied regarding our stress test report and we can prove they have lied about it.

This morning, the United States Treasury issued a statement (HERE) claiming they do not yet have the results of the Stress Tests, rebuking our report

How do we know its a lie?

Because of this from April 10th:

April 10 (Bloomberg) — The U.S. Federal Reserve has told Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Citigroup Inc. and other banks to keep mum on the results of “stress tests” that will gauge their ability to weather the recession, people familiar with the matter said.

The Fed wants to ensure that the report cards don’t leak during earnings conference calls scheduled for this month. Such a scenario might push stock prices lower for banks perceived as weak and interfere with the government’s plan to release the results in an orderly fashion later this month.

How can you be ordered not to release something you don’t have?

Full Article

F*** The RIAA! No Seriously…

This morning, the number one story on Digg is “The Pirate Bay Trial: The Official Verdict – Guilty”. 

Excerpt from TorrentFreak.com

Just minutes ago the verdict in the case of The Pirate Bay Four was announced. All four defendants were accused of ‘assisting in making copyright content available’. Peter Sunde: Guilty. Fredrik Neij: Guilty. Gottfrid Svartholm: Guilty. Carl Lundström: Guilty. The four receive 1 year in jail each and fines totaling $3,620,000. 

The court has found that by using Pirate Bay’s services there has been file-sharing of music, films and computer games to the extent the prosecutor has stated in his case,”said the district court. “This file-sharing constitutes an unlawful transfer to the public of copyrighted performances.”

Seriously, WTF? A group of very intelligent and talented individuals spent weeks fighting the case. Even though this cause has millions of supporters (even holding public demonstrations around the world!) the big companies won, in a Swedish court. 

Read that again, American big corporations overruled Swedish law. The Pirate Bay was operating legally in its own country, but despite that, were all given jailtime. 

For me, and most others, the issue comes down to this. The public found a way to distribute material on their own using a legal fire sharing technique called torrent files. These are used to send large files, uncopyrighted files too, to anyone on the net very efficienty. The big companies could not figure out a way around this. Instead of revamping their business model (like iTunes), they instead take out the innocent to safeguared their power and fortunes.

Welcome to world governorship by the corporations.

Pirates stage rocket attack on US freighter

by Michael Richards

Pirates attacked an American freighter with rocket fire and machine guns but the ship escaped even as other vessels fell into the clutches of marauding Somali bandits.

Pirates have taken four ships since losing two battles with US and French forces at the weekend.

Their latest target was the Liberty Sun which was heading for the Kenyan port of Mombasa with international food aid when it was attacked late Tuesday, the owners said.

The USS Bainbridge, which mounted the operation to rescue the captain of another freighter carrying food for Africa, came to the rescue of the Liberty Sun, officials said.

Crew members gave a dramatic account of the attack.

“We are under attack by pirates, we are being hit by rockets. Also bullets,” crewman Thomas Urbik told his mother in email messages, CNN television reported.

“We are barricaded in the engine room and so far no one is hurt. [A] rocket penetrated the bulkhead but the hole is small. Small fire, too, but put out.”

Urbik said the US Navy escorted the ship to safety. “The navy has showed up we are now under military escort,” he wrote.

Liberty Maritime, which is based in New York, said in a statement: “We are grateful and pleased that no one was injured and the crew and the ship are safe.”

US President Barack Obama has pledged to curb piracy but since the rescue of captain Richard Phillips and some French hostages in separate military missions the bandits have taken four vessels.

The MV Irena, a 35,000-tonne Greek-operated ship, was hijacked in the Gulf of Aden. Its 22 Filipino crew is believed to be safe. A second Lebanese-owned freighter, the Sea Horse, was seized off the Horn of Africa.

Andrew Mwangura of the East Africa Seafarers Assistance Programme said another vessel run by the owners of the Greek ship was attacked in the Gulf of Aden area on Monday but escaped.

At least 18 ships and 250 crew are being held by Somali pirates. Ten of the ships have been taken this month.

On Monday, the head of the group that briefly seized the US ship Maersk Alabama vowed to retaliate for the deaths of three pirates in the military operation which rescued the American captain.

“The American liars have killed our friends after they agreed to free the hostage without ransom… this matter will lead to retaliation and we will hunt down particularly American citizens travelling our waters,” Abdi Garad said by phone from the pirate lair of Eyl.

The captain of the US ship was saved when Navy Seals snipers killed three pirates to end the high-seas drama which prompted Obama to call for stepped-up anti-piracy efforts.

According to sources close to the pirates, French ships were also prime targets following the rescue of the Tanit yacht in which hostage Florent Lemacon and two pirates were killed.

Three Somali pirates arrested during the French military rescue operation were taken to France on Tuesday and put in custody.

French commandos had already launched rescue operations in two previous cases over the past year, killing and capturing pirates.

In a statement, top UN envoy to Somalia, Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah, backed the operations saying they “are sending a strong message to the pirates and, more importantly, to their backers who are exploiting the poverty and desperation of their young, unemployed compatriots.”

UN International Maritime Bureau (IMB) head Noel Choong said: “We support the robust response against the pirates.” But he added that there are risks involved.

So far Somali pirates have sought to release ships for ransoms and have not killed any hostages. But their attacks have prompted naval powers to deploy ships to patrol pirate-infested waters

Kenya and the EU have signed an agreement to transfer to the country suspected Somali pirates who are detained as part of the bloc’s Atalanta anti-piracy naval mission.

Somalia has gone through close to two decades of war and lawless chaos which have made piracy one of the few viable businesses.

Full Article

Tax Day Becomes Protest Day

Today American taxpayers in more than 300 locations in all 50 states will hold rallies — dubbed “tea parties” — to protest higher taxes and out-of-control government spending. There is no political party behind these rallies, no grand right-wing conspiracy, not even a 501(c) group like MoveOn.org.

[Commentary]Reuters

A rally and march in protest of higher taxes in Santa Barbara, Calif., April 4.

So who’s behind the Tax Day tea parties? Ordinary folks who are using the power of the Internet to organize. For a number of years, techno-geeks have been organizing “flash crowds” — groups of people, coordinated by text or cellphone, who converge on a particular location and then do something silly, like the pillow fights that popped up in 50 cities earlier this month. This is part of a general phenomenon dubbed “Smart Mobs” by Howard Rheingold, author of a book by the same title, in which modern communications and social-networking technologies allow quick coordination among large numbers of people who don’t know each other.

In the old days, organizing large groups of people required, well, an organization: a political party, a labor union, a church or some other sort of structure. Now people can coordinate themselves.

As word spread, people got interested in picking a common date for nationwide protests, and decided on today, Tax Day, as the date. As I write this, various Web sites tracking tea parties are predicting anywhere between 300 and 500 protests at cities around the world. A Google Map tracking planned events, maintained at the FreedomWorks.org Web site, shows the United States covered by red circles, with new events being added every day.

Full Article

Factsnews- If you are reading this, you care. Make a difference. Invite some friends and attend one of these events.

Socialism has failed. Now capitalism is bankrupt. So what comes next?

By Eric Hobsbawm
gaurdian.co.uk

The 20th century is well behind us, but we have not yet learned to live in the 21st, or at least to think in a way that fits it. That should not be as difficult as it seems, because the basic idea that dominated economics and politics in the last century has patently disappeared down the plughole of history. This was the way of thinking about modern industrial economies, or for that matter any economies, in terms of two mutually exclusive opposites: capitalism or socialism.

We have lived through two practical attempts to realise these in their pure form: the centrally state-planned economies of the Soviet type and the totally unrestricted and uncontrolled free-market capitalist economy. The first broke down in the 1980s, and the European communist political systems with it. The second is breaking down before our eyes in the greatest crisis of global capitalism since the 1930s. In some ways it is a greater crisis than in the 1930s, because the globalisation of the economy was not then as far advanced as it is today, and the crisis did not affect the planned economy of the Soviet Union. We don’t yet know how grave and lasting the consequences of the present world crisis will be, but they certainly mark the end of the sort of free-market capitalism that captured the world and its governments in the years since Margaret Thatcher and President Reagan.

Impotence therefore faces both those who believe in what amounts to a pure, stateless, market capitalism, a sort of international bourgeois anarchism, and those who believe in a planned socialism uncontaminated by private profit-seeking. Both are bankrupt. The future, like the present and the past, belongs to mixed economies in which public and private are braided together in one way or another. But how? That is the problem for everybody today, but especially for people on the left.

Full Article

Sadiq Khan says US foreign policy on Pakistan is damaging Britain

By Jamie Doward and Rajeev Syal
Observer.gaurdian.co.uk

Young Pakistanis ‘blame UK for drone deaths’

Sadiq Khan, MP for Tooting, on the Andrew Marr Show on February 3 2008. Photograph: Jeff Overs/BBC/PA Wire

Sadiq Khan: claims the UK must distance itself from American foreign policy. Photograph: Jeff Overs/BBC/PA Wire

The UK must distance itself from American foreign policy if Pakistani youths are to be prevented from growing up hating Britain, according to the government’s social cohesion minister.

The comments by Sadiq Khan, who has just returned from a fact-finding trip to Pakistan, follow the arrests of 12 men – 10 of whom were Pakistani nationals – in the north-west of England last week on suspicion of planning a terror attack. They are likely to be given short shrift from Number 10, which has been keen to ally itself to the Obama administration. Earlier this month Gordon Brown stressed the two allies were united in their fight against terrorism in Pakistan.

But Khan, London’s first Muslim MP, said the UK must differentiate itself from the US after attending meetings at universities in Pakistan. “I listened to the anger and pain over the challenges that young people growing up in Pakistan face, including the anger and frustration over US drone attacks,” he said.

The attacks by unmanned US drones have provoked fury in Pakistan, where scores of militants have been killed in the country’s remote border regions, along with innocent civilians.

“The anger and frustration at the drone attacks was huge,” Khan said. “The view they [the students] had was that the UK was somehow responsible for this. They haven’t understood this was purely a US matter. They lumped us together with the US, which to me is a poison. It demonstrates to me we have a big problem.”

Full Article