Intelligence can target Americans *OFFICIAL*

http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE61251Z20100203

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – In unusually frank comments, the top U.S. intelligence official acknowledged on Wednesday that spy agencies can target for killing Americans who are involved in terrorism.

“We take direct action against terrorists, in the intelligence community,” Dennis Blair, director of national intelligence, said.

“If … we think that direct action will involve killing an American, we get specific permission to do that,” he told the House (of Representatives) intelligence committee.

Blair did not mention where the permission came from.

The Washington Post reported last week that President Barack Obama approved a December 24 strike against a compound in Yemen where a U.S. citizen, Anwar al-Aulaqi, was believed to be meeting with regional al Qaeda leaders.

He was not the focus of the strike and was not killed, but is now on a list of targets, the newspaper said. The American advisers in Yemen do not participate in raids but help plan missions and provide weapons, the newspaper report said.

The CIA and the U.S. military’s Joint Special Operations Command maintains lists of individuals they seek to kill or capture, and both lists included at least three Americans, The Washington Post said.

The comment on American targets in a public setting is highly unusual from a current intelligence official and even the congressman asking the questions was caught by surprise.

In making such decisions, “whether that American is involved in a group that is trying to attack us, whether that American is a threat to other Americans, those are the factors involved,” Blair said.

“We don’t target people for free speech. We target them for taking action that threatens Americans,” he said.

“I’m actually a little bit surprised you went this far in open session,” Republican Congressman Peter Hoekstra said.

Blair replied: “The reason I went this far in open session is I just don’t want other Americans who are watching to think that we are careless about endangering — in fact we’re not careless about endangering lives at all — but we especially are not careless about endangering American lives as we try to carry out the policies to protect most of the country.”

(Editing by Cynthia Osterman and David Storey)

Former Bank of America CEO Ken Lewis Charged with Fraud; It’s Only a Start

Written by: Michael Shedlock

On April 24, I wrote Let the Criminal Indictments Begin: Paulson, Bernanke, Lewis.

You will be pleased to read Ex-BofA chief Lewis charged with fraud.

New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo said Thursday it was bringing civil charges against senior Bank of America (BAC) executives, including former company CEO Ken Lewis, for their role in the company’s controversial purchase of Merrill Lynch.

Cuomo’s office, which has been aggressively pursuing an investigation into the merger and subsequent bonuses paid to former Merrill employees, said it was charging Lewis and Bank of America’s former chief financial officer Joe Price with fraud.

The lawsuit contends that the bank’s management team understated the losses at Merrill in order to get shareholders to approve the deal, then subsequently overstated the firm’s willingness to terminate the merger to regulators weeks later in order to get $20 billion of additional aid from the federal government.

Full Article

Enough With The Government Cover-Ups

Edward Harrison, 01.12.10, 04:20 PM EST

What really happened to AIG and other bankrupt firms.

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It has come to light recently that American International Group withheld important information about its dealings with financial counterparties in the lead-up to its collapse and bailout by the Federal Reserve. What is most troubling about this episode is that it was officials at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York–not AIG–who seem to have orchestrated the secretive and potentially illegal activities. Moreover, the actions by the regulator were uncovered only through an investigation conducted on behalf of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. Were it not for the doggedness of the committee’s ranking Republican member, Darrell Issa of California, the public would be none the wiser.

Is this what it has come to in America: Public officials making policy via cover-ups, secret deals and government coercion? It seems so. If we don’t demand a full investigation into this type of behavior and criminal prosecution where appropriate, we should expect more of the same in the future.
Full Article

Summers: ‘Statistical Recovery and Human Recession’

Neal Lipschutz
The Wall Street Journal
January 30, 2010

Key Obama economic adviser Larry Summers coined a telling way to look at the current American economic state of play. He said the U.S. is experiencing a “statistical recovery and a human recession.”

It is a phrase that should resonate through much of the industrial world, where high and long-standing unemployment is increasingly becoming a huge domestic political issue.

Speaking on a panel at the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Summers said one in five American men aged 25 to 54 are unemployed. He said given a “reasonable recovery,” that rate could improve to one in seven or one in eight. That still contrasts with a 95% employment rate for that group in the mid-1960s.

Full article

World Trembles As US Prepares New Quake Test

Written By: Sorcha Faal, and as reported to her Western Subscribers

The reason for this new American quake test, these reports say, is due to the ‘catastrophic failure’ of their previous ones that have so destabilized our Earth’s inner magnetosphere that more earthquakes have been reported in the past 30-days then in the first 90-days of 2009 (including over 600 alone at the potentially catastrophic Yellowstone volcanic caldron) and that have caused more loss of life than in the previous 5-years all put together.A most grim report from Russian Space Forces (VKS) monitoring the United States High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP) is warning today that the Americans are preparing for another potentially devastating earthquake test on a scale comparable to the one that destroyed the Caribbean island Nation of Haiti, and which we had previously reported on in our January 14th report titled “US Quake Test Goes “Horribly Wrong”, Leaves 500,000 Dead In Haiti

For the purposes of the Americans conducting these most dangerous of quake tests, these reports continue, is for their use against the Persian Nation of Iran which the United States Military has concluded can only be destroyed by a ‘severe disruption’ to their society caused by a massive earthquake which would leave the Iranians with ‘no excuse’ to retaliate against the West.

Full Article

The United States of Corporate America: From democracy to plutocracy

By Rodrigue Tremblay
Online Journal Guest Writer

“The price of apathy towards public affairs is to be ruled by evil men.” –Plato, ancient Greek philosopher

“The 20th century has been characterized by three developments of great political importance: The growth of democracy, the growth of corporate power, and the growth of corporate propaganda as a means of protecting corporate power against democracy.” –Alex Carey, Australian social scientist

“The most effective way to restrict democracy is to transfer decision-making from the public arena to unaccountable institutions: kings and princes, priestly castes, military juntas, party dictatorships, or modern corporations.” –Noam Chomsky, M.I.T. emeritus Professor of Linguistics

On Tuesday, January 19, the Obama administration got a kick in the pants from Massachusetts voters when they filled former Senator Ted Kennedy’s seat by electing a conservative Republican candidate. The essence of their message was stop dithering and start governing; stop trying to satisfy the bankers and please the editors of Rupert Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal, and start caring for the ordinary people.

Two days later, President Barack Obama seemed to have understood the people’s message when he announced a “Volcker rule” that will forbid large banks from owning hedge funds that make money by placing large bets against their own clients, using information that these same clients gave them. It was time. Such a policy should have been announced months ago, if not years ago.

On the same day, however, a nonelected body, the U.S. Supreme Court, threw a different challenge to the Obama administration. Indeed, on Thursday January 21, a Republican-appointed majority on the U.S. Supreme Court took it upon itself to profoundly change the U.S. Constitution and American democracy. Indeed, in what can be labeled a most reactionary decision, the Roberts U.S. Supreme Court ruled that legal entities, such as corporations and labor unions, have the same purely personal rights to free speech as living individuals. Indeed, the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution says “Congress shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom of speech.

The only problem with such a wide interpretation of the U.S. Bills of Rights (N.B.: The first 10 amendments to the United States Constitution are known as the Bill of Rights) is that this runs contrary to its letter and its spirit, since it clearly states later on that “the enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people, and reserves all powers not granted to the federal government to the citizenry or States.” The words “people” and “citizenry” clearly refer here to living human beings, not to legal or artificial entities such as business corporations, labor unions, financial organizations or political lobbies.

Full Article

Chavez Says US Weapon Test Caused Haiti Earthquake

http://www.ktradionetwork.com/2010/01/21/chavez-says-us-weapon-test-caused-haiti-earthquake/

January 21,2010

Press TV

Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez Wednesday accused the United States of causing the destruction in Haiti by testing a ‘tectonic weapon’ to induce the catastrophic earthquake that hit the country last week.

President Chavez said the US was “playing God” by testing devices capable of creating eco-type catastrophes, the Spanish newspaper ABC quoted him as saying.

A 7.0-magnitude quake rattled the desperately poor country on January 12, killing an estimated 100,000 to 200,000 people. As Haiti looks to the world for basic sustenance, the authorities say the biggest dangers facing survivors are untreated wounds and rising disease.

Following the quake, appeals for humanitarian aid were responded to globally. However, the nation is struggling with violence and looting as aid is still not enough for the tens of thousands left homeless and injured.

Chavez said the killer earthquake followed a test of “weapon of earthquakes” just offshore from Haiti. He did not elaborate on the source of his claim.

The outspoken leader had earlier accused the US of occupying Haiti “under the guise of the natural disaster.”

At least 11,000 US troops have been dispatched to the country to provide security for aid distribution efforts.

Venezuelan media have reported that the earthquake “may be associated with the project called HAARP, a system that can generate violent and unexpected changes in climate.”

HAARP, the High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program, is a study run in Alaska directed at the occasional reconfiguration of the properties of the Earth’s ionosphere to improve satellite communications.

Former US Secretary of Defense William Cohen in 1997 expressed concerned over countries engaging “in eco-type of terrorism whereby they can alter the climate, set off earthquakes, volcanoes remotely through the use of electromagnetic waves.”

Click here to read the full report