Evidence Grows of Drug Use on Detainees

Dandelion Salad

By Jeff Stein
CQ National Security Editor
April 4, 2008

There can be little doubt now that the government has used drugs on terrorist suspects that are designed to weaken their resistance to interrogation. All that’s missing is the syringes and videotapes.

Another window opened on the practice last week with the declassification of John Yoo’s instantly infamous 2003 memo approving harsh interrogation techniques on terrorism suspects.

Yoo advised top Bush administration officials that interrogators could employ mind-altering drugs if they did not produce “an extreme effect” calculated to “cause a profound disruption of the senses or personality.”

Yoo had first rationalized the use of drugs in a 2002 memo for top Bush administration officials.

But this latest revelation shows Yoo reiterating conditions on the use of drugs a year later, despite the rising resistance to harsh interrogation techniques by military lawyers and the FBI.

“The new Yoo memo, along with other White House legal memoranda, shows clearly that the policy foundation for the use of interrogational drugs was being laid,” says Stephen Miles, a University of Minnesota bioethicist and author of “Oath Betrayed: Torture, Medical Complicity, and the War on Terror.” “The recent memo on mood-altering drugs does not extend previous work on this area,” he said. “The use of these drugs was anticipated and discussed in the memos of January and February 2002 by DoD, DoJ, and White House counsel using the same language and rationale. The executive branch memos laid a comprehensive and reiterated policy foundation for the use of interrogational drugs.”

“Yes, I believe they have been used,” Jeffrey S. Kaye, a clinical psychologist who works with torture victims at Survivors International in San Francisco, told me.

“I came across some evidence that they were using mind-altering drugs, to regress the prisoners, to ascertain if they were using deception techniques, to break them down,” said Kaye.

Yet the situation remains unclear.

…continued

h/t: CLG

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Robot armies – another military revolution?

Dandelion Salad

by Ilya Kramnik
Global Research, April 5, 2008
RIA Novosti

MOSCOW. (RIA Novosti military commentator Ilya Kramnik) – The political and human impact of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan has been widely reported and much discussed.

But of even greater historical significance, is the revolution in military practice and technology that today’s conflicts are coming to signify.

The previous revolution, which affected all aspects of war without exception took place during and after World War II. This revolution produced new military hardware – nuclear weapons, guided weapons, ballistic and cruise missiles, radars, jet fighters and bombers, helicopters, pilotless aircraft and unmanned ground vehicles. It also changed the art of military operations and tactics. Air-defense operations, large-scale strategic troop deployments, carrier-based units, and combined combat units of ground forces, which combined the flexibility of motorized infantry with the mobility of tanks and the firepower of self-propelled artillery all appeared. All of these achievements and many others were made in the late 1930s and early 1940s.

The human race is still using the fruits of this revolution, and is moving forward. But gradually the price of war is becoming prohibitive – production of modern military equipment, its upkeep, and qualified soldiers are becoming more and more expensive. Combined with the development of electronics and robots, this has created the prerequisites for a revolution in robotics.

The first remotely controlled military vehicles appeared in the 1930s, and were broadly used during the war. It is enough to recall American and German experiments with unmanned flying bombs, or Goliaths, the Nazi remote controlled demolition vehicles. The quantity of remote controlled equipment was growing until quantity changed into quality at the turn of the past century – now ground, air, and sea-based robots of all kinds are playing an increasing role in warfare.

Pilotless aircraft are used for reconnaissance, targeting, and missile guidance. Some of them can even destroy targets. Ground-based robots are used for mine clearing, and breaching barriers. Many of them are armed and can be used in warfare in high-risk urban environments.

Robots have started to be employed in logistics support. The Oshkosh Truck company is developing unmanned trucks; while Boston Dynamics has produced a porter-robot called Big Dog since it is reminiscent of a big dog. It can carry loads up to 75 kg.

The potential of robotics is rapidly growing but it will take robots a long time to match soldiers and human-controlled technology. The main barrier is optics – no electronic optical system can compare with how the human brain and eye work together. One more restriction is the absence of a high-level artificial intellect, which would be capable of promptly reacting to ever changing situations. This is why remote controlled rather than fully autonomous robots are used.

However, there will be a time when robots will become the best value for the money. When this happens, a couple of battalions will be able to destroy an enemy tank division. Each battalion will consist of a control company and four companies with 15 to 20 vehicles carrying from 10 to 15 robots each. Each robot will be armed with two guided missiles and a machine gun. Equipped with a total of 1,200-2,400 robots controlled by 200 to 300 operators from a distance of several kilometers, these two battalions will be able to inflict heavy losses on enemy divisions, and destroy most of their tanks and infantry combat vehicles.

There is no doubt that a tank battle against these machines will be similar to the feats of Zinovy Kolobanov or Otto Karius (Soviet and German tank aces of World War II). Heavy armored vehicles with powerful artillery, equipped with active protection and interference systems will destroy robots practically without armor and protection systems (produced for less money) as in the testing grounds. But…

Even if one combat vehicle costs these future battalions 20 robots, a total of 1,200-2,400 robots will be exchanged for 60-120 tanks and infantry combat vehicles, with hundreds of killed and wounded crewmembers. Human losses of robotized battalions will be minimal unless an artillery regiment of the tank division destroys the control company. But it is likely to lose the artillery duel to the artillery division of the robotized enemy, which will be actively using pilotless aircraft to adjust its fire.

As a result, to cover the losses one side will have to call up several people and spend considerable resources on the production of more robots, while the other side will have to replace several hundred servicemen and spend a somewhat smaller sum on new combat vehicles. The latter will be very well protected, heavily equipped with arms and mobile but nonetheless vulnerable – with the inevitable loss of human lives.

The situation in the air may be similar. Enemy aircraft will be destroyed not by fighters, but by pilotless flying vehicles controlled from flying command posts. Each fighter can destroy five or six such vehicles, but at some point there will be no missiles left and it will be downed by the seventh, or by another fighter, which will be able to approach it unnoticed under the cover of pilotless flying vehicles.

The situation under water is likely to be identical. Nuclear-powered submarines with a price tag of a billion dollars or more will encounter the massive use of relatively compact underwater robots capable of carrying torpedoes. The latter will have inferior sonar systems, but they will come in large numbers. As a result, warfare will become a race of life against hardware. Its outcome is obvious – it is much easier to mourn robots than people. Will our army start updating its equipment in time? A delay may be more dangerous than it was in 1941.

The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s and do not necessarily represent those of RIA Novosti.

The CRG grants permission to cross-post original Global Research articles on community internet sites as long as the text & title are not modified. The source and the author’s copyright must be displayed. For publication of Global Research articles in print or other forms including commercial internet sites, contact: crgeditor@yahoo.com

www.globalresearch.ca contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available to our readers under the provisions of “fair use” in an effort to advance a better understanding of political, economic and social issues. The material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving it for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material for purposes other than “fair use” you must request permission from the copyright owner.

For media inquiries: crgeditor@yahoo.com
© Copyright Ilya Kramnik, RIA Novosti, 2008
The url address of this article is: www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=8567

US-Russia Relations: Are We Heading for World War III? By Liam Bailey

By Liam Bailey
featured writer
Dandelion Salad
The Bailey Mail
April 5, 2008

2008-04-05 20:54:49 **opinion**

As U.S. President Bush meets with President Putin in Russia in an attempt to repair relations between the two countries, after Bush’s plans to put a radar guided missile system in two soviet satellite states has took us far too close to another cold-war scenario, I want to make my feelings on the matter clear.

Continue reading

The DOJ comments on the Mukasey controversy + The US establishment media in a nutshell

Dandelion Salad

By Glenn Greenwald
SALON
April 4, 2008

(updated below)

In response to the growing controversy over plainly misleading comments by Attorney General Michael Mukasey last week in San Francisco, and in response to the questions I submitted, the DOJ’s Peter Carr, its Principal Deputy Director of Public Affairs, sent me the following email:

In a question-and-answer session after his Commonwealth Club speech last week, Attorney General Mukasey referenced a call between an al Qaeda safe house and a person in the United States. The Attorney General has referred to this before, in the letter he sent with Director of National Intelligence McConnell to Chairman Reyes on February 22, 2008. In that letter, contained in this link [.pdf], the Attorney General and the Director of National Intelligence explained that:

“We have provided Congress with examples in which difficulties with collections under [Executive Order 12333] resulted in the Intelligence Community missing crucial information. For instance, one of the September 11 hijackers communicated with a known overseas terrorist facility while he was living in the United States. Because that collection was conducted under Executive Order 12333, the Intelligence Community could not identify the domestic end of the communication prior to September 11, 2001, when it could have stopped that attack. The failure to collect such communications was one of the central criticisms of the Congressional Joint Inquiry that looked into intelligence failures associated with the attacks of September 11. The bipartisan bill passed by the Senate would address such flaws in our capabilities that existed before the enactment of the Protect America Act and that are now resurfacing.”

This call is also referenced in the unclassified report of the congressional intelligence committees’ Joint Inquiry into the 9/11 attacks.

…continued or Glenn Greenwald

***

The U.S. establishment media in a nutshell

By Glenn Greenwald
SALON
April 5, 2008

(updated below)

In the past two weeks, the following events transpired. A Department of Justice memo, authored by John Yoo, was released which authorized torture and presidential lawbreaking. It was revealed that the Bush administration declared the Fourth Amendment of the Bill of Rights to be inapplicable to “domestic military operations” within the U.S. The U.S. Attorney General appears to have fabricated a key event leading to the 9/11 attacks and made patently false statements about surveillance laws and related lawsuits. Barack Obama went bowling in Pennsylvania and had a low score.

Here are the number of times, according to NEXIS, that various topics have been mentioned in the media over the past thirty days:

“Yoo and torture” – 102

“Mukasey and 9/11” — 73

“Yoo and Fourth Amendment” — 16

“Obama and bowling” — 1,043

“Obama and Wright” — More than 3,000 (too many to be counted)

“Obama and patriotism” – 1,607

“Clinton and Lewinsky” — 1,079

And as Eric Boehlert documents, even Iraq — that little five-year U.S. occupation with no end in sight — has been virtually written out of the media narrative in favor of mindless, stupid, vapid chatter of the type referenced above. “The Clintons are Rich!!!!” will undoubtedly soon be at the top of this heap within a matter of a day or two.

…continued or Glenn Greenwald

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see

Why doesn’t the 9/11 Commission know about Mukasey’s 9/11 story? By Glenn Greenwald

Olbermann: Vox Pop Pox + FISA Fables + Bushed! + Worst + Wal-Mart

Olbermann: Attorney General Mukasey & The New 911 Evidence (updated)

Olbermann: Sadr State of Affairs + Gore More Years? + Worst + Bushed! (9/11)

Attorney General Mukasey lies about 9/11 & international spying

The Constitution, John Yoo, and You

The Green Light: Attorney Philippe Sands Follows the Bush Admin Torture Trail

Why doesn’t the 9/11 Commission know about Mukasey’s 9/11 story? By Glenn Greenwald

Dandelion Salad

By Glenn Greenwald
After Downing Street
SALON
April 3, 2008

(Updated below with response from Philip Zelikow

Update II

Update III

Update IV – Chairman Conyers demands answers from Mukasey

Update V)

Last week, during a question-and-answer session following a speech he delivered in San Francisco, Attorney General Michael Mukasey revealed a startling and extremely newsworthy fact. As I wrote last Saturday, Mukasey claimed that, prior to 9/11, the Bush administration was aware of a telephone call being made by an Al Qaeda Terrorist from what he called a “safe house in Afghanistan” into the U.S., but failed to eavesdrop on that call. Some help is needed from readers here to generate the attention for this story that it requires.

In that speech, Mukasey blamed FISA’s warrant requirement for the failure to eavesdrop on that call — an assertion which is, for multiple reasons that I detailed in that post, completely false. He then tearfully claimed that FISA therefore caused the deaths of “three thousand people who went to work that day.” For obvious reasons, the Attorney General’s FISA falsehoods themselves are extremely newsworthy, but it is the story he told about the pre-9/11-planning call from Afghanistan itself that is truly new, and truly extraordinary.

Critically, the 9/11 Commission Report — intended to be a comprehensive account of all relevant pre-9/11 activities — makes no mention whatsoever of the episode Mukasey described. What has been long publicly reported in great detail are multiple calls that were made between a global communications hub in Yemen and the U.S. — calls which the NSA did intercept without warrants (because, contrary to Mukasey’s lie, FISA does not and never did require a warrant for eavesdropping on foreign targets) but which, for some unknown reason, the NSA failed to share with the FBI and other agencies. But the critical pre-9/11 episode Mukasey described last week is nowhere to be found in the 9/11 Report or anywhere else. It just does not exist.

Yesterday, I contacted Lee Hamilton, the 9/11 Commission Vice Chairman, to ask him whether the Commission was ever told about Mukasey’s alleged Afghan Terrorist 9/11-planning telephone calls and/or the Bush administration’s failure/inability to eavesdrop on such calls. Hamilton refused to comment, first claiming that he was in meetings all day yesterday and had no time to talk to me. When asked if he would comment today or whenever he had time, he said he was not going to comment on this ever, since he had not read Mukasey’s speech. Calls to 9/11 Executive Director Philip Zelikow seeking comment were not returned and 9/11 Commission Chairman Tom Kean could not yet be reached.

It’s unacceptable for Hamilton to refuse to comment on Mukasey’s claims. The whole purpose of the 9/11 Commission was to ensure that there was full-scale investigation and disclosure of all facts relevant to the 9/11 attacks, including the Government’s actions and inactions in preventing that attack from occurring.

If the Attorney General of the United States, out of the blue, makes an extraordinary and new assertion in a public speech about an easy opportunity the Bush administration had to detect those attacks — an opportunity he claims was lost because of eavesdropping laws — Hamilton ought to say whether the Commission was ever told about this incident and/or whether Mukasey is telling the truth. Preventing high government officials from lying about the 9/11 attacks or exposing concealment of key 9/11 facts is his obligation as Vice Chairman of the Commission. Some type of comment from 9/11 Commission officials on Mukasey’s claims is vital for generating further attention to this story and for compelling Mukasey to account for what he said.

Hamilton is currently the President and Director of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, and director of The Center on Congress at Indiana University. Please email him at the address below, politely set forth the extraordinary claims the Attorney General just made about the 9/11 attacks (with citations to media sources about the speech — including here, here, and here), and urge him to fulfill his obligation as 9/11 Commission Vice Chair by confirming whether Mukasey’s revelations are true and/or were disclosed to the Commission during its investigation: Lee.hamilton@wilsoncenter.org.

This isn’t just a matter of academic and historical interest about the 9/11 attacks, although it is that. One of two things almost certainly happened here, each of which is of great importance. Either Mukasey is lying about the 9/11 attacks in order to manipulate Americans into believing that FISA’s warrant requirements are what prevented discovery of the 9/11 attacks and caused 3,000 American deaths — a completely disgusting act by the Attorney General which obviously cannot be ignored. Or, Mukasey has just revealed the most damning fact yet about the Bush’s administration’s ability and failure to have prevented the attacks — facts that, until now, were apparently concealed from the 9/11 Commission and the public.

Since I wrote about this on Saturday, there has been some slowly evolving media attention paid to it. On Monday, I discussed the story on the radio with Rachel Maddow who, as always, grasped completely its importance. The following night, she was on Countdown with Keith Olbermann, which had a lengthy and detailed segment, highlighting all of the right questions (video below). Raw Story compiled a very thorough article with the key facts, and the top Daily Kos post this morning does the same.

The great significance of this story — that Mukasey either completely fabricated a key 9/11 event or just revealed a heretofore unknown 9/11 bombshell — is self-evident and made clear by these growing accounts. Having Hamilton, Kean and/or Zelikow comment on the veracity of Mukasey’s claims about the 9/11 attacks — as they ought to do — is vital for advancing the story.

[see FISA Fables in the following post.]

Olbermann: Vox Pop Pox + FISA Fables + Bushed! + Worst + Wal-Mart

UPDATE: Philip Zelikow, the 9/11 Commission Executive Director (and former Counselor to Condolleeza Rice), obviously has no idea what Mukasey is talking about, as he replies by email (ellipses in original):

Not sure of course what the AG had in mind, although the most important signals intelligence leads related to our report — that related to the Hazmi-Mihdhar issues of January 2000 or to al Qaeda activities or transits connected to Iran — was not of this character. If, as he says, the USG didn’t know where the call went in the US, neither did we. So unless we had some reason to link this information to the 9/11 story ….In general, as with several covert action issues for instance, the Commission sought (and succeeded) in publishing details about sensitive intelligence matters where the details were material to the investigative mandate in our law.

That’s polite Beltway talk for saying that nothing like what Mukasey described actually happened. Does anyone on TV other than Keith Olbermann care that the Attorney General of the United States just invented a critical episode about 9/11 that never actually happened — tearing up as he did it — in order to scare Americans into supporting the administration’s desired elimination of spying restrictions and blame FISA supporters for the 9/11 attacks? We still ought to hear from Hamilton and/or Kean.

UPDATE II: I’ll be on Rachel Maddow’s show at 7:30 p.m. EST today to discuss these developments. Local listings and live audio feed are here.

At Daily Kos, McJoan — who wrote about this matter today here — has written about it again, and included contact information for key members of Congress to demand that Mukasey be compelled to account for his 9/11 claims, preferably under oath.

The reason this story has the potential to be significant is because it’s easy to understand — Mukasey’s story is either true or false — and, more importantly, nothing like it happened. He can’t claim that he just misspoke or was confused because not only was there no such call from Afghanistan (at least according to everything that is known, including by the 9/11 Commission’s version), but FISA could never possibly have prevented interception of any calls remotely like the one Mukasey described.

He just made this up out of whole cloth in order to mislead Americans into supporting the administration’s efforts to eliminate spying safeguards and basic constitutional liberties and to stifle the pending surveillance lawsuits against telecoms. That isn’t hard for anyone — even including those who play the role of journalists on TV — to understand and convey.

Finally, numerous people have sent me their emails to Lee Hamilton, who still hasn’t commented or responded. If he doesn’t soon, I think mass (though civil) calling of his office will be in order. I don’t think he has the option of simply remaining quiet when the Attorney General makes a statement of this sort about the 9/11 attacks.

UPDATE III: With the help of readers, I was able to find and get in contact with Tom Kean’s office, who asked that an email be sent to him requesting comment. The email I sent is here, along with the email I sent to the DOJ (at their request) asking for comment from Mukasey.

Dan Gilmor of the Center for Citizen Media — affiliated with the University of California, Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism and the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University Law School — has posted a superb piece on this matter, focusing on what it reflects about establishment press behavior. The whole thing is worth reading (Correction: Center for Citizen Media is now affiliated with Arizona State University and Harvard’s Berkman Center, and no longer with Berkeley).

UPDATE IV: House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers, along with two Subcommittee Chairs, just sent a letter to Michael Mukasey demanding answers to all the right questions about his 9/11 claims as well as the bizarre (though unsurprising) reference in the Yoo Memorandum to the suspension of the Fourth Amendment inside the U.S. That letter will need to be followed up with action, but it’s a good start.

UPDATE V: The DOJ replies to my email referenced above, here.

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

see

Olbermann: Vox Pop Pox + FISA Fables + Bushed! + Worst + Wal-Mart

Olbermann: Attorney General Mukasey & The New 911 Evidence (updated)

Olbermann: Sadr State of Affairs + Gore More Years? + Worst + Bushed! (9/11)

Attorney General Mukasey lies about 9/11 & international spying

Telecom Immunity: Playing the “9/11 Card” … Again

Pentagon: Colleges must hand over names

Dandelion Salad

By Rick Maze
armytimes.com
Staff writer
Wednesday Apr 2, 2008

The Defense Department has announced a new get-tough policy with colleges and universities that interfere with the work of military recruiters and Reserve Officer Training Corps programs.

Under rules that will take effect April 28, defense officials said they want the exact same access to student directories that is provided to all other prospective employers.

Students can opt out of having their information turned over to the military only if they opt out of having their information provided to all other recruiters, but schools cannot have policies that exclude only the military, defense officials said in a March 28 notice of the new policy in the Federal Register.

…continued

h/t: Speaking Truth to Power

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

Frost over the World: Frank Luntz & Francis Moore-Lappe

Dandelion Salad

AlJazeeraEnglish

Sir David is joined by Simon Maxwell of the Overseas Development Institute, and by Francis Moore-Lappe of the Small Planet Institute.

Maxwell says governments have to respond by providing more social security, safety nets and famine relief.

Moore-Lappe says that hunger is not a result of a scarcity of food but a scarcity of democracy.

Also, Sir David is joined by American pollster Frank Luntz to discuss the presidential race.

Luntz says that despite Clinton’s strong established support, Obama is the likely winner of the Democratic nomination; adding that if this happens a segment of Democratic voters are likely to vote for McCain.

A McCain and Obama election, Luntz says, is too close to call.

Continue reading

Record Home Foreclosures across America by Sherwood Ross

Dandelion Salad

by Sherwood Ross
Global Research, April 4, 2008
MSL

Banking Act of 1999 has opened a Pandora’s Box

The desire of commercial banks to gut the Glass-Steagall Act (GS) of 1933 so they could get back into the lucrative investment banking business has resulted in today’s subprime mortgage mess, the dean of the Massachusetts School of Law (MSL), a former Justice Department anti-trust lawyer, says.

“When federal agencies began making inroads on Glass-Steagall in the 1980’s and 1990’s, so that banks were allowed by the agencies to do things that Glass-Steagall forbade, I was amazed,” says MSL Dean Lawrence Velvel, of Andover. He noted GS “had deliberately separated commercial banking from investment banking because Congress felt in the 1930’s that the combination of both types of banking in a single institution was one of the reasons for the Great Depression.”

During that era, “when both types of banking were combined in one institution and a bank’s stock business and stock investments went down, the whole bank went down because of huge losses and capital impairments,” Velvel explained. And it was to avoid any repeat of the nation’s financial collapse GS was enacted.

Once the GS safeguards were removed by enactment of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act of 1999 (GLBA), Velvel says, “Horrible loans were made, horrible securities were packaged and sold from these loans, and when one side of the bank got into problems, they quickly spread to the other side. As a result, huge banking companies such as Citicorp and Merrill Lynch are in big trouble.”

“If delinquencies in the fourth quarter of 2007 for subprime adjustable-rate mortgages hit an all-time record 5.29%, it’s because the visionary protections in the New Deal legislation(GS) have been abandoned,” Velvel says. Banks are holding billions in mortgage-related instruments for which there is no market.

In a related article published in MSL’s opinion journal “Long Term View,” law Professor Holly Vietzke writes GLBA has more closely connected “the banking industry to the U.S. stock market, ensuring that any significant dive on Wall Street will have disastrous effects on the nation’s financial system.”

Some analysts link GLBA to the Enron scandal and other corporate crises, writes Vietzke: “Enron’s financial backers Citigroup, Inc. (which earned millions of dollars in fees as one of Enron’s biggest backers) and J.P. Morgan Chase are accused of committing securities fraud in connection with the formation and use of Enron Corporation’s special purpose partnerships.”

“It appeared that, with the cooperation of Citigroup and J.P. Morgan Chase, Enron intended to inflate profits and income over debt, and it tried to fool investors by hiding debt from the analysts,” Vietzke continues. The Wall Street Journal, she noted, reported Citigroup and Chase made more than $200 million in fees for transactions that helped Enron among other energy companies, “boost cash flow and hide debt.”

Vietzke asserted this kind of activity is one of the reasons why Congress passed GS in the first place. “The GLBA is, as Enron shows, fermenting stock market manipulations that allow corporate executive to cash in” while their bank loans are outstanding.

GLBA triggered a wave of mergers, including Citigroup with major insurer Travelers and the American-based bank holding company Citicorp, a $70 billion combination. “After the merger, Citigroup’s business included insurance, lending, banking, investing and asset management,” Vietzke pointed out.

If Citigroup expected to reap a profit upwards of $700 million from the deal, Vietzke said, stockholders “saw no such gain.” Before the merger, Citicorp stock was up to $182 and Travelers was $73. After the merger, however, Citicorp dropped to $84 and Travelers to $37.

Other financial institutions that combined: Chase Manhattan joined with J.P. Morgan in a $35 billion merger to form J.P. Morgan Chase; First Union Corp. acquired Wachovia Corp; insurance giant MetLife bought New Jersey-based Grand Bank; Washington Mutual took over Homeside Lending; First Merchants bought Lafayette Bancorp; FleetBoston Financial purchased Summit Bancorp, and, in Ohio, National Bancshares Corp acquired Peoples Financial.

These, and similar mergers, have not always yielded positive results. Vietzke writes: “In addition to causing higher fees, a decline in personal service, privacy issues for consumers, and a decrease in value for stockholders, these unions have suffered internally as well.”

Geoffrey Boisi, the engineer of the J.P. Morgan Chase deal, resigned just two years after the merger as did Allan Wheat (Credit Suisse First Boston) and John Mack (Morgan Stanley) before him.

In a poll of 50 executives, Professor Robert Bruner of the University of Virginia found only 37% of them believed the mergers actually created value for buyers.

Until the GLBA, Vietzke writes, “banks had regularly circumvented the restrictions of the Glass-Steagall Act by sharing office space with securities firms, creating the illusion to consumers that the bank insured securities transactions.”

“The securities firm would benefit from the bank’s steady flow of customers, and the bank would receive a portion of the firm’s commission. The customer often never knew it was conducting business with separate entities. The GLBA effectively made this practice legal,” Vietzke said.

The opinions published in The Long Term View are not necessarily those of The Massachusetts School of Law. MSL is an independent law school founded to provide a quality, affordable legal education to minorities, immigrants and students from working-class backgrounds that otherwise would be unable to attend law school and enter the legal profession.

Further Information: Jeff Demers at MSL, demers [at] mslaw.edu; or Sherwood Ross, media consultant to MSL, sherwoodr1 [at] yahoo.com

The CRG grants permission to cross-post original Global Research articles on community internet sites as long as the text & title are not modified. The source and the author’s copyright must be displayed. For publication of Global Research articles in print or other forms including commercial internet sites, contact: crgeditor@yahoo.com

www.globalresearch.ca contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available to our readers under the provisions of “fair use” in an effort to advance a better understanding of political, economic and social issues. The material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving it for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material for purposes other than “fair use” you must request permission from the copyright owner.

For media inquiries: crgeditor@yahoo.com
© Copyright Sherwood Ross, MSL, 2008
The url address of this article is: www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=8557

Ergenekon investigation in Turkey: “terrorist organisation” or a “military junta”?

Dandelion Salad

translated by Can Ertür
Fikritakip, 29 March 2008

The broadening of the “Ergenekon terrorist organisation” [1] investigation and the closure case against the AKP [the Justice and Development Party] [2] concurred in Turkey. Divided into two camps, Turkey’s political groups are inevitably drawing a connection between the two events in their interpretations of this overlap.

While one side sees the closure case against the AKP as a retaliation for the Ergenekon investigation (or to put it mildly, as an attempt to prevent the investigation or to remove the closure case from the agenda), the other side talks about a sudden speeding up of the Ergenekon investigation as a revenge for the closure case against the AKP.

Even if the two events are totally unrelated, the perceptions mentioned above have already established a definite link between the closure case and the investigation.

As a matter of fact, there is no doubt that the Ergenekon investigation, which had been running its course for 9 months, has suddenly accelerated and its scope expanded with the arrest of some important names (such as columnist Ilhan Selcuk [3], political leader Dogu Perincek [4] and former rector Kemal Alemdaroglu [5] ). These latest detentions indicate that the investigation acquires an increasingly political nature by aiming at investigating a suspected coup attempt.

Yet, at the beginning of the Ergenekon investigation, the plot was merely described as planning acts of terror to create chaos and pave the way for a coup.

This inevitably leads us to the following questions: Why is the scope of the investigation not limited to the Ergenekon organisation’s acts of terror? Why is the information on to the AKP closure case also being leaked to the press?

What is the connection between the evidence presented about the Ergenekon members’ foreknowledge of the AKP closure case and the allegation that Ergenekon is a terrorist organisation?

It appears that the activities of the “Ergenekon terrorist organisation” are not the main issue. The more important issue is the possibility of a coup attempt, just like the one on 9th March 1971, organised by a junta within the Turkish Armed Forces, but outside the chain of command.

In that case, why is the investigation treating Ergenekon as a right-wing terrorist organisation rather than a junta?

This is where the Ergenekon investigation appears reluctant. The investigation fully reflects its political backers’ reluctance to elaborate on the possibility of a military coup. Maybe this alone vindicates those who initially claimed that this issue relates to President Abdullah Gul [7] and the movement of Mr Fethullah Gulen [8], rather than Prime Minister Recep Tayyib Erdogan [6]. In fact, the recent calls for “negotiation” which intend to calm the reactions triggered by the investigation is an important clue that betrays the nature of the political will behind the Ergenekon investigation.

Nonetheless, a much more powerful hint is Prime Minister Erdogan’s harsh reaction to the suggestion that the government should “take a step back”. The president of the ‘Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey’ Rifat Hisarciklioglu enthusiastically called for a negotiated settlement between the opposing parties after coming out of his meeting with President Gul. The Prime Minister described Mr Hisarciklioglu’s call for “everyone to take a step back from one’s current position” as hot air.

It appears that the Prime Minister does not want the Ergenekon case to be conducted as an inquiry on a terrorist organisation. Instead, he is in favour of turning it into a more comprehensive investigation which focuses on the possibility of a coup attempt.

Recently leaked information from the Ergenekon investigation regarding an attempted coup or a junta proves that the investigation is progressing in line with Prime Minister’s inclination.

The investigation created the impression that Ergenekon is a right-wing organisation. One of the reasons for doing this must be to convey a message to the pre-dominantly left-wing political entities in Europe that a struggle is being waged against junta fascism.

Describing Ergenekon as a terrorist organisation implies that it has no connection with the Turkish military. In this way, a message is conveyed to the military personnel involved in the alleged coup, advising them to wash their hands of it before it’s too late.

But the weakness of the investigation is that the pro-government journalists add their own ideological or political tendencies into the investigation, with the intent of pursuing other agendas as well.

For instance, one of such analyses drew a connection between the investigation and Russia. Furthermore, it has been alleged that Mr Perincek attempted to stage a coup in Turkey on behalf of the Russian and Chinese intelligence.

These allegations can be treated as indications that reinforce the suspicion of a US finger in the investigation. In fact, the allegations could go a step further by attributing the coup attempt to Iran, leaving the AKP government with the sole option of total capitulation to the US as a way of protecting itself from the coup. Just as Cheney has expectations for Turkey concerning a military attack on Iran, just as Israel is playing its last trump cards to divide Palestine, topple the HAMAS government and eliminate Iran’s alternative influence in the Middle East!

The government needs to handle the Ergenekon investigation with caution. If there actually has been a military coup attempt similar to that of 9th March 1971, then the only possible overseas connection would be Washington. At a time when the advocates of a junta stress secularism to such an extent and in a setting where they almost try to present Islam as a source of terror just like their foreign counterparts; is it really possible for Russia, China or Iran to be the power behind such a coup attempt?

link to the original article in Turkish:

http://www.fikritakip.com/news.asp?pg=1&yazi=2433

Translator’s notes:

[1] : Ergenekon is a Gladio-type underground formation within the Turkish state establishment which sought to manipulate the public opinion by psychological warfare, agents provocateurs and false flag terrorist actions.

[2] : The Justice and Development Party (AKP) is the ruling party in Turkey which won the last general elections with a landslide.

[3] : Ilhan Selcuk is a columnist and chair of the editorial board of the Turkish daily Cumhuriyet (Republic).

[4] : Dogu Perincek is the leader of Turkey’s secular-nationalist Isci Partisi (Workers’ Party).

[5] : Prof. Kemal Alemdaroglu is a former rector of the Istanbul University.

[6] : Tayyip Erdogan is the Prime Minister of Turkey since March 2003. He is the leader and one of the founders of the Justice and Development Party (AKP).

[7] : Abdullah Gul is the President of Turkey since August 2007 and one of the founders of the Justice and Development Party (AKP). He previously served for five months as the Prime Minister (2002-2003) and then as the Foreign Minister (2003-2007).

[8] : Fethullah Gulen is the leader of a Turkish religious sect (named after him) which runs about 500 educational institutions in more than 90 countries in Eurasia, Africa and North America.

h/t: Cem Ertür

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

Bill Moyers Journal: Hope in the Congo + 100 Years of Darkness + Bread for the World

Dandelion Salad

Bill Moyers Journal
April 4, 2008
PBS

Hope in the Congo

THE JOURNAL takes viewers on the ground in the Democratic Republic of Congo to follow aid workers and local relief efforts that are bringing hope to a forgotten land. “The aid agencies are almost substituting for a social welfare system that hasn’t operated in these areas for decades,” says Dominic MacSorley, Emergency Director for Concern Worldwide, an international aid organization….

Video link and transcript

100 Years of Darkness: Photos by Marcus Bleasdale

January 2008 seemed like a good month for the Democratic Republic of Congo. As the BBC reported: “Rebels and militia groups in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo signed a cease-fire agreement aimed at ending the conflict that continued to rage after the end of the country’s 1998-2003 war.” That war and its aftermath are estimated to have killed more than 5.4 million people….

Video link and transcript

David Beckmann, Bread for the World

Bill Moyers talks with the president of Bread for the World about the challenges of combatting hunger. Plus, online resources for aiding the hungry.

In 1996, at the World Food Summit (WFS) in Rome, participants promised to reduce the number of undernourished people by half by 2015. Ten years later there was a 23 million increase in hungry people in the developing countries….

Video link and transcript

Web Exclusive

THE JOURNAL takes viewers on the ground in the Democratic Republic of the Congo to follow aid workers and local relief efforts that are bringing hope to a forgotten land. Here the filmmakers talk with passengers traveling by train from Lubumbashi to Likasa.

Video link and transcript

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

White House Query Led to Memo Advising Bush to Ignore Fourth Amendment

Dandelion Salad

By Jason Leopold
After Downing Street
April 4, 2008

Eleven days after 9/11, John Yoo, a former deputy in the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel, drafted a 20-page memorandum that offered up theories on how Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable searches and seizures would be applied if the U.S. military used “deadly force in a manner that endangered the lives of United States citizens.”

Yoo came up with a number of different scenarios. He suggested shooting down a jetliner hijacked by terrorists; setting up military checkpoints inside a U.S. city; implementing surveillance methods far more superior than those available to law enforcement; or using military forces “to raid or attack dwellings where terrorists were thought to be, despite risks that third parties could be killed or injured by exchanges of fire,” says a copy of the little known Sept. 21, 2001 memo.

Yoo, the author of an August 2002 legal opinion widely referred to as the “Torture Memo” that gave CIA interrogators the legal authority to use brutal methods against suspected terrorists to extract information, drafted the memo in response to a question posed by Timothy E. Flanigan, the former deputy White House counsel, who wanted to know “the legality of the use of military force to prevent or deter terrorist activity inside the United States,” according to a copy of Flanigan’s memo.

Yoo wrote that his ideas would likely be seen as violating the Fourth Amendment. But he said the terrorist attacks on 9/11 and the prospect that future attacks would require the military to be deployed inside the U.S. meant President Bush would “be justified in taking measures which in less troubled conditions could be seen as infringements of individual liberties.”

“We think that the Fourth Amendment should be no more relevant than it would be in cases of invasion or insurrection,” Yoo’s memo stated.

Yoo also wrote in the Sept. 21, 2001 memo that domestic surveillance activities, such as monitoring telephone calls and without a court’s permission, might be proper notwithstanding the ban in the Fourth Amendment on unreasonable searches and seizures.

The Sept. 21, 2001 memo Yoo sent to Flanigan was referred to in a lengthy story published click here in the New York Times on October 24, 2004. The Times story said Yoo’s suggestions for suspending the Fourth Amendment was hypothetical at best.

But another legal opinion Yoo, now a law professor at the University of California at Berkeley, drafted less than two years later says that the Bush administration accepted Yoo’s legal theory as policy for more than one year beginning in late October 2001.

Earlier this week, the Pentagon declassified an 81-page memorandum Yoo drafted in March 2003 that authorized military interrogators to use brutal techniques to obtain information about terrorist plans from prisoners held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The memo was publicly released as part of the American Civil Liberties Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the Pentagon.

Buried deep within that legal document is a footnote that refers to an Oct. 23, 2001 legal memorandum written by Yoo.

“Our office recently concluded that the Fourth Amendment had no application to domestic military operations,” the footnote states, referring to a 37-page document titled “Authority for Use of Military Force to Combat Terrorist Activities Within the United States.”

Yoo based his opinion on the 1990 drug case US v. Verdugo-Urquide in which the Supreme Court refused to hear a lawsuit brought against the United States by a Mexican citizen whose home was searched by federal agents without a search warrant. In rejecting the Fourth Amendment claim, the Court said aliens could not claim the benefit of the Constitution for conduct outside the United States—such aliens were not part of the “we the people” who benefited from the Fourth Amendment. Further, the Court found that allowing such claims would have significant and deleterious consequences for the United States in conducting activities beyond its boundaries, not just in drug cases…but in the use of armed forces abroad “for the protection of American citizens or national security.”

Yoo refers to the case in his 2006 book, “War by Other Means: An Insider’s Account of the War on Terror,” where he argues in more than 23 separate pages about the various legal reasons local and federal law enforcement agencies, as well as a sitting U.S. president, could ignore the Fourth Amendment. Yoo’s legal theories revolve primarily around domestic surveillance activities.

“If Al-Qaeda organizes missions within the United States, our surveillance simply cannot be limited to law enforcement,” Yoo wrote in his book. “The Fourth Amendment’s warrant requirement should not apply, because it is concerned with regulating searches, not with military attacks.”

Jameel Jaffer, Director of the ACLU’s National Security Project, said Yoo helped President Bush break the law by giving the legal guidance to ignore the Constitution.

“The recent disclosures underscore the Bush administration’s extraordinarily sweeping conception of executive power,” Jaffer said. “The administration’s lawyers believe the president should be permitted to violate statutory law, to violate international treaties, and even to violate the Fourth Amendment inside the U.S. They believe that the president should be above the law.”

Jaffer said the Bush administration has never argued publicly that the Fourth Amendment did not apply to military operations within the U.S.

White House spokesman Tony Fratto said Thursday the administration hasn’t relied on Yoo’s Oct. 23, 2001 memo for more than five years.

Still, Congress said it has spent a considerable amount of time trying to pry loose the memo from the Department of Justice.

On Thursday, John Conyers, the Democratic chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, wrote a letter to Attorney General Michael Mukasey saying he was rebuffed on two previous occasions—on February 12 and 20th–when he wrote the DOJ requesting the Oct. 23, 2001 memo be turned over to his committee

“Based on the title of the October 23, 2001 memorandum, and based on what has been disclosed and the contents of similar memoranda issued at roughly the same time, it is clear that a substantial portion of this memorandum provides a legal analysis and conclusions as to the nature and scope of the Presidential Commander in Chief power to accomplish specific acts within the United States,” Conyers wrote.

“The people of the United States are entitled to know the Justice Department’s interpretation of the President’s constitutional powers to wage war in the United States,” Conyers added. “There can be no actual basis in national security for keeping secret the remainder of a legal memorandum that addresses this issue of Constitutional interpretation The notion that the President can claim to operate under “secret” powers known only to the President and a select few subordinates is antithetical to the core principles of this democracy. We ask that you promptly release the October 23, 2001, memorandum.”

Jason Leopold is the author of the National Bestseller, “News Junkie,” a memoir. Visit www.newsjunkiebook.com for a preview. He is also a two-time winner of the Project Censored award, most recently, in 2007, for an investigative story related to Halliburton’s work in Iran. He was recently named the recipient of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation’s Thomas Jefferson Award for a series of stories he wrote that exposed how soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan have been pressured to accept fundamentalist Christianity. Leopold is working on a new nonprofit online publication, expected to launch soon.

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

see

The Constitution, John Yoo, and You

Olbermann: RIP Habeas Corpus + Send In The Clowns + N.I.E Or L.I.E? + 4 McMore Years

Olbermann: RIP Habeas Corpus + Send In The Clowns + N.I.E Or L.I.E? + 4 McMore Years

Dandelion Salad

Ryokibin

Apr. 4, 2008

RIP Habeas Corpus

Voted Countdowns top favorite clip of the 5th Anniversary of Countdown.

Send In The Clowns

Rachel speaks with Eugene Robinson.

N.I.E Or L.I.E?

Rachel speaks with Jon Soltz.

Four McMore Years

Rachel speaks with Jonathan Alter.

Bushed!

R&D For Terror-Gate

Who gets help in the home mortgage crisis-Gate

What they really think of the troops-Gate

see

The Constitution, John Yoo, and You