Weekly Roundup, December 6-11, 2011

By Blueberry T

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Mitt Romney, The Man Who Couldn’t Stop Flipping

This guest post by Mike Czech (haha) exposes Mitt Romney’s reversal of his position on abortion. During the 1994 Senate debate against Ted Kennedy, Romney said (and I quote): “I believe that abortion should be safe and legal in this country…Roe v. Wade has been the law of the land for 20 years…I sustain and support that law and the right of a woman to make that choice.” Seems pretty clear, yet here is what he said in 2008 (and I quote): “I will be a pro-life president… being a pro-life president also means promoting policies that respect life and its sanctity. I’ll oppose taxpayer funding of abortion. I’ll oppose partial birth abortion. I’ll oppose abortion in military clinics…” Ted Kennedy was right: Mitt Romney is “multiple-choice.” He gives flip-flops a bad name.

Another Reason John McCain Should be Tried for Treason

JulaUSA relates the gripping story of the coverup of pre-9/11 intelligence warnings and the subsequent efforts to silence CIA “Asset” Susan Lindauer. In her book, Extreme Prejudice: The Terrifying Story of the Patriot Act and the Cover Ups of 9/11 and Iraq, Lindauer retells how the likelihood of an attack on the U.S. was known in the international intelligence community, and she personally warned every Congressman, Senator and other officials. The Bush Administration silenced her so that she could not impede plans to invade Iraq. She tried to testify to head off the march to war, and instead was arrested and threatened with indefinite detention under the misnamed Patriot Act. The charges against her were finally dropped at the end of the Bush Administration, although the efforts to discredit her continued. McCain apparently played a role in preventing her original testimony to Congress prior to the Iraq invasion, and in an interesting twist, Jula reports that the federal prosecutor who handled her case was hired by the McCain-Palin campaign to squelch the Troopergate investigation. Fascinating story.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

The Culture of Exploiting Children, Part 1

Nomad tackles a horrifying story that is altogether too common – the sexual exploitation of children, and the failure of adults to stop the abuse and punish the abusers. The story of repeated rape of boys by Penn State football assistant coach Jerry Sandusky is a recent example that hit the news YEARS after it occurred, revealing (like in the Catholic Church scandals) that many adults knew about the abuse, but no one took action to stop it and protect the children. The predictable result was many more victims over many more years.

Nomad investigates an even more horrific story, the Franklin Credit Union scandal. This is an ugly story centered in Omaha, Nebraska, but with close connections to Washington, D.C. and elsewhere. In brief: bankers, politicians, businessmen, university heads, diplomats, police chiefs and other power brokers were allegedly part of a widespread ring that kidnapped children (from off the street, Boys Town, orphanages) and sold them as sex slaves. The enterprise included sex parties at the Reagan/Bush White House and the clientele allegedly included then-VP George H.W. Bush. One of the tactics used against those who testified about the abuse was to charge them with perjury and imprison them; this effectively silenced many who had alleged sexual abuse. Another was to discredit them in the press (owned by someone implicated in the scandal) and declare the whole thing to be a hoax. A third tactic is, apparently, to kill off investigators who were finding out too much. There is much more – this is a disturbing, sick story of sexual abuse of children at the heart of our government and society, interwoven with “crony capitalism” on steroids.

Children Under Attack, Part 2

Photo: The Justice Project

In the second part of his expose of sexual abuse of children, Nomad focuses on DynCorp International, a major U.S. contractor in crisis and war zones. DynCorp employees were accused of kidnapping 12-15 year old girls from Russia, Romania and elsewhere, and selling them as sex slaves in Bosnia. Several whisteblowers came forward; the result was that a handful of DynCorp employees were fired, but not prosecuted. Later, legal actions in TX and the UK led to a decision that DynCorp acted wrongfully in firing one of the whisteblowers; damages are pending. Nomad’s post includes a revealing exchange in which then-Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney directly challenged Defense Secretary Rumsfeld on why the Defense Department was rewarding DynCorp with additional contracts, despite knowing that they were involved in the sex slave trade. No wonder McKinney was targeted. It appears that DynCorp may also be involved in sex slavery in Afghanistan, including a party in which bacha bazi or male rape took place. The response was gloss-it-over PR and nothing substantive changed; DynCorp continues to be rewarded with extremely lucrative government contracts.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Spoofs of Rick Perry’s Anti-Gay Video – Priceless!

H/T Leadfoot_LA

A little comic relief is at hand, thanks to Rick Perry (or more aptly, at his expense). His now-viral, infamous ad that deliberately links the end of DADT with the absurd claims of a war on Christmas makes excellent fodder for many talented spoofers. Even better, he is wearing a jacket just like the one that Heath Ledger wore in his brilliant performance in Brokeback Mountain – hahahahaha!! Adding to the absurdity is Newt The Gingrich who Stole Christmas (H/T Azure Ghost). If you missed the link that alwaysthink posted late in the comment thread, enjoy “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Gingrich.”

H/T Azure Ghost

Citigroup Memos on Plutonomy: Government of the Rich, by the Rich and for the Rich

Citigroup lawyers have tried to quash several memos to their wealthy investors that spell out with bold and brazen clarity the strategy of the rich becoming richer, abetted by the government, without regard for the damaging consequences to the other 90-99% of Americans. The memos unapologetically – indeed gloatingly – present a cold and calculating scheme for the wealthiest in society to be able to amass previously unimaginable fortunes, on the backs of labor and the poor and middle class. Bill Moyers and Michael Moore both exposed these memos as a cynical announcement of the end of democracy and the rising up of a new aristocracy that Citigroup explicitly compares to prior “gilded ages.” Citigroup’s statement on “What could go wrong?” is particularly ironic: “Beyond war, inflation, the end of the technology/productivity wave, and financial collapse, we think the most potent and short-term threat would be societies demanding a more ‘equitable’ share of wealth.” Powerful post, Patrick! [BBT: these memos lead me to suspect that the collapse of the financial system, and Wall Street bailout, was foreseen and evolved into a strategy to siphon even more wealth from those who lost their homes and livelihoods.]

Some comments and links:

Maelewis: Not only was Cain running for President, he ran with the party that preaches family values, while they practice something else. What consenting adults want to do in private is their business. It becomes our business when they try to tell us how we should act and want to pass laws that intrude in our private lives.

Psalm023: GOP Trifle – throw in half cup of “Cain” sugar. Assorted nuts and flakes. Tablespoon of Bailey’s. Whipped-up frenzy Bachmann cream. Straw-poll berries. Sin-a-mon. Wild oats(sown). Rick’s maple syrup. Crushed Leslie Graham crackers. Stir. Don’t put in oven, but if you must and it’s too hot to handle, use an oven “Mitt”. A political recipe from Psalm 023.

Redwood Palinizer: Wow. Shocking and interesting post. I don’t know what planet I have been on but I had no idea this kind of thing was going on. I am thoroughly disgusted and so, so ashamed of some of my fellow human beings. Thanks for writing this, everyone should know what is going on outside of their own little world.

Mrsgunka: Remember when we thought the Babygate hoax was earth shattering?

CracklinCharlie: One of the reasons this information is so devastating to the plutocrats, is that it was generated by them, and was distributed to their clients, so that they could prepare for the possibility that they had gone too far. It’s not like this was written by Paul Krugman, Robert Reich, Alan Grayson, or Michael Moore, any one of whom they are used to discrediting. I think it would be much harder to try to discredit something they themselves produced. I think this could be big trouble for the 1%. If we could only get some help from someone on the airwaves…

Sunnyjane: Yep, McCain picked up a hitch-hiker and she hit him over the head with a baseball bat and hijacked the clown car.

IWanttheTruth: I hate it when laws are so overreaching that they can’t be applied across the board. That leaves it as a tool to be selectively applied.

Alwaysthink linked to Steve Kroft on 60 minutes on prosecuting Wall Street and also found this excellent article on Bradley Foundation and ultra-conservative infiltration of society.

Juicyfruityy linked to the Political Carnival on the “Let them eat cake!” tax plan and also pointed this out on “the Palin plunge.”

HopeforAmerica pointed out 10 things conservatives don’t want you to know about Ronald Reagan.

Occupy_USA linked to this site which then links to the Citigroup memos.

The Last Word – Patrick: We are not taking anything down, we take up the fight against the people who believe that they have the right to be the unelected leaders of the world.

The Citigroup Plutonomy Memos: Two bombshell documents that Citigroup’s lawyers try to suppress, describing in detail the rule of the first 1%

By Patrick
“Are they real?” That’s the question people usually ask when they hear for the first time of the “Citigroup Plutonomy Memos.” The sad truth is: Yes, they are real, and instead of being discussed on mainstream media outlets all over America and beyond, Citigroup was surprisingly successful so far in suppressing these memos, using their lawyers to issue takedown-notices whenever these memos were being made available for download on the internet.
So what are we talking about? In 2005 and 2006, several analysts at Citigroup took a very, very close look at the economic inequalities within the USA and other countries and wrote two memos which were addressed to their very wealthy customers. If there is one group of people who need to know the truth about what is really going on within the society and the economy, minus the propaganda, then it’s businesspeople who have a lot of money to invest, and who want to invest wisely.
So Citigroup did their duty and published two explosive memos, which should have become mainstream news, but eventually did not. The first memo is dated October 16, 2005 (35 pages) and is titled: “Plutonomy: Buying Luxury, Explaining Global Imbalances.”
Screenshot:
Memo Oct 16, 2005 - screenshot

The second memo is dated March 5, 2006 (18 pages) and is titled: “Revisiting Plutonomy: The Rich Getting Richer”

Screenshot:
Memo March 5, 2006 - screenshot

A few years ago, two copies of these memos were leaked and were published on the internet. Usually one should think that once such important documents are in the “public domain”, nothing should stop them any more from being distributed and being openly discussed. However, the lawyers of Citigroup, Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLC, work hard to prevent exactly that from happening. Examples of their activities can be found all over the internet.
From CPS News (more: HERE and HERE):
citigroup attempts to disappear plutonomy report

Examples of the reports deleted from “scribd.com” after Citigroup demanded their takedown (here and here):

Scribd - content was removed
Scribd - content removed - plutonomy report
These take-down notices achieved the desired result, because the file-sharing website “scribd.com” now even takes down the reports “automatically”, once somebody attempts to upload them again:
Scribd - plutonomy report taken down automatically
Daily Kos plutonomy
The blog “No Apparent Motive” reported that they received a take-down letter from Citigroup’s lawyers after they posted a download link to a copy of one of the memos:
Plutonomy - noapparentmotive received take down letter
They also published the take-down letter which they received on November 4, 2011 from law firm Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLC:
screenshot Citigroup lawyer letter page one
screenshot Citigroup lawyer letter page two
Therefore it is apparent that Citigroup is paranoid that these memos by their analysts are being widely distributed. It is not necessary to include a download link in this post, as the memos are pretty easy to find with a simple google search.
However, Citigroup seems to have been successful in preventing a wider discussion about the memos, due to their legal actions. This needs to stop, as every American and every citizen in the western world needs to know what people like the analysts of Citigroup really think about the inequalities which exist within the societies, how the rich should preserve their domination, and what possible “backlash” can be expected – and what the consequences are of living in a “plutonomy.”
At the beginning of the first memo “Plutonomy: Buying Luxury, Explaining Global Imbalances”, the analysts introduce the subject:

Little of this note should tally with conventional thinking. Indeed, traditional thinking is likely to have issues with most of it. We will posit that:

1) the world is dividing into two blocs – the plutonomies, where economic growth is powered by and largely consumed by the wealthy few, and the rest.

Plutonomies have occurred before in sixteenth century Spain, in seventeenth century Holland, the Gilded Age and the Roaring Twenties in the U.S. What are the common drivers of Plutonomy?

Disruptive technology-driven productivity gains, creative financial innovation, capitalist- friendly cooperative governments, an international dimension of immigrants and overseas conquests invigorating wealth creation, the rule of law, and patenting inventions. Often these wealth waves involve great complexity, exploited best by the rich and educated of the time.

2) We project that the plutonomies (the U.S., UK, and Canada) will likely see even more income inequality, disproportionately feeding off a further rise in the profit share in their economies, capitalist-friendly governments, more technology-driven productivity, and globalization.

Citigroup explains how the “non-rich” consumers become increasingly irrelevant within the “plutonomies”:

4) In a plutonomy there is no such animal as “the U.S. consumer” or “the UK consumer”, or indeed the “Russian consumer”. There are rich consumers, few in
number, but disproportionate in the gigantic slice of income and consumption they take.

There are the rest, the “non-rich”, the multitudinous many, but only accounting for surprisingly small bites of the national pie. Consensus analyses that do not tease out the profound impact of the plutonomy on spending power, debt loads, savings rates (and hence current account deficits), oil price impacts etc, i.e., focus on the “average”consumer are flawed from the start. It is easy to drown in a lake with an average depth of 4 feet, if one steps into its deeper extremes. Since consumption accounts for 65% of the world economy, and consumer staples and discretionary sectors for 19.8% of the MSCI AC World Index, understanding how the plutonomy impacts consumption is key for equity market participants.

The analysts of Citigroup then invent a new term – “The New Managerial Aristocracy”:

THE UNITED STATES PLUTONOMY – THE GILDED AGE, THE ROARING TWENTIES, AND THE NEW MANAGERIAL ARISTOCRACY

Let’s dive into some of the details. As Figure 1 shows the top 1% of households in the U.S., (about 1 million households) accounted for about 20% of overall U.S. income in 2000, slightly smaller than the share of income of the bottom 60% of households put together. That’s about 1 million households compared with 60 million households, both with similar slices of the income pie!

Clearly, the analysis of the top 1% of U.S. households is paramount. The usual analysis of the “average” U.S. consumer is flawed from the start. To continue with the U.S., the top 1% of households also account for 33% of net worth, greater than the bottom 90% of households put together. It gets better(or worse, depending on your political stripe) – the top 1% of households account for 40% of financial net worth, more than the bottom 95% of households put together.

This is data for 2000, from the Survey of Consumer Finances (and adjusted by academic Edward Wolff). Since 2000 was the peak year in equities, and the top 1% of households have a lot more equities in their net worth than the rest of the population who tend to have more real estate, these data might exaggerate the U.S. plutonomy a wee bit.

Was the U.S. always a plutonomy – powered by the wealthy, who aggrandized larger chunks of the economy to themselves? Not really.

Citigroup also makes clear what the CEO’s of the world need: More money.

Quote:

Society and governments need to be amenable to disproportionately allow/encourage the few to retain that fatter profit share. The Managerial Aristocracy, like in the Gilded Age, the Roaring Twenties, and the thriving nineties, needs to commandeer a vast chunk of that rising profit share, either through capital income, or simply paying itself a lot. We think that despite the post-bubble angst against celebrity CEOs, the trend of cost-cutting balance sheet-improving CEOs might just give way to risk-seeking CEOs, re-leveraging, going for growth and expecting disproportionate compensation for it. It sounds quite unlikely, but that’s why we think it is quite possible. Meanwhile Private Equity and LBO funds are filling the risk-seeking and re-leveraging void, expecting and realizing disproportionate remuneration for their skills.

But does placing so much money in so few hands also pose risks? Maybe the 99% of the population, or let it be 90-95%, it does not matter, will be unhappy about being ruled by the super rich?
Fortunately for the investors, the analysts at Citigroup also considered these points and started to think about the plebs who, as history shows, have a tendency to be unruly, if poor. So the analysts started to think about “losers”, as they call them, or the people who could need a bath, as Newt Gingrich would call it. The Citigroup analysts basically predicted the OWS-movement.
In considering these aspects, the analysts also discovered that there is a terrifying factor to consider – that the poor don’t have much economic power, but that they “have equal voting power with the rich.”

Quote:

IS THERE A BACKLASH BUILDING?

Plutonomy, we suspect is elastic. Concentration of wealth and spending in the hands of a few, probably has its limits. What might cause the elastic to snap back? We can see a number of potential challenges to plutonomy.

The first, and probably most potent, is through a labor backlash. Outsourcing,
offshoring or insourcing of cheap labor is done to undercut current labor costs. Those being undercut are losers in the short term. While there is evidence that this is positive for the average worker (for example Ottaviano and Peri) it is also clear that high-cost substitutable labor loses.

Low-end developed market labor might not have much economic power, but it does have equal voting power with the rich. We see plenty of examples of the outsourcing or offshoring of labor being attacked as “unpatriotic” or plain unfair. This tends to lead to calls for protectionism to save the low-skilled domestic jobs being lost. This is a cause championed, generally, by left-wing politicians. At the other extreme, insourcing, or allowing mass immigration, which might price domestic workers out of jobs, leads to calls for anti-immigration policies, at worst championed by those on the far right.

To this end, the rise of the far right in a number of European countries, or calls (from the right) to slow down the accession of Turkey into the EU, and calls from the left to rebuild trade barriers and protect workers (the far left of Mr. Lafontaine, garnered 8.5% of the vote in the German election, fighting predominantly on this issue), are concerning signals. This is not something restricted to Europe. Sufficient numbers of politicians in other countries have championed slowing immigration or free trade (Ross Perot, Pauline Hanson etc.).

Then comes a key-part of the first “Plutonomy” memo: Plutonomy only works if the members of a society have the impression that they can still participate, despite the harsh inequalities, that they “can join it.” The analysts use the term “robber-baron economies” and conclude that a “potential social backlash” is possible. Becoming a “Pluto-participant” is the “embodiement of the ‘American Dream'” -and this dream should not die, otherwise the Plutocrats could be in real trouble. Quote:

A third threat comes from the potential social backlash. To use Rawls-ian analysis, the invisible hand stops working. Perhaps one reason that societies allow plutonomy, is because enough of the electorate believe they have a chance of becoming a Pluto-participant. Why kill it off, if you can join it? In a sense this is the embodiment of the “American dream”. But if voters feel they cannot participate, they are more likely to divide up the wealth pie, rather than aspire to being truly rich.

Could the plutonomies die because the dream is dead, because enough of society does not believe they can participate? The answer is of course yes. But we suspect this is a threat more clearly felt during recessions, and periods of falling wealth, than when average citizens feel that they are better off. There are signs around the world that society is unhappy with plutonomy – judging by how tight electoral races are.

But as yet, there seems little political fight being born out on this battleground.

A related threat comes from the backlash to “Robber-barron” economies. The
population at large might still endorse the concept of plutonomy but feel they have lost out to unfair rules. In a sense, this backlash has been epitomized by the media coverage and actual prosecution of high-profile ex-CEOs who presided over financial misappropriation. This “backlash” seems to be something that comes with bull markets and their subsequent collapse. To this end, the cleaning up of business practice, by high-profile champions of fair play, might actually prolong plutonomy.

The second memo, titled “Revisiting Plutonomy: The Rich Getting Richer” deals mainly with the consequences for investments which follow the analysis in the first memo. Quote:

There are, in our opinion, two issues for equity investors to consider. Firstly, if we are right, that plutonomy is to blame for many of the apparent conundrums that exist around the world, such as negative savings, current account deficits, no consumer recession despite high oil prices or weak consumer sentiment, then so long as the rich continue to get richer, the likelihood of these conundrums resolving themselves through traditionally disruptive means (currency collapses, consumer recessions etc) looks low. The first consequence for equity investors who worry about these issues, is that the risk premia they ascribe to equities to reflect these conundrums/worries, may be too high.

Secondly, if the rich are to keep getting richer, as we think they will do, then this has ongoing positive implications for the businesses selling to the rich. We have called these businesses “Plutonomy stocks”. We see three reasons to take another look at those plutonomy stocks.

Citigroup seems to be perfectly happy with the rule of the rich. They are also perfectly happy to suppress these explosive memos. What if Americans don’t believe into the American Dream any more? What if the thoughts of OWS-protesters slip into the mainstream? (Fortunately, this is already happening). The rule of the 1% is not a conspiracy theory, it’s a fact, as the Citigroup analysts explain in great detail. The citizens in the “Plutonomies” are expected to swallow this bitter pill. The Koch Brothers and others can buy politicians and make sure that they get their way, also thanks to the Koch-friend Clarence Thomas and his colleagues in the Supreme Court who made the “Citizens United” decision possible.
But don’t forget:
You “have equal voting power with the rich.”

To me, free elections do not seem to be compatible with a plutonomy. But the 1% seem to try to take care of this problem, as the USA has witnessed sophisticated examples of election fraud since 2000, and the country is at the same time drowning in propaganda, for example by the Koch-Brothers propaganda machine, who are gearing up for 2012, the “the mother of all wars”, as Charles Koch called it.

While I researched the subject, I discovered that there also exists an additional third, shorter Citigroup memo, dated September 29, 2006, which is being mentioned here.
The summary on the first page of this memo, which another report for their super-wealthy investors, boldly presents “Plutonomy” not only as a fact, but a business great business opportunity:

The Global Investigator

The Plutonomy Symposium — Rising Tides
Lifting Yachts

➤ Time to re-commit to plutonomy stocks – Binge on Bling.
Equity multiples appear too low, the profit share of GDP is high and likely going higher, stocks look likely to beat housing, and we are bullish on equities. The Uber-rich, the plutonomists, are likely to see net worth-income ratios surge, driving luxury consumption.
Buy plutonomy stocks (list inside).

➤ Plutonomy stocks at a premium, but relative pricing power is key.

➤ Our Plutonomy Symposium take-aways.
The key challenge for corporates in this space is to maintain the mystique of prestige while trying to grow revenue and hit the mass-affluent market. Finding pure-plays on the plutonomy theme, however, is tricky.

➤ Plutonomy and the Great Conundrums of our age.
We think the balance sheets of the rich are in great shape, and are likely to continue to improve. Don’t be shocked if the savings rate worsens as equities do well.

➤ What could go wrong?
Beyond war, inflation, the end of the technology/productivity wave, and financial collapse, we think the most potent and short-term threat would be societies demanding a more ‘equitable’ share of wealth.

Yes, what could possibly “go wrong?” The “threat” exists that societies would be “demanding a more ‘equitable’ share of wealth.”
Thank God that we have such splendid police forces whose members seem to be very happy to quash any unrest with batons, tear gas, pepper spray and a high degree of rough behaviour in order to keep the plutonomists happy!
Despite not having received widespread mainstream coverage, the Citigroup memos have been discussed in a handful TV-clips or documentaries.
When Bill Moyers “signed off” with his last broadcast in 2010, he extensively quoted from the Citigroup memos and explicitly warned that Plutocracy and Democracy “do not mix”:
In addition, Michael Moore reported about the Citigroup plutonomy memos in his documentary “Capitalism – A Love Story”:
Finally, I have a note for you-know-who:

17 U.S.C. § 107

Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 17 U.S.C. § 106 and 17 U.S.C. § 106A, the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright. In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use the factors to be considered shall include:

the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;

the nature of the copyrighted work;

the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and

the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.

The fact that a work is unpublished shall not itself bar a finding of fair use if such finding is made upon consideration of all the above factors.

We are not taking anything down, we take up the fight against the people who believe that they have the right to be the unelected leaders of the world.
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UPDATE:
Investigative journalist and blogger Lee Fang picks up the subject of the suppressed Citigroup-memos at his blog “The Second Alarm” and comments about the possible consequences of the pending SOPA/PROTECT IP-legislation for investigative blog journalism:

Clearly, this is a brazen abuse of copyright law to suppress legitimate journalism. The documents were already widely leaked, and the bloggers writing about them were doing so under conditions which I think most would consider “fair use.” The bareknuckle tactics by Citigroup’s attorneys show the power of the laws already on the books, like the DMCA, which allows copyright holders to demand that user-submitted content websites like Scribd and Blogspot.com remove copyrighted material. For one thing, its not even clear if the Plutonomy Memos constitute protected copyright material. I’m obviously not a lawyer, but its hard to see the expressive value of the memos. It’s a messed up situation, where just the threat of litigation has already chilled speech, but it could get much, much worse.

If SOPA/PROTECT-IP passes, then copyright holders like Citigroup will gain the ability to shut down entire websites without a court order, a power well beyond the DMCA and other digital copyright laws. That means independent blogs, media outlets, etc., will become targets for destruction when they publish allegedly copyrighted whistleblower documents and other leaked memos. Independent media will be delisted from search engines and their domains could be blocked. SOPA/PROTECT-IP is an assault on journalism (see this breakdown by Jessica Roy at Mediabistro), but the latest moves by Citigroup only reinforce the danger.

This week, the House will begin to mark-up the bill.

Back when I worked at ThinkProgress, I repeatedly broke stories using leaked memos and other internal documents from powerful corporations. Needless to say, ThinkProgress routinely posts and links to content that could arguably be considered copyrighted material or associated with “pirate” websites (like Wikileaks or the Piratebay). If SOPA/PROTECT-IP is signed into law, it’s not too extreme to suggest that even ThinkProgress or the blog’s advertisers could fall into the crosshairs of copyright trolls.

Rick Perry’s anti-gay ad: The spoof videos! — PLUS: MSNBC host Mika Brzezinski slams Newt Gingrich in must-see rant

By Patrick
Looking for some comedy relief, we only have to turn to the Republican presidential candidates. They don’t seem to be provide real value as far as political and economic issues are concerned, but the comedic value they provide is immeasurable.
For a more serious look on the issue, however, I recommend the recent “review” of the whole Republican freak show in the German news magazine “Der Spiegel”, in which the magazine called the Republican candidates “A Club of Liars, Demagogues and Ignoramuses.”
A few days ago, Rick Perry has infamously released a campaign ad which has been immediately regarded by the public as anti-gay. Although in Rick Perry’s defence, he probably simply didn’t know what he was saying. In any case, here is the original:

This advert single-handedly broke the record on youtube (I believe) as far as the number of “dislikes” to a video are concerned:

Rick Perry’s memorable advert was followed by a number of hilarious spoof adverts. Here are some of the best of them, for your pleasure:

Jesus Responds to Rick Perry’s “Strong” Ad from DC Pierson http://www.facebook.com/plugins/like.php?app_id=138711277798&href=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.funnyordie.com%2Fvideos%2Fe23d1c26d4%2Fjesus-responds-to-rick-perry-s-strong-ad&send=false&layout=button_count&width=150&show_faces=false&action=like&height=21

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To get a little more serious again, MSNBC host Mika Brzezinski delievered an epic, must-see rant regarding Newt Gingrich on “morning joe.” She expressed her disgust at Newt Gingrich after he slammed the OWS-protesters.

This already happened in late November, but as Newt is now the new front-runner of the Republican freak show, Mika’s rant deserves more coverage:

Many thanks and a big h/t to all of our readers who put links to some of these clips in the comments!

Hopefully you all will have a great Saturday! Next week, we will be back with more exciting stories.

+++

BONUS:

AzureGhost just posted the following clip in the comments – yes, Newt Gingrich, you surely are a “mean one”:

Children Under Attack: A Culture of Unpunished Exploitation 2/2

by Nomad

In this second part of the two part series, I want to return to Afghan in order to investigate how a corporation, contracted by the government, can repeatedly escape justice after engaging in activities that would never be tolerated closer to home.


DynCorp: Never in the Penalty Box

The DynCorp scandal is a demonstration of what happens when governments and corporations collude to prevent scandals from reaching the public. Without this exposure, and without the perpetrators being brought to justice, the likelihood that similar incidents will recur is greater.

It is a fatally easy step from “butt-covering” and closed-doors in-house investigations to no substantive action at all. The array of bureaucratic tricks can be used to thwart any outside inspection: from delays and excuse making, to the formation of endless committees without any clear mandate, reports that are authorized but never followed up on, shifting personnel and consolidation of departments.
Take DynCorp as an example.
DynCorp was one of the top contractors when it came to logistics for the US armed forces. Among its many services, DynCorp recruits, trains and deploys civilian peacekeepers and police trainers to 11 countries, including Haiti, Bosnia, Afghanistan, and Iraq, for the Department of State.
According to Its website

DynCorp International is a global government services provider in support of U.S. national security and foreign policy objectives, delivering support solutions for defense, diplomacy, and international development… We provide support to protect American diplomats in high-threat countries, and services to eradicate illicit narcotics crops and support drug-interdiction efforts in South America. We are engaged in the removal and destruction of landmines and light weapons in Afghanistan. We have vast international experience and operate on all continents except Antarctica.
We provide logistics and contingency support to the U.S. military and our allies around the world, including major platform support, logistics, and contingency operations programs in the U.S., Europe, the Middle East, the Pacific Rim, and Africa.
Conflicts around the world and man-made and natural disasters have been very big business for DynCorp.
Kathryn Bolkovac

Following the war in the former republic of Yugoslavia, DynCorp had a $15 million contract to hire and train police officers for duty in Bosnia and Herzegovina. However in 1999, US police investigator Kathryn Bolkovac was fired from DynCorp after blowing the whistle on a sex-slave ring operating on one of our bases there.


As one source tells us, according to a second informant, Ben Johnston, who worked for the company in Bosnia and Herzegovina, DynCorp employees and supervisors engaged in sex with 12 to 15 year old children, and sold them to each other as slaves. Ben Johnston ended up being fired, (the circumstances suggest it was a setup to discredit him). He was later forced into protective custody. According to Johnston, none of the girls were from Bosnia and Herzegovina itself, but were kidnapped by DynCorp employees from Russia, Romania and other places.

Ultimately, the company fired eight employees for their alleged involvement in sex trafficking and illegal arms deals. None, however, were prosecuted as they also enjoy immunity from prosecution in Bosnia and Herzegovina.Judges outside of the region, however, were not so willing to forget and forgive. As Salon.com reports
The court actions — one in the United Kingdom, the other in Fort Worth, Texas — suggest that the company did not move aggressively enough when reports of sexual misconduct among its employees began to emerge in 1999.

The tribunal in the U.K. found that DynCorp employee Kathryn Bolkovac “acted reasonably,” but that the company did not.

“DynCorp is an enormous operation, with strong ties to the U.S. government,” Bolkovac’s legal representative, Karen Bailey, said in a prepared statement. “She took on the big guns and won. The plight of trafficking victims is appalling and I’m glad that Kathryn’s case has gone some way to bringing it to wider attention.”

The tribunal found that DynCorp Aerospace UK Ltd., a subsidiary of DynCorp Inc., violated the U.K.’s whistle-blowing statute — the Public Interest Disclosure Act of 1998 — when the company fired Bolkovac. A separate hearing is scheduled for October to determine what damages DynCorp should face.
For its part, DynCorp executives claimed that whistle-blower Bolkovac had been fired for falsifying time sheets. However, she countered that the company had fired after only she had sent an email to the company (as well as UN authorities) detailing the company’s “complicity in forced prostitution by international aid workers, including members of the International Police Task Force.” The British employment tribunal supported Bolkovac’s version of events, finding little to support DynCorp’s claim against Bolovac and describing the evidence DynCorp provided as being “sketchy to the point of nonexistent,” according to Bolkovac’s attorneys.”

In the wake of the Bosnia sex slave scandal, President Bush declared zero tolerance for involvement in human trafficking by federal employees and contractors in a National Security Presidential Directive he signed in December 2002. However Office of the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction (SIGIR) found that, during the Iraqi reconstruction, DynCorp overcharged the government for unauthorized and unapproved construction work.


On March 11th 2005, Georgia Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney asked some important questions of Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and General Myers about the Dyncorp scandal. The exchange was definitely icy and it was apparent that no love was lost between Rumsfeld and McKinney.
Cynthia McKinney: “Mr. Secretary, I watched President Bush deliver a moving speech at the United Nations in September 2003, in which he mentioned the crisis of the sex trade. The President called for the punishment of those involved in this horrible business. But at the very moment of that speech, Dyncorp was exposed for having been involved in the buying and selling of young women and children. While all of this was going on, Dyncorp kept the Pentagon contract to administer the smallpox and anthrax vaccines, and is now working on a plague vaccine through the Joint Vaccine Acquisition Program. Mr. Secretary, is it [the] policy of the U.S. Government to reward companies that traffic in women and little girls?”

Donald Rumsfeld: “Thank you, Representative. First, the answer to your first question is, no, absolutely not, the policy of the United States Government is clear, unambiguous, and opposed to the activities that you described. The second question —”

McKinney: “Well how do you explain the fact that DynCorp and its successor companies have received and continue to receive government contracts?”

Rumsfeld: I would have to go and find the facts, but there are laws and rules and regulations with respect to government contracts, and there are times that corporations do things they should not do, in which case they tend to be suspended for some period; there are times then that the – under the laws and the rules and regulations for the – passed by the Congress and implemented by the Executive branch – that corporations can get off of – out of the penalty box if you will, and be permitted to engage in contracts with the government. They’re generally not barred in perpetuity.


McKinney: This contract, this company, was never in the penalty box…

A few minutes later, Rumsfeld addressed the issue again after a brief consultation with his advisers..

Rumsfeld: “I’m advised by Dr. Chu that it was not the corporation that was engaged in the activities you characterized but I’m told it was an employee of the corporation, and it was some years ago in the Balkans that that took place.”

McKinney: “It’s my understanding that it continues to take place, and..”

Rumsfeld: “Is that right? Well if you could give me information to that effect..”

McKinney: “I am sure you are interested in all the information that I have, and I will be more than happy to provide it for you.”

Rumsfeld: “Good, thank you.

It’s fairly clear by the exchange that Rumsfeld was not well-informed on the issue and seemed as though he couldn’t have cared less. His attempts to place the blame not on DynCorp but on the individuals that were employed by the company, some felt, was a blatant attempt to hide the fact that human trafficking and sex slavery is a practice if not condoned by companies like Dyncorp and Halliburton subsidiaries like KBR, then ignored. So what did zero tolerance actually mean? Zero apparently meant absolutely nothing.

Nearly a year passed, and still nothing had changed. Five defense lobbying groups fought parts of Bush’s security directive which would have prohibited contractor involvement in human trafficking in forced prostitution. According to a Chicago Tribune article,

The lobbying groups opposing the plan say they’re in favor of the idea in principle, but said they believe that implementing key portions of it overseas is unrealistic. They represent thousands of firms, including some of the industry’s biggest names, such as DynCorp International and Halliburton subsidiary KBR, both of which have been linked to trafficking-related concerns.

Why would the prohibition on sex slavery of corporation be unrealistic? Why would it have been unachievable? The objections to the plan were, in themselves, revealing.

Service Providers

Despite all those warnings, DynCorp was awarded a multi-billion contract to train Afghan police The results were predictable. According to one source:

America has spent more than $6 billion since 2002 in an effort to create an effective Afghan police force, buying weapons, building police academies, and hiring defense contractors to train the recruits—but the program has been a disaster. More than $322 million worth of invoices for police training were approved even though the funds were poorly accounted for, according to a government audit, and fewer than 12 percent of the country’s police units are capable of operating on their own. Ambassador Richard Holbrooke, the State Department’s top representative in the region, has publicly called the Afghan police “an inadequate organization, riddled with corruption.”

And if you thought this couldn’t get worse, it did. Wikileaks published a cable that revealed another possible sex scandal involving DynCorp. According to an article in Houston Post,
The Afghanistan cable (dated June 24, 2009) discusses a meeting between Afghan Interior Minister Hanif Atmar and US assistant ambassador Joseph Mussomeli. Prime among Atmar’s concerns was a party partially thrown by DynCorp for Afghan police recruits in Kunduz Province.

Many of DynCorp’s employees are ex-Green Berets and veterans of other elite units, and the company was commissioned by the US government to provide training for the Afghani police. According to most reports, over 95 percent of its $2 billion annual revenue comes from US taxpayers.
In the leaked cable, Atmar appears desperate that any mention of the fesitivities not reach the mainstream media, claiming that it would endanger lives. How could news of a party endanger lives?

An article about the events in The Washington Post also revealed that, at least two videos were recorded at the party in April 2009. It reportedly shows some 15 DynCorp personnel egging on the boy dancer, who came from a nearby village and was dressed in jeans and a T-shirt, with a long scarf tied around his waist, as he moved around a DynCorp employee sitting on a single chair in a courtyard.

Although it sounds rather silly, perhaps, it doesn’t seem all that sordid. One would assume that in accordance with Islamic prohibitions, the party would be all male. Still, there was more than meets the eye. It’s important to read between the lines and to understand the social context.

The first tip-off is, of course, if the party was innocent, one might wonder, then why the panic from local officials?

Atmar himself gives the game away in the cable. He disclosed that he has arrested two Afghan police and nine other Afghans as part of an Ministry of Interior investigation into Afghans who facilitated this crime of “purchasing a service from a child.” It’s not hard to understand what this euphemism is supposed to mean.

..(B)acha bazi is a pre-Islamic Afghan tradition that was banned by the Taliban. Bacha boys are eight- to 15-years-old. They put on make-up, tie bells to their feet and slip into scanty women’s clothing, and then, to the whine of a harmonium and wailing vocals, they dance seductively to smoky roomfuls of leering older men.

After the show is over, their services are auctioned off to the highest bidder, who will sometimes purchase a boy outright. And by services, we mean anal sex: The State Department has called bacha bazi a “widespread, culturally accepted form of male rape.” (While it may be culturally accepted, it violates both Sharia law and Afghan civil code.)
A PBS/Frontline documentary on the practice quoted one official familiar with the practice:

“It’s a disgusting practice. … It’s a form of slavery, taking a child, keeping him. It’s a form of sexual slavery,” says Radhika Coomaraswamy, U.N. special representative for Children and Armed Conflict. “The only way to stop bacha bazi is if you prosecute the people who commit the crime, and that’s what we need, because the laws are there in the books against this practice.”

Pastun Orphan

According to the author of Afghanistan Beyond 2014 , Musa Khan Jalalzai, this tradition has become a real problem for the emerging Afghan society.

Pashtun transport mafia is deeply involved with the business and every two in ten Pashtun truck drivers are involved in male prostitution. In Paktia, Paktika, Ghazni, Bannu, Waziristan, Zabul, Quetta, Kandahar and Khost, male prostitution is not considered an illegal custom… Afghan police officers are deeply involved in male prostitution while Interior Ministry in Kabul has recently received thousands complaints from locals regarding the police sexual attacks on young boys.

Whether or not DynCorp participated in the pimping of boys for the Afghan police is open to doubt, of course. It might well have been an innocent celebration but given the company’s past history of alleged sex slave trafficking, and accusations of other misconduct, it shows exceptionally poor judgement. It was also extremely disrespectful to the culture and to the religion. The fact that nobody had second thoughts about the wisdom of having such a party indeed casts some suspicion that the party was as innocent as Dyncorp would later claim.

An email communication from DynCorp Chief Compliance Officer Joe Kale to its employees attempted to downplay the incident, by calling them “sensational and inaccurate” and “baseless.” (The information came from a State Department cable so that seems a strange remark.)

An attorney for one of Dyncorp’s whistle-blowers stated his opinion of Dyncorp quite clearly:

“This is more than one twisted mind. There was a real corporate culture with a deep commitment to a cover-up. And it’s outrageous that DynCorp still is being paid by the government on this contract. The worst thing I’ve seen is a DynCorp e-mail after this first came up where they’re saying how they have turned this thing into a marketing success, that they have convinced the government that they could handle something like this.”

In the end, DynCorp needn’t have bothered to defend itself in the media.
Its contracts were neither reviewed nor canceled. In fact, DynCorp was rewarded with series of extremely lucrative contracts in Iraq and Afghanistan, which accounted for 53% of its $3.1 billion of annual revenue.

Meanwhile the Bush Administration still attempted to portray itself as a crusader against the very thing DynCorp- one of its largest contractors in the Middle East- was accused of.
Human traffickers prey on the most vulnerable and turn a commercial profit at the expense of innocent lives… The State Department’s efforts to end this evil trade exemplify transformational diplomacy. We work with international partners to secure the freedom of those who are exploited and call on governments to be effective and accountable in prosecuting those who exploit.
It would appear that this is, as one security analyst has put it, high road” rhetoric giving way to a “low-road” reality.
In an interview Noam Chomsky was asked whether there was any self-reflection about the negative attitudes toward the US by so many around the world. President Bush had asked “Why do they hate us so much?” Didn’t this suggest, after 911 and all the chaos that followed, that America and its leaders were considering a different kind of foreign policy? Chomsky was unequivocal.

I would discount Bush’s statement. That was a rhetorical question, not a real question, if what he was saying was: “We are so marvelous and wonderful. How can anybody hate us?” And then the official answer that comes across from New York Times and other commentators is, “Well, they hate us because we are so wonderful. That must be why they hate us.” Incidentally a long theme in the history of imperialism—go back to British imperialism, French imperialism in its worst days—that’s the kind of theme that is projected by intellectuals. ”We are marvelous, we are angelic, we are wonderful, we are trying to do things for the these poor people. If they hate us it’s because they are backward.”

There’s no need to pretend to be perfect, or wonderful or marvelous. It’s not about being loved or being hated but just doing the right thing more often than doing the wrong. It’s about justice for all and not one form of justice for Americans and a lesser form for the rest of the world. It’s about law and order and behaving in a respectable manner.
_____________________________

Children Under Attack: A Culture of Unpunished Exploitation 1/2

by Nomad

“They’ve done it before and they’ll do it again and when they do it — seems that only the children weep. “Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

Beyond Complacency and Dissimulation
Jerry Sandusky
The revelations in the Jerry Sandusky case have made the headlines recently, involving accusations of the sexual abuse of boys by a former coach of Penn State University and a director of Second Mile, a charity to benefit needy children. The Second Mile program said it cut ties with Sandusky in 2008.
Sandusky faces 40 criminal counts accusing him of sexually abusing eight boys beginning in the mid-1990s. Some of the assaults, say authorities, happened on Penn State’s campus and were reported to administrators. Apparently however, the campus officials didn’t inform police agencies. The charges followed a nearly three-year grand jury investigation. Since the news broke, accusations from other victims have been added.

Sandusky has pleaded innocent to the charges, telling interviewers,

“I shouldn’t have showered with those kids…I could say that I have done some of those things…I have horsed around with kids. I have showered after workouts. I have hugged them and I have touched their legs without intent of sexual contact.”

The grand jury reports are detailed and explicit and painful to read. Victims’ charges have been supported by witnesses. For example, according to unconfirmed claims in the report, when a graduate student accidentally walked in on Sandusky having sex with a boy in the showers at the university, he immediately reported the incident to various authorities, including Joe Paterno, the head football coach. Later he repeated the story to Tim Curley, Penn State athletic director and Gary Schultz, the Senior Vice-President for Finance and Business. They assured him that steps were being taken.

Graham Spanier

Sandusky, according to the testimony of Curley, was asked to return his keys to the university facilities. Furthermore, authorities at Second Mile were informed of the incident. While the University President Graham Spanier was informed, apparently none of the people who knew thought it was important enough to inform the University police or any other police agency. That event occurred back in March of 2002.


And Schultz told the grand jury that he was aware of an earlier charge of a similar incident with Sandusky back in 1998. Both incidents involved minor boys in the showers with Sandusky behaving in a sexually inappropriate manner.
Besides that, there were other warning signs that authorities had ignored. The report suggests that Sandusky used his privileged status in the university sports department to impress and seduce his victims. Meanwhile, he also reportedly used his position at the charity to find his targeted children. The mother of Victim 6, upon discovering suspicious activity between her son and Sandusky, reported her complaints to University police. According to the grand jury report:

After a lengthy investigation by University Police Detective Ronald Shreffler, the investigation was closed after then Centre County District Attorney Ray Gricar decided there would be no criminal charges. Shreffler testified that he was told to close the investigation by the director of the campus police, Thomas Harmon. That investigation included a second child, B.K. also 11, who was subject to nearly identical treatment in the shower as Victim 6, according to Detective Schreffler.

It should also be added that the district attorney mentioned above later disappeared in 2005 under very mysterious circumstances.

One sportswriter, Mark Madden, brought out another rumor that had been circulating. The rumor suggested that accused Sandusky was also running some kind of child sex ring for rich donors to his Second Miles Foundation. Certainly the names of donors on the organization’s website are quickly being “cleansed” but that’s hardly unexpected given the circumstances. Without any real evidence, the rumor is fairly easy to dismiss. On the other hand, it would go a long way in explaining how such a sorry state of affairs could have continued for so long.

For me, the most tragic and inexcusable aspect of this shocking story is the fact that so many responsible people had an opportunity and a duty to investigate the matter and bring a halt to the sexual abuse, but did nothing. All of the warning signs were clearly there, reports were made, people were informed. Apparently, however, the immediate- in fact, the only- response was to turn away, to ignore and, later to cover up, what they had known; complacency and dissimulation crossing the border into complicity and a criminal failure to act.

As a society, we seem willing to accept a culture of the sexual exploitation of our children and to tolerant the fact that the guilty are allowed to go unpunished. In these two posts, I would like to examine this theme in detail with separate cases, involving children, sexual abuse and the corruption of justice.

Ghosts of Scandals Past
In the Sandusky case, the grounds for a conspiracy are unavoidable, it seems, but, even if one choose to dismiss that possibility, it is still difficult to explain how so many people could have allowed things to go so far, knowing that the probability that the whole matter would eventually come out.
After all, Graham Spanier’s educational background in marriage and family counseling should have afforded him some kind of insight, or, at the very least, allowed him to understand the gravity of the charges.

Ronald Roskens

Furthermore, Spanier should have known how damaging even the accusation of sexual misconduct could have been since he had served as chancellor of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, from November 1991 to July 1995, not long after a similar scandal erupted involving Ronald Roskens, a former chancellor of the University of Nebraska- Omaha.


Roskens had abruptly been fired as president of the University of Nebraska, in a secret meeting of the state Board of Regents in July 1989. No public explanation was given for his removal. However, the rumored reason was, at least according to some reports, that evidence of his involvement in various orgies had been reported (incl. surveillance photos of nude young boys in Rosken’s home). Gossip like that could be easily ignored had it not been Omaha.

Lawrence E. “Larry” King, Jr.

Omaha had earlier been the epicenter of the infamous- though now largely forgotten- Franklin Credit Union scandal. On November 4, 1988, the Franklin Credit Union was raided and closed by the FBI and the IRS. Thirty-nine million dollars was missing. Franklin Credit Union had been founded back in 1968 in a minority neighborhood in Omaha, Nebraska. Its primary purpose was to provide loans to minorities. In August, 1970, Lawrence E. “Larry” King, Jr., (not to be confused with the former CNN talk show host) was fast-rising “star” in the Republican party, became manager and principle executive.


Shortly thereafter, strange fantastic reports began to circulate concerning pornography, videotapes, and photographs which had been confiscated from the Franklin Credit Union by the FBI. In no time at all, the dam broke, and other allegations began to flood in. These allegations, more detailed and serious, involved drugs, sexual misconduct involving children, pornography- even satanic ritualized activity. Things became surreal when some eighty children came forward with allegations against prominent individuals in the Omaha community. Big-wigs trembled in penthouses and dimly-lit offices. Late night phone calls by nervous-sounding voices. Even top names in the local law enforcement and the local branch of the FBI were mentioned as participants.

Incidentally, another famous name has recently surfaced in regards to this scandal. (Admittedly, the connection is interesting and suggestive but in fact, probably leads nowhere. Other websites have attempted to make some link nevertheless.) That man is the former Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain. Cain had served as chairman of the Omaha branch of the Kansas City Federal Reserve and was connected in a peripheral way to Lawrence King. (Nothing directly connected however.) Cain and a group of investors actually had purchased the ailing Godfather’s franchise from Pillsbury which had formerly been owned by William “Willy” Theisen. Theisen was a name that came up in the investigation of Franklin Credit.
(In fact, Theisen sold the company to Pillsbury in the mid-1980s and stepped down from actively managing the company. In 1986, Pillsbury named Herman Cain CEO and President of the brand.) 
In his autobiography, This is Herman Cain!, Cain writes that in September 1988, “we closed on a leveraged buyout and we are now the heavily in debt owners of Godfather’s Pizza, Inc,” with help from CitiBank. Whether there were any financial arrangements made through Franklin Credit Union is never mentioned. 

Another person reportedly involved in the scandal was Harold W. Andersen, the owner of the Omaha World-Herald, was also on the Board of Directors for Omaha branch of the Kansas City Federal Reserve between 1973-1979. (We shall hear more about this man later.)
Apparently, Ronald Roskens was also implicated in this scandal. According to an investigator in the Franklin Credit Union Sex Scandal, Gary Caradori‘s daily notes for Feb. 19, 1989:

I was informed that Roskins [sic) was terminated by the state because of sexual activities reported to the Regents and verified by them. Mr. Roskins was reported to have had young men at his residence for sexual encounters. As part of the separation from the state, he had to move out of the state-owned house because of the liability to the state if some of this sexual behavior was “illegal.” Upon Roskins vacating the house, he was provided a house by Joe Seacrist [sic) of the Lincoln Journal-Star.

Gary Caradori

If you’d like to ask what Caradori meant by “illegal,” I’m afraid you won’t be able to. On July 11, 1990, Gary Caradori was killed along with his 6-year old son in the crash of his small plane, after a mid-air explosion, the cause of which was never discovered. It is known that Caradori had met with a key witness in the case, had interviewed him and had been given highly incriminating photographic evidence. (According to one source, a deputy sheriff first at the crash site said there was child pornography scattered all over the farmer’s field.) 

As author Nick Bryant notes, Caradori got incriminating photos from Nelson and flew back with them. Writes Bryant: “The pictures showed who the adults were and who the kids were. I (Nelson) gathered that the purpose was blackmail and it was political. The contents of the pictures, and the events surrounding them, would be an instant end to a politician’s career.” That evidence was allegedly taken away by persons unknown, and never seen again.

Admittedly this charge from Caradori against Roskens is only hearsay and not proof of anything, but, in the Roskens affair, we continually see this pattern repeated- of ignoring the serious charges and pushing the accused down the conveyor belt of his career. But why? Why not allow justice to take its course? The reasons would soon become clear.

New York Times Article

On May 19, 1989, Lawrence King was indicted by a Federal grand jury. He was later tried and convicted of fraud and income tax evasion directly related to the Franklin Credit Union matter. Eventually he served his time and was released in 2001. (He reportedly lives the suburbs of the nation’s capital.) No, to answer your question, he never served prison time for the sex abuse charges, or for prostituting children, or for exhortation.

He never faced any of the more horrendous allegations in court. Those charges were summarily dismissed when one of the key witnesses recanted. It was later revealed that that witness had been pressured by threats of long jail time if he proceeded. And that was not an idle threat at all.

When it came to the Franklin Credit Union Scandal, simply telling the truth was a dangerous enterprise. As the witnesses were soon to find out, it was also a punishable offense.

According to sources, Alisha Owen, who had testified in March of 1990 before a grand jury about her own victimization at the age of 14, painfully recounted how she was repeatedly and various occasions raped by the Omaha Chief of Police, Robert Wadman. She also gave testimony about many other King activities, including being transported to parties where she was pimped the wealthy and powerful elite. This included various important politicians, on both a state and national level.

The result? She was later convicted of first offense perjury in 1991 and was sentenced on August 8, 1991, to nine to 27 years in prison. During her prison term, she was in solitary confinement for a period longer than any female citizen in the history of the State of Nebraska.


Paul Bonacci

A careful investigation of the proceedings reveals numerous problems with the perjury cases against Owen.

Another victim, Paul Bonacci said he had been active in the operation of the satanic cult/sex/drug ring network since 6 years of age. Paul Bonacci first reported his abuse by Larry King, Alan Baer and others in 1986, to the Omaha Police Department, a full two years before the Franklin Credit Union case had broke. (Decide for yourself, the videotaped interviews conducted by investigators at that time are online.) Not long after the Franklin case became public in 1989, Paul Bonacci was arrested and sentenced to five years in prison for briefly touching a young boy on the outside of his pants. (Doctors have stated that he suffers from mental deterioration caused by years of abuse.)


In all, after a few other victim/witnesses were treated similarly, the seventy-six other children recanted their reports of sexual abuse in the Franklin matter. Despite credible witness/victims providing verifiable details about the activities, the grand jury threw out the child sex abuse charges and dismissed the claims as a hoax.

But then, perhaps it shouldn’t really surprise anybody that justice was denied. The extent of the scandal and who may have been involved comes from an unauthorized biography.
Way back in 1985, a young girl, Eulice (Lisa) Washington, was the center of an investigation by Andrea L. Carener, of the Nebraska Department of Social Services. The investigation was instigated because Lisa and her sister Tracey continually ran away from their foster parents, Jarrett and Barbara Webb. Initially reluctant to disclose information for fear of being further punished, the two girls eventually recounted a remarkable story, later backed up by other children who had been fostered out to the Webbs…
Lisa, supported by her sister, detailed a massive child sex, homosexual, and pornography industry, run in Nebraska by Larry King. She described how she was regularly taken to Washington by plane, with other youths, to attend parties hosted by King and involving many prominent people, including businessmen and politicians. Lisa specifically named George Bush as being in attendance on at least two separate occasions.
George H.W. Bush

According to her allegations, she attended a party in Chicago with King and several male youths in September or October 1984.. She indicated George H.W. Bush was present at this party. (Indeed, according to the Chicago Tribune of October 31, 1984, Bush was in Illinois campaigning for congressional candidates at the end of October.) Lisa Washington witnessed Bush give money to King in exchange for “access” to a black nineteen-year-old named Brent. This testimony was given well before the Franklin Credit Union Scandal began. It was, however, later corroborated by another witness, Paul Bonacci, during the sex scandal investigation, who claimed to have witnessed sex between the vice-president and the young man.

When a retired United States Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent In Charge and head of the Los Angeles FBI, Ted Gunderson, interviewed Boncacci, the stories grew even more detailed and horrifying.

According to Bonacci, many of the child victims were kidnapped off the streets. He gave precise details about the operation in interview with the investigator.

Bonacci told me that when he was 10 to 14 years old, he was used as a decoy in malls, parks, etc., to lure other children his age near an automobile so the adult members could grab the victims and force them into the car. Paul and another youth would then jump on the victims and place a chloroform cloth over their mouth and nose. The victims would be taken to a secluded location and later auctioned off for up to $50,000.00 in Las Vegas, Nevada or Toronto, Canada. Bonacci advised me that the auction location in Nevada is approximately 50 miles north of Las Vegas on an air strip and that he saw children auctioned off, then placed in unmarked airplanes operated by foreigners with accents wearing turbans. Other children who were auctioned off were placed in campers after being drugged to ensure that they would be asleep in the event that the camper was stopped by the police.

And the operation apparently had the backing of US goverment agency officials.

Bonacci also told Gunderson that DEA (Drug Enforcement Agency) airplanes were used to transport children who had been abducted into these pedophile rings from one place to another. The children were always made available to serve their elite sponsor’s twisted appetites.

According to the information gleaned from Bonnaci, the conspiracy went to the top levels of government.

Most important was this revelation by Bonacci to Gunderson, who later reported, “Paul and other children told about youngsters, both male and female, being taken from orphanages, foster-homes, and Boys Town in Omaha, Nebraska, driven to Sioux City, Iowa (184 miles), and then flown to Washington, D.C. for sex orgy parties with dignitaries, congressmen, and high level public officials at Larry King’s Embassy Row condominium. Larry King rented this condominium for $5,000.00 per month while earning a salary of only $17,000 per year.” This bears repeating: Foster homes, Boy’s Town, and orphanages, were being used to procure a virtually unlimited supply of children for elite controlled, organized, satanic pedophile rings.

Washington Times article

The Franklin Credit Union merged with another sex scandal which rocked Washington.

On the morning of June 29, 1989, The Washington Times headlined: “Homosexual Prostitution Probe Ensnares VIPs with Reagan, Bush.” The Times continued: “A homosexual prostitution ring is under investigation by Federal and District authorities and includes among its clients key officials of the Reagan and Bush administrations, military officers, congressional aides and U.S. and foreign businessmen with close ties to Washington’s political elite.” Craig Spence, a high ranking Republican operative, was highlighted as the ‘call boy’ power broker behind the scenes. Paul Bonacci swore he had been one of the children who had toured the White House on several of those after hour ‘call boy’ tours. To back up his claim, Bonacci drew a map/sketch that depicted a private area of the White House that was deemed to be accurate by those in the know. Larry King and Craig Spence were working the “White House pedophile circuit” together.
Like so many of these things, the news broke and then seemingly faded away without a whimper, with hardly a twitch in the collective memory of most Americans. It was far easier not to think about the possibility that it was true. Admittedly it was a distasteful subject for most people. It was far easier to dismiss the whole thing without much consideration. Perhaps, despite all the evidence, people simply refused to believe that there were actually people this evil roaming the halls of government. (We have seen a similiar reaction regarding the fake pregnancy allegations against Sarah Palin. A strange unwillingness to look into the issue.)

Omaha World Herald article



The Omaha World-Herald, owned by one of the men implicated in the scandal, was particularly aggressive in portraying the entire incident as a hoax.

But not everyone dismissed the allegations nor accepted the orchestrated “smearing” of the victims/witnesses and investigators. Perversely, despite the court’s ruling that the Franklin Credit Union child sex ring was merely a “hoax,” Bonacci was awarded $1 million dollars in a lawsuit against King. (Bonacci has never received a penny of the court ordered one million dollars awarded to him.) The federal court obviously believed Bonacci’s testimony in spite of declaring that there was no truth in the allegations and incarcerating other victims for testifying.


And so the case was closed, putting to rest one of the most grievous examples of a miscarriage of justice in US legal history.

Second Strike

As far as Ronald Roskens, the sordid story was only just beginning.

Strangely enough, within a year after Roskens being dismissed from the University, President George H.W. Bush selected Roskens to head the Agency of International Development. (For a map of the Roskens’ connections, Try this link ) His promotion is definitely unusual because such an important government position would no doubt have involved a great deal of vetting to prevent such things as blackmail or, as in the events above, scandal. In the past the agency had provided millions of dollars in U.S. goods and services to foreign governments around the world so the possibility of corruption through extortion should have set off alarm bells. (Some have claimed the agency was nothing more than a CIA front- not such an easy allegation to dismiss as we soon see.)


And yet, nobody in the Bush administration seems to have taken any notice of Roskens dubious past. If they did, it didn’t seem to bother them at all. It didn’t take very long to see problems with Roskens however.


As Eric Konigsberg, writer for The New Yorker, the New York Times Magazine, Rolling Stone, pointed out back in June, 1992

If he couldn’t run a university, why should he be entrusted with a $7.5 billion government agency? Probably because his sponsor was Dick Herman, a Republican National Committeeman from Nebraska whose South Bay Beer Distributors company in Los Angeles, one of the largest Anheuser Busch distributors in the country, has listed James Baker and Bob Strauss as shareholders.

Unfortunately, failure didn’t exactly chasten Roskens. At AID, he promptly ushered in friends like Katherine Morgan, his new head of the foreign aid policy office, whose resume included no work in government or international development, but stints as a nun, patent lawyer, and dean of college admissions. And then there was “consultant” Kermit Hansen, a regent at the University of Nebraska.

But the director has also had some help from the White House. To White House personnel staffer Tom Kranz, AID was a safe and profitable place to dump Sally Montgomery, a friend and former stewardess; there, she earns $90,000 a year as a deputy assistant administrator.

While there’s not always direct correlation between bad appointees and bad governance, under Roskens’ leadership AID seemed to specialize less in international development than in the development of personal wealth. Since Roskens appointment, an impressive number of AID contractors and administrators have been sent to prison for rigging contracts, accepting bribes, and padding expense accounts. Roskens himself was forced to pay back more than $3,000 from an AID subcontractor for violation of ethical standards. And on three recent occasions, the federal government has required Roskens to reimburse private organizations, two of which are AID contractors, for honoraria or travel expenses he accepted illegally.
By October of 1992, after a year long investigation, Congressman John Conyers, Jr., chairman of Legislation and National Security Subcommittee of the Committee on Government Operations, confirmed that AID Administrator Roskens had abused his public office for private gain. While none of the charges in the investigation involved sexual abuse, they did outline a pattern of financial and ethical misconduct. In his letter to the Speaker, Conyers states:
Although the AID Inspector General investigated and referred this same misconduct, the Justice Department declined to prosecute Dr. Roskens on charges of conflict of interest, illegal gratuity, and dual compensation. And when senior AID officials referred the Inspector General’s findings to the White House, Presidential Counsel C. Boyden Gray only criticized two instances in which the Administrator inadvertently and unknowingly failed to comply with applicable standards of conduct, and demanded repayments from Dr. Roskens. No other disciplinary action was taken against the AID Administrator, although his domestic travel schedule fell dramatically.

A Textbook Example

In fact, Roskens, the University of Nebraska and AID had already had an on-going relationship even before President Bush, Sr. made this appointment. That relationship might go a long way in explaining how this unusual appointment occurred. While chancellor at University of Nebraska, Roskens had negotiated an exchange program with Kabul University in Afghanistan, and oversaw development of the center for Afghanistan studies.

Under an AID grant to the University of Nebraska-Omaha and its Center, the agency spent $51 million on the university education program in Afghanistan from 1984 to 1994. One part of that grant involved the publishing of textbooks in the dominant Afghan languages of Dari and Pashtu. In an effort to fight communism, and specifically the Soviet occupation, the textbooks were filled with violent images and militant Islamic teachings, part of covert attempts to spur resistance.

President Reagan meets with Afghan “Freedom Fighters”
It must have sounded like a good idea at the time, the indoctrination of children to generate Islamic militancy.
The Mujahideen, Afghanistan’s freedom fighters, used the classroom to prepare children to fight the Soviet empire. The Russians are long gone but the textbooks are not. The Mujahideen had wanted to prepare the next generation of Afghans to fight the enemy, so pupils learned the proper clips for a Kalashnikov rifle, the weight of bombs needed to flatten a house, and how to calculate the speed of bullets. Even the girls learn it.

According to the Washington Post

During that time of Soviet occupation, regional military leaders in Afghanistan helped the U.S. smuggle books into the country. They demanded that the primers contain anti-Soviet passages. Children were taught to count with illustrations showing tanks, missiles and land mines, agency officials said. They acknowledged that at the time it also suited U.S. interests to stoke hatred of foreign invaders…
AID dropped funding of Afghan programs in 1994. But the textbooks continued to circulate in various versions, even after the Taliban seized power in 1996.
Officials said private humanitarian groups paid for continued reprintings during the Taliban years. Today, the books remain widely available in schools and shops, to the chagrin of international aid workers.
“The pictures [in] the texts are horrendous to school students, but the texts are even much worse,” said Ahmad Fahim Hakim, an Afghan educator who is a program coordinator for Cooperation for Peace and Unity, a Pakistan-based nonprofit.
An aid worker in the region reviewed an unrevised 100-page book and counted 43 pages containing violent images or passages.


According to The Genesis of Global Jihad in Afghanistan, quoted by Pervez Hoodbhoy, Pakistani nuclear physicist, essayist and political-defence analyst.

The program ended in 1994 but the books continued to circulate: ‘US-sponsored textbooks, which exhort Afghan children to pluck out the eyes of their enemies and cut off their legs, are still widely available in Afghanistan and Pakistan, some in their original form.

Another Twist of the Tale
As repulsive as this saga is, following it to its logical conclusion requires a very strong stomach.

After the invasion of Afghanistan of 2002, news reports about the militant textbooks made headlines. The headlines, however, failed to mention the actual source of the books. In response to this news, George W. Bush announced in a radio address that 10 million U.S.-supplied books would be shipped to Afghan schools would teach “respect for human dignity, instead of indoctrinating students with fanaticism and bigotry.”

The first lady stood alongside Afghan interim leader Hamid Karzai on Jan. 29 to announce that AID would give the University of Nebraska at Omaha $6.5 million to provide textbooks and teacher training kits.

Thus the same people who printed the original textbooks which preached religiously-inspired violence to children would now be the same people who would print books teaching secular respect for human dignity.

Most remarkably, at the time, the mainstream media were nearly completely fooled. (One notable exception was the Washington Post.) For example, Elizabeth Neuffer in the Boston Globe, March 17, 2002, wrote in an article about the obstacles to education in Afghanistan, a year after the US invasion:

The obstacles to accomplishing that goal are enormous. What few schools impoverished Afghanistan once had – about 2,000 – are now all virtually destroyed, pummeled by gunfire or turned into refugee camps. Teachers here have not been paid for months, even years. Those schoolbooks that still exist are pro-Taliban screeds and deemed unusable.

By not mentioning the source of the textbooks, Neuffer gives the impression that the books were written by the Tablian- or some other militant Islamic organization- and not the University of Nebraska, under the supervision of the US government.
The Daily Telegraph (Sydney), March 25, 2002, gives an even more misleading impression:
“Afghan children ran, skipped and dawdled to their classrooms like pupils everywhere yesterday for the start of a new school year — with girls and women teachers back in class and subjects like math replacing the Islamic dogma of the Taliban.
“In a symbolic break from a war-scarred past, children opened new textbooks written by Afghan scholars based at universities in the US.
“There are even pictures of people — images banned by the fundamentalist Taliban.”


Closer to home, the Omaha World-Herald declared that,

“Afghanistan stands at least a chance of hauling a modern, healthy society up out of the ashes of war and oppression,” partly because University of Nebraska at Omaha “officials and staffers” will be “cranking up their presses in neighboring Pakistan” to churn out schoolbooks, all funded by “a $ 6.5 million grant from the U.S. Agency for International Development [AID].”

That promotional editorial is, at least explainable. The former publisher and Chief Executive Officer of the Omaha World-Herald, Harold W. Andersen, was also the Chairman of the Board of Trustees for the University of Nebraska Foundation. (It’s possible he even wrote the article but I cannot verify that.)

It is clear that Andersen also had connections to the Franklin Credit Union. He had headed a Franklin volunteer advisory board and back in 1986, led Franklin’s building fund drive with $600,000 to pay for a renovation of the Franklin Credit Union. However, as one source tells us:

These money-raising efforts lost some of their luster in 1989, when it was revealed that the money was used to build an addition to the credit union, the most prominent feature of which was a bedroom. The retreat was equipped with “a brass bed, a fluffy white comforter, a stereo and a television,” according to former Franklin employee Noel Seltzer, quoted in the March 5, 1989 Lincoln Journal. Others said King used it for afternoon trysts with his homosexual lovers.

Former Nebraska State Senator John DeCamp, author of the book The Franklin Cover-up, specifically implicated Harold Andersen as one of the top-five perpetrators in the child sex scandal. Those claims were based on hours of interviews with victims.

Be that as it may, what about Ronald Roskens, you ask? On November 18 1992, after only two and a half years at the agency, he became one of the first Bush agency chiefs to announce his resignation. Under a cloud of shameful scandal? I hear you asking. No. Not one little bit. More of a lateral move. Despite what others might consider a less than auspicious career, Roskens was apparently on the path to greater success.

In 1993, Roskens became president and chief executive officer of Action International, a think tank comprised of 35 former heads of state and other policy leaders. Just two years later, the Omaha, Nebraska, resident was named honorary consul general of Japan and was elected to the board of the Friends of the World Food Programme, a United Nations agency headquartered in Rome, Italy.

Additionally Roskens is listed in the “Who’s Who in America,” “Leaders of the English Speaking World,” and “Community Leaders of America.” Additionally Roskens has also received twelve Honorary Degrees from institutions of higher education around the world.

Interestingly- given the rumors in his past, Roskens was also honored with an induction in DeMolay Hall of Fame on June 25, 1993. According to its website, Related to the Freemasons, the DeMolay organization is:

dedicated to preparing young men to lead successful, happy, and productive lives. Basing its approach on timeless principles and practical, hands-on experience, DeMolay opens doors for young men aged 12 to 21 by developing the civic awareness, personal responsibility and leadership skills so vitally needed in society today. DeMolay combines this serious mission with a fun approach that builds important bonds of friendship among members in more than 1,000 chapters worldwide.

That is not to imply that this organization has anything to hide or that it has done anything wrong. Over the years, it has apparently accomplished a lot of good things to help young people rise out of their less-than-promising backgrounds. However, the same could be said for Sandusky’s Second Mile, which had also achieved many good things. It is all the more unfortunate that a single individual has been allowed to undo all that work and close the doors for any further assistance. As John Kennedy once said, “A nation reveals itself not only by the men it produces but also by the men it honors, the men it remembers.” The same is also true for organizations, such as DeMolay.


The story of Ronald Roskens is one of a systematic failure; namely, a consistent inexplicable tendency by authorities to reward improper conduct and poor performance. Governments, universities and corporations seem to expend greater energy attempting to cover pernicious wrong-doing rather than trying to remove the source and prevent its recurrence. Brushing it under the carpet and hoping the problem is never discovered seems to be the only reaction. In the Roskens affair, keeping lids on and brushing things under the carpet has been remarkably distressingly successful.

But who suffers most? Clearly it’s the children. It’s the ones who are the most defenseless.

For at the end of the day, with the help of men like Roskens, we, as a nation, have helped to create a whole generation of anti-imperialist Islamic jihadist with school textbooks filled with hateful propaganda. We then armed their older brothers and fathers and uncles to fight our Cold War enemies without the slightest thought to the future. It never seemed to occur to anybody that these children, the children we indoctrinated with hatred and bitterness would someday grow up, that they would not simply disappear once they had served our short-term needs.
And when that did happen, when it was our turn to face their grownup seething hatred, what was our solution?
It was to exterminate them.

Another Reason John McCain Should be Tried for Treason – A Reader’s Opinion

Guest Post by JulaUSA


As if his selection of the ignorant and incompetent Sarah Palin as his running mate in 2008 wasn’t bad enough, there is more…….


This week we have seen John McCain as a key figure in the Senate indefinite detention debate. Turns out, he apparently played a significant role in the false imprisonment under the Patriot Act of a person who was trying to expose the blatant GOP hypocrisy regarding 9/11 warnings and regarding the justification for war in Iraq. Outrageous !


On Thanksgiving Day, I think it was ProChoiceGrandma that said it very well when she made statements to the effect that we should actually thank Granny Grifter for opening our eyes to the control that the corporate media has these days. If they could choose to ignore Palin’s blatantly obvious incompetence, instability and the Babygate hoax — what else are they covering up? A lot more !


Susan Lindauer is the author of the 2010 book Extreme Prejudice: The Terrifying Story of the Patriot Act and the Cover Ups of 9/11 and Iraq, which I just finished reading. “Extreme prejudice” refers to destroying an intelligence operative or Asset through severe means – killing or incapacitating them or ruining them physically or mentally. This book is an indictment of the Bush Administration immorality, incompetence and misuse of the law. They betrayed the country and engaged in a massive public deception.


Lindauer was a CIA Asset in charge of negotiating with Iraq over sanctions, negotiating with Libya about the Pan Am Lockerbie bombing trial and intelligence gathering about 9/11, the USS Cole bombing, the Oklahoma City bombing and the World Trade Center attack in 1993. She is the second cousin of Andy Card. She was a long time peace activist who really wanted to try to get Iraq out from under sanctions because so many civilians were dying, which is why she agreed to be a “back channel” Asset when approached. She was one of only three U.S. assets covering the Iraqi Embassy at the United Nations before the 2003 war started, which gave her vast primary knowledge of pre-war intelligence. She also predicted the Iraqi quagmire, since as much as they hated Saddam they hated occupation even more and they were already angry about the UN sanctions. They would take their revenge against occupying US troops.


Her basic story is that there were tons of warnings before 9/11 and the Bush administration ignored them. Numerous highly knowledgable foreign intelligence agencies (from Israel, Jordan, Egypt and France) relayed serious warnings in the months before 9/11 about an attack using airplanes. She and her intelligence colleagues were screaming from the rooftops inside the government about an imminent attack and she personally warned every congressional and senate office (every Chief of Staff, Legislative Director, Press Secretary and Foreign Policy Assistant). Republican and Democrat. She also personally warned the New York Times, Colin Powell before he did his infamous UN presentation, John Ashcroft’s personal staff, Andy Card and others. She removed any chance of plausible deniability for them. She has particularly harsh words for Powell and says that he should be court martialed. She sent material directly to his home.


Hmmmm. Haven’t you wondered sometimes why the Bushie neocons were always trashing France as a bunch of cowards and starting all that nonsense about “freedom fries” instead of French Fries. They knew France had the goods on them about 9/11, so probably felt the need to try to discredit them as well.


The Bushies allowed 911 to happen, despite the warnings, since the neocons already had plans to invade Iraq and this gave them justification. “They” rigged the WTC buildings with military grade explosives to have a more dramatic effect and justify war. A “mere” plane crash would have limited casualties and they needed something very dramatic to change public opinion. Exactly who “they” represents is left a little unclear, but people with obvious connections to the Bushie neocons and /or Larry Siverstein the WTC owner who had just taken out the big insurance policy on the buildings.


She wouldn’t STFU when the Bushies and GOP operatives went all over TV disingenuously complaining about the “incompetent” intelligence Assets before 9/11. According to Lindauer, the Iraqis were desperate to get rid of the sanctions and that world opinion was shifting to their side. They were actually very cooperative about weapons inspections and the 9/11 investigation, they offered sweetheart deals to the US companies (oil, buying one million US cars every year for 10 years, etc.), offered to help cut off the mostly drug money funding terrorism and they were actually a great source of counter terrorism intelligence. Saddam was secular and hated the jihadis and tracked them like dogs. He got rid of them as soon as he identified them. Peace was breaking out in the Middle East and the US “military-industrial complex”, as Eisenhower so famously put it, couldn’t be letting that happen.


Her willingness to speak the truth about the false claims against Iraq as justification to start a war made the Bushies nervous so they had to shut her up. She also spoke out about large quantities ofdepleted uranium weapons and birth defects in Iraqi children. Occupying US forces would also be exposed to that and the Bushies didn’t want that information public either.


When the 9/11 commission was finally “approved” by the White House, she jumped at the chance to testify and get the truth out. She personally contacted the offices of Trent Lott and John McCain to volunteer to testify and try to head off the war. That’s what ultimately got her arrested and she is convinced that Colin Powell is the one that got the indictment started. She was arrested in March 2004 and indicted as an “unregistered agent” of Iraq – just as the 2004 Presidential campaign was really heating up and the Iraq War was going badly. She was under indictment from 2004 until 2009 (but never granted a trial), was actually imprisoned for about a year and threatened with indefinite detention. She was released from indictment just days before Obama took office when all charges against her were suddenly dropped with the vague explanation that prosecuting her “would no longer be in the interests of justice.”


After her arrest, she begged for a trial where she could tell her side of the story and let the American public know what was being covered up. Instead, she was locked up in prison on Carswell Air Force base in Texas so the Bushies could keep lying to the public. She has some particularly scathing things to say about Carswell and the phony psychiatric tricks they use.


Under the Patriot Act, her constitutional rights were stripped and there were “secret charges” and “secret evidence”. Also, evidence that could exonerate her could be deemed “classified” to block her from being able to use it. Also, communications between the prosecution and her defense communications can also be deemed “classified” so her own defense attorney could not tell her what discussions are underway. So her “defense” attorney early on in the case was able to sell her out.


The Justice Department fought her demands for a trial, playing every dirty trick in the book to stop a jury from hearing testimony about 9/11 and Iraq cover-ups. And get this — the original judge in her case was Michael Mukasey, who would later become Attorney General under Bush — although she actually had some positive things to say about him.

She had a long paper trail and high profile journalists, professors, high ranking government staff and many others to vouch for her. Both of her CIA “handlers” explained her work as a U.S. intelligence Asset engaged in the legitimate Lockerbie negotiations with Libya and her role spearheading talks to resume Iraqi weapons inspections. Friends and colleagues reached out to the corporate media, delivering independent confirmations about her status as an Asset. But it didn’t matter — the corporate media turned a blind eye and the government kept her locked up.

They forced her to take psychological tests and even though they showed no problems they were twisted and used against her. They tried to make her take drugs to “cure” her. They said she was unfit to stand trial because of her “delusional” idea that she was an Asset and insisting on her “delusional” plan to interview witnesses which would exonerate her (i.e. launch a defense).


Her first attorney was a public defender who was overwhelmed with his caseload, was too inexperienced to handle this kind of very complex case and sold her out to the government without her knowledge. Only due to the dogged work of her uncle who was a very seasoned lawyer and another lawyer she eventually hired and her own feistiness did she survive.


And get this — Lindauer’s original federal prosecutor, Edward O’Callaghan, left her case in 2008 right as it was falling apart and worked for McCain/Palin campaign to handle the Troopergate scandal. He also “advised” them about counterterrorism and national security. She was then absolutely convinced that O’Callaghan had been on McCain’s payroll. It was a political hit. Per The Daily Beast:

“A former top Justice Department prosecutor now working for John McCain’s presidential campaign has been helping to direct an aggressive legal strategy aimed at shutting down a pre-election ethics investigation into Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.

The growing role of Edward O’Callaghan, who until six weeks ago served as co-chief of the terrorism and national security unit of the U.S. attorney’s office in New York, illustrates just how seriously the McCain campaign is taking the so-called “troopergate” inquiry into Palin’s firing last summer of Walt Monegan, Alaska’s Public Safety Commissioner.

…. All this may seem far afield from O’Callaghan’s recent work, which included among other matters, directing the Justice Department’s sprawling investigation into abuses in the United Nations oil for food program for Iraq. But ever since last month, when he landed in Alaska as part of a McCain “rapid response” team dispatched from campaign headquarters in Arlington, Va., O’Callaghan has been helping to direct a hardball legal strategy aimed at thwarting inquiries into the Alaska governor on all fronts.”

She said that as the 2008 election progressed and the polls were tighter in the fall between McCain and Obama (after Granny Grifter joined the GOP ticket), the Justice Department really ramped up efforts to revoke her bail and throw her back in jail to keep her quiet. By this time she was really out on the blogs and alternative radio. She especially credits the blogger Michael Collins. McCain was particularly vulnerable to Lindauer’s truth campaign because he was a key Senate leadership figure for both the 9/11 and Iraq pre-war intelligence investigation. Couldn’t have her telling the truth now could he.


But just think if John McCain and Granny Grifter had gotten elected – Lindauer could likely be back in prison! And also too, another scary part was that if McCain got elected she and her supporters would have immediately started work to get him impeached. Which could have, in theory, left us with Granny Grifter as POTUS — but Nicole Wallace and Steve Schmidt said they had a plan to sideline her and never have her sworn into office. Which could have, in theory, meant President Pelosi then I guess.


Due to Lindauer’s new highly competent lawyer she finally had a hearing and was released from indictment. After that, she sent out a 117 page document (that became the basis of her book) to Dianne Feinstein (chair) and all the members of the Senate Intelligence Committee in 2009. So Washington knows all about the cover-ups for 9/11 and Iraq.


She had to self publish her book in 2010 since major publishers wouldn’t touch it. Blogs and alternative radio paid attention to her, but not corporate media. They still ignored her. Even the New York Times. Apparently, because of the nature of what she did as an Asset there was no non-disclosure agreement so she is legally free to talk now. If she sued she’d likely have a gag order for 2-3 years, so she is forgoing a suit so she can speak out.

So just one more way John McCain sold out the country for his gain and to cover GOP hypocrisy. And it’s amazing what the corporate media covers up isn’t it?


Honestly, this book reads like a spy thriller, but sadly, it really happened. She is very specific, presents documentation and sources and comes across as very credible.


There are some videos out on Youtube.com where she does presentations about 9/11, Iraq and what happened to her. This one from a few months ago is probably the most thorough, although it is divided up into eight parts (her talk was about two hours long). It is quite informative: Lindauer Video August 2011





I highly recommend her book and encourage PoGates tweeters to spread this far and wide. You can follow her at @SLindauer2011.


This outrageous scandal is just another example of why John McCain should be tried for treason.


++++++++


Many thanks to JulaUSA for this guest post.


Please note:


At Politicalgates we welcome guest posts from our readers which express opinions or address subject matters that add to the discussion here. However, it should be noted that the conclusions and interpretations reached in guest posts are not necessarily those of the editor and owner of the blog.


If any reader would like to submit posts or ideas for consideration please contact me at the following email:

kathleenpoliticalgates@googlemail.com



Mitt Romney: The Man Who Couldn’t Stop Flipping

by Mike Czech

In some ways Mitt Romney belongs to a political era of twenty or even thirty years ago. Back then, it was quite possible to go from town to town and say variations of essentially the same message. In his speech, the candidate could alter the tone, or emphasize a few of the words somewhat. Bill Clinton was able to turn on and off his country-boy accent when necessary, for example. This sort of thing is nothing new, of course, been around since people began running for public offices.

However, where Romney falls into trouble- in any day and age- is being so adamant about one particular view, only to come back years later and be so equally adamant about its opposing side. He really seems to ooze sincerity and strength of character but then.. it all means nothing.

I submit as evidence these two clips. Here is Romney in 2008.


It all seems pretty clear cut without much doubt to where Mitt Romney stands on the issue, doesn’t it? Mitt Romney is against abortion. Mitt Romney is pro-life.

But hold up a sec. Check this out. It comes from 1994 in a debate with the late Edward Kennedy. It is clear that- when taking on Kennedy- who Mitt perceived as weak because of the changing political tide against the Democrats- it was obvious that Romney was in way over his head.






I think the same thing is happening all over again. A very slick Don Draper type but when push comes to shove, he’s very hollow.

By the way, I love the way Kennedy gently punctures Romney’s balloon. Mitt Romney- the Multi-Choice Candidate.

As one endures the endless Republican debates, it gets easier to feel that what the GOP lack is both consistency and class. Two things that the Kennedys- whether you liked their views or not- seemed to have in abundance.

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