Saturday, June 13, 2009

Gordon Brown Puts Israel Lobbyist in Charge of Britain’s Middle East Policy

Gordon Brown is trying to hang on to his PM spot and is making soft cooing sounds to the Kosher Nostra... in the hopes they'll start spreading a bunch of money around to silence his critics....and do what they do best: being utterly subservient to the CIA/MOSSAD/MI6 threesome of assassins, killers .....

Ivan LewisBy Redress Information & Analysis

Britain’s prime minister has put a notorious pro-Israel lobbyist in charge of policy in the Middle East, Iraq and Iran, reaffirming his determination to continue with his Zionist policies even as his administration approaches the end of its life.

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has appointed an Israeli agent of influence and proponent of genocide in Gaza to a key position at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Britain’s foreign ministry.

On 9 June, Ivan Lewis was given a major promotion in Mr Brown’s government when he was appointed Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office with responsibility for Middle East policy, Iraq, Iran, counterterrorism and Anglo-American relations. According to one source, he is now “just one step away from the cabinet”.

Speaking after his promotion, Mr Lewis said: “My responsibility for the Middle East peace process is particularly poignant. I have never hidden my pride at being Jewish or my support for the State of Israel”.

According to the Independent newspaper, Mr Lewis’s appointment has “raised eyebrows in the Foreign Office”. It said:

Lewis has a long history of interest in the region as vice-chair of the Labour Friends of Israel. Earlier this year, he became – not without controversy – one of the most outspoken political supporters of Israel’s military assault on Gaza. Critics can’t help but wonder how objective Lewis is likely to be in his new post.

Mr Lewis is also a trustee of the Holocaust Educational Trust, a body founded in 1988 by British pro-Israel lobbyists Greville Janner and Merlyn Rees with the aim of maintaining a culture of gentile guilt and Jewish victimhood in British schools.

Ivan Lewis’s support for the racist state of Israel and for the genocide in Gaza is not the only example of his questionable morality.

In 2007, when he was junior health minister, he was forced to apologise to a civil servant, Susan Mason, after she told managers she was unhappy with the nature of their relationship.

It emerged that Mr Lewis, who at the time was 40 years old, had been sexually harassing Ms Mason, aged 23, with numerous smutty text messages. After complaining to her bosses, Mr Lewis’s victim was moved to a different job before resigning from the Civil Service. Speaking of her former boss, she said: “He wasn’t the nicest man to work for.”

A year earlier, Mr Lewis had walked out on his wife of 16 years, Juliette, and their two sons, aged nine and 11, in order to have an affair with a 50-year-old councillor, Margaret Gibb.

Source: redress

In 2008, The Jeruselem Chronicle declared 'the top spots' on their second annual list of those who 'wield the greatest influence on British Jewry'. Ivan Lewis is listed at number 35. The criteria for being listed is described as 'those with a vision for Jewish life in this country and who did their utmost to bring it about using either money; persuasion; religion; culture; political or social leadership; or simply inspiring through word and deed'.

The article's sole comment on Lewis describes him as 'Bury South MP and a prominent figure in Manchester Jewish life'. {source}

The extraordinary voting manipulation industry in Lebanon is sponsored and encouraged by the WEST

The extraordinary voting manipulation industry in Lebanon is sponsored and encouraged by the WEST.....

CIA cannot keep its hands off Lebanon... it's an utter addiction since 1947...
Spies, Murder, political assassinations... and the dark heart of USA power....

We can draw many lessons from the Lebanese parliamentary elections Sunday, which saw the appointment of a new parliament reflecting almost precisely the same distribution of seats between the country’s two main political groupings as the previous parliament (68 seats for the Hariri-led March 14 movement, 57 seats for the Hizbollah-Michel Aoun-led March 8 group, and three independents). Here are my conclusions about what happened and what it means:

1. The elections were important, but inconsequential. Why an individual, a party, or an ethnic-religious group decides to vote for one side or the other is endlessly fascinating and constantly evolving. It is also totally meaningless in Lebanon’s case, because the whole is more important than its parts.

Power, governance and decision making in Lebanon are defined by the crushing imperative of consensus-based rule, which means that any combination of majorities and minorities will always need to achieve consensus on major national decisions; drivers change, but the engine of this bus does not.

2. After Turkey, Lebanon becomes the second Muslim-majority country in the Middle East that can boast holding elections combining logistical efficiency with political credibility, including some surprise results that could not be predicted. Three cheers for Lebanese parliamentary elections.

3. None of this really mattered much, however, because the balance of power in Lebanon (as in the entire Arab world) is not really anchored in parliament, but in power relations that are negotiated elsewhere.

The most important political contest in Lebanon happened in May 2008, not June 2009. Hizbollah and its armed allies won that brief battle on the streets, and power-sharing contours in Lebanon have been defined ever since. This is ugly stuff - young men shooting RPGs at each other in the city and mountain villages - but in the Middle East, the modern exercise of power, like the condition of most Arab statehood, has consistently been a messy endeavour.

4. The elections generate validity and credibility, not ideological triumph. The March 14 movement affirmed that its core values reflect those of about half the population of Lebanon - though precisely what those values are remains slightly imprecise.

Much of the movement’s success reflects its opposition to the March 8 forces that include backing from Syria, Iran, Islamists and others in the region who are often critical of the United States, Israel and conservative Arabs. We always knew that March 14 represented many Lebanese; now we also have proof that it is resilient and strong. But we do not know what it represents in ideological terms other than opposing the Hezbollah-Aoun alliance.

5. We have seen again that tribe triumphs over policy. The massive turnout of Sunni voters seems to have been one of the decisive reasons for the March 14 victory. This is perfectly normal and legitimate, but it tells us more about the anthropology of blood ties among the human species than it does about the contestation of power in a modern society. Faced with a do-or-die scenario, March 14 and its Sunni core rose to the electoral and tribal challenge.

6. Swift-boating is universal. Just as George W. Bush defeated John Kerry in 2004 by tarnishing him as a coward in the Swift boat incident in Vietnam decades ago, March 14 successfully frightened many voters with its theme that a Hizbollah-Aoun victory would dry up Saudi and American financial support for Lebanon and bring the economy to a grinding halt.

7. All politics in Lebanon is local, regional, global and cosmic. March 14 won and March 8 did not do as well as the pre-vote polls predicted because of a neat convergence of: a) local identities (Sunni, Shiite, assorted Christians, Druze, Armenian) battling to claim their share of the national pie in parliament, b) regional Arab players (mainly Saudi Arabia and Syria, and Egypt slightly) exerting their influence through their respective Lebanese partners and proxies, c) non-Arab regional and foreign forces (Iran, the United States, France, Israel) also backing their favorites, and, d) cosmic forces in the form of the Maronite church hierarchy constantly advocating for righteousness among voting Lebanese that would accurately mirror God’s will on Earth.

8. Key regional and global players started speaking and negotiating with each other in the past year, rather than using threats and subversion as their main form of engagement, which lowered regional tensions and thus prompted some Lebanese to see their future as one of calm, security and prosperity. It is a mistake to see the election results as mainly an American triumph or Iranian defeat, though elements of those views are relevant. Unraveling the distinct local, regional, global and cosmic strands of this election offers a better conclusion than a simplistic United States vs. Iran approach.

9. Fatigue matters. Some independent or undecided Lebanese voters clearly remembered the 2006 war, the 2007 Gaza war, and the May 2008 fighting in Lebanon, and did not want to put the country on a permanent diet of confrontation, bickering, resistance, warfare and destruction. March 14 successfully presented itself as the antidote to perpetual war.

10. The relative decline of Michael Aoun’s movement, [which is what the west is trying to promote....when we have Aoun gaining 6 additional seats in his bloc, from 21 to 27 memebers of Parliament.] while the Hariri-led, Sunni-based Future Movement and Shiite-anchored Hizbollah both held their ground or improved, suggests that tribes and triumphant armed movements will always outperform one-man shows. Aoun's message of unity and purpose with the valiant Resistance movement proved that he is not a historic "passing" phenomenon that may or may not persist....and this is the true meaning of this election triumph, and they still carried handily the popular vote.... Shiites and Sunnis competing to preserve their communal power will be forces in Lebanon for a long time....

It is an historical fact that Lebanon was sold at least twice. The first time it was sold to the Palestinians via the Cairo agreement in 1969... and the second time Baker and Bush Sr. sold it for the participation of Syria in the 91 coalition against Saddam.... and could do it again anytime soon....

In 2005, Bush “unsold” Lebanon and forced the Syrians to leave. So whether you like it or not, the US has the power to “sell” Lebanon. And of course the Lebanese have the right to be happy or unhappy about how the US deals with Lebanon/Syria or which envoy is entrusted with the task. It is critical to their future....

Whoever is proposing these ideas is definitely unaware that the world has changed dramatically since May 2008....but the CIA is still hooked on Lebanon like a drunken troll since the early 1800s...

First, the circumstances which triggered Doha, namely the glorious coup in Beirut, which hit CIA in the butt.... are no longer conducive for a repeat which would allow tiny Doha with French/Syrian/Saudi/Iranian orchestration to pull the stunt it did in 2008. The US will not take a backstage now as it did then. How so? The counter-attack in Beirut was possible at a time when the US was in an election year. The Syria/Iran/Hezb axis took advantage of this event to pull their stunt in Beirut in 2008. It was the only window of opportunity open to this axis to attempt to re-draw Lebanon’s political map for the next six years in their favor before the next US administration is in place. That opportunity is now lost, and the attempt obviously failed as the election results have proven. A military assault on Beirut at the moment is not feasible and for more reasons than the fact that the US is now fully engaged in the area under the leadership of a popular President. An equally important reason is the fact that Syria is currently down on its knees in every respect. Mr. Assad is eagerly seeking a certificate of good conduct in order to be given some role vis-à-vis US efforts to deal with regional problems. Any attempt on his part to play a negative role in Lebanon will backfire on him. This was made evident in his much muted behavior during and after the elections, and highlighted by his phone call to SA soon after the election results were announced. That doesn’t mean that he may not attempt to influence events in Lebanon, but his room for maneuvering is very narrow....

What ALL the Lebanese politicians, and particularly those in the opposition, should be seeking at the moment is a solution made in Lebanon. It is time for Lebanon to show some maturity, and try to stand on its feet at least in the area of governing itself as it has shown some promise in conducting a flawless election day, thanks to Baroud and the 1.2 Billion USD spent by CIA, KSA and others in the Western intelligence circles to buy the elections... ahead of the grand Middle Eastern bargain with Netanyahu...... There are no better circumstances than what we have at the moment (should we use astrology and say the planets are aligned to add emphasis?) The opposition can now take the initiative, and actually turn its popular triumph into getting the most popular votes... into a permanent political triumph, by making its position on participation in the government contingent on a political program that will involve the full implementation of Taif which would also not include the disarmament of paramilitary organizations including Hezb Resistance and disarm only the Palestinians simultaneously. The last condition actually was the first US demand made by none other than Mr. Obama shortly after the elections when he referred to 1559 and 1701 which Israel makes a mockery of daily since 2005.... The opposition should insist on a gazillion number of portfolios as long as it gets a fair share (i.e. a blocking third even though it could still go at the moment to Mr. Suleiman). But it should make it clear that a roadmap for the fulfillment of Taif should be drawn by the next PM with a timeframe to make the senate and the non-confessional parliament a reality within the tenure of the next government. If the opposition takes this road it will defuse once and for all the unprecedented state of sectarian polarization which has gripped Lebanon for the last four years and will redraw the political map of the country....

Friday, June 12, 2009

McChrystal's Kabul. Like Baghdad, a magnet for psychopathic killers and spies

McChrystal's Kabul. Like Baghdad, a magnet for psychopathic killers and spies

In assuming command of NATO forces in Afghanistan, General Stanley McChrystal will have immense control over a Western military and contractor presence in the country that has turned the Afghan capital of Kabul into a "Baghdad East," a place where psychopathic assassins, Chinese prostitute spies, and opium smugglers run rampant.

And in a departure from past strategy in the war-torn country, the Obama administration is launching an "information war" in Afghanistan that will paint the Afghan government of Hamid Karzai as a beacon of democracy and stamp out any news or other information that could be seen as harmful to the U.S. war effort against Afghan insurgents who are opposed to the foreign military presence in their country.

According to WMR's intelligence sources, China now maintains one of the largest intelligence operations in Afghanistan. Entering Afghanistan with low-paid Chinese construction workers who are contracted to Western companies to work on public works projects and the Asian Development Bank-funded Trans-Afghanistan natural gas pipeline that will bring natural gas from Turkmenistan through Afghanistan to Pakistan and India are young Chinese women who work as intelligence agents in a number of Chinese restaurants in the Afghan capital. Many also double as prostitutes and they gather intelligence for the Chinese Ministry of State Security (Guoanbu). Some of the Chinese construction workers who are also MSS agents have been discovered smuggling weapons to the Taliban.

The woman are trained in China on intelligence-gathering techniques. In addition, they are sodomized in China to prepare them for high-ranking sex clients in the Afghan government and police force. The Chinese prostitute agents have also targeted foreign embassy staffs, non-governmental organization (NGO) officials, United Nations officials, and European and American civilian contractors to glean intelligence for their bosses in Beijing.

One British national, believed to be a British intelligence agent, is under contract from the Chinese government to operate their restaurants in Kabul. He has hired a team of British and American security contractors, including a number of alcoholic and trigger-happy military veterans from north England, to make sure the Chinese prostitute agents do not stray from their assigned duties. The Chinese women are desperately poor and do not receive any money from their clients. The money ends up first in the hands of the British and American "security pimps" and ultimately, most of it goes to the MSS, quietly laundered through banks in Dubai. The Chinese operation and the money laundering is also well-known to United Arab Emirates intelligence officials who are aware that the MI-6 and MSS are jointly involved in espionage prostitution in Kabul.

The Chinese prostitute agents are only given food, a small room, clothes, and cosmetics. Women who decide to leave the employment of the restaurants often simply "disappear" with a cover story in Kabul that they returned to China. There are suspicions among those who have tried to help the women that they are killed by the local Kabul mafia, which is made up of Afghan police and foreign civilian contractors. One young Chinese woman who worked at the Shanghai restaurant in Kabul turned up missing after she took a job at the British army base at Camp Sutra on Jalalabad Road in Kabul. The British embassy refused to get involved in tracking down the woman on behalf of her distraught family in Shanghai.

WMR has also learned that the British and American security team that works for the MSS operates with the approval of the British embassy in Kabul. One of the liaison officers between the Chinese restaurant security force and MI-6 was recently transferred from the embassy in Kabul to the British embassy in Jakarta.

Kabul, with its rump president and government and its corrupt police force, is the city for which McChrystal, who has come under political fire for his role in torturing detainees from Afghanistan and Iraq, will take over security responsibilities. Clearly, McChrystal, who has been granted extraordinary independence by the Obama administration to carry out his duties, will only make matters worse in the crime- and espionage-plagued Afghan capital.

Teaching High School Students To Be Intel Analysts

The Erie City Schools, in cooperation with the Institute Of Intelligence Studies here at Mercyhurst, recently announced that they would begin to offer an intelligence analyst track in one of their high school career academies.The full news article is here but there is more to this story. This is another one of Bob Heibel's visionary initiatives and it appears to me to be a natural extension of the increasing number of colleges and universities that are offering intelligence courses or even full programs. While this may sound a bit too visionary for some, let me put it into perspective. We are in the middle of a study that is trying to get at the size, in dollars and people, of the "real" intelligence community. This real community includes all the law enforcement analysts and intelligence professionals in business as well as those in the national security community. Our initial estimates indicate that there are as many analysts in the US national security community alone as there are petroleum engineers in the entire US (17,000).

Our rough estimate suggests that, when you add in all of the law enforcement, competitive intel and other analysts in the business community, the total number of intel analysts in the US doubles. This exceeds the number of chemical engineers (30,000) in the country.According to the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, the chemical engineering profession, however, has nearly 150 colleges and universities feeding it qualified graduates and STEM programs have become a staple offering in virtually every high school in the country. In contrast, there are only a handful (a growing handful but still a handful...) of colleges and universities offering even introductory intel courses, much less a full four year program.Nearly 20 years ago, Bob started the Mercyhurt program based on a single insight: If the government can depend on academia to educate its entry level doctors and lawyers, engineers and architects, computer specialists and military officers, why can't it depend on academia to provide entry level education to its intelligence analysts? In this light, extending this vision to the high school level makes it seem less radical -- in fact, it looks downright logical....

Central Tech program focuses on intelStudents to learn in-demand skills

There's a world of new opportunities at Central Career and Technical School.A new intelligence technologist program beginning there this fall will prepare students for careers in demand by government, military, law enforcement and industry nationally and worldwide."The workplace is changing so rapidly that we can't keep up with it," Erie schools Superintendent Jim Barker said. "But we do know that training students to be proficient in intelligence gathering will open up a world of new job and educational opportunities."Central Tech's existing information technologies program has been retooled to emphasize intelligence gathering. Students will be trained to research issues and trends via computers and the Internet, in communications skills, in world cultures and geography, and to work as part of a team. Graduates of the four-year program will be ready for jobs working with intelligence analysts.The FBI alone has hired 540 analysts in the past year, said Robert Heibel, director of Mercyhurst College's Institute for Intelligence Studies. High school-trained technologists in time will do most of the research for those analysts."Ideally, they will work as a team," Heibel said.Mercyhurst's Institute for Intelligence Studies developed the new Central Tech program in cooperation with the Boys & Girls Club of Erie and the Erie School District. The Boys & Girls Club piloted the intelligence technologist program as a summer camp for 45 city children in 2007. The program was continued and expanded to an after-school course for Jefferson Elementary School seventh- and eighth-graders in 2008-09.Eleven students so far have enrolled in the new Central Tech program, said David Kranking, Erie School District director of career and technical education. Enrollment for 2009-10 is still open."We expect that, in time, the program will attract as many as 50 students each year," he said.Mercyhurst's Institute for Intelligence Studies will help Central Tech intelligence graduates find jobs."We have the contacts in the intelligence community to do that," Heibel said. "I guarantee that government and the military will snap these students up."Graduates alternately could go on to earn an associate degree in intelligence technology at Mercyhurst North East or a bachelor's degree in intelligence studies at Mercyhurst.Central Tech seniors and best friends Anita Brkic and Alma Mehinovic are keeping their options open. Originally enrolled in marketing at Central Tech, they switched to protective services and will take intelligence technologist courses this fall."I'm interested in CSI, and this is an opportunity to do something like that or even to work with spies and work in Washington," Brkic, 17, said."It's way out of the ordinary, and we don't want ordinary lives.

King Kong "terrorists"....

King Kong "terrorists"...

—Farish A Noor

The introduction of more and more anti-terror laws, norms and conventions across Southeast Asia has led to the expansion of a state security apparatus that now presents itself to the public in the form of new legislation that allows for even more phone-tapping, checks on the internet, routine interrogations, detentions without trial etc

The political economy of the ‘war on terror’ operates on both the discursive and material levels. At both levels what we have witnessed over the past decade or so is the attempt to inflate the notion of the Muslim as a potential threat to society.

In much of what has been written about the subject of ‘Islamic terror’, we encounter the same and often-repeated themes and tropes: Muslim terrorists are presented as being cunning, nefarious, two-faced, capable and willing to resort to whatever means necessary and to use whatever means at hand to achieve their stated political objectives.

It is this image of the all-pervasive and all-powerful Muslim terrorist that in turn feeds the discourse of the ‘war on terror’ and which provides securocrats and technocrats with both the practical and moral justification for the perpetuation of certain stereotypes about Islam and the Muslim identity.

This inflation of the powers and capabilities of Muslims in turn explains and justifies the inflation of expenditure that goes into sustaining the material economy of the discourse on the ‘war on terror’ as well. For as the perceived threat of ‘Islamic terror’ multiplies and is magnified, so are the methods used to contain the perceived threat as well.

It is therefore hardly surprising to note that accompanying the dissemination and sedimentation of the discourse of the ‘war on terror’ across Asia and Europe we have also seen the creation of an even bigger and potentially more destructive anti-terror security industry and state security apparatus.

In the Philippines, for instance, the discourse on the ‘war on terror’ has provided justification for joint military exercises between the armed forces of the Philippines and the United States, which under normal circumstances would have gone against the spirit of the post-Marcos 1986 Constitution of the country that specifically forbids any Philippine president from allowing or inviting foreign armed forces to operate in the country.

In the case of Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia the same discourse has sustained and helped to create even more security institutions and anti-terrorism agencies, funded by local government sources as well as by foreign donors.

In Thailand, whose decades-long insurgency in the South was re-cast as a ‘terror threat’ by the government of Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra and subsequent leaders of the country, the ‘war on terror’ has even served as a justification for greater and grander arms-purchasing projects, including the proposal to buy jet fighters from Sweden, which would presumably be used to somehow contain the threat of Muslim terrorism in the South.

Here lies the double-edged nature of the ‘war on terror’ discourse and the manner in which it can and has been used to create a new Muslim subjectivity altogether.

Muslim terrorists (and Muslims in general) are cast as individuals with extraordinary powers and abilities to communicate, organise and orchestrate acts of wanton violence and excess. Muslims are also endowed with almost super-human powers and abilities, and this is reflected in the way in which state security agencies see the need to acquire stronger and greater weapons of mass destruction to deal with the security threat posed by Muslims. (The Thai government’s proposal to purchase jet fighters from Sweden is a case in point, as if Muslim insurgents in the South are immune to ordinary bullets and can only be killed by rockets launched from jet fighters.)

What, then, is the final image of the Muslim that we arrive to? It would seem as if in the context of the ‘war on terror’ discourse Muslims have been endowed with a superhuman subjectivity that presents them with an extraordinary degree of agency, intelligence, endurance, the capacity to mobilise themselves and of course the super-human capability to withstand attack by conventional weaponry (which necessitates the purchase and use of greater weapons of destruction).

Muslims have, in short, been re-invented as a super-human threat that can no longer be contained and defeated by conventional means alone.

It is this super-human character that is imposed on the narrative device of the ‘Muslim terrorist’ that justifies the creation, expansion and perpetuation of the military-industrial complex in so many of the countries in Asia today. Having inflated the image and power of Muslims to that of super-human beings who perhaps can even be said to be the next stage of human evolution, the very same discourse of the ‘war on terror’ aims to contain this potential threat of Muslim terrorism with the threat of even greater state violence.

This marks one of the other features of the discourse of the ‘war on terror’ and how it has expanded not only the scope, depth and magnitude of Muslim subjectivity beyond the level of the mundane and ordinary, but also the scope and magnitude of state violence and power to a level hitherto unreached.

The introduction of more and more anti-terror laws, norms and conventions across Southeast Asia has led to the expansion (both virtual and real) of a state security apparatus even bigger than the one that existed during the Cold War, and which now presents itself to the public in the form of new legislation that allows for even more phone-tapping, checks on the internet, routine interrogations, detentions without trial etc.

All of this, of course has been justified on the grounds of public safety and the desire to contain the potential of excess and violence that has been embodied in the symbolic figure of the super-human Muslim terrorist. Not even at the height of the Cold War has Asia witnessed such a neat and effective combination of discursive and material-economic interests working hand-in-glove with each other.

And not even during the Cold War was the subjectivity of the oppositional Other constructed in such magnified proportions. Even Communists could be killed by bullets, but it would appear that Muslim ‘terrorists’ can only be slain by rockets and cannons. Muslims have consequently been elevated to the status of giants and monsters, almost on par with King Kong or Godzilla.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

9/11 Cover Up Arbitrator, Kenneth Feinberg, Named as Latest Obama Czar "One more time"

Obama's latest 'czar' is Kenneth Feinberg.
WASHINGTON — The Obama administration on Wednesday appointed a compensation czar who will have broad discretion to set the pay for 175 top executives at seven of the nation’s largest companies, which received hundreds of billions of dollars in federal assistance to survive.

Instead of deciding compensation levels himself, the Treasury secretary, Timothy F. Geithner, decided to appoint Mr. Feinberg, a well-known mediator whose last high-profile assignment was putting a financial value on the lives of victims of the 9/11 attack, to decide the pay for the top 25 executives at the American International Group, Citibank, Chrysler, Chrysler Credit, General Motors, GMAC and Bank of America. {more}

Feinberg was appointed by the Bush administration as 'Special Master' of the September 11 Victim Compensation Fund.

The part not being told is that Feinberg was tasked with not allowing any of the victims families to go to court where possible incriminating evidence might interfere with the 'official' story and cover up.

In that respect, he was successful. No case has gone to court.
Feinberg selected dual US/Israel citizen and Judge Alvin Hellerstein as the sole judge to handle all of the victims’ cases against the airlines and security companies (most of which were Israeli owned) and against any potential government suits. To date, no victims' family has been able to sue the government, airlines or security companies. {more}

See: The Zionist Obstruction of Justice for 9-11 Victims
The 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund: cui bono?

Feinberg was also one of three arbitrators selected to determine the fair market value of the original Zapruder film of the Kennedy assassination and was one of two arbitrators selected to determine the allocation of legal fees in the Holocaust slave labor litigation.

In that holocaust shake down scam, Feinberg awarded his jewish lawyer peers some serious coin.

Lawyers who represent Nazi-era slave laborers split more than $52 million in legal fees yesterday for work on a case that will bring Holocaust victims $5,000 to $7,500 each.

Eleven lawyers were awarded more than $1 million each, with the biggest share, $6.3 million, going to Melvyn I. Weiss of the Manhattan law firm Milberg Weiss Bershad Hynes & Lerach. Michael D. Hausfeld of Washington was given $5 million, and Burt Neuborne, a professor at the New York University Law School, was awarded $4.4 million.

The lawyers, 51 in all, were involved in a variety of suits filed on behalf of people forced to work by the Third Reich. Most victims are in their 70's or 80's. Many have died without receiving any money in the year since German industry and the German government set up a $4.5 billion fund to pay reparations. In return, the companies wanted assurances that they would be free of any future claims by Holocaust victims. {more}

Feinberg's wife Dede is a past president of the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington, currently serves on the Executive Committees of UJC and United Israel Appeal and is a member of the Board of Governors of the Jewish Agency for Israel.

A husband and wife team for jewish interests and zionist Israel. How sweet.

UJC/Jewish Federations of North America is pleased to announce that Dede (Diane) Shaff Feinberg and Kenneth Feinberg of Bethesda, MD will co-chair the 2009 General Assembly (GA) Nov. 8-11 in Washington, DC. The GA is one of the largest and most influential gatherings of Jewish leadership in the world.{more}
The Kenneth Feinberg Group is listed as one of the top 10 supporters of the Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies for 2004-2005. The Jerusalem Institute is an Israel-based Zionist organization that, among other things, supports the building of the illegal separation wall across Palestine.{more}

It sounds as if Feinberg, a dual U.S./Israeli citizen, is the 'perfect' choice for overseeing compensation for the criminal financial organizations of Wall Street. As a cover up artist, he won't let his fellow dual citizens down.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The Air Force of the Future

The U.S. Air Force is under growing pressure to build fewer of its next fighter, the F-35. The air force has been ordered to reexamine the future needs for F-35s during the current Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR). This is a planning exercise that takes into account all the nations military and civil resources as applied to a list of potential opponents and in wars that could break out in the next decade. This analysis is used to determine what weapons will be needed in the future. The QDR also has to take into account the "guidance" from the president and Congress. The air force believes that a more optimistic (about world peace) government will provide guidance that indicates a need for fewer F-35s (currently the air force plans to buy 1,763.)

Another problem is that many people, including some generals in the air force, believe that its next generation fighter will not have a pilot on board. Many air force generals admit that the F-35 is probably the last manned fighter. But some believe that the F-35 will be facing stiff competition from pilotless fighters before F-35 production is scheduled to end in 2034.

UAV (unmanned aerial vehicles) are not particularly popular with many U.S. Air Force leaders, but that is not the case in many other countries. Air force generals around the world see the unpiloted jet fighter as a way to break the monopoly the U.S. Air Force has had on air supremacy for the last sixty years. Most Americans don't even think of this long domination of the air, but potential enemies of the United States are well aware of it, and that domination has a profound effect on how those nations do their military planning. In effect, if you think about going to war with the United States, you take for granted that American aircraft will control the skies above. Robotic jet fighters could change that. And this is forcing American air force generals to confront a very unsavory prospect; a sixth generation fighter that is flown by software, not a pilot.

It's not just that most of the those American air force generals began their careers as fighter pilots. No, the reason is more practical. American air superiority has largely been the result of superior pilots. The U.S. didn't always have the best aircraft, but they always had the most talented and resourceful pilots. And that's what gave the U.S. its edge. Will that translate to software piloted fighters? Research to date seems to indicate it will.

Meanwhile, simulations, using fighter flown by software, versus those flown by humans, have been used for over two decades. The "software pilots" have gotten better, and better. Moreover, a fighter without a pilot is more maneuverable (because some maneuvers are too stressful on the human body.) UAV fighters can be smaller, cheaper, stealthier and more expendable. But the key to software pilots is the development of superior tactics, and artificial intelligence (AI) that is more capable than anything your opponent can come up with.

The U.S. Air Force, and several other air forces, have already created fighter pilot software, and now the United States, and Russia, are creating pilotless fighters. Many air force generals are convinced that the pilotless fighters will perform as well for real, as they have in the simulations. So convinced are U.S. Air Force generals, that they are seriously considering a sixth generation fighter that will not carry a human pilot. Otherwise, enemy pilotless fighters would have an edge over the U.S. sixth generation aircraft.

The potential superiority of U.S. pilotless fighters is partly driven by the fact that most American fighter pilots are geeks. Many can create software, and have a deep understanding of the many computers, and their software, that modern aircraft contain. It's the fighter pilots who will play a key role in creating the best "software pilots." Thus the thinking is that American control of the air will be maintained by a new generation combat aircraft controlled by software, not someone in a cockpit.

Holder planning on reversing conviction of Israeli spy Larry Franklin

Holder planning on reversing conviction of Israeli spy Larry Franklin

After Attorney General Eric Holder ordered the dropping of all espionage charges against former American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) officials Steve Rosen and Keith Weissman, it now appears likely that their Pentagon source of a number of Top Secret and Top Secret Sensitive Compartmented Information (TS/SCI) documents, convicted former Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) officer and Army Reserve Lieutenant Colonel Larry Franklin, will also get a sweetheart deal that will see his his 12-year prison sentence commuted.

Franklin's main Mossad contact in Washington during his espionage activities for Israel was Uzi Arad, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's current National Security Adviser and, officially, a "retired" Mossad officer. The Bush administration barred Arad from entering the United States due to his involvement in the Pentagon spy ring, however, the Obama administration has lifted the travel ban. Arad is now able to freely enter and exit the United States in order to peddle Israeli influence and coordinate further espionage operations aimed at undermining America's opposition to the right-wing extremist and expansionist policies of the Israeli government. Franklin's other Mossad contact was Naor Gilon, whose Mossad official cover was as Minister-Counselor for Political Affairs of the Israeli embassy in Washington. Gilon remains in that position and has not been declared persona non grata for his espionage activities.

WMR has learned from informed sources that the acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, Dana J. Boente, who was instrumental in dropping the case against Rosen and Weissman, is now engaged in negotiations with Justice Department lawyers and U.S. Judge for the Eastern District of Virginia T.S. Ellis to hammer out a deal whereby Franklin will not be required to report to a minimum security federal prison in western Maryland and have the $10,000 fine imposed on him vacated.

On May 14, a sealed motion was filed by Boente and her team at the U.S. Court for the Eastern District. The sealed motion simply stated: "SEALED MOTION by USA as to Lawrence Anthony Franklin." A hearing before Ellis on the motion has been scheduled for June 12 at 9:00 am at the U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Virginia.

WMR has reported that Franklin has had a long association with Israeli intelligence and their interlocutors in Washington, DC.

On August 2, 2005, WMR reported: "An on-going criminal investigation in Italy has yielded copies of the minutes of meetings held at the U.S. Embassy in Rome in 1995 attended by a "Colonel Franklin" from the United States, leading Italian neo-Fascist politicians (including Deputy Prime Minister Giancarlo Fini), and Likud officials from Israel. The meetings were held to arrange for lucrative telecommunications and military contracts for Israeli companies with the U.S. government.

Air Force Reserve Colonel, Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) and Pentagon Bureau of Near East and South Asian Affairs employee Lawrence (Larry) A. Franklin was recently indicted for passing classified information to two American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) employees. The top Mossad official at the Israeli embassy in Washington and other Israeli agents are also under investigation by the FBI. Franklin served in the U.S. Air Force Reserves since 1976 and was posted to the DIA and Defense HUMINT Services. While serving his two week active duty stints, Franklin was intermittently posted to the Air Attache office at the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv. Franklin, who touted an aggressive military approach against Iran, also reportedly attended a December 2001 meeting in Rome on opening up back channels to Iranian dissidents. Attending the meeting, in addition to Franklin, were leading neo-con Michael Ledeen of the American Enterprise Institute and Karl Rove's chief foreign policy advisor; Pentagon neocon Harold Rhode; Iran-contra figure and known fabricator Manucher Ghorbanifar; Italian SISMI military intelligence chief Nicolo Pollari; Italian Defense Minister Antonio Martino; and a number of Iranian dissidents."

On November 17, 2006, WMR reported: "Federal law enforcement sources report that a senior retired Mossad officer is the subject of a sealed indictment in the Larry Franklin-America Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) espionage case. The retired officer, a former terrorism adviser to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, worked under a relatively new type of Israeli intelligence cover in Washington -- association with a think tank, in this case the neo-conservative Hudson Institute." That retired Mossad officer was Uzi Arad, now Netnayahu's top national security adviser.

On August 10, 2006, WMR reported: "Larry Franklin, the Pentagon Office of Special Plans Iran and Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) analyst and reserve Air Force Lieutenant Colonel who was temporarily posted at the U.S. embassy in Tel Aviv, served as a virtual personal liaison for Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, according to U.S. intelligence sources who have spoken to WMR . . . Although the Pentagon quickly distanced itself from Franklin after his arrest and revelations of the AIPAC-Mossad espionage program, U.S. intelligence sources report that Franklin accompanied Rumsfeld on his May 1, 2003 and February 26, 2004 trips to Kabul, Afghanistan and acted as his personal Pushto and Dari interpreter with Afghan officials. The sources claim that Franklin had a collegial photograph taken of himself with Rumsfeld and Afghan President Hamid Karzai during the Afghan visit. Franklin also speaks Farsi, Urdu, Arabic, and Hebrew. Franklin boasted to his colleagues that he learned the languages from his Pakistani, Afghan, and Iranian colleagues and bosses while working as a tax cab driver in New York City. U.S. intelligence officials also revealed that Franklin repeatedly attempted to recruit other U.S. intelligence personnel to work in a 'NOC' or 'non official cover program.' Later, it was discovered the 'NOC' program was not American but Israeli. The fact that Franklin was so close to Rumsfeld, whose coterie of advisers has been very small and largely non-inclusive of uniformed military personnel, makes Rumsfeld a prime suspect in the AIPAC espionage case and a possible severe national security risk.

How Zionist jews are financing and backing extrem right wing parties in the UK (BNP), France (FN), Germany, Netherland, Italy and Spain

Head of MI5 Jonathan Evans behind BNP's running operation and his puppet and mouthpiece Nick Griffin, on behalf of his masters in Tel Aviv

......Everything you wanted to know about how Zionists control US policy....

Do you see any difference between Zionist war criminals in place Brown, Straw, Miliband... the tories, Zionist Cameron and the BNP ? There are no differences, they are all financed, and bankrolled by Zionist Jews, who are working hard to implement a 'clash of civilization' in Europe. MI5 is BNP, we understand that MI5 wants a civil war against the Muslims in the UK and Europe ? Evans are you going to clarify your position or do you want a new scandal.... ? Up to you !

Right: The next leader of the "free world" is already guaranteed to be a Zionist. Who runs the banking system? Who controls our political parties? Who runs the media? Who rules Hollywood? Who controls Big Business? Hint for BNP members: it ain't "the muzzies."An interesting link (see first link below) here for two reasons.

The fact that John Tyndall, albeit self-induced to some degree, seems to realise that his party was taken over as the result of a conspiracy either controlled or used by the State in the light of government/MI5 statements in the 90s re. attacking and bringing down nationalism.

The feedback to the piece suggests that the BNP has been turned, at least because sections of it are now draping themselves in Stars of David (remember too that Mark Cotterill's false EFP was condemned by the local Green Party for using the Israeli Flag in its electoral campaigning).I was talking recently to European Comrades who used to be confreres with Mr. Griffin, and there is little doubt to them that has been a "turning point" (the whys and wherefores of it can be debated) because it CANNOT be debated that the nationalist movement (represented by the NF in the 70s & 80s and the BNP in the 90s) was avowedly anti-Zionist; whereas today the nationalist movement (represented by the BNP in the 00s) is, at best, now no longer anti-Zionist and, at worst, positively pro-Israel and Neo-Con in language if not in policy per se.

This not hearsay or opinion. This can be evidenced from the material out there and the increasingly Neo-Con nature of the material coming from the BNP, not to mention the Zionist language that comes from certain BNP people who are kept in their positions by the BNP leadership.

Where are the complete and convincing condemnations of Israel?

Where are the complete and convincing condemnations of Zionist power in banking, Hollywood, Big Business, Freemasonry etc.?Of course these do not have to be in election leaflets, of course these do not have to be in headlines, of course these do not have to underpin community actions and activities, etc.But an awareness and an education of militants as to the history of geo-politics and that the real enemy runs our parliament, banks, the City of London, Big Businesses etc. will at least ensure that nationalism isn't used and abused as a Boot Boy of Zionism....

By all means keep the "populist" language in East London, Lancashire, the Black Country etc.But this kow-towing to Israeli policy and Neo-Con language stinks. Furthermore the grassroots of the nationalist movement know it stinks.Left: Neo Con voices on the "right" like Richard Littlejohn (pictured) and Melanie Phillips, as well as the Neo Con voices on the "left" like Nick Cohen and David Aaronovitch, ensure that the people, Labour and Tory voters, see the non-existent "Al Qaeda" as the big threat and not Zionism, Capitalism, American Imperialism, etc.

The BNP can condemn us for being "purists." The BNP can set its freelance attack dogs on us to spread smears. The BNP can close its collective eyes and convince itself that its insistence that Islam is the only enemy or the only evil that we face.

None of this will change the facts.In the early 90s the State announced that it would destroy a nationalism that was anti-Zionist and already had its agents at work.In the 00s we have a "nationalism" that is either ambivalent or even pro-Zionist (NB: even to accept Israel's "right" to exist is to be Zionist) and we can assume that the State agents have played their part.

As the Oriental curse goes: "May you live in interesting times."

We certainly are!

P.S. Those with long memories will remember that the leader of the BNP started his about-turn in BNP policy viz a viz Israel, Zionism etc. with a very interesting, long, fair and courteous feature/interview with David Aaronovitch (in which NG said the BNP was like a super tanker which would take a long time to turn around!).

It has also been helped along with various puff pieces - dressed up as "warnings" from Nick Cohen.

Both Aaronovitch and Cohen are avowed Neo Cons whose main bugbear is "Islamofascism" or "Islamification." In other words the men who have promoted an "Islamophobic" (read Neo Con) BNP are two of the main Zionist Neo Con columnists in Britain whom, it may be assumed by some, could be in the pay of Mossad....


Iran's elections proof of a vibrant Islamic-Democracy

Iran's elections proof of a vibrant Islamic-Democracy

Iran's colorful and highly contentious presidential election can be expected to prove a major boon for the country's foreign policy, no matter who is voted into office when those among the 46 million eligible voters go to the polls on Friday.

Described by the international media as "extraordinarily open" and "highly competitive", the election process has been internally polarizing and has generated excess public interest that will likely continue once the sound and fury of election euphoria is over. Yet, the net impact with respect to Iran's foreign priorities is bound to be positive.

This is because the polls will give the incoming regime international respectability and legitimacy following a dynamic electoral race that has boiled down to four main candidates.

Mir Hossein Mousavi, a reformist, has emerged as the main
challenger to President Mahmud Ahmadinejad, who is running for another four-year term. Mohsen Rezai represents the main conservative challenge; he is a former head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps. Mehdi Karroubi is a former parliamentary speaker and comes from the reformist camp.

In international relations, the image of a country and the degree of its attractiveness is shaped by elements such as its domestic politics, culture, values and foreign policies.

In the case of the United States, neo-liberal thinkers such as academic Robert Keohane and Harvard Professor Joseph Nye have been counseling Washington for some time on the necessity of soft power measures to reverse what Nye refers to as "America's declining popularity", such as by shifting from unilateralism to multilateralism and relying on "smart diplomacy".

The same argument applies to Iran, as the presidential race has afforded the critics of Ahmadinejad the unique opportunity to blame him for "adventurism, extremism, impressionism and sloganism", to paraphrase Mousavi.

Karroubi has questioned Ahmadinejad's purported denial of the Holocaust by arguing that "this is not an issue for Iran", while Rezai has offered a detailed, step-by-step plan for detente with the West.

Such open debates on all aspects of Iran's domestic and foreign policies, using, for the first time, the all-too-important medium of television, reflect a maturing Islamic Republic that is in the throes of a qualitative expansion of its public sphere. This political evolution is on full display before the world community.

The ultimate test of the legitimacy of the elections arrives on Friday when an estimated 60% of the electorate goes to the polls. The two reformist candidates have filed objections over the number of ballots printed - they say there are too many. This issue is expected to be resolved, though, and the next president should be able to convince the world that he has a national mandate, which includes continuing with the country's nuclear program and negotiating with other countries.

The United States has over the past few years led the condemnation of Iran for its uranium-enrichment program, which it says could be aimed at developing a nuclear weapon. Tehran claims it has the right in terms of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, of which it is a signatory, to follow such a program. Iran has been slapped with several rounds of United Nations sanctions as well as unilateral ones from the US for not halting its operations.

According to a number of political analysts in Iran, a more moderate president, such as Mousavi, who has defended Iran's nuclear activities, would be more effective than Ahmadinejad in fighting against the current efforts to impose further sanctions on Iran. This he could do by denying Iran's enemies the tool of branding Iran as radical, rogue, untrustworthy or any of the terms in the arsenal of Iran-bashing labels made available to them by Ahmadinejad's fiery rhetoric.

That may be so, but it is doubtful Western strategy will change much in event of Ahmadinejad's defeat by a more moderate politician, just as the pressures of US sanctions against Iran did not disappear when the Islamist liberal democrat Mohammad Khatami was in power from 1999 to 2005.

With the exception of cosmetic changes, such as a token reduction of US sanctions, the US maintained the heat on Iran despite Khatami's policy of detente. This they did by dismissing Khatami as a "front" and claiming the real power lay with hardliners behind the scenes. This could happen again.

On the other hand, should Ahmadinejad win re-election (the incumbent has never lost a re-election bid since the creation of the Islamic Republic in 1979), he can pursue Iran's nuclear policies with an even stronger hand. He will be able to rely on the legitimacy conferred by the elections, particularly if he draws the right lessons from his first term and adopts more nuanced and tactful diplomacy.

This scenario is based on the soft-power significance of the presidential race, that is, the ability to attract and persuade others increases when "the policies of a country are seen as legitimate in the eyes of others", to quote Nye.

Put simply, no matter who wins, the election process is bound to impact the calculations of the US and its allies and have a "game-changing" effect that reduces the maneuverability of the anti-Iran coalition that the US has been trying to put together in the Middle East for some time.

Rhetoric aside, the Barack Obama administration has shown a great deal of continuity with the George W Bush administration, by pursuing, in part via its Iran point man, Dennis Ross, the diplomatic track of bifurcating the region into "moderate" and "radical" camps. The former includes Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Egypt, with Iran, Syria, Hamas in Palestine and Lebanon's Hezbollah in the other camp.

The election for the 10th president of Islamic Republic exposes the hypocrisy and double standards of putting the considerably more democratic Iran below authoritarian Arab monarchies, as there is nothing "moderate" about the repression of women or Shi'ite minorities in Saudi Arabia, no matter how Washington spins it.

More than the nuclear issue, what the conservative oil sheikdoms in the Persian Gulf fear is Iran's brand of Islamist democracy that has mobilized masses of Iranians. The long-demobilized and politically docile populations in the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates) could use Iran as a reference society and question the legitimacy of their archaic and tribal political systems that are perpetuated by the US for the sake of geo-economic and geostrategic interests.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Turf Battles on Intelligence back with a vengence for Spy Chiefs in DC...

Turf Battles on Intelligence back with a vengence for Spy Chiefs in DC...


WASHINGTON — On May 19, Dennis C. Blair, the director of national intelligence, sent a classified memorandum announcing that his office would use its authority to select the top American spy in each country overseas......
Top, Dennis C. Blair, director of national intelligence; and Leon E. Panetta, the Central Intelligence Agency director.
One day later, Leon E. Panetta, the director of the Central Intelligence Agency, sent a dispatch of his own. Ignore Mr. Blair’s message, Mr. Panetta wrote to agency employees; the C.I.A. was still in charge overseas, a role that C.I.A. station chiefs had jealously guarded for decades.

The dispute has posed an early test for both spymasters, with Gen. James L. Jones, the national security adviser, now trying to negotiate a truce. The behind-the-scenes battle shows the intensity of struggles continuing between intelligence agencies whose roles were left ill defined after a structural overhaul in 2004 that was intended to harness greater cooperation and put an end to internecine fights.

The C.I.A. has run foreign intelligence operations from American embassies since the 1940s, and agency officials fear that Mr. Blair and his Office of the Director of National Intelligence are making a power play that could jeopardize longstanding relationships with foreign intelligence services.

For his part, Mr. Blair, a career Navy man, is said to have been furious about what he perceived as insubordination by Mr. Panetta, whose agency is now outranked by the national intelligence director’s office.

Mr. Blair came to the job determined to cement the intelligence chief’s authority over 16 disparate spy agencies, and intelligence experts said that the current dispute with the C.I.A. was a litmus test for whether the White House was willing to back him in this effort.

Mr. Panetta, meanwhile, has tried to calm nerves in Langley, Va., in part by assuring agency employees that he will fight for C.I.A. authorities at the White House. Mr. Panetta, a White House chief of staff under President Bill Clinton, has close relationships with several of President Obama’s senior aides, including Rahm Emanuel, the White House chief of staff.

But it is Mr. Blair who appears to be garnering the support of influential lawmakers, some of whom say they are angry that the C.I.A. has not accepted its reduced role in the intelligence firmament.

“We need to move intelligence away from the cold war mind-set, and the C.I.A. has a problem to some extent accepting that,” said Senator Dianne Feinstein, the California Democrat who is chairwoman of the Intelligence Committee.

Mr. Blair and Mr. Panetta met for the first time just days before Mr. Obama stood with them on a stage in January and announced their nominations. Despite having very different professional backgrounds, they have for the most part developed a cordial working relationship, officials said.

Although Mr. Panetta maintains close ties to some White House officials, it is Mr. Blair who spends more time in the Oval Office, as he sometimes delivers Mr. Obama’s daily intelligence briefing in person. Mr. Blair, a retired admiral, also has known General Jones for years, as the two men ascended to the military’s highest ranks during the same period.

Mr. Blair took over an office born out of the intelligence failures before the Iraq war, and almost since its inception the national intelligence director’s operations have been criticized as being bloated and ineffective. Last year, the inspector general at the national intelligence director’s office issued a withering report criticizing it as unable to end the turf battles that for years plagued the intelligence community and were partly responsible to the failure to prevent the Sept. 11 attacks.

Even more criticism comes from current and former C.I.A. officials, who often portray the intelligence chief’s office as an unnecessary bureaucracy that gums up machinery in need of streamlining. For their part, officials who work for the director of national intelligence sometime portray the C.I.A. as hidebound, turf-obsessed and insular.

More than a dozen current and former government officials were interviewed for this article, most insisting on anonymity because they were concerned about appearing to try to influence White House officials in the dispute. The fact that the White House has intervened in the matter was first reported by The Associated Press.

Some current and former officials portray the C.I.A. resistance to the May 19 directive as petty, as C.I.A. station chiefs are likely to remain America’s senior intelligence representatives in a vast majority of countries. These officials say nevertheless that in some countries it may be more appropriate for a representative from another agency, like the National Security Agency or the Drug Enforcement Administration, to be the senior intelligence representative.

For instance, the National Security Agency, responsible for electronic eavesdropping, has a large listening station in Britain that is part of an extensive eavesdropping partnership between the United States and Britain. Some argue that the national intelligence director’s office should designate an N.S.A. official to coordinate intelligence activities in London.

Other examples that officials raise are countries like Iraq and Afghanistan, where a large American military presence might lead the national intelligence director to pick an official from the Defense Intelligence Agency.

But some outside experts criticize Mr. Blair’s decision to take on the C.I.A., especially when the Pentagon still controls large parts of the secret intelligence budget.

“It could be that Blair is picking on the C.I.A. because he knows that he can’t take on the Pentagon, which is by far a bigger player,” said Amy Zegart, a professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, who writes extensively on intelligence matters.

The C.I.A. has insisted for years that the issue is about far more than bureaucratic turf. Some central intelligence officials even threatened to resign in 2005 when John D. Negroponte, then the director of national intelligence, proposed installing an N.S.A. operative as the top American intelligence official in Wellington, New Zealand.

The biggest danger, the C.I.A. has argued, is jeopardizing the relationships between its station chiefs and foreign intelligence operatives that have taken years to cultivate.

Michael V. Hayden, who ran the C.I.A. from 2006 until the end of the Bush administration, often jousted with officials from the national intelligence director’s office over who should be station chiefs. Under the law, Mr. Hayden said, it is the C.I.A.’s duty to manage the United States’ partnerships with foreign spy services, and changing that dynamic might further bewilder allies who already do not understand America’s intelligence bureaucracy.

“When we get a liaison partner coming to Washington, they are already confused about who they should be dealing with here,” he said. “Now, you could be creating that same circumstance in a foreign capital.”

Securitization: The biggest rip-off ever

Is it possible to make hundreds of billions of dollars in profits on securities that are backed by nothing more than cyber-entries into a loan book?

It’s not only possible; it’s been done. And now the scoundrels who cashed in on the swindle have lined up outside the Federal Reserve building to trade their garbage paper for billions of dollars of taxpayer-funded loans. Where’s the justice?

Meanwhile, the credit bust has left the financial system in a shambles and driven the economy into the ground like a tent stake. Maxed-out consumers are cutting back on everything from nights on the town to trips to the grocery store while the unemployment lines are growing longer in every city across the country. And it’s all due to a Ponzi-finance scam that was concocted on Wall Street and spread through the global system like an aggressive strain of bird flu. It’s called securitization, and it is at the very heart of the financial meltdown.

Securitization, which is the conversion of pools of loans into securities that are sold in the secondary market, provides a means for massive debt-leveraging. The banks use off-balance sheet operations to create securities so they can avoid normal reserve requirements and bothersome regulatory oversight. Oddly enough, the quality of the loan makes no difference at all, since the banks make their money on loan originations and other related fees. What matters is quantity, quantity, quantity; an industrial-scale assembly line of fetid loans dumped on unsuspecting investors to fatten the bottom line. And, boy, can Wall Street grind out the rotten paper when there’s no cop on the beat and the Fed is cheering from the bleachers.

In an analysis written by economist Gary Gorton for the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta’s 2009 Financial Markets Conference, titled “Slapped in the Face by the Invisible Hand; Banking and the Panic of 2007,” the author shows that mortgage-related securities ballooned from $492.6 billion in 1996 to $3,071.1 in 2003, while asset backed securities (ABS) jumped from $168.4 billion in 1996 to $1,253.1 in 2006. All told, more than $20 trillion in securitized debt was sold between 1997 to 2007. How much of that debt will turn out to be worthless as foreclosures skyrocket and the banks’ balance sheets come under greater and greater pressure?

Deregulation opened Pandora’s Box, unleashing a weird mix of shady off-book operations (SPVs, SIVs) and dodgy, odd-sounding derivatives that were used to amplify leverage and stack debt on tinier and tinier scraps of capital. It’s easy to make money, when one has no skin in the game. That’s how hedge fund managers and private equity sharpies get rich. Securitization gave the banks the opportunity to take substandard loans from applicants who had no way of paying them back, and magically transform them into Triple A securities. “abracadabra.” The Wall Street public relations throng boasted that securitization “democratized” credit because more people could borrow at better rates since funding came from investors rather than banks. But it was all a hoax. The real objective was to turbo-charge profits by skimming hefty salaries and bonuses on the front end, before people found out they’d been hosed.

The former head of the FDIC, William Seidman, figured it all out back in 1993 when he was cleaning up after the S&L fiasco. Here’s what he said in his memoirs: “Instruct regulators to look for the newest fad in the industry and examine it with great care. The next mistake will be a new way to make a loan that will not be repaid.” (Bloomberg)

That’s it in a nutshell. The banks never expected the loans would be paid back, which is why they issued them to ninjas, applicants with no income, no collateral, no job, and a bad credit history. It made no sense at all, especially to anyone who’s ever sat through a nerve-wracking credit check with a sneering banker. Trust me, bankers know how to get their money back, if that’s their real intention. In this case, it didn’t matter. They just wanted to keep their counterfeiting racket zooming ahead at full-throttle for as long as possible. Meanwhile, Maestro Greenspan waved pom-poms from the sidelines, extolling the virtues of the “new economy” and the permanent high plateau of prosperity that had been achieved through laissez faire capitalism.

Now that the securitization bubble has burst, 40 percent of the credit which had been coursing into the economy has been cut off, triggering a 1930s-type meltdown. Fed chief Bernanke has stepped into the breach and provided a $13 trillion dollar backstop to keep the financial system from collapsing, but the broader economy has continued its historic nosedive. Bernanke is trying to fill the chasm that opened up when securitization ground to a halt and gas started exiting the credit bubble in one mighty whooosh. The deleveraging is ongoing, despite the Fed’s many programs to rev up securitization and restore speculative bubblenomics.

Bernanke’s latest brainstorm, the Term Asset-backed securities Lending Facility (TALF), provides 94 percent public funding for investors willing to buy loans backed by credit card debt, student loans, auto loans or commercial real estate loans. It’s a “no lose” situation for big investors who think that securitized debt will stage a comeback. But that’s the problem; no one does. Attractive, non recourse (nearly) risk free loans have failed to entice the big brokerage houses and hedge fund managers. Bernanke has peddled less than $30 billion in a program that’s designed to lend up to $1 trillion. It’s been a complete bust.

To understand securitization, one must think like a banker. Bankers believe that profits are constrained by reserve requirements. So, what they really want is to expand credit with no reserves; the equivalent of spinning flax into gold. Securitization and derivatives contracts achieve that objective. They create a confusing netherworld of odd-sounding instruments and bizarre processes which obscure the simple fact that they are creating money out of thin air. That’s what securitization really is; undercapitalized junk masquerading as precious jewels.

Here’s how economist Henry CK Liu sums it up in his article “Mark-to-Market vs. Mark-to-Model”: “The shadow banking system has deviously evaded the reserve requirements of the traditional regulated banking regime and institutions and has promoted a chain-letter-like inverted pyramid scheme of escalating leverage, based in many cases on nonexistent reserve cushion. This was revealed by the AIG collapse in 2008 caused by its insurance on financial derivatives known as credit default swaps (CDS) . . .

“The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Federal Reserve jointly allowed banks with credit default swaps (CDS) insurance to keep super-senior risk assets on their books without adding capital because the risk was insured. Normally, if the banks held the super-senior risk on their books, they would need to post capital at 8 percent of the liability. But capital could be reduced to one-fifth the normal amount (20 percent of 8 percent, meaning $160 for every $10,000 of risk on the books) if banks could prove to the regulators that the risk of default on the super-senior portion of the deals was truly negligible, and if the securities being issued via a collateral debt obligation (CDO) structure carried a Triple-A credit rating from a “nationally recognized credit rating agency,” such as Standard and Poor’s rating on AIG.

“With CDS insurance, banks then could cut the normal $800 million capital for every $10 billion of corporate loans on their books to just $160 million, meaning banks with CDS insurance can loan up to five times more on the same capital. The CDS-insured CDO deals could then bypass international banking rules on capital. (Henry CK Liu, “Mark-to-Market vs. Mark-to-Model”)

The same rule applies to derivatives (CDS) as securitized instruments; neither is sufficiently capitalized because setting aside reserves impairs one’s ability to maximize profits. It’s all about the bottom line. The reason credit default swaps are so cheap, compared to conventional insurance, is that there’s no way of knowing whether the dealer has the ability to pay claims. It’s fraud, on a gigantic scale, which is why the financial system went into full-blown paralysis when Lehman Bros defaulted. No one knew whether trillions of dollars in counterparty contracts would be paid out or not. There are simply more claims on wealth than there is money in the system. Bogus mortgages and phony counterparty promises mean nothing. “Show me the money.” The system is under water, and it cannot be fixed by more of the Fed’s presto liquidity.

Here’s what Gary Gorton says later in the same article: “A banking panic means that the banking system is insolvent. The banking system cannot honor contractual demands; there are no private agents who can buy the amount of assets necessary to recapitalize the banking system, even if they knew the value of the assets, because of the sheer size of the banking system. When the banking system is insolvent, many markets stop functioning and this leads to very significant effects on the real economy. . . .”

Indeed. The shadow banking system has collapsed, not because the market is “frozen” or because investors are in a state of panic after Lehman, but because derivatives and securitization have been exposed as a fraud propped up on insufficient capital. It’s snake oil sold by charlatans. That’s why European policymakers are resisting the Fed’s requests to create a facility similar to the TALF to start up securitization again.

Here’s a revealing clip from the Wall Street Journal which explains what’s going on behind the scenes: “Bankers are pushing European policy makers to consider a U.S.-style program to aid the region’s economy by reviving the moribund market for bundled consumer loans. Officials at the European Securitisation Forum, a trade group representing banks and other market participants, said Tuesday that central bankers should consider stepping in with a program similar to the U.S. Federal Reserve’s Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility, or TALF, which provides loans to private investors who buy new securities tied to consumer loans . . .

“After suffering heavy losses on securities stuffed with poorly made loans, investors are reluctant to wade back in, and Europe lacks big players like the Pacific Investment Management Co. in the U.S., whose buying can mobilize other investors. . . . The market also faces uncertainty over how European regulators will change the rules of the game, in part by imposing tougher capital requirements on banks, the main buyers of securitized assets in Europe.

“One European Commission proposal would dramatically hike the capital required of banks holding a securitized asset if the originator allowed its share of that asset to fall below a 5 percent threshold. . . .

“Paul Sharma of Britain’s Financial Services Authority said regulatory action is likely to shrink the investor base for ABS, in part by increasing the capital cushions banks will have to hold against ABS holdings in their trading books. He also argued that ABS were inappropriate for banks to hold as liquid assets, because they have proven difficult to sell in a market crisis.

“There is very much a query in the minds of regulators as to whether there is a significant future for securitization,” said Mr. Sharma, though he added his own view was that the market did have a future role.” (“In Europe, a U.S. Way To Fix ABS Market?” Neil Shah and Stephen Fidler, Wall Street Journal)

See? In Europe regulators still do their jobs and make sure that financial institutions have money before they create trillions of dollars in credit. They don’t stick with their heads in the sand while crooked bankers fleece the public. Bernanke’s job is to step in and put an end to the hanky-panky, not add to the problems by restoring a credit-generating regime that transferred hundreds of billions of dollars from ordinary hard-working people to fatcat banksters and Wall Street flim-flammers.