Economic Collapse Of 2008 An Inside Job

Economic Collapse Of 2008 An Inside Job

PROTOCOLS FOR ECONOMIC COLLAPSE IN AMERICA
by
Al Martin

And this is how the U.S. Treasury would handle an economic collapse.
It’s called the 6900 series of protocols. It would start with
declaring a force majeure, which would immediately be interpreted by
the marketplaces as a de facto repudiation of debt. Then the SEC and
the various regulatory exchanges would anticipate the market’s
decline, hour by hour — when Japan’s markets opened the next day,
what would happen when the European markets, and all the inter-
linkages of the global markets. On the second day, US Special Forces
would be dropped in by parachute in the cities where the twelve
Federal Reserve district banks are located.

The origin of these protocols comes from the Department of Defense.
This is contingency planning for a variety of post-collapse scenarios.
Those scenarios would include, obviously, military collapse, World War
III, in other words, and its aftermath. What we’re talking about now
is aftermath — how the aftermath would be handled.

One does not necessarily know how the events would transpire that
would cause the collapse, whether it’s military collapse or economic
collapse. In World War III, it would become obvious — when the
mushroom cloud started to appear over cities.

Economic collapse scenarios were always premised on the basis of a US
declaration of force majeure on debt service. It’s a very extensive
scenario. The scenarios are all together, i.e., military, economic,
political and social complete destabilization leading to collapse.
Then they break down individual scenarios. In the economic collapse
scenario, the starting point would be the United States Treasury
declaring a force majeure on debt service, which is de facto
repudiation, and that’s how it would be interpreted by the world’s
capital marketplaces. Then the scenario goes on from there. The US
Treasury would obviously declare a force majeure sometime after the
European markets had settled down. In other words, they had gone out
on the day, which means 11:38 a.m. EDT, our time. They’d wait until
the European markets closed, and the US markets had been open for a
couple of hours. That’s when they’d determine how to begin the process
of unwinding or controlling the collapse to the best extent possible,
mainly because they know that the greatest hedge pressure would be
people seeking to use other markets to hedge their long exposure in
the United States and that the US would be the biggest seller in all
the rest of the world’s markets. Therefore you would want to declare
the force majeure when the rest of the world’s markets closed. The
declaration of force majeure would be precipitated by the declaration
that the United States is no longer able to service its debt. That’s
pretty simple. Who makes that decision? The Treasury Department. The
President does not make that decision. The Secretary of the Treasury
does. He has that authority.
You might ask — wouldn’t he have his arm twisted not to do that?

The answer is that if there isn’t any money left to service the debt,
it doesn’t make any difference what the current regime might want to
do.

The day of reckoning is now coming. What has happened in the interim,
from 2001 to present, is dynamic, global economic deterioration. The
economic deterioration visited upon the United States by Bushonomics
is not a localized event. It is, in fact, global. We have a planet now
that is sinking into a sea of red ink.

The United States is consuming 80% of the planet’s savings rate to
finance its debt. The central banks of Germany, Japan and Saudi Arabia
are no longer the powerhouses they used to be. Their reserves have now
been substantially depleted. They can, therefore, no longer hide the
fact that they own a certain number, likely in the trillions of
dollars, of U.S. Treasury debt that isn’t being serviced, because they
can’t hide it through bookkeeping tricks anymore because their
reserves are so depleted.

Therefore somebody has covertly been putting demands on the Bush-
Cheney regime for payment. Why do you think 2900 metric tons of gold
is depleted from U.S. inventory since March of `01?

Why do you think that $2 billion in currency seized from Iraq last May
is now unaccounted for?

Someone is putting demands on the Bush-Cheney regime. Someone is
saying to the Bushonian Cabal that — You’ve got to start servicing
this debt because we, foreign central banks, are in nations – European
and Asian – whose reserves are now nearly exhausted.

Who could be putting that kind of pressure on them?

It has to be coming from whoever is organizing this thing at the very
top, which I would tend to think has got to be most likely a cabal of
people that would involve Henry Kissinger, James Baker, George
Schultz, possibly William Simon. It would be somebody at the very top
that is familiar with how to do this. It would have to be someone
familiar with finances.

So would this be one faction of a cabal blackmailing or forcing
another faction? No, it’s not really blackmailing. It’s being done out
of desperation. The German, Japanese and Saudi central banks are
saying to the Bushonian cabal, You’ve got to start servicing this debt
because we don’t have the reserves to cover you anymore. We can no
longer make it appear that the debt is being serviced because our own
reserves are so substantively depleted. Therefore you must begin to
cover this debt. If you don’t, then, at some point, we will have to
publicly admit in order to save our own necks — that we were the end
buyers of a lot of stealth debt, a lot of debt that your Treasury
issued illegally and has never serviced. That would then expose the
whole cabal.

The Kissinger-Baker faction are at the top of how this was done on the
economic side of the equation. They were not the original insiders so
much, but the managers of the conspiracy from the U.S. Treasury, to
wit, the U.S. Treasury and Federal Reserve role-play the part.

Take Henry Kissinger. It may not have occurred to anyone why in the
last 3 years Henry Kissinger has been back in Washington more than he
has in the last 30 years. And why are all these quiet meetings in
Washington with alleged senior Bush-Cheney regime officials, as
foreign news services endlessly put it. It’s because Kissinger is the
point man. He’s the one that is telling them the disposition of other
foreign central banks.

Kissinger would probably also be involved in transfer or hypothecation
of any assets from the cabal. In other words, they’re being stolen
from the American people by the Bush-Cheney regime and the Bushonian
Cabal, and they are being used to hypothecate, transfer, service, or
otherwise carry this debt held by certain foreign central banks.

The process of unraveling has already begun because of ever-spiraling
Bushonian budget deficits. The Bush-Cheney regime, even in its overt
policies (now they’re overt political, economic, social and military
policies) is generating $600-billion-plus deficit per year, which is
consuming 80% of the planet’s net savings rate.

It doesn’t have the slack. In other words, it can’t refinance stealth
debt by issuing more stealth debt anymore. Nor can they bleed money
out of the system like they could in the 1980s by hiding it when the
overt policies of the Bush-Cheney regime are already producing a
budget deficit of 6% of Gross Domestic Product. There is no other
mechanism that they could use anymore to hide expansion of debt that
could be used to service said stealth debt, and they are, frankly,
running out of assets that they can steal from the American people.

So the proverbial day of reckoning is coming. The Bush-Cheney regime
(and I give them credit for this) are telling the American people
what’s coming, knowing the American people are too stupid to
understand. They are telling the American people about the re-
institution of the Gold Confiscation Act and the sudden scrapping of
the Treasury’s emergency post-collapse gold note scheme to maintain
domestic liquidity.

David Walker, US Comptroller General and chief of the GAO has said
that should the Bush-Cheney regime be re-ensconced into power and,
hence, the scourge of Bushonomics persist, that the United States
could no longer service its debt beyond 2009. They’re not hiding it
from anybody anymore. They are telling you what’s happening. Now, what
does that mean? The key is in what Walker is saying when he says the
debt can no longer be serviced. I’ve been asked this on the radio
shows. People have noticed what Walker said because he’s out in the
news more often than he used to be. It’s unusual for the Comptroller
General of the United States, which is a rather arcane position, to be
out in the news so much.

It simply means that when he says the United States will no longer be
able to sustain Bushonian budget deficits, he means that by 2009, if
Bush-Cheney have a second term in office, the United States will be
consuming 100% of the planet’s savings rate to finance Bushonian
budget deficits.

Therefore, if the planet can no longer generate any more liquidity to
lend to the United States, one of three things have to happen: A)
There has to be a sudden and dramatic reduction in federal spending.
There are only two places that can come from. There would have to be
an immediate $100-billion cut in defense spending, which would end any
hopes the Republicans had of getting into office for years to come
because it would destroy any confidence the NFWCs (Naïve Flag Waving
Crowd) had in them. Or you would have to scrap the multi-trillion-
dollar Bushonian tax cuts for the Republican rich, something that’s
equally unpalatable.

The other option, B, as Paul O’Neill mentioned, is a dramatic increase
in the rate of federal income taxation from the current nominal rate
of 28% to 65%, which is what the Treasury Department estimated would
be required post-2009 to provide the U.S. Treasury with sufficient
revenues to continue to service debt.

The third option, or C, becomes the declaration of a force majeure on
credit service of U.S. Treasury debt by the United States Treasury,
which is tantamount and would be accurately construed as de facto debt
repudiation by the United States of America.

There are other signs to look for. They’re not going to happen now,
but if Bush-Cheney is re-elected, you’ll begin to see more signs that
the end is coming. I know a lot of people may disagree, but you wait
and see. If Bush-Cheney has a second term, see if they do not
institute some currency expatriation control. See if that doesn’t come
in the way Nixon tried it in May-June of 1971.

In the second term, there will be some sort of currency expatriation
control in the United States, but there will also be loopholes that
will allow the large money to escape. The restrictions will apply to
the 10- and 20-thousand-dollar people. It ain’t going to apply to the
10- and 20-million-dollar people. It would be self-defeating to do
that.

When that day comes, in other words, when the U.S. Treasury declares a
force majeure on debt, it wouldn’t be broad-cast on mainstream media.
There’s no sense because the American people don’t even understand
what it means. But the announcement would actually be put on the
Federal Reserve wire system, which would, of course, immediately be
picked up by all media outlets anyway.

The U.S. Treasury would declare a force majeure on debt after the
Asian and European markets closed, probably at 12:30 p.m. EDT. The
reason why that hour was always selected is because Asian and European
markets close. It’s also the lunch hour for the markets. It’s when
you’re going to have the fewest people on the floor of the exchanges.
That would be the ideal time to make such an announcement.

A few seconds after that announcement was made, all United States
markets, both equities debt and commodities i.e., stock, bonds,
commodities, that have trading collars or permissible daily limits
would all be limit-offered with pools. Limit-offered means that there
are more sellers at the limit i.e., limit down, than there are buyers.

So-called ‘pools’ would immediately begin to form, probably a thousand
contracts every few minutes. ‘Limit-offered with pools’ – this is
trader language. Pools to sell 2,000 lots, 3,000 lots. That means, the
number of sellers over and above the available buyers at the limit-
offered price. That would begin to build.

By 1:00, the news would begin to sink in because it would take awhile
before panic selling would arise from the public. This news is being
released at lunch hour.

A lot of the American people initially would not even understand the
temerity of the news. You would see professional selling first, and as
that professional selling intensified over the afternoon, the SEC, the
CFTC, NASDAQ, and various market regulatory authorities would begin to
institute certain emergency market protocols. This would be the
installation of the so-called ‘declaration of fast market conditions,’
for instance; the declaration of ‘no more stop orders,’ the
declaration of ‘fill at any price,’ etc. in a desperate bid to
maintain liquidity.

That first day, the Dow Jones Industrial Average and related indices
on a percentage basis would lose about 20% of their value by the close
of business that day. The real impact would come overnight when the
American people found out what this was all about and when it was
explained to them.

At 7:30 a.m. EDT, the Tokyo markets would open, and no price would be
affixed for probably three or four hours into the session due to the
avalanche of selling. Once prices were established, the government of
Japan would close all of its financial markets. Europe would not even
open. All European governments would close all capital exchanges the
next day.

The United States would, in order to accommodate global electronic
trading, attempt to open the market on the second day, which they
would do, regardless of price, just to maintain some liquidity. At the
end of Day Two, the Dow Jones and related indices, would have lost two
thirds of their value, and prices would be set accordingly.

On Day Three, the New York Stock Exchange, the SEC and other related
agencies would recommend to the United States Treasury and the Federal
Reserve that all markets be closed. That would be on the morning of
Day Three. Eleven a.m., the Federal Reserve would then order all
domestic banks closed. All of the twelve Federal Reserve district
banks would (30 minutes later) have special U.S. forces parachuted in
and around them to secure whatever gold bullion reserves they had
left.

Day Three, 9:00 p.m., the President of the United States would declare
a state of martial law. All financial transactions would come to an
end. The Treasury would act to formally de-monetize the U.S. dollar
and declare it worthless.

This would be totally unprecedented. In the past, collapses have been
temporary and have been brought back up. But what we’re talking about
now is the end.

These protocols that I’m referring to aren’t even all that secret.
They were publicly available all through the Clinton era. These are
Treasury protocols that were instituted mostly in the late 1970s when
the Treasury and Federal Reserve began to feel that it was important
to have an emergency-collapse protocol in place.

What precipitated the timing of this was the inflationary spiral of
the late 1970s. The U.S. Treasury and the Federal Reserve were both
concerned that this inflationary spiral, which was occurring not only
domestically but globally, might lead to a global, uncontrollable
hyper-inflation that the Federal Reserve or major central banks could
not stop by traditional means, i.e., by raising interest rates and
contracting money supply.

There was also the recognition, of course, that global central reserve
bank bullion inventories had been so depleted over the previous 30
years that any re-institution of a species currency, even on a
temporary basis, and even within a regional or individual nation-state
basis, was no longer possible.

This is an analogy. In a military scenario, it’s like the President of
the United States pushing the final red button — the commit button.
The Treasury Secretary of the United States has a similar mechanism.
It’s called the yellow button, the commit button. The Secretary of
Defense has the same system. This is what happens. Computer program
starts to institute these protocols. Imagine the complexity of trying
the manage all this. I think it’s going to happen all simultaneously.
There are hundreds of different agencies involved, both domestically
and internationally. In order to maintain liquidity for as long as
possible, it has to be extremely well-coordinated, and there must be
existing collapse protocols that can be used.

The reason I was familiar with them was because I used to see the U.S.
Treasury 6900 Series Collapse Protocol, 6903, 6904 there’ll be A, B,
and so on which keyed in to the Department of Defense to be
incorporated within the Department of Defense’s own World War III
scenario and various types of military/ political/ social instability/
war/ pestilence, chaos, etc. scenarios.

All federal agencies had individual collapse protocols that ultimately
got coordinated through the Department of Defense. Obviously, the
Department of Defense would be the ultimate coordinator because it
would need to have special forces available, on a stand-by basis,
ready, that could quickly parachute into areas all over the country,
into the cities particularly, to secure federal properties and assets.

And that’s literally how it would begin. By the end of the third day,
it would be all over — a state of martial law. We’re not talking
about war, now; this is just economic collapse.

There’s no military implication here, no political, no social
implication or policy directive thereunto. This is strictly economic
collapse. By the end of Day Three, effectively, all banks in the world
will be shut down, all paper currencies will become valueless. Martial
law would be declared. There would be no continuing transactions, at
least for a period of time, of commodities. All providers of fuels and
foods would be shut down automatically.

They have this in great detail too. U.S. Department of Defense Special
117th Assault Unit would parachute in to seize control of the cattle
yards in Oklahoma City. This is how well it’s planned. In other words,
economic collapse would automatically involve expansive military
action and control.

By the end of the third day, when you no longer have a domestic medium
of exchange, you have to have secured food and fuel stocks. You’ve got
to have troops that have secured distribution points where there is
food and fuel stocks, warehouses, tanks, etc. Otherwise people are
just going to go get them, and the people have to know that if they
try to go break into that store and steal that loaf of bread, they’re
going to be shot.

Protocols for environmental disasters are called ‘scaling-circle
scenarios.’ ‘Scaling circles’ is a Department of Defense euphemism.
It’s also used in FEMA, OEM and other emergency management services.
In environmental catastrophes, which are going to become national or
global, it’s got to start someplace. It’s going to start in one very
small, specific area. Therefore what happens is that the immediate
force containment is the greatest in the first circle, to try to
contain the spread of the disaster and keep it within that circle.

The environmental problem, to whatever extent it’s possible, before it
spreads, will be neutralized or mitigated, in order to keep that
catastrophe within that circle, or, if it is likely that it is to
escape that circle, to attack whatever it is in such a fashion as to
mitigate its strength and its ability to contaminate or otherwise
affect other areas.

In the case of earthquakes, for instance, affecting the west coast,
beginning at Mt. Rainier and moving southward — that’s a different
type of scenario. That does not include as much Department of Defense
involvement. It includes separate protocols, wherein mostly FEMA and
OEM act as the senior coordinating agencies between municipal, county
and state disaster and containment, which is called Disaster and
Containment Units. Federal troops would only be brought in for the
purposes of maintaining control.

In a military or economic collapse situation, National Guard units
would provide any spare help they could in combating whatever the
problem is. Federal troops would be used in order to have the specific
authority simply to shoot anyone. There are plans for all sorts of
scenarios. The economic-disaster scenario is the one I always found
the most intriguing because it is the one that is least understood by
the American people.

Military control would be necessary when lines begin to form at the
banks, people trying to access their money. But that wasn’t even
anticipated as a big problem. Lines would form at the banks, but it
was not even envisioned until sometime on Day Three because the
American people wouldn’t get it. It would be announced that the stock
markets are down 2000 or 3000 points, and since we’ve always been
taught they’ll come back, the people would still be buying stocks.

You could count on everybody remaining in ignorance all the way down
because the American people have never been taught Economics 101. The
American people wouldn’t realize the full extent of it until the
markets were closed on the third day, or until the time when they went
down to cash a check and the bank was closed with soldiers out in
front. Then they would go down and see the gas station’s closed. They
see the local supermarket has been shuttered, and there’s federal
troops in front of it. Then they might begin to catch on. And remember
— it’s not just federal troops. In emergency-collapse protocols, even
before the declaration of a formal state of emergency or a state of
martial law, the local military authorities within any given county or
jurisdiction have the ability to essentially militarize anyone, that
is, any civilian. This would be more than just deputizing civilians.
It’s federal. In other words, they would have the ability to
militarize and give military authority to a civilian force. This would
include not only police and the sheriffs and state police, but all
local law enforcement that exists below the state level would be
immediately militarized. They wouldn’t take just anybody like they did
in Iraq. It would be like the military when they call for volunteers.
Then they’d have everybody and their brother-in-law volunteering,
waving around the American flag and so on.

You’ve got a lot of pickup-driving guys in this country with the gun
racks in the back and the Confederate flag flying. So you start waving
the American flag in front of their face and say, Hey, you’re going to
get your chance you always wanted — to fit your potbelly inside an
army uniform and carry a gun and shoot people. How appealing would
that be?

And besides, if you do this, then you’re going to get to eat.

In other words, this is how it would unfold over three days, but, in
fact, very few Americans would know what to do about it or how to take
any precautions. They wouldn’t have a clue because they don’t
understand enough about economics to know what is happening. So that’s
what it is — Economic Armageddon. If the Bush-Cheney regime is re-
installed into power, that is effectively what Comptroller General
David Walker is saying.

In conclusion, since there is very little the people of the United
States can do to protect themselves. We’re not going to make any
suggestions of how to protect yourselves because there’s very little
you can do.

We could tell you to go out and buy gold coins and bury them in the
coffee can in the back yard and go to your nearest survivalist store,
but, frankly, that’s useless. In the last analysis, it’s a lot of
hype. There is very little the average US citizen could do.

The only thing that can prevent this, as the Comptroller alluded to
when he was asked by Barbara Walters, How do we prevent reaching the
problem by 2009? He said simply, “A change of regimes.”

So how do you prevent it? Don’t vote for Bush and Cheney — and hope
that Bush does not use his emergency powers to cancel or postpone the
election by edict, powers which you, the flag-waving citizens, have
given him.

All flag-waving citizens, be warned. If you want to vote for Bush-
Cheney again, make sure you got plenty of Spam on hand.

Here’s an interesting and humorous aside. A couple of days ago, Hormel
Foods, which makes Spam, announced that in the last six months there
have been record sales of Spam in the United States the survivalists’
food of choice. After all, they pride themselves on the fact, as the
spokesman for Hormel said, “It is the only food product you can buy
with an expiration that’s 50 years.”

When everything goes to hell, when all that man has created has turned
to dust again, the final legacy is going to be Spam. It will be the
last surviving item — when the anthropologists of 20 thousand years
from now are digging sites and they see these enormous mountains of
unopened cans of Spam They’ll have monuments to the past out of Spam.

So if Bush-Cheney has a second term in office, there will be some sort
of currency restriction, like Nixon did in 1971. On April 13, 2004,
Deputy Assistant Treasury Secretary John Boine talked about potential
currency restrictions. He used the word that’s going to fuel the
flames of the survivalist and gloom-and-doom collapse people.

It’s very, very telling that the U.S. Treasury may institute a
restriction on the amount of U.S. dollars that can be converted into
gold.

Furthermore, he intimated (and I suspected that this was coming,
although this wouldn’t actually become law until Bush-Cheney was in
office for second term one way or another) that the Bush-Cheney regime
determines that the Gold Confiscation Act gives to Treasury the power
for so-called forced disclosure of gold holdings.

I’m not quite sure of the language of the Gold Confiscation Act from
1933. It just says, “compelled”, as in citizens are lawfully compelled
to redeem gold for script. I don’t think there was any such provision,
which he was inferring that there is. That was FDR’s “Raw Deal” of
1934, when people were coerced into giving up their gold. But nowhere
in this act does it specifically authorize the Treasury to mandate
citizens to report their gold holdings. So if this gets any press at
all, particularly within the circles of gold bugs and so on, watch
out.

Furthermore, on Washington Journal they were talking about how FEMA
has recommended to the Office of Homeland Security to have increased
restrictions regarding citizen hoarding of long-term food and fuel
supplies. That’s pretty sinister too.

What they’re talking about is the purchase of long-term so-called
stores of survival food. FEMA was talking about some sort of
restriction preventing people from accumulating food stores; putting
it simply, that’s what it means. The second point was to increase
restrictions that already exist.

FEMA was recommending even tighter restrictions on citizens building
their own private property underground storage tanks for the purposes
of long-term storage of fuel. The real intent of this is is threefold:
a) to restrict citizens’ ability to hoard food; b) restrict citizens’
ability to hoard long-term storage of fuel; c) the forced
identification of citizens to reveal food and fuel stocks they may be
hoarding.

And that, in my opinion, is the real essence. The Bush-Cheney regime
was scared of having the FEMA angle put into the equation because they
knew what it means and how people would interpret it.

They have tried to use environmental legislation to restrict people’s
ability to build fuel storage facilities on their own property — to
get around what the true intent of that was.

But the bigger picture is that if you start to limit citizens’ ability
to hoard fuel and food and shake them up by potential forced
identification of gold holdings or forced redemption.

In other words, what you don’t want is citizens who have the ability
to store a lot of food and fuel and to own gold because they would be
able to resist state control in the future.

You’ve got to have every citizen on a rationing card to control the
civilian population. You can’t have citizens out there hoarding food
and fuel because then people can say to government,”I ain’t taking a
rationing card, baby, with my national ID card. I don’t have to. You
can’t control me through food and fuel and ever-worthless paper
currency.”

I used to make fun of these people. But now, things have come full
circle on this debate. The Bush-Cheney regime is making it
increasingly clear through their small changes in policy. Not a lot of
people monitor these decisions, but I do. And the pattern is becoming
increasingly clear.

In fact, I would believe that those of the survivalist mentality (the
food, fuel, the gold coins in the coffee can in the back yard) people
who think that way will be ultimately vindicated – if George Bush has
a second term in office.

People should quit making fun of them because they would be vindicated
– even though they were all burned out, twenty-dollared to death,
buying books and tapes, and discredited by mainstream media. It may
sound like a hollow victory, but it won’t be a hollow victory for them
– them that’s got the Spam…

‘Greed is Good': The Death of an Economic Religion

‘Greed is Good': The Death of an Economic Religion

The worship of the ‘free market’ model had become a religion that celebrated greed, self-absorption and, at its worst, religious intolerance! If the ‘party is over’, then good riddance! The religion of the ‘free market’ became a vehicle by which the Republican party would bestow legitimacy to bigotry, intolerance and authoritarianism. In defense of its free market religion, the Republican party embraced every lie, every crime, every atrocity, every aggressive war.

Throughout history, nations have gone to war with ‘God on their side’. America’s free market right wing would take the nation to war with ‘unseen forces, an ‘invisible hand’ on ‘our’ side. At home, enemies of the free market religion often found themselves charged by an ‘inquisition’ –the House Un-American Activities Committee.

It was not necessary to espouse Karl Marx to get branded. The mere mention of John Maynard Keynes or Kenneth Galbraith would lose you a public office had you been interested in politics. John F. Kennedy paid with his life for having challenged the ‘free market’ model with regard to Cuba, the Texas Oil Industry, and the FED. It was the religion of the market that demanded not just loyalty but obeisance. In the name of ‘free markets’, freedom itself fell victim to ‘assassination’, the authoritarians remedy of choice.

The US economy became an going ‘scam’ and required a slick, Hollywood ‘star’ cum grandfather figure to sell it, to put a smiley face on it, while making self-absorbed, greedy materialists ‘feel good about themselves’. The Reagan era was summed up in a phrase from the movie ‘Wall Street': GREED IS GOOD!

The model never worked as advertised, though the very astute knew what was happening and supported it. The real effects were papered over. Critics repeatedly warned that only the very, very rich benefited from GOP policies. But as long as the GOP could buy votes with policies that enrich its base, everyone else was effectively disenfranchised and out of luck. Now, it would appear, the GOP is a victim of its own success. If their case that bailout is needed is true as represented, it proves that the GOP was, in fact, interested only in making the rich, even richer while every else fell off the scale. At present, about one percent or less OWNS as much as 99 percent of the wealth in the US.

Republicans benefit from the boom and bust cycle. Wall Insiders have always had the means by which the cycles could be manipulated. It was, of course, a short-sighted strategy that could only succeed in the short term in the attainment of short-sighted objectives. In fact, ‘capitalism’ is endemically flawed.

What I like to say is that Karl Marx was right, socialism works, it is just that he had the wrong species. Why doesn’t it work in humans? Because we have repro­ductive independence, and we get maximum Darwinian fitness by looking after our own survival and having our own offspring. The great success of the social insects is that the success of the indivi­dual genes are invested in the success of the colony as a whole, and especially in the reproduction of the queen, and thus through her the reproduction of new colonies.–Edward O. Wilson, Karl Marx was right, it is just that he had the wrong species

The leadership of the GOP would never tell you that the joy ride could not have lasted forever. Their own ‘fortunes’ were on the line. Everyone, it seems, had bought into the scam and most had made the Faustian bargain.

Capitalism’s representatives argued that the collapse of Stalinism and, with it, the planned economies of Russia, Eastern Europe and elsewhere, left capitalism as the only effective vehicle for delivering goods and services to the peoples of the world. The future was one of endless rises in living standards. –Capitalist crisis: Karl Marx was right

A ‘financial crisis’ will eventually affect the ‘real eocnomy’, the real world. White collar workers, the beneficials of ‘trickle up’ will be among the first to feel the impact of collapse. Already, 63 thousand are out of work, mostly in the financial centers of New York and London. Another 20,000 jobs will vanish within another year. Bureau of Labor Statistics tell the story: during GOP regimes elites grew richer even as most citizens suffered from increased unemployment, weaker currency, and well-timed recessions.

  • Any Democratic President has presided over greater economic growth and job creation than any Republican President since World War II.
  • Job creation was worst under a Republican, Bush Sr, at 0.6% per year; best under a Democrat, Johnson, at 3.8% per year.
  • Economic growth under President Carter was far greater than under Reagan or Bush Sr. In fact, economic growth in general was greater under Johnson, Kennedy, Carter, and Clinton than under Reagan or Bush.
  • The job creation rate under Clinton was 2.4% significantly higher Ronald Reagan’s 2.1% per year.
  • The “top performing Presidents” by this standard, in order from best down, were Johnson, Carter, Clinton, and Kennedy. The “worst” were Nixon, Reagan, Bush, Bush being worst with Reagan in the middle.
  • Half of jobs created under Reagan were in the public sector–some 2 million jobs added to the Federal Bureaucracy.
  • Reagan, though promising to reduce government and spending, tripled the national debt and left huge deficits to his successor.
  • By contrast, most of the jobs created on Clinton’s watch were in the private sector.

To sum up: any Democratic President chosen at random beats any Republican President chosen at random since World War II.

Recriminations –the source of many interesting sidelights –are inevitable whenever any group is forced by circumstance to confront the consequences of its failures. Reagan loyalists, for example, blamed Bush Sr’s much maligned tax hike for the recession which occurred under Bush Sr. Yet, Bush had not signed the tax hike into law until the recession was well underway. The cause of the recession was a huge deficit left Bush by Reagan.

The height of Republican absurdity was the attempt by Republicans to take credit for the Clinton prosperity. We were asked to believe yet another fairy tale that the bad effects of Reagan’s tax cut for the wealthy in 1982 were to be felt in the form of a 16 month recession then, but the “good” effects of the same tax cut were not to be experienced for a full generation later under Clinton!

More recently the demon du jour is ‘terrorism’. Like ‘communism’ in the fifties, ‘terrorism’ became the bogey man upon which the nation’s fears and anxiety were first project and then made real. One is reminded of the fifties’ sci-fi classic, Forbidden Planet, a 20th century retelling of ‘The Tempest’. The monster was of our own making. It was the monster from our ID.

Can that be said of the Bush administration, an internal threat and clearly the greatest threat to civilization and the American way of life since World War II? Many have wondered if Bush, having arrogated unto himself the powers of a dictator, will bother to leave the office he seized in a stolen election that was characterized by violence and fraud.

In May 2007, Bush issued NATIONAL SECURITY PRESIDENTIAL DIRECTIVE/NSPD 51 and HOMELAND SECURITY PRESIDENTIAL DIRECTIVE/HSPD-20. These directives gave Bush the authority to assure the Continuity of the Federal Government in the event of a Catastrophic Emergency that resulted in, among other things, some extraordinary disruption of the economy.Under Presidential Directive/HSPD-20, a single National Continuity Coordinator is responsible for coordinating the development and implementation of Bush’s Federal continuity policies. Currently, the Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism (APHS/CT) is the National Continuity Coordinator.–Adrien Burke, The Party is Over

It’s hard to refute the author who makes the point that Bush has been ‘waiting [for this crisis] for a long time’. McCain appears about to crash, having pinned his hopes upon an airhead who thinks human beings walked with dinosaurs. One should worry! In the past, whenever this mentality was threatened by JFK, MLK, and later RFK, the resort to murder was never improbable ‘coincidences’ they would have us believe. All three men and other besides were murdered because they threatened the Wall Street establishment, the entrenched power and wealth of some one percent of the US population. [See: Inequality in the US and Three Reasons JFK was Murdered].

As the old Soviet Union broke apart, a wall in Berlin was razed, and ‘labor’, long suppressed in the US, found voice in Poland, it was fair to ask: what bogeymen are left that might be exploited by the GOP! The answer was obvious: terrorism! Indeed, terrorism has been worse under every GOP regime at least since Ronald Reagan. FBI stats, published by Brookings, indicate that there were three times as many terrorist attacks against US interests under the regime of Ronald Reagan than under that of Bill Clinton. And more recently, there is probable cause to bring criminal charges against George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Consoleeza Rice, et al in connection with the ‘terrorist attacks’ of 911.

As he did the, the fear that George W. Bush will exploit the financial crisis to consolidate right wing, dictatorial power is real and rational. Already the 1st Brigade Combat Team has been re-assigned to domestic duty. According to the Army Times, it will perform the same duties in the United States –or, as the Times puts it –“at home”.

They may be called upon to help with civil unrest and crowd control or to deal with potentially horrific scenarios such as massive poisoning and chaos in response to a chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear or high-yield explosive, or CBRNE, attack.

The 1st BCT’s soldiers also will learn how to use “the first ever nonlethal package that the Army has fielded,” 1st BCT commander Col. Roger Cloutier said, referring to crowd and traffic control equipment and nonlethal weapons designed to subdue unruly or dangerous individuals without killing them.

“It’s a new modular package of nonlethal capabilities that they’re fielding. They’ve been using pieces of it in Iraq, but this is the first time that these modules were consolidated and this package fielded, and because of this mission we’re undertaking we were the first to get it.”

The package includes equipment to stand up a hasty road block; spike strips for slowing, stopping or controlling traffic; shields and batons; and, beanbag bullets.

“I was the first guy in the brigade to get Tasered,” said Cloutier, describing the experience as “your worst muscle cramp ever — times 10 throughout your whole body.

“I’m not a small guy, I weigh 230 pounds … it put me on my knees in seconds.” –Army Times Brigade homeland tours start Oct. 1

The waging of war against the people, defined by the US Constitution as sovereign, is a case of high treason! But what’s another count when there is probable cause to bring those charges against George W. Bush right now?

The nation’s financial disaster cannot be considered separably from the myriad of crimes, failures and outrages that follow directly from the disastrous GOP stewardship of George W. Bush, clearly the very worst and criminal occupant of that high office since Warren Harding.

Will Bush, the miserable failure, have brought about the end of American capitalism? Certainly! It’s already a done deal. The house of cards has fallen, the Ponzi scheme collapsed. History will record that Bush’s only legacy will turn out to have been a result that he had not sought. The only other alternative is that it had been planned all along and that his legacy will be nothing less than a right wing tyranny ‘justified’ as the ‘response’ to crisis and supported by US troops in American streets.

Indeed, this is the end of American ‘free enterprise’ as we knew it. The ‘party’ is over. In its place come storm troopers and jack booted thugs with whom there is no dissent.

Terrorist State, Abroad and At Home

Terrorist State, Abroad and At Home

Arthur Silber

October 1, 2008

Summarizing the foreign policy views of Barack Obama and of America’s ruling class generally, I wrote the following in May of last year:

As is true with every candidate for national office, Obama regularly proclaims the seriousness and depth of his religious convictions. I had thought that one of the bedrock principles of such convictions was humility, and a recognition of the limits of human knowledge and what ought to be the limits of human action.

But there is nothing remotely humble about any of this at any point, just as there is nothing humble about the prevailing views of the foreign policy establishment. People who hold these beliefs have not one God, but two: a God in Heaven, and a God on Earth. Their God on Earth is America: it is all-powerful and should be so, it is all-knowing, its beneficence alone makes progress and civilization possible, for which mankind should be properly grateful — and its wrath is terrible. They will construct the world in their own image, and nothing and no one will be permitted to oppose them.

The governing class, including the foreign policy establishment, have been convinced of the truth and rightness of this view for over 60 years. This view led us into Korea, into Vietnam, into Latin America, into the interventions of the 1990s, into Afghanistan, into numerous other interventions, and into Iraq. Hillary Clinton believes it, so does Obama, so does Bush. With only one or two exceptions, every national politician believes it.

America is God. God’s Will be done.

My “Dominion Over the World” series analyzes the historical, political and economic roots of the U.S. government’s bipartisan drive to world hegemony. In discussing this program of aggressive, neverending global interventionism, I quoted William Pfaff:

Militarized or otherwise, American policy remains under the influence of an unacknowledged and unjustified utopianism. This is the unanalyzed background to the work of all Washington’s foreign policy agencies. It permeates the rhetoric and thinking of Republicans and Democrats alike. It is the reason Americans can think that history has an ultimate solution, and that the United States is meant to provide it.

It has long been apparent to an honest observer that “utopianism” of this kind is immensely and unforgivably destructive, just as it is obvious that the belief that one person or one nation has the “ultimate solution” constitutes murderous arrogance of the kind we properly associate with the greatest monsters in history. One of the most deeply pathetic aspects of the tragedy of Iraq is that not a single element of this belief system has been dislodged in even the smallest degree. Thus, we continue to hear Obama, along with every other prominent national leader, proclaim: “The American moment has not passed. The American moment is here. And like generations before us, we will seize that moment, and begin the world anew.”

Where it matters, on the ground, the American drive to world hegemony translates into brute force used to make others behave in the manner the U.S. government demands. Such force will often be deployed in the form of economic assistance, but offered only on certain conditions, which therefore more accurately means economic intimidation. On other occasions, the interference becomes harsher, while it is still kept under wraps to some extent: thus, we have numerous covert operations, sometimes used to engineer the overthrow of duly constituted governments. When all else fails, military force will be employed openly and with carefully crafted righteous anger.

It would hardly do for a nation so devoted to its self-image as the noble warrior dedicated only to improving the world and the lives of all its inhabitants to embark on missions of unadorned conquest. In a meretricious, hypocritical tradition going back to a time close to our nation’s origins, our rulers were careful to provoke other countries into making what appeared to be the first move, so that the United States could unapologetically announce that it acted only in self-defense. It was almost always a lie, but a lie most Americans were enthusiastically willing to swallow. Thus, we provoked Mexico into a conflict that constituted “a favor” we offered to that benighted nation — just as the genocide unleashed by the U.S. government in Iraq constituted a benevolent, disinterested gift to more than a million slaughtered Iraqis, and to many more millions made homeless refugees. “Freedom isn’t free,” our viciously stupid propagandists announced to the dead, maimed and displaced Iraqis, neglecting to note that it was beneath our lofty status to inquire whether the gift was desired in the smallest degree, especially when acquired by these methods and with the associated costs. (This assumes that “freedom” was, in fact, the goal, which of course it was not. All of this is propaganda, remember.)

The fundamental lesson is unmistakable, and unmistakably evil in intent and execution (a word made horribly appropriate in more than one sense by our government’s actions): you will do exactly as we say — or else.

It is now critical to note a further implication of this murderous method of dealing with others. Just as it is not possible for an individual to restrict what constitutes a fundamental psychological methodology to only one area of his life, so a ruling class will not employ one approach in foreign policy while dealing with matters of domestic politics in a radically different manner. In any case, the U.S. ruling class never had such a desire: in one way or another, other nations would be made to submit to the demands of the U.S. government — and the same is true for U.S. citizens. The citizens of America will do exactly as the ruling class demands — or else. As far as the ruling class is concerned, you have as little reason to complain as the murdered Iraqis do: the ruling class only wishes to improve your life. The ruling class acts only on your behalf, and “for your own good.”

You now witness these tactics of intimidation and of the most transparently, viciously manipulative fear-mongering deployed by almost every member of the ruling class in connection with the bailout bill. I will not rehearse another time all the reasons this bill will do nothing but hasten the economic destruction of the United States, or why it is supposedly designed to solve a problem that cannot be solved: begin with my most recent essay on this subject, and follow the links (or scroll through the last few weeks of posts) for much more. (In the following, I do not even mention the cruder and more obvious methods of intimidation now so beloved by our government. See an earlier essay — “Obey or Die” –for just one kind of example of what the cruder methods entail.)

The words speak for themselves, but the purpose of these pronouncements should be emphasized: our rulers do not want to scare you to death, although your death would hardly approach a matter of any serious concern for them. While your death is not (necessarily) required, your obedience is. You will obey them — or else.

So we have our president:

After Congress failed to pass a $700 billion financial rescue bill yesterday, President Bush made a plea to Congress Tuesday morning to act now or “the economic damage will be painful and lasting.”

This is the sixth time in the past two weeks President Bush cleared his schedule to make remarks specifically on the economy.

“The reality is that we are in an urgent situation, and the consequences will grow worse each day if we do not act,” he said.

“The dramatic drop in the stock market that we saw yesterday will have a direct impact on the retirement accounts, pension funds, and personal savings of millions of our citizens. And if our nation continues on this course, the economic damage will be painful and lasting.”

We have the Democratic vice presidential candidate:

Biden took a break from debate prep Tuesday to grab lunch at Wilmington’s Charcoal Pit, where he fielded two questions from voters concerned about the nation’s precarious economic situation.

“It’s real trouble,” Biden said of the prospect that the rescue plan might not come through. “What people are going to do if they don’t get this done, people are going to lose their jobs, their pensions.”

We have Barack Obama:

RENO, Nev.—Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama on Tuesday called for Americans to get behind attempts to salvage a $700 billion rescue plan for the financial sector, saying that if Wall Street fails ordinary people will also be hurt.

“This is no longer just a Wall Street crisis. It’s an American crisis, and it’s the American economy that needs this rescue plan,” Obama told about 12,000 people at a rally at the University of Nevada at Reno.

Obama said Congress should put aside politics—he didn’t mention GOP rival John McCain by name during his remarks—and should act quickly on the legislation.

“To the Democrats and Republicans who opposed this plan yesterday, I say: Step up to the plate and do what’s right for this country,” he said. “And to all Americans, I say this: If I am president of the United States, this rescue plan will not be the end of what we do to strengthen this economy. It will only be the beginning.”

Obama said he had talked with Bush, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada and other leaders Tuesday about resurrecting the recovery plan. He also sought to reassure the public, saying the plan had been “misunderstood and poorly communicated.”

“This is not a plan to just hand over $700 billion of your money to a few banks on Wall Street,” the Illinois senator said.

Those last comments from Obama introduce another theme of this propaganda onslaught, one that should be especially offensive to any American who remains capable of thought to any extent at all. That theme is simply this: if you don’t understand why we need to add an incalculable amount to the already monumental national debt, if you fail to grasp why we have to extort money from you to maintain the ruling class in its comfort and affluence, if you don’t see why we need to embark on a plan that cannot possibly do what we say it’s intended to do, while it will cause untold damage in numerous other ways — well, you’re just stupid.

This is a theme that Hillary Clinton is happy to pick up:

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton says the U.S. Senate may have to lead the way in passing a $700 billion Wall Street bailout package, now that the House has rejected the measure.
“I certainly would support the Senate going first, so long as we have the votes … as early as tomorrow if that’s what would make this process successful,” Clinton told reporters by phone Tuesday.

The New York Democrat, who nearly won her party’s presidential nomination, said she believes public opposition to the bailout deal may be weakening after the market reacted badly to the failed House vote Monday and more businesses express worries about the future.

“It sounds dire but there is a risk that commerce could grind to a halt,” she said.

Voters furious over the proposal to have taxpayers foot the bill should understand that it’s not just a problem facing bankers, Clinton said.

“They have to recognize that we are facing a very serious economic slowdown, a recession that could be of long-lasting and deep impact,” she said.

If you don’t “recognize” what Clinton demands you recognize — whether it’s true or not, whether the “solution” she proposes is a solution or more of the poison that is killing us — you’re just stupid.

I have several other news articles offering comments from other members of the ruling class, and I could easily find many, many more, all to the same general effect: be terrified and do what they say. Or else. If you don’t understand the urgency and necessity of doing exactly what they say, you’re just stupid. In that case, you should obviously turn your life and your money over to your betters. Let them dispose of all of it as they see fit. That’s why they’re your rulers, isn’t it? They know what’s best for you.

Do what they demand — or else.

This is your government — a terrorist state, abroad and at home. Now they’ve added you to their list of current targets. How does it feel? (At least, they’re not shooting at you. Not just yet, anyway.)

I fully expect that this bailout/rescue/extortion scheme will be passed in some form close to the original version in its essentials, probably in the next several days, almost certainly in the coming week. The system is now set up so that when the ruling class is particularly intent upon a certain objective, even your obedience isn’t required any longer. After all, what are you going to do? Move to another country? Not vote for any of these bastards in November?

Most Americans won’t do that. They protest now; once the deed is done, they’ll go back to their lives, such as they will be at that point, and devote themselves to making the ruling class more wealthy and more powerful.

To a terrorist government, you’re irrelevant, as irrelevant as a slaughtered five-year-old Iraqi girl. But they’ll continue to try to scare you to death. You’re easier to rule that way.

I suggest you get used to it. This is your future.

At this moment, you might want to reconsider a question I have asked before: Why do you continue to support this kind of system? To the degree you comply with the ruling class’s demands for obedience, you are not merely obeying: you are supporting.

Is that your choice?

FBI Prevents Agents from Telling ‘Truth’ About 9/11 on PBS

The FBI has blocked two of its veteran counterterrorism agents from going public with accusations that the CIA deliberately withheld crucial intelligence before the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.

FBI Special Agents Mark Rossini and Douglas Miller have asked for permission to appear in an upcoming public television documentary, scheduled to air in January, on pre-9/11 rivalries between the CIA, FBI and National Security Agency.

The program is a spin-off from The Shadow Factory: The Ultra-Secret NSA from 9/11 to the Eavesdropping on America, by acclaimed investigative reporter James Bamford, due out in a matter of days.

The FBI denied Rossini and Miller permission to participate in the book or the PBS “NOVA” documentary, which is also being written and produced by Bamford, on grounds that the FBI “doesn’t want to stir up old conflicts with the CIA,” according to multiple reliable sources.

Bamford, contacted by phone, said he could not comment because his publisher has embargoed his new book for release around Oct. 10.

The author of two other ground-breaking books on the NSA, Bamford also said his general policy is not to discuss his negotiations for interviews with intelligence agencies.

Pre-9/11 intelligence mishaps have been generally attributed to bureaucratic screw-ups — a “failure to connect the dots,” exacerbated by spy agency rivalries.

But Rossini and Miller, who were assigned to the CIA-run Counterterrorist Center during the run-up to the 9/11 attacks, are prepared to describe on camera how the CIA blocked them from sharing crucial intelligence with FBI headquarters – and then later pressured them not to tell the truth to investigators.

The first allegation is not entirely new, having been reported by author Lawrence Wright in his 2006 book, The Looming Tower: Al Qaeda and the Road to 9/11, among other places.

But what is new is that Rossini and Miller — who still hold sensitive jobs in the FBI, and are identified here for the first time — are prepared to say publicly that, under pressure from the CIA, they kept the full the truth from the Justice Department’s Inspector General, which looked into the FBI’s handling of pre-9/11 intelligence in 2004.

“There was pressure on people not to disclose what really happened,” said sources close to the IG investigation.

Rossini, in particular, is said to have felt threatened that the CIA would have him prosecuted for violating the Intelligence Identities Protection Act if he told the IG investigators what really happened inside the CTC.

CIA officials were in the room when he and Miller, as well as a sympathetic CIA officer, were questioned.

The IG investigators showed them copies of CTC intelligence reports and e-mails.

But the FBI agents suddenly couldn’t remember details about who said what, or who reported what, to whom, about the presence of two al Qaeda agents in the U.S. prior to the 9/11 attacks,

The IG investigators were suspicious.

Indeed, their report, which used pseudonyms for the CIA and FBI agents its interviewed — Rossini and Miller were called  “Malcolm” and “Dwight,” a CIA analyst was dubbed “Eric” — hinted at a cover-up.

“When we interviewed all of the individuals involved about the CIR [Current Intelligence Report] they asserted that they recalled nothing about it,” it said

The focus of the IG was what the CIA had witheld about the movement of two al Qaeda operatives, Nawaf al-Hazmi and Khalid al-Mihdhar, from Malaysia to the U.S. in early 2000.

Dwight told the OIG that he did not recall being aware of the information about Mihdhar, did not recall drafting the CIR, did not recall whether he drafted the CIR on his own initiative or at the direction of his supervisor, and did not recall any discussions about the reasons for delaying completion and dissemination of the CIR. Malcolm said he did not recall reviewing any of the cable traffic or any information regarding Hazmi and Mihdhar. Eric told the OIG that he did not recall the CIR.

Subsequently, Rossini and Miller were not subpoenaed by the 9/11 Commission to tell what they knew, even though sources say they were eager to do so.

But he and Miller did come clean during an internal FBI investigation, which remains under wraps.

Sources with direct knowledge of the FBI’s internal probe say that the agents provided the bureau with unadulterated versions of their CTC experiences, including orders they were given by the center’s then-Deputy Director, Tom Wilshire, to withhold intelligence about the movement of al Qaeda operatives into the country from the FBI.

When the agents asked permission to tell that same story on television, the FBI initially agreed, but then cancelled at the last moment, two sources involved in the deliberations said, with the explanation that it didn’t want to risk inflaming the CIA.

The FBI’s top spokesman, Assistant Director John Miller, did not address that issue directly.

But he said that the FBI had withheld permission for the agents to be named in various reports on 9/11 intelligence out of security and privacy concerns.

“These questions were examined extensively by several independent agencies and commissions,” he said via e-mail Wednesday.

“It was determined that the two FBI employees would not be named in those reports because they continue to hold sensitive positions in the FBI as well as Privacy Act issues regarding current and former personnel.”

Agent Douglas Miller has said that he doesn’t have “a rational answer” to explain why the CIA blocked him from sharing information with the bureau, particularly a report of such obvious magnitude about al Qaeda operatives in the U.S.  He speculated that CIA officials at the CTC were annoyed that he had encroached on their territory.

A CIA spokesman, Paul Gimigliano, ridiculed the allegations.

“I have every reason–every reason–to believe that’s complete garbage,” he said in a brief telephone interview. “Not only did the 9/11 Commission look at the matter in detail, but former Director George Tenet wrote about it at some length in his book.”

But the Justice Department Inspector general contradicted Tenet’s assertion that the CIA shared its intelligence on al Qaeda operatives in a timely fashion with the FBI.

“We reviewed whether this information was in fact passed to the FBI by the CIA, and based on the evidence, concluded that while the CIA passed some of the information about Mihdhar to the FBI, it did not contemporaneously pass the information about Mihdhar’s U.S. visa to the FBI,” the IG report said.

“We concluded it was not disclosed by the CIA until late August 2001, shortly before the September 11 terrorist attacks.”

Another intelligence source said the CIA feared that if FBI headquarters learned of the suspects’ arrival in the U.S., it would try to arrest them — and bust up a sensitive CIA operation to penetrate al Qaeda.

Mihdhar and Hazmi were plotting an attack outside of the United States, the CIA believed, and wanted the FBI to stay clear of them.

“They said it has nothing to do with the FBI, the next attack will be in Southeast Asia,” said a source familiar with the details. “They said, ‘It’s none of your business.'”

Rossini and other FBI counterterrorism agents were furious, according to a knowledgeable source. The FBI is responsible for investigating domestic-based plots.

“They’re here!” Rossini protested to his CTC bosses. “It is FBI business.”

The IG report criticized Douglas Miller (“Dwight”) for not ignoring CIA objections and sending his crucially important report on Mihdhar to FBI headquarters.

But Miller, who held the relatively low rank of GS-12 at the time, told investigators that it was unthinkable for him to violate the orders of his CTC superiors. He would have been fired, “sent home,” he told them.

Miller would be happy to give CIA officials the benefit of the doubt in a television interview, he has told friends, conceding that there may have been good reasons for their decisions that he was not aware of.

He has described the CTC as place filled with dedicated professionals who were “America’s lowest paid professional workers on an hourly basis,” for all the pressure-packed time they spent trying to detect terrorist plots.

But unless the FBI changes its mind, he’ll have to keep that story to himself.

The CIA and the Culture of Failure

The CIA and the Culture of Failure

“A steady stream of intelligence failures in the 1990s occurred in every facet of CIA activity, from intelligence collection to analysis to counterintelligence to covert action,” writes John Diamond in a new book on “The CIA and the Culture of Failure.”

This is of course well-trodden ground, and the author himself reported many of the underlying episodes for the Associated Press, Chicago Tribune and USA Today.

But Diamond probes beneath the familiar surface of events in an effort to understand the dynamics at work, and to show how individual intelligence failures interacted cumulatively and dialectically to yield the CIA of today.

“The events of the 1990s both stemmed from and led to a steady erosion of intelligence capability, contributing to a series of intelligence lapses and alleged lapses and to a consequent decline of confidence in the intelligence community that left the CIA critically weakened,” he concludes. “These processes fed off and fueled one another, leading to a fatal cycle of error, criticism, overcorrection, distraction, and politicization.”

Diamond writes without identifiable animus towards the CIA, and gives due weight to the agency’s defenders and the critics of its critics. Even on well-rehearsed topics such as the CIA’s failure to anticipate the collapse of the Soviet Union, he adds significant nuance and avoids cliche.

See “The CIA and the Culture of Failure: U.S. Intelligence from the End of the Cold War to the Invasion of Iraq” by John Diamond, Stanford University Press, September 2008.

Neocon “disaster capitalism” in practice

Neocon “disaster capitalism” in practice

By Wayne Madsen


(WMR) — Naomi Klein’s book “The Shock Doctrine,” introduced the notion of “disaster capitalism.” The nation and the world have seen this policy play out in New Orleans in the aftermath of hurricane Katrina and now the Texas coast will experience disaster capitalism in the wake of hurricane Ike. Unscrupulous land speculators will descend on the Texas coast, just as they preyed on New Orleans and vicinity to buy up or just plain steal devastated properties, including public lands, to build upscale developments for the filthy rich.

On September 11, 2008, WMR reported: “WMR has learned from a senior Democratic congressional source that the Bush family, most notably former President George H. W. Bush, is reaping windfall profits from the transfer of title of public federal and state lands to private hands. The elder Bush, according to our sources, has a vested financial interest in land title companies that specialize in the transfer of public lands to private interests. The revelations represent the first evidence that the elder Bush has benefited from the transfer of public lands to private hands in a giant scheme to defraud federal and state governments, as well as the American taxpayers and native Americans. The land-grabbing scheme primarily involves the transfer of federal lands, including Native American lands and national forest system lands, in the Rocky Mountain West, state lands Texas, and both federal and state lands in California, Mississippi, and Florida to private entities. The scheme is also at the center of he scandal surrounding jailed GOP lobbyist Jack Abramoff who conspired to privatize federal lands and assets around the country to benefit his corporate clients.”

WMR also reported that devastating fires in California, either set by arsonists or by the federal government as part of the Healthy Forests Initiative to clear away old trees and brush, were allowed to blaze out of control in order to destroy older homes to make way for new and more expensive dwellings.

WMR has learned of one such example in which the government purposely fanned a forest fire to drive it toward homes. The fire was the 2003 Old Fire in Cedar Glen, California, in the San Bernardino mountains. The fire destroyed 330 homes. An eyewitness reported to WMR that a helicopter purposely used its rotor blades to fan fires up a hill toward homes. The process was repeated three times. The areas selected for destruction are known as “Red Zones.” In the case of the Cedar Glen Old Fire, about three dozen homes were rebuilt. Many homes were originally built for less than $100,000. Insurance policies did not begin to cover the cost of rebuilding at a cost starting at a quarter million dollars. Out-of-town investors began arriving to buy up devastated properties to build expensive “McMansions.” Title transfer companies made a windfall profit, with the Bush family benefiting handsomely from the deal.

WMR’s September 11 report stated: “In 2003, California law enforcement concluded that a number of devastating fires that destroyed 718,000 acres in the state were the result of arson. Some within the Bush administration suggested that ‘Al Qaeda’ terrorists could be behind the blazes. It now appears that it was the Bush administration that was the actual terrorists in carrying out the arson to enrich their friends in the real estate, Indian gambling casino, mining, and other exploitation industries.”

California Republican Representative Jerry Lewis was also reportedly involved in the land scam scheme and is currently under federal investigation for steering earmarks to his friends and family in return for lucrative campaign contributions. In 2003, Lewis was chairman of the powerful House Appropriations Committee. U.S. Attorney Carol Lam was fired by Attorney General Alberto Gonzales as she began to focus in on Lewis’ malfeasance.

San Bernardino Republican County Supervisor Dennis Hansberger also conveniently placed Cedar Glen into a redevelopment agency after the Old Fire in order to develop 4,400 new homes. Hansberger displays the usual thuggish tactics for which the neocon Republican Party has become infamous. In 2007, Hansberger sued a local activist, William Fanning, who registered a website called http://www.dennishansberger.com and used it to expose what he believed were the corrupt practices of Hansberger to benefit his pals and family.

Another player in the land swap scam is powerful California Senate Republican leader Jim Brulte, a close adviser to Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, President George W. Bush, and friend of Karl Rove. Brulte was part of the electricity deregulation scam in California that resulted in Enron’s profiting from usurious electricity rates, a scam that ultimately led to the recall of Democratic Governor Gray Davis and the installation of Schwarzenegger in the governor’s chair in Sacramento.

The person charged with carrying out the Healthy Forests Initiative was Ann Veneman, Secretary of Agriculture under George W. Bush, and a former California Secretary of Food and Agriculture. Veneman was appointed the Executive Director of UNICEF in 2005.

Previously published in the Wayne Madsen Report.

Copyright © 2008 WayneMadenReport.com

Few Americans Back Military Action in Iran

Few Americans Back Military Action in Iran

Angus Reid

REMEMBER A FEW MONTHS AGO THE ISRAELI PRESS CLAIMED THAT 60% SUPPORTED AN IRAN STRIKE?

October 01, 2008

(Angus Reid Global Monitor) – Most adults in the United States believe there is no need to launch military action against Iran right now, according to a poll by CBS News and the New York Times. 61 per cent of respondents believe Iran can be contained with diplomacy, and 20 per cent believe it is not a threat to the U.S. at this time.

Only 10 per cent of respondents consider Iran a threat to the United States that requires military action now.

After being branded as part of an “axis of evil” by U.S. president George W. Bush in January 2002, Iran has contended that its nuclear program aims to produce energy, not weapons. In June 2005, former Tehran mayor Mahmoud Ahmadinejad won Iran’s presidential election in a run-off over Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani with 61.6 per cent of all cast ballots.

In December 2006 and March 2007, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) imposed sanctions against Iran after it failed to stop uranium enrichment—a process needed both to make nuclear weapons and produce electricity.

In October 2007, Bush announced a new set of unilateral sanctions against Iran, which include the designations of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps as a “proliferator of weapons of mass destruction” and of the elite Quds Force as a “supporter of terrorism.” The resolution has significant economic implications for Iran.

On Sept. 23, Ahmadinejad addressed the United Nations (UN) General Assembly, and declared: “American empire in the world is reaching the end of its road, and its next rulers must limit their interference to their own borders. (…) A few bullying powers have sought to put hurdles in the way of the peaceful nuclear activities of the Iranian nation by exerting political and economic pressures against Iran.”

Polling Data

Thinking about Iran, which comes closer to your opinion? Iran is a threat to the United States that requires military action now; Iran is a threat that can be contained with diplomacy now; or Iran is not a threat to the United States at this time.

Sept. 2008 Sept. 2007
Military action 10% 9%
Diplomacy 61% 59%
Not a threat 20% 24%
Unsure 9% 8%

Source: CBS News / New York Times
Methodology: Telephone interviews with 936 American adults, conducted from Sept. 21 to Sept. 24, 2008. Margin of error is 3 per cent.

Does the Bailout Bill Mark the End of America as We Know It?

Does the Bailout Bill Mark the End of America

as We Know It?

by Richard C. Cook

OCTOBER 1, 2008—Tonight the Senate passed the $700 billion Wall Street bailout bill by a vote of 74-25. This follows the rejection of the bill by the House on Monday. In an MSNBC poll, 62 percent of Americans oppose the giveaway, but the lobbyists are doing everything possible to assure the rejection is overturned. According to Bob Borosage, co-director of The Campaign for America ’s Future, House leaders “are bringing in the small business lobby and the banking lobby to buy the twelve Republican votes they need.”

The Senate took up the bill in order to pressure House members who voted against it to change their positions when it returns to a vote on the House floor on Friday. This procedure may be unconstitutional, because revenue bills must originate in the House, but there is no time or political will for anyone to mount a challenge on constitutional grounds. As another means of inducement—or blackmail—the bill includes the repeal of the wildly unjust alternative minimum tax.

Every reputable economist commenting on the bill opposes it, including NYU’s Nouriel Roubini, who says the plan is “totally flawed.” He says the plan is:

“a disgrace: a bailout of reckless bankers, lenders, and investors that provides little direct debt relief to borrowers and financially stressed households and that will come at a very high cost to the US taxpayer.”

My own view is that the plan is worse than that: a crime; grand larceny on a monumental scale.

Here’s why: We know that the debacle started with homeowner defaults on subprime mortgages and that it has now spread to other types of mortgages as foreclosures escalate. We know that the unhealthy use of subprime mortgages started during the Clinton administration, as did the bundling and sale of these mortgages into mortgage-backed securities sold in the financial markets.

What has not been reported is that it had to have been the Bush administration that turned these acts of reckless lending into a national program of mortgage fraud. Soon after George W. Bush became president in 2001, meetings at the White House between Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan and administration officials became more frequent. According to mortgage industry insiders I have interviewed, direction soon began to come down from the banks to mortgage brokers to falsify borrower income information to allow them to qualify for loans that were otherwise out of reach. Someone at a very high level had to start the ball rolling. The banks would not have done it on their own without political clearance. That is not the way the system works.

The FBI has investigations underway to prosecute some of these cases of mortgage fraud. But they are not reaching above the brokers’ level. The FBI is not gaining access—or at least they have not reported it publicly—to information about collusion at the political level or at the level of the banks which provided the leveraged funding for mortgage money.

But at the time the housing bubble was inflating, no one was blowing the whistle. Note that when Secretary of the Treasury Henry Paulson testified before the Senate Banking Committee last week, he said he was shocked to learn when assuming office in June 2006 that no federal agency regulated mortgage lending. Rather this was a task left to the states.

What Paulson did not say was that when the states attempted to intervene, they were blocked by the Treasury Department’s Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. In a February 14 article in the Washington Post written before he resigned due to a sex scandal, New York governor Eliot Spitzer wrote:

In 2003, during the height of the predatory lending crisis, the OCC invoked a clause from the 1863 National Bank Act to issue formal opinions preempting all state predatory lending laws, thereby rendering them inoperative. The OCC also promulgated new rules that prevented states from enforcing any of their own consumer protection laws against national banks. The federal government’s actions were so egregious and so unprecedented that all 50 state attorneys general, and all 50 state banking superintendents, actively fought the new rules. But the unanimous opposition of the 50 states did not deter, or even slow, the Bush administration in its goal of protecting the banks. In fact, when my office opened an investigation of possible discrimination in mortgage lending by a number of banks, the OCC filed a federal lawsuit to stop the investigation.”

Why did the Bush administration do this? The only possible answer is that it had every intention of producing the housing bubble, one that had the effect of not only inflating the cost of homes and real estate but also pumping billions of dollars of borrowed cash into the economy through mortgage and home equity loans.

The bubble enriched huge numbers of executives, managers, and shareholders throughout the financial and real estate industries, and provided jobs to millions of people. The bubble also brought back foreign capital to U.S. markets that had been scared away by the dot.com bust of 2000-2001.

Everyone seemed to benefit, but it was those at the top who skimmed the greatest profits. And for an economy that had already given away millions of its best manufacturing jobs through NAFTA, Most-Favored-Nation trading policies with China , World Trade Organization agreements, etc., the bubble acted as a kind of substitute economic engine.

It also resulted in tax revenues that allowed the Bush administration to implement its 2001 and 2003 tax cuts for the rich and provide funding for the Afghanistan and Iraq wars. Of course these tax revenues were not enough, as the national debt soared to over $9 trillion during the Bush years as well.

Economist Dean Baker of the Center for Economic and Policy Research makes the point:

The near hysterical discussion (count the times ‘Great Depression’ appears in news stories) of the bailout still largely fails to recognize the roots of the economy’s current problems in the collapse of the housing bubble. Much of the discussion assumes that the problem is just bad subprime loans and that house prices will bounce back once the credit markets are working properly.”

The point is critical, because what the Senate and House leaders are telling us, as are President George W. Bush, presidential candidates Barack Obama and John McCain, and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, is that the bailout is to get the American economy moving again. Credit, they say, is the lifeblood of the economy, and without credit no one can make a move.

But credit is the sole lifeblood of the economy only when people are broke. Purchasing power in the U.S. has collapsed, and it will get worse as the recession which has now begun picks up speed.

People can’t get loans, not because the credit markets are stalled, but because they have no savings for down payments and can’t afford to repay what they wish to borrow. If they could repay their loans, plenty of credit would be available. But there is no money—and no savings—within the economy for it to get moving again. The only possible source is more federal borrowing to prime the pump Keynesian-style. That is what the politicians claim the bailout will do. But it won’t.

Then what is happening?

What seems to be happening is that the Bush administration is engineering a massive raid on the Federal treasury to pay off the people within the financial industry who have been operating the housing scam because the politicians told them to do it. This is hush money.

The people in the financial institutions who are getting the money will be passing it on to the big banks that leveraged their criminal lending practices. The giant sucking sound you hear is almost a trillion dollars of future taxpayer earnings going into the vaults of the nations’s biggest banks, such as Citibank, Bank of American, and—the pet bank of the Rockefeller family—J.P. Morgan Chase.

And these banks have no intention of recycling the money into productive investments. Despite the political posturing, where much of the money will go at the second or third tier is into executive salaries and bonuses. The economy is crashing, and the fat cats are “gittin’ out while the gittin’s good.”

What happens next?

Well, it is already happening. In the post-bubble era there will be no more economic engines for the American economy. A long term recession and depression are inevitable, and they are expected by those in the know. In fact, there has been a plan in the works for a very long time to bring down the U.S. economy, and it will be happening over the coming months.

People need to take whatever measures they can to cut their cost of living, get out of debt, and protect themselves and their families.

Copyright 2008 by Richard C. Cook

Richard C. Cook is a former U.S. federal government analyst, whose career included service with the U.S. Civil Service Commission, the Food and Drug Administration, the Carter White House, NASA, and the U.S. Treasury Department. His articles on economics, politics, and space policy have appeared in numerous websites and print magazines. His book on monetary reform, entitled We Hold These Truths: The Hope of Monetary Reform, will soon be published. He is the author of Challenger Revealed: An Insider’s Account of How the Reagan Administration Caused the Greatest Tragedy of the Space Age, called by one reviewer, “the most important spaceflight book of the last twenty years. His website is www.richardccook.com. Comments or requests to be added to his mailing list or to purchase his special report on the 2008 election may be sent to EconomicSanity@gmail.com.