Friday, January 30, 2009

U.N. crime chief says drug money flowed into banks

The United Nations' crime and drug watchdog has indications that money made in illicit drug trade has been used to keep banks afloat in the global financial crisis, its head was quoted as saying on Sunday.

Vienna-based UNODC Executive Director Antonio Maria Costa said in an interview released by Austrian weekly Profil that drug money often became the only available capital when the crisis spiralled out of control last year.

"In many instances, drug money is currently the only liquid investment capital," Costa was quoted as saying by Profil. "In the second half of 2008, liquidity was the banking system's main problem and hence liquid capital became an important factor."

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France: 'This is one of the biggest days of worker action in the past 20 years'

From French strikes: Violence erupts as thousands gather to protest on 'Black Thursday'

Unions said 2.5 million people took part in dozens of rallies across France, including 300,000 in Paris. Police put the figure at just over a million nationwide.

Full-blooded chants echoed out across the Place de la Bastille in Paris, with the symbol of the French Revolution at the centre of a day of anti-government demonstrations.

Although the interior ministry said that the protesters numbered just over one million, they were the biggest since Mr Sarkozy came to power in 2007 and on a par with the last huge demonstration, in March 2006, which hastened the exit of the prime minister of the time, Dominique de Villepin.

In the Place de la Bastille, booming megaphones mingled with French rock music and barbecue smoke as an ocean of protesters from the public and private sector marched to call on President Sarkozy to do more to protect jobs and wages, and change tack in fighting the economic crisis.

"Sarkozy gives money to the people who created this crisis, but what about the man in the street?" shouted Antoine Laurent, 20, a history student at the Sorbonne University.

Behind him a group chanted: "Stop the sackings, it's not up to workers to pay for bankers."

One banner read: "360 billion euros for banks, and we are keeling over."

Another read: "Hey Sarkozy, now can you see the strike!" This was an allusion to the French president's famous claim last year: "Now when people go on strike, nobody notices."

Hidden bonuses enrich government contractors at taxpayer cost

U.S. Senator Kit Bond shifted in his chair at a 2005 congressional hearing, poised with a question on national security. He turned to Treasury Secretary John Snow, who was seated at a witness table.

Was Snow sure, asked Bond, a Missouri Republican, that a Treasury Department computer on order for $8.9 million would help detect terrorist money laundering?

“Yes, absolutely,” Snow said.

A year later, in July 2006, the U.S. Treasury Department abandoned the project. The computer didn't work. The department had spent $14.7 million -- a 65 percent increase above the original budget -- for nothing.

There was a final ignominy: Under the terms of the contract, Electronic Data Systems Corp., the vendor, collected a bonus of $638,126.

As the federal government's $700 billion bailout of banks sputters, there's an object lesson for the new administration of President Barack Obama: Federal departments, including Treasury itself, routinely squander tens of billions of dollars a year in taxpayer money as they farm out public business to private corporations.

Obama, like presidents before him, said during his bid for the White House that he wanted to curtail waste in government. With contracting, he faces a mismanaged system that accounts for almost 40 cents of every federal dollar spent outside of mandatory obligations such as Social Security and Medicare.

Not Earmarks

When compared with all federal contracting, just a fraction of U.S. spending waste comes from so-called earmarks, which elected officials often criticize as the unnecessary pet projects of politicians.

The “Bridge to Nowhere” in Alaska, for example, had a price tag of $398 million. By contrast, the government spent $368.4 billion on all contracts in 2008, and Republican Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn estimates that about $100 billion of that was wasted.

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New Bush/Rove privilege fight looms

George W. Bush is seeking to extend his sweeping concept of executive privilege into his post-presidency, with the first battle likely to be fought over a renewed demand from House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers that Karl Rove finally testify about the politicization of the Justice Department.

On Monday, Conyers reissued a subpoena for Rove, a former White House deputy chief of staff, to testify before Congress about his role in firing nine federal prosecutors deemed not “loyal Bushies” as well as the controversial prosecution of Alabama's former Democratic Gov. Don Siegelman.

Rove's attorney, Robert Luskin, told the Washington Post that former President Bush recently sent a letter to Rove reasserting executive privilege that would prevent Rove and possibly other ex-White House officials from testifying. It's unknown when Bush sent the letter; Luskin did not return calls or respond to e-mails for further comment about Bush's letter.

However, it does appear that Bush is determined to extend his broad claims of executive privilege beyond his departure from the White House on Jan. 20.

In his last years in office, Bush succeeded in frustrating congressional inquiries by asserting a sweeping interpretation of executive privilege, a tradition that grants some confidentiality for advice between the President and his top aides. Bush expanded the scope of the privilege to include even discussions among his subordinates inside and outside the White House.

In September 2008, U.S. District Judge John Bates rejected Bush's position, saying the concept of blanket executive privilege lacked legal precedent.

“The Executive cannot identify a single judicial opinion that recognizes absolute immunity for senior presidential advisors in this or any other context,” wrote Bates, a Bush appointee. "In fact, there is Supreme Court authority that is all but conclusive on this question and that powerfully suggests that such advisors do not enjoy absolute immunity.”

However, Bush's lawyers appealed Bates's ruling to a Republican-dominated Appeals Court panel in Washington that relied on a technicality – the looming adjournment of the 110th Congress – to declare the issue moot. [See Consortiumnews.com's “GOP Judges Aid White House Cover-up.”]

At the time, Conyers promised not to let the issue drop, and his announcement that he is reissuing the Rove subpoena under the 111th Congress indicates the case may soon return to the federal courts.

“I have said many times that I will carry this investigation forward to its conclusion, whether in Congress or in court,” Conyers said in a prepared statement. “Change has come to Washington, and I hope Karl Rove is ready for it. After two years of stonewalling, it's time for him to talk.”

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Calls to try Bush, Cheney: Will they be heeded?

From Ode to Bush, war criminal

When perceived invasion or violation of "his" private domain, wherever and/or whenever it might occur over some nefarious violation of a spoken or unspoken rule or "natural" law, in the Bush mind, all sensibility is meaningless and no other social rule applies, thus the only one remaining is absolute rule over reason, meanwhile he chews at North Korea, Iran, Afghanistan: the "axis of evil," now excluding his miracle in Iraq.

Using Bill Clinton's moral audacity "because I could," Bush II told ABC's Martha Raddatz, when asked about the lie of al-Qaida in Iraq, when informed that there "were none" there, answered, "Yeah, that's right. So what." Nominally, his answer to every war crime he has committed for the last eight years, remains "so what," indeed. Can he continue that line at the Hague and I.C.C.?

In 2006 after subordinating the U.S. Justice department, and the Supreme Court to his will, Bush II's "war" powers were kept in force to wire tap, and continue torture and ignore the Geneva Convention (rule 3) on that practice, plus the U.S. Congress extended immunity in war crimes to Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and anyone else involved in the false "war on terror," including Congress, and all the above belong in a maximum security prison for life.


From Are We Civilized Enough to Hold Our Leaders Accountable for War Crimes? The World Is Watching

Remarkably, the confirmation of President Obama's Attorney General nominee, Eric Holder, is being held up by Texas Republican Senator John Cornyn, who apparently is unhappy that Holder might actually investigate and prosecute Bush Administration officials who engaged in torture. Aside from this repugnant new Republican embrace of torture (which might be a winning issue for the lunatic fringe of the party and a nice way to further marginalize the GOP), any effort to protect Bush officials from legal responsibility for war crimes, in the long run, will not work.

It is difficult to believe that Eric Holder would agree not to enforce the law, like his recent Republican predecessors. Indeed, if he were to do so, President Obama should withdraw his nomination. But as MSNBC "Countdown" anchor Keith Olbermann stated earlier this week, even if the Obama Administration for whatever reason does not investigate and prosecute these crimes, this still does not mean that the Bush Administration officials who were involved in torture are going to get a pass.

With few exceptions, the discussion about what the Obama Administration will do regarding the torture of detainees during the Bush years has been framed as a domestic matter, and the fate of those involved in torturing has been largely viewed as a question of whether the Department of Justice will take action. In fact, not only is the world watching what the Obama Administration does regarding Bush's torturers, but other countries are very likely to take action if the United States fails to do so.


From Bush, Cheney were lawbreakers

What do we as Americans teach our children, our grandchildren? Well, the lesson of the day is crime pays. Yes, crime definitely pays, 100 percent. If George W. Bush and Dick Cheney walk free into society, then two law breakers are Scot-free. I believe they stand to reap some large and probably secret profits down the line. I hope someone monitors this. I'd expect it wouldn't be out of the question that they will receive quiet bonuses from war and oil related concerns.


From Michael Uhall Jr.: War crime prosecutions needed

It's clear to the sane and the moral that such self-serving hacks as Bush, former Vice President Dick Cheney and former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld are war criminals. European countries already have begun to consider the possible basis for prosecution of Bush, et al., for violations of the United Nations Convention against Torture.

Unfortunately, it seems the Obama administration, in its desperate attempt to transcend partisanship, is willing to brush a few war crimes under the carpet. To quote George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley, "all this talk about civility makes it sound like it's simply uncivil to investigate people for war crimes." But, Turley added, "all they (the Obama administration) have to do is say, 'We're going to allow the law to be enforced.' "

The United States' Secret Shadow Government, A Structural Analysis by Richard Boylan PhD

The secret "shadow" government is the large organisational network which operates alongside the officially elected and appointed government of the United States of America. Just as with the official government, the secret government has functional branches.

Just as with the official government, the Shadow Government has functional branches. However, unlike the official government, the purpose of the non-executive branches of the Shadow Government is simply to distribute various functions, but not to achieve a system of checks and balances, as was supposed to happen constitutionally between the executive, legislative and judicial branches of the U.S. Government. That is because the Shadow Government is a creature of a powerful elite, who need not fear being dominated by an instrument of their own creation.

In the Shadow Government five branches may be identified. These branches are: the Executive Branch, the Intelligence Branch, the War Department, the Weapons Industry Branch, and the Financial Department.

The reporting lines of the Intelligence Branch and the War Department to the Executive Branch are straightforward and obvious. Intelligence exists to provide the Executive Branch with sufficient necessary information to make adequately informed policy decisions. The War Department exists to provide coercive force to carry out Executive policy decisions which could meet with public resistance. The Special Operations units within the Intelligence Branch and War Department exist to carry out policy directives requiring covert action and official deniability.

The Weapons Industry Branch reports to the Executive Branch most often indirectly, through the War Department and/or the Intelligence Branch (for Black Budget weapons systems).

The Financial Department theoretically reports to the Executive Branch for fiscal policy implementation, but de facto also reports directly to the international power brokers who have created the Shadow Government. The Financial Department serves at times directly as their instrument of fiscal policy implementation.

An analysis of the overall purposes of these five branches suggests that the overall purpose of the Shadow Government is to exercise covert control by:

    * Collecting comprehensive institutional and personal information

    * By establishing national and international policy independently of the established Government

    * By developing high-tech arms and equipment, and, with these, establishing small, specialized, highly mobile, elite military units to effect these covert policies, when need arises, without having to rely on the official (and "unreliable") Armed Services, (whose subservience to the Shadow Government is reasonably suspect)

    * By developing an armed capability to repel any threat to the status quo, (including the uncertain ontological, social, and economic impacts of any revelation of the reality of UFO and extraterrestrial presence) through the development of a Star Wars/BMDO ground and space-based surveillance and SDI weapons network

    * By denying information compromising to the Shadow Government from all those outside "need-to-know" policy-making levels

    * By exercising control on the money supply, availability of credit, and the worth of money, through policy decisions made outside of the official Government

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Is the military invading the State Department?

Responding to Dov Zakheim (and Kori Schake), Nick Gvosdev over at The Washington Realist asks a great question:

"I am genuinely interested to know whether there is serious consideration about creating a pipeline that would take retiring active duty military officers who have many of the nation-building skills needed by State--as well as the relevant management experience, and oftentimes language and cultural expertise--and be able to transition them into the Department of State? After years of promises, the civilian response corps that was supposed to be able to step up to the plate has what, a few dozen people assigned to it?"

The answer is, yes, there was serious consideration of this idea, at least during the time I was there. Back in 2005-06, what Nick suggests was pushed and supported by the Policy Planning staff, among others, and seriously considered by Secretary Rice. The Foreign Service, however, hated it for obvious and unfortunate reasons. The thought that some military officer would move laterally into a mid-career diplomatic or civilian post in the State Department, jumping ahead of Foreign Service officers who had served their time stamping visas in Botswana or someplace, was a non-starter for the institutional Foreign Service. And needless to say, no military officer worth a damn would retire after a decade or so in uniform to stamp visas in Botswana with 24-year-olds fresh out of their A-100 class. Sadly, the idea never went anywhere.

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Mysterious prison buses in the desert

Prison buses are driving around empty in the Tucson area.  Are Wackenhut and the DHS preparing for civil unrest?

On a recent visit to Tucson, where I was invited to give a presentation on monetary reform, I was disturbed by a story of strange goings on in the desert. A little over a year ago, it seems, a new industrial facility sprang up on the edge of town. It was in a remote industrial zone and appeared to be a bus depot.  The new enterprise was surrounded by an imposing security fence and bore no outward signs identifying its services.  However, it soon became apparent that the compound was in the business of outfitting a fleet of prison buses. Thirty or so secondhand city buses were being reconfigured with prison bars in the windows and a coat of fresh paint bearing the “Wackenhut G4S” logo on the side.

The new Wackenhut operation is shrouded in mystery.  It has been running its fleet of empty prison buses night and day, apparently logging miles on a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) contract. Multiple buses can be seen driving all over town and even on remote desert back roads.  Oddly, except for the driver and one escort guard seated in front, these buses are always empty.   Wackenhut Services was founded by George Wackenhut in 1954 to provide prison guard services to state and federal governments. Mr. Wackenhut was reported to be something of a brawler himself, having once earned distinction beating up his business partner in a fist fight.  Now owned by the Danish corporation G4S, Wackenhut Services has a sinister reputation for hiring thugs.  It has been said that it's hard to tell which is more dangerous, the prisoners or the guards.

Observers originally thought that the purpose of the new Wackenhut operation was to outfit prison buses to be distributed in other parts of the country. But it soon became apparent that none of the buses was leaving the Tucson depot.  Recently, a passerby observed what appeared to be a training operation there.  In what seemed to be strange activity for 10:30 PM on a Saturday night, the depot yard was fully illuminated, the entire fleet of buses was up and running, and drivers and guards were scrambling around the yard.  The question is, what were they training for?   Wackenhut has never officially announced itself to the community, and the local news media have never mentioned its presence.  Hiring has been discreetly conducted via the Internet, and an apathetic general public has taken little notice. 

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Who killed the electric car?

Greek-Nazi collaboration

From: Axis Occupation of Greece during WWII

General Georgios Tsolakoglou, who had signed the armistice treaty with the Wehrmacht, was appointed as chief of a new Nazi puppet collaborationist regime in Athens. He was succeeded as Prime Minister of Greece by two other prominent Greek collaborators: Konstantinos Logothetopoulos first, and Ioannis Rallis second. The latter was responsible for the creation of the Greek collaborationist Security Battalions. As in other European countries, there were Greeks eager to collaborate with the occupying force. Some because they shared the National Socialist ideology (for instance members of ultra-nationalist political factions and parties), others because of extreme anti-Communism, and others because of opportunistic advancement. The Germans were also eager to find support from the ideologically-similar Greeks, and helped Greek fascist organizations such as the infamous EEE (Ethniki Enosis Ellas), the EKK (Ethnikon Kyriarchon Kratos), the Greek National Socialist Party (Elliniko Ethnikososialistiko Komma, EEK) led by George S. Mercouris and other minor pro-Nazi, fascist or anti-Semitic organizations such as the ESPO (Hellenic Socialist Patriotic Organization) or the Sidira Eirini ("Iron Peace").  

In Nazi ideology, the Greeks were regarded as a German-friendly nation and were above Slavs in their racial scale. Hitler admired the ancient Greek civilization, the Spartan model and Hellenic classicism, which inspired many building and artistics endeavours in Nazi Germany. Hitler had no plans to occupy Greece either, and also resisted to Italy's plans to invade Greece, which in the end was for this reason enacted without Mussolini consulting Hitler. Also the fact that Greece in the 1930s had a fascist regime leaded by the germanophile Ioannis Metaxas placed Greece on Hitler's list of potentially friendly nations. Furthermore, the Italians' failure to conquer Greece after their October 28, 1940 ultimatum and attack gained the Greeks the respect of Germany. For this reason Hitler ordered the Wehrmacht not to take Greek prisoners and allowed them to carry weapons, something no other defeated army was allowed to.

The Greek influence on the Seattle riots

NATO and Greece, Clinton's visit

27 November 1999

EYEWITNESS ACCOUNT from INTERNATIONAL ACTION CENTER staff member reporting from ATHENS, GREECE

ATHENS, Greece--Bill Clinton arrived in Greece Nov. 19 like a thief in the night. His motorcade moved down darkened boulevards carefully cleared of people. Armies of police guarded him against any contact with ordinary Greeks. But the voice of the people could not be silenced.

While the U.S. president wined and dined with Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis, police loosed barrages of tear gas against thousands of workers, students and retirees trying to march to the U.S. Embassy. Among those gassed were elderly veterans of the Greek anti-Nazi resistance in World War II.

Despite the gas and repeated police attacks, protesters regrouped again and again and marched through downtown Athens to the city's central Omonia Square. Over 80 people were arrested, many of them at pharmacies where they had gone for medical aid. As of this writing, they are still being held.

In the aftermath of the protest, the Greek government has mounted a violence-baiting campaign against the Greek Committee for Peace and the Communist Party of Greece (KKE), which was a major force in the demonstration. But it was the state and its heavily armed police that unleashed the violence that night.

CLINTON LEAVES TRAIL OF REPRESSION

The media have played up Clinton's carefully scripted comment about the "right to protest as long as it's peaceful." But at every stop on his Balkan tour, protests have been met with fascist-like violence.

While he was in Turkey, police beat and arrested hundreds of protesters in Ankara, the capital. They had not been released as of Nov. 22.

In Sofia, Bulgaria, where Clinton went after leaving Athens, protests were also banned and over 100 people arrested. Blagoesta Doncheva, a former anti-communist "dissident" who has written eloquently about the Bulgarian people's suffering under the new capitalist regime, including a recent op-ed piece for the New York Times, was thrown into a mental ward.

Clinton will also visit the NATO-occupied Yugoslav province of Kosovo. There, Serbs, Roma people, Turks and other minorities are being systematically murdered and driven from their homes by NATO- sponsored gangs, even as the imperialist occupiers claim to be combating national oppression.

LONG HISTORY OF GREEK RESISTANCE

In Greece, too, the regime tried to stifle protest. In the week before Clinton's arrival, a masked gang attacked a Communist Party neighborhood office in Athens, beating three people. Another KKE office was firebombed. Officials and the media also created a climate of fear with constant warnings about violence. But their efforts at intimidation failed.

The Greek people hate NATO. Nearly 700,000 Greeks were murdered by Nazi occupiers during World War II. When the Communist-led Greek resistance, in alliance with Yugoslav and Albanian partisans, succeeded in driving Hitler's armies out of the Balkans, the imperialists feared a revolution and sent British troops to occupy the country.

Britain, a supposed ally, imposed on Greece a regime of Nazi collaborators headed by a hated royal family that had spent the war under British protection. In 1948 and 1949, tens of thousands of Greek anti-Nazi fighters were murdered, imprisoned or driven into exile by mercenary forces armed, trained and financed by the U.S. and British imperialist governments.

The Truman administration created NATO in conjunction with this war against Greece. The U.S. military's first use of napalm bombs was against Greek villages. U.S. planes also bombed Yugoslavia in this period. Over 100,000 anti-Nazi fighters were held in concentration camps for the next 20 years.

In 1967, when the Greek left had regained its strength, Greece's NATO military carried out a coup. Col. George Papadopoulos, leader of the fascist junta that would rule the country for the next seven years, was on the direct payroll of the CIA. This was finally revealed by the New York Times in 1976.

Fascist terror did not crush the people's resistance. On Nov. 17, 1973, tens of thousands of university students defied tanks and guns to challenge the junta, which fell the following year.

That same spirit was very much alive in the streets of Athens and other Greek cities before and during Clinton's visit.

10,000 ACCUSE U.S./NATO OF WAR CRIMES

On Nov. 8, 10,000 people had stood in the rain in Athens's Constitution Square for a mass trial of the U.S. president and other NATO leaders. The judges were 20 justices of the Council of State-- the Greek Supreme Court. Famous entertainers served as other officers of the court.

Clinton had ignored a subpoena delivered to the U.S. Embassy a week earlier by a march of several thousand people.

After hours of eyewitness testimony about the U.S. bombing of Yugoslavia, the presiding judge asked if Clinton were guilty of war crimes. The entire crowd responded "Guilty!"

On Nov. 17, the anniversary of the 1973 student uprising, tens of thousands of marchers, mostly youth, filed past the U.S. Embassy. They loudly denounced Clinton as the butcher of the Balkans, called for an end to NATO and demanded that the U.S. military get its bases out of Greece and its troops out of Yugoslavia. The march was organized by the communists, but even youth from PASOK, the social-democratic governing party, felt compelled to join.

And then on Nov. 19, the night of Clinton's arrival, tens of thousands of protesters, many waving red flags, gathered in three squares in downtown Athens in defiance of a police ban.

The main rally, in Constitution Square, was opened by Bill Doares of the International Action Center. Doares saluted the Greek people's history of resistance to fascism and war and their solidarity with the people of Yugoslavia.

"The profits of Wall Street depend on wars of destruction," he said, "and only mass action can stop the Pentagon's drive toward new and bigger wars. In this great task, the Greek people are leading the way." Doares also condemned Clinton's hypocrisy in preaching about "human rights" when the "U.S. has more people in prison than any other country--70 percent are Black and Latin--and the biggest companies profit off their slave labor." He drew loud applause when he called for international action to stop the execution of U.S. political prisoner Mumia Abu- Jamal. Pictures of Mumia dotted the crowd.

The main speaker was Athanasios Pafilis, General Secretary of the Greek Committee for International Peace. Pafilis condemned the "stability pact" signed at the conference of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe in Istanbul. The pact asserts the "right" of the U.S. and NATO to intervene in any country where they deem there are "human rights violations."

Pafilis spoke of the long and bloody history of U.S. intervention in Greece and honored some of the country's anti-fascist martyrs, including Grigoris Lambrakis, a vice president of the Peace Committee, who was assassinated in 1963.

Pafilis asserted that the police had no right to stop the people of Greece from marching in protest down their own streets.

At 6:30 p.m., the moment Clinton's plane touched down, the minister of public order still refused to allow a march. The lead contingent of the demonstration, made up of construction workers and shipbuilders, then forced its way through police lines. The authorities responded with volleys of gas bombs.

Despite the police attack and arrests, the Greek people's opposition to NATO and the Pentagon's war plans was heard around the world. [Note: The U.S. media have minimized this extremely important political development, but the demonstrations were top news in Europe.]

Clinton came to Greece from Turkey, where he had dominated the conference of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. Why the United States, which is not part of Europe, should have been there at all the president did not explain. But the reason is clearly that the continent is under U.S. military occupation. NATO is the justification for this relationship.

At a press conference, Clinton appealed to Greece's elite with visions of a partnership with U.S. corporations in robbing the rest of the Balkans. But for the Greek people, U.S. military and economic domination has meant high prices and a 13-percent unemployment rate.

It also means a $2-billion military budget, much of which is spent on U.S. arms. The Nov. 21 International Herald Tribune admitted that military spending "exacts a heavy toll" on the Greek economy.

Clinton admitted that 94 percent of the Greek people opposed NATO and the war against Yugoslavia. He said that was "an example of democracy." He didn't explain why it was democratic for the U.S. to impose its war policies on Greece despite this overwhelming opposition.

Clinton also made the amazing statement that "southeast Europe is undivided and at peace for the first time in 50 years." Only a few months ago the U.S. launched the first war this region has seen since Washington's 1948 intervention in Greece.

Filip Karamalis, a young worker who took part in the Nov. 19 protests, told this writer, "U.S. imperialism will not pass. We shall stand fighting. All the Greek people are against NATO, against the European Union and U.S. policy. Clinton is trying to act like Hitler. But Hitler could not conquer the Balkans and neither will NATO."

International Action Center.

~ Peace Movement Aotearoa ~

Our Nazi allies

A German amateur investigator finds information on the U.S. government's friendly dealings with war criminals. Meanwhile, the FBI and CIA guard their records.

By Ken Silverstein

May 3, 2000 | WASHINGTON -- Dieter Maier, an amateur investigator working from his home on the outskirts of Frankfurt, Germany, has uncanny luck finding out about U.S. ties to the Nazis.

For the past 20 years, Maier has been filing a steady stream of requests for information to a variety of U.S. government agencies, largely for the existential pleasure of historical inquiry, and also out of a fear of a rebirth of Nazism, fascism and racism in Germany. The more he knows about the past, he says, the better prepared he is to deal with the future and present.

What is most startling about Maier's success, however, is that he appears to have had an easier time finding information on U.S. collaboration with Nazis after World War II than a committee appointed by Congress to extract the same controversial data.

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'A close and often ignored relationship between fascism and capitalism'

Capitalism, Fascism and World War 2

by Gary Sudborough
September 22, 2002
IconoclastGS@aol.com

The relationship of fascism and capitalism as illustrated by the events of World War 2

Most Americans know enough about the Nazi holocaust to thoroughly despise the horrible events that occurred- the torture, executions, concentration camps, forced starvation, gas chambers and the attempted extermination of the Jews. I wonder what Americans would think if they knew that the part of this Nazi terror apparatus which operated on the Russian front was incorporated into the CIA after World War 2. The Nazi SS officer was Reinhard Gehlen, and he and his group were employed by the CIA for their knowledge of the Soviet Union. The SS death squads that followed the German advance into the Soviet Union were very brutal, killing any communists and Jews they found. The CIA used Nazi war criminals like Klaus Barbie, Walter Rauff, Otto Skorzeny and others in South America to impart their knowledge of torture techniques and concentration camps to the police and militaries there. Klaus Barbie was involved in the 1980 Bolivian coup known as the "cocaine coup" that is described in former DEA agent Michael Levine's book The Big White Lie.

There is a close and often ignored relationship between fascism and capitalism. German corporations financed Hitler's rise to power and were rewarded by slave labor. Krupp, I.G. Farben and other corporations used Jewish and Slavic slave labor. Alfred Krupp called girl babies born to his slaves "useless feeders" because they were not as strong a potential worker as were boy babies. These girl babies were gassed.

American corporations invested heavily in Nazi Germany, and many like General Motors and Ford had factories there, which also used slave labor and produced war materials for the Nazis. US corporate investment in Germany accelerated rapidly after Hitler came to power. Investment increased 48.5% between 1929 and 1940, while declining in the rest of continental Europe. American bombers deliberately avoided hitting these US factories, and they received compensation from the American taxpayer for any damage after the war. US oil companies sold oil to the Nazis and oil on credit to the fascists in Spain.

Many American capitalists were openly sympathetic to the Nazis. Henry Ford wrote a book called The International Jew: The World's Foremost Problem, and he is mentioned in Mein Kampf. James Mooney, the General Motors executive in charge of European operations, was awarded the Order of Merit of the Golden Eagle by Adolph Hitler. There were op-ed pieces by Nazis like Hermann Goehring in Hearst newspapers in the United States.

The Nazis broke unions, lowered wages, abolished overtime pay, decreased business taxes and increased business subsidies. Their program bears a strong resemblance to the Republican agenda in this country.

The CIA was very concerned about the survival of capitalism in Europe after World War 2 because the anti-Nazi resistance movements in many countries like France, Italy and Greece were led by communists and socialists. Therefore, many bankers, industrialists, judges, lawyers, educators, etc. who were fascists were put back in power because they were the most virulently anti-Communist. Britain even invaded Greece to fight the Greek communists, who had driven the Nazis from their country, and the United States later took over with massive military aid to Greek fascists and former Nazi collaborators. The Italian Communist Party was poised to win postwar elections in Italy. Consequently, the CIA mounted a huge disinformation campaign there and gave millions of dollars to opposition parties.

I have a theory that World War 2 in Europe was at least in part the second attempt to destroy socialism in the Soviet Union. After the Bolshevik revolution, every capitalist nation on Earth invaded Russia in an unsuccessful attempt to destroy this alternative to capitalism. Then, there was a wave of repression against leftists in the capitalist countries. In the United States the IWW was destroyed, socialists like Eugene Debs were imprisoned, and anarchists like Emma Goldman were arrested and deported. Other anarchists like Sacco and Vanzetti were framed and executed.

Although the Nazis attacked other capitalist countries, the focus of their military onslaught was the Soviet Union. Over 80% of German casualties took place on the Russian front, and the vast majority of their military forces were located there. The Nazis lost 300,000 men at Stalingrad alone. The United States stayed out of the war for three long years as Russia bore the brunt of the fascist attack and only entered as Russian forces were driving the Germans rapidly back toward Berlin. American policymakers had to be worried that all of Europe would go communist.

Mussolini said that fascism is corporatism, but I think that is much too mild a description. Fascism is essentially corporate power coming down with a vengeance on the heads of working people, although fascists often mask their real agenda with some populist rhetoric and even call their parties things like National Socialist, etc. I maintain that what we have in most countries of the world today is really fascism, but fascism cloaked in a facade of democracy and supported by an extremely efficient propaganda system. Bertram Gross wrote a book called Friendly Fascism, but I think with George W. Bush in power, it is getting less friendly by the minute.

The ideas I have expressed in this article are so startling to most Americans that I need to give references: The Arms of Krupp by William Manchester, Understanding the F-Word by David McGowan, The Splendid Blond Beast by Christopher Simpson and Turning the Tide by Noam Chomsky.

~ Source: Third World Traveler ~

Statewatch "wins" complaint against European Commission over its failure to maintain proper public register of documents

Today (29 January 2009) the European Ombudsman: Press release:The European Ombudsman criticises Commission for inadequate register of documents (pdf):

"The European Ombudsman, P. Nikiforos Diamandouros, has urged the European Commission to set up a comprehensive register of the documents it produces or receives. This follows a complaint from the British NGO, Statewatch, about the Commission's failure to register the vast majority of its documents. According to the Commission, the establishment of a comprehensive register is impossible at this point in time, mainly because of the use of incompatible registers in its different departments. The Ombudsman was unconvinced. He considered the Commission's failure to comply with the legal obligation to establish such a register to constitute maladministration."

On 14 January 2009 the European Parliament adopted a strong Resolution: Resolution on public access to European Parliament, Council and Commission documents (implementation of Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001): Rapporteur: Marco Cappato (pdf):

"Urges the Commission to follow the recommendation of the European Ombudsman (Complaint 3208/2006/GG) on the Commission register as regards its obligation to "include references to all documents within the meaning of Article 3(a) that are in its possession in the register foreseen by Article 11 of [Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001], to the extent that this has not yet been done"


More than two years ago Statewatch lodged a complaint with the European Ombudsman against the European Commission for its failure to maintain a proper register of documents, produced and received, under Article 11 of the Regulation on public access to EU documents (1049/2001).

Statewatch said that under the Regulation all "documents" as defined in Article 3.a. had to be listed on the Commission's public register of documents (Article 11) "without delay" and that they had failed to do since June 2002 (when the register became mandatory under Article 11). And further that its failure to comply meant that only a "fraction" of the documents covered were listed on the register.

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Revealed: Day the banks were just three hours from collapse

Britain was just three hours away from going bust last year after a secret run on the banks, one of Gordon Brown's Ministers has revealed.

City Minister Paul Myners disclosed that on Friday, October 10, the country was 'very close' to a complete banking collapse after 'major depositors' attempted to withdraw their money en masse.

The Mail on Sunday has been told that the Treasury was preparing for the banks to shut their doors to all customers, terminate electronic transfers and even block hole-in-the-wall cash withdrawals.

Only frantic behind-the-scenes efforts averted financial meltdown.

If the moves had failed, Mr Brown would have been forced to announce that the Government was nationalising the entire financial system and guaranteeing all deposits.

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