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Judicial Watch Announces List of Washington's "Ten Most Wanted Corrupt Politicians for 2009
January 1, 2010
From Tom Fitton
President Judicial Watch

The following is Judicial Watch's 2009 "top ten" list in alphabetical order:

  1. Senator Christopher Dodd (D-CT): This marks two years in a row for Senator Dodd, who made the 2008 "Ten Most Corrupt" list for his corrupt relationship with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and for accepting preferential treatment and loan terms from Countrywide Financial, a scandal which still dogs him. In 2009, the scandals kept coming for the Connecticut Democrat. In 2009, Judicial Watch filed a Senate ethics complaint against Dodd for undervaluing on his Senate Finan cial Disclosure forms a property he owns in Ireland. Judicial Watch's complaint forced Dodd to amend the forms. However, press reports suggest the property to this day remains undervalued. Judicial Watch also alleges in the complaint that Dodd obtained a sweetheart deal for the property in exchange for his assistance in obtaining a presidential pardon (during the Clinton administration) and other favors for a long-time friend and business associate. The false financial disclosure forms were part of the cover-up. Dodd remains the head the Senate Banking Committee.

  2. Senator John Ensign (R-NV): A number of scandals popped up in 2009 involving public officials who conducted illicit affairs, and then attempted to cover them up with hush payments and favors, an obvious abuse of power. The year's worst offender might just be Nevada Republican Senator John Ensign. Ensign admitted in June to an extramarital affair with the wife of one of his staff members, who then allegedly obtained special favors from the Nevada Republican in exchange for his silence. According to The New York Times: "The Justice Department and the Senate Ethics Committee are expected to conduct preliminary inquiries into whether Senator John Ensign violated federal law or ethics rules as part of an effort to conceal an affair with the wi fe of an aide…" The former staffer, Douglas Hampton, began to lobby Mr. Ensign's office immediately upon leaving his congressional job, despite the fact that he was subject to a one-year lobbying ban. Ensign seems to have ignored the law and allowed Hampton lobbying access to his office as a payment for his silence about the affair. (These are potentially criminal offenses.) It looks as if Ensign misused his public office (and taxpayer resources) to cover up his sexual shenanigans.

  3. Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA): Judicial Watch is investigating a $12 million TARP cash injection provided to the Boston-based OneUnited Bank at the urging of Massachusetts Rep. Barney Frank. As reported in the January 22, 2009, edition of the Wall Street Journal, the Treasury Department indicated it would only provide funds to healthy banks to jump-start lending. Not only was OneUnited Bank in massive financial turmoil, but it was also "under attack from its regulators for allegations of poor lending practices and executive-pay abuses, including owning a Porsche for its executives' use." Rep. Frank admitted he spoke to a "federal regulator," and Treasury granted the funds. (The bank continues to flounder despite Frank's intervention for federal dollars.) Moreover, Judicial Watch uncovered documents in 2009 that showed that members of Congress for years were aware that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were playing fast and loose with accounting issues, risk assessment issues and executive compensation issues, even as liberals led by Rep. Frank continued to block attempts to rein in the two Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs). For example, during a hearing on September 10, 2003 , before the House Committee on Financial Services considering a Bush administration proposal to further regulate Fannie and Freddie, Rep. Frank stated: "I want to begin by saying that I am glad to consider the legislation, but I do not think we are facing any kind of a crisis. That is, in my view, the two Government Sponsored Enterprises we are talking about here, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, are not in a crisis. We have recently had an accounting problem with Freddie Mac that has led to people being dismissed, as appears to be appropriate. I do not think at this point there is a problem with a threat to the Treasury." Frank received $42,350 in campaign contributions from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac between 1989 and 2008. Frank also engaged in a relationship with a Fannie Mae Executive while servi ng on the House Banking Committee, which has jurisdiction over Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

  4. Secretary of Treasury Timothy Geithner: In 2009, Obama Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner admitted that he failed to pay $34,000 in Social Security and Medicare taxes from 2001-2004 on his lucrative salary at the International Monetary Fund (IMF), an organization with 185 member countries that oversees the global financial system. (Did we mention Geithner now runs the IRS?) It wasn't until President Obama tapped Geithner to head the Treasury Department that he paid back most of the money, although the IRS kindly waived the hefty penalties. In March 2009, Geithner also came under fire for his handling of the AIG bonus scandal, where the company used $165 million of its bailout funds to pay out executive bonuses, resulting in a massive public backlash. Of course as h ead of the New York Federal Reserve, Geithner helped craft the AIG deal in September 2008. However, when the AIG scandal broke, Geithner claimed he knew nothing of the bonuses until March 10, 2009. The timing is important. According to CNN: "Although Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner told congressional leaders on Tuesday that he learned of AIG's impending $160 million bonus payments to members of its troubled financial-products unit on March 10, sources tell TIME that the New York Federal Reserve informed Treasury staff that the payments were imminent on Feb. 28. That is ten days before Treasury staffers say they first learned 'full details' of the bonus plan, and three days before the [Obama] Administration launched a new $30 billion infusion of cash for AIG." Thro w in another embarrassing disclosure in 2009 that Geithner employed "household help" ineligible to work in the United States, and it becomes clear why the Treasury Secretary has earned a spot on the "Ten Most Corrupt Politicians in Washington" list.

  5. Attorney General Eric Holder: Tim Geithner can be sure he won't be hounded about his tax-dodging by his colleague Eric Holder, US Attorney General. Judicial Watch strongly opposed Holder because of his terrible ethics record, which includes: obstructing an FBI investigation into the theft of nuclear secrets from Los Alamos Nuclear Laboratory; rejecting multiple requests for an independent counsel to investigate alleged fundraising abuses by then-Vice President Al Gore in the Clinton White House; undermining the criminal investigation of President Clinton by Kenneth Starr in the midst of the Lewinsky investigation; and planning the violent raid to seize then-six-year-old Elian Gonzalez at gunpoint in order to return him t o Castro's Cuba. Moreover, there is his soft record on terrorism. Holder bypassed Justice Department procedures to push through Bill Clinton's scandalous presidential pardons and commutations, including those for 16 members of FALN, a violent Puerto Rican terrorist group that orchestrated approximately 120 bombings in the United States, killing at least six people and permanently maiming dozens of others, including law enforcement officers. His record in the current administration is no better. As he did during the Clinton administration, Holder continues to ignore serious incidents of corruption that could impact his political bosses at the White House. For example, Holder has refused to investigate charges that the Obama political machine traded VIP access to the White House in exchange for campaign contributions—a scheme eerily similar to one hatched by Holder's former boss, Bill Clinton in the 1990s. The Holder Justice Department also came under fire for dropping a voter intimidation case against the New Black Panther Party. On Election Day 2008, Black Panthers dressed in paramilitary garb threatened voters as they approached polling stations. Holder has also failed to initiate a comprehensive Justice investigation of the notorious organization the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN), which is closely tied to President Obama. There were allegedly more than 400,000 fraudulent ACORN voter registrations in the 2008 campaign. And then there were the journalist videos catching ACORN Housing workers advising undercover reporters on how to evade tax, immigration, and child prostitution laws. Holder's controversial decisions on new rights for terrorists and his attacks on previous efforts to combat terrorism remind many of the fact that his former law firm has provided and continues to provide pro bono representation to terrorists at Guantanamo Bay. Holder's politicization of the Justice Department makes one long for the days of Alberto Gonzales.

  6. Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. (D-IL)/ Senator Roland Burris (D-IL): One of the most serious scandals of 2009 involved a scheme by former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich to sell President Obama's then-vacant Senate seat to the highest bidder. Two men caught smack dab in the middle of the scandal: Senator Roland Burris, who ultimately got the job, and Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. According to the Chicago Sun-Times, emissaries for Jesse Jackson Jr., named "Senate Candidate A" in the Blagojevich indictment, reportedly offered $1.5 million to Blagojevich during a fundraiser if he named Jackson Jr. to Obama's seat. Three days later federal authorities arrested Blagojevich. Burris, for his part, apparently lied ab out his contacts with Blagojevich, who was arrested in December 2008 for trying to sell Obama's Senate seat. According to Reuters: "Roland Burris came under fresh scrutiny…after disclosing he tried to raise money for the disgraced former Illinois governor who named him to the U.S. Senate seat once held by President Barack Obama...In the latest of those admissions, Burris said he looked into mounting a fundraiser for Rod Blagojevich—later charged with trying to sell Obama's Senate seat—at the same time he was expressing interest to the then-governor's aides about his desire to be appointed." Burris changed his story five times regarding his contacts with Blagojevich prior to the Illinois governor appointing him to the U.S. Senate. Three of those changing explana tions came under oath.

  7. President Barack Obama: During his presidential campaign, President Obama promised to run an ethical and transparent administration. However, in his first year in office, the President has delivered corruption and secrecy, bringing Chicago-style political corruption to the White House. Consider just a few Obama administration "lowlights" from year one: Even before President Obama was sworn into office, he was interviewed by the FBI for a criminal investigation of former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich's scheme to sell the President's former Senate seat to the highest bidder. (Obama's Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel and slumlord Valerie Jarrett, both from Chicago, are also tangled up in the Blagojevich scandal.) Moreover, the Obama administration made the startling claim that the Privacy Act does not apply to the White House. The Obama White House believes it can violate the privacy rights of American citizens without any legal consequences or accountability. President Obama boldly proclaimed that "transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency," but his administration is addicted to secrecy, stonewalling far too many of Judicial Watch's Freedom of Information Act requests and is refusing to make public White House visitor logs as federal law requires. The Obama administration turned the National E ndowment of the Arts (as well as the agency that runs the AmeriCorps program) into propaganda machines, using tax dollars to persuade "artists" to promote the Obama agenda. According to documents uncovered by Judicial Watch, the idea emerged as a direct result of the Obama campaign and enjoyed White House approval and participation. President Obama has installed a record number of "czars" in positions of power. Too many of these individuals are leftist radicals who answer to no one but the president. And too many of the czars are not subject to Senate confirmation (which raises serious constitutional questions). Under the President's bailout schemes, the federal government continues to appropriate or control—through fiat and threats—large sectors of the private economy, prompting conservative columnist George Will to write: "The administration's central activity—the political allocation of wealth and opportunity—is not merely susceptible to corruption, it is corruption." Government-run healthcare and car companies, White House coercion, uninvestigated ACORN corruption, debasing his office to help Chicago cronies, attacks on conservative media and the private sector, unprecedented and dangerous new rights for terrorists, perks for campaign donors—this is Obama's "ethics" record—and we haven't even gotten through the first year of his presidency.

  8. Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA): At the heart of the corruption problem in Washington is a sense of entitlement. Politicians believe laws and rules (even the U.S. Constitution) apply to the rest of us but not to them. Case in point: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her excessive and boorish demands for military travel. Judicial Watch obtained documents from the Pentagon in 2008 that suggest Pelosi has been treating the Air Force like her own personal airline. These documents, obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, include internal Pentagon email correspondence detailing attempts by Pentagon staff to accommodate Pelosi's numerous requests for military escorts and military aircraft, as well as the speak er's 11th hour cancellations and changes. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi also came under fire in April 2009, when she claimed she was never briefed about the CIA's use of the waterboarding technique during terrorism investigations. The CIA produced a report documenting a briefing with Pelosi on September 4, 2002, that suggests otherwise. Judicial Watch also obtained documents, including a CIA Inspector General report, which further confirmed that Congress was fully briefed on the enhanced interrogation techniques. Aside from her own personal transgressions, Nancy Pelosi has ignored serious incidents of corruption within her own party, including many of the individuals on this list. (See Rangel, Murtha, Jesse Jackson, Jr., etc.)

  9. Rep. John Murtha (D-PA) and the rest of the PMA Seven: Rep. John Murtha made headlines in 2009 for all the wrong reasons. The Pennsylvania congressman is under federal investigation for his corrupt relationship with the now-defunct defense lobbyist PMA Group. PMA, founded by a former Murtha associate, has been the congressman's largest campaign contributor. Since 2002, Murtha has raised $1.7 million from PMA and its clients. And what did PMA and its clients receive from Murtha in return for their generosity? Earmarks—over ten million dollars in earmarks. In fact, even with all of the attention surrounding his alleged influence peddling, Murtha kept at it. Following an FBI raid of PMA's offices earlier in 2009, Murtha continued to seek congressional earmarks for PMA clients, while also hitting them up for campaign contributions. According to The Hill, in April, "Murtha reported receiving contributions from three former PMA clients for whom he requested earmarks in the pending appropriations bills." When it comes to the PMA scandal, Murtha is not alone. As many as six other Members of Congress are currently under scrutiny according to The Washington Post. They include: Peter J. Visclosky (D-IN.), James P. Moran Jr. (D-VA), Norm Dicks (D-WA.), Marcy Kaptur (D-OH), C.W. Bill Young (R-FL.) and Todd Tiahrt (R-KS.). Of course rather than investiga te this serious scandal, according to Roll Call, House Democrats circled the wagons, "cobbling together a defense to offer political cover to their rank and file." The Washington Post also reported in 2009 that Murtha's nephew received $4 million in Defense Department no-bid contracts: "Newly obtained documents...show Robert Murtha mentioning his influential family connection as leverage in his business dealings and holding unusual power with the military."

  10. Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY): Rangel, the man in charge of writing tax policy for the entire country, has yet to adequately explain how he could possibly "forget" to pay taxes on $75,000 in rental income he earned from his off-shore rental property. He also faces allegations that he improperly used his influence to maintain ownership of highly coveted rent-controlled apartments in Harlem, and misused his congressional office to fundraise for his private Rangel Center by preserving a tax loophole for an oil drilling company in exchange for funding. On top of all that, Rangel recently amended his financial disclosure reports, which doubled his reported wealth. (He somehow "forgot" about $1 million in assets.) And what did h e do when the House Ethics Committee started looking into all of this? He apparently resorted to making "campaign contributions" to dig his way out of trouble. According to WCBS TV, a New York CBS affiliate: "The reigning member of Congress' top tax committee is apparently 'wrangling' other politicos to get him out of his own financial and tax troubles...Since ethics probes began last year the 79-year-old congressman has given campaign donations to 119 members of Congress, including three of the five Democrats on the House Ethics Committee who are charged with investigating him." Charlie Rangel should not be allowed to remain in Congress, let alone serve as Chairman of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, and he knows it. That's why he felt the need to disburse campaign contributions to Ethics Committee members and other congressional colleagues.

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PetroChina Wins Approval for $1.8 Billion Acquisition
Bloomberg
Dec. 30

PetroChina Co. won the approval of the Canadian government for its C$1.9 billion ($1.8 billion) bid to buy a stake in two Alberta oil-sands projects, its biggest North American acquisition.

The purchase by China’s largest oil company of a 60 percent share in Athabasca Oil Sands Corp.’s MacKay River and Dover oil- sands projects “is likely to be of net benefit to Canada,” Industry Minister Tony Clement said in a statement yesterday.

Chinese oil companies have spent at least $13 billion on overseas assets since December last year as they take advantage of lower valuations caused by the economic slowdown. PetroChina has said it plans to boost acquisitions after paying at least $3.6 billion this year to buy Singapore Petroleum Corp., a stake in a Nippon Oil Corp. plant and a venture in Kazakhstan.

“Upstream crude oil assets that are for sale are hard to come by now, especially the big ones, so they can try to buy oil-sands projects,” Grace Liu, an analyst with Guotai Junan Securities Co., said by telephone from the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen. “It’s part of their strategy to expand overseas and diversify their portfolio.”

The transaction was initially scheduled to close on Oct. 31 after PetroChina agreed on Aug. 31 to acquire control of the oil-sands projects. Canada was still reviewing the investment, the National Post reported on Dec. 19, citing Clement.

“To successfully compete in a globalized economy, we need to attract international investment, which can create jobs, raise our level of competition, and develop Canada’s long-term economic prospects,” Clement said yesterday.

Company Commitments

As part of the approval, PetroChina committed to invest at least C$250 million in the projects and boost employment over three years, keep a head office for the projects in Alberta for five years and ensure that a majority of the executives working on the projects are Canadian. As well, PetroChina said it will remain publicly traded as long as it controls the projects.

PetroChina has risen 36 percent in Hong Kong trading this year, lagging behind the 49 percent gain in the benchmark Hang Seng Index. The stock fell 1.1 percent to HK$9.24 today.

PetroChina will provide funding for future extractions of oil sands under the deal, Athabasca, a closely held company based in Calgary, said on Aug. 31. PetroChina may deploy methods it has used in northeastern China heavy-oil projects to unlock oil trapped in Alberta sands, Athabasca said.

“Development costs for oil sands are usually high, so it’s hard to tell now the value of the projects,” Liu said.

Expanding Exploration

Liu Weijiang, a Beijing-based spokesman for PetroChina’s parent, China National Petroleum Corp., couldn’t be immediately reached on his office and mobile phones for comment today.

China National Petroleum said on Oct. 19 that PetroChina will focus on expanding exploration and boosting overseas cooperation next year as China’s energy demand rises.

The company said on Sept. 9 that it will receive a $30 billion loan from state-run China Development Bank to fund overseas expansion as China steps up its hunt for oil and gas resources.

Oil consumption in China, the world’s second-biggest energy user, doubled in the last decade to 8 million barrels a day in 2008, according to BP Plc’s Statistical Review.

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U.S. Intelligence found Iran nuke document was forged
By Gareth Porter
Link

WASHINGTON (IPS) - U.S. intelligence has concluded that the document published recently by the Times of London, which purportedly describes an Iranian plan to do experiments on what the newspaper described as a “neutron initiator” for an atomic weapon, is a fabrication, according to a former Central Intelligence Agency official.

Philip Giraldi, who was a CIA counterterrorism official from 1976 to 1992, told IPS that intelligence sources say that the United States had nothing to do with forging the document, and that Israel is the primary suspect. The sources do not rule out a British role in the fabrication, however.

The Times of London story published Dec. 14 did not identify the source of the document. But it quoted “an Asian intelligence source” - a term some news media have used for Israeli intelligence officials - as confirming that his government claims Iran was working on a neutron initiator as recently as 2007.

The story of the purported Iranian document prompted a new round of expressions of U.S. and European support for tougher sanctions against Iran.

U.S. news media reporting has left the impression that U.S. intelligence analysts have not made up their mind about the document’s authenticity, although it has been widely reported that they have now had a full year to assess the issue.

Giraldi’s intelligence sources did not reveal all the reasons that led analysts to conclude that the purported Iran document had been fabricated by a foreign intelligence agency. But their suspicions of fraud were prompted in part by the source of the story, according to Giraldi.

“The Rupert Murdoch chain has been used extensively to publish false intelligence from the Israelis and occasionally from the British government,” Giraldi said.

The Times is part of a Murdoch publishing empire that includes the Sunday Times, Fox News and the New York Post. All Murdoch-owned news media report on Iran with an aggressively pro-Israeli slant.

The document itself also had a number of red flags suggesting possible or likely fraud.

The subject of the two-page document which the Times published in English translation would be highly classified under any state’s security system. Yet there is no confidentiality marking on the document, as can be seen from the photograph of the Farsi-language original published by the Times.

The absence of security markings has been cited by the Iranian ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency, Ali Asghar Soltanieh, as evidence that the “alleged studies” documents, which were supposedly purloined from an alleged Iranian nuclear weapons-related program early in this decade, are forgeries.

The document also lacks any information identifying either the issuing office or the intended recipients. The document refers cryptically to “the Centre”, “the Institute”, “the Committee”, and the “neutron group”.

The document’s extreme vagueness about the institutions does not appear to match the concreteness of the plans, which call for hiring eight individuals for different tasks for very specific numbers of hours for a four-year time frame.

Including security markings and such identifying information in a document increases the likelihood of errors that would give the fraud away.

The absence of any date on the document also conflicts with the specificity of much of the information. The Times reported that unidentified “foreign intelligence agencies” had dated the document to early 2007, but gave no reason for that judgment.

An obvious motive for suggesting the early 2007 date is that it would discredit the U.S. intelligence community’s November 2007 National Intelligence Estimate, which concluded that Iran had no nuclear weapons program.

Discrediting the NIE has been a major objective of the Israeli government for the past two years, and the British and French governments have supported the Israeli effort.

The biggest reason for suspecting that the document is a fraud is its obvious effort to suggest past Iranian experiments related to a neutron initiator. After proposing experiments on detecting pulsed neutrons, the document refers to “locations where such experiments used to be conducted”.

That reference plays to the widespread assumption, which has been embraced by the International Atomic Energy Agency, that Iran had carried out experiments with Polonium-210 in the late 1980s, indicating an interest in neutron initiators. The IAEA referred in reports from 2004 through 2007 to its belief that the experiment with Polonium-210 had potential relevance to making “a neutron initiator in some designs of nuclear weapons”.

The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), the political arm of the terrorist organization Mujahedeen-e Khalq, claimed in February 2005 that Iran’s research with Polonium-210 was continuing and that it was now close to producing a neutron initiator for a nuclear weapon.

Sanger and Broad were so convinced that the Polonium-210 experiments proved Iran’s interest in a neutron initiator that they referred in their story on the leaked document to both the IAEA reports on the experiments in the late 1980s and the claim by NCRI of continuing Iranian work on such a nuclear trigger.

What Sanger and Broad failed to report, however, is that the IAEA has acknowledged that it was mistaken in its earlier assessment that the Polonium-210 experiments were related to a neutron initiator.

After seeing the complete documentation on the original project, including complete copies of the reactor logbook for the entire period, the IAEA concluded in its Feb. 22, 2008 report that Iran’s explanations that the Polonium-210 project was fundamental research with the eventual aim of possible application to radio isotope batteries was “consistent with the Agency’s findings and with other information available to it”.

The IAEA report said the issue of Polonium-210 – and thus the earlier suspicion of an Iranian interest in using it as a neutron initiator for a nuclear weapon - was now considered “no longer outstanding”.

New York Times reporters David Sanger and William J. Broad reported U.S. intelligence officials as saying the intelligence analysts “have yet to authenticate the document”. Sanger and Broad explained the failure to do so, however, as a result of excessive caution left over from the CIA’s having failed to brand as a fabrication the document purporting to show an Iraqi effort to buy uranium in Niger.

The Washington Post’s Joby Warrick dismissed the possibility that the document might be found to be fraudulent. “There is no way to establish the authenticity or original source of the document...,” wrote Warrick.

But the line that the intelligence community had authenticated it evidently reflected the Barack Obama administration’s desire to avoid undercutting a story that supports its efforts to get Russian and Chinese support for tougher sanctions against Iran.

This is not the first time that Giraldi has been tipped off by his intelligence sources on forged documents. Giraldi identified the individual or office responsible for creating the two most notorious forged documents in recent U.S. intelligence history.

In 2005, Giraldi identified Michael Ledeen, the extreme right-wing former consultant to the National Security Council and the Pentagon, as an author of the fabricated letter purporting to show Iraqi interest in purchasing uranium from Niger. That letter was used by the George W. Bush administration to bolster its false case that Saddam Hussein had an active nuclear weapons program.

Giraldi also identified officials in the “Office of Special Plans” who worked under Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Douglas Feith as having forged a letter purportedly written by Hussein’s intelligence director, Tahir Jalail Habbush al-Tikriti, to Hussein himself referring to an Iraqi intelligence operation to arrange for an unidentified shipment from Niger.

Gareth Porter is an investigative historian and journalist specializing in U.S. national security policy. The paperback edition of his latest book, “Perils of Dominance: Imbalance of Power and the Road to War in Vietnam”, was published in 2006

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Putin: Russia to develop offensive weapons to keep balance with U.S.
29 December, 2009
Link

Russia will develop its non-nuclear offensive combat systems in order to keep balance with American plans for an anti-missile shield.

The statement was made by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin on a working visit to the country’s Far East.

“To maintain the power balance while not developing AMD, like the US, we’ll have to develop offensive arms,” – said Putin. “The issues of anti-missile defense and offensive combat systems are interconnected. Even during the cold war the peace was maintained thanks to this balance of power, which includes the correlation of forces between AMD, air defense and offensive arms.”

“If we are not developing AMD, then there’s a threat that when our partners create an umbrella over themselves to protect them against our offensive system, they might feel completely safe. And that might mean that our partners will feel they can do anything they want – the level of aggression in politics and economics will rise right away. The balance will be lost,” he explained.

At the same time, as part of work on the new START, Russia is ready to provide the United States with information on its offensive combat systems in exchange for information on their anti-missile plans.

Putin also noted that the process of negotiations on the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty are going well.

According to Russian PM the rules of arms reduction should be transparent and clear to both sides.

Political analyst Vladimir Kozin said that, at the moment, the balance between strategic defensive and strategic offensive weapons is badly needed.

”Russia never deployed ballistic missile defense outside its territory unlike the United States, while at the same time the United States is fielding an extra ballistic missile defense asset, not only in Asia Pacific, but on European soil as well,” he said.

Full interview video below

http://thetruthnews.info

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Cyber-security chief resigns in protest
Link

Calls consolidation of power in National Security Agency 'bad strategy'

Rod A. Beckstrom has resigned director of the National Cyber Security Center in the Department of Homeland Security.

The official in charge of coordinating the U.S. government’s cyber-security operations has quit, saying the expanding control of the National Security Agency over the nation’s computer security efforts poses “threats to our democratic processes.”

“Even from a security standpoint, it is unwise to hand over the security of all government networks to a single organization,” said Rod A. Beckstrom, the head of the Department of Homeland Security’s National Cyber Security Center (NCSC) when speaking to United Press International.

“If our Founding Fathers were taking part in this debate [about the future organization of the government's cyber-security activities], there is no doubt in my mind they would support a separation of security powers among different [government] organizations, in line with their commitment to checks and balances,” he said.

In a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano last week, Mr. Beckstrom said the NSA “dominates most national cyber efforts” and “effectively controls DHS cyber efforts through detailees, technology insertions and the proposed move” of the NCSC to an NSA facility at the agency’s Fort Meade, Md., headquarters.

“I believe this is a bad strategy on multiple grounds,” Mr. Beckstrom wrote in the letter, a copy of which was obtained by UPI. “The intelligence culture is very different than a network operations or security culture. In addition, threats to our democratic processes are significant if all top-level government network security and monitoring are handled by any one organization.”

Source:
Cyber-security chief resigns in protest
washingtontimes.com

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The Common Denominator
by Walter Burien
12/21/09
Link


Are you ready for the biggest "Ah Ha" moment in your life? Then learn why they do what they do.

 
Learn Government's underlying and primary motive for the actions and decisions that they enact. This applies to the Health Care bill that just passed; financial bailouts that occurred; the price of energy in this country; and the perpetual war that is maintained.
 
There is no gray area here "if" you look and see the reality of the core motive. As has been the case for hundreds of years, if not millenniums, easy money has been a core drive behind the human condition. Guaranteeing a massive profit due to your own actions is a strong driving force no matter who is behind the steering wheel.
 
Per the health care bill that just passed the syndicated media was honest per one disclosure they openly made. That being that the Pharmaceutical Companies profits will soar based on massive increases in drugs prescribed and paid for through tax payer revenue. Additionally that the insurance companies will be a big winner based on reduced liability with taxpayer revenue covering most of the liability. Now this was brought forward by the syndicated media. The common denominator having the most important reality to these statements was intentionally left out. That being: "Who owns the Pharmaceutical Companies and who was the biggest (primary) investor with the insurance companies that would greatly profit?
 
Well, the clear answer to those questions without any question is collective government investments. The health care bill passed guarantees collective government massive profits amounting into trillions of dollars.  Prior to reading  this answer did this thought even cross your mind?  Probably not due to the fact an intentional vacuum, a void in your comprehension was promoted and maintained  DUE TO THE MONEY INVOLVED and the power and control derived therefrom. But, being that the players involved had to keep track of their own transactions a record is there for you to see "if" you know where to look to see.
 
The syndicated media and controlled education is in a 100% symbiotic relationship with the money being generated here so not a word from them. They do what they are paid very well to do and they do an excellent job in which one of those roles is not a peep or word of comprehension towards government's collective takeover and thus maintaining the void of comprehension in the masses due to the money involved AND they know if it was comprehended by the masses it would establish the reality to the masses that all they were told throughout their life's was a lie per the USA being a free country ruled by the people having an elected representative government. That in a closer reality, government in the USA had evolved out of opportunity into a well masked communist country with a strongly entrenched permeated fascist twist.
 
The void maintained here in the masses boiled down to who owns it all by investment.. Collective government smoothly made this transition into complete ownership through networking with private financial associations that kept very low profiles but amassed unequaled power through their membership of thousands of local and federal government accounts. Through this process of organized collective they could target any company; industry group; domestic; or International to take them over by investment.
 
Now most of the masses would say: What? Can't be! I would know about that if it happened! I'm to smart for that to have happen without knowing about it! Well, WRONG and simply it is so DUE TO THE MONEY INVOLVED!
 
Even many of the people on the inside track that were working within this procedure developing the takeover as it took place did not know being that they were dealing with just a few branches or trees in the forest but had no idea as to the collective totals involved. Keep in mind collective government's gross income (Local and Federal) as of 2007 from ALL sources (Investment, Taxation, and Enterprise) amounted to fourteen-trillion dollars for the year and the population's gross income net after taxation was five trillion dollars. [Populations gross income was ten-trillion minus direct and indirect taxation of five-trillion].
 
The few on the top of the heap that did know, knew that silence was truly golden and that the void in comprehension within the masses was imperative to be maintained for them to continue business as usual unabated so massive efforts were made within the syndicated news media; controlled education; political parties to maintain that void. The money involved over the years as it grew allowed for many a skids to be greased and indoctrination of many cooperative paid personal assigned to maintain the void or vacuum of comprehension and illusion as to the life the masses where living whereby they thought they were free but in reality under the yolk of a masterfully presented extortion racket due to the money involved. A racket that was more oppressive then any form of communism, socialist, or fascist government standing alone.
 
The key for the masses to see this and fill the void intentionally created in their comprehension's is to start looking at collective totals. Keep in mind that as of 2009 there are over 184,000 separate local government entities big and small alone in the USA before Federal is accounted for, each with their own investments and separate totals.
 
A few days ago I received a call from a researcher from the state of Washington that wanted to know about the motive behind this Swine Flu vaccine promotion. He wanted to know per the companies that were greatly profiting, what percentage of those companies were owned by collective government. My reply was between 71% to 85% of each company involved was owned through collective stock ownership by government. To qualify my statement I directed him to a source where he could start adding up totals with that source being some of the large local government pension fund holdings.
 
I noted that local government pension funds were set up as "Strictly Participatory" which meant that the local governments owned; controlled; and directed the base equity in those funds and the employees, as if buying a ticket to ride a train had zero (not 1c) ownership, they just had a ticket to ride with set parameters from point A to point B. Local governments set the funds up this way so that they would benefit from the ownership of that equity and have a free hand in developing their own power base derived therefrom.
 
To start I pointed him to one of the largest government funds of many from the State of NY; the listing of investments held by the NY State Retirement Fund in 2006:
 
http://cafr1.com/STATES/NEWYORK/RETIREMENT/NYRINV2006.PDF
 
I was not picking on this one fund, but it was a good reference of a large fund to start with and I noted to him that he could pull up the same from different states and start adding up collective totals from the different reports. So he downloaded this one listing and we looked at ownership of a few companies and a few of them I list here from this one report: Baxter International $105 million; Gilead Sciences Inc $127 million; Roche $87 million, etc., etc. If you look at the profit made it is substantial.
 
In each state there are several large government retirement funds and many small fund sometimes several hundred in a large state. Looking at the big ones will give a representative example. When looking at say fifty or sixty of the large funds the collective totals add up to being evidently clear that the government OWNS these companies by investment.
 
With the thousands of separate government entities networked through a few private associations, they can rule towards policy; price; procedure; and market saturation.
 
This intertwined ownership and the ability to funnel taxpayer funds into these companies guarantees massive profits for the government's investments and creates the ups and downs in any one market as they enter and exit in uniform collective motion. Any other private investors outside of the loop are subject to guess work and luck if they obtain a profit. The only fundamentals at play here is the movement of the large government institutional funds creating the market as they move in and out in concert networked in perfected timing by the private associations that call the shots for them in consult. This gives a new definition to the golden rule: "He who controls the gold makes the rules" and in this case it is: "He who controls the investments makes all the rules"
 
As you start to look at the different international holdings held in these reports, you will see the top four profit makers in order of profits generated are: The Pharmaceutical / Health Care Companies; The Bank / Financial Companies; The Oil / Energy Companies; The War Industry Groups.
 
Government in its collective totals has acquired absolute ownership of these companies through stock; bond; and cash investment in these companies. The private sector ownership in the same is insignificant in comparison. So here we have government determining policy; events; and programs that in all reality guarantees themselves massive profits and in many case bringing forth policy and events that are very counter productive to the general public good and well being. War and Health care costs being perfect examples..
 
One recommendation for you to track down a few of these government investment holding reports is to use Google. As a starter for you per local government retirement funds I list a few at the bottom of this page with the first grouping being links to government Annual Financial Reports (the CAFR) and the second grouping at the bottom being for Government Retirement funds. http://cafr1.com/listings/Listings.html You will note several of the largest funds listed for each state.
 
It is important to realize that as these funds grew over the decades they drove the economy by capitol investment. The power base that was created was unequaled especially when collective totals are amassed, we are talking just from the thousands of separate government retirement funds both  federal and local somewhere between $26 to $28 trillion.
 
Was the general population aware of this? No, they never looked and they were not meant to look due to the money involved.
 
Did most government employees know this? No, and a ditto as stated above..
 
The News covered the Madoff swindle. Well that was pocket change on pocket change compared to the holdings as stated here. Why was Madoff not stopped sooner? He was burning and stealing from the private sector and not government investment funds. If he had played the same game with government investors, he would have been stopped in 1/10th the time.
 
Bottom line of all of the above? TAXATION IS NOT NEEDED! Government took it all over by investment through the use of taxation being funneled through the coffers. Well, they have accomplished the objective of the takeover. The large corporations; banks; insurance companies; many real-estate projects are owned through investment by collective government. The investment return generated therefrom come the year 2001 was greater than ALL taxation collected.
 
Those that have read the writings of CAFR1 for a while know that a new form of government and economy is being presented by CAFR1. An economy that is based not on Cash; Taxation; and Investment, but an economy that is based on Cash and Investment ONLY!  An economy that has a government that is funded by what are called Tax Retirement Funds (TRF) that are established to meet local governments budget requirements whereby taxation is not needed and can be phased out in its entirety. Not reduced but eliminated. The beautiful thing about this is that government in its zeal to take it all over by investment has the standing management teams; structure; and holdings to make this happen at the stroke of a pen. No matter from what direction you look at it from, taxation is extortion and never should have been allowed to take root as it has.
 
Why is the phasing out of taxation and the implementation of the TRFs not happening all across the county and the world at this moment in time? Easy answer there! Easy money and the decades of structure; focus; collusion; intentional non-disclosure, that took place as they (collective government) took it all over by investment. Spoiled children with access to an almost unlimited till do not like to modify their behavior. Especially when they believe they took over the complete show by intentional deception maintained and have amassed massive wealth therefrom.
 
As an end result of the road we all have been on that is why the masses are being stripped piece by piece of freedoms; wealth; and operational unions and the individual is being told for all intents and purposes to shut up; do what you are told; and mind your own business. Arrogance flourishes when massive wealth is created by deception; theft; and extortion as it has within our own government as it has been also within other governments throughout the world and throughout the decades. Government is marketing to the masses that they are broke. Why do they do this? Quite simply; Who looks behind the poor mans house for a tower of gold and riches held...
 
There is no accident that the US has the highest levels of crime; breakup of the family; and drug / alcohol abuse in the world. These factors are VERY profitable to your local governments and especially for the lawyer / attorney complex running the show. That breeding grounds has flourished and exponentially grown as the opportunity to bleed the populace presented itself. It is a scary thought that over 70% of our governors; senators; and congressmen are attorneys. An even more scary thought is that most people that voted for them did not even know the people they voted for were attorneys. When you look at the actions of these elected attorneys, what they are doing is taking all available cash on hand; locking in investment profits; and dotting the I's and crossing the T's to lock in the productivity value of the next five generations.
 
A miraculous awakening needs to take place here to reverse the path we are heading down. It is a very unpleasant path that will lead to our own annihilation in due course. When there is massive wealth as there is in this country, there is the potential for massive orchestrated theft.  Well, it has, is, and will continue to happen if the fundamental structure of things remains the same without true corrective measures to reverse the path we are currently on.
 
The key phrase here is: "capital investment"
 
Government took it all by taking control of the world capital investment. From this point forward if the people revert the growth and use of capital investment to run government through the creation of TRFs then the people may stand a chance of regaining freedom; wealth; and future excellence in their lives. The implementation of the TRFs changes the core underlying motive behind the government controllers from having the people at their disposal to be continuously drained and managed productivity units as livestock in the fields, but in turn under the TRF management principle, the more prosperous the people are the more flourishing the economy is and thus  solid investment returns and more revenue for the local governments. 
 
This gives the top government players a very good incentive to downsize and be as efficient as possible. Additionally it is a win - win for all three power groups: The financial cartels (unequaled capital investment held and growing driving the economy and under their management); The masses (no taxation, smaller government, true ownership of their property; less intrusion by government; better standard of living); and government (steady return coming in from TRFs to operate their budgets from)
 
The new CAFR1 documentary The Only Game in Town - The way our government can be, soon to be released is designed to fill in the void of comprehension inflicted on the masses as to government's take-over of the wealth and more importantly it brings forward the simple steps necessary to correct the situation where taxation is eliminated and the people regain ownership and direct benefit of their own productivity and wealth maintained. A fix that can lead to the proverbial millennium, a thousand years of prosperity for one and all. The TRF is not just for application in the US but is for application worldwide. Anywhere there is taxation the TRF can cancel it out and create a more thriving economy for that country and all that live there..
 
The new documentary maintains a positive tone and I designed it to be understood by the average person, corporate executives, and world leaders. The launch date for release looks like it will be January 10th 2010 or (01/10/10) for those of you that may see a numeric significance in the release date.
 
It is my hope that the documentary will be viewed by millions of people in a very short period of time whereby triggering in the collective consciousness of the people the comprehension that will start an unstoppable tidal wave for implementation of what is presented that puts into motion, venue by venue the application whereby the current path we are walking down fades and a new well lit path emerges.

As the old saying goes: "May the saints be with us" and "Can you feel it now?" or as Bart Simpson would say "Are we there yet, are we there yet", no not yet but getting closer.

///////////////////////////////

Israel Rules

By Paul Craig Roberts 

On Christmas eve when Christians were celebrating the Prince of Peace, the New York Times delivered forth a call for war. “There’s only one way to stop Iran,” declared Alan J. Kuperman, and that is “military air strikes against Iran’s nuclear facilities.” [There’s Only One Way to Stop Iran, December 23, 2009 ]

Kuperman is described as the “director of the Nuclear Proliferation Prevention Program at the University of Texas at Austin,” but his Christmas eve call to war relies on disinformation and contradiction, not on objective scholarly analysis.

For example, Kuperman contradicts the unanimous report of America’s 16 intelligence agencies, the reports of the International Atomic Energy Agency, and Russian intelligence with his claim that Iran has a nuclear weapon program. Astonishingly, it does not occur to Kuperman that readers might wonder how an academic bureaucrat in Austin, Texas, has better information than these authorities.

Kuperman is so determined to damn President Obama’s plan to have other countries enrich Iran’s uranium for Iran’s nuclear energy program and medical isotopes that Kuperman commits astounding blunders. After claiming that Iran has a “bomb program,” Kuperman claims that “Iran’s uranium contains impurities” and that Ahmadinejad’s threat “to enrich uranium domestically to the 20 percent level . . . is a bluff, because even if Iran could further enrich its impure uranium, it lacks the capacity to fabricate the uranium into fuel elements.”

What was the New York Times op ed editor thinking when he approved Kuperman’s article? Iran, Kuperman writes, needs “90 percent enriched uranium” to have weapons-grade material, but cannot reach 20 percent or even make fuel elements for its nuclear energy. So, how is Iran going to produce a bomb? Yet, Kuperman writes that “we have reached the point where air strikes are the only plausible option with any prospect of preventing Iran’s acquisition of nuclear weapons. The sooner the United States takes action, the better.”

It could not be made any clearer that, as with the US invasion of Iraq, a military attack on Iran has nothing to do with weapons of mass destruction. An “Iranian nuke” is just another canard behind which hides an undeclared agenda.

One wonders about Kuperman’s non-proliferation credentials. How does a wanton military attack on a country encourage non-proliferation? Aren’t America’s bullying, threats and acts of war more likely to encourage countries to seek nuclear weapons?

At the end of the first decade of the 21st century, the United States has wars ongoing in Iraq where the ancient Chaldean Christian community was destroyed—not by Saddam Hussein but by the neoconservatives’ illegal invasion of Iraq—in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, and Sudan. The US initiated a war, which it lost, between its puppet ruler in the former Soviet province of Georgia and Russia.

The US, the world’s greatest supporter of terrorism, is the main financier of terrorist groups that stage attacks within Iran, and US money succeeded in financing protests against President Ahmadinejad’s re-election and in dividing the ruling Islamic clerics. It was American money, weapons, and diplomatic cover that enabled the Israeli war crimes against the Lebanese people during 2006 and against Palestinian civilians in Gaza during 2008-2009, crimes documented in the Goldstone Report.

Iran has never interfered in US internal affairs, but the US has a long record of interfering in Iranian affairs. In 1953 the US overthrew Iran’s popular prime minister, Mohammed Mosaddeq and installed a puppet who tortured Iranians who desired political independence.

Despite this and other American offenses against Iran, Ahmadinejad has repeatedly expressed Iran’s interest to be on friendly terms with the United States, only to be repeatedly rebuffed. The US wants war with Iran in order to expand US world hegemony.

One might expect a non-proliferation expert to take history into account, but Kuperman fails to do so. Kuperman also has nothing to say about Israel’s, India’s and Pakistan’s nuclear weapons. Unlike Iran, none of these countries are signatories to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Israel, India, and Pakistan all developed their nuclear weapons in secret, and many experts believe Israel had American help, an act of treason. All three countries have been rewarded by Washington despite their perfidy. Why is Kuperman concerned about Iran, which submits to the IAEA inspections, but is unconcerned with Israel, a country that has never permitted a single inspection?

The answer is that the Israel Lobby, the US military-security complex, and the “Christian” Zionists have succeeded in demonizing Iran. Every real expert knows that an Iranian nuclear weapon would have no function other than deterring an attack on Iran. Ever since the US lost its monopoly on nuclear weapons, after using them offensively and pointlessly against a defeated Japan, nuclear weapons have served no purpose other than deterrence.

The US has no conflicting economic interests with Iran. Iran is simply a supplier of oil, an important one. A US attack on Iran, such as the one advocated by Kuperman, would most likely shut down oil flows to the West through the Strait of Hormuz. This might benefit refiners, who sell gasoline to the West and could charge enormous prices, but no one else would benefit.

Adding to the war cry are congregations of fake Christians. A great number of them, organized by someone’s money under the banner, “Christian Leaders for a Nuclear-free Iran,” has written to Congress demanding sanctions against Iran that amount to an act of war. The roll call  includes the “Christian” Zionist John Hagee, who, according to reports, denigrates Jesus Christ and preaches to his illiterate congregation that it is God’s will for Americans to fight and die for Israel, the oppressor of the Palestinian people.

Among the signatories of the “Christians” demanding an act of war against Iran, are Dr. Pat Robertson, president of Christian Broadcasting Network, Nixon-era criminal Chuck Colson, and Richard Land, president of Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, Southern Baptist Convention. Obviously, for southern Baptists ethics means murdering Islamists, and religious liberty excludes everyone but “Christian” Zionists.

It is a simple matter for an educated person to make fools of these morons who profess to be Christians. However, these morons have vast constituencies numbering in the tens of millions of Americans. There are, in fact, more of them than there are intelligent, informed, moral, and real Christian Americans.

The votes of the morons will prevail.

In the second decade of the 21st century, America’s Zionist wars against Islam will expand. America’s wars in behalf of Israel’s territorial expansion will complete the bankruptcy of America. The Treasury’s bonds to finance the US government’s enormous deficits will lack for buyers. Therefore, the bonds will be monetized by the Federal Reserve. The result will be rising rates of inflation. The inflation will destroy the dollar as world reserve currency, and the US will no longer be able to pay for its imports. Shortages will appear, including food and gasoline, and “Superpower America” will find itself pressed to the wall as a third world country unable to pay its debts.

America has been brought low, both morally and economically, by its obeisance to the Israel Lobby. Even Jimmy Carter, a former President of the United States and Governor of Georgia recently had to apologize to the Israel Lobby for his honest criticisms of Israel’s inhumane treatment of the occupied Palestinians in order for his grandson to be able to run for a seat in the Georgia state senate.

This should tell the macho super-power American tough guys who really runs “their” country.

Paul Craig Roberts [email him] was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury during President Reagan’s first term.  He was Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal.  He has held numerous academic appointments, including the William E. Simon Chair, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Georgetown University, and Senior Research Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University. He was awarded the Legion of Honor by French President Francois Mitterrand. He is the author of Supply-Side Revolution : An Insider's Account of Policymaking in Washington;  Alienation and the Soviet Economy and Meltdown: Inside the Soviet Economy, and is the co-author with Lawrence M. Stratton of The Tyranny of Good Intentions : How Prosecutors and Bureaucrats Are Trampling the Constitution in the Name of Justice. Click here for Peter Brimelow’s Forbes Magazine interview with Roberts about the recent epidemic of prosecutorial misconduct.

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