Tag Archives: Obama

I voted for a drone killer for you to be happy

 

Not a recently released YouTube big score video. It does not predict any planet alignement for tomorrow the 21st. The 21 st was meant to be a cultural shift not an earthenly destruction. Yet some in the Bollywood profited from the people’s fear of the unknown.Shame on them. They made this chinese girl go into shock and stab ppl..So what do you really think of 2012 the tomorrow ?? the 21 st of december? the equinox? The everything and its theories?

Will tell you what to think: instead of building shelters and buying candles for the 3-days BS darkness you should be all be aware of the REAL darkness surrounding you and thats your and mine and everyone’s governments.So yes this is my top video. If it were yours too,this world would have been a better place

Never forget that whenever you throw the ballot in the darn slot you are voting for my future as well My kids future,your kids and everyones kids. Because I never wanted Obama to be re-elected nor i believed in Romney and all that  PR BS but you did

 

If tomorrow you were to die ,what would you say to your kids? That I voted for a drone killer for you to be happy??

 

My kindest regards and a happy new “fear”

 

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Barack Obama,the Killer Companies and the Temple of Doom

 

By Amy Goodman with Denis Moynihan [source]

If a volcano kills civilians in Indonesia, it’s news. When the government does the killing, sadly, it’s just business as usual, especially if an American president tacitly endorses the killing, as President Barack Obama just did with his visit to Indonesia.

As the people around Mount Merapi dig out of the ash following a series of eruptions that have left more than 150 dead, a darker cloud now hangs over Indonesia in the form of renewed U.S. support for the country’s notorious Kopassus, the military’s special forces commando group. Journalist Allan Nairn released several secret Kopassus documents as the Obamas landed in Jakarta, showing the level of violent political repression administered by the Kopassus—now, for the first time in more than a decade, with United States support.

Last March, Nairn revealed details of a Kopassus assassination program in the Indonesian province of Aceh. These new Kopassus documents shed remarkable detail on the province of West Papua. As Nairn wrote in his piece accompanying the documents, West Papua is “where tens of thousands of civilians have been murdered and where Kopassus is most active. … When the U.S. restored Kopassus aid last July the rationale was fighting terrorism, but the documents show that Kopassus in fact systematically targets civilians.” In the Kopassus’ own words, the civilians are “much more dangerous than any armed opposition.”

One document names 15 leaders of the Papuan civil society, all “civilians, starting with the head of the Baptist Synod of Papua. The others include evangelical ministers, activists, traditional leaders, legislators, students and intellectuals as well as local establishment figures and the head of the Papua Muslim Youth organization.”

President Obama lived in Indonesia from the ages of 6 through 10, after his mother married an Indonesian man. Obama said in Jakarta this week: “[M]uch has been made of the fact that this marks my return to where I lived as a young boy. … But today, as president, I’m here to focus not on the past, but on the future—the Comprehensive Partnership that we’re building between the United States and Indonesia.” Part of that relationship involves the renewed support of Kopassus, which has been denied since the armed forces burned then-Indonesian-occupied East Timor to the ground in 1999, killing more than 1,400 Timorese.

A series of cell-phone videos have come out of Papua showing torture being inflicted on men there at the hands of what appear to be members of the military. In one video that surfaced just two weeks ago, soldiers burn a man’s genitals with a burning stick, cover his head with a plastic bag to suffocate him, and threaten him with a rifle. Another video shows a Papuan man slowly dying from a gunshot wound as the soldier with the cell-phone camera taunts him, calling him a savage.

I spoke with Suciwati Munir, the widow of the renowned Indonesian human-rights activist Munir Said Thalib, at the Bonn, Germany, reunion of Right Livelihood Award laureates. Her husband, an unflinching critic of the Indonesian military, received the award shortly before his death. In 2004, as he traveled to the Netherlands for a law fellowship, on board the Indonesian national airline Garuda, he was given an upgrade to business class. There, he was served tea laced with arsenic. He was dead before the plane landed. Suciwati has a message for Obama:

“If Obama has a commitment to human rights in the world … he has to pay attention to the human-rights situation in Indonesia. And the first thing that he should ask to President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono is to resolve the Munir case.” I asked her if she wanted to meet President Obama when he came to Indonesia. She replied: “Maybe yes, because I want to remind him about the human-rights situation in Indonesia. Maybe not, because of his wrong decision, he has perpetuated the impunity in Indonesia.”

This was the third attempt by President Obama to visit Indonesia. His first delay was to allow him to push through health-care reform. The second was canceled in the wake of the BP oil disaster. This time he made it, although the Mount Merapi eruption forced him to leave a few hours early. Speaking from Jakarta, journalist Nairn reflected: “It’s nice to be able to go back to where you grew up, but you shouldn’t bring weapons as a gift. You shouldn’t bring training for the people who are torturing your old neighbors.”

Amy Goodman is the host of “Democracy Now!,” an independent, daily global TV/radio news hour airing on more than 950 stations in the United States and around the world. She is the author of “Breaking the Sound Barrier,” recently released in paperback and now a New York Times best-seller.

© 2011 Amy Goodman

“Three years ago, President Obama cut a secret deal with pharmaceutical company lobbyists to secure the industry’s support for his national health care law. Despite Obama’s promises during his campaign to run a transparent administration, the deal has been shrouded in mystery ever since. But internal emails obtained by House Republicans now provide evidence that a deal was struck and GOP investigators are promising to release more details in the coming weeks.

“What the hell?” White House Deputy Chief of Staff Jim Messina, who is now Obama’s campaign manager, complained to a lobbyist for the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) in January 15, 2010 email. “This wasn’t part of our deal.”

This reference to “our deal” came two months before the final passage of Obamacare in an email with the subject line, “FW: TAUZIN EMAIL.” At the time, Billy Tauzin was president and CEO of PhRMA.

The email was uncovered as part of investigation into Obama’s closed-door health care negotiations launched by the House Energy and Commerce committee’s oversight panel.

“In the coming weeks the Committee intends to show what the White House agreed to do as part of its deal with the pharmaceutical industry and how the full details of this agreement were kept from both the public and the House of Representatives,” the committee’s Republican members wrote in a memo today.

On June 20, 2009, Obama released a terse 296-word statement announcing a deal between pharmaceutical companies and the Senate that didn’t mention any involvement by the White House.

“The investigation has determined that the White House, primarily through Office of Health Reform Director Nancy Ann DeParle and Messina, with involvement from Chief of Staff Rahm Emmanuel, was actively engaged in these negotiations while the role of Congress was limited,” the committee members wrote. “For example, three days before the June 20 statement, the head of PhRMA promised Messina, ‘we will deliver a final yes to you by morning.’ Meanwhile, Ms. DeParle all but confirmed that half of the Legislative Branch was shut out in an email to a PhRMA representative: ‘I think we should have included the House in the discussions, but maybe we never would have gotten anywhere if we had.’”
[read more]

Obama’s Half-Billion-Dollar Crony Drug Deal

“Here comes Siga-Gate.

This latest Chicago-style payoff on your dime involves a dubious smallpox drug backed by a liberal billionaire investor, along with a former union boss who was one of the White House’s most frequent visitors. They’re the “1 percent” with 100 percent immunity from the selectively outraged Occupier mobs that purport to oppose partisan government bailouts and handouts to privileged corporations.

Ronald Perelman is the New York City-based leveraged buyout wheeler-dealer who controls Siga Technologies. He has donated nearly $130,000 mostly to Democrats over the past two election cycles alone (history here), and he forked over $50,000 to pay for the president’s lavish inaugural parties. A Siga affiliate (MacAndrews and Forbes) pitched in nearly half a million more in contributions — 65 percent of which went to Democrats — and the firms have spent millions on lobbying.

Perelman’s pharma company makes an experimental antiviral pill used by smallpox patients who received diagnoses too late to be treated with the existing smallpox vaccine. Smallpox experts cast doubt on the need for the drug given ample vaccine stockpiles, the remoteness of a mass attack and questions about its efficacy. But over the objections of federal contract negotiators, competitors and scientists, the Obama administration approved a lucrative $433 million no-bid deal for Siga in May. No other manufacturers were able to compete for the “sole source” procurement, according to the Los Angeles Times.”[read more]

Exxon Makes $104 Million In Profit Per Day So Far In 2012, While Americans Are Stuck With A Higher Gas Bill

By Rebecca Leber on Apr 26, 2012 at 10:08 am

Last year, ExxonMobil, one of the world’s most profitable companies, earned $1,300 in profits per second. As consumers paid record-high springtime gas prices, Exxon posted first quarter profits of $9.45 billion.

This is down slightly from the first quarter of 2011, when Exxon posted $10.65 billion in profits. Exxon benefited from the high price of oil, but analysts expected slightly lower profits due in part to the cheap price of natural gas, which the company is heavily invested in.

A by-the-numbers look shows how Exxon’s executives and Big Oil’s allies are rewarded generously for the company’s billions, while Americans are stuck with rising gas bills:

$9.45 billion profits, or almost $104 million per day in the first three months of the year.

13 percent: The tax rate Exxon paid last year, lower than the average American family.

60 percent of its first quarter earnings, or $5.7 billion, on buying back stock. Became world’s largest dividend payer by increasing dividends 21 percent.

$1,091,000: Political contributions sent to federal politicians for the 2012 election cycle, making it the largest oil and gas spender.

91% of these contributions went to Republicans.

More than $52,000,000: Lobbying for the first three years of the Obama presidency, 50 percent more than in the Bush Administration.

$34.9 million: Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson’s salary for 2011, a 20 percent raise.

$52,300: Political contributions from Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson in the 2012 cycle, alone.

No. 2: Fortune 500 list of richest companies and for highest-paid CEO.[read more]

 


Jindal seeks Isaac FEMA cash from Obama, hides sinkhole

 

Source

Gov. Bobby Piyush Jindal has done it again.

Just when you think he can’t get any more arrogant, he responds by flexing his string bean Barney Fife-like muscles at President Obama over—you guessed it—federal funds.

It all started with an Aug. 26 request from Jindal to Obama for reimbursement “for all emergency protective measures” against the threat of tropical storm and soon-to-be hurricane Isaac.

What the state got instead was a federal declaration of emergency that provided only for direct federal assistance. “Unfortunately, your limited declaration does not provide for reimbursement of expenses that the state is taking to prepare for the storm,” Jindal said.

Remember, this is the governor who eschews federal grants on the grounds that federal money means federal interference and control.

Now it appears that he wants to cherry pick what he does and does not want in the way of federal funds.

Jindal’s response was all too typical of his wanting everything his way—whether it involves public education, higher education, health care, or oil spills in the Gulf of Mexico.

Everything, that is, except that Bayou Corne sinkhole in Assumption Parish. The sinkhole, the size of three football fields and 380 feet deep, is only 1500 feet from a butane-filled cavern. That’s one place Jindal has never shown his face despite–or maybe because of–the lingering threat of a major explosion.

That could be because on Jan. 21, 2011, Texas Brine Co. notified the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) by letter of a “failed mechanical integrity test (MIT) of the company’s subject brine production well. At the time, Texas Brine was in the process of sectioning out a portion of the lower cemented casing to allow additional salt extraction. Testing indicated the well lacked sufficient integrity for continued production.

DNR apparently concealed documents showing that the cavern may have had problems since 2010.

In an earlier letter dated Aug. 25, 1995, Texas Brine notified DNR that low levels of naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM). DNR responded that it had “no objection” to Texas Brine’s “returning the NORM along with otherwise uncontaminated soil to the salt dome cavern.”

Last week, a non-government group, Louisiana Environmental Action Network, said radiation levels at the sinkhole were 15 times higher than the state limit.

Former DNR Secretary Scott Angelle resigned in the middle of the crisis, ostensibly to seek a seat on the Louisiana Public Service Commission in a move some regarded as a callous disregard for the safety of the residents around the sinkhole.

Considering the fact that the Bayou Corne crisis came about on Jindal’s watch and considering there was no one else to blame (BP, a hurricane or the federal government), Piyush has kept a conspicuously low profile in this ongoing saga.

It would seem, therefore, that Jindal only shows up at a crisis when there might be political points to be gained.

Following is the text of Jindal’s Aug. 27 letter to Obama:

Dear Mr. President:

I have received your approval of a limited federal declaration of emergency for Tropical Storm Isaac for the State of Louisiana. We appreciate your response to our request and your approval. However, the State’s original request for federal assistance dated August 26, 2012 included a request for reimbursement for all emergency protective measures. The federal declaration of emergency only provides for direct federal assistance.

In a release issued by the White House today, it said “the declaration builds on resources already deployed by FEMA and makes Federal funding available for certain emergency activities undertaken by the state to prepare for and respond to the storm.” Unfortunately, your limited declaration does not provide for reimbursement of expenses that the state is taking to prepare for the storm.

As of 5 p.m. Central time today, the National Weather Service forecasts this storm to strengthen to a Category 2 hurricane and squarely impact the State of Louisiana. The increased urgency of the situation necessitates that we re-emphasize the request for full federal assistance for the State.

The projected path of the storm has continued to shift westward and now threatens the entire State of Louisiana. The rapidity of the path’s westward movement has increased the potential impact of this storm from a slight chance of affecting southeastern Louisiana to now threatening the entire state. The speed with which this threat developed has necessitated extraordinary emergency protective measures at the State and local government level.

Since the State of Louisiana is faced with a rapidly developing situation that threatens a large percentage of our population, please consider the following developments as a supplement to the request submitted yesterday.

At this time 34 parishes have declared a state of emergency:

Acadia, Allen, Ascension, Assumption, Avoyelles, Cameron, East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, Franklin, Iberia, Iberville, Jefferson, Jefferson Davis, Lafourche, Livingston, Morehouse, Natchitoches, Orleans, Ouachita, Plaquemines, Pointe Coupee, Rapides, St Bernard, St Charles, St Helena, St James, St John, St Martin, St Mary, St Tammany, Tangipahoa, Terrebonne, Washington, West Baton Rouge.

We request that you expand the designations to include all of these parishes. We expect more parishes to declare a state of emergency.

There are currently nine areas covered by mandatory evacuation orders:

Jefferson – Grand Isle
Jefferson –Town of Jean Lafitte
Jefferson – Crown Pointe
Jefferson – Barataria
Lafourche – Low lying parishes
Plaquemines – From Braithwaite to White Ditch on the East Bank
Plaquemines – From Ironton South to Venice
St Charles – Parish Wide Evacuation
Tangipahoa – Town of Winnsboro, Lee’s Landing, and low-lying areas

As of this morning, I have activated 4,126 Louisiana National Guardsmen, an emergency contract for over 300 commercial buses, and over 5,000 shelter spaces to respond to the wide ranging projected path of this storm, move our citizens out of harm’s way and provide them with shelter. The school districts in the path of the storm have cancelled school until this dangerous storm passes.

All of these actions are appropriate and necessary responses to the threat of this storm. While Tropical Storm Isaac has yet to strike the state, it has necessitated significant amounts of State and local government expenditures. The State’s expenditures for emergency protective measures are already approximately $8,000,000 and exceed the State of Louisiana’s threshold when making a request for a major disaster declaration.

Given the extraordinary developments of this storm and its approaching impact on the State of Louisiana, I ask that you exercise your discretion to approve the State’s pending request for all emergency protective measures. Further, I ask that you consider a cost-share adjustment to eliminate the State’s non-federal share of the costs for this event. When threatened with extraordinary disasters, states depend upon the availability of the full spectrum of assistance available under the Stafford Act.

Finally, a core responsibility of the federal government is to protect the lives and property of its citizens when threatened. This disaster declaration will help ensure that we best protect life and property in our state.

Sincerely,

Bobby Jindal
Governor

Could it be that Obama was concerned that Jindal might use federal funds to construct another $250 million disposable berm?

Or perhaps he just wants Piyush to do more with less.

Could it also be, as one reader pointed out, that Piyush spends so little time in Louisiana that he does not know that the Winnsboro he alluded to in his letter to Obama is in Franklin Parish in north Louisiana, not Tangipahoa? We assume he meant Waynesboro but a little closer proofreading of a letter to the President would seem to be in order here.

 


Wikileaking the Truth about American Unaccountability for Torture -report 2012

 

Page 1
L. Hajjar/Societies Without Borders 7:2 (2012) 192-225
~192~
© Sociologists Without Borders/Sociologos Sin Fronteras, 2012
Wikileaking the Truth about American
Unaccountability for Torture
Lisa Hajjar
University of California—Santa Barbara
Received September 2011; Accepted March 2012
______________________________________________________
Abstract.
Grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions are international offenses and
perpetrators can be prosecuted abroad if accountability is not pursued at home. The
US torture policy, instituted by the Bush administration in the context of the “war on
terror” presents a contemporary example of liability for gross crimes under
international law. For this reason, classification and secrecy have functioned in
tandem as a shield to block public knowledge about prosecutable offenses. Keeping
such information secret and publicizing deceptive official accounts that contradict the
truth are essential to propaganda strategies to sustain American support or apathy
about the country’s multiple current wars. Although a great deal of information and
evidence has come to light about the US torture policy, there has been no thorough
domestic investigation up the chain of command, no full public disclosure, and no
effort to prosecute its intellectual authors in US courts. The classified diplomatic
cables allegedly provided to Wikileaks by Bradley Manning have revealed one critical
way in which this unaccountability has been enforced. This article addresses four
issues: First, a consideration of the importance of accountability for torture and other
gross violations of international law; second, a summary of efforts to hold US officials
accused of torture-related offenses accountable in European courts; third, an
examination of several leaked diplomatic cables that expose the lengths to which both
the Bush and Obama administrations have gone to derail these foreign criminal
investigations in Germany and Spain; and fourth, the unexpected consequences that
leaks played in unleashing anti-authoritarian uprisings in the Arab world and the
possibilities of future accountability.

The right not to be tortured is the most universal and,
arguably, the most important right that human beings have because it
applies to all people everywhere under all circumstances, including in
the context of war and armed conflict, and it is absolutely non-
derogable (Hajjar 2009a). The right not to be tortured is a negative
right, constituted through the prohibition of practices that meet the
Page 2
L. Hajjar/Societies Without Borders 7:2 (2012) 192-225
~193~
© Sociologists Without Borders/Sociologos Sin Fronteras, 2012
legal definition of torture, namely those acts of omission or
commission that purposefully cause severe physical harm and/or
mental suffering to people who are in custody but have not been
found guilty of any crime. (The prohibition excludes the harms arising
from lawful, court-ordered punishments regardless of their brutality.)
Thus, the legal prohibition of torture imposes a sharp limit on the
rights of states by depriving state agents and anyone acting under the
color of law (e.g., government-hired contractors) of any lawful excuse
to engage in or abet such prohibited practices.
Torture is in the same negative-right company with genocide
and war crimes. Together, these negative rights aptly have been
termed the “harder human rights” (Hagan, Schoenfeld and Palloni
2006). What distinguishes torture from violations of other harder
human rights is the custodial relationship. The clarity of the custodial
relationship (i.e., people are either in custody or they are not) and the
extreme power imbalance between custodians and prisoners
distinguishes the harms of torture from the conditions in which
violations of the other harder human rights occur. At least in theory,
people who are vulnerable to non-custodial violations can fight back,
flee or surrender. Those self-preservation options are not available to
people in custody.
The prohibition and criminality of torture is customary
international law, which creates legal obligations to prosecute people
accused of perpetrating or abetting this gross crime. When those who
are accused of engaging in torture are not prosecuted and punished,
their immunity or impunity makes a mockery of the law itself (see
Human Rights Watch 2011). Such mockery characterizes post-9/11
decisions by US officials in the Bush administration to institute
policies that disregarded the legal prohibition of torture in the
interrogation and detention of suspects captured in the “war on
terror,” and was compounded by disregarded obligations under
federal and international law to pursue accountability, which extended
to the next administration (Hajjar 2009b). President Obama has
justified this failure with the facile mantra of “looking forward, not
backward.” However, domestic unaccountability does not absolve
perpetrators and abettors because torture is a crime that attaches
universal jurisdiction, which means that perpetrators can be
prosecuted in foreign national court systems if they are not prosecuted
Page 3
L. Hajjar/Societies Without Borders 7:2 (2012) 192-225
~194~
© Sociologists Without Borders/Sociologos Sin Fronteras, 2012
in the country with jurisdiction over the accused (active personality
jurisdiction) or the country where the crime occurred (passive
personality jurisdiction).
The doctrine of universal jurisdiction is premised on the
principle that some crimes under international law—including
torture—are so grave that their perpetrators are “enemies of all
mankind” (hostis humani generis) and, therefore, that all countries have
an interest in enforcing the law against them. When torture occurs in
the context of war, as was the case in the US torture policy, it
constitutes a grave breach of the Geneva Conventions of 1949, at
minimum violations of Common Article 3, which pertains to “non-
international” (i.e., not state-to-state) wars. Common Article 3
prohibits and criminalizes torture, cruel treatment, and “outrages on
human dignity” of detained people who do not qualify for prisoner-of
-war status. Such violations are war crimes, which attach a principle of
accountability similar to universal jurisdiction because the Geneva
Conventions are customary international law and impose an explicit
duty on every state party—which, since the turn of the twenty-first
century, includes every state in the world—to seek extradition of
accused war criminals or at least to avail its courts for prosecution (aut
dedere aut judicare).
The vast majority of war crimes committed in conflicts
around the world go unpunished. Torture, for reasons noted above
(i.e., the non-derogable nature of the prohibition and the clarity of the
custodial relationship), lends itself more readily to the possibility of
prosecution than other types of war crimes. The use of excessive force
or the deliberate targeting of civilians are no less illegal but impose
greater challenges to prosecution because the so-called “fog of war”
makes it more difficult to ascertain and prove that those ordering or
executing a military operation in which civilians are killed did so
intentionally. Unintentional killing of civilians in a legitimate military
operation targeting combatants is not a war crime; rather, it bears the
cold label “collateral damage.” The use of indiscriminate weaponry
(e.g., landmines, chemical weapons), which is a policy decision, is even
harder to penalize in practice because the issue of intent lies far up the
chain-of-command

 


Central Bankers Agenda: Obama Sanctions Against Iran Over Gold

August 3, 2012 Last month, President Obama placed more stringent sanctions on Iran’s oil sales and financial transactions. And in the next breath, he claimed that because Iran is supposedly developing a nuclear weapon, Obama will “once again reaffirming [the US government’s] commitment to hold the Iranian government accountable for its actions.”

While Israel is threatening to attack Iran pre-emptively to “knock out” nuclear facilities, Benjamin Netanyahu, Israeli Prime Minister asserts that “all the sanctions and diplomacy so far have not set back the Iranian (nuclear) program by one iota And that’s why I believe that we need a strong and credible military threat coupled with the sanctions to have a chance to change that situation.”

Sanctions placed against Iran are directed at their economy and value of their currency because Iran has been using gold instead of the US dollar to trade with other nations for their oil.

Obama’s latest round of sanctions, by executive order, is aimed at preventing “payment mechanisms for the purchase of Iranian oil to circumvent existing sanctions.” By targeting specific banks, Bank of Kunlun of China and Elaf Islamic Bank of Iraq, Obama wants to make sure “transactions worth millions of dollars on behalf of Iranian banks that are subject to sanctions for their links to Iran’s illicit proliferation activities.”

Obama warned that the US will “expose any financial institution, no matter where they are located, that allows the increasingly desperate Iranian regime to retain access to the international financial system.”

Working for the banking Elite, Obama has made his position clear. He is using the might of the US military to stop Iran from further devaluation of the US dollar; and now threatening all other financial institutions and nations that deal with Iran or facilitate payment in any currency other than the US dollar.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s Supreme Leader, believes that US will declare “war within weeks”. Khamenei said: “While retaliation had been exhaustively drilled in regular military exercises in the past year, Khamenei ordered the biggest fortification project in Iran’s history to save its nuclear program from even the mightiest of America’s super-weapons. Rocks are being gathered from afar, piled on key nuclear installations, covered with many tons of poured concrete and finally plated with steel.”

Iran’s plan to close the Strait of Hormuz is a strategic response to the US by cutting off 33% of the world’s shipments of oil. It was met with underwater drones that targeted the blockade. As well as Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates opening pipelines to bypass the Strait in efforts to increase oil that is moved out of the region.

Last month, reports of war games began surfacing. The Israeli Air Force is practicing aerial combat maneuvers with the US, NATO and European armed forces. They are collaborating on potential strike zones; mainly focusing on Iran’s nuclear facilities.

Joe Biden, US vice-president confirmed that the US would not “stand in the way” of Israel’s attack on Iran. “The US cannot dictate to another sovereign nation what they can and cannot do. Israel can determine for itself – it’s a sovereign nation – what’s in their interest and what they decide to do relative to Iran and anyone else.”

Ephraim Halevy, former Israeli spy, warns that Iran should take Israel seriously – that they have every intention of striking and that the “next 12 weeks are very critical”.

Netanyahu, fearing that the newly elected president will not want to have a winter war, wants to attack before the elections season begins in the US.

In globalist speak this is just rhetoric, as the plan to invade Iran centers around the global reserve currency and not nuclear facilities. Whether or not Obama is re-elected is irrelevant if the US dollar is further compromised by the actions of nations using gold as currency.Source


Monsanto Employees in the Halls of Government

 

16 February 12

For years, there’s been an open revolving door in Washington – sending workers from the Federal government to Monsanto and Monsanto back to the Federal government. This has a tendency to make people question the fairness and objectivity of the folks who are supposed to be overseeing the giant agricultural corporation.

Bovine growth hormone (rGBH)

When Monsanto got approval for use of its artificial bovine growth hormone in milk, the person in charge of preparing the report at Monsanto was Margaret Miller. Later, the person in charge of receiving the report and evaluating it was… Margaret Miller, by then Deputy Director of Human Safety and Consultative Services in the office overseeing the process..

Michael R Taylor, started off as a partner at the law firm that represented Monsanto on GBH issues. Then, as the FDA’s deputy commissioner for policy, he wrote the FDA’s rBGH labelling guidelines – the ones that insisted there was no difference between rGBH and regular milk. He also deleted references to problems with GMO foods, over the objection of staff scientists. Then he spent a few years working directly for Monsanto. And now? Barak Obama brought him back to the FDA to oversee Monsanto again, as his food safety issues czar!

Opening up foreign markets to GMOs

As long as Europe and other countries reject Genetically Modified (GMO) food, Monsanto has limited markets. Big Ag wanted someone who would push their issues as trade negotiator, and President Obama nominated Islam “Isi” Siddiqui, the vice president for science and regulatory affairs at at CropLife America, the U.S. agricultural/chemical industry trade group. Its members include Dow AgroSciences LLC, DuPont Crop Protection, and of course, Monsanto. Before that he was a senior trade advisor to Bill Clinton’s USDA.

GMO alfalfa

As a young lawyer, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas worked for Monsanto. When the Supreme Court ruled recently on Monsanto’s GMO alfalfa, Thomas was one of the votes in favor of his old boss. He didn’t even consider recusing himself –  although to be fair, the obvious conflict of interest probably wouldn’t have changed his vote, since Thomas would have voted the same way in favor of ANY large corporation.

GMO corn

How to get your GMO corn approved? First, Monsanto hired Linda J Fisher, who had served for 10 years as Assistant Administrator of the EPA’s Office of Pollution Prevention, Pesticides, and Toxic Substances. Good person to have on your team – as your Vice President of Government and Public Affairs, heading up Monsanto’s Washington lobbying operation. And then – send her back into government, as the second in command at George W. Bush’s EPA.

And it goes on and on:

  • Roger Beachy, former director of the Monsanto-funded Danforth Plant Science Center, is now Obama’s director of the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture – responsible for a $500 million research budget.
  • Ramona Romero, corporate counsel to Monsanto’s chief GMO rival Dupont, is Obama’s general counsel for the USDA.
  • Bush’s Secretary of Agriculture, Ann Veneman was a long-time proponent of big ag and free trade. She served on the board of directors of Calgene, one of the first companies to market GMO food (the failed Flavr Savr tomato) an affiliate of Monsanto which was later purchased by Monsanto. During the 2008 campaign when Obama was considering naming a Republican as his  Vuce President pick (to show how bi-partisan he is), Veneman was one of the choices he considered. (Note – this story has been updated to reflect the fact that at the time Ann Veneman served on the board of Calgene, it had not yet been purchased by Monsanto.)

Source: Red Green & Blue (http://s.tt/12Ao8)


BP’s Oily Political Connections: from the Bush to Obama Era

Judging from the oily history of the last ten years, reining in BP could prove politically daunting. A company with incredible economic might, BP has enjoyed privileged access to the inner rungs of Washington power. Only by ridding the political system of insider money can we hope to avert future oil disasters like the devastating spill which hit the Gulf of Mexico last week.

The perversion of U.S. democracy to serve oil interests like BP went into high gear under former Vice President Dick Cheney. Dallas-based Halliburton, where Cheney worked prior to the 2000 election, made equipment and chemicals used in oil drilling, and sold to producers including BP.

Later during the 2000 election, BP exerted significant influence over politics through its campaign contributions. That is not too surprising when you consider that in the late 1990s BP had acquired Amoco and Atlantic Richfield, two companies which had been players on the U.S. electoral scene and which had made political contributions. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, BP ranked fourth amongst oil and gas company contributors in the 2000 elections, with donations totaling $1.1 million. Two thirds of that amount went to the GOP.

Cheney was grateful and never forgot the favor: in early 2001 the Vice President set up an Energy Task Force seeking to design a national energy policy. In a slap in the face to democracy, the Task Force was never open to official public comment and kept all its deliberations secret from the public. At the time, the White House claimed that turning over its records from the Task Force would impede its ability to get candid advice.

For years, Bush and Cheney successfully stonewalled attempts to shed light on the inner workings of the Energy Task Force. Indeed, the administration won a Supreme Court ruling stipulating that the White House would not have to reveal the records of industry executives who had met with administration officials. Finally, however, after four long years the Washington Post obtained a list showing that oil company officials, including BP, had met with Cheney aides at the White House.

The revelations caused a public furor on Capitol Hill and made BP look derelict at best and deceitful at work. During testimony at a November, 2005 hearing of the Senate’s Energy and Commerce Committee, BP CEO Ross Pillari told members that he didn’t know if company representatives had met with Task Force officials.

With BP now in the hot seat as a result of the Washington Post’s bombshell, New Jersey Democratic Senator Frank Lautenberg asked the Justice Department to investigate whether CEO’s had misled Congress. Meanwhile, the Senate’s Energy Committee Chairman, Republican Pete Domenici of New Mexico, and Senator Jeff Bingaman, Democrat of New Mexico, asked executives to clarify their responses.

Now feeling the heat, Pillari backtracked somewhat, remarking that he had “looked into the matter and can advise you that BP representatives did meet with staff members of the National Energy Policy Development Group (Task Force) and provided them with comments on a range of energy policy matters” including natural gas, liquefied natural gas, transportation fuels and renewable energy. Then, in a rhetorical flourish worthy of a truly slick oil man, Pillari added that his response at the November hearing “was and is a truthful answer as I was not personally involved in energy policy issues at the time.”

BP’s discussions with the White House had real life consequences. When the Bush/Cheney White House finally came out with its National Energy Policy, environmentalists were appalled. Specifics of the plan included expanded oil exploration in the Arctic Wildlife Refuge, an expansion of oil refinery sites and oil pipelines, and additional subsidies for the fossil fuel industry funded by U.S. taxpayer dollars.

Needless to say, there was no representation on the Task Force of renewable energy or energy efficiency experts. Brazenly, Bush defended the Energy Task Force as simply business as usual. “We listened to energy companies, which seems to make sense,” he said. “If you’re developing an energy plan, one place to start is to listen to people who know something about the business.”

The culture of permissiveness in the White House fostered an incestuous relationship between Cheney officials and BP. Take, for example, the case of native Alaskan Andrew Lundquist, a man who worked for both his state’s senators on Capitol Hill. The Executive Director no less of Cheney’s Energy Task Force, Lundquist later oversaw efforts to spearhead energy policy at the White House.

Then however Lundquist left government and opened a consulting business. Nine months later, he became a lobbyist for companies that served to benefit from the very same energy policy that he had helped to craft. Lundquist’s clients, which paid him more than $300,000 in 2003, included BP.

Hoping to capitalize on public dissatisfaction with Cheney’s energy policy, Obama ran TV ads during campaign ’08 claiming that Republican rival John McCain was “in the pocket” of Big Oil. At the time, Obama commanded some moral authority on the issue of oil development. As a Senator, he had urged the EPA to mount a “comprehensive” review of proposed air and construction permits for a BP refinery in Indiana. In a letter, Obama expressed concern that the Indiana Department of Environmental Management had “set an aggressive timeline to issue a final permit” for the refinery located about 20 miles southeast of Chicago.

As campaign ’08 heated up, Obama made much political hay over the fact that the McCain camp benefited from a flood of contributions from oil executives after the Arizona Senator reversed his position on offshore drilling. Yet, peer beneath the rhetoric and Obama does not emerge as any less oily. Indeed, just prior to the election the Center for Responsive Politics reported that BP had donated more money to Obama than McCain.

Then, when gas prices rose above $4 a gallon and calls for “drill, baby, drill,” increased, Obama vacillated. Conservation and renewable energy would be emphasized in an Obama White House, the candidate declared, but he would also support some expansion of offshore oil drilling.

To be sure, once ensconced in office Obama crafted an energy policy which sought to move away from the Bush era’s emphasis on fossil fuels. To his credit, early on in his presidency Obama overturned a draft plan to allow drilling off the Atlantic and Pacific coasts. At one point, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar even remarked that the Bush administration “had torpedoed” offshore renewable energy in favor of oil and natural gas.

There were ominous signs along the way, however. Obama tapped Steven Koonin, a former Chief Scientist for BP, to be Undersecretary of Science at the U.S. Department of Energy. Then, on April 1st, a mere few weeks prior to the Gulf oil spill, Obama said he would open millions of acres off the Southeastern and Alaskan coastlines to offshore oil exploration. The announcement ended a decades-long moratorium on drilling off the East Coast. Included were 167 million acres from the northern tip of Delaware to central Florida, millions more in the eastern Gulf of Mexico and about 130 million acres north of Alaska. “Thousands of environmental activists who supported Barack Obama for president are waking up this morning to what must seem like a very big and not very funny April Fools’ joke,” remarked the St. Louis Post Dispatch.

During the Bush years, BP enjoyed an enormous degree of economic and political power in Washington. Though it appeared at first as if Obama might change this fundamental equation, the young president failed to act sufficiently. Now, in the wake of the Gulf disaster, we shall see whether Obama has the political courage to finally take on BP and the oil companies while significantly ramping up alternative energy.

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