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Archive for December 8th, 2007

By GEF @ 1:58 PM MST

via C&L

Breaking: Cookie crumbles; Krongards resigns

Reuters:

State Department Inspector General Howard Krongard, under scrutiny for his brother’s link to the Blackwater security firm, has decided to resign, U.S. officials said on Friday. Krongard, the State Department’s top investigator, has been accused by current and former subordinates of thwarting probes into waste, fraud and abuse in Iraq, including alleged arms smuggling by Blackwater.

“We thank him for his dedication to public service and wish him well in the future,” State Department spokesman Gonzo Gallegos said. Read more…

Don’t do the Crime if you can’t do the Time!!

Theme from Baretta!

WordPress.com Political Blogger Alliance

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Citizens ask Federal Reserve “Where’s Our Gold ??”

by GEF @ 9:08 AM MST

IS THERE ANY NATIONAL GOLD LEFT IN FORT KNOXX ?

Via: George Ure – Urbansurvival

GATA Begins Campaign to Wrest Gold Documents from Fed, Treasury

MANCHESTER, Conn. & DALLAS–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee Inc. has begun a campaign to use the federal Freedom of Information Act to reveal the disposition of United States gold reserves.

On Thursday, December 6, GATA delivered to the Federal Reserve Board and the Treasury Department formal requests for access to all documents in their possession that have been generated since 1990 and mention swaps of gold involving the U.S. government. Such swaps of gold are commonly used by governments to intervene surreptitiously in the gold and currency markets, and in May this year provisions for swaps began to be cited in Treasury Department records of the U.S. government’s international financial reserve position: http://www.gata.org/node/5637.

GATA’s requests seek not only any documents showing gold swaps but also any documents identifying the legal authority for swaps and any documents describing the U.S. government’s policy for engaging in them. “These requests to the Federal Reserve and the Treasury are only the first we plan to make to seek a full accounting of the U.S. gold reserve,” GATA Chairman William J. Murphy III explains. “We also plan to ask for documents involving gold loans and leases and any other possible impairments of the gold reserve.

“That reserve has not been audited in 60 years, even as intervention by governments in the currency and gold markets has been increasing dramatically. Investors have the right to know exactly what the U.S. government is doing to affect what are supposed to be free markets. And the U.S. gold reserve is part of the national patrimony, the birthright of every citizen. All we want is the truth. Who can be against that?” GATA’s FOI requests were prepared by the McLean, Virginia, law firm of William J. Olson, P.C., in association with GATA’s consultant, the constitutional scholar and lawyer Edwin Vieira Jr., author of the monetary history of the United States, “Pieces of Eight.”

If the Fed and the Treasury fail to respond to the requests in a reasonable time, refuse to provide the documents sought, or provide documents with excessive redactions, GATA can bring the agencies to court. “This campaign for the truth will incur substantial expense for GATA,” Murphy says. “So as always GATA will be grateful for contributions from its supporters.”

Since GATA is recognized by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service as a tax-exempt educational and civil rights organization, contributions are federally tax-deductible in the United States. Information on contributing to GATA is available here: http://www.gata.org/node/16.

GATA’s request to the Federal Reserve has been posted on the Internet here: http://www.gata.org/files/GATA-FOI-Fed-120607.pdf.

Not that the questions GATA is asking to ‘swaps’ is the only question about US gold holdings. I’ve wondered for some time whether the term “deep storage” of gold means something like ‘still in the mine’, but that’s another chat sometime.

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Calling on Congress to Stop a War

anthony @ 12:20 GMT

Santa and Bush

Scott Ritter | Truthdig | December 7, 2007

Let’s hear it for the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).  After more than five years of effort, incorporating technologically advanced, exhaustive inspections of Iran’s declared nuclear facilities (and, to a lesser degree, some undeclared facilities as well), the fruit of its labor has been borne out in a National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) produced by the U.S. intelligence community that finds that Iran is not currently pursuing a nuclear weapons program.  While the analysis behind the NIE conclusion reflects the independent judgment of the 16 agencies which comprise the U.S. intelligence community, there is no doubt that the most influential information behind the assessment was that of the IAEA inspections, which had probed Iran’s nuclear program since November 2002.  The IAEA had coordinated closely with the U.S. intelligence community in preparing for its inspections inside Iran, so much so that there was almost no stone left unturned and no major question left unanswered for U.S. analysts when it came to the nuclear facilities and activities of interest.  The consensus-driven NIE puts to rest the notion that Iran represents any sort of imminent threat worthy of near-term pre-emptive military action.

Personally, the NIE (and its roots in the findings of the IAEA inspections) came as no surprise.  In my 2006 book “Target Iran” I framed precisely the same argument using data virtually identical to that contained in the NIE.  While I am tempted to utter the immortal words “I told you so,” such self-congratulation would not only reek of hubris but divert attention away from the fact that the NIE isn’t the final word on the framing and implementation of U.S.-Iran policy.  It is but an empty document void of meaning unless life is breathed into its findings by an Executive rededicated to formulating policy founded in fact, not ideology, or a Congress awakened to its long-dormant status as a separate but equal branch of government. (more…)

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Call for criminal inquiry as CIA destroys torture tapes

Sudhan @11:25 CET

 

 

By Leonard Doyle in Washington | The Independent, December 8, 2007

Senior US senators and congressmen are pressing for a criminal investigation of the CIA for obstruction of justice after it admitted destroying two videotapes showing apparently abusive interrogations of al-Qa’ida suspects in 2005.

The digital recordings apparently show a team of CIA agents subjecting Abu Zubayadh, the agency’s first detainee, and another suspect to abusive interrogation. The tapes were apparently destroyed because CIA officers feared prosecution for torture, which is a felony under US law.

“We haven’t seen anything like this since the 18-minute gap on the tapes of Richard Nixon,” said Senator Edward Kennedy who accused the CIA of “a cover-up.” He called on the Attorney General Michael Mukasey to investigate.

Congresswoman Jan Harman said that in early 2003, she had warned the CIA not to destroy any videotapes dealing with interrogation practices.

“To my knowledge, the Intelligence Committee was never informed that any videotapes had been destroyed,” Ms Harman, said.

Continued . . .

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The Pearl Harbor Deception

anthony @ 09:30 GMT

The aniversary of Pearl Harbor went unmarked on this blog last Thursday and, as it’s the weekend, and at the risk of ruffling even more feathers (see comments on my last post), I am publishing this article on the subject.  

Robert Stinnett | Independent Institute | December 7, 2003

Two questions about the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor have ignited a controversy that has burned for 60 years: Did U.S. naval cryptographers crack the Japanese naval codes before the attack? Did Japanese warships and their commanding admirals break radio silence at sea before the attack?

If the answer to both is “no,” then Pearl Harbor was indeed a surprise attack described by President Franklin D. Roosevelt as a “Day of Infamy.” The integrity of the U.S. government regarding Pearl Harbor remains solid.

But if the answer is “yes,” then hundreds of books, articles, movies, and TV documentaries based on the “no” answer—and the integrity of the federal government—go down the drain. If the Japanese naval codes were intercepted, decoded, and translated into English by U.S. naval cryptographers prior to Pearl Harbor, then the Japanese naval attacks on American Pacific military bases were known in advance among the highest levels of the American government. (more…)

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