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Archive for July 27th, 2009

Apple Jacks, Prada, And Kidney Trafficking: Taking Stock Of The New Jersey Arrests

TPM Muckraker- By Zachary Roth – July 27, 2009, 12:04PM

At 6am last Thursday, more than 200 FBI and IRS agents fanned out across the state of New Jersey, as part of that corruption and money-laundering probe that ended up netting 44 people, including mayors, rabbis, and a state lawmaker.

Now that the dust has settled, it’s worth taking a look at the whole sprawling operation.

The story (sub. req.) starts with a 36-year-old real-estate investor and philanthropist named Solomon Dwek. Dwek, a member of the tight-knit Syrian-Jewish community of Deal, New Jersey, used family connections — his father is a prominent local rabbi — to win investors’ trust and build a real-estate fortune whose value at one time approached $500 million.

But at some point, Dwek appears to have taken out more loans than he could pay back. In 2006, in an effort to pay back his creditors, he allegedly deposited a $25 million check at PNC Bank, which was not backed by funds. He was charged with defrauding the bank out of $25 million.

MORE HERE

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Guns N’ Roses- Sweet Child O’ Mine

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'Sensitive information': The treatment of Binyam Mohamed is at the centre of a security row

'Sensitive information': The treatment of Binyam Mohamed is at the centre of a security row

David Rose | UK Daily Mail | Sunday, July 26, 2009

The CIA has been secretly pressuring the British Government to help it cover up its use of torture, documents filed in the High Court have revealed.

The documents, to be discussed at a hearing this week, suggest that the UK authorities did everything they could to accede to the CIA’s wishes while at the same time trying to conceal the fact they were talking to the agency.

It is the latest twist in the saga of Binyam Mohamed, 30, the Ethiopian UK resident released from Guantanamo Bay in February after seven years in US captivity.

In an exclusive interview with The Mail on Sunday earlier this year, he told how he was captured in Pakistan, interrogated by the CIA, tortured, then sent to Morocco for further ‘medieval’ torture on a CIA ‘extraordinary rendition’ flight.

After 18 months there, he was tortured again in the CIA’s ‘dark prison’ in Afghanistan. He alleged that UK officials from MI5 were ‘complicit’ in his ordeal.

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Virgin Media | 27 July 2009

Foreign Secretary David Miliband has stepped up pressure on the Afghan government to undermine the insurgency targeting British troops by holding talks with elements of the Taliban.

miliband-420x0Mr Miliband said the insurgency was “divided”, with many of those fighting against international forces doing so for “pragmatic” rather than ideological reasons.

Speaking at Nato’s headquarters in Brussels, he said the Afghan authorities should offer incentives to persuade insurgents to switch sides.

He also called for the UK’s Nato allies to take up a greater share of the military burden in Afghanistan.

Mr Miliband said the insurgents were being squeezed by military operations either side of the Durand Line separating Afghanistan from Pakistan.

“From this position, we need to help the Afghan government exploit the opportunity, with a more coherent effort to fragment the various elements of the insurgency, and turn those who can be reconciled to live within the Afghan Constitution. The basis for both reintegration and reconciliation is a starker choice: bigger incentives to switch sides and stay out of trouble, alongside tougher action against those who refuse.

“The Afghan government needs effective grass-roots initiatives to offer an alternative to fight or flight for the foot soldiers of the insurgency. Essentially this means a clear route for former insurgents to return to their villages and go back to farming the land, or a role for some of them within the legitimate Afghan security forces.”

(more…)

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Inquiries into the 954 deaths in police custody since 1990 have all proved fruitless – and then this historic case comes along

In 2005, I was the youngest person elected to the new Afghan parliament. Women like me, running for office, were held up as an example of how the war in Afghanistan had liberated women. But this democracy was a facade, and the so-called liberation a big lie.

On behalf of the long-suffering people of my country, I offer my heartfelt condolences to all in the UK who have lost their loved ones on the soil of Afghanistan. We share the grief of the mothers, fathers, wives, sons and daughters of the fallen. It is my view that these British casualties, like the many thousands of Afghan civilian dead, are victims of the unjust policies that the Nato countries have pursued under the leadership of the US government.

Continued >>

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