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Ebola, AIDS Manufactured By Western Pharmaceuticals, US DoD?

Via: www.liberianobserver.com/secur...us-dod

Dear World Citizens:

I have read a number of articles from your Internet outreach as well as articles from other sources about the casualties in Liberia and other West African countries about the human devastation caused by the Ebola virus. About a week ago, I read an article published in the Internet news summary publication of the Friends of Liberia that said that there was an agreement that the initiation of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa was due to the contact of a two-year old child with bats that had flown in from the Congo. That report made me disconcerted with the reporting about Ebola, and it stimulated a response to the “Friends of Liberia,” saying that African people are not ignorant and gullible, as is being implicated. A response from Dr. Verlon Stone said that the article was not theirs, and that “Friends of Liberia” was simply providing a service. He then asked if he could publish my letter in their Internet forum. I gave my permission, but I have not seen it published. Because of the widespread loss of life, fear, physiological trauma, and despair among Liberians and other West African citizens, it is incumbent that I make a contribution to the resolution of this devastating situation, which may continue to recur, if it is not properly and adequately confronted. I will address the situation in five (5) points:

1. EBOLA IS A GENETICALLY MODIFIED ORGANISM (GMO)

Horowitz (1998) was deliberate and unambiguous when he explained the threat of new diseases in his text, Emerging Viruses: AIDS and Ebola - Nature, Accident or Intentional. In his interview with Dr. Robert Strecker in Chapter 7, the discussion, in the early 1970s, made it obvious that the war was between countries that hosted the KGB and the CIA, and the ‘manufacture’ of ‘AIDS-Like Viruses’ was clearly directed at the other. In passing during the Interview, mention was made of Fort Detrick, “the Ebola Building,” and ‘a lot of problems with strange illnesses’ in “Frederick [Maryland].” By Chapter 12 in his text, he had confirmed the existence of an American Military-Medical-Industry that conducts biological weapons tests under the guise of administering vaccinations to control diseases and improve the health of “black Africans overseas.” The book is an excellent text, and all leaders plus anyone who has interest in science, health, people, and intrigue should study it. I am amazed that African leaders are making no acknowledgements or reference to these documents.

2. EBOLA HAS A TERRIBLE HISTORY, AND TESTING HAS BEEN SECRETLY TAKING PLACE IN AFRICA

I am now reading The Hot Zone, a novel, by Richard Preston (copyrighted 1989 and 1994); it is heart-rending. The prolific and prominent writer, Steven King, is quoted as saying that the book is “One of the most horrifying things I have ever read. What a remarkable piece of work.” As a New York Times bestseller, The Hot Zone is presented as “A terrifying true story.” Terrifying, yes, because the pathological description of what was found in animals killed by the Ebola virus is what the virus has been doing to citizens of Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia in its most recent outbreak: Ebola virus destroys peoples’ internal organs and the body deteriorates rapidly after death. It softens and the tissues turn into jelly, even if it is refrigerated to keep it cold. Spontaneous liquefaction is what happens to the body of people killed by the Ebola virus! The author noted in Point 1, Dr. Horowitz, chides The Hot Zone for writing to be politically correct; I understand because his book makes every effort to be very factual. The 1976 Ebola incident in Zaire, during President Mobutu Sese Seko, was the introduction of the GMO Ebola to Africa.

3. SITES AROUND AFRICA, AND IN WEST AFRICA, HAVE OVER THE YEARS BEEN SET UP FOR TESTING EMERGING DISEASES, ESPECIALLY EBOLA

The World Health Organization (WHO) and several other UN Agencies have been implicated in selecting and enticing African countries to participate in the testing events, promoting vaccinations, but pursuing various testing regiments. The August 2, 2014 article, West Africa: What are US Biological Warfare Researchers Doing in the Ebola Zone? by Jon Rappoport of Global Research pinpoints the problem that is facing African governments.

Obvious in this and other reports are, among others:

(a) The US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID), a well-known centre for bio-war research, located at Fort Detrick, Maryland;

(b) Tulane University, in New Orleans, USA, winner of research grants, including a grant of more than $7 million the National Institute of Health (NIH) to fund research with the Lassa viral hemorrhagic fever;

(c) the US Center for Disease Control (CDC);

(d) Doctors Without Borders (also known by its French name, Medicins Sans Frontiers);

(e) Tekmira, a Canadian pharmaceutical company;

(f) The UK’s GlaxoSmithKline; and

(g) the Kenema Government Hospital in Kenema, Sierra Leone.

Reports narrate stories of the US Department of Defense (DoD) funding Ebola trials on humans, trials which started just weeks before the Ebola outbreak in Guinea and Sierra Leone. The reports continue and state that the DoD gave a contract worth $140 million dollars to Tekmira, a Canadian pharmaceutical company, to conduct Ebola research. This research work involved injecting and infusing healthy humans with the deadly Ebola virus. Hence, the DoD is listed as a collaborator in a “First in Human” Ebola clinical trial (NCT02041715, which started in January 2014 shortly before an Ebola epidemic was declared in West Africa in March. Disturbingly, many reports also conclude that the US government has a viral fever bioterrorism research laboratory in Kenema, a town at the epicentre of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. The only relevant positive and ethical olive-branch seen in all of my reading is that Theguardian.com reported, “The US government funding of Ebola trials on healthy humans comes amid warnings by top scientists in Harvard and Yale that such virus experiments risk triggering a worldwide pandemic.” That threat still persists.

4. THE NEED FOR LEGAL ACTION TO OBTAIN REDRESS FOR DAMAGES INCURRED DUE TO THE PERPETUATION OF INJUSTICE IN THE DEATH, INJURY AND TRAUMA IMPOSED ON LIBERIANS AND OTHER AFRICANS BY THE EBOLA AND OTHER DISEASE AGENTS.

The U. S., Canada, France, and the U. K. are all implicated in the detestable and devilish deeds that these Ebola tests are. There is the need to pursue criminal and civil redress for damages, and African countries and people should secure legal representation to seek damages from these countries, some corporations, and the United Nations. Evidence seems abundant against Tulane University, and suits should start there. Yoichi Shimatsu’s article, The Ebola Breakout Coincided with UN Vaccine Campaigns, as published on August 18, 2014, in the Liberty Beacon.

5. AFRICAN LEADERS AND AFRICAN COUNTRIES NEED TO TAKE THE LEAD IN DEFENDING BABIES, CHILDREN, AFRICAN WOMEN, AFRICAN MEN, AND THE ELDERLY. THESE CITIZENS DO NOT DESERVE TO BE USED AS GUINEA PIGS!

Africa must not relegate the Continent to become the locality for disposal and the deposition of hazardous chemicals, dangerous drugs, and chemical or biological agents of emerging diseases. There is urgent need for affirmative action in protecting the less affluent of poorer countries, especially African citizens, whose countries are not as scientifically and industrially endowed as the United States and most Western countries, sources of most viral or bacterial GMOs that are strategically designed as biological weapons. It is most disturbing that the U. S. Government has been operating a viral hemorrhagic fever bioterrorism research laboratory in Sierra Leone. Are there others? Wherever they exist, it is time to terminate them. If any other sites exist, it is advisable to follow the delayed but essential step: Sierra Leone closed the US bioweapons lab and stopped Tulane University for further testing.

The world must be alarmed. All Africans, Americans, Europeans, Middle Easterners, Asians, and people from every conclave on Earth should be astonished. African people, notably citizens more particularly of Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone are victimized and are dying every day. Listen to the people who distrust the hospitals, who cannot shake hands, hug their relatives and friends. Innocent people are dying, and they need our help. The countries are poor and cannot afford the whole lot of personal protection equipment (PPE) that the situation requires. The threat is real, and it is larger than a few African countries. The challenge is global, and we request assistance from everywhere, including China, Japan, Australia, India, Germany, Italy, and even kind-hearted people in the U.S., France, the U.K., Russia, Korea, Saudi Arabia, and anywhere else whose desire is to help. The situation is bleaker than we on the outside can imagine, and we must provide assistance however we can. To ensure a future that has less of this kind of drama, it is important that we now demand that our leaders and governments be honest, transparent, fair, and productively engaged. They must answer to the people. Please stand up to stop Ebola testing and the spread of this dastardly disease.

Thank you very much.

Sincerely,

Dr. Cyril E. Broderick, Sr.

About the Author:

Dr. Broderick is a former professor of Plant Pathology at the University of Liberia’s College of Agriculture and Forestry. He is also the former Observer Farmer in the 1980s. It was from this column in our newspaper, the Daily Observer, that Firestone spotted him and offered him the position of Director of Research in the late 1980s. In addition, he is a scientist, who has taught for many years at the Agricultural College of the University of Delaware.
Mon, September 29, 2014 - 10:15 AM — permalink - 0 comments - add a comment

Entire Australian Web to be Monitored and Whistleblowers to be Jailed

Via: www.smh.com.au/digital-li...10m8ih.html

Terror laws clear Senate, enabling entire Australian web to be monitored and whistleblowers to be jailed

The new bill (PDF) [parlinfo.aph.gov.au/parlInfo...ion%2Fpdf ]

Australian spies will soon have the power to monitor the entire Australian internet with just one warrant, and journalists and whistleblowers will face up to 10 years' jail for disclosing classified information.

The government's first tranche of tougher anti-terrorism bills, which will beef up the powers of the domestic spy agency ASIO, passed the Senate by 44 votes to 12 on Thursday night with bipartisan support from Labor.

The bill, the National Security Legislation Amendment Bill (No. 1) 2014, will now be sent to the House of Representatives, where passage is all but guaranteed on Tuesday at the earliest.

Anyone - including journalists, whistleblowers and bloggers - who "recklessly" discloses "information ... [that] relates to a special intelligence operation" faces up to 10 years' jail.

Any operation can be declared "special" by an authorised ASIO officer

This also gives ASIO immunity for criminal and civil liability in certain circumstances.

Many, including lawyers and academics, have said they fear the agency will abuse this power.

Those who identify ASIO agents could also face a decade in prison under the new bill, a tenfold increase on the existing maximum penalty.

The new bill also allows ASIO to seek just one warrant to access a limitless number of computers on a computer network when attempting to monitor a target, which lawyers, rights groups, academics and Australian media organisations have condemned.

They said this would effectively allow the entire internet to be monitored, as it is a "network of networks" and the bill does not specifically define what a computer network is.

ASIO will also be able to copy, delete, or modify the data held on any of the computers it has a warrant to monitor.

The bill also allows ASIO to disrupt target computers, and use innocent third-party computers not targeted in order to access a target computer.

Professor George Williams of the University of NSW has warned previously the bill was too broad.

And, unlike the government's controversial plans to get internet providers to store metadata for up to two years, the bill passed on Thursday allows for the content of communications to be stored.

Most groups that had complained about the new bill also said they feared its disclosure offences went too far, with the Australian Lawyers Alliance saying they would have "not just a chilling effect but a freezing effect" on national security reporting.

Attorney-General George Brandis did not seek to allay their concerns on Thursday but said that, in a "newly dangerous age", it was vital that those protecting Australia were equipped with the powers and capabilities they needed.

When the bill passed on Thursday night, he said it was the most important reform for Australia's intelligence agencies since the late 1970s.

On Wednesday afternoon, Senator Brandis confirmed that, under the legislation, ASIO would be able to use just one warrant to access numerous devices on a network.

The warrant would be issued by the director-general of ASIO or his deputy.

"There is no arbitrary or artificial limit on the number of devices," Senator Brandis told the Senate.

However, Senator Brandis did say on Thursday that the new bills did not target journalists specifically, despite concerns from media organisations that they would be targets.

The new legislation instead targeted those who leaked classified information, such as the former US National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden, Senator Brandis said.

"These provisions have nothing to do with the press."

Despite this, Senator Brandis refused to say whether reporting on cases similar to Australia's foreign spy agency ASIS allegedly bugging East Timor's cabinet and the Australian Signals Directorate tapping the Indonesian president and his wife's mobile phone would result in journalists or whistleblowers being jailed.

The Australian Greens, through Senator Scott Ludlam, put forward an amendment that would limit the number of computers ASIO could access with one warrant to 20 but it failed to gain support from Labor or the government.

Speaking after the bill passed, Senator Ludlam told Fairfax Media he was disappointed.

"What we've seen [tonight] is, I think, a scary, disproportionate and unnecessary expansion of coercive surveillance powers that will not make anybody any safer but that affect freedoms that have been quite hard fought for and hard won over a period of decades," Senator Ludlam said.

"I have very grave concerns about the direction that the Australian government seems to be suddenly taking the country."

Independent Senator Nick Xenophon and Liberal Democratic Senator David Leyonhjelm also put forward amendments that would protect whistleblowers but these did not gain enough support either.

The legislation, which also covers a number of other issues, addresses many of the recommendations of a joint parliamentary inquiry into Australia's national security laws.

After concerns were raised by Labor and Senator Leyonhjelm, the government agreed to amend the legislation to specifically rule out ASIO using torture.

"ASIO cannot, does not and has never engaged in torture," Senator Brandis said.

The Palmer United Party was also successful in amending the law so anyone who exposes an undercover ASIO operative could face up to 10 years behind bars instead of one.

"The internet poses one of the greatest threats to our existence," Palmer United Party Senator Glen Lazarus said, speaking out against Senator Ludlam's amendment.

The Australian Greens voted against the bill, slamming the new measures as extreme and a "relentless expansion of powers" of the surveillance state.

Senator Leyonhjelm and Senator Xenophon also opposed the legislation, as did independent Senator John Madigan.

One of the amendments put forward by Senator Xenophon would have required ASIO's watchdog, the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security, to report publicly each year on how many devices ASIO accessed.

But Labor and the government voted against it, with Senator Brandis saying it "would not be appropriate" to report figures as it would reveal information about ASIO's capabilities.

The legal changes come amid growing concern over Islamic State extremists in the Middle East and terrorism threats at home.

Islamic State (also known as ISIL) has ordered followers to target civilian Australians.

In less than a week, police in two states launched the biggest counter-terrorism raids in Australia's history, and shot dead a known terrorist suspect after he stabbed two officers in Melbourne.

A second anti-terrorism bill targeting foreign fighters was introduced in the Senate on Wednesday and will be debated next month.

These changes have opposition support and would make it a criminal office to travel to a terrorist hot-spot without a reasonable excuse.

A third bill enabling the collection of internet and phone metadata for a period of up to two years for warrantless access by law-enforcement and spy agencies will be introduced later this year.

- with AAP
Fri, September 26, 2014 - 8:19 AM — permalink - 0 comments - add a comment

Hungary Suspends Gas Supplies to Ukraine

Via: www.bbc.com/news/business-29374151

26 September 2014 Last updated at 10:52 ET

Hungary's gas pipeline operator, FGSZ, says it has suspended delivery of gas to neighbouring Ukraine "indefinitely".

Ukraine has been receiving gas from Hungary, Poland and Slovakia since Russia cut off supplies to Ukraine in June in a dispute over unpaid bills.

Ukrainian state gas firm Naftogaz confirmed the stoppage, saying it was "unexpected and unexplained".

FGSZ said it had acted to raise the flow of gas to Hungary, due to an expected increase in demand.

With winter approaching fears are mounting that Ukraine will be unable to heat homes and power industry without Russian gas.

Russian and Ukrainian energy ministers are meeting in Berlin for EU-brokered talks, aimed at heading off such a crisis.

Relations between the former USSR's two most populous countries soured after the overthrow of Ukraine's pro-Russian President, Viktor Yanukovych, in February.

Europe's pipeline network
Russia subsequently annexed the Crimea region from Ukraine and was accused of fomenting a bloody insurrection in two of its eastern provinces.

Earlier this year Gazprom and Russian President Vladimir Putin warned of consequences if EU member states went ahead with deliveries to Ukraine to replace Russian supplies.

Russia says EU states are contractually forbidden from re-exporting gas to Ukraine while Brussels insists that such "reverse flows" are legal.

'Energy blackmail'
Hungary's move came three days after a meeting in Budapest between the head of Russian gas giant Gazprom, Alexei Miller, and Hungary's Prime Minister, Viktor Orban.

Prime Minister Orban has been critical of EU sanctions on Russia and has maintained a closer relationship with Moscow than his western European neighbours.

Gazprom agreed on Friday to boost supplies to Hungary, Reuters news agency reports.

"Hungary cannot get into a situation in which, due to the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, it cannot access its required supply of energy," Mr Orban said on Hungarian state radio.

European Commission spokeswoman Helen Kearns said on Friday: "The message from the Commission is very clear: we expect all member states to facilitate reverse flows as agreed by the European Council

"There is nothing preventing EU companies to dispose freely of gas they have purchased from Gazprom and this includes selling this gas to customers both within the EU as well as to third countries such as Ukraine."

Naftogaz urged its "Hungarian partners to respect their contractual obligations and EU legislation".

"Neither EU countries nor Ukraine should be put under political pressure through energy blackmail," Naftogaz said on its website.

Russian warning
It is hoped that Friday's talks will establish a basis for an interim deal over energy.

The deal could involve the EU buying enough Russian gas to safeguard Ukrainian and European supplies during the winter months, at roughly market prices, according to Reuters.

However, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak insisted in an interview published on Friday that re-exporting Russian gas to Ukraine is illegal and could lead to some EU states going without fuel shipments from Gazprom.

"We hope that our European partners will stick to the agreements," he told Germany's business daily Handelsblatt (in German).

"That is the only way to ensure there are no interruptions in gas deliveries to European consumers," he said.

In June, Russia cut off all gas supplies to Ukraine after Kiev failed to settle its debt with Gazprom.

Gazprom had sought $1.95bn (£1.15bn) out of a total claim of $4.5bn.

The Russia company said Ukraine had to pay upfront for its future supplies.

The issue of gas supply has dogged relations between Russia and Ukraine since the break-up of the USSR, with Russia seeking new export routes for its gas which would bypass Ukraine. EU supplies have been hit twice in the past decade because of the dispute.

The Kremlin has been accused of using Russia's leverage as a major gas supplier for political ends in its international relations.
Fri, September 26, 2014 - 8:14 AM — permalink - 0 comments - add a comment

"You Can't Fire Me, I Quit" - PIMCO Was Preparing To Fire Bill Gross

Via: www.zerohedge.com/news/2014...fire-gross

With more than $65 billion pulled from PIMCO's funds since May 2013, Bill Gross' firm had been struggling amid spotty performance and it seems, according to The Wall Street Journal, PIMCO (not Allianz) was set to fire the 70-year old bond king this weekend. It seems clear that Mr. Gross move was pre-emptive as sources cite his "increasingly erratic behavior" and ultimatums as factors in the move. Assumptions about Mohamed El-Erian returning to run the company have been denied. Some have estimated PIMCO could see a further 10-30% in fund outflows on the back of Mr. Gross' departure.

As The Wall Street Journal reports [online.wsj.com/articles/b...-1411736217 ]

Pimco has suffered recently as Mr. Gross has seen investors pull more than $65 billion from his fund since May 2013 amid spotty performance.

Pacific Investment Management Co. was going to fire its founder, Bill Gross, before he announced his Friday resignation, people familiar with the matter said. Pimco said it would announce a new portfolio-management structure later Friday, those people said.

Allianz commented... "While we are grateful for everything Bill contributed to building our firm and delivering value to Pimco's clients, over the course of this year it became increasingly clear that the firm's leadership and Bill have fundamental differences about how to take Pimco forward."

...

In a separate, joint statement July 7, members of the executive committee said it never took up the matter of Mr. Gross leaving. The committee called Mr. Gross a "vital leader" and "an extraordinary asset for our clients."

Fund outflows to continue... (via Bloomberg)

Gross’s exit shows Allianz not best Pimco owner, too late now for Allianz to do IPO of Pimco and asset outflows of 10%-30% possible, Bernstein says in note after Bill Gross announces move to Janus Capital.

* * *

*EL ERIAN WON'T BE NAMED TO REPLACE GROSS AT PIMCO: BLOOMBERG TV
Fri, September 26, 2014 - 8:13 AM — permalink - 0 comments - add a comment

Iranian Leader Rouhani Blames ‘Certain Intelligence Agencies’ (read CIA & Mossad) for Rise of Global Extremism

Via: rt.com/news/190640-ro...rise-extremism/

Published time: September 25, 2014 14:38
Edited time: September 25, 2014 15:48

The rise of violent extremism around the world is the fault of “certain states” and “intelligence agencies” that have helped to create it and are failing to withstand it, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said in an address to the UN General Assembly.

Speaking at the 69th session of the UN General Assembly on Thursday, Rouhani stressed that extremism is not a regional but a global issue, and called on states worldwide to unite against the extremists.

“Certain states have helped to create it, and are now failing to withstand it. Currently our peoples are paying the price," he said. "Certain intelligence agencies have put blades in the hand of the madmen, who now spare no one.”

Rouhani also said the current anti-Western sentiment in certain parts of the world was "the offspring ofyesterday's colonialism. Today's anti-Westernism is a reaction to yesterday's racism.”



The Iranian president urged “all those who have played a role in founding and supporting these terror groups” to acknowledge their mistake.

Rouhani also blamed “strategic blunders of the West in the Middle East, Central Asia and the Caucasus” for inciting violence in these regions and creating a “haven for terrorists and extremists.”

"Military aggression against Afghanistan and Iraq and improper interference in the developments in Syria are clear examples of this erroneous strategic approach in the Middle East."

Warning that “if the right approach is not undertaken in dealing with the issue at hand” the Middle East risks turning into “a turbulent and tumultuous region with repercussions for the whole world.”

"The rightsolution to this quandary comes from within the region and regionally provided solution with international support and not from the outside the region," he said.

Speaking of Iran’s nuclear program, Rouhani vowed that Tehran would continue negotiations to cement the deal with Western states.

“No one should doubt that compromise and agreement on this issue is in the best interest of everyone, especially that of the nations of the region,” he said. “According to all international observers, the Islamic Republic of Iran has carried out its commitments in good faith.”

Rouhani, who was elected in Iran’s presidential election last year despite being opposed by many in the country’s senior clergy, said that democracy cannot be exported to another country as it is a product of development, “not war and aggression.”

“Democracy is not an export product that can be commercially imported from the West to the East. In an underdeveloped society, imported democracy leads only to a weak and vulnerable government,” he told the assembly.
Thu, September 25, 2014 - 9:09 AM — permalink - 0 comments - add a comment

Eric Holder Resigning as US Attorney General

Grab your popcorn bucket--this shit's about to get good!

Via: www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo...orney-general
by Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP

Eric Holder Jr., the nation's first black U.S. attorney general, is preparing to announce his resignation Thursday after a tumultuous tenure marked by civil rights advances, national security threats, reforms to the criminal justice system and 5 1/2 years of fights with Republicans in Congress.

Two sources familiar with the decision tell NPR that Holder, 63, intends to leave the Justice Department as soon as his successor is confirmed, a process that could run through 2014 and even into next year. A former U.S. government official says Holder has been increasingly "adamant" about his desire to leave soon for fear that he otherwise could be locked in to stay for much of the rest of President Obama's second term.

Holder already is one of the longest-serving members of the Obama Cabinet and ranks as the fourth-longest tenured AG in history. Hundreds of employees waited in lines, stacked three rows deep, in early February 2009 to witness his return to the Justice Department, where he previously worked as a young corruption prosecutor and as deputy attorney general — the second in command — during the Clinton administration.

But some of that early glow faded in part due to the politicized nature of the job and in part because of Holder's own rhetoric, such as a 2009 Black History Month speech where he said the country was "a nation of cowards" when it comes to discussions about racial tension.

Five years later, violence erupted between police and protesters in Ferguson, Mo., after a white policeman killed an unarmed black 18-year-old. And this time, the White House dispatched Holder to speak his piece, in effect jump-starting that conversation and helping to settle nerves in the frayed community.

Another huge controversy — over his decision to try the Sept. 11 plotters in a New York courthouse in the shadow of the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center — prompted venomous reaction from lawmakers, New York City officials and some victims' families.

Under pressure that threatened his job and his legacy, the attorney general reversed his decision and instead sent the cases to military court — where they continue to languish even as Osama bin Laden's son-in-law and other terrorism defendants are serving life sentences in maximum-security prisons on American soil.

Holder most wants to be remembered for his record on civil rights: refusing to defend a law that defined marriage as between one man and one woman; suing North Carolina and Texas over voting restrictions that disproportionately affect minorities and the elderly; launching 20 investigations of abuses by local police departments; and using his bully pulpit to lobby Congress to reduce prison sentences for nonviolent drug crimes. Many of those sentences disproportionately hurt minority communities.

And then there's his relationship with Congress. From the day Holder's nomination was announced, Republicans led by Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., signaled that he would be a political lightning rod.

The attorney general's portfolio, which spans sensitive law enforcement cases and hot-button social issues including marijuana and gay marriage, didn't help. But even longtime aides say Holder didn't do enough to help himself by shrugging off preparations and moot sessions before congressional appearances and speaking off the cuff — and obliquely.

Things hit a crisis point when the GOP-led House voted him in contempt for refusing to hand over documents about a gun trafficking scandal known as Fast and Furious. That represented the first time an attorney general had ever been rebuked that way, but still Holder held on to his job.

In the end, the decision to leave was Holder's alone — the two sources tell NPR that the White House would have been happy to have him stay a full eight years and to avoid what could be a contentious nomination fight for his successor. Holder and Obama discussed his departure several times and finalized things in a long meeting over Labor Day weekend at the White House.

The attorney general told DOJ staff the news this morning and has called civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., and Ethel Kennedy, the widow of former AG Robert F. Kennedy.

The sources say a leading candidate for that job is Solicitor General Don Verrilli, the administration's top representative to the Supreme Court and a lawyer whose judgment and discretion are prized in both DOJ and the White House.

Friends and former colleagues say Holder has made no decisions about his next professional perch, but they say it would be no surprise if he returned to the law firm Covington & Burling, where he spent years representing corporate clients.

The friends say Holder is also considering donating his papers to a university in Washington, D.C., or his native New York, where he could establish a civil rights center to work more on law enforcement interactions with communities of color and host public forums on those issues.

Even though the attorney general has his eyes on the door, the two sources say several more policy and enforcement initiatives are underway and could be announced soon.

For instance, Holder sent a memo to U.S. attorneys Wednesday urging them not to use sentencing enhancements known as "851" tools to gain leverage in plea negotiations with defendants — in essence, threatening defendants into avoiding trial with huge amounts of prison time. The practice has been criticized by U.S. District Judge John Gleeson in Brooklyn and other jurists.

Holder is also expected to notify federal prosecutors in coming days that the Justice Department will no longer require defendants who plead guilty to waive their rights to appeal based on ineffective lawyering. Many U.S. attorneys now forgo that practice, but not all.

Long-awaited racial profiling guidelines for federal agents will be released soon, too. Those guidelines will make clear that sexual orientation, ethnicity and religion are not legitimate bases for law enforcement suspicion, but controversial mapping of certain communities — including Muslim Americans — would still be allowed for national security investigations, one of the sources said.
Thu, September 25, 2014 - 8:55 AM — permalink - 0 comments - add a comment

NYT: Suspicions Run Deep in Iraq That C.I.A. and the Islamic State Are United

See also: U.S. Attacking Oil Infrastructure Belonging to… ISIS?
edition.cnn.com/2014/09/24.../index.html

***

Via: mobile.nytimes.com/2014/09/...ited.html

BAGHDAD — The United States has conducted an escalating campaign of deadly airstrikes against the extremists of the Islamic State for more than a month. But that appears to have done little to tamp down the conspiracy theories still circulating from the streets of Baghdad to the highest levels of Iraqi government that the C.I.A. is secretly behind the same extremists that it is now attacking.

“We know about who made Daesh,” said Bahaa al-Araji, a deputy prime minister, using an Arabic shorthand for the Islamic State on Saturday at a demonstration called by the Shiite cleric Moktada al-Sadr to warn against the possible deployment of American ground troops. Mr. Sadr publicly blamed the C.I.A. for creating the Islamic State in a speech last week, and interviews suggested that most of the few thousand people at the demonstration, including dozens of members of Parliament, subscribed to the same theory. (Mr. Sadr is considered close to Iran, and the theory is popular there as well.)

When an American journalist asked Mr. Araji to clarify if he blamed the C.I.A. for the Islamic State, he retreated: “I don’t know. I am one of the poor people,” he said, speaking fluent English and quickly stepping back toward the open door of a chauffeur-driven SUV. “But we fear very much. Thank you!”

The prevalence of the theory in the streets underscored the deep suspicions of the American military’s return to Iraq more than a decade after its invasion, in 2003. The casual endorsement by a senior official, though, was also a pointed reminder that the new Iraqi government may be an awkward partner for the American-led campaign to drive out the extremists.

The Islamic State, also known by the acronym ISIS, has conquered many of the predominantly Sunni Muslim provinces in Iraq’s northeast, aided by the alienation of many residents to the Shiite-dominated government of the former prime minister, Nuri Kamal al-Maliki. President Obama has insisted repeatedly that American military action against the Islamic State depended on the installation of a more inclusive government in Baghdad, but he moved ahead before it was complete.

The Parliament has not yet confirmed nominees for the crucial posts of interior or defense minister, in part because of discord between Sunni and Shiite factions, and the Iraqi news media has reported that it may be more than a month before the posts are filled.

The demonstration on Saturday was the latest in a series of signals from Shiite leaders or militias, especially those considered close to Iran, warning the United States not to put its soldiers back on the ground. Mr. Obama has pledged not to send combat troops, but he seems to have convinced few Iraqis. “We don’t trust him,” said Raad Hatem, 40.

Haidar al-Assadi, 40, agreed. “The Islamic State is a clear creation of the United States, and the United States is trying to intervene again using the excuse of the Islamic State,” he said.

Shiite militias and volunteers, he said, were already answering the call from religious leaders to defend Iraq from the Islamic State without American help. “This is how we do it,” he said, adding that the same forces would keep American troops out. “The main reason Obama is saying he will not invade again is because he knows the Islamic resistance” of the Shiite militias “and he does not want to lose a single soldier.”

The leader of the Islamic State, for his part, declared on Saturday that he defied the world to stop him.

“The conspiracies of Jews, Christians, Shiites and all the tyrannical regimes in the Muslim countries have been powerless to make the Islamic State deviate from its path,” the leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, declared in an audio recording released over the Internet, using derogatory terms from early Islamic history to refer to Christians and Shiites.

“The entire world saw the powerlessness of America and its allies before a group of believers,” he said. “People now realize that victory is from God, and it shall not be aborted by armies and their arsenals.”

Many at the rally in Baghdad said they welcomed airstrikes against Mr. Baghdadi’s Islamic State but not American ground forces, the position that Mr. Sadr has taken. Many of the 30 lawmakers backed by Mr. Sadr — out of a Parliament of 328 seats — attended the rally.

Mr. Sadr’s supporters opposed Mr. Maliki, the former prime minister, and many at the rally were quick to criticize the former government for mistakes like failing to build a more dependable army. “We had a good army, so where is this army now?” asked Waleed al-Hasnawi, 35. “Maliki gave them everything, but they just left the battlefield.”

But few if any blamed Mr. Maliki for alienating Sunnis, as American officials assert, by permitting sectarian abuses under the Shiite-dominated security forces.

Omar al-Jabouri, 31, a Sunni Muslim from a predominantly Shiite neighborhood of Baghdad who attended the rally and said he volunteers with a Shiite brigade, argued that Mr. Maliki had alienated most Iraqis, regardless of their sect.

“He did not just exclude and marginalize the Sunni people; he ignored the Shiite people, too,” Mr. Jabouri said. “He gave special help to his family, his friends, people close to him. He did not really help the Shiite people, as many people think.”

But the Islamic State was a different story, Mr. Jabouri said. “It is obvious to everyone that the Islamic State is a creation of the United States and Israel.”

[Graphic | How ISIS Works--With oil revenues, arms and organization, the jihadist group controls vast stretches of Syria and Iraq and aspires to statehood.]
Thu, September 25, 2014 - 8:34 AM — permalink - 0 comments - add a comment

100 THOUSAND POETS & MUSICIANS FOR CHANGE 2014 - YPSI/A2

On Sunday, September 28 from 6:30-11:30pm at the Wurst Bar in Ypsilanti, Michigan, local poet and event promoter, Craig A. Combs of Sacred Star Production, will present 100 Thousand Poets & Musicians for Change in conjunction with the global event, now in its fourth year. [www.100tpc.org] The aim of this worldwide collaboration is to connect other poets, musicians, and activists around the country and across the globe to celebrate and promote peace and sustainability and to call for serious social, environmental, and political change.

The Variety Show opens at 6:30pm with Wayne-Westland duo Jake LeMond and Joe May. Also featured are SE MI trios Rustic Union and Cold Tone Harvest, Julie Babcock, Edward Morin, Matt Lindeman, John F. Buckley, Arnie Koester, David Jibson, Jessa, R.J. Fox, Tim and Kristi, J. Joseph Kane, and John Heath (from Trembling Earth). Combs will host & MC the show.

Anyone interested in performing in the Open Mic segment may sign up starting at 6:30pm the night of the show. All acoustic musicians, comedians, poets, activists and other spoken word artists are welcome and encouraged to join in and voice their ideas of what Change means to them. Everyone will be heard! Open Mic will follow the Variety Show. Since this is an acoustic event, large ensembles and outside amplifiers will not be permitted.

The video crew of Dark Elf Entertainment will be filming the entire event and streaming the video content on their web-TV channel at www.WDEE-TV.com following the show. This event is open to the public, and admission is FREE. All ages are welcome until 9 pm—adults over 21 only after that.

There will be giveaways and a raffle drawing, as well, and anyone who makes a donation to our Food Gatherers Food Drive will receive a raffle ticket for every food item or $5 donated. For more details, contact Craig Combs at craigacombs[at]me[dot]com. You may also visit the Wurst’s Facebook event page at www.facebook.com/events/14...28955527/. I hope to see you then!
Fri, September 19, 2014 - 9:17 AM — permalink - 0 comments - add a comment

A Proud Human for a Sovereign Scotland

Post-Vote Update: Salmond resigns after losing Scottish independence referendum
rt.com/uk/189132-salm...nce-referendum/

My best wishes to all those in Scotland today as they go to the polls to cast their vote on the question of whether to secede from the United Kingdom!

As someone who, like you, has lived through the stripping of so many of our most basic civil rights since our mutual descent into darkness on 9/11/2001, I strongly urge ALL SCOTS to rethink what the fear-mongers in the No Camp have been hollering for months now..."There's no going back!"

I say, THANK GOD FOR THAT! The whole world looks to you today for your enduring faith in a higher outcome, your steady resolve to see this matter through, and your courage to ultimately do what must be done!

In this most auspicious hour, the time has come for you to reach out and grab that Gold Ring of Freedom, hold on tight, and Enjoy the Ride! As so many have said, you may never have another chance to regain your autonomy peaceably, so please, for all of us who hunger for the taste of Liberty, VOTE YES! Be the Beacon of Hope we all look to and instinctually desire to reach...one day.

Today is YOUR DAY! Make it count!!!

In Lak'ech (I am another You) I am Scotland!
Thu, September 18, 2014 - 7:02 AM — permalink - 0 comments - add a comment

US Congressman Justin Amash's (R-MI) Statement on Amendment to Arm Groups in Syria

Via: email & www.facebook.com/repjustin...3619549713
Posted 17 Sep 2014

What have we learned from the last decade of war?

Those years should have taught us that when going to war, our government must:
(1) be careful when defining a military mission,
(2) speak forthrightly with the American people about the sacrifices they will be called to make,
(3) plan more than one satisfactory end to the conflict, and
(4) be humble about what we think we know.

These lessons should be at the front of our minds when Congress votes today on whether to arm groups in Syria.

Today’s amendment ostensibly is aimed at destroying ISIS—yet you’d hardly know it from reading the amendment’s text. The world has witnessed with horror the evil of ISIS: the public beheading of innocents, the killing of Christians, Muslims, and others.

The amendment’s focus—arming groups fighting the Assad government in Syria—has little to do with defeating ISIS. The mission that the amendment advances plainly isn’t the defeat of ISIS; it’s the defeat of Assad.

Americans stood overwhelmingly against entangling our Armed Forces in the Syrian civil war a year ago. If Congress chooses to arm groups in Syria, it must explain to the American people not only why that mission is necessary but also the sacrifices that that mission entails.

The Obama administration has tried to rally support for U.S. involvement in the Syrian civil war by implying that our help would be at arm’s length. The amendment Congress will vote on broadly authorizes “assistance” to groups in Syria. It does not specify what types of weapons our government will give the groups. It does not prohibit boots on the ground. (The amendment is silent on the president’s power to order our troops to fight in the civil war; it states only that Congress doesn’t provide “specific statutory authorization” for such escalation.) It does not state the financial cost of the war.

As we should have learned from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, we must plan for multiple satisfactory ends to military conflicts before we commence them.

If the Syrian groups that are “appropriately vetted” (the amendment’s language) succeed and oust Assad, what would result? Would the groups assemble a coalition government of anti-Assad fighters, and would that coalition include ISIS? What would happen to the Alawites and Christians who stood with Assad? To what extent would the U.S. government be obligated to occupy Syria to rebuild the government? If each of the groups went its own way, would Syria’s territory be broken apart, and if so, would ISIS control one of the resulting countries?

If the Syrian groups that we support begin to lose, would we let them be defeated? If not, is there any limit to American involvement in the war?

Perhaps some in the administration or Congress have answers to these questions. But the amendment we’ll vote on today contains none of them.

Above all, when Congress considers serious actions—especially war—we must be humble about what we think we know. We don’t know very much about the groups we propose to support or even how we intend to vet those groups. Reports in the last week suggest that some of the “appropriately vetted” groups have struck deals with ISIS, although the groups dispute the claim. The amendment requires the administration to report on its efforts to prevent our arms and resources from ending up in the wrong hands, but we know little about those precautions or their effectiveness.

Today, I will vote against the amendment to arm groups in Syria. There is a wide misalignment between the rhetoric of defeating ISIS and the amendment’s actual mission of arming certain groups in the Syrian civil war. The amendment provides few limits on the type of assistance that our government may commit, and the exit out of the civil war is undefined. And given what’s happened in our country’s most recent wars, our leaders seem to have unjustified confidence in their own ability to execute a plan with so many unknowns.

Some of my colleagues no doubt will come to different judgments on these questions. But it’s essential that they consider the questions carefully. That the president wants the authority to intervene in the Syrian civil war is not a sufficient reason to give him that power. Under the Constitution, it is Congress’s independent responsibility to commence war.

We are the representatives of the American people. The government is proposing to take their resources and to put their children’s lives at risk. I encourage all my colleagues to give the decision the weight it is due.

Sincerely,

Justin Amash
Member of Congress
Thu, September 18, 2014 - 6:49 AM — permalink - 0 comments - add a comment
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