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No Agenda Episode 456

By Adam Curry. Posted Sunday, October 28, 2012 at 12:36 PM.

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By Adam Curry. Posted Sunday, October 28, 2012 at 12:37 PM.

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Art By: Nick the Rat

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Credits

By Adam Curry. Posted Sunday, October 28, 2012 at 12:37 PM.

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Executive Producers: Baron Steven Pelsmaekers

Associate Executive Producers: David Yeagly

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Art By: Nick the Rat

ShowNotes Archive of links and Assets (clips etc) 456.nashownotes.com

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--

GPG

Happy World Vegan Day!

Hi Adam, its Saturday night New Zealand time.

"It would be lovely if you could say something like "....and John, let me be the first to wish you Happy World Vegan Day!........to all the vegan producers out there.", he'd grumble for a couple seconds and then the show would continue on with its usual calibre of excellence :-)

Just an idea, you dont owe us shit :-)"

If you'd mention "the Invercargill Vegan Society" in there, that would be great.

"...and John, let me be the first to wish you Happy World Vegan Day, 1st of November, Happy World Vegan Day to all the vegan producers out there, and Vegan in Residence Jordan along with all the Invercargill Vegan Society".

Bit of a mouth full? :-)

It would be lovely to hear World Vegan Day mentioned again like in years past, a glorious tradition!

Take care Adam (and Micky, and John!)

Jordan

Happy Birthday Lucifer

Clocks go back across Europe

Link to Article

Source: euronews

Sun, 28 Oct 2012 12:15

Summer officially ended over night as across Europe the clocks were turned back.For many it meant an extra hour in bed, but for night shift workers it added an hour to their shifts. But if changing the clocks in your house seems a chore just think of one museum in the UK where over 1,000 time pieces have to be altered.

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Bad Actors

Obama Fires Top Admiral As Coup Plot Fears Grows

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Sun, 28 Oct 2012 11:42

World's Largest English Language News Service with Over 500 Articles Updated Daily

"The News You Need Today'...For The World You'll Live In Tomorrow."

What You Aren't Being Told About The World You Live In

War Of The Sacred Code: The True Secret Of 2012

A ''must have'' book for those seeking to understand the truth behind this most prophesied about year in human history. (Continued)

''Dirty, Filthy, Christians'':Treatise On The Most Dangerous Death Cult In Human History

An unprecedented work detailing the agenda behind the greatest deception ever foisted upon humanity.(Continued)

BattleBegins For Throne of This World: The Return of the Einherjar Warriors

By: Sorcha Faal ''The truest accounting of our World's present state of Global Chaos, the 'whys' and 'how's' are presented in this epic history of what has been kept hidden from humanity. (Continued)

Picking up the Pieces: Practical Guide for Surviving Economic Crashes, Internal Unrest and Military SuppressionBy: Sorcha Faal ''In the span of less than 3 months gasoline prices will rise 500%. The prices of both food and shelter rise over 300%. (Continued)

Partisans Handbook:By: Sorcha Faal ''Essential Survival Guide For Resisting Foreign Military Occupation, Escape And Evasion Techniques, Surviving Interrogation, Facing Execution, Wilderness Survival (Continued)

Code Red: The Coming Destruction Of The United StatesLimited release of the perhaps one of the most prophetic books of our time relating to the underlying causes, and history, of the downfall of America (Continued)

October 28, 2012

Obama Fires Top Admiral As Coup Plot Fears Grows

By:Sorcha Faal, and as reported to her Western Subscribers

A shocking new report prepared by the Foreign Military Intelligence Main Directorate (GRU) of the General Staff of the Armed Forces, and circulating in the Kremlin today, states that President Obama has fired one of the United States Navy's most powerful Admirals over growing fears the US Military is planning an overthrow of his government.

According to this report, yesterday (27 October) Obama ordered the immediate removal of Rear Admiral Charles M. Gaouette [photo 2nd left] from his command of the powerful Carrier Strike Group Three (CSG-3) [photo 3rd left] currently located in the Middle East.

CSG-3 is one of five US Navy carrier strike groups currently assigned to the US Pacific Fleet. US Navy carrier strike groups are employed in a variety of roles, which involve gaining and maintaining sea control and projecting power ashore, as well as projecting naval airpower ashore.

The aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN-74) is the strike group's current flagship, and as of 2012, other units assigned to Carrier Strike Group Three include Carrier Air Wing Nine; the guided-missile cruisers USS Mobile Bay (CG-53) and USS Antietam (CG-54); and the ships of Destroyer Squadron 21, the guided-missile destroyers USS Wayne E. Meyer (DDG-108), USS Dewey (DDG-105), USS Kidd (DDG-100), and USS Milius (DDG-69).

USnews reports on Obama's unprecedented firing of a powerful US Navy Commander during wartime state that Admiral Gaouette's removal was for ''allegations of inappropriate leadership judgment'' that arose during the strike group's deployment to the Middle East.

This GRU report, however, states that Admiral Gaouette's firing by President Obama was due to this strike force commander disobeying orders when he ordered his forces on 11 September to ''assist and provide intelligence for'' American military forces ordered into action by US Army General Carter Ham, who was then the commander of the United States Africa Command (AFRICOM), against terrorist forces attacking the American Consulate in Benghazi, Libya.

General Ham had been in command of the initial 2011 US-NATO military intervention in Libya who, like Admiral Gaouette, was fired by Obama. And as we can, in part, read from US military insider accounts of this growing internal conflict between the White House and US Military leaders:

''The information I heard today was that General [Carter] Ham as head of Africom received the same e-mails the White House received requesting help/support as the attack was taking place. General Ham immediately had a rapid response unit ready and communicated to the Pentagon that he had a unit ready.

General Ham then received the order to stand down. His response was to screw it, he was going to help anyhow. Within 30 seconds to a minute after making the move to respond, his second in command apprehended General Ham and told him that he was now relieved of his command.''

GRU analysts in this report state that Obama's ''greatest fear'' during the 11 September terrorist attack on the American Consulate in Benghazi was that a strong US Military response would hurt his reelection chances as the American peoples appetite for war has all but disappeared, and he would, also, be open to attacks from his far-left base who remain firmly opposed to further US military actions in the Middle East.

As we had, also, reported in our 17 September report ''China Warns World War III Being Planned To Oust Obama,'' White House fears are growing by the day that Obama is being pushed into a ''Total War'' scenario by the Pentagon in an action not unlike the situation faced by President John F. Kennedy when he faced off with against the powerful US Air Force General Curtis Lemay during the October, 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis.

Known well to Obama, this report continues, was the 1962 Pentagon proposal to Kennedy named ''Operation Northwoods'' that called for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), or other operatives, to commit acts of terrorism in US cities and elsewhere. These acts of terrorism were to be blamed on Cuba in order to create public support for a war against that nation, which had recently become communist under Fidel Castro.

Fearing his being faced with a similar Pentagon threat, GRU analysts say in this report, Obama's reluctance to allow a US military response to the 11 September attack on the American Consulate in Benghazi was due to his not knowing who was really behind it, or what their ultimate objective really was.

Obama's fears, apparently, were confirmed by the Federal Security Service (FSB), and as we reported on in our 9 October report titled ''Monsanto ''War'' Kills US Ambassador To Libya'' which blamed the Benghazi attack on the shadowy Italian eco-terror group Il Silvestre.

Following the attack on Benghazi, this FSB report further states, the eco-terror group Il Silvestre brutally assassinated British oil executive Nicholas Mockford, 60, who worked for the US oil giant ExxonMobil, two weeks ago on a street in Brussels, Belgium.

Though the links between either the Pentagon or CIA relating to Il Silvestre have yet to be firmly established, this GRU report concludes, it can not be ruled out that further attacks against Obama's interests by the US Military are not in the offing.

Most cryptic in this GRU report, however, was its noting, that based upon the 1962 American movie titled Advise & Consent, and the 1962 novel Seven Days in May (made into a movie in 1964), the warnings to President Kennedy about any American leader daring to challenge the Pentagon would be met with swift and harsh punishment. Kennedy, however, failed to heed these warnings and suffered the consequences.

To what Obama's fate will be, especially should he continue to be in conflict with the Pentagon, it is not known. What is known, though, is that the American people themselves continue to remain ignorant of the dangers they face as the world around them continues to spin out of control as they continue to rely on lies and half truths spoon fed to them by their vast mainstream propaganda apparatus designed to keep them from knowing any truths at all.

October 28, 2012 (C) EU and US all rights reserved. Permission to use this report in its entirety is granted under the condition it is linked back to its original source at WhatDoesItMean.Com. Freebase content licensed under CC-BY and GFDL.

[Ed. Note: Western governments and their intelligence services actively campaign against the information found in these reports so as not to alarm their citizens about the many catastrophic Earth changes and events to come, a stance that the Sisters of Sorcha Faal strongly disagrees with in believing that it is every human beings right to know the truth. Due to our missions conflicts with that of those governments, the responses of their 'agents' against us has been a longstanding misinformation/misdirection campaign designed to discredit and which is addressed in the report ''Who Is Sorcha Faal?''.]

You May Already Be To Late'...But It Has Begun!

They Are Going To Come For You'...Why Are You Helping Them?

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Navy Replaces Admiral Leading Mideast Strike Group Because Inappropriate Leadership Investigation

SEAL father: Who denied backup during Benghazi attack? | Fox News Video

Link to Article

Sun, 28 Oct 2012 00:59

This transcript is automatically generated

Thank you as Jennifer just reported the CIA requested military back up three times for the besieged US consulate in Libya and three times it was denied.

US navy seal Tyrone woods was one of the four Americans killed in the terror attack.

He ignored the orders to stand down he went to the consulate to try to save those -- He fought to the bitter and all the way back -- the CIA -- trying to keep the attacker today.

His body was found slumped over his machine gun.

They believe he fire to the last moment.

His -- Charlie.

Is not interest in political arguments but he does want to know who in the administration made the call not to dispatch military assets that might have saved his son's life.

Instead of leaving Tyrone woods and the other -- To fend for themselves.

Charlie woods joins us live now by phone Charlie your reaction to the breaking news.

Well thank you I appreciate your introduction and I do want to reiterate this.

And really emphasize again this is not about politics is is that how it.

In the world about all they couldn't decide and -- This test do our integrity.

Injustice.

As you learn.

More about his final moments.

How he relates to back up twice three times three times and was tonight three times and how he ignored the orders to stand down how he rushed to the scene to try to save the ambassador.

And ultimately paid.

His own.

But with his own life for his heroism.

This news that he disobeyed his orders.

There's not surprise me my son was an American hero.

And she -- according he had the moral strength to do what it was right.

Eastern yes that would professionally cost him his job.

-- it would essentially.

Constant -- She was a hero who's willing to do.

-- was necessary.

To respond.

To their first -- help.

Yes in fact most people cannot buy outs were as courageous and -- moral strain.

That -- Immediately.

Within minutes when they found it was the first attack it would -- it it wouldn't -- an -- not to Knight commission.

That is 138.

C 130s to gone up there.

In this is that I don't know much about weapons that is coming out right now if they actually have laser.

Targets.

Focused on the mortars.

That will.

He set he killed my son and they've refused to pull the trigger even used and those utilities to me.

I'm an attorney this may not.

Meet their legal system murder but to me that is not only counter -- that those people who they -- decision.

And who knew about decision lied about it.

Are murderers but my that very strong statement -- it didn't make that put there have been and we need to do their conscience.

India Pakistan.

And he changed the direction of their lives and want to -- now you know who you are.

I couldn't good news is that ethical use them now you changed the direction you want.

--

Charlie do you feel like you are getting.

Straight answers.

From the administration and --

It is this at all capitalized.

And that's one thing as a father whose -- was built a did not issue bites.

Do not appreciate counts naked pictures.

And I.

I don't look -- and -- the one on him and I hope -- not if he's been stung.

I'm very glad that actually coming out right now I do not the -- Even speak you know we can you make the decision saying.

That pastor.

The sex came out that in real time the White House but minutes after the -- bullet -- You watched myself.

The night.

Is used there so.

My son.

Violated this orders in order to protect the lives of at least -- people.

You've risked his life to be here I wish the leadership in place -- that same level.

The war footage in those that might this but it is it.

As we look at the beautiful pictures you give us of -- when he was younger when he was in high school the picture of the two of you together.

We remember his legacy he is an American hero Charlie and -- the last forty.

Well you know I appreciate and I I hate accentuate those pictures I have and I -- and I wanted to be sure there's -- people there.

Preliminary.

And that is -- the people -- inspired and you know that I was just a normal kid.

But if you're an encrypted -- like what we were normal.

You know I ain't it cool it legacy he did on.

You know do we would raise that -- generation.

Of American heroes that they would be inspired by his pictures and that is quite.

And we -- it -- in the nation but they're here.

There are strong morally and strong every other aspect of life you do not believe that it generation.

Of suppliers.

Who.

-- the world straight if Einstein used her if you're.

An.

Charlie -- all the best to you -- your family.

And.

Well I really appreciate what's happening and I really wish the best because people.

That allowed by you know there and I mean that there's -- And want the best of them but they need to stand up needed to change -- their lives and.

Thank you all about -- I know I speak for a lot of our viewers and I say -- your son witnessed and we honor his memory.

Today -- lottery time what did he do it.

We -- gonna have much more -- on this story.

We're taking your thoughts on it right now you can seventy and on Twitter -- Maine Kelly I do read them.

And still ahead we will be joined by the former White House.

Chief of staff under president George W.

Bush -- card as well as general Tom McInerney.

Who said yesterday that more could've been done much more.

-- it right here in America life.

Homeland Security Today: Army to Assign Reserve Units to NORTHCOM, Other Regional Commands.

Link to Article

Source: bertb news feed

Sat, 27 Oct 2012 15:21

By: Mickey McCarter

10/23/2012 ( 8:00am)

The US Army plans to increase integration of active duty and Reserve forces and to align reserve units to regional commands to better meet their needs.

After 11 years of war since 9/11, the Army is going to have to meet its obligations with a smaller force, Army Secretary John McHugh said during the annual meeting of the Association of the United States Army Monday.

"I believe very strongly we can and in fact we already have started [to do so]," McHugh said.

To adjust force structure, equipment and training, McHugh seeks to integrate reserve forces and to continue to make use of the operational reserve built by the Army since Sept. 11, 2001, McHugh said. The capabilities of the Army Reserve and National Guard as a trained and ready force are "paramount" to national security and stability, McHugh said.

To that end, McHugh signed a directive for a "total force policy," he announced Monday. The directive calls for the Army to man, train and equip active and reserve components in an integrated force with the goal of setting predictable, recurring and sustainable capabilities

The Army will develop and implement unified personnel management, foster procurement programs for the total force and facilitate opportunities for soldiers to move between different military components, McHugh said.

In a panel later in the day, Maj. Gen. James Young, chief of staff of the US Army Reserve Command, said the Army Reserve in particular has been too fragmented in the past.

Six years ago, the Army reorganized the Army Reserve so that all units of a particular function aligned under unified command and control, Young said.

Now the Army must assign its reserve units to regional areas of the world to fully provide combatant commands with capabilities they require.

"From a regional alignment perspective, it really allows us to understand very well our true capacity and capability in each one of those of functions," Young said of reserve units. The Army must make better use of engineering and civil affairs assets, for instance -- 100 percent of which remain in the Army Reserve.

US Northern Command (NORTHCOM), for example, has never really been able to field the kind of force it would like to provide military civil support for all of its missions, said Lt. Gen. John Campbell, Army deputy chief of staff. Assigning dedicated reserve units to NORTHCOM under regional assignments would provide it with resources to deploy forces it may need.

The changes in alignment for regional support should not affect procurement, Campbell predicted.

Gen. David Rodriguez, commanding general of US Army Forces Command, agreed that Army National Guard and Army Reserve must increase their joint training and integrated mission support across all regions.

"We built this force over the last decade into the highly capable team we are today. Our future success depends on this team remaining together and continuing to think and fight as one total force. This is important because today America's Army is headed into a period of transition that is constrained by fiscal limitation and characterized by a more complex, dangerous operating environment," Rodriguez said.

Follow me on Twitter at www.twitter.com/mickeymccarter

Senators demand White House declassify Libya video

Link to Article

Source: The Daily Star >> Live News

Sat, 27 Oct 2012 05:43

WASHINGTON: Republican senators are demanding that the Obama administration make public the surveillance video taken during last month's deadly attack on the U.S. Consulate in Libya, which killed the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans.

Sens. John McCain, Lindsey Graham and Kelly Ayotte wrote to President Barack Obama's defense secretary, CIA director and attorney general demanding that the video be declassified.

In the run-up to the presidential election, Republicans have accused the Obama administration of distorting the account of the attack on Sept. 11 that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans. Officials first blamed it on a mob set into motion by an anti-Islamic film. Obama administration officials have pointed to U.S. intelligence reports that showed conflicting information. Administration officials did not respond to requests for comment.

Petraeus Throws Obama Under the Bus | The Weekly Standard

Link to Article

Sat, 27 Oct 2012 14:43

Breaking news on Benghazi: the CIA spokesman, presumably at the direction of CIA director David Petraeus, has put out this statement: "No one at any level in the CIA told anybody not to help those in need; claims to the contrary are simply inaccurate. ''

So who in the government did tell ''anybody'' not to help those in need? Someone decided not to send in military assets to help those Agency operators. Would the secretary of defense make such a decision on his own? No.

It would have been a presidential decision. There was presumably a rationale for such a decision. What was it? When and why'--and based on whose counsel obtained in what meetings or conversations'--did President Obama decide against sending in military assets to help the Americans in need?

Browse 15 Years of the Weekly Standard

RED BOOK!

IBM Applications Use Analytics to Bolster Patient Care, Fight Fraud

Link to Article

Sun, 28 Oct 2012 01:29

IBM has introduced Patient Care and Insights, an analytics application that uses Watson-like technology to predict proper patient treatment, and Intelligent Investigation Manager to facilitate investigations of fraud.

IBM has unveiled Patient Care and Insights, new analytics software that allows health care organizations to determine the proper treatments for patients. The company also introduced Intelligent Investigation Manager, an application that helps companies conduct fraud and public-safety related investigations.

On Oct. 23 IBM announced the new products at its Information on Demand Conference in Las Vegas. The new software was developed at IBM Labs.

Patient Care and Insights uses natural language processing (NLP) technology similar to that which drives IBM's Watson supercomputer. NLP allows medical professionals to analyze structured data in electronic health records and medical claims as well as unstructured data in doctors' notes, consultation reports and faxes, IBM reported.

The software enables doctors to practice personalized medicine and make recommendations to improve an individual patient's condition. It allows doctors to analyze similar clinical characteristics in other patients to make clinical decisions and spot complications.

Through Patient Care and Insights, doctors can analyze patient conditions as they move from one provider to another, according to Dr. Paul Grundy, global director of health care transformation at IBM. This federal care transition model is called the patient-centered medical home.

Multiple providers may include physicians, specialists, hospitals, clinics and home care environments.

"With the wide-scale adoption of the patient-centered medical home, the need for comprehensive care management and analysis of the patient as they transition across settings has become a national priority," Grundy said in a statement. "Programs like those at the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, for instance, that focus on robust care management, are indicative of the significant returns on investment that these care models can deliver."

IBM provides predictive modeling and algorithms in Patient Care and Insights to enable doctors to study demographic, social, clinical and financial data along with their notes to develop personalized treatment plans. The software can also match patients with the appropriate providers for certain conditions.

In addition, the analytics software can show "early identifiers" of a condition in a patient's history that help doctors craft a treatment plan.

Patient Care and Analytics incorporates IBM's Content and Predictive Analytics, which helps doctors spot patient trends and improve care.

Meanwhile, IBM's new Intelligent Investigation Manager software will allow investigators to study relationships among perpetrators, providers or fraud rings and create simple visualizations of fraud cases from structured and unstructured data in silos.

Intelligent Investigation Manager will enable industries such as health care, banking, insurance, retail and law enforcement to analyze intelligence and develop fraud protection.

An organization can lose about 5 percent of annual revenue to fraud, according to the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, an organization that provides training and education on fraud.

Intelligent Investigation Manager helps public safety officials by providing access to internal and external data. It incorporates IBM's Case Manager software, which helps investigators prepare reports on cases for negotiation or prosecution. It also includes i2 Fraud Intelligence Analysis, an application that shows the connection among parties involved in a case.

The fraud-investigation platform also incorporates Content Analytics With Enterprise Search, a tool that searches, analyzes and extracts entities, as well as detects suspicious patterns of fraudulent activity while updating analytics data on cases.

NWO

Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe | OSCE

Daily Press Briefing - October 26, 2012

Link to Article

Fri, 26 Oct 2012 23:50

The video is available with closed captioning on YouTube.

12:40 p.m. EDT

MS. NULAND: All right, everybody. Happy Friday. I have nothing at the top. Let's go to what's on your minds,

QUESTION: Really? Okay, well, let's start with something we talked a little bit about yesterday, which I'll put under the category of why are you trying to force the great state of Texas to allow foreign electoral monitors into its polling stations? (Laughter.) Specifically, well, I have a bunch of questions about that. But specifically, yesterday you said that the authorities in Texas, in the person of the Attorney General, had been reassured that the OSCE would not do anything that they think '' that Texas thinks is '' it shouldn't do. But the Attorney General wrote back to Secretary Clinton late yesterday and said that they have '' that he has not received that assurance and that the election code does not authorize OSCE representatives to enter polling places or even go within 100 yards of them. The spokesman for the OSCE observer mission that's now in Kyiv, I guess, says that they can't do their job unless they're allowed to go into the polling places.

So how do you reconcile this situation?

MS. NULAND: Well, let me start by saying that the OSCE currently has a team in Texas. They are working with Texas state authorities to try to work through what is appropriate and what is legal under U.S. law, under Texas law, and we very much support that conversation that's ongoing between them. Let me --

QUESTION: So the invasion has actually begun already?

MS. NULAND: They've been there for a while. Let me also say that Texas was one of the proud hosts of OSCE observers back in 2008; they observed in San Antonio. And also to say that if you go up on the OSCE's website, you can see a list of all of the places in the U.S. that they are hoping to observe, as they have since 2002, and it includes some 40 U.S. states that will proudly host OSCE observers and demonstrate to the world that our elections are of the highest standard.

QUESTION: Okay. Well, that's great, but I'm not sure that ''proudly host'' is what the Attorney General would say. He seems to have no interest in them being there at all. Be that as it may, whether that's true or not, how do you reconcile this fact '' the idea that he says that these people can be arrested if they go into a polling center or if they come within 100 feet '' or yards of one, and the fact that the OSCE says that it can't do its job unless it's allowed to do that?

MS. NULAND: Well, the OSCE has reassured us. They have also made commitments to Texas that they have no intention of violating any U.S. laws. They are now talking to Texas authorities about how to proceed here, and that's the right channel for the conversation to go on.

QUESTION: Well, hold on a second. Did they say that they're not '' they said they're not going to violate any U.S. laws, but this would be a state law.

MS. NULAND: They have said that they do not intend to violate any laws while in the United States. So we are going to let the conversations go forward between the OSCE and Texas and see what '' and see how that goes.

QUESTION: Were you guys involved in those conversations at all, or is this totally their bilateral channel and you haven't had any contact with them since the letters?

MS. NULAND: Well, we, as I said yesterday, made sure that the right people were talking to each other. It's our responsibility to hook up the OSCE with local authorities. We have done that. They have a team there and they're working this out now.

QUESTION: Do you know if there is any State Department representation in Texas helping with this liaison?

MS. NULAND: To my knowledge, there is not.

QUESTION: All right.

QUESTION: Is this the type of situation where, were it not to be resolved, the State Department would somehow mediate '' I mean, get more involved in the discussion?

MS. NULAND: I don't think so.

QUESTION: Yesterday, you also said that these observers would have certain immunities and privileges. Can you elaborate on what those are? Should any one or any of these observers do something that local Texas authorities thinks violates their law and they were to be arrested, would they be immune from prosecution?

MS. NULAND: Well, I'm not going to get into all kinds of hypothetical scenarios. But under --

QUESTION: I don't think it's --

MS. NULAND: But under '' can I --

QUESTION: You can say it's hypothetical, Toria, but the problem is, is that they say right now that they can't do their job unless they do something which is in violation of Texas law, according to the Attorney General.

MS. NULAND: Matt --

QUESTION: So the question of immunity is relevant.

MS. NULAND: Matt, I was on the way to answering your question, but you didn't allow me to finish my sentence.

QUESTION: Okay, please do.

MS. NULAND: I think we had this conversation yesterday, too --

QUESTION: Please do.

MS. NULAND: So why don't I start again here. So under a 1996, I believe it is '' yeah '' presidential proclamation that's been upheld by the Congress, members of '' official observers for the then-CSCE, now OSCE, are eligible for full immunities in the United States. But as I also said yesterday, we don't think that it's going to come to having to invoke these. We have every confidence that OSCE representatives in Texas and any other state where they are observing will be able to work things out.

QUESTION: Okay. But they are eligible for full immunity?

MS. NULAND: They are.

QUESTION: So in other words, that if the state of Texas chose to prosecute one of these observers, they wouldn't be able to?

MS. NULAND: Again, I'm not going to get into any kind of hypothetical situations or predict where this is going to go other than to say we have every expectation that this will be worked out and to state the fact, which is that under U.S. law they are eligible for immunities.

QUESTION: Well, I don't understand. I mean, the Texas Attorney General says that these people will be liable for prosecution if they break the law, and what you're saying now is that they're not liable for prosecution because they have diplomatic immunity.

MS. NULAND: I'm saying that we expect that they're going to be able to work this out and that they have said that they don't intend to break Texas or any other laws while they're here. Matt, that's all I've got for you on this. I'm just --

QUESTION: Okay, let me keep going.

MS. NULAND: Yeah.

QUESTION: The Attorney General is concerned in particular that the OSCE mission may have some kind of political agenda, and he wrote to the Secretary pointing out their discussions with '' the OSCE's discussions with a group called Project Vote, which apparently is affiliated to what was ACORN. He says, ''No legitimate international body would affiliate with Project Vote. Consequently OSCE's affiliation with this dubious organization necessarily undermines its credibility and the independence of its election monitors.''

Do you think that the OSCE '' its credibility is undermined and as well as the independence of its election monitors? And if you do believe that, why is the United States a member of this? Why is one of your predecessors now serving as the ambassador to the OSCE?

MS. NULAND: Well, the OSCE's election observation is designed in any member-state or in anywhere in the world to be completely impartial with no political tinge, no bias of any kind. When we Americans participate in OSCE monitoring missions in other member-states' countries, as we do all over the Euro-Atlantic area every time there are major elections, we go into it with no political affiliation of any kind.

So obviously, if there are concerns that Texas authorities have, they have an opportunity through the direct dialogue that's now going on in Texas with OSCE observers to take up their concerns. But the mandate of the OSCE is designed to be absolutely and completely impartial, and that's what we plan on when we participate and that's what we'd expect here.

QUESTION: So the short answer to my question is that you do not agree that the OSCE's credibility with '' affiliation with this group undermines its credibility and the independence of its election monitoring? You do not agree with that?

MS. NULAND: Again, Matt, we would like to see Texas raise its concerns directly with the OSCE, but the group is mandated to be impartial.

QUESTION: Okay, and then just one other thing. The Attorney General says that anything that the OSCE may say about the conduct of voting in Texas isn't binding. That is correct, is it not? This is basically just '' I mean, when the OSCE goes in and says that Belarus's elections are not free and fair, that doesn't mean that Belarus has to do anything, does it? It's just basically criticism or praise from this group, correct?

MS. NULAND: Right. The OSCE is not a supranational organization with binding legal authority beyond national jurisdiction in member-states. It is advisory in that sense.

QUESTION: So authorities in Texas shouldn't worry that this is kind of the advance of some international attempt to assert control of their sovereignty, is that correct?

MS. NULAND: There are no sovereignty issues here.

QUESTION: All right. And then the other thing is that he says '' the Attorney General also says that we have no '' ''While we welcome international visitors who wish to engage in a legitimate information exchange, we have no interest in being lectured by the OSCE.'' Is that something that you're concerned about? Do you think it's '' since you support and go in '' you, in fact, participate in OSCE missions in other countries that criticize, or perhaps their leaders might say lecture, is this a legitimate concern by the state of Texas?

MS. NULAND: Again, the OSCE will put out a report at the end of its observance which will cover the full picture that it sees across the United States. As I said, they have asked to observe in some 40 of our 50 states. And when we participate in it in other countries, we don't consider it lecturing. We consider it impartial observation. And we would expect that, as we have in years past, the U.S. is going to pass this with flying colors across the union.

QUESTION: Okay. Even though there are elements of Texas voter laws that are currently under review by authorities in the United States?

MS. NULAND: I can't speak to what's going on inside Texas, but --

QUESTION: Okay. When the OSCE report comes out the state of Texas is '' I just want make this absolutely clear for me. When the OSCE report about the election comes out, the United States or the states that are mentioned in it are or are not required to do anything about what it has '' what it says in its findings?

MS. NULAND: There is no legal obligation encumbered by an OSCE report. It is an observation.

QUESTION: So you don't think that this is a big deal?

MS. NULAND: Let me say first and foremost that the U.S. benefits enormously by participating in OSCE missions in other member-states. As you know, it is the only way that we have eyes on elections in places where we've had concerns in the past, including Belarus and Russia and Ukraine and other places. So from that perspective, the example that the United States can set of clean, free, fair elections observed by the OSCE is a very powerful one.

QUESTION: So are you concerned at all that the apparent hostility of local authorities in Texas might hurt the OSCE in other places around the world, that the governments in Belarus or Ukraine or Russia might say hey, well, in Texas they wouldn't let them do what is their mandate; why can't we?

MS. NULAND: Again, the OSCE has observed successfully in Texas in the past, has observed successfully in the United States since 2002, and we have every expectation it's going to go fine this time as well.

Please, in the back. That would be you. Can you tell me who you are, please?

QUESTION: Leyla Aliyeva from Azerbaijan TV. I have a question with respect to the military escalation in the context of the ongoing conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia. Following the Armenian military exercises in the occupied Azerbaijani territories, on October 15 Armenian Major General Artak Davtyan stated that Armenian forces also simulated attack on oil and gas infrastructures built through the region, which actually provide crucial energy transportation link from the Caspian Basin toward Europe and beyond.

MS. NULAND: Again, do you have '' is there a question here rather than a statement?

QUESTION: No '' yeah, yeah.

MS. NULAND: Thank you.

QUESTION: I'd like to know if this issue of military threat against major Western investment in the region was raised by the United States with official Yerevan, and how the United States intends to react to this threat.

MS. NULAND: I don't have anything particular for you on that today. If we have anything to share, we'll get back to you.

Please, Lalit.

QUESTION: Afghanistan.

MS. NULAND: Yeah.

QUESTION: Yesterday the Taliban leader Mullah Omar said '' spoke about increasing insider attacks and also increasing suicide attacks, and today there was a major attack inside Farah province in Afghanistan, 40 people who have died. How do you assess the security situation inside Afghanistan at a time when Afghan forces are increasingly taking over the security for themselves?

MS. NULAND: Well, I think you know that we've been concerned about this recent spate of incidents, but it doesn't change our overall view that Afghan forces are getting stronger month on month and that we remain committed to the timetable we have set out for them to lead increasingly in Afghanistan and to be able to manage the combat operations by the end of 2014.

But thank you for the opportunity to speak about the bombing of the mosque in Maimana City in Faryab Province today. As you say, at least 36 people were reportedly killed and 30 were injured as they left the mosques '' the mosque after opening prayers of the Eid holiday today. We obviously condemn this bombing and this attack on innocent worshippers, which further demonstrates the insurgents' lack of respect for religion, for faith, and its disregard for the safety and the security of the Afghan people.

Please, Andy.

QUESTION: Syria. Just '' we've had this sort of putative ceasefire now for about 24 hours and it seems like there's been sporadic reports of violence and a fairly large car bomb in a Damascus suburb, which the government is calling a terrorist attack. I'm just wondering if you, at the moment, feel you can make any kind of assessment about how viable this ceasefire is or whether it's being '' who's upholding it more than (inaudible).

MS. NULAND: Well, let me confirm what you are seeing, that there are reports of violence in Syria today despite calls for a ceasefire, but despite pledges of a ceasefire, including shelling ongoing in Idlib, Aleppo, and Damascus. We had reports early this morning of helicopter and tank shelling. These are weapons, obviously, that the opposition doesn't have. And as you said, at least 30 people have been killed throughout Syria today.

So we are again calling on both sides not just to talk the talk but to walk the walk, and we have seen some violations on both sides.

QUESTION: Have you had any '' are you able to make any sorts of determination on the car bomb itself? Because that certainly counts for the majority of the deaths in the last 12 hours.

MS. NULAND: We're obviously appalled and saddened by the reported car bomb today in Damascus. It was '' it took place right near a children's playground. We're obviously seeking more information on the attack, but I don't have anything for you at the moment on responsibility.

Anything else? Lalit.

QUESTION: India's Foreign Minister has resigned. Do you have anything on this?

MS. NULAND: Well, we've seen the press reports that he's offered to resign. To my understanding, there are still ongoing discussions inside India, so we'll withhold comment until there are decisions.

Please.

QUESTION: Do you '' there is a report in The Guardian newspaper that the UK has rebuffed a U.S. request for the U.S. to use its bases in the event of a preemptive strike on Iran. Do you have any comment on that? Has the U.S. has been talking to the UK about that?

MS. NULAND: Well, I'm obviously not going to get into our bilateral discussions with the UK. I think as partners, though, obviously, in the P-5+1, we share an approach of pressure and diplomacy, our two-track approach. We obviously share the concern about Iran's noncompliance, and we don't take any options off the table.

QUESTION: But is --

QUESTION: (Inaudible.)

QUESTION: I mean, is the military option something that has been discussed with the UK as --

MS. NULAND: I'm not going to get into details of our private discussions with the UK. You can see if our friends at the Pentagon have anything further to say, but I'm going to guess they won't.

QUESTION: Do you --

QUESTION: They referred me, actually, to you.

MS. NULAND: Oh, that's good.

QUESTION: Do you know --

MS. NULAND: That's good. I'll talk to the boys.

QUESTION: Do you know, Toria, strictly as a '' taking '' removing this from the Iran situation completely, does it require specific permission from the Brits to use a base like Diego Garcia, which is British territory but in an American '' actually an American base. Is '' does '' is that '' is it required under treaty obligation for --

MS. NULAND: I'm going to --

QUESTION: -- you to get permission?

MS. NULAND: I'm going to send you to our friends at the Pentagon because for all of these different facilities, there are different status of forces requirements and, frankly, I don't have them all memorized, Matt. There was a time when I had them closer to the front of my brain, but I don't at the moment.

QUESTION: Does that mean that some '' that in some cases no permission is needed?

MS. NULAND: I frankly do not know what all of these agreements say, so I'm going to send you to the Pentagon.

Please.

QUESTION: (Inaudible) Secretary voting early or is she planning to vote on (inaudible)?

MS. NULAND: (Laughter.) I don't know what her voting plans are.

Please.

QUESTION: Benghazi? Defense Department officials say they received no request for help on the night of September 11th. Can you explain why the State Department did not make such a request?

MS. NULAND: Wendell, I think they've spoken to this with regard to what we did or didn't do before, during, and after. As you know, that is the subject of a full investigation by the ARB here, and the FBI has pieces of this as well. So I'm just not going to have anything further on any of that until we have a full picture.

QUESTION: If they've spoken to that, by that you mean Secretary Panetta's comments yesterday?

MS. NULAND: Correct. Correct.

QUESTION: Okay. Thank you.

MS. NULAND: Thanks.

QUESTION: Just related '' this arrest in Tunisia, do you know anything more?

MS. NULAND: Not that we are going to share at the moment.

QUESTION: So you do know more?

MS. NULAND: Do I know more?

QUESTION: Yeah.

MS. NULAND: I don't have anything to share here from the podium.

QUESTION: But you do know more?

MS. NULAND: I don't have anything to share here from the podium.

QUESTION: I know '' you know what? That's cute. I'm '' but I'm not '' that's not what I'm asking.

MS. NULAND: I understand.

QUESTION: You do know more. The government '' the U.S. Government is not ignorant about the situation in Tunisia.

MS. NULAND: Well, we've certainly seen the press reporting.

Anything else?

QUESTION: Yes.

MS. NULAND: Please. (Inaudible.)

QUESTION: For the upcoming trip to Algeria next week, will the Secretary of State try to convince the Algerians to support an ECOWAS force? Or more concretely, will she ask them to provide a military assistance with troops and intelligence? And do you believe that the U.S. has more influence and leverage on the Algerians than the French have?

MS. NULAND: Well, first of all, as I said yesterday, we do expect that the subjects of Mali and AQIM will certainly come up when the Secretary is in Algeria on Monday and Tuesday. We will share further information about our thinking as we get ready to go, but I'm not obviously going to prejudge the conversation before it happens, and I'm also not going to compare influence with an ally. We all have strong relations with Algeria, and it's important that we all work on these issues together.

Okay?

QUESTION: I've got one last one '' one brief one.

MS. NULAND: One more.

QUESTION: Do you know if the Secretary '' this is back on the OSCE '' do you know if the Secretary has responded to the second letter from the Attorney General?

MS. NULAND: I don't think so, because I think it came in late last night. But we are, obviously, looking at it.

Thanks.

(The briefing was concluded at 1:03 p.m.)

Scampaign

AP Poll Suggests Most Americans Have Prejudice Against Blacks

AP poll: Majority harbor prejudice against blacks | KING5.com Seattle

Link to Article

Sun, 28 Oct 2012 12:49

WASHINGTON -- Racial attitudes have not improved in the four years since the United States elected its first black president, an Associated Press poll finds, as a slight majority of Americans now express prejudice toward blacks whether they recognize those feelings or not.

Those views could cost President Barack Obama votes as he tries for re-election, the survey found, though the effects are mitigated by some Americans' more favorable views of blacks.

Racial prejudice has increased slightly since 2008 whether those feelings were measured using questions that explicitly asked respondents about racist attitudes, or through an experimental test that measured implicit views toward race without asking questions about that topic directly.

In all, 51 percent of Americans now express explicit anti-black attitudes, compared with 48 percent in a similar 2008 survey. When measured by an implicit racial attitudes test, the number of Americans with anti-black sentiments jumped to 56 percent, up from 49 percent during the last presidential election. In both tests, the share of Americans expressing pro-black attitudes fell.

"As much as we'd hope the impact of race would decline over time ... it appears the impact of anti-black sentiment on voting is about the same as it was four years ago," said Jon Krosnick, a Stanford University professor who worked with AP to develop the survey.

Most Americans expressed anti-Hispanic sentiments, too. In an AP survey done in 2011, 52 percent of non-Hispanic whites expressed anti-Hispanic attitudes. That figure rose to 57 percent in the implicit test. The survey on Hispanics had no past data for comparison.

The AP surveys were conducted with researchers from Stanford University, the University of Michigan and NORC at the University of Chicago.

Experts on race said they were not surprised by the findings.

"We have this false idea that there is uniformity in progress and that things change in one big step. That is not the way history has worked," said Jelani Cobb, professor of history and director of the Institute for African-American Studies at the University of Connecticut. "When we've seen progress, we've also seen backlash.''

Obama himself has tread cautiously on the subject of race, but many African-Americans have talked openly about perceived antagonism toward them since Obama took office. As evidence, they point to events involving police brutality or cite bumper stickers, cartoons and protest posters that mock the president as a lion or a monkey, or lynch him in effigy.

"Part of it is growing polarization within American society," said Fredrick Harris, director of the Institute for Research in African-American Studies at Columbia University. "The last Democrat in the White House said we had to have a national discussion about race. There's been total silence around issues of race with this president. But, as you see, whether there is silence, or an elevation of the discussion of race, you still have polarization. It will take more generations, I suspect, before we eliminate these deep feelings.''

Overall, the survey found that by virtue of racial prejudice, Obama could lose 5 percentage points off his share of the popular vote in his Nov. 6 contest against Republican challenger Mitt Romney. However, Obama also stands to benefit from a 3 percentage point gain due to pro-black sentiment, researchers said. Overall, that means an estimated net loss of 2 percentage points due to anti-black attitudes.

The poll finds that racial prejudice is not limited to one group of partisans. Although Republicans were more likely than Democrats to express racial prejudice in the questions measuring explicit racism (79 percent among Republicans compared with 32 percent among Democrats), the implicit test found little difference between the two parties. That test showed a majority of both Democrats and Republicans held anti-black feelings (55 percent of Democrats and 64 percent of Republicans), as did about half of political independents (49 percent).

Obama faced a similar situation in 2008, the survey then found.

The Associated Press developed the surveys to measure sensitive racial views in several ways and repeated those studies several times between 2008 and 2012.

The explicit racism measures asked respondents whether they agreed or disagreed with a series of statements about black and Hispanic people. In addition, the surveys asked how well respondents thought certain words, such as "friendly," "hardworking," "violent" and "lazy," described blacks, whites and Hispanics.

The same respondents were also administered a survey designed to measure implicit racism, in which a photo of a black, Hispanic or white male flashed on the screen before a neutral image of a Chinese character. The respondents were then asked to rate their feelings toward the Chinese character. Previous research has shown that people transfer their feelings about the photo onto the character, allowing researchers to measure racist feelings even if a respondent does not acknowledge them.

Results from those questions were analyzed with poll takers' ages, partisan beliefs, views on Obama and Romney and other factors, which allowed researchers to predict the likelihood that people would vote for either Obama or Romney. Those models were then used to estimate the net impact of each factor on the candidates' support.

All the surveys were conducted online. Other research has shown that poll takers are more likely to share unpopular attitudes when they are filling out a survey using a computer rather than speaking with an interviewer. Respondents were randomly selected from a nationally representative panel maintained by GfK Custom Research.

Overall results from each survey have a margin of sampling error of approximately plus or minus 4 percentage points. The most recent poll, measuring anti-black views, was conducted Aug. 30 to Sept. 11.

Andra Gillespie, an Emory University political scientist who studies race-neutrality among black politicians, contrasted the situation to that faced by the first black mayors elected in major U.S. cities, the closest parallel to Obama's first-black situation. Those mayors, she said, typically won about 20 percent of the white vote in their first races, but when seeking reelection they enjoyed greater white support presumably because "the whites who stayed in the cities ... became more comfortable with a black executive.''

"President Obama's election clearly didn't change those who appear to be sort of hard-wired folks with racial resentment," she said.

Negative racial attitudes can manifest in policy, noted Alan Jenkins, an assistant solicitor general during the Clinton administration and now executive director of the Opportunity Agenda think tank.

"That has very real circumstances in the way people are treated by police, the way kids are treated by teachers, the way home seekers are treated by landlords and real estate agents," Jenkins said.

Hakeem Jeffries, a New York state assemblyman and candidate for a congressional seat being vacated by a fellow black Democrat, called it troubling that more progress on racial attitudes had not been made. Jeffries has fought a New York City police program of "stop and frisk" that has affected mostly blacks and Latinos but which supporters contend is not racially focused.

"I do remain cautiously optimistic that the future of America bends toward the side of increased racial tolerance," Jeffries said. "We've come a long way, but clearly these results demonstrate there's a long way to go.''

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Lawrence Wilkerson - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Link to Article

Sun, 28 Oct 2012 04:21

Lawrence B. "Larry" Wilkerson (born 15 June 1945) is a retired United States Army Colonel and former chief of staff to United StatesSecretary of StateColin Powell. Wilkerson has criticized many aspects of the Iraq War, including his own preparation of Powell's presentation to the UN.

[edit]Education and military serviceWilkerson was born in Gaffney, South Carolina. After three years of studying philosophy and English literature at Bucknell University, Wilkerson dropped out in 1966 and volunteered to serve in the Vietnam War. He told the Washington Post: "I felt an obligation because my dad had fought, and I thought that was kind of your duty."[1]

Wilkerson arrived as an Army officer piloting an OH-6A Cayuse observation helicopter and logged about 1100 combat hours over a year. He flew low and slow through Vietnam, and was involved in one incident in which he says he prevented a war crime by purposely placing his helicopter between a position that was full of civilians, and another helicopter that wanted to launch an attack on the position. He also had many vocal disagreements with his superiors and his own gunner crew over free-fire zones, including an incident in which one of his crew shot a wagon that wound up having a little girl inside of it.[2] He went on to Airborne School and Ranger School before receiving his Bachelor of Artsdegree in English literature and graduate degrees in international relations and national security. He attended the Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island and later returned there to teach. He later served as deputy director of the Marine Corps War College at Quantico.

Wilkerson spent some years in the United States Navy'sPacific Command in South Korea, Japan and Hawaii, where he was well regarded by his superiors. These recommendations led in early 1989 to a successful interview to become the assistant to Colin Powell, who was then finishing his stint as National Security Advisor in the Reagan administration and moving to a position in the United States Army Forces Command at Fort McPherson. He continued this supporting role as Powell became Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff through the Gulf War, following Powell into civilian life and then back into public service when President George W. Bush appointed Powell Secretary of State.

Wilkerson was responsible for a review of information from the Central Intelligence Agency that was used to prepare Powell for his February 2003 presentation to the United Nations Security Council. His failure to realize that the evidence was faulty has been attributed on the limited time (only one week) that he had to review the data. The subsequent developments led Wilkerson to become disillusioned: "Combine the detainee abuse issue with the ineptitude of post-invasion planning for Iraq, wrap both in this blanket of secretive decision-making...and you get the overall reason for my speaking out."[1]

[edit]Post-government statementsSince his retirement from the public sector Wilkerson has on several occasions spoken out against what he perceives as the poor planning and execution of the Iraq War as well as the global politics leading up to and following it. In particular he has denounced the decision-making process of the Bush Administration and Vice PresidentDick Cheney's and Secretary of DefenseDonald Rumsfeld's parts in it.

[edit]Treatment of detainees in IraqWilkerson made comments in November 2005 to the effect that the Vice President had decided that the Third Geneva Convention (regarding treatment of POWs) would not apply to "al-Qaeda and al-Qaeda look-alike detainees"[3] and that the February 2002 White House memorandum regarding the "Humane Treatment of Taliban and al Qaeda Detainees" contained a loophole designed to avoid applying the Geneva convention to the detainees. According to Wilkerson, the phrase "the detainees (should) be treated humanely and, to the extent appropriate and consistent with military necessity, in a manner consistent with the principles of Geneva"[4] was a way to appear to play by the rules while in reality, the "military necessities" would always overrule concerns about the plight of the detainees.[3] Wilkerson said that this was result of Cheney and Rumsfeld working in collaboration to undermine the standard decision-making process of the White House (which included his superior, Colin Powell).

''And so what I'm saying is, under the vice-president's protection, the secretary of defense moved out to do what they wanted to do in the first place even though the president had made a decision that was clearly a compromise.'' '-- Lawrence Wilkerson, BBC Radio 4, November 25, 2005

[edit]Iraq war intelligence was "a hoax"During an October 19, 2005 speech at the New America Foundation, Wilkerson criticized the intelligence community which compiled the Iraq War intelligence.

''I can't tell you why the French, the Germans, the Brits and us thought that most of the material, if not all of it, that we presented at the U.N. on 5 February 2003 was the truth'' '-- Lawrence Wilkerson, New America Foundation, October 19, 2005[5]In a 2006 interview Wilkerson said that the speech Powell made before the United Nations on February 5, 2003'--which laid out a case for war with Iraq'--included falsehoods of which Powell had never been made aware. He said, "My participation in that presentation at the UN constitutes the lowest point in my professional life. I participated in a hoax on the American people, the international community and the United Nations Security Council."[6] Wilkerson said in 2011 that his preparing of the presentation was "probably the biggest mistake of my life", he regrets it, and that he regrets not resigning over it.[7]

He stated in the 2006 interview that neither CIA Director George Tenet nor the CIA analysts that gave Powell information on mobile biological laboratories explained that there were disputes about the reliability of the informants who had supplied the information'--information which was used in the speech.

Wilkerson also agreed with the interviewer that Cheney's frequent trips to the CIA would have brought "undue influence" on the agency. When asked if Cheney was "the kind of guy who could lean on somebody" he responded, "Absolutely. And be just as quiet and taciturn about it as-- he-- as he leaned on 'em. As he leaned on the Congress recently-- in the-- torture issue."

Wilkerson stood by his earlier description of Cheney and Rumsfeld as having formed a cabal to hijack the decision-making process: "I'm worried and I would rather have the discussion and debate in the process we've designed than I would a diktat from a dumb strongman... I'd prefer to see the squabble of democracy to the efficiency of dictators."

[edit]An Iranian overture, 2003Wilkerson said in an interview on BBCNewsnight, January 17, 2007, that an Iranian offer to help stabilise Iraq after the American invasion, was positively received at the State Department, yet turned down by Dick Cheney.[8][9] The reported offer consisted of help in stabilizing Iraq, cutting ties with Hezbollah and greater transparency in its nuclear program in return for lifting sanctions and dismantling the Mujahedeen-e Khalq, an organisation working to overthrow the Iranian government. When this offer was made, numerous middle-east experts were warning of the coming shift in power in Iran toward the right-wing Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who would assume power shortly thereafter.

''We thought it was a very propitious moment... But as soon as it got to the White House, and as soon as it got to the vice president's office, the old mantra of 'We don't talk to evil' ... reasserted itself.'' '-- Lawrence Wilkerson, BBC Newsnight, January 17, 2007

[edit]Lack of congressional oversightWilkerson is one of the people interviewed in the 2007 documentary film No End in Sight, a film that is very critical of the way the occupation of Iraq was handled in the spring of 2003.

[edit]Proposes impeachment".... You compare Bill Clinton's peccadilloes for which he was impeached to George Bush's high crimes and misdemeanors or Dick Cheney's high crimes and misdemeanors, and I think they pale in significance." "Powell's Chief of Staff Proposes Impeachment". afterdowningstreet.org. 10 May 2007. http://www.afterdowningstreet.org/node/22349. "War Accountability in the US". onpointradio.org. 10 May 2007. http://www.onpointradio.org/shows/2007/05/20070510_a_main.asp.

[edit]Wilkerson did a full-length audio commentary for the documentary Why We Fight. This film won the Grand Jury Prize for Documentary at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival.[10]

In April 2007, Wilkerson was featured in VPRO's Tegenlicht Dutch documentary The Israel Lobby. He said that the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) was highly influential in the Bush Administration's decision to go to war in Iraq. He also cited, as to the extent of their influence, an occasion in which he was threatened with censure[citation needed] when he criticized Israel in a lecture he was giving.

[edit]Guantanamo continues to hold innocent menThe Associated Press reports that on March 16, 2009, Wilkerson wrote on The Washington Note that he knew from briefings as a Bush administration official that it was soon recognized that some of the captives were innocent.[11][12] According to the Associated Press summary, Wilkerson said the Bush administration was willing to continue to detain innocent men who might nevertheless be aware of useful information about the Afghanistan "mosaic":

"It did not matter if a detainee were innocent. Indeed, because he lived in Afghanistan and was captured on or near the battle area, he must know something of importance.""...sufficient information about a village, a region, or a group of individuals, that dots could be connected and terrorists or their plots could be identified."Wilkerson stated that Guantanamo continues to hold innocent men.[11] Wilkerson said that he felt compelled to come forward after hearing former Vice PresidentDick Cheney state that PresidentBarack Obama's plans to close Guantanamo made the public less safe.[13]

CommanderJeffrey Gordon, a Guantanamo spokesman, declined to comment on Wilkerson's specific observations.[11] According to an Associated Press paraphrase of Gordon's statement, he said that, "dealing with foreign fighters from a wide variety of countries in a wartime setting was a complex process."

[edit]Politics and Personal LifeIn September 2006 in a conference call Wilkerson expressed support for Wesley Clark and Anthony Zinni. He also endorsed Jim Webb against incumbent George Allen in the 2006 U.S. Senate election in Virginia.[14]

Wilkerson is a visiting professor at the College of William & Mary, teaching courses on U.S. national security. He was a Professorial Lecturer in the Honors Program at the George Washington University, teaching a course named "National Security Decision Making." He and his wife Barbara have two children. His son is an Air Force navigator while his daughter was in the Army but has since returned to civilian life.

Wilkerson also heads the Colin Powell Leadership Club, a group of MacFarland middle school students in Washington, D.C.

[edit]See also[edit]References^ ab"Breaking Ranks", Washington Post, 19 January 2006^Deborah Nelson, ''THE WAR BEHIND ME: Vietnam Veterans Confront the Truth About U.S. War Crimes'', Basic Books, ISBN 978-0-465-00527-7, October 28, 2008^ ab"Transcript of Wilkerson interview". BBC. 25 November 2005. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/4481092.stm. Retrieved 2007-01-20. ^The White House (7 February 2002). "Memorandum: "Humane Treatment of Taliban and al Qaeda Detainees"" (PDF). The White House. http://www.pegc.us/archive/White_House/bush_memo_20020207_ed.pdf. Retrieved 2007-01-20. ^"Col. Lawrence Wilkerson on the Bush Administration's National Security Decision Making Process". New America Foundation. October 19, 2005. http://www.newamerica.net/events/2005/col_lawrence_wilkerson_on_the_bush_administrations_national_security_decision_making_process. Retrieved 2007-01-20. ^"Interview on the PBS show NOW with Col. Lawrence Wilkerson about pre-war intelligence". Public Affairs Television. February 3, 2006. http://www.pbs.org/now/politics/wilkerson.html. Retrieved 2007-08-08. ^"Ex-Bush Official Col. Lawrence Wilkerson: 'I am Willing to Testify' If Dick Cheney is Put on Trial". Democracy Now!. August 30, 2011. http://www.democracynow.org/2011/8/30/ex_bush_official_col_lawrence_wilkerson. Retrieved August 30, 2011. ^"Washington 'snubbed Iran offer'". BBC News. 18 January 2007. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/6274147.stm. Retrieved 10 December 2010. ^"Report: Cheney Rejected Iran Concessions". London: Guardian Unlimited. 18 January 2007. http://www.guardian.co.uk/worldlatest/story/0,-6355412,00.html. Retrieved 2007-01-20. [dead link]^"Internet Movie Database (IMDb) entry for Why We Fight". Internet Movie Database Inc.. January 2005. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0436971/awards. Retrieved 2007-08-06. ^ abcAndrew O. Selsky (2009-03-18). "Ex-Bush admin official: Many at Gitmo are innocent". Associated Press. http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5ie2Gewi7L3__bSzBds095stmE88QD971APO00. Retrieved 2009-03-18. mirror^Lawrence Wilkerson (2009-03-16). "Guest Post by Lawrence Wilkerson: Some Truths About Guantanamo Bay". The Washington Note. http://www.thewashingtonnote.com/archives/2009/03/some_truths_abo/?ref=fp2. Retrieved 2009-03-18. mirror^"Most Guantanamo detainees are innocent: ex-Bush official". CBC News. 2009-03-18. http://www.cbc.ca/world/story/2009/03/19/guantanamo-detainee-innocent.html. Retrieved 2009-03-18. ^"Generals endorse Jim Webb for Senate". Richmond Times-Dispatch. 26 September 2006. http://www.timesdispatch.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=RTD/MGArticle/RTD_BasicArticle&c=MGArticle&cid=1149190830866. Retrieved 2007-01-20. [edit]External linksDepartment of State Biography: Lawrence B. Wilkerson, November 28, 2003.SourceWatch profile of Lawrence Wilkerson"Colonel Finally Saw Whites of Their Eyes", Dana Milbank, The Washington Post, 20 October 2005"War is Not About Truth, Justice and the American Way", interview with The Real NewsTranscript of Wilkerson's speech at the New America Foundation, Washington Note Archives, October 19, 2005.Lawrence Wilkerson. "The White House Cabal", Los Angeles Times, October 25, 2005.Transcript of Wilkerson interview, BBCToday program, 29 November 2005Interview with Lawrence Wilkerson: "A Leaderless, Directionless Superpower", Der Spiegel, December 6, 2005"Breaking Ranks", The Washington Post, 19 January 2006Transcript of Wilkerson Interview, PBSNOW (series), "Iraq Pre-War Intelligence," February 3, 2006. "... I'd prefer to see the squabble of democracy to the efficiency of dictators.""They Have Stolen My Party and I Want it Back", blog piece, The Washington Note, 22 March 2006http://thinkprogress.org/2006/06/26/wilkerson-vp/Official website of the "Why We Fight" documentary from 2005. The DVD released on June 27, 2005, includes a commentary by Col. Wilkerson.Interview where Colonel Wilkerson gives examples of Cheney and Rumsfeld's influence., National Public Radio, November 3, 2005.Top U.S. officials working for Israel, Antiwar.com, 4 July 2010.PersondataNameWilkerson, LawrenceAlternative namesShort descriptionChief os Staff to Colin PowellDate of birth15 June 1945Place of birthDate of deathPlace of death

Former Colin Powell Aide: GOP Is 'Full of Racists' - Truthdig

Link to Article

Sun, 28 Oct 2012 04:13

Former Colin Powell Aide: GOP Is 'Full of Racists'Posted on Oct 27, 2012Talk about speaking truth to power! A former chief of staff to Secretary of State Colin Powell charged the Republican Party with racism after remarks in which John Sununu, a surrogate for Mitt Romney's presidential campaign, suggested race was a factor in Powell's endorsement of President Obama.

Retired Army Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, a Republican, condemned the former New Hampshire governor's comments while also slamming his own party during an interview with Ed Schultz on MSNBC on Friday night.

''My party, unfortunately, is the bastion of those people'--not all of them, but most of them'--who are still basing their positions on race,'' Wilkerson said. ''Let me just be candid: My party is full of racists, and the real reason a considerable portion of my party wants President Obama out of the White House has nothing to do with the content of his character, nothing to do with his competence as commander in chief and president, and everything to do with the color of his skin, and that's despicable.''

'--Posted by Tracy Bloom.

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"If You Haven't Checked Out Your Credit Score Recently You Should!" Pres Obama Weekly Address

Osama Bin Laden Movie Being Re-Edited To Give President Obama More Camera Time

VOTE FOR JESUS!

The Future Children Project - YouTube

Link to Article

Sun, 28 Oct 2012 03:46

Re daughter, Obama worries about Facebook, not dating

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Source: CNET News

Sat, 27 Oct 2012 17:16

In a chat with MTV, the president says Facebook is a bigger threat to his daughter Malia's privacy than is dating.

Facebook has been spending more time touting its privacy controls recently.

But here's the news: they're not good enough for the president.

In an interview with MTV on Friday (hey, we have to get those kids to vote somehow), the president explained that for his daughter Malia, Facebook was not a safe place to hang out.

As Yahoo News reports, the president was asked whether dating, driving, or social networking represented his biggest fear for his 14-year-old daughter.

He replied:

I'd worry about Facebook right now. I know the folks at Facebook -- obviously they've revolutionized, you know, the social networks. But Malia, because she's well known, I'm very keen on her protecting her privacy.

More Technically IncorrectThe president added that Malia doesn't even have a Facebook page, as that might compromise security.

His words echo those of the first lady, who last year was very firm that even if their dad wasn't the president, she wouldn't be happy with her kids wafting around Facebook's weird corridors.

You might imagine, though, that the dating thing might be a little awkward. But not so much, it seems.

"Dates -- that's fine, 'cause she's got Secret Service protection," said the president.

Yes, I suppose when you have a couple of large chaperones with earpieces and guns, boys might tend to behave.

Still, the president hopes that his daughters will date boys "who respect them and value them and understand their worth."

This would surely be another reason to avoid Facebook.

Though the site is one of the most popular places to find love these days, have you seen some of the people who hang out there?

John Sununu: Colin Powell Endorsed Obama Because He's Black

Link to Article

Source: Crooks and Liars

Fri, 26 Oct 2012 17:53

Leave it to good old John Sununu to say out loud what the rest of them only say in private. As a top surrogate for the Romney campaign they must have been thrilled to hear that. Here's what he said to Piers Morgan tonight on CNN.

SUNUNU: You have to wonder whether that's an endorsement based on issues or that he's got a slightly different reason for President Obama.

MORGAN: What reason would that be?

SUNUNU: Well, I think that when you have somebody of your own race that you're proud of being President of the United States '-- I applaud Colin for standing with him.

Gay PR

Gay Marriage Controversy Pays Off For Chick-fil-A - Business Insider

Link to Article

Sun, 28 Oct 2012 01:51

When Chick-fil-A president Dan Cathy made statements saying that gay marriage is "inviting God's judgment on our nation," people instantly began a movement against the fast food chain.There were boycotts, politicians making statements, protests outside the restaurants and more. Soon, it had escalated into a national controversy, with vehement support from both sides.

But, in the end, it seems to have paid off for the chicken chain, reports Bruce Horovitz at USA Today.

According to a study by research firm Sandelman & Associates:

Consumer use was up 2.2 percent in Q3 compared to the year priorMarket share up 0.6 percentTotal ad awareness up 6.5 percent"There was a lot of talk that this would hurt Chick-fil-A, but it actually helped the brand," Jeff Davis, president of Sandelman, tells USA Today.

PR pros and pundits had widely panned Chick-fil-A's response to the controversy initially. Some are still befuddled by what happened.

DON'T MISS: Meet S. Truett Cathy, The 91-Year-Old Billionaire Behind Chick-fil-A >

Elite$

UPDATE ON OBAMAS' HAWAIIAN ESTATE PURCHASE: Property has been bought on Oahu in the name of a blind/family trust (but it's a different house than we originally thought it would be)

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Source: HillBuzz.org

Thu, 25 Oct 2012 12:54

[ An artist's conception of Miss Marion Robinson excitedly sharing news about her move to Hawaii as soon as her "punkass son-in-law" is no longer the President come January 21st, 2013 ]

Three separate sources have confirmed to me that a ''blind trust'' or a ''family trust'' setup for the Obamas with the help of wealthy Chicago banker Penny Pritzker has purchased a property for Barack and Michelle and their family to move into when they depart the White House in January 2013. I've been chasing this story since late-August of this year when it came to my attention through sources in the Chicago black community that Michelle Obama's mother, Marian Robinson (''Miss Marion'' as she is called by her friends on the ground here), had been bragging to chums back home that she'd soon be living the rest of her days in tropical paradise on the island of Oahu. You can read the collected investigative report on this story HERE.

It appears the Obamas will, however, be moving into a different estate than the one we all at first believed they were purchasing; THAT property was the one in Kapalua that was featured on the remake of Hawaii Five-O (pictured above in the graphic of Miss Marion). I believe our coverage of this purchase may have spoiled that deal and forced Pritzker and other Obama backers to locate another post-presidential home for the Obamas since it's clear to all in Chicago that he is not going to win reelection. This real estate deal involves a ''trust'' and the purchase has either been made or is in the final stages of going through as of 10/25/2012.

Miss Marion was scolded by the current president '-- whom Chicagoans call ''Bathhouse Barry'' for his closeted gay lifestyle and enjoyment of man-on-man shenanigans in bathhouses back in his Illinois state senator days (and similar antics in the private locker rooms and steam/sauna areas of the golf resorts he visits so frequently'...despite never improving his swing or game) '-- but the ''First Grandmother'' has never and will never be afraid of her ''punkass son-in-law'', as she refers to him. One source who remains close to Miss Marion said, ''She thinks it's funny. Hilarious. Barack was screaming at her to stop telling people things and she just stared at him like she always does and didn't pay him no mind at all. She does this thing when he talks that he hates, like this [puts index finger in mouth and makes popping sound by pulling it quickly out of her cheek]. Miss Marion loves to provoke him and get his temper up because she likes hearing him get all high-pitched and red in the face like a little girl. Then Miss Marion mocks him like he's one of her granddaughters having a tantrum. It's funny. He's screaming at her and she stares him down and makes that popping sound and he gets so mad but he can't do shit to her and he knows it. Michelle would beat his ass if he touched Miss Marion and everyone knows it''.

Additionally, I have been receiving reports that many of the young staffers that Obama took with him to Washington are actively seeking jobs for February 2013 or sooner. One of my contacts is a headhunter here in Chicago who has already fielded calls from ''10 or 15'" Chicago-native Obama White House staffers who are moving back to the Illinois in January of this year; they are clearly looking to get a jump start on the search in the job market that Barack Obama helped tank and they do not want to be unemployed or allow too much time to pass between working in the White House and scoring a high paying position in a corporate setting (if they can find one). My headhunter source tells me some of these people are already having interviews and might actually leave before Mitt Romney's inauguration on January 21st, 2013. ''They need to get out before the investigations start and suddenly saying you worked for Barack Obama becomes a red flag on your resume instead of a prestige listing''.

The reason for the push to find jobs immediately is pure supply and demand in a tough job market and also the fact that once Obama's defeated the Democrat Civil War will begin, where Clinton loyalists will start work purging all the Obama operatives from the party and attempting to restore the public's faith in the Democrat brand by eliminating all traces of Obama from the DNC. This means that once they leave their White House positions the young Obama staffers will have a hard time finding new jobs in Washington DC because the Clintons will punish anyone who hires them. The Clintons want all the Obama acolytes gone so that in the next four years the Party can try to pretend that ''The Golden Age of Hope and Change'' never happened at all (much like Democrats isolated and banished most of the Carter people when they finally rebranded the Party as centrists under the Clintons).

Obama's young staffers (many of whom are under 30) are thus facing a situation where they will be out of work when Bathhouse Barry leaves office'...the usual places that White House staffers land after a failed administration will be closed off to them due to the Democrat Civil War that Hillary Clinton is going to orchestrate'...and corporations looking to curry favor with the new Romney White House will be reluctant to hire Obama staffers into their ranks.

So, these young men and women are in a panic and are looking for work here in Chicago'...a place where they feel their Obama connections could still be worth something. Almost none of these people will be going to Honolulu with the Obamas when they move there because his ''Center for Social Justice'' being built at the University of Hawaii is not going to be either funded or up and running for a LONG time. Penny Pritzker was trying to raise money for that while pulling together the ''trust'' that purchased the Obama family's new home near Honolulu'...but the usual wealthy donors are not writing checks for this project because they don't want to anger the Clintons, who are largely seen as taking back the party starting November 7th.

No one wants to land on Hillary Clinton's enemies' list by being too generous to Barack Obama's post-presidential plans; Hillary thinks that money can be better spent repairing the damage the Obamas did to the Democrat Party brand and wealthy donors who want favor with the Clintons after the Civil War ends with her victory need to remember that she can do more for them in the future than Obama ever can (or would) do. My source in the Pritzker orbit says that these days Penny ''looks like Hell, is not sleeping, and cries a lot because she's under so much stress'' because she can't raise the money like she used to. Many wealthy Chicago families have told her they're not writing ''one more damn check to him'' and that backing Obama to begin with was a giant mistake. The general consensus is that everyone was foolish not to let Hillary be president first and then allow Obama to be her VP'...and they all could have had 12 or 16 years in the White House instead of only four. ''Penny stopped combing her hair and she's coming into the office not brushing her teeth, not washing her face, just not taking care of herself at all. She's one of the wealthiest women in the country but if you saw her on the street you'd slip her a five to buy her a sandwich because she looks like a homeless person she's under so much stress''.

Penny Pritzker is being personally blamed for the fact that Democrats will now be out of office for many years, because if not for her early money and pressure on wealthy Chicagoans then Obama would not have been able to eclipse the Clintons for the nomination. After November 7th, when the Democrat Civil War really kicks into gear you should expect to hear people talking about how Penny personally threatened people back in 2008 that if they did not raise large sums for Obama that she'd call them racists and would ''blackball them'' in Chicago social circles. All of this will come out once the Obamas are out of power. One source in Chicago's development community told me that Penny's ''going to be run out of town on a rail for what she did to get that early money for Obama''. No one has forgotten the threats and hard sell she made'...''memories are long but the knives are longer'' is how this was put to me.

In January, the Obamas will flee Washington on a 747 that used to be Air Force One and will land in Honolulu much like Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos thirty years before them. Like the Kennedy family, their estate will be owned and managed by a ''trust'' that I hear alternately referred to as either a ''blind trust'' or ''a family trust''; I am not a financial expert and don't know how those two entities differ, but the point of this trust is to obscure where the money came from to fund the Obamas' post-presidential luxury. Rumor has it that a large share of the funding is coming from the Saudis'...but that Penny Pritzker herself could be paying for a lot of it since she was unable to meet her fundraising goals for this ''urgent project''.

As we've reported earlier, you need to watch closely what happens between November 7th and January 21st because the Obamas have made it clear that everything is for sale in terms of appointments, pardons, flights on Air Force One, etc. while they still have the ability to make these things happen. Look for there to be nonstop activity in terms of appointing all sorts of people to various prestigious positions even if they only get to serve in them for a few months (or even weeks'...or days). What you need to remember is that once someone is an ambassador, for instance, for the rest of that person's life he or she will be called Ambassador So-and-So. In many cases, these positions also carry automatic pensions so if the Obamas appoint someone to a high post and the person serves there for only a single day'...that person might be entitled to draw a lifetime pension from taxpayers for that ''service''. It's really the honorifics that are truly for sale, though. Pritzker appears to be the one in charge of coordinating all of this'...with her office promising that if wealthy donors help fund the post-presidential trust and start the funding for the library and ''Social Justice Center'' that the reward will be a position of ''great importance'' that will then afford them a fabulous title for their business cards or tombstone.

And then there are, of course, those who will be getting full pardons before Obama leaves office; keep your eye on Conrad Black and see if you can figure out what's going to happen with his felony conviction before twelve noon on January 21st, 2013. Black is just the tip of the iceberg, too. An entire rogues' gallery will be pardoned'...and a great deal of them will be Muslims convicted through the years on terror-related charges. THIS will be Obama's parting gift to the Clintons and the Democrat Party'...the pardoning of Muslims connected to terror who will then be released as he leaves office. This is payment to the Saudis for all they did to bring Barack Obama to the Oval Office.

If you thought the last days of the Clinton administration were bad, just wait until you gape at the Last Days of the Obama Regime.

Everything's for sale. Nothing is off limits.

As much money as possible will be looted from all sources to fund their post-presidential lives.

Every protocol and ethical rule imaginable will be broken in the mad dash to use all remaining time in the White House to issue perks and lifetime honors to as many big donors as possible.

I know some of you out there think the Last Days of the Obama Regime will involve Bathhouse Barry doing evil things to purposefully harm the country but I want to be clear here: THAT IS NOT GOING TO HAPPEN because Democrats won't allow that to happen. The worst you will see is the release of Muslims serving prison terms for terror financing and those men will be repatriated to Saudi Arabia or Yemen. The thinking is that no one in the public will really say boo about the selling of positions and pardons in the last days of Obama's presidency because criticism of how the Clintons behaved during their last days in Washington didn't harm either them or the party very much. The Ministry of Truth that is our national media will not cover any of this, of course. They will be too busy calling Americans racist for not giving Obama two terms. But, deliberately doing things to harm the country after he loses the election would make the Democrat brand truly unsalvageable so the worst he will do is grant a lot of oddball pardons that will only make sense if you FOLLOW THE MONEY. I'll grant you that Obama might personally WANT to do harmful things'...but he will not be allowed to do so since the grown-ups of the party will be in severe damage control mode beginning November 7th and Obama will be put on a very short leash until he leaves office (except in the area of pardons, which Democrats see as a departing president's natural money-printing machine and parting-perk of office).

The focus will completely be on raising money for the post-presidency projects and also doling out the quid pro quo owed to all who funded Obama's brief hold on power to begin with.

Miss Marion, Michelle's mom, is tickled pink to be leaving Washington for Hawaii. She's said repeatedly ''it was all fun while it lasted'' but she actually hated living somewhere that tourists walked through every day. ''No privacy in this place and it's drafty and creepy'', she's said. ''It's not all that like you'd think it would be. Carpet's dirty, everything's old, the rooms are tiny, and there's always so many white people just hanging around staring at me like I'm about to steal something up in there''. In Hawaii, Miss Marion expects to spend the last of her days sipping drinks, enjoying the ''nice breezes'' and presumably not being stared at.

Don't believe what Chris Matthews and Chuck Todd tell you on the tee-vee, folks, because the Obamas are very much prepared for their move to Hawaii in January.

According to what Miss Marion has now said to sources on the ground here in Chicago, the home the Obamas will be moving into was recently purchased within the last two weeks or could still be in the final signing phase'...but the only thing I know about the deal is that the purchaser is a trust (''blind'' or ''family'') and the property is definitely on Oahu; I'm told that the home is not the Kanapali one that we all originally thought it would be'...since too much attention was directed at that one. This new house is ''not as nice'' as the other one, but it appears to be a temporary solution as the plan is to ultimately buy undeveloped land and build a giant house for the Obamas ''from scratch'' that is specially designed by some ''big name architect''. My guess is that will ultimately be Frank Gehry, since the Pritzkers know him well from his designing the Pritzker Pavilion at Millennium Park in downtown Chicago and he'd JUMP at the chance to design former president Obama's island home.

Who knows if that will ever happen, but if you live in Honolulu you are definitely getting Barack, Michelle, the girls, and Miss Marion as neighbors come January 22nd, 2013.

Whether you particularly like that or not!

READ MORE on the complete investigation into the Obamas' move to Hawaii HERE.

(C) 2012, Kevin DuJan. All rights reserved.

Kevin DuJanGay conservative political analyst, essayist, author and radio and TV commentator on politics, pop culture, LGBTQ issues, and current events. To email Kevin directly with a comment or complaint about this or any article, do so at: HillBuzz@gmail.com

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Agenda 21

Explosive CDC Omission: Norovirus Spread Through Reusable Grocery Bags

Link to Article

Sun, 28 Oct 2012 12:55

Among the public health agency's prescribed practices to stop the spread of the virus: "Practice proper hand hygiene '... Take care in the kitchen '... Do not prepare food while infected '... Clean and disinfect contaminated surfaces after throwing up or having diarrhea '... Wash laundry thoroughly."

But nowhere in that exhaustive battery of norovirus dodges was a recommendation to avoid reusable grocery bags. Curious, considering that reusable-but-not-recyclable alternative to single-use plastic bags were recently linked to an unsavory outbreak of norovirus that struck a hapless middle school-aged girls' soccer team.

The proliferation of the virus, which is estimated to cause 21 million of acute cases of gastroenteritis and the deaths of some 200,000 children annually, via the bags is in part the result of an unfortunate merger of form and function.

Successive studies have shown reusable bags to host bacteria like E. coli, salmonella and fecal coliform in addition to norovirus. One study even found the bacteria build-up on reusable bags was 300 percent higher than what is considered a safe level by public health officials.

Researchers at the University of Arizona sampled 84 reusable bags from shoppers in Los Angeles, the most recent major municipality to ban plastic bags, and two additional bag-outlawed cities. The findings were stunning: just over half were contaminated with some form of harmful bacteria while at least twelve percent contained traces of fecal matter. When the contaminated bags were housed in car trunks for two hours, scientists found the number of bacteria was boosted ten-fold.

One recent study found only three out of every twenty Americans wash their reusable grocery bags with any regularity.

2TTH

CNBC Exec's Children Murdered, 1 Day After CNBC Reports $43 Trillion Bankster Lawsuit

Link to Article

Source: TheCandyman's news feed

Sun, 28 Oct 2012 12:29

By JG Vibestheintelhub.comOctober 27, 2012

This week financial news organization CNBC gave some mainstream attention to the largest money laundering and racketeering lawsuit in United States History, in which ''Banksters'' and their U.S. racketeering partners are being accused of laundering of 43 trillion dollars worth of ill gotten gains.

The lawsuit is said to involve officials located in the highest offices of government and the financial sector.

Since this information was surprisingly revealed by the mainstream news organization there has been a very suspicious and deadly fallout at the CNBC headquarters.

Within hours the original page for the article was taken down, and CNBC senior vice president Kevin Krim received news that his children were killed under very suspicious circumstances.

It seems that the murder happened first and then the page was removed later.

According to mainstream accounts the children's nanny is responsible for the murders, allegedly stabbing both children.

(Ad) Watch the New Trailer Now! SHADE the Motion Picture '' Depopulation is Real

However, those same mainstream news sources report the highly unlikely story that the nanny slit her own throat just after committing the homicides.

Police have released very little information and although a wider plot has not been officially implicated, it seems very possible that these murders are a show of force against the press organization for releasing such damning information about the most powerful people in the world.

Here is some more information about the lawsuit from the Wall Street Journal:

''In the District Court lawsuit, Spire Law Group, LLP '-- on behalf of home owner across the Country and New York taxpayers, as well as under other taxpayer recompense laws '-- has expanded its mass tort action into federal court in Brooklyn, New York, seeking to halt all foreclosures nationwide pending the return of the $43 trillion ($43,000,000,000.00) by the ''Banksters'' and their co-conspirators, seeking an audit of the Fed and audits of all the ''bailout programs'' by an independent receiver such as Neil Barofsky, former Inspector General of the TARP program who has stated that none of the TARP money and other ''bailout money'' advanced from the Treasury has ever been repaid despite protestations to the contrary by the Defendants as well as similar protestations by President Obama and the Obama Administration both publicly on national television and more privately to the United States Congress.

Because the Obama Administration has failed to pursue any of the ''Banksters'' criminally, and indeed is actively borrowing monies for Mr. Obama's campaign from these same ''Banksters'' to finance its political aspirations, the national group of plaintiff home owners has been forced to now expand its lawsuit to include racketeering, money laundering and intentional violations of the Iranian Nations Sanctions and Embargo Act by the national banks included among the ''Bankster'' Defendants. ''

Some of the alleged conspirators are Attorney General Holder, Assistant Attorney General Tony West, the brother in law of Defendant California Attorney General Kamala Harris, Jon Corzine (former New Jersey Governor), Robert Rubin (former Treasury Secretary and Bankster), Timothy Geitner, Treasury Secretary, Vikram Pandit (recently resigned and disgraced Chairman of the Board of Citigroup), Valerie Jarrett (a Senior White House Advisor), Anita Dunn (a former ''communications director'' for the Obama Administration), Robert Bauer (husband of Anita Dunn and Chief Legal Counsel for the Obama Re-election Campaign), as well as the ''Banksters'' themselves, and their affiliates and conduits.

It is expected that all news on this subject will be removed from CNBC, and that other news organizations will be discouraged from covering such information.

However, screen shots of the original CNBC article were taken to verify the authenticity of this story.

Assassination and brute intimidation are common strategies for the ruling class to use on people who may threaten their agenda.

This is the second situation this week in which a high level executive was the victim of a suspicious attack that seemed very much like an assassination.

The Intel Hub just reported that Nicholas Mockford, a 60 year old British executive for the oil company ExxonMobil was shot dead in front of his wife in an assassination-style killing in Brussels.

We will be keeping a close eye on both of these stories and provide more details as they become available.

Note: You can read the lawsuit here.

If you have any questions or disagreements share your ideas with the community in the new forums at theintelhub.com

J.G. Vibes is the author of an 87 chapter counter culture textbook called Alchemy of the Modern Renaissance, a staff writer and reporter for The Intel Hub and host of a show called Voluntary Hippie Radio.

You can keep up with his work, which includes free podcasts, free e-books & free audiobooks at his website www.aotmr.com

Bank Fraud Attorneys and Foreclosure Lawyers New York Spire Law Group LLP

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Sun, 28 Oct 2012 04:08

Call TODAYFor Your Free Case Evaluation:(877) 438-8766

Major Banks, Governmental Officials and Their Comrade Capitalists Targets of Spire Law Group, LLP's Racketeering and Money Laundering Lawsuit Seeking Return of $43 Trillion to the United States TreasuryNEW YORK, Oct. 25, 2012 /PRNewswire/ '-- Spire Law Group, LLP's national home owners' lawsuit, pending in the venue where the ''Banksters'' control their $43 trillion racketeering scheme (New York) '' known as the largest money laundering and racketeering lawsuit in United States History and identifying $43 trillion ($43,000,000,000,000.00) of laundered money by the ''Banksters'' and their U.S. racketeering partners and joint venturers '' now pinpoints the identities of the key racketeering partners of the ''Banksters'' located in the highest offices of government and acting for their own self-interests.

In connection with the federal lawsuit now impending in the United States District'...'...

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HOMEOWNERS' $1 BILLION LAWSUIT AGAINST CALIFORNIA AND ITS ATTORNEY GENERAL KAMALA HARRIS ALLOWED TO STANDSan Francisco 8/08/2012 04:21 AM GMT (TransWorldNews)

On August 3, 2012, a Federal District Judge in San Francisco refused to dismiss a $1 billion lawsuit against California, and several of its Attorney Generals and Deputies: Kamala Harris, James Toma, Blithe Leece, Benjamin Diehl and disgraced ''investigator'' Thomas Layton. The case bears index number CV 12-00987 CRB. The case remains pending by homeowners against these corrupt officials, including California's own Attorney General Harris.

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SPIRE LAW GROUP, LLP'S LANDMARK LAWSUIT ON INTERNATIONAL TERRORIST AND DRUG CARTEL MONEY IN THE NATION'S MORTGAGE SYSTEM, NOW FINDS CONGRESSIONAL SUPPORT IN NEWLY ISSUED SENATE SUBCOMMITTEE REPORTSpire Law's Revelation of its lawsuit, the Largest International Money Laundering Lawsuit in History filed on April 17, 2012, Is Now Unambiguously Supported by Extensive Senate Subcommittee Reports Issued Just Three Months Later: Drug Cartels and Terrorist Financing Are Now Implicated as Having Entered U.S. Bank Markets Including Mortgage Ownership Servicing and Trading

New York 7/31/2012 05:05 AM GMT (TransWorldNews)

On April 23, 2012, Spire Law Group, LLP '' the National Law Firm devoted with more than 250-years-experience in piercing governmental corruption '' announced to the world its landmark money laundering lawsuit in Kings County, New York, in behalf of home'....

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Home Owners Across the Nation Sue All Bank Servicers and Their Offshore Havens; Spire Law Officially Announces Filing of Landmark LawsuitLargest International Money Laundering Network in History Formed During Obama Administration; U.S. Banks' Theft of Home Owners' Money Laundered Through Cayman Islands, Isle of Man and Numerous Offshore-Based Affiliates.

NEW YORK, NY''(Marketwire '' Apr 23, 2012) '' In a lawsuit alleged to involve the largest money laundering network in United States history, Spire Law Group, LLP '-- on behalf of home owners across the Country '-- has filed'.....

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"If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation and then by deflation, the banks and the corporations that will grow up around them, will deprive the people of all property until their children wake up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered. "~ Thomas Jefferson

Brave Six-Year-Old Killed By Nanny Tried To Fight Off Her Crazed Murderer

Link to Article

Source: Radar Online

Sat, 27 Oct 2012 17:48

livejournal.com

By Radar Staff

Tragic new details have emerged in the shocking Manhattan murder of the two children killed by their own nanny.

Six-year-old Lucia Krim tried to fight off Yoselyn Ortega, 50, before she allegedly stabbed her and her two-year-old brother, Leo, to death.

The little girl - whose bloody body was found in the bathtub by her mother, Marina Krim - suffered defensive wounds from trying to fend off her crazed carer but died from the stabs to her neck and stomach.

Photos: The Krim Family In Happier Times

Her toddler sibling suffered two deadly punctures to his neck, a member of law enforcement told The New York Post.

"They both suffered. They bled out," the source said. "The little girl tried to protect herself."

PHOTOS: Stars Who Died In Bizarre Ways

Dominican born Ortega - who attempted to slit her throat and wrists with a kitchen knife after her crime - had been acting strangely before the horrific slayings.

"She lost a lot of weight. She looked very unhealthy," neighbor Ruben Diaz, 49 said. "It looked like she was going through some problems. She had aged a lot, like seven years in a few months."

PHOTOS: Tormented Teenager Commits Suicide In Front Of Classmates

She was reportedly seeing a psychiatrist too and had money woes which the Krim family were trying to help her with.

The reasons behind her devastating actions are still unknown and while she is out of her medically-induced coma she is refusing to speak with doctors or police.

PHOTOS: Bullied Canadian Teen Tragically Takes Her Own Life

Marina Krim came home to not only find her children's lifeless bodies but also witnessed her nanny of one year attempt to take her own life.

Her bloodcurdling screams alerted neighbors who called 9-1-1 but the children were pronounced dead at St. Luke's Hospital.

Marina and her third child, Nessie, three, were taken to the hospital and her husband, CNBC executive Kevin Krim, was met by police after he arrived back in New York from an out of town business trip.

The are now believed to be staying with relatives.

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British ExxonMobil oil chief 'assassinated' in Brussels street - Telegraph

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Thu, 25 Oct 2012 22:06

Initially police said they were not excluding any possibilities, including a carjacking, but Mr Mockford's car was not stolen.

The Belgian prosecutor's office said last night that there was a "judicial instruction" from Martine Quintin, the investigating judge, that meant they could give no "explanation" and no detail about the killing.

"This is usual in such a serious murder investigation," a spokesman said.

Mr Mockford had worked for the company since the 1970s, and was the head of marketing for interim technologies for ExxonMobil Chemicals, Europe, promoting new types of greener fuel.

He was a keen sailor and was the skipper of an Exxon team who won first prize in a race in the Channel last year aboard their yacht Musette.

He was also interested in motor cycling. Mr Mockford had been married to his second wife, who is Belgian, for 15 years, andhad three grown-up children from his first marriage, all of whom live in Britain.

He was brought up in Leicestershire and had last lived in this country in Chichester, but had been abroad for some years, mostly in Belgium and Singapore.

One family member told The Daily Telegraph he believed Mr Mockford had been killed in a professional hit.

The relation, who asked not to be named, said: "We are all confused about what has happened. Nick was a genuinely lovely, clean-cut, mild mannered, family man.

"I don't think he would put up a fight or argue with someone trying to steal his company car.

"He was shot so calmly and so quickly, it smacks horribly of a professional hit, but we can't fathom why. He isn't the type to cave in to blackmail and it just doesn't compute."

A spokesman for ExxonMobil said: "We are shocked by the tragic death of one of our employees on Sunday, October 14 in Brussels.

"Our thoughts are with his family, friends and colleagues and we are supporting them as best we can at this very difficult time."

The relation said Mrs Mockford was recovering from the ordeal and had not been badly hurt. "He was always very tight-lipped about what he did, even when sitting around with the family," the relation added.

Shut Up Slave!

Tax incentive to lure software maker Oracle to Pennsylvania awaits Gov. Corbett's signature - Philly.com

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Sun, 28 Oct 2012 13:55

"It's another tool for the state to attract quality jobs," said Erik Arneson, spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi (R., Delaware), a supporter of the measure.

The bill, which was among scores of pieces of legislation that moved quickly through the General Assembly before it adjourned last Wednesday, received bipartisan support in both chambers, but it remains unclear Corbett will sign it.

Through a spokeswoman, Corbett said the measure, which is scheduled to become effective immediately after his signature, was "still under review."

To receive the tax incentive, an employer would have to be a for-profit entity that provides its full-time employees with health insurance and pays at least half the premium.

In addition, the company would have to hire 250 workers over five years and pay them salaries higher than the county average.

There is a $5 million annual cap on the total amount participating companies can keep, small compared with other states that give up hundreds of millions, and the program would end in 2018.

High-ranking legislative sources say the bill was designed to lure California-based Oracle, the world's third-largest software maker with $37 billion in revenue last year, to open a facility in the Penn State region, which would provide a pool of highly educated job seekers.

Oracle did not return a call seeking comment.

Critics say such a program would unfairly reward some companies that bring on new workers, while, in effect, penalizing others such Oracle's main competitor, SAP America, which employs 2,500 at its Newtown Square headquarters without a tax break. SAP had no immediate comment.

Oracle is among 300 companies that have taken advantage of a similar program in New Jersey since its creation in 1996.

PA law would make workers pay taxes to their boss | Philadelphia City Paper | 10/24/2012

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Sun, 28 Oct 2012 13:54

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Republican Governor Tom Corbett is deciding whether or not to sign legislation that would require some workers to pay taxes to their bosses. Yes, you read that right. The bill, which would allow companies that hire at least 250 new workers in the state to keep 95-percent of the workers' withheld income tax, is an effort to to recruit Oracle to the state.

Your taxes would get withheld by your boss like normal, but they would then keep them and spend it on private jets or monogrammed bathroom fixtures or whatever instead of turning them over to the state--turning your tax dollars over to the state being the whole reason they were ostensibly "withheld" in the first place.

In some sense making workers pay taxes directly to their boss is just cutting out the middleman: lavish corporate welfare in the form of taxpayer subsidies to business is the norm. States fall over each other in a rush to make themselves look the most appealing--meaning low taxes and wages alongside weak labor and environmental protection--and then sweeten the deal with specially-tailored giveaways to lure specific companies (see Corbett's $1.6 billion tax credit to Shell oil).

A spokesperson for Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi (R-Delaware) told The Inquirer, which ran this very under-covered story on their front page yesterday, that the measure is "another tool for the state to attract quality jobs." State Sen. Jim Ferlo (D-Allegheny), however, complained that it amounted to "waylaying those employees' wages, almost akin to Jesse James robbing a bank, and we're going to put it back in the pockets of one company, in one locale, in one county, in one job site."

The law passed with support from both parties, though with much stronger Republican backing. Perhaps the most shocking hypocrisy is that state Rep. Daryl Metcalfe, a right-wing libertarian who campaigns for "getting state government off our backs and out of our pockets," voted for the corporate welfare bill.

"Targeted tax incentives are a poor substitute for across-the-board tax reductions that apply to all businesses," says Commonwealth Foundation's Jay Ostrich, expressing a more consistent conservative position. "When government has picked winners and losers with tax credit programs history has shown poor results for accountability and transparency, including failing to actually verify that actual jobs were created."

The bill passed the legislature last week without the public ever paying that much attention. At this point, voters can contact Governor Corbett's office at 717-787-2500. Or maybe Oracle has something to say about whether they think it's appropriate for their workers to pay them for jobs: 650-506-7000.

Good Jobs First, which has researched this and other instances of corporate welfare, found that laws in 16 states have allowed more than 2,700 companies to pocket $700 million of their workers' tax dollars. The left-leaning Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center also has detailed criticism here.

Court Says Berating TSA Officers During A Pat-Down Is Disorderly Conduct, Not Free Speech '' The Consumerist

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Wed, 24 Oct 2012 20:51

While we've heard about cases where you can say, strip down naked in front of the Transportation Security Administration, an act that a judge found to be protected speech under the First Amendment, it's a different matter when it comes to using your words to express your thoughts about pat-downs. A mom who reportedly berated TSA officers attempting to pat-down her daughter found that out the hard way.

Well, she found out the hard way because her curse words landed her in jail at the time, which the Associated Press says lead to her subsequent trial over the brouhaha.

The Tennessee mom wasn't happy about her 14-year-old daughter submitting to a pat-down at Nashville International Airport, testified a TSA officer, who said that before it happened the woman yelled in her face that she didn't want anyone ''touching her daughter's crotch'' and, according to Fox News, didn't want ''someone to see our bodies naked.''

Although she did let her daughter undergo the pat-down, she refused one for herself and was then arrested. She said in her trial that while she might've uttered a few choice oaths, she wasn't in anyone's face and felt it was simply a ''normal conversation'' about the inappropriateness of the pat-down.

Her lawyer told reporters, ''Telling a police officer your opinion, even in strong language, to me that's a First Amendment right.''

Jurors disagreed and after deliberating for four hours found her guilty of disorderly conduct. She faced up to 30 days in jail and a $50 fine at the time of the July 2011 incident but a judge put her on probation because she had no criminal record.

Using your words to fight is one thing, but you can't just yell whatever you want in whoever's face you want to yell it in, especially if that person is working in an official capacity.

As one TSA officer in the case noted, ''The defendant should have been aware that her behavior would prevent others from carrying out their lawful activities.''

Mother found guilty in Tenn. pat-down case [Associated Press]Mom guilty of disorderly conduct; berated TSA officers for daughter's Tenn. airport pat-down [Fox News]

Boeing tests microwave missile that knocks out electronics, represents our worst nightmare (video) -- Engadget

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Wed, 24 Oct 2012 21:55

Forget bombs or the robopocalypse. In our minds, the most fearsome weapon is the one that disables our gadgets. That's what makes Boeing's newly tested Counter-electronics High-powered Microwave Advanced Missile Project (CHAMP) scarier than most projectiles. The missile bombards targets underneath with microwaves that shut down computers, power systems and just about anything electrical in their path. Thankfully, CHAMP's invisible payload arrives in discrete bursts and arguably makes it the world's most advanced (and likely expensive) non-lethal weapon: the prototype can target multiple individual buildings without ever having to detonate and hurt someone. Boeing is still developing CHAMP in a multi-year program and doesn't have guarantees that it will become military ordnance, which gives us enough time to accept that saving lives is far, far more important than the risk we'll have to stop fiddling with our technology.

VIDEO: Press self-regulation 'has failed'

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Source: BBC News - Home

Sun, 28 Oct 2012 12:09

Self-regulation of the press "has failed", according to Harriet Harman.

She said there might be a need for statutory regulation and the status quo was "not acceptable".

Labour's deputy leader was speaking ahead of the publication of Lord Leveson's report into press standards following the phone-hacking scandal.

The inquiry has examined the relationship between the press and the public, police and politicians, and looked at phone-hacking and other potentially illegal behaviour.

A second part of the inquiry, looking into the extent of unlawful or improper conduct within News International and other newspaper media organisations, will not get under way until police investigations are concluded.

Hacking voicemails is illegal.

Clocks go back across Europe

Link to Article

Source: euronews

Sun, 28 Oct 2012 12:15

Summer officially ended over night as across Europe the clocks were turned back.For many it meant an extra hour in bed, but for night shift workers it added an hour to their shifts. But if changing the clocks in your house seems a chore just think of one museum in the UK where over 1,000 time pieces have to be altered.

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Chicago Plan

Pedo Bear

Gary Glitter arrested by Jimmy Savile police

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Source: The Guardian World News

Sun, 28 Oct 2012 12:08

Gary Glitter is escorted from an address in central London to a police station by officers investigating Jimmy Savile abuse claims Link to this videoGary Glitter has become the first person to be arrested in relation to the police inquiry into sexual abuse by Jimmy Savile.

Scotland Yard detectives working on Operation Yewtree have received information from more than 300 alleged victims and further arrests are expected.

Glitter, whose real name is Paul Gadd, was detained at 7.15am on Sunday at an address in central London and taken to a police station in the capital. He was filmed leaving his home wearing a hat and dark coat and gloves, and being driven away.

Glitter was jailed for four months in the UK in 1999 after admitting possessing a collection of 4,000 hardcore photographs of children being abused. In 2006, he was sentenced to three years in jail by a Vietnamese court for sexually molesting two girls. Glitter had always maintained he was innocent of the charges.

A Scotland Yard spokesman said: "Officers working on Operation Yewtree have today arrested a man in his 60s in connection with the investigation. The man, from London, was arrested at approximately 7.15am on suspicion of sexual offences, and has been taken into custody at a London police station.

"The individual falls under the strand of the investigation we have termed 'Savile and others'."

Publicist Max Clifford said on Saturday that up to 15 celebrities had approached him, fearful that their sexual exploits in the 1960s and 1970s might lead to them being caught up in the police inquiry.

The chairman of the BBC Trust, Lord Patten, has said he is dedicated to finding out the truth about the scandal that has thrown the corporation into crisis, vowing there would be "no covering our backs".

The BBC is braced for legal ramifications arising from allegations that other BBC employees were involved and questions remain over what the corporation's bosses knew, and when, about the Newsnight investigation into Savile that was pulled.

Writing in the Mail on Sunday, Lord Patten questioned whether Savile could have committed the alleged crimes without anyone else knowing.

He said: "Can it really be the case that no one knew what he was doing? Did some turn a blind eye to criminality? Did some prefer not to follow up their suspicions because of this criminal's popularity and place in the schedules? Were reports of criminality put aside or buried? Even those of us who were not there at the time are inheritors of the shame."

The BBC chairman said the two independent inquiries that have been set up '' one into the Newsnight report and the other into the BBC's culture and practices in the years Savile worked there '' must get to the truth of what happened.

He wrote: "Now my immediate priority is to get to the bottom of the Savile scandal and to make any and every change necessary in the BBC to learn the lessons from our independent investigations."

Mark Thompson in spotlight at New York Times over Savile scandal | Media | guardian.co.uk

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Thu, 25 Oct 2012 05:34

The incoming chief executive of the New York Times is facing new questions over what he knew about the Jimmy Savile paedophile scandal when he was director general of the BBC, amid apparent inconsistencies in his public statements.

Mark Thompson is due to start his new job on 12 November, but the NYT's public editor, or ombudsman, questioned his suitability for the role in a blogpost on Tuesday. In her article, Margaret Sullivan called for the paper to cover Thompson's knowledge of the scandal and allegations of a cover-up "more aggressively".

Adding to his woes with his new employer, Thompson is now attempting to reconcile two apparently contradictory statements over what he knew about a TV report into Savile by the BBC's Newsnight programme. The report was pulled in December 2011, and the allegations of abuse were eventually aired earlier this month on rival network ITV.

The decision by the Newsnight editor, Peter Rippon, to kill the story is now the subject of an independent inquiry. Rippon has already had to "step aside" from his post.

Amid questions over whether he will be able to start his new job as planned on 12 November, Thompson gave an interview to the New York Times on Wednesday in which he insisted he had not done anything that would "impede my ability" to join the organisation.

Thompson, whose role as director general also carried the designation "editor in chief", made his first statement about the scandal to the New York Times on 13 October .

He said: "I was not notified or briefed about the Newsnight investigation, nor was I involved in any way in the decision not to complete and air the investigation. I have no reason to doubt the public statement by the programme's editor, Peter Rippon, that the decision not to pursue the investigation was entirely his, and that it was made solely for journalistic reasons."

He added: "During my time as director general of the BBC, I never heard any allegations or received any complaints about Jimmy Savile."

But in response to inquiries by the Times newspaper in London, which is not connected to the New York Times, Thompson admitted through his spokesman that he was aware that Newsnight was investigating Savile. The spokesman told the London-based Times: "Mark attended a party late last year where a journalist mentioned the fact that Newsnight had been investigating Savile. The journalist said words to the effect that 'You must be worried about the Newsnight investigation'.

"This was the first that Mark had heard about the investigation. The journalist did not go into what Newsnight was investigating. Mark did not respond at the party but did mention the conversation to senior colleagues in BBC News and asked if there was a problem with the investigation.

"He was told that Newsnight had begun an investigation into Savile but had decided to drop it for journalistic reasons. Mark assumed that this meant that the decision not to proceed had been taken by Peter Rippon.

"He was not told anything about the allegations Newsnight had been looking at. The first time he became aware of the allegations that Savile had committed serious crimes and that some had taken place in the course of his employment at the BBC was when he heard the 'pre-publicity' for the ITV investigation. This was after he had stepped down as director general."

Thompson's spokesman told the Guardian there was "no contradiction" between the two positions.

"Mark told the New York Times he was not briefed on the Newsnight investigation. He wasn't. As he made clear yesterday he was only made aware of the allegations relating to Jimmy Savile when ITV published pre-broadcast publicity regarding their documentary in recent weeks," the spokesman said.

Thompson's spokesman insisted to the Guardian that he stood by both statements and said there was no inconsistency between them. But Thompson's position appears to rest on the difference between being "made aware" and being "notified or briefed". The BBC journalist who spoke to Thompson at the party, Caroline Hawley, told the Times of London on Wednesday that while she could not remember exactly what she said, she was likely to have given the "broad context" of the allegations.

In his interview with the New York Times on Tuesday, Thompson conceded he had been told of the investigation but insisted that he did not know of the specifics and had not put any pressure on the Newsnight team. "I did not impede or stop the Newsnight investigation, nor have I done anything else that could be construed as untoward or unreasonable."

Rob Wilson, a Conservative MP, told the London Times: "Mark Thompson has already had to clarify his version of events once. He originally implied that he knew nothing about the Newsnight investigation, before admitting that a BBC journalist had told him he had reasons to worry about it. Now there are questions about whether he was told more about the subject of the Newsnight investigation than he has previously admitted."

The inquiry into which BBC executives knew what and when is in danger of overshadowing the initial story into the abuse conducted by Savile over his 40-year career as a radio DJ and TV host. George Entwistle, Thompson's successor as director general, gave a faltering performance before a committee of MPs on Tuesday, where he was accused of a "lack of curiosity" over the Newsnight investigation.

Thompson has said that he will return to London to face MPs if he is called to appear. His position at the New York Times was put under significant strain this week when Sullivan, the public editor, asked whether he was the "right person for the job," given the importance attached to integrity at the paper. She suggested that the NYT should cover the story more aggressively. In her blogpost, she asked: "How likely is it that he knew nothing?"

Questioning Thompson's suitability, Sullivan wrote: "How likely is it that the Times Company will continue with its plan to bring Mr Thompson on as chief executive? (It's worth noting that as public editor, I have no inside knowledge on such corporate matters.) His integrity and decision-making are bound to affect the Times and its journalism '' profoundly. It's worth considering now whether he is the right person for the job, given this turn of events."

In his New York Times interview, Thompson said: "It is my belief that there isn't anything in my participation or my role in this story that would impede my ability to join and work with my colleagues at The New York Times."

A spokesman for the New York Times Company said he would join as planned on 12 November. "We believe his experience and accomplishments make him the ideal person to take the helm of the Times Company as we focus on growing our businesses through digital and global expansion," the spokeman told the NYT.

The vice-president of corporate communications at the New York Times, Eileen Murphy, said it would not comment on the public editor's questioning of Thompson's suitability. Murphy said: "The public editor is an independent voice in the newsroom and she is doing her job. We do not make a habit of commenting on her columns."

' This article was amended on 24 October 2012. The original said Margaret Sullivan rebuked Mark Thompson. This has been corrected

A little more background on today's PMQ's | Tom Watson MP

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Wed, 24 Oct 2012 19:48

I cannot give much more detail until the police have been given more time to investigate whether evidence still exists from the mid-nineties, but here is what I can say.

Last week I was contacted by a former child protection specialist who for some years, had been concerned that a wider investigation regarding the activities of convicted paedophile, Peter Righton was not fully investigated.

He contacted me because he knew I had spoken out in the Murdoch scandal. Over the years, he had lost faith in the ability of politicians to get to the truth. The last time he contacted an MP was in 1994. The MP promised to follow up the case but nothing came of it.

The central allegation was that a large body of material seized in the raid on Righton's home had not been fully investigated. Though Righton was the subject of a BBC profile in 1994 [I think this is the date] ''The Secret Life of a Paedophile'', little had been done to follow up the leads from the case. A specialist unit in Scotland Yard had the material which supplemented a wider investigation into organised paedophile rings in children's homes.

Over the last few days I have spoken to two other child protection specialists who share the concern of the gentleman who contacted me.

Within the material seized at Righton's home were letters from known and convicted paedophiles. The contact, who has seen the letters, claimed that one paedophile in particular was of great concern. He said that the paedophile, who worked with children, boasted of a key aide to a former PM who could help get hold of indecent images of children. I am not naming the person for obvious reasons but for clarity it is not former MP, Peter Morrison. This afternoon my office has been bombarded with calls regarding Morrison, I think because he was named by Edwina Currie at the weekend as having inappropriate sexual relations with teenage boys.

I'll say more when I can but this may not be for some time.

I should say that like with the hacking scandal, a number of people have contacted me this afternoon offering more information regarding the case. I am happy to talk to anyone who can help me '' particularly those who came into contact with Righton and his contacts when they were young. I can understand how powerless they must have felt at the time '' Righton's net was cast wide.

One person also contacted me to suggest that the Met held a vast quantity of material suggesting Jimmy Savile was a predatory paedophile. I do not know whether this is true but I do know the source and she has been 100% accurate in the past.

One final thing I should say '' I made the decision to ask a question of the PM late this morning and had not had time to write to the Met before speaking out. I have no doubt the Met will take this seriously and am sorry I didn't have time to forewarn the commissioner of my intention to raise the matter.

I have written to him this afternoon with more details regarding the case. This will obviously remain confidential.

Nick Davies '-- The sheer scale of child sexual abuse in Britain

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Wed, 24 Oct 2012 19:55

In November last year, every newspaper in Britain carried the story of how Scotland Yard had worked with police forces around the country to raid the rooms of teachers at private schools in search of evidence of their involvement in a paedophile ring. The more interesting story, however, was the raid which never happened.

In the weeks before the operation, specialist detectives from the Paedophile Unit at Scotland Yard had discussed with Thames Valley the possibility of raiding a teacher at the most prestigious private school in the country '' Eton College, whose pupils include the off-spring of some of the most powerful families in Britain, including the heir to the throne, Prince William.

The move started after a teacher who had recently left Eton went to Thames Valley police and claimed that one of his colleagues had been indecently assaulting boys at the school. Detectives investigated and discovered that the suspect teacher had been the target of similar allegations in the past; and that police in Yorkshire had seized a collection of child pornography and found letters from the teacher in which he referred to ''sending the happy items''.

Clearly, this did not amount to proof that the teacher was guilty. His former colleague may conceivably have had a grudge against him; the letters in Yorkshire may have had some innocent explanation; other witnesses who also suspected him, may simply have been mistaken. But the whole series of raids was being mounted on similar intelligence which Scotland Yard believed was strong enough to demand that suspects be interviewed and their property searched. Yet when the raids finally took place, Thames Valley held back, arguing that the evidence was too weak to justify action.

The result: the truth about the suspected abuser was never found.

Earlier last year, the Guardian revealed the international police hunt for two unidentified men who had made the ''Bjorn tape'', a chilling video which recorded their relentless sexual assault on an adolescent Dutch boy who was carried in front of the camera, limp and hooded, before being strapped into a chair where he was defenceless against the indulgence of his two attackers.

Following the story in the Guardian, which was linked to an ITV documentary, Dutch police traced Bjorn's accent to an area in the north of Holland, where they combed through files of reported child abuse '' and found him. It turned out that he had contacted the authorities a year earlier to complain that a Dutch man, whom he named, had been drugging and raping him since he was only three years old, most recently with the assistance of an English man. The Dutch man had been tried and '' in the absence of the video '' he had been acquitted. He had then sued Bjorn for making a malicious complaint against him. Bjorn had collapsed into mental illness and been given refuge in an orphanage.

Now, the tape not only proved that the boy had been telling the truth in all its grim detail, but it also confirmed the identity of the English man who had taken part. He is John Peters, a former soldier who went AWOL in the early 1970s after being charged with having sex with a 14-year-old boy in public toilets near his base in Sutton Coldfield. Since then, Peters has been convicted in Denmark of a separate offence of child abuse.

Although Bjorn's Dutch abuser is now due to be tried again in Holland, Peters remains at liberty. Just as he evaded the police in Sutton Coldfield in the 1970s, so now he has evaded them again in Holland, simply by crossing a border. He is believed to be in Asia, whose population of impoverished and vulnerable children has become a magnet for paedophiles and whose police have no active intelligence link with the British or Dutch. The result: the abuser has escaped.

That same story in the Guardian also disclosed the activities of Warwick Spinks, a British paedophile who was then serving a sentence of five years after Scotland Yard arrested him for abducting and raping two homeless boys from the streets of London. He had sold one of them into a brothel in Amsterdam.

Spinks is a paedophile of grandiose ambition, a man who has commercialised his obsession, first by running an agency in Britain which sold boys to like-minded punters, and then by moving to Amsterdam where, as the Guardian disclosed, he worked in brothels and joined a group of British men who produced videos in which five boys were alleged to have been raped and murdered for the pleasure of viewers.

As he approached the end of his five-year sentence, Spinks was transferred from prison to a probation hostel in south London where, last September, he was asked to fill in a form so that the police could enter his details on the new register of sex offenders. He is precisely the kind of compulsive offender for whom the register was designed so that police can keep an eye on their movements. Spinks, however, refused to fill in the form.

He simply walked away from the hostel and sent his probation officer a postcard with an invitation to come and see him in Amsterdam. Since then, he has travelled to Frankfurt, Johannesburg, Moscow and Prague pursuing his own special interests with never a care for the sex offenders' register or any other limb of the child protection system. The result: another abuser has escaped.

The sexual abuse of children is a special crime, not simply because of the damage it does to its victims, nor even because of the anger and fear it provokes in communities, but more particularly because it is so easy '' easy to commit, easy to get away with.

Recently, it has broken into the headlines, through the communal fear of a handful of child killers like Robert Oliver and Sidney Cooke; in the exhumation of the crimes of Mary Bell; with the reluctant resignation of Grampian's Chief Constable following his force's bungled inquiry into a paedophile murder. But the debate that has followed has been fragmentary and confused, discoloured by populist reactions from ministers.

Over the last six months, the Guardian has conducted the most detailed and exhaustive investigation of paedophilia that has ever been undertaken by a British newspaper. We have tracked down abusers and their victims, we have spoken to the social workers and detectives and Customs officers who deal with them, to private agencies and to the most senior officials who lead the defence against child abuse.

We have seen the results of courageous work by thousands of dedicated men and women but also we have seen the results of cover-up and concealment, occasionally of corruption, of whistleblowers who are punished for trying to expose the truth, of local authorities, churches and other organisations who have closed ranks to deny or conceal allegations against their staff.

In an investigation of this, the most secret of crimes, we have found evidence of what is an open secret among many of those who fight it '' that after twenty years of scandal and alarm, after numerous inquiries and reports, and despite the best efforts of those who work in it, we have created an elaborate and sophisticated failure, a child protection system which does not protect the children.

The origin of the problem is the easiness of the crime, the violent equivalent of taking candy from babies. It is physically easier for a rapist to overpower a child than an adult, to subdue a victim who has less than half his body-weight. In February of this year, for example, police reported that a paedophile had boarded a train outside Brighton one evening and abducted not one, but three young boys, aged between eight and eleven. Police said that the man forced the three boys to get off in the village of Glynde, where he marched them into the public toilets and indecently assaulted all three of them before threatening to kill them, raping one of them and putting them all back on the train.

Equally, it is easier to confuse a child than an adult. A woman who spent four years from the age of seven being raped regularly by her stepfather, told the Guardian she had never thought to complain: ''I thought it was normal, I thought everyone was going home from school and being hurt by their dad.'' Children have emerged from abuse to report variously that they were told that there was a bomb inside them which would explode if they disclosed what was happening; that there was no point in telling because no one would believe them and they would be put into care; or, commonly, that the abusive parent would be sent to prison, thus destroying the family and bringing hardship and misery to the other parent.

Children are conned by their abusers in a way that no adult would be. Bruce McLean, for example, who is serving nine years for indecent assaults in Cheshire, was using Manchester United tickets to entrap boys. A man who is now awaiting trial for producing a small orgy of child pornography videos in the north of England bought adolescent girls with Kentucky Fried Chicken and toffees, according to one who has spoken to the Guardian.

The ease of the crime is reflected in its scale. No one knows the exact numbers, but to construct a picture is to watch an arithmetical explosion. Start with a hard fact. At the last count, there were 2,100 child sex abusers behind the bars of British jails. Now think of all those who have previously been convicted but who have been released back into the community. You have to multiply by 50: according to the Home Office Research Department, there are 108,000 convicted paedophiles in the community.

Now, think of all the child victims who are conned and confused and never report their abuse in the first place; and all those cases which are reported but which fall short of the demands of the courts; and all those cases of rape and indecent assault which are convicted but which are not statistically recorded as crimes against children. At the most conservative estimate, the NSPCC and specialist police agree with studies here and in the United States, that the official figures for convictions record no more than ten per cent of the paedophile population. Which means that today in Britain, there are probably 1.1 million paedophiles at large. Other studies suggest that the figure is very much higher.

This vast scale appears to be confirmed by ''prevalance studies'' which take samples of the population and establish how many were childhood victims of sexual abuse. In the UK, the United States, Germany, Switzerland and Australia, studies consistently find that around 20% of women and around 8% of men suffered sexual abuse as children. In the current population of UK children, that would cover 1.5 million girls and 520,000 boys, a figure that is consistent with the projection of 1.1 million offenders.

Child sex abuse is not only easy to commit, it is also easy to get away with. It is the least reported crime on the planet. Numerous victims say that they were silenced by their own emotions '' the same emotions which gag the adult victims of rape, but which are magnified in a child's mind. Some children simply cannot report it: social workers in East Sussex four years ago found paedophiles deliberately targetting children who were too disabled to give evidence. Others had picked children who were terminally ill and who died before the system could catch up with them.

Those children who do report what has happened to them are uniquely likely to find their stories rejected. Often, like the adult victims of indecent assault, they will have nothing but their own word as evidence. And the word of a child is viewed with suspicion from one end of the criminal justice system to the other. It is for that reason that the tribunal of inquiry into abuse in children's homes in North Wales is only now attempting to get to the truth of hundreds of complaints which were first made by children up to 20 years ago '' to council officials, doctors, social workers and parents who, almost without exception, believed not a word of it.

North Wales is only the beginning. It is now clear that during the last 30 years, children's homes in Britain suffered an epidemic of rape and violent assault. It was an epidemic that went unnoticed, like a plague that struck dumb its victims or else blinded those around it.

There are now literally thousands of men and women, in North Wales, South Wales, Manchester, Liverpool, Sunderland, Northumbria, Edinburgh '' in seventeen different police areas in all '' who have come forward to make detailed, credible allegations about their childhoods of abuse in care. The combined force of these different inquiries amounts to the biggest contemporary police operation in the country. And yet, at the time that these people were children, at the time that they were being used as human aids to masturbation, just about all of them were overlooked by just about every agency that was supposed to protect them '' the police, social workers, the Social Services Inspectorate, health visitors, doctors.

The passage of time, itself, often allows abusers to escape. In Cardiff, Paul Conibeer, who is now aged 28, is trying to persuade the police to prosecute Alan Williams, Lee Tucker and John Gay for buggering him and passing him around their friends when he was a 13-year-old in care. The three men have since been convicted of paedophile offences and become involved in the abuse of children in Portugal and Amsterdam, where they shared their pleasures with Warwick Spinks. Police in Cardiff, however, say Conibeer's story is too old to be proved. Conibeer has a grim alternative: ''I'm giving it a year. If nothing is done in a year, I'm doing it my own way. If I can take three scum off the street that would be my debt paid back to society, because I have been a bad bastard in my time.''

The fact that the sexual abuse of children is so hidden is not entirely the result of the age its victims. This is also a crime of conspiracy, of the abuse of power and, from time to time, of incidents which suggest that a paedophile with prestige may be more likely to escape justice than a more humble offender.

For example, police now invest relatively little time in the surveillance of public toilets where gay men go cottaging. The one thing that is likely still to trigger such an operation is a complaint that under-aged boys are involved '' unless, that is, the toilets in question happen to be those behind the Royal Courts of Justice in the Strand, in which case, under the terms of a long-standing Metropolitan Police policy, the operation will take place only if it has the approval of an officer of the rank of commander or above. According to experienced London officers, the reason is that those toilets are used by High Court judges and barristers, and the Metropolitan Police have always said they do not want to encounter such a powerful offender without special authority.

Fleet Street routinely nurtures a crop of untold stories about powerful abusers who have evaded justice. One such is Peter Morrison, formerly the MP for Chester and the deputy chairman of the Conservative Party. Ten years ago, Chris House, the veteran crime reporter for the Sunday Mirror, twice received tip-offs from police officers who said that Morrison had been caught cottaging in public toilets with underaged boys and had been released with a caution. A less powerful man, the officers complained, would have been charged with gross indecency or an offence against children.

At the time, Chris House confronted Morrison, who used libel laws to block publication of the story. Now, Morrison is dead and cannot sue. Police last week confirmed that he had been picked up twice and never brought to trial. They added that there appeared to be no trace of either incident in any of the official records.

A lot of paedophiles are loners. The NSPCC found that 70% of them were closely related to their victim '' and, contrary to popular belief, they were not always men. Dr Michelle Elliott from Kidscape says she has dealt with more than 700 cases of women sexually abusing children and that she takes on one or two new such cases each week. Academics who have analysed the history of sexually abused children on the At Risk register have found that one in three were assaulted by adolescent or pre-adolescent children. The Young Abusers Project in London, has dealt with one abuser who was only seven years old.

Even though most abusers '' whatever their age or sex '' work alone, there is clear evidence of some conspiracy, of the existence of paedophile rings, sometimes deliberately infiltrating parts of the child protection system, often taking advantage of each other's political or social power to conceal their activities.

Researchers at Manchester University trawled the records of eight police areas in search of cases of organised abuse and they concluded that nationally they would expect to find 242 cases every year where children were the victims of adults who had colluded together to use them for sex. They noted, in line with other specialist researchers, that these official records probably captured only one tenth of the truth. It is these cases of organised abuse which present some of the most frightening incidents.

Some are never brought to trial '' like the group of men who were believed by police to be abducting homeless girls from the streets of London in the early 1990s and holding them in a converted garage with padded walls, where they were being abused and finally killed. The closest they came to being caught was when the man who was said to be disposing of the girls' bodies, for £2,000 a time, was identified by Number Eight Regional Crime Squad, in Wales, as an ex-convict, a man with a history of spectacular violence who was living in Cardiff. Police investiged him but were unable to identify those who had hired him or to find evidence to charge him.

Others come to trial only partially '' like Robert Oliver and Sidney Cooke and their friends who together abducted, drugged, raped and killed Jason Swift, Barry Lewes and Mark Tildesley. They were convicted of manslaughter. Officers from Operation Orchid were frustrated, first because there was insufficient evidence to convict them of murder, and, second, because they were never able to bring any charges at all in relation to six other boys who, they believed, had also died at the hands of the same ring.

Often the links between abusers lie beneath the surface of less horrific conspiracies. Take, for example, the case of Greystone Heath, an approved school for boys in Warrington, which for years enjoyed an unsullied reputation until police finally discovered that it had become a hot spot for paedophiles. This one institution '' whose history of abuse is echoed now in scores of others '' is a model of everyday paedophile collusion.

It appears to have started in 1965 when a 21-year-old student teacher named Keith Laverack went to work there and embarked on a campaign of buggery and indecent assault. Over the ensuing four years, he raped at least 16 boys, three of whom he shared with his colleague, Brian Percival, the clerk and storeman at the home. Once these two men had established sexual rights over the boys at Greystone, other abusers joined the staff: Alan Langshaw, who raped at least 24 boys; Dennis Grain who raped at least 18; Roy Shuttleworth who raped at least ten; Jack Bennett who indecently assaulted two; and Steve Norris who assaulted an unknown number.

The Greystone abusers then fanned out. Keith Laverack went to childrens' homes in Cambridgeshire; Alan Langshaw became Principal of St Vincent's Catholic boys' home in Formby; Grain and Shuttleworth were both promoted to other homes in the Warrington area; Steve Norris went to North Wales. At their new homes, all of them continued to rape boys who were in their care and wherever they went, they crossed the paths of other paedophiles.

In Cambridgeshire, Keith Laverack worked with numerous colleagues, four of whom are now also suspected of abusing children. Dennis Grain worked in Doncaster for the same group of private schools as Terence Hoskins who went on to become headteacher of St Aiden's Community Home in Widnes, where he liked to thrash naked boys with a cane, which he then pushed into their backsides, while his housemaster, Colin Dick, indecently assaulted those who caught his eye. Dennis Grain had previously attacked boys in Danesford childrens' home in Congleton, opening the door to three others, John Clarke, Joseph Smith and Brian Hudson, who set about the boys with relish. Dennis Grain, in the meantime, went off to work at Eton, where he became a housemaster. The web is almost endless.

While he was Principal of St Vincent's, Alan Langshaw recruited a care worker named Edward Stanton, who joined in Langshaw's orgy. Stanton appears to have got the job through the good offices of Roy Shuttleworth, who was continuing to abuse the boys at Greystone and who is believed to have known Stanton from their time in Birmingham when they took the same course in residential child care.

That course in Birmingham, in turn, is believed to have been lectured by Peter Righton, a notorious paedophile who attempted to legitimise his obsession in a series of academic studies. Righton, for his part, belonged to the Paedophile Information Exchange, along with Jack Bennett who joined in the abuse at Greystone. Righton had earlier worked in the same childrens' home in Maidstone, Kent as Peter Howarth, who went on to become a legendary abuser in the homes of North Wales where he shared his indulgence with Steve Norris, formerly of Greystone.

Each of these men claims to have abused alone. Even though their paths connected so frequently, even though the Greystone abusers were assaulting boys in buildings within yards of each other, even though several of them were raping the same boys, they claim never to have colluded with each other. No one who has been involved with investigating Greystone believes them.

The evidence suggests that such abusers not only collude to give each other work and access to children, but also to infiltrate the child protection system. Peter Righton lectured not only in Birmingham but in numerous other colleges. Before he was finally taken to court and convicted, he became a highly regarded consultant in child care and, eventually, the Director of Education at the prestigious National Institute of Social Work in London, a position from which he was able to have some influence on Government policy.

With similar cynicism, Keith Laverack, who opened the catalogue of abuse at Greystone Heath, went on to run the Guardian Ad Litem panel for Cambridgeshire County Council, with the job of representing the interests of children in court cases. This job not only introduced him to the most vulnerable children in the area but also gave him access to files on abused children all over the country. Terence Hoskins, who worked with some of the Greystone abusers, used connections with South Yorkshire police to get access to his own file, from the supposedly secret National Criminal Intelligence Service, NCIS.

Roger Saint who spent years assaulting his foster children in Clwyd secured himself a job on the local adoption panel, from which he could referee complaints about people like himself.

But this is only the beginning. Beyond the inherent difficulty of detecting and preventing this most secret crime, beyond the obstacle course of concealment erected by the collusion of clever paedophiles, the child victims of sexual abuse are betrayed by organisations who repeatedly prefer to avoid embarrassment by concealing awkward allegations and by a system of protection which simply does not work.

>> British Establishment Paedophile Cover-up

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Wed, 24 Oct 2012 19:51

The ex-British Prime Minister, Edward Heath was a paedophile. I can write this with no fear of libel action; you cannot libel the dead. It has been reported that Heath (British Prime Minister 1970-74) was known to rent boys in London, would hang around public toilets and had been warned by the Special Branch and Metropolitan Police that his actions would risk his political standing.

Snippets of information have been sprinkled throughout the press over the years since Heath died in 2005; but no one has pushed for inquiries into institutions that Heath was involved with. Contrast that with the demands for investigations into those people and organisation involved with Savile '' with just one exception: Savile's association with Edward Heath.

Outside mainstream media, its not just past celebs facing the wrong-end of finger-pointing. The internet is a goldmine of information, speculation and questions; with past politicians and even the Royal Household being linked to Savile's activities. It is the internet that is leading the way on stories connected to Savile; with the mainstream slow to react and being very selective with what and how it reports.

The breadth of evidence on the internet against Heath, is no less than the evidence against Jimmy Savile: Testimonials, low-level police involvement and anecdotal hearsay. However, while Savile is plastered all over the media, news about Edward Heath is noticeable for its absence in mainstream media.

Heath and Savile knew each other. They were both associated with Haute de la Garenne on Jersey, the boys' home at the centre of a horrific paedophile scandal. Savile reportedly provided boys to Heath, who would take them for a sail on his yacht, where, its been alleged, sexual acts on the boys would take place by Heath.

However, none of this is mentioned in the mainstream media. Compare the article about child-actor Ben Fellows as written in the Daily Express with the article on the same subject written by the blog site 21centurywire. In the former, the focus is on the BBC, with no mention of Westminster. In fact, Fellows mentions politicians including the high-profile government minister, Ken Clarke.

Websites have linked past pillars of British establishment with paedophilia, including the police, Lord Mountbatten, and currently serving politicians witnessing acts that could be deemed sexual assault on a minor, but then do nothing about it. In addition, names and faces of young boys murdered over the past few decades are being brought to the fore; Jason Swift being just one linked to paedophile rings that include past establishment leaders.

The mainstream media frenzy surrounding the late British DJ, Jimmy Savile, into being the paedophile ringmaster of the UK means each day, more household names are roped into the sex scandal with accusations of everything from sexual assault to turning a blind-eye. Anyone who has so much as served a cup of tea to anyone in media during the last 40 years has been asked: 'Were you involved? What did you know?' The Savile Scandal is news broadcasters wet dream that only the BBC can't enjoy, as the Beeb, itself, is accused of cover-up. Yet, as Savile's involvement grows, so do the questions: How on Earth did he get away with it for so long? Was he protected?

In what's growing into a major scandal that gropes all parts of the British establishment, is the mainstream media still indulging in cover-up that protects paedophiles?

Revealed: British Premier Gordon Brown Is A Paedophile McCann Exposure: Exposing myth, distortion, corruption and truth

Link to Article

Wed, 24 Oct 2012 19:50

By Mike James in Germany '' 28 February 2010

In the early months of 2003, just prior to the illegal invasion of Iraq, and working in conjunction with a London-based freelance journalist who had thoroughly double-checked exposures published by the Scottish 'Sunday Herald' newspaper, I publicised details of a child-sex ring linked to senior ministers within the Blair government.

I initially published my findings, stemming from discreet leaks from a secret list provided by the American FBI to the 'Sunday Times' newspaper, and concomitantly discovered that Tony Blair had issued a gagging order to suppress all further discussion of a scandal that would most certainly have brought a swift end to his administration and made Britain's collusion in the destruction of Iraq impossible.

The articles I wrote concerning the ''Operation Ore'' cover-up and the 100-year blackout order imposed upon the report concerning the Dunblane massacre of children used and abused by senior Scottish Labour government ministers can still be found here:

Alleged Pedophiles at Helm of Britain's War Machine, Massive Cover-Upwww.propagandamatrix.com/alleged_pedophiles.html [Ref. 1]

Blair's Protection of Elite Paedophile Ring Spells the End For His Careerwww.propagandamatrix.com/blair_protection.html [Ref. 2]

Blackout in Britain: Alleged Pedophiles Helm Blair's War Roomwww.counterpunch.org/james01292003.html

Blackout in Britain: Alleged Paedophiles at Helm of Britain's War Machinehttp://thetruthseeker.co.uk/article.asp?ID=8257

Tony Blair Caught Protecting Elite Paedophile Ringhttp://thetruthseeker.co.uk/article.asp?ID=8258

Cremation of Care: The New World Order and the Dunblane Shootingswww.cremationofcare.com/the_nwo_dunblane.htm

Dunblane Secret Documents Contain Letters by Tory and Labour Ministerswww.thetruthseeker.co.uk/article.asp?ID=600

These stories, which also implicated the Attorney-General Lord Goldsmith, former NATO Boss Lord Robertson, and the Svengali of Tony Blair and Gordon Brown's rise to power, the flamboyant homosexual Peter Mandelson (now Lord Mandelson), were widely publicised on the Internet, excited debate within numerous online forums, and inspired Robert Kilroy-Silk's former Veritas Party to undertake a detailed examination of the extent to which senior and junior ministers close to Gordon Brown were given free licence to engage in paedophiliac activities under the protection of the British intelligence services.

The Sunday Herald's incendiary story (''Child Porn Arrests Too Slow'', 19 January 2003), written by its Home Affair's correspondent Neil Mackay, disappeared rapidly from the Internet within weeks of my exposure. Mackay's editor, at first cooperative, subsequently refused to answer any further enquiries put to him by myself and the freelance journalist Bob Kearley.

Each and every letter I sent to the British Home Office, Scotland Yard and the Sunday Times solicited not one single reply.

Lord Robertson, a self-confessed Freemasonic member of Edinburgh's sinister ''Speculative Society'' lodge, who enjoyed a peculiarly close personal relationship with Thomas Hamilton, the mass murderer of abused children in Dunblane, failed to sue the Sunday Herald for libel and promptly disappeared from public life. Police records revealed that Robertson had helped expedite the process by which the Manchurian Candidate, Hamilton, already a convicted child molester with known affiliations to the British elite, was able to obtain gun licenses.

Roberston worked in collusion with Michael Forsyth (Secretary of State for Scotland), a fellow ''Speculative Freemason'' and Robert Bell, an associate of Malcolm Rifkind (British Foreign Secretary). Robertson, at the behest of Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, had a vested interest in 'wasting' children who were beginning to talk.

On 13 March 1996, Thomas Hamilton, a former Boy Scout leader walked into Dunblane Primary School armed with two 9 mm pistols and two .357 Magnum revolvers. He killed sixteen small children and a teacher. The subsequent police investigation revealed that Hamilton had loaded the magazines for his Browning with an alternating combination of fully metal-jacketed and hollow point ammunition. This horrific event led to the banning of handguns in the UK. [How convenient.]

The Judge who conducted the inquiry into the atrocity, during which two teachers claimed to have seen another mysterious man ''guiding'' Hamilton onto the premises, was Lord Cullen. Cullen, also a member of the Freemasonic Speculative Society and an associate of Labour ''Scottish Mafia'' figures such as Lord Robertson, Tony Blair, John Reid and Gordon Brown, was accused by leading journalists and emergency service personnel of having achieved a cover-up.

According to journalist Marcello Mega, in The News of the World, 28 December 2003:

1. A top Scottish Freemason, Former Grand Master Lord Burton, has said that Lord Cullen's inquiry into the Dunblane massacre was a cover-up.

Lord Burton says Cullen's inquiry suppressed crucial information to protect high-profile legal figures.

2. These high-profile legal figures may belong to a secretive 'Super-Mason' group called The Speculative Society.

Lord Burton said: ''I have learned of an apparent connection between prominent members of the legal establishment involved in the inquiry, and the secretive Speculative Society. The society was formed in Edinburgh University through Masonic connections so I accept that there might be a link by that route.'' Reportedly, members of the Speculative Society have included Lord Cullen and a number of other judges, sheriffs and advocates.

3. Some of these high-profile people had links to the Queen Victoria School 'where gunman Thomas Hamilton was allowed to roam free before the 1996 atrocity'.

4. Reportedly the police are investigating claims that pupils at Queen Victoria School were regularly taken away and sexually abused.

5. Former housemaster Glenn Harrison told the News of the World how he even found Hamilton, 43, creeping around the dormitories at night. He said Hamilton had close links to a top policeman. Glenn was never called to give evidence at the Cullen Inquiry.

6. Lord Burton said: ''I tried repeatedly to raise concerns about the inquiry during my time in the Lords, and I was bullied and threatened by powerful peers loyal to the Conservative Government of the day, who warned me of dire consequences if I continued to embarrass them.'' ( According to this source Cached '' 'Malcolm Rifkind's friend and his then Chairman of his constituency party at Edinburgh Pentlands, Robert Bell, according to the front page lead of the Edinburgh Evening News on 23 March 1996, sold guns and ammunition to Thomas Hamilton only a few weeks before the Dunblane massacre, and it was reported he said he would sell him guns again.')

8. Glenn Harrison had kept dozens of files from pupils alleging bullying and abuse while he was at the Queen Victoria School and wrote to parents warning of the dangers in 1991. It led to him being ousted from the school and just days before he left, police raided his home and confiscated the files.

9. Glenn states that Hamilton had been a friend of Ben Philip, the senior housemaster at QVS. Mr Philip died in December 1993, aged 46, when he fell from a ladder while hanging decorations.

http://scot-land.blogspot.com/2007/12/lord-cullen-dunblane-lockerbie.html

For William Burns' further elucidation of the cover-up, please see Ref. 3.

Alan Milburn, a close ally of Tony Blair, also resigned dramatically from the senior benches of the Labour Party government shortly after Scotland Yard's anti-paedophile investigation was suppressed by the Blair administration, citing the need to ''spend more time with my family''.

For some reason, the abduction of Scottish children for the purpose of rape and murder, always closely linked to senior Labour Party political figures, continues unabated.

Pressure on Police to Release Paedophile Dossierwww.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/scotland/article708514.ece

Although Labour Supremo Peter Mandelson's alleged role in the kidnapping of young girls and boys for the ''pleasuring'' of the European Union's elite commissioners in Brussels was the subject of intense speculation long before the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, I can now bring to a close all speculation as to the name of Tony Blair's most ''highly placed and senior politician'' who fell not only under the scrutiny of Scotland Yard for crimes against children, but was also identified by the FBI as an active member of the paedophile ring run by Thomas Hamilton.

That name was first revealed to me by Norman Lamont at a private party in Clapham in 1986, during which time I worked as a scriptwriter for the British television media. Lamont later became Chancellor of the Exchequer under John Major's Conservative administration. Following investigations in 2003 on both my and Bob Kearley's part, that name cropped up time and time again, and I passed the details to Internet journalist Paul Joseph Watson.

Gordon Brown, the current British Prime Minister, is a practising paedophile whose activities are known not only to the British, American and Israeli intelligence services, but also by Rupert Murdoch and his senior editor at the Sunday Times.

'--'--'--'--'--'--Michael James, an English patriot, is a blacklisted and surveilled former freelance journalist resident in Zionist-occupied Germany since 1992 with additional long-haul stays in East Africa, Poland and Switzerland. He advocates a Leaderless Resistance to destroy the Soviet European Union and is actively working towards a free and independent England.'--'--'--'--'--'--

http://www.thetruthseeker.co.uk/?p=12346

http://gnosticliberationfront.com/mike_james_page_a_list_of_al.htmhttp://rense.com/Datapages/mikejamesdat.htm

Source '' http://www.thetruthseeker.co.uk/?p=12346

HLM's note -

The truth seeker is an excellent blog, well worth visiting and you can read the rest of this lengthy article there. You can pick up the main link to the blog on mccannexposure's home page.

BBC News - MP raises claim of past paedophile ring linked to No 10

Link to Article

Wed, 24 Oct 2012 19:46

24 October 2012Last updated at08:33 ETPlease turn on JavaScript. Media requires JavaScript to play.

Tom Watson raises the issue at Prime Minister's Questions

Labour MP Tom Watson has said police must investigate claims of a "powerful paedophile ring" linked to a previous prime minister's "senior adviser" and Parliament.

He asked David Cameron to ensure that officers looked into the allegations.

Mr Cameron said he would look into the issue, although he said he was not clear which former prime minister's adviser was being referred to.

The exchanges came during Prime Minister's Questions in the Commons.

Mr Watson said an evidence file collected by the police to convict paedophile Peter Righton in 1992 "contains clear intelligence of a widespread paedophile ring".

"One of its members boasts of his links to a senior aide of a former prime minister, who says he could smuggle indecent images of children from abroad," he said.

"The leads were not followed up, but if the files still exist, I want to ensure that the Metropolitan Police secure the evidence, re-examine it and investigate clear intelligence suggesting a powerful paedophile network linked to Parliament and No 10."

David Cameron said it was a "very difficult and complex case" and he was "not entirely sure" which former prime minister Mr Watson was referring to.

But he agreed to look at the case "very carefully and see what the government can do" to give Mr Watson the assurances he wanted.

Bank$ters

Ex-Goldman director gets two years in jail for insider trading

Link to Article

Source: BlackListedNews.com

Thu, 25 Oct 2012 03:19

Rajat Gupta, a former director of Goldman Sachs, will spend two years in jail and an additional year on supervised release for his role in a sprawling insider-trading scheme on Wall Street.

U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff ordered Gupta to report to prison Dec. 11 and pay $5 million in fines. A jury convicted Gupta of securities fraud and conspiracy in June.

Federal prosecutors had sought a prison sentence of as long as 10 years. Gupta's lawyers asked Rakoff for a term of community service, helping homeless youth in New York or rural poor in Rwanda.

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>>

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The Germans Are Coming for Their Gold - CNBC

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Thu, 25 Oct 2012 01:46

Diamond Sky Images | Photodisc | Getty Images

A German federal court has said that country's central bank should conduct annual audits and physically inspect its gold reserves worldwide, including gold in the custody of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. In addition to the FRBNY, Bundesbank gold is stored in London, Paris and Frankfurt.(Read more: Republicans Eye Return to Gold Standard)

For decades, the Bundesbank has relied on written confirmation of its gold holdings in London, Paris and New York. According to the report from the German audit court, the last time Bundesbank officials physically inspected the central banks gold holdings was, well, never.

(It should be stated that the folks at FT Alphaville quote a report saying an inspection took place in 1979/1980.)

Interestingly enough, the Bundesbank is apparently quite happy with taking the word of other central bankers about the existence, location and size of its gold reserves. It put out the word that it disagrees with the Audit Court, which only has advisory power and cannot force the Bundesbank to follow its recommendations, about the need for inspections. Nonetheless, the Bundesbank is actually going to follow the recommendation that it verify the gold stocks. It also has plans to ship some 150 tons of gold back to Germany for a more ''thorough examination.''

The Bundesbank is, of course, quite right in its opinion of the value of the examinations. In reality, it does not matter one bit whether the Federal Reserve Bank of New York actually has the German central bank's gold or whether the gold is pure. As long as the Fed says it is there, it is as good as there for all practical purposes to which it might be put. It can be sold, leased out, used as collateral, employed to extinguish liabilities and counted as bank capital just the same whether it exists or not.

(Read more: Why Some Call Return to Gold Standard 'Ludicrous')

The actual presence of the gold wouldn't make a lick of difference unless, say, Germany's central bank decided it wanted to start using the gold for some practical, non-monetary purpose like making watches.

But there's long been a paranoia about central bank and government gold reserves. (Read more: GOP Appeased Me on Gold Standard: Rep. Ron Paul)

The gold of the United States government, which officials say is held in the United States Bullion Depository in Fort Knox, has been rumored'--probably since the Depository's founding in 1937'--to have been looted and replaced with gold-painted tungsten, for instance. The government treats this as nonsense'--which it most likely is'--but nonetheless it does conduct regularly scheduled audits of the gold in Fort Knox, including doing purity tests on a small sample of the gold.

This paranoia is not entirely irrational, for one reason. As I mentioned above, for almost all imaginable operational purposes, the actual existence of the gold in Fort Knox or in the vault beneath the FRBNY's Liberty Street headquarters is irrelevant. The bookkeeping is what really matters here. So long as the Fed says Bundesbank owns X tons of gold, the Bundesbank can act as if it did own the gold'--even if the gold had somehow been swallowed into a gold-eating galactic worm hole. But the irrelevance of the facticity of the gold does quite easily lend itself to thinking: if the gold being there doesn't matter, why would it be there?

(Read more: The Gold Standard and the Myth of Price Stability)

I'm sure the Bundesbank officials understand this quite well, even though the German Audit Court does not. There is nothing to be gained by inspecting the gold. If it is all there and pure, there is no difference from an undiscovered absence. But if the gold isn't there, well, calamity could follow as trust in the central bank gold depositories evaporated instantly.

In any event, it looks like Bundesbank officials will soon be visiting the Fed's vault, which is located 80 feet below street level and 50 feet below sea level. The vault is accessible only by elevators controlled by an operator in a remote location. I've been told by a source that the elevator operator is actually not in New York City at all, although I can't confirm this and the Fed won't discuss this sort of thing.

Down in the vault there are 122 compartments assigned to depositing countries and international organizations. Smaller gold depositing countries get shelves in shared library compartments.

The compartments do not have labels reading ''Germany's gold'' and so on. They are instead numbered, and only a few people at the Fed know what numbers correspond to which country. The Fed says it does this to protect the privacy of the depositors. But this also makes actual inspection less reliable. There's no way for Germany to know that the gold it is being shown is Germany's, as opposed to some other depositor's. In an extreme case'--which I have no reason to believe is true'--miscreants at the Fed could just show everyone who came to visit the same pile of gold.

This is related to another mystery about gold reserves: why do they persist?

The central banks of the world's established economic powers do not actually do anything with their gold, apart from rare and occasional sales of gold limited by the Washington Agreement to no more than 400 tons per year.

Some central banks lend out their gold to speculators and gold miners (who borrow the gold to finance mines'--basically, a risk-free hedged loan since the borrowed gold can be repaid with newly mined gold, regardless of what happens to the price of gold on the market), which can be a somewhat profitable activity'--especially when the alternative is just letting it sit around doing nothing but fluctuating in value with the market price. But, as far as we know, this isn't something the Bundesbank or the Fed does.

When Congressman Ron Paul recently asked Fed chair Ben Bernanke about the rationale for central banks holding gold, Bernanke said it was the result of ''long term tradition.'' But that's not really a satisfactory answer. The lack of a satisfactory answer actually contributes to the suspicion that the gold isn't really there at all. If there's no purpose for it, why would it be there?

So is the German Audit Court nuts? Not necessarily. For one thing, there probably is some value to putting to rest suspicions that the public is being deceived about central bank gold reserves'--although I doubt an audit will really do very much in this regard. For another, there's always the off-chance that someone has embezzled the gold, enriching himself unjustly. Might as well check if the gold is really there.

The Fed wouldn't comment on the record about how it will handle a German request to inspect the gold. A source says they would likely work out a deal with the Germans permitting some sort of inspection.

But I like to imagine that the Fed officials would bring the Germans to the door of the a compartment labeled, say, No. 322, and then pose the question: ''Are you absolutely sure you want to see what's in here?''

- by CNBC Senior Editor John Carney

_________________________

FollowJohn on Twitter. (Market and financial news, adventures in New York City, plus whatever is on his mind.) You can email him at .

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Cyber War$

Napolitano to Address 'Diversity in Cyber Security Conference'.

Link to Article

Source: WT news feed

Thu, 25 Oct 2012 12:41

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano is scheduled to deliver a keynote address at the "Diversity in Cyber Security Conference" tomorrow in Washington, D.C., a press release from the organization hosting the event announced in a press release. The group Women in International Security is hosting the event.

Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano

"The Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS) Women In International Security (WIIS) will hold a discussion on the importance of diversity in building the cyber security workforce of the future, with a specific focus on the role of women. Janet Napolitano, U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security, will provide the keynote address," reads the press release.

According to a Fox News report from the summer, Napolitano currently faces a lawsuit for creating a hostile work environment for men at DHS. "A longtime special agent in the Department of Homeland Security has filed a salacious discrimination lawsuit, saying he was shoved aside in favor of a woman with ties to DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano -- who the suit claims presided over a female 'frat-house'-style department that routinely humiliated male staffers," Fox reported.

"The lawsuit, filed in May by James T. Hayes Jr., focuses on two Napolitano appointees, Suzanne Barr and Dora Schriro, who joined DHS in February 2009, five months after Hayes was promoted to director of ICE Detention and Removal Operations."

The keynote address is scheduled to last an hour, and will be moderated by Jolynn Shoemaker.

"Jolynn Shoemaker is director of Women in International Security (WIIS) at CSIS, the only global network actively advancing women's leadership, at all stages of their careers, in international peace and security," reads the moderator's bio.

Canada's Cyber Security Response Center Works From Nine To Five!

Drone Nation

Britain's New Drone Squadron

Link to Article

Source: Global Research

Mon, 22 Oct 2012 23:39

The Guardian has tonight revealed that the RAF will 'stand-up' its new drone squadron '' 13 Squadron - at a ceremony at RAF Waddington this Friday (26th Oct). The UK's five armed Reaper drones are currently piloted from Creech Air Force Base in Nevada. In May 2011 the UK announced that it would begin to control drones from the UK and announced the formation of a new squadron to do so. The UK has also purchased five additional Reapers which are also due to come into service over the next few weeks.

In tonight's Guardian report an MoD spokesman stated:

''The new squadron will have three control terminals at RAF Waddington, and the five aircraft will be based in Afghanistan'... We will continue to operate the other Reapers from Creech, though in time, we will wind down operations there and bring people back to the UK.''

We will be a demonstrating outside the main gates at RAF Waddington from Noon '' 2pm on Friday to protest the growing use of drones '' please join us if you can.

Articles by:Drone Wars UKRelated content:

Britain's Drone War ArsenalThe Ministry of Defence's 'Top Level Messages' briefing for January 2012 contains several items on recent UK drone operation and developments. While there are no new or dramatic revelations it's an interesting summary of the UK's current drone activities.The UK Reaper Remotely Piloted Air System (RPAS) programme has now provided over 30,000 hours of high quality, persistent armed Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) support to UK and ISAF forces in Afghanistan.'...

DRONE WARFARE: US Military Releases Information on Drone Slaughter of Afghan ''Non-combatants''US military investigation damns drone operators28/03/2012We're reposting this short report, together with the links to further information, that we have just received today:

One of the trucks after the Hellfire strike in Feb 2010Centcom.mil released on 22 March 2012 a declassified 2,100-page report on slaughter of 23 Afghan non-combatants '' men, women, children '' in February 2010, blamed on Creech drone pilots over-enthusiastically calling in Hellfires on a 3-vehicle civilian convoy.'...

Drone Attack Kills 11 in South WaziristanAt least 11 people have been killed in a U.S. drone missile attack in South Waziristan, intelligence officials said on Friday.The missiles struck a house around Friday noon in a village near Mizai Narai, a bordering area with Afghanistan, the officials said.'...

SPEAKING OUT AGAINST DRONE WARFARE: The cost and consequences of exposing the drone warsAs secret and unaccountable US and British drone strikes continue in remote corners of the globe, closer to home (but firmly behind closed doors), the drone industry continues to research and develop a drone-filled future.

Bristol billboard exposes drone conferenceOver the past couple of weeks, protesters in the UK and the US have gathered to turn the spotlight on the increasingly secret use and development of armed drones.'...

America's Drone Wars in Africa: A Constellation of Secret Airstrips and Drone Bases''For the second time in two weeks, American authorities lost contact with a drone aircraft, this time resulting in a fiery crash in the Seychelles in the Indian Ocean. '... ''In 2009, The Pentagon established an agreement with the Seychelles government to establish a drone base within proximity of the country's civilian airport.'...

Disclaimer: The contents of this article are of sole responsibility of the author(s). The Centre for Research on Globalization will not be responsible for any inaccurate or incorrect statement in this article. The Center of Research on Globalization grants permission to cross-post original Global Research articles on community internet sites as long as the text & title are not modified. The source and the author's copyright must be displayed. For publication of Global Research articles in print or other forms including commercial internet sites, contact: publications@globalresearch.ca

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For media inquiries: media@globalresearch.ca

You Get 4 Year Old Girls Blown To Bits Because Of This Drone Policy An No One's Talking About It!

"He Agreed On Drones And I Think The American People Agree On Drones" Gov Pataki Post Debate

Article: Joe Klein's sociopathic defense of drone killings of children

Link to Article

Tue, 23 Oct 2012 21:24

People burn a mock US flag as they shout slogans during a protest against US drone attacks in Multan, Pakistan, last June. Photograph: Mk Chaudhry/EPA

(updated below)

On MSNBC's Morning Joe program this morning, which focused on Monday night's presidential debate, the former right-wing Congressman and current host Joe Scarborough voiced an eloquent and impassioned critique of President Obama's ongoing killing of innocent people in the Muslim world using drones. In response, Time Magazine's Joe Klein, a stalwart Obama supporter, offered one of the most nakedly sociopathic defenses yet heard of these killings. This exchange, which begins at roughly the 7:00 minute mark on the video embedded below, is quite revealing in several respects.

Here are the relevant portions of the exchange, which was triggered when regular guest Mike Barnicle announced how amazing he found it that so little public attention and debate is paid to the fact that Obama simply kills whomever he wants "without any kind of due process":

SCARBOROUGH: "What we're doing with drones is remarkable: the fact that over the past eight years during the Bush years -- when a lot of people brought up some legitimate questions about international law -- my God, those lines have been completely eradicated by a drone policy that says: if you're between 17 and 30, and within a half-mile of a suspect, we can blow you up, and that's exactly what's happening ... They are focused on killing the bad guys, but it is indiscriminate as to other people who are around them at the same time ... it is something that will cause us problems in the coming years." ...

KLEIN: "I completely disagree with you....It has been remarkably successful" --

SCARBOROUGH: "at killing people" --

KLEIN: "At decimating bad people, taking out a lot of bad people -- and saving Americans lives as well, because our troops don't have to do this ... You don't need pilots any more because you do it with a joystick in California."

SCARBOROUGH: "This is offensive to me, though. Because you do it with a joystick in California -- and it seems so antiseptic -- it seems so clean -- and yet you have 4-year-old girls being blown to bits because we have a policy that now says: "you know what? Instead of trying to go in and take the risk and get the terrorists out of hiding in a Karachi suburb, we're just going to blow up everyone around them.

"This is what bothers me... We don't detain people any more: we kill them, and we kill everyone around them... I hate to sound like a Code Pink guy here. I'm telling you this quote 'collateral damage' -- it seems so clean with a joystick from California -- this is going to cause the US problems in the future."

KLEIN: "If it is misused, and there is a really major possibility of abuse if you have the wrong people running the government. But: the bottom line in the end is -- whose 4-year-old get killed? What we're doing is limiting the possibility that 4-year-olds here will get killed by indiscriminate acts of terror."

There are several points worth noting about this exchange:

(1) Klein's justification -- we have to kill their children in order to protect our children -- is the exact mentality of every person deemed in US discourse to be a "terrorist." Almost every single person arrested and prosecuted over the last decade on terrorism charges, when asked why they were willing to kill innocent Americans including children, offered some version of Joe Klein's mindset.

Here, for instance, is what the Pakistani-American Faisal Shazad said after he pled guilty to attempting to detonate a bomb in Times Square, in response to an angry question from the presiding US federal judge as to how he could possibly be willing to kill innocent children:

"Well, the drone hits in Afghanistan and Iraq, they don't see children, they don't see anybody. They kill women, children, they kill everybody. It's a war, and in war, they kill people. They're killing all Muslims....

"I am part of the answer to the U.S. terrorizing the Muslim nations and the Muslim people. And, on behalf of that, I'm avenging the attack. Living in the United States, Americans only care about their own people, but they don't care about the people elsewhere in the world when they die."

The mentality of Faisal Shazad and Joe Klein are completely identical and indistinguishable: it is justified for us indiscriminately to kill even your innocent children because doing so will help stop you from killing ours.

And here's what Osama bin Laden had to say on the same topic:

"The call to wage war against America was made because America has spear-headed the crusade against the Islamic nation, sending tens of thousands of its troops to the land of the two Holy Mosques over and above its meddling in its affairs and its politics, and its support of the oppressive, corrupt and tyrannical regime that is in control. These are the reasons behind the singling out of America as a target....

"Besides, terrorism can be commendable and it can be reprehensible. Terrifying an innocent person and terrorizing him is objectionable and unjust, also unjustly terrorizing people is not right. Whereas, terrorizing oppressors and criminals and thieves and robbers is necessary for the safety of people and for the protection of their property....

"The terrorism we practice is of the commendable kind for it is directed at the tyrants and the aggressors and the enemies of Allah, the tyrants, the traitors who commit acts of treason against their own countries and their own faith and their own prophet and their own nation. Terrorizing those and punishing them are necessary measures to straighten things and to make them right....

"It is not enough for their people to show pain when they see our children being killed in Israeli raids launched by American planes, nor does this serve the purpose. What they ought to do is change their governments which attack our countries. The hostility that America continues to express against the Muslim people has given rise to feelings of animosity on the part of Muslims against America and against the West in general. Those feelings of animosity have produced a change in the behavior of some crushed and subdued groups who, instead of fighting the Americans inside the Muslim countries, went on to fight them inside the United States of America itself."

The only difference between the Joe Kleins of the world and Osama bin Laden is that they're on different sides. To the extent one wanted to distinguish them, one could say that the violence and aggression brought by the US to the Muslim world vastly exceeds -- vastly -- the violence and aggression brought by the Muslim world to the US. That's just a fact.

(2) Leaving aside the sociopathic, morally grotesque defense of killing 4-year-olds with a "joystick from California," Klein's claims are completely false on pragmatic grounds. Slaughtering Muslim children does not protect American children from terrorism. The opposite is true. That is precisely what causes the anti-American hatred that fuels and sustains terrorism aimed at Americans in the first place, as even a study commissioned by the Rumsfeld-era Pentagon recognized almost a decade ago.

The reason American 4-year-olds are in danger from terrorism -- to the very limited extent they are -- is precisely because those empowered in US government and media circles think like Joe Klein does. Soul-less cheerleaders for indiscriminate killing like Joe Klein -- who once went on national television and advocated that the US should preserve the right to launch a first-strike nuclear attack on Iran in order to stop its nuclear program, prompting host George Stephanopoulos to label that statement "insane" -- are the reason there is a terrorism risk to Americans, not the solution for that risk.

If you want to understand why there is such a widespread desire to engage in violence against the US, look at Joe Klein's face and listen to his words. Every Muslim who has ever engaged in violence against the US will make that as clear as can be.

(3) This exchange is a perfectly vivid expression of the Obama legacy. Here we have a standard Democratic/progressive pundit who is one of the media's most stalwart Obama fanatics defending indiscriminate slaughter of Muslim children. Meanwhile, it's left to a former right-wing, Gingrich-era congressman to raise objections, call for more public scrutiny, and cite the moral and strategic dangers, one of the very few commentators on MSNBC - the progressive network -- who has ever voiced such passionate criticism of Obama's ongoing killings.

Obama has led all sorts of progressives and other Democrats to be the most vocal supporters of unrestrained aggression, secret assassinations, and "crippling" the Iranian people with sanctions. It is completely unsurprising that the most sociopathic defense of drones comes from one of the most committed Obama supporters, and that it's now left to a former GOP Congressman to raise objections. As much as anything, that is the Obama legacy.

(4) One of the primary reasons war -- especially protracted war -- is so destructive is not merely that it kills the populations at whom it is aimed, but it also radically degrades the character of the citizenry that wages it. That's what enables one of America's most celebrated pundits to go on the most mainstream of TV programs and coldly justify the killing of 4-year-olds, without so much as batting an eyelash or even paying lip service to the heinous tragedy of that, and have it be barely noticed. Joe Klein is the face not only of the Obama legacy, but also mainstream US political culture.

AfghanistanSpeaking of killing children, the Afghanistan government said this morning that a NATO operation on Saturday killed three more Afghan children, ones who were tending to livestock.

UPDATEThere's one other vital point to be made here. Klein says that "there is a really major possibility of abuse [of drone power] if you have the wrong people running the government" -- in other words, we can trust Obama with it, but not the big bad Republicans. This was precisely what Bush followers used to say about his claimed powers of due-process-free eavesdropping and detention: maybe this would be scary if Hillary Clinton could do this, but I trust Bush to use it only against the Bad Guys.

Leaving aside the authoritarian willingness to trust certain leaders with unchecked power, this is not how the US government works. Once a power is legitimized and institutionalized, then it is vested in all presidents, current and future, Democratic and Republican. That is why Thomas Jefferson warned: "In questions of power, then, let no more be heard of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution."

Those who cheer for the unchecked power to assassinate in secret because it's Obama who currently wields that power will be the ones fully responsible when some leader they don't trust exercises it -- abuses it -- in the future.

Annual Hajj Pilgrimage To Mecca Has Begun

Nukes

Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony for the New Department of State Modernized Nuclear Risk Reduction Center

Link to Article

Thu, 25 Oct 2012 12:17

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, first of all, let me say how proud I am to be here, and to thank all of you for what you do every day on behalf of our important mission and how essential this work is, and being part of the inauguration of our newly modernized NRRC.It is also a great honor to have the DCM from the Russian Embassy. This has been a partnership for many years now, and it's very fitting that you would be here with us. And I appreciate it greatly.

This is a little bit like cutting the ribbon on a piece of diplomatic history. There is a lot behind where we are today that has stood the test of time. Despite all the tensions during the Cold War, our two governments '' then the Soviet Union and the United States '' were able to agree to come together to set up these centers. And we knew that we had to do that to keep faith with the future of our own people and the world. And so indeed, we determined that we had to have better systems in place when it came to our nuclear arsenals because the consequences of getting something wrong, of misreading some kind of signal, would have potentially catastrophic consequences.

So on April 1st 1988, we opened NRRCs in both Moscow and Washington. And from that day until today, they have been manned 24/7. And that has kept open the lines of communication. It's also built trust between our two governments.

Over the past now nearly 25 years, the habits of communication between our teams formed around nuclear threats have expanded to promote transparency across the broad spectrum of arms control. And today, the NRRCs report on 13 different agreements and confidence-building measures. This new center will enhance our notification and communication structures with the benefit of modern technology, so we can keep evolving to meet the arms control needs of the future.

So I'd like to thank everyone, past and present, and I suppose even future, on the NRRC staff here in the United States and their counterparts in Moscow, to really express our deep gratitude for your commitment to peace and diplomacy in the 20th and now the 21st century.

So I'm excited to take these gigantic scissors '' (laughter) --

PARTICIPANT: I've been assured that they are sharp. They've been using them for haircuts. (Laughter.)

SECRETARY CLINTON: I think I see (inaudible). (Laughter.)

PARTICIPANT: During the night shift.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Okay. So, are we ready?

PARTICIPANT: Yes.

SECRETARY CLINTON: All right. Shall we do a countdown? Oh, no. Wrong '' (laughter).

All right, well. All right, here we go '' official. (Applause.)

EUROLand

FT: Germany Urges Greece to Hire Foreign Technocrats for Tax Collection, Privatizations.

Link to Article

Source: WT news feed

Thu, 25 Oct 2012 12:38

Posted by keeptalkinggreece in Economy

Yesterday KTG reported on Germany's plan to establish an escrow account where apart from bailout tranches also revenues from tax and V.A.T. collection would be deposited. Even though Schaeuble's proposal has been rejected by the Greek government, Berlin seems adamant to take the country's finances under control.

Financial Times: German-backed plan for Greek Bailout

''The German government is urging ''compulsory'' hiring of outside experts to help collect taxes, fight corruption and privatise government assets in Greece in return for agreeing an overhauled bailout that would include two more years of EU aid for Athens.

The measures would go further than ever before in asserting international control over Greek budgetary decision-making.

The proposals, which EU officials said have support in France and the European Commission, would also require automatic, across-the-board spending cuts if Greece veered off the bailout's revised deficit targets, according to a copy of the plan obtained by the FT.

''It's a tough proposal, but it is realistic,'' said one senior European official involved in the negotiations. However, the International Monetary Fund remains sceptical of the measures.'' (Read Full Article in Financial Times)

PS Irony of the German plans' relevation coincidence: On October 28th, Greece celebrates National ''No-Day'' (Oxi Day 28 October 1940),when Athens denied access of Axis forces to enter Greek territory and occupy certain unspecified ''strategic locations'' or otherwise to face war.

Outcome of the European Council

VIDEO: Farage facing Van Rompuy

Food!

HAARP

Even the Rothschilds Are Weather Obsessed - Deal Journal - WSJ

Weather Central, LP

Tsunami Expected To Hit Hawaii In The Next 5 Minutes

Scientists found guilty for L'Aquila earthquake deaths ... but why?

Link to Article

Source: The Conversation

Tue, 23 Oct 2012 21:32

An Italian court has found scientists directly responsible for 29 of the 309 deaths from the 2009 earthquake. EPA/Roberto GrilloSix Italian scientists and one governmental official were found guilty of manslaughter on Monday for underestimating the risk of a deadly 2009 earthquake.

The quake struck the medieval Italian town of L'Aquila in April 2009, killing 309 people and destroying the city's historic centre.

The verdict '' which will see the seven individuals face six years in jail and millions of euros worth of damages '' has already raised much discussion in the scientific community. It may also influence the future behaviour of scientists asked to give advice on natural-hazard risks.

What is commonly misunderstood about this case is that the guilty parties were convicted neither for failing to forecast the earthquake nor for neglecting to advise evacuation of the city.

Rather, they were convicted for having provided ''inaccurate, incomplete and contradictory information'' about the dangers of the ongoing seismic activity and therefore undermining the safety of the population.

The seven convicted individuals were part of the Italian National Commission for the Forecast and Prevention of Major Risks which was summoned to a meeting in L'Aquila on March 31 2009, the day after the main foreshock of magnitude 4.1 caused some damage to buildings. Less than a week later the deadly 6.3 magnitude earthquake struck.

The March 31 meeting was followed by a press conference during which, according to the presiding judge Marco Billi, those representing the Commission failed to appropriately convey the level of risk to the local population. This prevented citizens from taking precautions that would otherwise have saved lives.

The meeting and press conference took place in a climate of tension and nervousness due to the increasing frequency and intensity of a swarm of earthquakes that had been affecting the area for the previous four months.

The tension was compounded by predictions of a coming quake by researcher Gioacchino Giuliani.

Many building were destroyed in L'Aquila, including the Palazzo del Governo. EPA/Schiazza

Guiliani's predictions were based on radon gas emission measurements '' a technique not trusted by the scientific community. On March 31 2009, Giuliani was reported to the police for spreading unjustified alarm, leading him to stop making public pronouncements on earthquakes.

At the trial '' which lasted from September 2011 to October 2012 '' it was revealed that the meeting of the Major Risks Commission was called to allay public fears that had been stirred up by Giuliani's pronouncements in conjunction with the ongoing earthquake swarm.

In his closing speech, public prosecutor Fabio Picuti judged the analysis of the Major Risks Commission as ''deficient, unsuitable, inadequate and culpably deceptive''.

''Reading the meeting transcript,'' he said, ''we can find a series of trivial, self-contradictory, useless and misleading statements''.

Picuti pointed out many inconsistencies in the Commission assessment. He argued that the statement of scientist Franco Barberi '' who essentially said a seismic swarm is not a precursor to a large event '' was in contradiction with studies and positions held by other members present at the meeting. Importantly, it seems nobody questioned Barberi's position.

Picuti added:

In 1995 Enzo Boschi [one of the six scientists] forecast with probability 1 '' therefore with absolute certainty '' an earthquake with magnitude 5.9 in the following 20 years in this area.

This information was not provided at the meeting, but rather, the occurrence of strong earthquakes was defined as unlikely. Boschi said ''I would rule out the possibility of big earthquakes'' and nobody contested this statement. That was a reckless sentence that was belied by the facts.

Because of this statement people have died.

EPA/Christiano Chiodi

Picuti also addressed the statement made by another of the accused '' government official Bernado De Bernardinis '' before the meeting in which the latter had stated:

the scientific community tells me there is no danger because there is an ongoing discharge of energy. The situation looks favourable.

When prompted by a journalist who said, ''So we should have a nice glass of wine,'' De Bernardinis famously replied ''Absolutely'', and urged locals to have a glass of Montepulciano.

Following testimony by victims' relatives about the different behaviour adopted after the Major Risks Commission press conference, the judge recognised a direct causal link between the conduct of the convicted and the decision of some of the victims to stay inside. Specifically, he recognised a causal link for 29 deaths and four injured people.

Among the testimonies was that of the lawyer Maurizio Cora, who lost his wife and two daughters.

On March 30 2009 '' the day of the main foreshock of 4.1 magnitude '' Cora made his daughter go outside, even though she had a fever of 39ºC. On the night of April 5, when the main earthquake struck, Cora and his family stayed inside because he felt reassured by the Commission that it was safe to do so.

The case raises many questions, including whether scientists should bend their advice to suit the needs of an administration. And this, in turn, raises even bigger questions that will undoubtedly be explored as the verdict inevitably moves towards an appeal.

Further reading:

11 CommentsTagsEarthquakes, Earthquake

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BBC News - L'Aquila quake: Italy scientists guilty of manslaughter

Link to Article

Tue, 23 Oct 2012 13:57

22 October 2012Last updated at15:06 ETPlease turn on JavaScript. Media requires JavaScript to play.

The BBC's Alan Johnston in Rome says the prosecution argued that the scientists were "just too reassuring"

Six Italian scientists and an ex-government official have been sentenced to six years in prison over the 2009 deadly earthquake in L'Aquila.

A regional court found them guilty of multiple manslaughter.

Prosecutors said the defendants gave a falsely reassuring statement before the quake, while the defence maintained there was no way to predict major quakes.

The 6.3 magnitude quake devastated the city and killed 309 people.

Many smaller tremors had rattled the area in the months before the quake that destroyed much of the historic centre.

It took Judge Marco Billi slightly more than four hours to reach the verdict in the trial, which had begun in September 2011.

Lawyers have said that they will appeal against the sentence. As convictions are not definitive until after at least one level of appeal in Italy, it is unlikely any of the defendants will immediately face prison.

'Alarming' caseThe seven - all members of the National Commission for the Forecast and Prevention of Major Risks - were accused of having provided "inaccurate, incomplete and contradictory" information about the danger of the tremors felt ahead of 6 April 2009 quake, Italian media report.

Continue reading the main storyThe Apennines, the belt of mountains that runs down through the centre of Italy, is riddled with faults, and the "Eagle" city of L'Aquila has been hammered time and time again by earthquakes. Its glorious old buildings have had to be patched up and re-built on numerous occasions.

Sadly, the issue is not "if" but "when" the next tremor will occur in L'Aquila. But it is simply not possible to be precise about the timing of future events. Science does not possess that power. The best it can do is talk in terms of risk and of probabilities, the likelihood that an event of a certain magnitude might occur at some point in the future.

The decision to prosecute some of Italy's leading geophysicists drew condemnation from around the world. The scholarly bodies said it had been beyond anyone to predict exactly what would happen in L'Aquila on 6 April 2009.

But the authorities who pursued the seven defendants stressed that the case was never about the power of prediction - it was about what was interpreted to be an inadequate characterisation of the risks; of being misleadingly reassuring about the dangers that faced their city.

Nonetheless, the verdicts will come as a shock to all researchers in Italy whose expertise lies in the field of assessing natural hazards. Their pronouncements will be scrutinised as never before, and their fear will be that they too could find themselves embroiled in legal action over statements that are inherently uncertain.

In addition to their sentences, all have been barred from ever holding public office again, La Repubblica reports.

In the closing statement, the prosecution quoted one of its witnesses, whose father died in the earthquake.

It described how Guido Fioravanti had called his mother at about 11:00 on the night of the earthquake - straight after the first tremor.

"I remember the fear in her voice. On other occasions they would have fled but that night, with my father, they repeated to themselves what the risk commission had said. And they stayed."

'Hasty sentence'The judge also ordered the defendants to pay court costs and damages.

Reacting to the verdict against him, Bernardo De Bernardinis said: "I believe myself to be innocent before God and men."

"My life from tomorrow will change," the former vice-president of the Civil Protection Agency's technical department said, according to La Repubblica.

"But, if I am judged by all stages of the judicial process to be guilty, I will accept my responsibility."

Another, Enzo Boschi, described himself as "dejected" and "desperate" after the verdict was read.

"I thought I would have been acquitted. I still don't understand what I was convicted of."

One of the lawyers for the defence, Marcello Petrelli, described the sentences as "hasty" and "incomprehensible".

'Inherently unpredictable'The case has alarmed many in the scientific community, who feel science itself has been put on trial.

Continue reading the main storyFranco Barberi, head of Serious Risks CommissionEnzo Boschi, former president of the National Institute of GeophysicsGiulio Selvaggi, director of National Earthquake CentreGian Michele Calvi, director of European Centre for Earthquake EngineeringClaudio Eva, physicistMauro Dolce, director of the the Civil Protection Agency's earthquake risk officeBernardo De Bernardinis, former vice-president of Civil Protection Agency's technical departmentSome scientists have warned that the case might set a damaging precedent, deterring experts from sharing their knowledge with the public for fear of being targeted in lawsuits, the BBC's Alan Johnston in Rome reports.

Among those convicted were some of Italy's most prominent and internationally respected seismologists and geological experts.

Earlier, more than 5,000 scientists signed an open letter to Italian President Giorgio Napolitano in support of the group in the dock.

After the verdict was announced, David Rothery, of the UK's Open University, said earthquakes were "inherently unpredictable".

"The best estimate at the time was that the low-level seismicity was not likely to herald a bigger quake, but there are no certainties in this game," he said.

Malcolm Sperrin, director of medical physics at the UK's Royal Berkshire Hospital said that the sentence was surprising and could set a worrying precedent.

"If the scientific community is to be penalised for making predictions that turn out to be incorrect, or for not accurately predicting an event that subsequently occurs, then scientific endeavour will be restricted to certainties only and the benefits that are associated with findings from medicine to physics will be stalled."

New York prepares for 'super-storm' Sandy

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Source: euronews

Sun, 28 Oct 2012 12:16

Weather forecasters tracking Hurricane Sandy have warned New York could be hit first by torrential rains, high winds and flooding.But with large swathes of the US east coast in its path several states have announced mandatory evacuations of coastal areas.

With Sandy expected to make landfall Monday night.the Mayor of New York Michael Bloomberg warned of the dangers:

''Don't be lulled tomorrow when there's not a lot of rain and not a lot of wind. This is a dangerous storm and I think we're going to be ok, but if the storm should strengthen unexpectedly or change its expected path, it could do a lot of damage and you could be at risk.''

Hurricane Sandy is headed towards densely populated areas where preparations are underway to protect property and stock up on food water and batteries incase of power cuts.Sandy has already pummelled the Caribbean but as it merges with an arctic jet stream it has all the ingredients to transform into a so-called 'super-storm'.

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Zombies and Cannibals!

Vaccine$

Whooping Cough Vaccine Urged for Pregnant Women - NYTimes.com

When stuff gets in the way of life: hoarding and the DSM-5

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Source: The Conversation

Tue, 23 Oct 2012 21:33

The inclusion of hoarding on the DSM-5 will drive an integrated response to this complex problem. Hoarding Grap Wikimedia CommonsMATTERS OF THE MIND '' a series which examines the clinician's bible for diagnosing mental disorders, the DSM, and the controversy surrounding the forthcoming fifth edition.

We've all got boxes of old letters, clothes and other keepsakes we've collected over our lifetime. Sometimes these boxes or shelves seem to take over spare rooms and garages. But while we might joke that we're ''a bit of a hoarder'', there's a big difference between holding onto important mementos and compulsive hoarding.

Hoarding is the persistent difficulty discarding or parting with possessions and their ultimate stockpiling '' regardless of their value. Possessions may include objects or animals, with the resulting clutter rendering living spaces unusable, unsafe or unhygienic.

Aside from problems discarding objects, people with hoarding difficulties report excessive acquisition, whether through compulsive buying or free procurement.

With prevalence estimates of around 2% to 5% of the population, somewhere between 400,000 and 1 million Australians are likely to have hoarding problems that cause them or others significant distress and conflict. Hoarding problems most commonly begin before early adulthood, although they most commonly present to services when affected individuals are much older.

Hoarding affects people from all social classes and educational backgrounds, though it commonly presents alongside depression, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), attention deficit disorder, other anxiety problems, compulsive buying, other impulse control problems, and other serious mental health problems.

The degree of self-awareness in individuals with hoarding problems varies, and is generally poorer than that in those with OCD.

Hoarding in the DSM-5The American Psychiatric Association will likely recognise hoarding disorder as a separate diagnosis in its forthcoming fifth revision of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), placing hoarding within the obsessive-compulsive and related disorders (OCRD).

Current diagnostic manuals don't account for compulsive hoarding or excessive acquisition as separate entities. In fact, the fourth edition of the DSM hardly mentions hoarding, except in the context of obsessive-compulsive personality disorder (OCPD), even though clinically it has been regarded as a subtype of OCD.

The DSM-5's OCRD category brings together a range of complex disorders, such as anxiety, impulsive-compulsive and somatoform, a mental disorder that manifests in physical symptoms; inclusion of hoarding disorder within the OCRD diagnosis recognises its distinctiveness from related disorders.

Between 400,000 and one million Australians have a problem with hoarding. Aric McKeown

CausesResearchers have proposed a number of causes of excessive hoarding, including biases in how information is processed, insecurities in attachment patterns, problems in regulating emotions, and unhelpful thinking styles, particularly as they relate to objects and possessions. There is evidence implicating genetic factors, cognitive and brain functions.

Our own research has focused on thinking styles, early developmental influences, and insecure attachment patterns, adding to research findings linking hoarding to trauma. People with hoarding problems often report that amassing possessions helps them experience rewards and feel more secure, compensating for early emotional and material deprivation.

TreatmentHistorically, hoarding has been considered resistant to treatment and had been dealt with through enforced clean outs '' the style you see on reality television programs about hoarding. But these are generally ineffective and lead to unnecessary distress.

More recently, compulsive hoarding has been shown to be amenable to talk-based cognitive-behaviour therapy (CBT). CBT for hoarding involves helping affected people to:

understand hoarding and thinking styles that maintain hoarding behavioursbecome more motivated to change unhelpful behaviours and thinking stylesdevelop strategies that change unhelpful thinkingbuild skills related to sorting, organising, and decision makingincrease control over impulses to acquire possessions and the inability to discard unnecessary clutterovercome anxiety and depressionfeel more confident within themselves and other peoplemaintain their gains.While there is consistent evidence that a specific CBT approach to the treatment of hoarding disorder can be effective, outcomes vary considerably. Such variance in outcomes is likely due to diversity in the disorder, although we have little understanding of what predicts outcomes.

While specialised CBT-based hoarding treatments are not yet generally available in Australia, we run a group and individual CBT program through the Swinburne University Psychology Clinic. Based on the approach of US researchers Randy Frost, Gail Steketee and David Tolin, our program has outcomes consistent with their published data.

We know that online treatments for related disorders, such as OCD, can be very effective, so we are currently in the process of developing an online version of our treatment. We are also developing alternative models of treatment, including groups moderated by previously affected individuals who have overcome their hoarding problems.

In the meantime, we're working with government, local councils, and community organisations and services to develop preventative, early intervention, and support programs for people with hoarding problems.

Effective responsesThe inclusion of hoarding in the DSM-5, the associated increased research and clinical interest, and media coverage of people with hoarding problems have been important determinants in activating governments and local councils to develop an integrated response to this complex problem.

Policies are being developed by various state governments that bring together social, health, mental health and aged services, police and fire brigade services, animal welfare, public and private housing agencies, local government and non-government organisations, and other bodies. Along with a well-trained and informed workforce, service coordination is essential to effective responses to those affecting by hoarding.

This is the fifth part of our series Matters of the Mind. To read the other instalments, follow the links below:

Part one:Explainer: what is the DSM and how are mental disorders diagnosed?

Part two:Forget talking, just fill a script: how modern psychiatry lost its mind

Part three:Strange or just plain weird? Cultural variation in mental illness

Part four:Don't pull your hair out over trichotillomania

Post a CommentTagsPsychology, Mental health, Psychiatry, DSM, mental illness, DSM V, Matters of the Mind

Related articles 24 October 2012 Don't pull your hair out over trichotillomania23 October 2012 New depression treatment avoids side effects23 October 2012 Fear of discrimination accompanies depression 23 October 2012 Youth suicide risk soars after manifold abuse 23 October 2012 Strange or just plain weird? Cultural variation in mental illness

Roche probed for not reporting side effects | Comcast

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Wed, 24 Oct 2012 21:45

By MARIA CHENG, APTue Oct 23, 7:17 PM UTCLONDON '-- Europe's top drug regulator announced Tuesday it is taking action against pharmaceutical giant Roche for allegedly failing to properly report the side effects of 19 drugs being used by U.S. patients.

It is the first time the European Medicines Agency has begun a so-called `infringement proceeding' against a drug maker. European regulations lay out numerous requirements for pharmaceuticals, including reporting suspected side effects and submitting such cases to officials.

Eight of the drugs involved are used for the treatment of cancer, including breast cancer. They include Avastin, Herceptin, Tarceva, and Xeloda. The flu drug Tamiflu was also included in the list.

British authorities brought the problem to the attention of the European authorities in May after noticing "serious shortcomings" in how Roche AG reported potential side effects.

Regulators said about 80,000 reports by consumers of possible adverse effects to drugs sold in the U.S. had not been properly analyzed. Among those reports were over 15,000 deaths, though it was unclear if those deaths were caused by Roche medicines.

The regulator said there was no evidence that users of Roche's drugs were at risk.

The European Medicines Agency did not state what the side effects were but said it was more concerned that these potential reactions were not properly reported.

"It could have been anything like a rash on your hand to something more serious," including death, said Monika Benstetter, an agency spokeswoman. "There was a failure in the system," she said, noting officials didn't have information on how many of the side effects may have been reported.

If Roche is found to have violated its reporting requirements, it could be fined up to five percent of its sales revenue in the European Union from the preceding year. Shares in the company fell 2 percent on Tuesday.

The European Commission, the executive body for the 27-country EU, asked the European Medicines Agency to begin the infringement process. In a statement, the European Medicines Agency said it will further investigate the allegations against Roche.

The agency sent Roche a detailed letter listing the allegations against them and is now awaiting the company's response. Officials have 18 months to finish their investigation. After that, it will be up to the European Commission to decide whether Roche should be penalized.

Daniel Grotzky, a Roche spokesman, said the company was working with the EMA to provide more information and it did not want to speculate on the outcome of the investigation. Roche said patient safety was "of paramount importance" and that it was possible some of the potential side effects may have been reported to European officials in other ways, such as reports from doctors.

"Both the EMA and other health authorities have consistently said there is no change to the safety profile of our drugs," Grotzky said.

He said Roche recognized that some adverse events had not properly been reported in the past.

"We are taking measures within the company...to make sure this does not happen again," he said.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Katie Couric shilling Vaccines for CVS pharmacy

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Wed, 24 Oct 2012 13:24

USADA's Travis Tygart Plays Prosecutor, Jury and Judge in Lance Armstrong Case

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Tue, 23 Oct 2012 13:15

Imagine walking into a courtroom as the defendant in a lawsuit. The prosecuting attorney reads the charges against you citing nothing more than the testimony of anonymous witnesses as evidence. You object, claiming this is unjust! To your surprise the prosecutor walks to the judge's bench, puts on a judge's robe and denies your motion. The prosecutor, still wearing his judge's robe, then takes out his cell phone and calls three of his friends to serve on your ''independent'' jury.

This fictitious, but obviously unjust situation is incredibly similar to the case Lance Armstrong currently faces from the United States Anti-doping Agency and its CEO Travis T. Tygart.

A similar investigation led by the United States Department of Justice concluded in February, 2012. After almost two years of investigation, and millions of US tax dollars spent researching Armstrong's past, the USDOJ decided there wasn't enough evidence to continue the investigation. So is this just another branch of the Federal government wasting millions of more tax dollars on the same investigation?

No, despite the officially sounding name, it turns out the ''United States Anti-doping Agency is not a part of the federal government. Although it receives almost 70 percent of its funding from the federal grants, the USADA is a government program masquerading as a non-profit organization. This non-profit status allows it to investigate and prosecute athletes without affording them the constitutional and due process protections required of other federal agencies. This status also allows it to prosecute athletes with a lower burden of proof than the ''beyond a reasonable doubt'' standard that would have been required in the previous investigation by the USDOJ. Finally, it allows a situation where the same man, Mr. Travis T. Tygart is allowed to serve as Prosecutor, Jury and Judge in the investigation of Lance Armstrong.

[Update: Lance Armstrong to be banned from cycling, stripped of titles]

PROSECUTOR: Tygart initiated the charges.

On June 12, 2012, Travis Tygart and his staff at the USADA sent a letter to Armstrong accusing him of violating anti-doping rules. As evidence of this violation, Mr. Tygart and his staff were only able to cite previous drug tests that Armstrong had passed and the testimony of anonymous witnesses.

In the letter, Mr. Tygart informs Armstrong that he has 10 days to submit evidence to a Review Board that will determine if there is ''sufficient evidence of doping'' to continue with a full hearing. In his defense, Armstrong can only offer written materials to the Review Board. He will not even be allowed to know the names of the cyclists that have allegedly testified against him.

JURY: Tygart gets to hand pick the Review Board

The ''Review Board'' will decide whether charges should be brought against Armstrong from the USADA, and whether the case shall go to a full arbitration hearing. Who serves on this review Board? According to USADA protocol 11(b) The independent ''review board'' shall be appointed by the USADA's CEO. You read that correctly, Mr. Tygart is allowed to handpick the individuals that serve as the ''Jury'', and decide if these charges should move forward. If an athlete had failed a drug test and the board was looking at objective evidence this process might make sense; however, Armstrong has never failed a drug test. All of the evidence in this case is subjective. Mr. Tygart has allegedly caught several other cyclists doping, and offered them immunity in exchange for their testimony against Lance. Shouldn't the credibility of such a witness be at least considered? Well, let's assume that Mr. Tygart's buddies, I mean, the independent ''review board'' find enough evidence to move the investigation forward, what happens next?

JUDGE: Tygart and USADA staff recommends sanction

Under the Applicable rules, Travis Tygart and his staff at the USADA, will recommend a sanction that will be imposed which may include up to a lifetime of ineligibility from sport. Finally, if Armstrong disagrees with the sanction imposed on him by Mr. Tygart, he can appeal for a full arbitration hearing.

USADA lacks internal and external controls

If Mr. Tygart and staff have the power it appears, what are the internal and external controls at USADA? What would restrict an overly ambitious CEO with an ''axe to grind?''According to USADA bylaws, the organization has a very small ten member board of directors. The current director's are apparently impressed with Tygart and his ''Tygarthian'' prosecution style of accusing first and looking for evidence later. Unless Mr. Tygart received a pay cut last year, he's been paid a total of over $1.2 million in compensation and $100,000 in bonuses over the past four years. The spokesperson at the USADA did respond to my e-mail, but she declined to comment whether Tygart's bonuses were tied to finding a certain number of athletes or a particularly high profile athlete guilty of doping.

So, how are the USADA's directors chosen? Although the Bylaws allow other organizations to nominate potential directors, the USADA Board essentially has the power to elect their own replacements. This could ensure that only directors sympathetic to the Tygart are ever elected, and removes the accountability that a non-profit board should provide.

Finally, there's the office of National Drug Control Policy. This is the branch of the Federal government that funds the USADA $10 million a year of federal tax dollars to operate. According to legal counsel for the NDCP office, the $10 million grant is an ''unsupervised non-competitive'' grant. So, Tygart and staff are guaranteed $10 million a year in funding from the Federal government, but must answer to no one.

MY VERDICT

Do I think Mr. Tygart has some kind of personal vendetta against Lance? My personal opinion is yes, but I also think actions sometime speak louder than words. The 2012 London Olympic Games are a little more than a month away. Mr. Tygart and his staff are responsible for testing all US athletes headed to the games. However, he has chosen to use the majority of his offices resources investigating whether a retired cyclist doped 16 years ago.

The investigation and sanctioning process at the USADA is unconscionable. The partiality of the prosecutor, the lack of due process for the accused, and the lack of an independent fact finder are completely at odds with our American system of justice and fairness.

In the words of Heinlein, ''To give a man power without accountability is to establish a tyrant.''

Update: Thank you for all the likes, responses, positive and negative comments. For those of you that had questions:

Who are you? I am not a writer, I'm just an age group triathlete, who like the thousands of you felt angry and powerless with this unjust process.

What can we do to help? Travis Tygart is the CEO of a non-profit organization that receives the majority of its funding from federal tax dollars. As such, he must remember that he is still a public servant. The use of our tax dollars to pursue a personal vendetta and personal ambition is unacceptable. I believe the directors of this organization should immediately meet and vote to end this investigation. It would only take six members of the Board of Directors of the USADA to act with conscience, remove Travis Tygart from office, end this tribunal, and right the ship at the USADA. He is blurring the mission of the USADA beyond recognition. I encourage each of you to let your voice be heard. Send an e-mail today to askinner@usada.org expressing your view on this matter and ask that is be forwarded to every member of the Board of Directors.

All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.Thomas Jefferson

Where did you do your research?

I spent a significant amount of time researching the information here to ensure its accuracy. Several of the comments below questioned its veracity. I would encourage you to read the article more carefully and review all of the material below. All of the information I discussed is public information, most of which is available on the USADA website. The information for this story came from the following sources:

The financial information is public record made available on the Form 990 which is the information return that non-profit 501(C)3 organizations such as USADA are required to file with the IRS. The USADA's return for 2010 is available on its website. www.usada.org/uploads/990.pdf I requested the 2011 information from the USADA and they informed me they were not required to file this until October, 2012. I also reviewed the 990 filing for the 2008, and 2009 tax year. You can find these on www.guidestar.orgThe Bylaws I referenced in this article are available on the USADA www.usada.org/uploads/usada%20bylaws.pdf You have to read these closely several times to realize the lack of accountability the current Director nomination process provides.I also read and cited to the USADA protocol which is available here http://www.usada.org/files/pdfs/usada-protocol.pdf The difficulty of understanding this process, led me to the ''prosecutor, judge, and jury'' analogy. You will find the board review process on page 8. If the analogy were to continue the appellate court would be the ''AAA'' Arbitration hearing, I refer to this as a full arbitration hearing in the article above to aid in understanding. Finally, the Supreme Court in my analogy, would be the ''Court of Arbitration of Sport'' More info can be found on Annex E at page 75.I also read and cited to the June 12, 2012 letter from the USADA outlining the charges. http://a.espncdn.com/pdf/2012/0613/armstrongcharges.pdf5. The comment from the Office of NDCP was from an attorney in the Freedom of Information Act Division.

6. I sent several e-mails to USADA last week asking for comment on this story, and they refused other than saying the 2011, form 990 would be available in October.

* Slight correction, I claimed that USADA received almost 90% of its funding from the federal government. In 2010 it received 66% of its funding from a federal grant. Another 21% came from the United States Olympic Committee, an organization that I believed to be completely federally funded. USOC actually receives both private than federal funding. Thanks to @Benjamin Berry for pointing that out.

[Update: Lance Armstrong to be banned from cycling, stripped of titles]

War on Pharmacys

Visible fungus at meningitis-linked company - KSN TV, Kansas News and Weather

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Wed, 24 Oct 2012 20:56

BOSTON (AP) '-- Massachusetts state officials say they found unclean conditions including visible black specks of fungus in steroids made by a pharmacy linked to a deadly outbreak of meningitis.

Gov. Deval Patrick said Tuesday the state has moved to revoke the license of the New England Compounding Center and three pharmacists.

State officials say a preliminary investigation found drugs were sent out before tests results on their sterility could be returned and a leaking boiler was located near a company clean room.

Officials also say the company operated as a drug manufacturer by producing drugs for broader use, rather than filling out specific prescriptions for specific doctors, which is all its license allowed.

More than 300 people have been sickened nationwide, and 23 have died. All had received contaminated steroid injections.

(C)2012 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Compounding - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Wed, 24 Oct 2012 20:08

Pharmaceutical compounding (done in compounding pharmacies) is the creation of a particular pharmaceutical product to fit the unique needs of a patient. To do this, compounding pharmacists combine or process appropriate ingredients using various tools. This may be done for medically necessary reasons, such as to change the form of the medication from a solid pill to a liquid, to avoid a non-essential ingredient that the patient is allergic to, or to obtain the exact dose needed. It may also be done for voluntary reasons, such as adding favorite flavors to a medication. More recently it has been suggested that some doctors and clinics have turned away from major drug manufacturers and turned to compounding pharmacies because they often charge much lower prices than the major manufacturers.[1]

In October 2012 news reports surfaced of an outbreak of fungal meningitis tied to the New England Compounding Center. [2]

[edit]HistoryBefore mass production of medications became widespread, compounding was a routine activity among pharmacists. Community pharmacists who have experience with compounding techniques are now less common.

Pharmaceutical compounding has ancient roots. Hunter-gatherer societies had some knowledge of the medicinal properties of the animals, plants, molds, fungus and bacteria as well as inorganic minerals within their environment. Ancient civilizations used pharmaceutical compounding for religion, grooming, keeping the healthy well, treating the ill and preparing the dead. These ancient compounders produced the first oils from plants and animals. They discovered poisons and the antidotes. They made ointments for wounded patients and perfumes for customers.

The earliest chemists were familiar with various natural substances and their uses. These drug artisans compounded a variety of preparations such as medications, dyes, incense, perfumes, ceremonial compounds, preservatives and cosmetics. Drug compounders seeking gold and the fountain of youth drove the alchemy movement. Alchemy eventually contributed to the creation of modern pharmacy and the principles of pharmacy compounding. In the medieval Islamic world in particular, Muslim pharmacists and chemists developed advanced methods of compounding drugs. The first drugstores were opened by Muslim pharmacists in Baghdad in 754.[3][4]

The modern age of pharmacy compounding began in the 19th century with the isolation of various compounds from coal tar for the purpose of producing synthetic dyes. From this one natural product came the earliest antibacterialsulfa drugs, phenolic compounds made famous by Joseph Lister, and plastics.

During the 1800s, pharmacists specialized in the raising, preparation and compounding of crude drugs. Crude drugs, like opium, are from natural sources and usually contain several chemical compounds. The compounding pharmacist often extracted these crude drugs using water or alcohol to form extracts, concoctions and decoctions.

Pharmacists began isolating and identifying the active ingredients contained within these crude drug concoctions. Using fractionation or recrystallization, the compounding pharmacist would separate the active ingredients, like morphine, and use it in place of the crude drug. During this time modern medicine began.

With the isolation of medications from the ''raw materials'' or crude drugs came the birth of the modern pharmaceutical company. Pharmacists were trained to compound the preparations made by the drug companies, but they could not do it efficiently on a small scale. So economies of scale, not lack of skill or knowledge, produced a market for the modern pharmaceutical drug companies.

With the turn of the 20th century came greater government regulation of the practice of medicine. These new regulations forced the drug companies to prove that any new medication they brought to market was safe. With the discovery of penicillin, modern marketing techniques and brand promotion, the drug manufacturing industry came of age. Pharmacists continued to compound most prescriptions until the early 1950s when the majority of dispensed drugs came directly from the large pharmaceutical companies.

[edit]During research and developmentPharmaceutical compounding is a branch of pharmacy that continues to play the crucial role of drug development. Compounding pharmacists and medicinal chemists develop and test pharmaceutical formulations for new drugs so that the active ingredients are effective, stable, easy to use, and acceptable to patients. However, for actual clinical trials, production of drug products is generally considered "manufacturing" because "compounding" is typically defined as being for a single individual patient only.

[edit]Patients with unique or unusual medication needsPhysicians may prescribe an individually compounded medication for a patient with an unusual health need. This allows the physician to tailor a prescription to each individual. Compounding preparations are especially prevalent for:

Patients requiring limited dosage strengths, such as a very small dose for infantsPatients requiring a different formulation, such as turning a pill into a liquid or transdermal gel for people who cannot swallow pills due to disabilityPatients requiring an allergen-free medication, such as one without gluten or colored dyesPatients who absorb or excrete medications abnormally[5]Patients who need drugs that have been discontinued by pharmaceutical manufacturers because of low profitabilityPatients facing a supply shortage of their normal drug[6][7]Children who want flavored additives in liquid drugs, usually so that the medication tastes like candy or fruitVeterinary medicine, for a change in dose, change to a more easily-administered form (such as from a pill to a liquid or transdermal gel), or to add a flavor more palatable to the animal. In the United States, compounded veterinary medicine must meet the standards set forth in the Animal Medical Drug Use Clarification Act (AMDUCA)[5][8]Many types of bioidentical hormone replacement therapy[9][edit]Personalized medicine and polypharmacyWhile the regulatory boundaries are not always clear (see "Regulation"), there is general acceptance of the need for physicians to have wide discretion to prescribe customized drug products containing unique drug/dosage combinations specifically for individual patients. While very few pharmacies offer such service, they do exist and can usually be used via mail-order with sufficient notice and planning.[10]

[edit]Recent trendsAccording to the FDA, the emergence over the past decade of firms with pharmacy licenses making and distributing unapproved new drugs, many of which have sickened and killed numerous patients, in a way that's clearly outside the bounds of traditional pharmacy is of great concern. An FDA spokesperson states, "The methods of these companies seem far more consistent with those of drug manufacturers than with those of retail pharmacies. Some firms make large amounts of compounded drugs that are copies or near copies of FDA-approved, commercially available drugs. Other firms sell to physicians and patients with whom they have only a remote professional relationship."[11]

[edit]RegulationIn the United States, compounding pharmacies are licensed and regulated by their respective state like all other pharmacies. National standards have been created by Pharmacy Compounding Accreditation Board (PCAB).[12]

Compounding pharmacies were the subject of the United States Supreme Court decision Thompson v. Western States Medical Center (535 U.S. 357, 2002),[13] which held that Congressional attempts to restrict advertising by compounding pharmacies were unconstitutional. However, the same statute (FDAMA, amending the FDCA which establishes the FDA) also contained a provision that largely exempted compounded products from the FDA's control by defining many of them as not being "new drugs" for FDA purposes. Since the Supreme Court did not rule on the issue of how broadly to interpret that provision, nor on the issue of whether that provision was "severable" from the struck provision, there remains today a Circuit-split on both of those questions: As of 2008, the 9th Circuit (binding in several western states) holds that the provisions are not severable, and hence the entire FDAMA is void; on the other hand, the 6th Circuit (binding in several southwestern states) holds that the provisions are severable, and hence the non-struck portions of the FDAMA remain intact (including what it interpreted to be a limited exemption from FDA reach for any compounded drugs that meet the requirements given in the statute).

Meanwhile, in Circuits where the FDAMA is void and thus the FDA retains its original reach, the FDA weighs the following (non-exhaustive) mix of factors in deciding whether to "exercise its discretion" to require approval for a custom-compounded drug product, from its 2002 Compliance Policy Guide on the matter:[14]

Compounding in anticipation of receiving prescriptions,Compounding drugs removed from the market for safety reasons,Compounding from bulk ingredients not approved by FDA,Receiving, storing, or using drugs not made in an FDA-registered facility,Receiving, storing, or using drugs' components not determined to meet compendia requirements,Using commercial-scale manufacturing or testing equipment,Compounding for third parties for resale,Compounding drugs that are essentially the same as commercially available products,Failing to operate in conformance with applicable state law.Hence, making truly patient-customized products with particular drug(s)/dosage(s) upon receiving valid prescriptions from a physician is likely to be acceptable, especially if the ingredients are FDA approved, etc.

Also from the 2002 CPG document, the FDA assures compounding pharmacies that its main concern is those who effectively engage in multi-patient "manufacturing" under the guise of compounding. "FDA recognizes that pharmacists traditionally have extemporaneously compounded and manipulated reasonable quantities of human drugs upon receipt of a valid prescription for an individually identified patient from a licensed practitioner. This traditional activity is not the subject of this guidance."[15]

As a related point regarding the broad professional discretion to customize patient care, note that about 20''30% of prescription medications in the US are estimated to be "off-label," meaning the physician believes the drug to be beneficial for a patient despite it not being approved for that particular use/condition. This too is perfectly legal, subject only to state regulations on the practice of medicine, etc.

The appropriateness or the legality of prescribing approved drugs for uses not included in their official labeling is sometimes a cause of concern and confusion among physicians. This concern has been addressed by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists in their Statement on the Use of Medications for Unlabeled Uses:[16] Under the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic (FD&C) Act, a drug approved for marketing may be labeled, promoted, and advertised by the manufacturer only for those uses for which the drug's safety and effectiveness has been established and which the FDA has approved. These are commonly referred to as "approved uses." This means that adequate and well-controlled clinical trials have documented these uses, and the results of the trials have been reviewed and approved by the FDA.

The FD&C Act does not, however, limit the manner in which a physician may use an approved drug. Once a product has been approved for marketing, a physician may prescribe it for uses or in treatment regimens or patient populations that are not included in the above labeling. Such "unapproved" or more precisely, "unlabeled" uses may be appropriate and rational in certain circumstances, and, may, in fact, reflect approaches to drug therapy that have been extensively reported in medical literature.

The term "unapproved uses" is, to some extent, misleading. Valid new uses for drugs already on the market are often first discovered through serendipitous observations and therapeutic investigations. Before such advances can be added to the approved labeling, however, data substantiating the effectiveness of a new use or regimen must be submitted by the manufacturer to the FDA for evaluation. This may take time and without the initiative of the drug manufacturer whose product is involved, may never occur. For that reason, accepted medical practice often includes drug use that is not reflected in approved drug labeling.

With respect to its role in medical practice, the package insert is informational only. The FDA tries to assure that prescription drug information in the package insert accurately and fully reflects the data on safety and effectiveness on which drug approval is based.[16]

Australian regulations: In Australia there is no regulatory board that governs how and where a Pharmacist compounds medications. It is very important for consumers to choose their Australian Compounding Pharmcies carefully as they are all self regulated. The only guidelines that need to be followed are by the Pharmacys governing body '' The Pharmacy Board '' where the only regulation is that a compounded product be prepared on an individual basis (not manufactured) and they follow the Professional Practice Standards '' Section 10.[17] Since compounding has grown in popularity, the highest quality compounding chemists are self regulated. Compounding Chemists Australia,[18] is a website devoted to ensuring they only list reputable compounding chemists. It is not uncommon to find compounding being performed in the pharmacy's back room near the kitchen sink, however, this is not illegal. Sterile compounding and non-sterile compounding have different requirements. For sterile compounding, the use of a laminar flow hood or vertical flow hood must be used. In non-sterile compounding, including most topical compounded medications, a hood is not required and does not adversely effect potency or quality of the final product. In 2002, the FDA, concerned about the rising number of accidents related to compounded medications, identified "red flag" factors and issued a guide devoted to human pharmacy compounding, These factors include instances where pharmacists are:

Compounding drug products that have been pulled from the market because they were found to be unsafe or ineffective.Compounding drugs that are essentially copies of a commercially available drug product.Compounding drugs in advance of receiving prescriptions, except in very limited quantities relating to the amounts of drugs previously compounded based on valid prescriptions.Compounding finished drugs from bulk active ingredients that aren't components of FDA-approved drugs, without an FDA-sanctioned, investigational new-drug application.Receiving, storing, or using drug substances without first obtaining written assurance from the supplier that each lot of the drug substance has been made in an FDA-registered facility.Failing to conform to applicable state law regulating the practice of pharmacy.[11][edit]Drug testing and reporting of incidentsPoor practices on the part of drug compounders can result in contamination or in products that don't possess the strength, quality, and purity required. Unless a complaint is filed or a patient is harmed, drugs made by compounders are seldom tested, In Texas, one of only two states that does random testing, significant problems have been found. Random tests by the state's pharmacy board over the last several years have found that as many as one in four compounded drugs was either too weak or too strong. In Missouri, the only other state that does testing, potency varied by as much as 300 percent.[19]

In recent years raw materials are increasingly obtained from foreign suppliers. Large drug companies which are FDA inspected must keep careful track of who has handled their raw materials while compounding pharmacies, some so large that they resemble commercial manufacturers, are not bound by similar guidelines. In 2011 the FDA was concerned about the suspected use of unapproved Chinese ingredients in an injectable medication used to reduce the risk of premature birth, but they were refused a sample for testing. Instead, the trade group, the International Academy of Compounding Pharmacists, suggested in an email to the compounding pharmacy that they respond to any request for samples by saying: ''We do not compound or distribute 'samples' of any of our prescription medications to anyone.'' They went on to advise that if the drug was on the premises, a pharmacist should say it was awaiting pickup by a patient. [19]

Unlike commercial drug manufacturers, compounding pharmacies aren't required to report adverse events associated with compounded drugs; the FDA learns of them through voluntary reporting, the media, and other sources. However, according to their records, since 1990 there have been more than 200 adverse events involving 71 compounded products, some with devastating repercussions. Three patients died of infections stemming from contaminated compounded solutions that are used to paralyze the heart during open-heart surgery. Two patients at a Washington, D.C., Veterans Affairs hospital were blinded, and several others had their eyesight damaged by a compounded product used in cataract surgery. The contaminated product had been distributed to hospitals and clinics in eight states. In March 2005, FDA issued a nationwide alert concerning a contaminated, compounded magnesium sulfate solution that caused five cases of bacterial infections in a New Jersey hospital. A South Dakota patient treated with the product developed sepsis and died. In August 2006, the FDA warned three compounding centers to stop manufacturing and distributing thousands of doses of compounded, unapproved inhalation drugs nationwide. Inhalation drugs are used to treat diseases including asthma, emphysema, bronchitis, and cystic fibrosis. An FDA spokesperson stated, "These are potentially life-threatening conditions for which numerous FDA-approved drugs are available; compounded inhalation drugs may be distributed to patients in multiple states, and patients and their doctors may not understand that they are receiving compounded products."[11]

[edit]New England Compounding Center incidentIn October 2012, an outbreak of fungal meningitis was reported in the United States. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention traced the outbreak to contaminated medication used for epidural steroid injections. The medication was packaged and marketed by the New England Compounding Center, a compounding pharmacy in Framingham, Massachusetts. On October 15, the FDA issued a warning that two more drugs, a steroid and a product used during heart surgery, may also have been contaminated. The investigation also includes fungal infections associated with injections in a peripheral joint space, such as a knee, shoulder or ankle. [20]

[edit]CriticismThe FDA and others say that the larger compounding pharmacies are acting like drug manufacturers while circumventing FDA regulations. Compounding pharmacies are manufacturing and distributing drugs, but there is little FDA regulation. Instead, they are regulated by state agencies, whose regulations are not as strict. Drugs from compounding pharmacies can be much cheaper, but contaminated drugs have been traced back to compounding pharmacies. Compounding pharmacies have been regulated by laws that were developed when they made custom prescriptions for patients with special needs, but now they have become "miniature drug companies." Lawyers critical of the pharmacies say that large-scale compounders often behave like manufacturers, with sales teams that market to doctors, without following FDA regulations, circumventing the regulatory process.[21][22]

[edit]See also[edit]References^http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/07/us/scant-drug-maker-oversight-in-meningitis-outbreak.html?_r=0^Meningitis outbreak toll: 119 cases, 11 deaths^Information taken from the abstract of Hadzović, S (1997). "[Pharmacy and the great contribution of Arab-Islamic science to its development] (Article in Croatian)". Medicinski arhiv51 (1''2): 47''50. ISSN 0350-199X. PMID 9324574. ^Sharif Kaf al-Ghazal, Journal of the International Society for the History of Islamic Medicine, 2004 (3), pp. 3''9 [8].^ ab"International Academy of Compounding Pharmacists: Definition of Compounding". http://www.iacprx.org/site/PageServer?pagename=What_is_Compounding. Retrieved 2010-07-18. ^"ArmourThyroid". http://www.armourthyroid.com/. Retrieved 2010-07-17. ^"Options for thyroid treatment | Stop The Thyroid Madness". http://www.stopthethyroidmadness.com/options-for-thyroid-treatment/. Retrieved 2010-07-17. ^"www.fda.gov". http://www.fda.gov/AnimalVeterinary/NewsEvents/CVMUpdates/ucm137148.htm. Retrieved 2010-07-18. ^Boothby LA, Doering PL (August 2008). "Bioidentical hormone therapy: a panacea that lacks supportive evidence". Curr. Opin. Obstet. Gynecol.20 (4): 400''7. doi:10.1097/GCO.0b013e3283081ae9. PMID 18660693. ^"5-in-1 PolyPill Treatment May Prevent Heart Disease". Bayviewrx.com. 2009-04-01. http://www.bayviewrx.com/bayview-blog/bid/18766/5-in-1-PolyPill-Treatment-May-Prevent-Heart-Disease. Retrieved 2012-02-05. ^ abcThe Special Risks of Pharmacy Compounding^"International Academy of Compounding Pharmacists: Frequently Asked Questions". http://www.iacprx.org/site/PageServer?pagename=FAQs. Retrieved 2010-07-18. ^[1] Thompson v. Western States Medical Center] (535 U.S. 357, 2002)^"Medical Center Pharmacy v. Mukasey". Fda.gov. http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/GuidanceComplianceRegulatoryInformation/PharmacyCompounding/ucm134919.htm. Retrieved 2012-02-05. ^"Importation of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs) Requirements CPG 460.200 Pharmacy Compounding Compliance Policy Guides Manual (Tab M)" (PDF). http://www.fda.gov/downloads/AboutFDA/CentersOffices/CDER/UCM118050.pdf. Retrieved 2012-02-05. ^ ab"American Society of Health-Systems Pharmacists: Statement on the Use of Medications for Unlabeled Use". http://www.ashp.org/DocLibrary/BestPractices/FormStUnlabeled.aspx. Retrieved 2012-04-04. ^"Professional Practice Standards VERSION 4 2010" (PDF). http://www.psa.org.au/download/standards/professional-practice-standards-v4.pdf. Retrieved 2012-02-05. ^"Compounding Chemists Australia". Compoundingchemists.com.au. http://www.compoundingchemists.com.au. Retrieved 2012-02-05. ^ abhttp://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/23/health/before-meningitis-outbreak-group-advised-how-to-avoid-fda.html^Cdc - Hai^Scant Oversight of Drug Maker in Fatal Meningitis Outbreak, By DENISE GRADY, ANDREW POLLACK and SABRINA TAVERNISE, New York Times, October 6, 2012^TIMOTHY W. MARTIN, THOMAS M. BURTON and JENNIFER CORBETT DOOREN (9 October 2012). "Outbreak Spurs Calls for New Controls". The Wall Street Journal. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390443982904578044682649925200.html?mod=WSJ_hpp_LEFTTopStories. Retrieved 9 October 2012. [edit]External links

Fungal meninigitis outbreak Marion County: Fungal meninigitis outbreak expands in Marion County - OrlandoSentinel.com

Link to Article

Wed, 24 Oct 2012 20:06

Staff report2:10 p.m. EDT,October 24, 2012

Three more cases of fungal meningitis linked to contaminated steroid injections from New England Compounding Center were announced today by the Florida Department of Health.

Two of the new patients are from Escambia County, where a 60-year-old man and 36-year-old woman both received treatment at the Pain Consultants of West Florida. The third case is a 50-year-old man who received treatment from the Marion Pain Management Center in Marion County.

This brings the state's totals to 22, including three deaths.

Any patient who received a steroid injection from any of the six Florida centers that has administered contaminated NECC steroid injections since May 21, should return to their centers six weeks after the date of their injection for a follow up, State Surgeon General and Secretary of Health Dr. John Armstrong said during an afternoon update.

This is in response to patients first presenting with symptoms long after the injection was given, Armstrong said. In the case of the two patients in Escambia, the presentation came 11 and 10 weeks after the injections.

''Our Department of Health continues to collaborate with numerous organizations to protect the health of Floridians," Armstrong said in a statement Wednesday morning. ''We assure our residents and visitors that fungal meningitis associated with this outbreak is not contagious.''

Nationwide, the number of cases of fungal meningitis related to contaminated steroid injections from NECC is 308 with 23 deaths across 17 states. Georgia was the most recent state to join the list, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

This fungal meningitis cannot be passed from person to person.

Lawsuit Accuses Big Pharma Of Using Bogus Expiration Dates To Trick Customers Into Buying More Meds '' The Consumerist

Link to Article

Wed, 24 Oct 2012 20:05

When it comes to over-the-counter pain pills, many people don't even think to look at the expiration date on the side of the bottle. But a new class-action lawsuit claims that three of the biggest names in the (legal) drug business are deliberately putting early expiration dates on their products to encourage customers to throw them out and buy new ones.The suit, filed in a a St. Louis, MO, County Circuit Court, alleges that Pfizer, Bayer, and Johnson & Johnson use ''unconscionable, unfair, deceptive, unethical and illegal'' methods to convince consumers that its drugs are useless after the expiration dates.

The complaint claims that ''that if stored properly these medications can and do remain chemically stable, safe and effective long after those dates.''

There have been numerous studies in recent years showing that drug expiration dates do not provide an accurate date for when a medication has lost its efficacy. One study found that 88% of the medications it tested were still good at least one year after the expiration date, and that this stability period averaged 66 months beyond the expiration date. Some medicines have been found to be effective more than a decade after the expiration date.

''The purpose behind this scheme is to increase defendant's sales and profits because consumers have to purchase replacement medications for those they have thrown out,'' alleges the suit, which seeks to have the drug companies disclose how they come up with the expiration dates and to provide consumers with accurate information on how long these drugs are actually safe to use.

Classes Sue Drug Giants Over Expiration Dates [CourthouseNews.com]

FDA Can't Keep Up With Compounding Pharmacies

Link to Article

Source: Crooks and Liars

Wed, 24 Oct 2012 15:11

As I've written before, political pressure is one of the factors that keep us from having a safe drug supply.

This is frightening, is it? (Especially worrisome to me, since my doctor wants me to get injections in my neck.) We have a real problem with the pharmaceutical industry in this country, and we do not have a thorough system of ensuring a reliably safe drug supply. This story spells out some of the problems:

A year before people began dying of meningitis caused by a tainted drug from a compounding pharmacy in Massachusetts, the Food and Drug Administration worried that compounders across the country might be selling another substandard drug, one possibly made with unapproved Chinese ingredients.

But when the F.D.A. began seeking samples to test, the trade group representing compounding pharmacists went on the offensive. Instead of encouraging members to help the agency determine if the injectable drug, used to reduce the risk of premature birth, was substandard, the group tutored pharmacists on how to sidestep requests.

In an e-mail to members, the International Academy of Compounding Pharmacists suggested that they respond to any request for samples by saying: ''We do not compound or distribute 'samples' of any of our prescription medications to anyone.'' And if a compounded drug was on the premises, the trade group added, a pharmacist should say it was awaiting pickup by a patient.

A spokesman for the trade group said the instructions were intended to guard against unauthorized release of samples to corporate competitors and not to hinder the F.D.A. investigation. But the memo is emblematic of the industry's frequent and often successful attempts to fend off regulators at a time when concerns are growing about the quality of compounded drugs and the uncertain provenance of their ingredients, some of which originate in China and flow through various repackagers and middlemen with little scrutiny, according to interviews with health experts and government records.

Drugs made by compounders '-- who mix or alter ingredients to create customized medicine for a specific patient '-- are rarely tested, unless someone is harmed or a complaint is filed. But in the only two states that randomly test compounded drugs, Texas and Missouri, significant problems have surfaced.

In Texas, a hub of compounding pharmacies, random tests by the state's pharmacy board over the last several years found that as many as one in four compounded drugs was either too weak or too strong. The testing results are just slightly better in Missouri. Potency varied by as much as 300 percent in the Missouri tests.

And records of F.D.A. drug seizures at United States borders, as well as several criminal cases, point to a link between drug compounders and Chinese manufacturers, some not registered with the F.D.A. Records analyzed by The New York Times show that in 62 cases over the last decade, the F.D.A. blocked the importation of drugs for use in compounding; nearly half were from China, one of the largest producers of raw pharmaceutical ingredients, where many manufacturers operate outside the regulatory net.

The F.D.A. said on Friday that investigators did not believe that original ingredients used by the Massachusetts pharmacy, the New England Compounding Center in Framingham, were the source of the crisis unfolding in 16 states, where at least 297 people have contracted meningitis and 23 have died. (Authorities have yet to disclose the name or location of the compounder's supplier or suppliers.) Those affected had been treated for back and neck pain with contaminated steroid medicine produced at the compounding center.

[...] As companies increasingly buy raw materials from foreign sources '-- about 80 percent of active pharmaceutical ingredients in products sold in the United States come from overseas '-- regulators are struggling to keep up. The F.D.A. estimates it would take nine years to inspect just the high-priority pharmaceutical plants one time.

Isn't it great that they won't let us buy cheap drugs from Canada, because they "might not be safe"? I don't remember hearing any stories like this about Canadian drugs. Curious!

And don't worry, at least one Republican politician says we don't need any more regulation....

VIDEO

Navy Replaces Admiral Leading Mideast Strike Group Because Inappropriate Leadership Investigation

AP Poll Suggests Most Americans Have Prejudice Against Blacks

Canada's Cyber Security Response Center Works From Nine To Five!

You Get 4 Year Old Girls Blown To Bits Because Of This Drone Policy An No One's Talking About It!

Doctors Want GRAPHIC WARNING Labels On Junk Food Like Those Found On Cigarettes Packs

Outcome of the European Council

VIDEO: Farage facing Van Rompuy

Boeing tests microwave missile that knocks out electronics, represents our worst nightmare (video) -- Engadget

Link to Article

Wed, 24 Oct 2012 21:55

Forget bombs or the robopocalypse. In our minds, the most fearsome weapon is the one that disables our gadgets. That's what makes Boeing's newly tested Counter-electronics High-powered Microwave Advanced Missile Project (CHAMP) scarier than most projectiles. The missile bombards targets underneath with microwaves that shut down computers, power systems and just about anything electrical in their path. Thankfully, CHAMP's invisible payload arrives in discrete bursts and arguably makes it the world's most advanced (and likely expensive) non-lethal weapon: the prototype can target multiple individual buildings without ever having to detonate and hurt someone. Boeing is still developing CHAMP in a multi-year program and doesn't have guarantees that it will become military ordnance, which gives us enough time to accept that saving lives is far, far more important than the risk we'll have to stop fiddling with our technology.

"If You Haven't Checked Out Your Credit Score Recently You Should!" Pres Obama Weekly Address

NYPD Cop Arrested For Plotting To Kidnap And Torture Women Then Cook And Eat Their Body Parts

Osama Bin Laden Movie Being Re-Edited To Give President Obama More Camera Time

Clocks go back across Europe

Link to Article

Source: euronews

Sun, 28 Oct 2012 12:15

Summer officially ended over night as across Europe the clocks were turned back.For many it meant an extra hour in bed, but for night shift workers it added an hour to their shifts. But if changing the clocks in your house seems a chore just think of one museum in the UK where over 1,000 time pieces have to be altered.

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VIDEO: Press self-regulation 'has failed'

Link to Article

Source: BBC News - Home

Sun, 28 Oct 2012 12:09

Self-regulation of the press "has failed", according to Harriet Harman.

She said there might be a need for statutory regulation and the status quo was "not acceptable".

Labour's deputy leader was speaking ahead of the publication of Lord Leveson's report into press standards following the phone-hacking scandal.

The inquiry has examined the relationship between the press and the public, police and politicians, and looked at phone-hacking and other potentially illegal behaviour.

A second part of the inquiry, looking into the extent of unlawful or improper conduct within News International and other newspaper media organisations, will not get under way until police investigations are concluded.

Hacking voicemails is illegal.

Navy Replaces Admiral Leading Mideast Strike Group Because Inappropriate Leadership Investigation

VOTE FOR JESUS!

The Future Children Project - YouTube

Link to Article

Sun, 28 Oct 2012 03:46

Re daughter, Obama worries about Facebook, not dating

Link to Article

Source: CNET News

Sat, 27 Oct 2012 17:16

In a chat with MTV, the president says Facebook is a bigger threat to his daughter Malia's privacy than is dating.

Facebook has been spending more time touting its privacy controls recently.

But here's the news: they're not good enough for the president.

In an interview with MTV on Friday (hey, we have to get those kids to vote somehow), the president explained that for his daughter Malia, Facebook was not a safe place to hang out.

As Yahoo News reports, the president was asked whether dating, driving, or social networking represented his biggest fear for his 14-year-old daughter.

He replied:

I'd worry about Facebook right now. I know the folks at Facebook -- obviously they've revolutionized, you know, the social networks. But Malia, because she's well known, I'm very keen on her protecting her privacy.

More Technically IncorrectThe president added that Malia doesn't even have a Facebook page, as that might compromise security.

His words echo those of the first lady, who last year was very firm that even if their dad wasn't the president, she wouldn't be happy with her kids wafting around Facebook's weird corridors.

You might imagine, though, that the dating thing might be a little awkward. But not so much, it seems.

"Dates -- that's fine, 'cause she's got Secret Service protection," said the president.

Yes, I suppose when you have a couple of large chaperones with earpieces and guns, boys might tend to behave.

Still, the president hopes that his daughters will date boys "who respect them and value them and understand their worth."

This would surely be another reason to avoid Facebook.

Though the site is one of the most popular places to find love these days, have you seen some of the people who hang out there?

John Sununu: Colin Powell Endorsed Obama Because He's Black

Link to Article

Source: Crooks and Liars

Fri, 26 Oct 2012 17:53

Leave it to good old John Sununu to say out loud what the rest of them only say in private. As a top surrogate for the Romney campaign they must have been thrilled to hear that. Here's what he said to Piers Morgan tonight on CNN.

SUNUNU: You have to wonder whether that's an endorsement based on issues or that he's got a slightly different reason for President Obama.

MORGAN: What reason would that be?

SUNUNU: Well, I think that when you have somebody of your own race that you're proud of being President of the United States '-- I applaud Colin for standing with him.

Feedback welcomed!

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