Archive for the ‘Crime’ Category

AlterNet.org
Zach Carter
July 14, 2010

Too-big-to-fail is a much bigger problem than you thought. We’ve all read damning accounts of the government saving banks from their risky subprime bets, but it turns out that the Wall Street privilege problem is far more deeply ingrained in the U.S. legal system than the simple bailouts witnessed in 2008. America’s largest banks can engage in flagrantly criminal activity on a massive scale and emerge almost completely unscathed. The latest sickening example comes from Wachovia Bank: Accused of laundering $380 billion in Mexican drug cartel money, the financial behemoth is expected to emerge with nothing more than a slap on the wrist thanks to an official government policy which protects megabanks from criminal charges.

Bloomberg’s Michael Smith has penned a devastating expose detailing Wachovia’s drug-money operations and the government’s twisted response. The bank was moving money behind literally tons of cocaine from violent drug cartels. It wasn’t an accident. Internal whistleblowers at Wachovia warned that the bank was laundering drug money, higher-ups at the bank actively looked the other way in order to score bigger profits, and the U.S. government is about to let everyone involved get off scott free. The bank will not be indicted, because it is official government policy not to prosecute megabanks. From Smith’s story:

No big U.S. bank . . . has ever been indicted for violating the Bank Secrecy Act or any other federal law. Instead, the Justice Department settles criminal charges by using deferred-prosecution agreements, in which a bank pays a fine and promises not to break the law again . . . . Large banks are protected from indictments by a variant of the too-big-to-fail theory. Indicting a big bank could trigger a mad dash by investors to dump shares and cause panic in financial markets.

Wachovia was acquired by Wells Fargo in late 2008. The bank’s penalty for laundering over $380 billion in drug money is going to be a promise not to ever do it again, and a $160 million fine. The fine is so small that Wachovia will almost certainly turn a profit on its drug financing business after legal costs and penalties are taken into account.

This is several steps beyond what most of us think about when we debate too-big-to-fail. The government isn’t shielding Wachovia from losses on risky bets in the capital markets casinos— it’s shielding the bank from the prosecution of outright criminal behavior. The drug money business did not pose risks to the financial system, and Wachovia wasn’t losing money on it. Wachovia is simply being shielded from what ought to be the ordinary functioning of the justice system.

Think about what would happen if you or I were accused of laundering $380 billion in drug money. We could not simply settle the allegations out of court in exchange for an apology and a fine. We’d spend the rest of our lives in jail for financing a ruthless, bloody and illegal business. About 22,000 people have been killed in the Mexican drug trade since 2006, and the drug trade itself can’t happen without extensive money laundering operations. Moving the money is one of the most difficult and critical elements of any criminal enterprise—without ways to convert crooked cash into seemingly innocuous funds, crooks simply can’t operate. Wachovia was doing top-level dirty work for drug dealers.

On the streets of American cities, the mere possession of these drugs can land you with a multi-year prison sentence. But financing multi-billion-dollar drug empires? Don’t do it again, pretty please.

Too-big-to-fail isn’t just a matter of systemic risk and mathematical models gone haywire, It’s about the basic functioning of our democracy. You cannot have a functional democracy in which an entire privileged class of bankers can get away with anything—and if you can get away with laundering hundreds of billions of dollars in drug money, there’s not much you can’t get away with.

Congress is poised to pass a decent Wall Street reform bill, but that legislation will not end this criminal imbalance. If the bill will really end too-big-to-fail, the Justice Department could immediately end its special immunity policies for large financial institutions. That isn’t going to happen. The public deserves tougher prosecutors, but we also need further legislation to break up the megabanks so that they can’t use their economic clout to bully everyone in Washington.

Engineers for 9/11 Truth

Posted: December 14, 2009 in 9/11, Crime, Video
Tags: , ,

Paul Joseph Watson
Prison Planet.com
September 28, 2009

Shocking video has emerged of cops posing as anarchist protesters at the G20 Summit in Pittsburgh, in yet another example of authorities attempting to provoke chaos at global summits in order to justify a brutal police crackdown.

Footage from Saturday night shows three burly older men who look completely out of place with black bandanas over their face walking alongside young protesters during a march against police brutality in a You Tube clip entitled “G20 Epic Undercover Police Fail”.

The clip would be hilarious if it was not so disturbing. Protesters walking behind what are obviously badly disguised cops claim they broke cameras and acted aggressively towards genuine protesters, as well as carrying gas canisters. During a peaceful demonstration on Saturday night, riot cops savagely attacked protesters with batons and rubber bullets while also assaulting and arresting students who weren’t even part of the demonstration.

Watch the clip below.

At one point one of the undercover cops states, “Let’s not make this too much fun, I’m tired, I’m getting old.”

“Do you think it’s funny to mock our First Amendment rights, asks a demonstrator as onlookers begin to become aware that the men are obviously police officers dressed up as anarchists.

At every single major summit over the past few years, authorities have inserted agent provocateurs into protest groups in order to spy on them and if necessary, provoke violence to justify oppressive police brutality in the eyes of the watching world.

We have documented numerous different occasions where the leadership of the black bloc anarchists were actually working with the authorities to provide a pretext for a police state crackdown.

During the previous G20 protest in London, black bloc anarchists were allowed by police to smash up bank buildings while being accompanied by more press photographers than other protesters in what was obviously a stage-managed spectacle for mass consumption, while legitimate protest groups were refused “permits” to protest by the government.

Following the SPP protests in Canada two years ago, Quebec provincial authorities were forced to admitthat three rock-wielding black mask-wearing “anarchists” were in fact police infiltrators used to gather information on protesters.

Video shows two of the provocateurs pick up rocks and try to incite violence before they are outed as cops by legitimate demonstrators. The two thugs then tried to slip behind police lines before their fellow officers were forced to stage their arrest. Again, the fact that they were cops in disguise was later admitted by authorities. Watch the video.

Alex Jones’ film Police State 2: The Takeover exposed how the black bloc anarchists were completely infiltrated and provocateured by the authorities during the violent 1999 WTO protests in Seattle.

The authorities declared a state of emergency, imposed curfews and resorted to nothing short of police state tactics in response to a small minority of hostile black bloc hooligans. Police allowed the black bloc to run riot in downtown Seattle while they concentrated on preventing the movement of peaceful protestors. The film presents clear evidence that the black bloc anarchist group was actually controlled by the state and used to demonize peaceful protesters. Watch the video below.

At the WTO protests in Genoa 2001 a protestor was killed after being shot in the head and run over twice by a police vehicle. The Italian Carabinere also later beat on peaceful protestors as they slept, and even tortured some, at the Diaz School. It later emerged that the police fabricated evidence against the protesters, claiming they were anarchist rioters, to justify their actions. Some Carabiniere officials have since come forward to say they knew of infiltration of the so called black bloc anarchists, and that fellow officers acted as agent provocateurs.

At the Free Trade Area of Americas protests in Miami in late November 2003, more provocateuring was evident. The United Steelworkers of America calling for a congressional investigation, stated that the police intentionally caused violence and arrested and charged hundreds of peaceful protestors. The USWA suggested that billions of dollars supposedly slated for Iraq reconstruction funds are actually being used to subsidize “homeland repression” in America.

Despite being caught over and over again dressed up as anarchists and posing as protesters, authorities are still content to use agent provocateurs in a desperate and underhanded attempt to make heightening levels of police brutality somehow appear as a legitimate response. Since this maneuver has now been totally discredited and everyone is fully aware of it, it’s unlikely that they will be able to get away with it at all for future protests.

Tim Talley
Associated Press
September 27, 2009

OKLAHOMA CITY — Long-secret security tapes showing the chaos immediately after the 1995 bombing of the Oklahoma City federal building are blank in the minutes before the blast and appear to have been edited, an attorney who obtained the recordings said Sunday.

“The real story is what’s missing,” said Jesse Trentadue, a Salt Lake City attorney who obtained the recordings through the federal Freedom of Information Act as part of an unofficial inquiry he is conducting into the April 19, 1995, bombing that killed 168 people and injured hundreds more.

Trentadue gave copies of the tapes to The Oklahoman newspaper, which posted them online and provided copies to The Associated Press.

The tapes turned over by the FBI came from security cameras various companies had mounted outside office buildings near the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building. They are blank at points before 9:02 a.m., when a truck bomb carrying a 4,000 pound fertilizer-and-fuel-oil bomb detonated in front of the building, Trentadue said.

“Four cameras in four different locations going blank at basically the same time on the morning of April 19, 1995. There ain’t no such thing as a coincidence,” Trentadue said.

He said government officials claim the security cameras did not record the minutes before the bombing because “they had run out of tape” or “the tape was being replaced.”

“The interesting thing is they spring back on after 9:02,” he said. “The absence of footage from these crucial time intervals is evidence that there is something there that the FBI doesn’t want anybody to see.”

A spokesman for the FBI in Oklahoma City, Gary Johnson, declined to comment and referred inquiries about the tapes to FBI officials in Washington, who were not immediately available for comment Sunday.

The soundless recordings show people rushing from nearby buildings after the bomb went off. Some show people fleeing through corridors cluttered with debris. None show the actual explosion that ripped through the federal building.

FBI agents did not report finding any security tapes from the federal building itself.

The FBI in the past refused to release the security camera recordings, leading Trentadue and others to contend the government was hiding evidence that others were involved in the attack.

“It’s taken a lawsuit and years to get the tapes,” Trentadue said.

He received the latest batch of tapes over the summer in response to an April request for video from security cameras in 11 different locations. Nothing on the tapes was unexpected.

“The more important thing they show is what they don’t show,” Trentadue said. “These cameras would have shown the various roads and approaches to the Murrah Building.”

Trentadue began looking into the bombing after his brother, Kenneth Trentadue, died at the Oklahoma City Federal Transfer Center in August 1995. Kenneth Trentadue was a convicted bank robber who was held at the federal prison after being picked up as a parole violator at his home in San Diego in June 1995.

He was never a bombing suspect, but Jesse Trentadue alleges guards mistook his brother for one and beat him to death during an interrogation. The official cause of Kenneth Trentadue’s death is listed as suicide, but his body had 41 wounds and bruises that Jesse Trentadue believes could have come only from a beating.

A judge in 2001 awarded Kenneth Trentadue’s family $1.1 million for extreme emotional distress in the government’s handling of his death.

Jesse Trentadue said he has received about 30 security tapes, including some images that were used as evidence at bomber Timothy McVeigh’s trial. McVeigh was convicted on federal murder and conspiracy charges and executed in 2001. Coconspirator Terry Nichols is serving life in prison on federal and state bombing convictions.

Trentadue said he is seeking more tapes along with a variety of bombing-related documents from the FBI and the CIA. An FOIA request by Trentadue for 26 CIA documents was rejected in June. A letter from the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, which reviewed the documents, said their release “could cause grave damage to our national security.”

Trentadue said he gave the latest set of tapes to The Oklahoman because of their historical value. The newspaper has agreed to provide copies to the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum.

Little Alex
Little Alex in Wonderland
September 18, 2009

The Washington Post reports the Justice Department “recommended that Congress move swiftly with legislation that would protect the government’s ability to collect a variety of business and credit card records and to monitor terrorism suspects with roving wiretaps” set to expire 31 December 09.

Carrie Johnson and Ellen Nakashima report:

The three provisions set to expire Dec. 31 allow investigators to monitor through roving wiretaps suspects who may be trying to escape detection by switching cellphone numbers, obtain business records of national security targets, and track “lone wolves” who may be acting alone on behalf of foreign powers or terrorist groups. The government has not employed the lone wolf provision, but department officials want to ensure they can do so in the future.

Obama’s approach to electronic surveillance has been closely watched since he shifted positions during the presidential campaign last year, casting a vote to update the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act over the objections of liberals in his party. That law granted telecommunication companies immunity from lawsuits by Americans who argued that their privacy had been violated in an electronic data collection program….

The Justice Department inspector general issued blistering audits in 2007 and 2008, finding, for instance, that FBI agents had used demands for information known as national security letters in many cases where they were not authorized and had employed other tools called exigent letters to quickly obtain data without proper follow-up.

“As a presidential candidate, Barack Obama said he would take a close look at the law, based on his past expertise in constitutional law,” Devlin Barrett reported at the Associated Press. “Back in May, President Obama said legal institutions must be updated to deal with the threat of terrorism, but in a way that preserves the rule of law and accountability,” adding:

The lone wolf provision was created to conduct surveillance on suspects with no known link to foreign governments or terrorist groups. It has never been used, but the administration says it should still be available for future investigations.

“It should come as no surprise that President Barack Obama supports renewing the provisions, which were part of the Patriot Act approved six weeks after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks,” David Kravets writes atWired. “As an Illinois senator in 2008, he voted to allow the warrantless monitoring of Americans’ electronic communications if they are communicating overseas with somebody the government believes is linked to terrorism. That legislative package, which President George W. Bush signed, also immunized the nation’s telecommunication companies from lawsuits charging them with being complicit with the Bush administration’s warrantless, wiretapping program. That program was also adopted in the wake of Sept. 11.”

On Tuesday, National Intelligence Director Dennis Blair said that the U.S. is spending $75 billion a year on “intelligence activities”, Adam Entous reports at Reuters (h/t: Jason Ditz), adding that:

It has disclosed the amount spent by the 16 intelligence agencies — $47.5 billion in 2008 alone — but those figures did not incorporate the military’s intelligence activities, officials said.

Blair, in a conference call with reporters, explained that his four-year strategy was not set up on the “traditional fault line … between military intelligence and national intelligence.”

“This whole distinction between military and non-military intelligence is no longer relevant,” Blair said.

The Senate Judiciary Committee has scheduled a hearing on the U.S.A. Patriot Act [sic] next week.

Paul Joseph Watson
infowars.com
September 8, 2009

Actor and television star Charlie Sheen has publicly requested a meeting with President Barack Obama to urge him to reopen the official investigation into 9/11 in light of the fact that the majority of the 9/11 Commission members have now publicly gone on record to express their conviction that the government agreed to lie about the official story.

Sheen’s request takes the form of a letter to the President in the context of a fictional meeting between the two entitled “20 Minutes With The President,” published exclusively on radio talk show host Alex Jones’ Infowars.com and Prison Planet.com websites.

The letter cites evidence, backed up by a substantial online bibliography, that proves the official story behind 9/11 is a fraud and that this conclusion was also reached by the majority of the 9/11 Commission members, a fact that mandates President Obama to reopen the investigation into the terrorist attacks.

Sheen expresses his hope that President Obama will follow through on his promises of change, accountability and government transparency by using his executive powers to re-examine 9/11, adding that he voted for Obama with the understanding that he would follow a different course to the Bush administration.

However, as Sheen highlights in his letter, the course of Obama’s first year in office clearly indicates that he will do nothing to reverse policies crafted by the Bush regime, and in fact has sought to exceed outrages of the previous administration in areas such as warrantless wiretapping, rendition, detention without trial, and wars in the Middle East – all of which arrived as a consequence of 9/11.

Sheen’s letter is a public declaration demanding the truth behind 9/11 as America approaches its eighth anniversary since the tragic events of that day. His questions are shared by a majority of victims’ family members, according to Bill Doyle, the representative of the largest 9/11 families group.

The letter focuses around the fact that no less than 60 per cent of the 9/11 commissioners have now publicly stated that the government agreed not to tell the truth about 9/11 and that the Pentagon was engaged in deliberate deception about their response to the attack.

Sheen also presents a plethora of other evidence to illustrate how the official story is a fraud, including the revelations of whistle blowers like FBI translator Sibel Edmonds, who recently broke a Federal gag order to expose how Bin Laden and Al-Qaeda were working for the U.S. government right up until the day of 9/11.

The issues highlighted by Sheen do not represent idle speculation or conspiracy fodder, they are documented facts that have been deliberately ignored by strawman 9/11 truth hit pieces that are now doing the rounds again as the anniversary approaches, particularly last months’ 9/11: Science and Conspiracy which was aired by the National Geographic Channel and wasted little time in portraying people who have doubts about the official 9/11 story as extremist cranks, while failing to acknowledge that the majority of the members of the 9/11 Commission have publicly expressed similar concerns.

Charlie Sheen is once again using his prominent public platform in an attempt to expand a national debate about the disturbing unanswered questions behind 9/11, having first spoken out on the issue in March 2006. After he first went public, Sheen was asked to do more and now he is doing more as he feels there is a chance to get more traction behind a new investigation with a new President in the White House.

Sheen is directly appealing to Barack Obama to read his letter and to look into the lies surrounding 9/11 for himself.

Regardless of whether or not President Obama agrees to meet with him, Sheen is confident that his letter will serve as a catalyst from which questions surrounding 9/11 and other false flag events will be brought to national attention.

This is a call to action and a declaration of war on the lies of 9/11 that have formed the foundation of the endless wars abroad and the police state at home as the Republic falls. Sheen is demanding that truth activists and those who simply care about the future of the country stand up beside him and speak truth to power.

Sheen is now urging grass roots political organizations and individuals across the country, such as the town hall protesters and We Are Change groups, to go to press conferences and other public events and demand answers about the truth behind 9/11. As much awareness as possible around the issue of false flag terrorism needs to be generated in order to prevent tragedies like 9/11 from happening again. Sheen emphasizes in his letter that we cannot let 9/11 become ancient history, try and forget about it or just move on, because if a nation forgets its history then it is doomed to repeat it.

We cannot allow governments to continue to advance their political agendas by exploiting forged pretexts, argues Sheen, and the fact that big budget hit pieces against 9/11 truth are still being rolled out proves that the establishment is upset that the population is waking up to false flag terror.

Sheen will appear live on The Alex Jones Show on Wednesday and Friday to discuss the content of his “20 Minutes With The President” piece and how he plans to move forward with this exciting new initiative. You can listen free here or subscribe to prison planet.tv to watch live streaming video.

No matter what your views are on 9/11, Sheen is begging the thinking public to look at how manymembers of the 9/11 Commission itself have questioned the official story, along with the scores of other highly credible former and current government officials, intelligence professionals, military officials, scientists, structural engineers and architects, and legal scholars who have all publicly denounced the fraud that continues to masquerade as the official 9/11 story.