Monthly Archives: September 2010

The Mafia, The CIA, and The Vatican’s Intelligence Apparatus



In its zeal to stamp out communism, the Vatican set up alliances during World War II with various secret societies, fascist groups and spying agencies and has maintained these networks ever since.

Albert Vincent Carone is one of those people who spent his life dancing between raindrops and turning invisible wherever a shadow lingered. He existed and also didn’t exist. Al Carone–unlike his near namesake, Al Capone–truly was a paradox wrapped in a mystery concealed behind an enigma. Carone was a detective in the New York Police Department, but this didn’t stop him from becoming a “made” man in the Genovese crime family. He knew all the leading Mafiosi of his day, including Vito Genovese, Sam Giancana, Santos Trafficante, Joe Colombo and Pauley Castellano amongst others. To Carone’s daughter, Dee, they were all known as “Uncle”. When she got married, her father arranged two different reception rooms to separate the Mob guests from the NYPD guests. But this was more window-dressing than anything else. One of Carone’s principal functions in the NYPD was to act as the “bagman” in protecting shipments of CIA drugs to the various Mafia families. Carone died in 1990 under mysterious circumstances. This followed a period of great personal disenchantment with his life, following a secretive mission to Mexico in 1985 when a large number of innocent women and children died unnecessarily. His death was horrific, reports Mike Ruppert, editor of From The Wilderness newsletter, who has investigated Carone’s life story and written a special report on it Meanwhile, another “Uncle” was Bill Casey, Director of the Central Intelligence Agency during the Reagan Administration. Casey had been with the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) during World War II. During the 1970s, he became Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) which regulates the US investment industry. During his tenure in that role, Casey used Carone as a “cut out” to pass sensitive insider information to Mob capo Pauley Castellano, says his daughter, Dee. Carone was also a Full Colonel in the US Army, where he had operated in the Army’s Counter Intelligence Corp (CIC). Unsurprisingly, in view of his close friendship with Bill Casey, he was also a covert operative for the CIA. But that wasn’t half of it. Carone was also a Grand Knight of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta (SMOM), which historically has been the military arm of the Vatican and is regarded as a separate State with full powers of statehood, including issuing its own diplomatic passports. In more recent decades SMOM has acted as a funding conduit, a black market gold channel and money laundry for the CIA, amongst others, and is known to act as the Vatican’s intelligence arm. It was alleged to be involved in, for example, the disappearance of Russia’s gold reserves–over 2,000 metric tonnes–which vanished during 1991, around the time that Soviet Premier Mikhail Gorbachev was ousted from office. Malta knighthoods are awarded to many leading individuals who are part of the military and intelligence community. The CIA’s Bill Casey, for example, was a Knight of Malta. Former NATO General and later US Secretary of State Alexander Haig is also a Malta Knight. Another is General Vernon Walters, the former Deputy Director of the CIA under DCI George Bush, and later appointed a roving ambassador during the Reagan Administration. The legendary head of the OSS (the WWII precursor of the CIA), “Wild” Bill Donovan, was made a Knight along with his wartime compatriot and later CIA Chief of Counterintelligence, James Jesus Angleton. And John McCone, another prominent member of the US “spook” agency, was also distinguished with a Malta knighthood. The list goes on. Most interesting is Reinhard Gehlen, the former Nazi intelligence expert recruited by the US in 1945&endash;46 to head the Gehlen Org–a secret, German-based intelligence arm of the United States that was composed of former SS and Gestapo agents, many of whom, including Klaus Barbie, were wanted Nazi war criminals. The foregoing names amount to a listing of some of the most powerful and influential members of the Western intelligence community over the last five decades. One Vatican group that has extremely close ties to the Knights of Malta is the ultra-right-wing Opus Dei. This is an immensely powerful faction in the Vatican today, and its public “do good” activities eclipse a plethora of the darkest political and financial machinations known to man. It will not come as a surprise, perhaps, that Carone was closely associated with Opus Dei and, in particular, with a covert operation that had its origin back in 1944. This was Operation Amadeus. FROM RATLINES TO DRUG SMUGGLING ROUTES This highly secretive operation was part of the Operation Sunrise negotiations conducted between Allen Dulles–the then senior wartime OSS officer in Switzerland, but later to become the Director of the CIA–and SS General Karl Wolff. This debonair and well-connected SS officer commanded the SS and Gestapo contingents in Italy at the time. The result of these negotiations (at least those parts that are now known about) was an agreement affording amnesty toan extensive roster of SS&endash;Gestapo forces, in exchange for their agreement to shift their allegiance to the West in the pre-planned, covert battle aimed at defeating the Soviet communist “menace”–in other words, the “Cold War”. One spin-off of these Dulles&endash;Wolff arrangements were the Vatican-run “ratlines” that aided wanted Nazi war criminals to slink to safety. Tens of thousands of SS and other Nazis escaped capture as a result of the ratlines. These included such figures as Franz Stangl, commandant at Treblinka extermination camp, and his friend Gustav Wagner, who ran the Sobibor death camp. Others to escape in this manner included Adolf Eichmann, the architect of the Holocaust. Eichmann was later captured by Israeli intelligence agents, smuggled to Tel Aviv where he stood trial and was eventually executed. In comparison, Dr Joseph Mengele–known as “the White Angel”, a war criminal wanted for his cruel and inhuman experiments on death camp inmates at Auschwitz–escaped to Argentina and lived a long life. Operation Amadeus was exclusively concerned with the flight of SS and Nazi war criminals to the South American continent and their later ferocious covert actions against the indigenous populations justified under the banner of “anti-communism”. One individual engaged in Amadeus activities was former Gestapo officer Klaus Barbie, known to the world as “the Butcher of Lyon”. The principal means of funding Operation Amadeus activities was the hugely profitable narcotics business. Large stocks of SS morphia had been smuggled out of Europe and into “Catholic” South America at the end of the War in accordance with the Sunrise agreement. The morphia was accompanied by looted SS gold and large quantities of counterfeit British banknotes, forged in concentration camps by captive but skilled counterfeiters as part of an SS scheme known as Operation Bernhardt. The escape “lines” used to move wanted men around South America, away from the prying eyes of Israeli agents, also proved ideal as smuggling routes for drugs. Decades later, the stocks of heroin smuggled into the United States for distribution by the CIA-protected Mafia would be complemented with locally grown cocaine. One of the figures to emerge into the spotlight during the 1980s who was deeply involved in this narcotics traffic was Colonel Oliver North, who authorised the exchange of guns for drugs to finance Contra operations. Oliver North was known to Al Carone under his “work” name, “John Caffrey”. This was the time when Carone was engaged in CIA-controlled cocaine transactions with Joe “Pickles” Percilia, a member of the Colombo crime family. These curious and usually concealed connections between governments (in the form of the military and intelligence community), organised crime, the Vatican and Nazi war criminals have some significant history. Not least was the secret agreement reached between US Naval Intelligence officers and Mafia don Charles “Lucky” Luciano during World War II. This resulted in the Mafia’s decision to aid and assist the Allies by contacting Mob figure Vito Genovese in 1943 to prepare the way for the Allied landing in Sicily. As earlier outlined, it was primarily those SS&endash;Gestapo units located in Italy under command of SS General Wolff that were initially concerned in the Operation Sunrise negotiations. And while large numbers of former Nazis were fleeing south to fight the communist menace in Latin America–and, more importantly, to profit personally from their involvement in the lucrative drug and gun business–in Europe, the spadework was being laid to overthrow or thwart democratically elected governments via a network of fascist-manned “Stay Behind units”, organised under the aegis of Operation Gladio. Not surprisingly, this would also lead to certain involved figures making personal fortunes out of other people’s misery–a circumstance that is so commonplace it is barely worth mentioning. These neo-fascist activities would come to prominence in the early 1980s following the collapse of Banco Ambrosiano and the death of Italian banker Roberto Calvi, who was “suicided” and left hanging under London’s Blackfriars Bridge. This would lead to sensational disclosures about the role of the Vatican Bank, the IOR, in Calvi’s financial empire and would quickly grow to include the activities of Mafia financier Michele Sindona–whose activities, in turn, would implicate leading blue-blood banks in Europe and America in Mafia activities. Both Sindona and Calvi were close to Opus Dei, which lost around $55 million when Sindona’s empire crashed. According to his family, Roberto Calvi was deeply engrossed in helping Opus Dei take control of the IOR when he was killed. Meanwhile, both Calvi and Sindona were members of the secretive Propaganda Due (P2) masonic lodge, which is said to have been a “parallel government” in waiting and which planned to effect a coup d’état in Italy following a Communist Party victory at the polls. P2 was run by former Italian fascist and member of the Nazi SS, Licio Gelli–dubbed “the Puppet Master” by the Italian press. Gelli’s connections to the ultra-hard-right and fascists in Europe and Latin America were extensive. In fact, he had been deeply involved in establishing the Vatican-run ratlines that aided the worst Nazi war criminals to escape Allied justice at the end of WWII. All told, an estimated 50,000 Nazis were helped to freedom. Gelli had numerous powerful friends, including former Italian dictator Benito Mussolini. He was also a personal friend of Argentina’s General Juan Perón, and his close associations with Argentina would later lead him to be a key figure in shipping a supply of French Exocet missiles to sink British Task Force ships during the Falklands War. In this endeavour he worked closely with Ronald R. Rewald, founder of the Hawaiian-based financial institution Bishop, Baldwin, Rewald, Dillingham & Wong–a CIA proprietary company and forerunner of the CIA-owned Nugan Hand Bank. The involvement of a CIA front company engaged in financing and providing weapons to be used against a key American ally (Britain) with the wholehearted public support of the US Government may seem somewhat duplicitous. However, in the world of “black ops”, “friends” and “enemies” are interchangeable words and working both sides of the fence is accepted practice. In terms of hierarchy, Gelli reported to Umberto Ortolani, described by one writer as “the great Vatican door-opener” and “secret chamberlain of the papal household”. In addition to his P2 connections, Ortolani is also a member of the inner council of the Knights of Malta and has military intelligence connections that date back to WWII. THE OCTOPUS AND THE SPIDER There are numerous other masonic groups and secret societies in Europe which move in and out of focus at various times. Almost all of them are Catholic in nature. One of these is the Priory of Sion (Prieuré de Sion)–a secretive order that first came to public attention via the best-selling book, The Holy Blood And The Holy Grail, published in 1982. The Priory is closely connected with the alleged treasure of Solomon which is said to have found its way to the small village of Rennes-le-Château in southwestern France, where it is said to have been buried by the Knights Templars, forerunners of the Knights of Malta. The Priory, whose headquarters were located at Annemasse, near Geneva on the Swiss border, are styled as the “guardians” of Solomon’s treasure, but, most interestingly, they have numerous subterranean connections to fascists and those on the far right that date back to WWII. Meanwhile, it has to be noted in passing that Annemasse is said to have been the centre for the anti-communist Stay Behind units of Operation Gladio. If this is not intriguing enough, another fact stretches coincidence to the point of bursting. In recent years, the Priory of Sion has moved its headquarters to Barcelona and now boasts a Spanish Grand Master. This, one could conclude, is to enable it to be physically closer to the historical heartland of Opus Dei, which was founded in Spain in 1928. If Otto Skorzeny was a leading force in running the SS Brotherhood escape routes–Der Spinne, the Spider–after the war, and SS General Karl Wolff was the lead negotiator with OSS Swiss Chief, Allen Dulles, then another Nazi, Walter Rauff, head of the Milan SD, was one of two liaisons with the Vatican involved in the establishment of the Nazi-smuggling system. Earlier in his career, Rauff had overseen the development of the Nazis’ mobile gas vans, known as “Black Ravens”, which gassed to death around 100,000 Jews, mostly women and children, by pumping exhaust fumes into the back of an hermetically sealed van. Another important link between the Vatican and SS escape routes was Friedrich Schwendt, who was also the man in charge of laundering forged SS banknotes. Before WWII, Schwendt was an international arms dealer who shipped weapons to China and Russia. He was also the investment manager of the family fortune of his first wife’s aunt, Baroness Gemmingen-Guttenberg, of the vastly wealthy Argentina-based Bunge family, of the massive transnational firm Bunge Corporation that is also known as “the Octopus”. This title is interesting, for it may connect to the so-called “Octopus” that ties in to murdered freelance journalist Danny Casolaro, who at the time of his death in 1991 was investigating a number of high-level illegalities including the theft by the Department of Justice of a “tracking” computer program known as “PROMIS”. Casolaro was writing a book about what he had discovered. He originally titled it “Behold, A Pale Horse”, but later modified it to “The Octopus”. In a draft page of the book, he described this group as an “international cabal whose freelance services covered parochial political intrigue, espionage, sophisticated weapon technologies that included biotoxins, drug trafficking, money laundering and murder-for-hire”. Casolaro further stated that this cabal was “spawned thirty years ago in the shadow of the Cold War”. After Casolaro’s death, journalist Carol Marshall (a pen name) followed up his investigation and wrote an (as yet) unpublished manuscript, titled “The Last Circle”. In this, Marshall describes her investigation of Robert Booth Nichols–one of the central figures of the Octopus, whom she describes as being part of a secretive group known as “the Chosen Ones” and who wore “skull and crossbones rings and shared a common interest, if you could call it that, in the old German SS occultism, its tribal and inner circle rites”. During her continuing investigation into the Octopus, Marshall found that the SS occultism outlined above was connected to Lt. Col. Michael A. Aquino, a former US Green Beret who is a self-professed Satanist and who held a Top Secret security clearance for his work in military intelligence and on classified psychological warfare matters. Aquino officiated at SS black-magic ceremonies held at Wewelsburg, the castle once used by SS chief Heinrich Himmler to create an SS order of Teutonic knights based on the Knights Templars. The foregoing connections lend themselves to a larger picture of global, interlocking, right-wing fascist groupings that operate in the shadowland of deniable military and intelligence operations associated with profit during WWII and, later, throughout the Cold War. In this respect, it is intriguing to note that the Priory of Sion, one of the foremost Catholic groups under discussion, uses as a symbol something that is variously described as an octopus or a spider (araignée) on its documents. The Priory’s association with the octopus could easily relate to the so-called Octopus described above, where organised crime works hand in glove with operatives from US intelligence and the military. If one decides, on the other hand, that the Priory symbol is a spider, there is the intriguing notion of the Vatican-run Nazi escape lines of Austrian Catholic Otto Skorzeny and his SS Brotherhood’s Der Spinne (the Spider). THE BUSINESS OF GOD Al Carone was, as mentioned earlier, a “made” man of the Genovese Mob in addition to his other associations. It is curious, therefore, to note that one of the leading lights of the Octopus, according to writer Carol Marshall, was ultra-right-wing oil tycoon Clint Murchison, owner of the Dallas Cowboys football team. Murchison’s oil company, Murchison Oil Lease Company, was 20 per cent owned by Gerardo Catena, the chief lieutenant of the Genovese crime family. Throughout the Second World War and thereafter there was, according to author Charles Higham in his book, Trading With The Enemy, a “general agreement of certain major figures of American, British and German commerce to continue their relations and associations after Pearl Harbor”. Higham adds that he also learned that “certain figures of the warring governments had arranged to assist in this [activity]”. Higham’s subsequent research proved that this high cabal–which he dubbed “the Fraternity”–not only existed but benefited handsomely throughout WWII. This led the author to ask: What would have happened if millions of Americans and British people, struggling with coupons and lines at the gas stations, had learned that in 1942 Standard Oil of New Jersey managers shipped the enemy’s fuel through neutral Switzerland and that the enemy was shipping Allied fuel? Suppose the public had discovered that the Chase Bank in Nazi-occupied Paris after Pearl Harbor was doing millions of dollars’ worth of business with the enemy with the full knowledge of the head office in Manhattan? Or that Ford trucks were being built for the German occupation troops in France with authorisation from Dearborn, Michigan? Or that Colonel Sosthenes Behn, the head of the international American telephone conglomerate ITT, flew from New York to Madrid to Berne during the war to help improve Hitler’s communications systems and improve the robot bombs that devastated London? Or that ITT built the Focke-Wulfs that dropped bombs on British and American troops? Or that crucial ball-bearings were shipped to Nazi-associated customers in Latin America with the collusion of the Vice-Chairman of the US War Production Board, in partnership with Göring’s cousin in Philadelphia, when American forces were desperately short of them? Or that such arrangements were known about in Washington and either sanctioned or deliberately ignored? Higham’s “Fraternity” has similar characteristics to the so-called “Octopus”, and also shows certain similarities to Colonel Oliver North’s “Enterprise”. All have engaged in the most dubious and illegal activities for profit, and all operate hand in glove with organised crime. All lean so far to the right, ideologically speaking, that the word “fascist” can be used without reservation. Meanwhile, none of them cares very much for the woes of humanity and, indeed, they appear committed to stomping on ethics and moral values wherever they meet them. The octopus–or “Oct Opus”, as one European documentary film producer renders the spelling when referring to Opus Dei (which began life on 2 October 1928)–has eight arms that surround its mouth (ensuring a constant supply of food) and three hearts, and is therefore not prone to starving or dying. But it can also be identified by these oddities. Opus Dei, the group that is now in control of the Vatican, is undoubtedly one arm of this global criminal network, in this writer’s view. Or are the three hearts of the octopus more vital to identify? Could they be analogous to the “Church, State and Mafia, the forces that prevail beneath the play of the shadows of the world” (as described by Nick Tosches in his book, Power On Earth, which tells the life story of murdered Mafia financier Michele Sindona)? There is yet another interesting twist to this accumulation of associations: Prince Bernhard of The Netherlands. The Prince was the founding chairman of the publicity-shy Western power elite, the Bilderbergers. This shadowy and secretive group meets over a weekend in May/June each year, under an almost total media blackout [see deBriefings this issue]. Powerful and very influential figures from the world of banking, business, politics, the media, trades unions and academia are invited. Included regularly, for example, are Dr Henry Kissinger, David Rockefeller, and Italy’s “king-maker”, Gianni Agnelli. The first meeting took place in May 1954. This, strangely, was the same year that Prince Bernhard became head of the Johanitter Orde in Nederland, one of four orders that make up the Chivalric Alliance of Orders of Saint John (Alliance de Chevalerie des Hospitaliers de Saint Jean de Jérusalem). The stated purpose of these four, known as “the Alliance”–which is composed of northern European nations Germany, The Netherlands, Sweden and Great Britain, the latter being an ancient order known as “the Most Venerable Order”–is “to reduce to silence the enemies of Christ”. The headquarters of the Alliance are located in Switzerland. These are Protestant orders rather than Catholic, but it is of significance that, on 26 November 1963, the Alliance was”consolidated with the signing of a joint declaration between the Sovereign Military Order of Malta and the Most Venerable Order, at St John’s Gate, London, by the Grand Chancellor of the SMOM, the Prince of Resuttano, and Lord Wakehurst, Lord Prior of the Most Venerable Order”. In other words, the Catholic and Protestant orders bound themselves to work together to “silence the enemies of Christ”–a clear reference to communism. Interestingly, it has been suggested that the Knights Templars were “infected” with the Johannite or Mandaean heresy that denounced Jesus as a “false prophet” and in his place recognised John the Baptist as the true Messiah. Meanwhile, two early Grand Masters of the Priory of Sion are said to have had Johannite tendencies: Leonardo da Vinci and Sir Isaac Newton. Notwithstanding that, the famous founder of the Knights Templars, Hughes de Payens, has been accused by the Vatican of being a Johannite. Leaving aside this brief foray into esoteric history, it is as well to note that Prince Bernhard, in addition to his Bilderberg role and as head of the Dutch Johannite Order, was also an honorary member of Himmler’s SS and worked in NW7, the global intelligence arm of I.G. Farben which acted in the interests of the Nazi cause. The activities of NW7 in Latin America before, during and after World War II are deeply interwoven in this story. In facilitating and aligning itself with many of the foregoing activities, the Vatican aimed to help eradicate a communist ideology that despised Christianity. Opus Dei and a host of other Catholic-cum-fascist secret groups engaged in a litany of murder, money laundering, drug peddling, arms trafficking, concealment of WWII loot, embezzlement, manipulation of financial markets and many other consummate illegalities. The purpose of all these activities was, arguably, to allow the Vatican to remain the spiritual bulwark of the Christian West. But if such business is the business of a Church preaching of a God in Heaven, then Caesar on Earth had better watch out. A new landlord has fallen into town.

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Background Checks Required to Visit Your Kids at School


Over 3,700 schools in Texas and 7,000 nationwide have implemented a system requiring parents visiting their children to undergo a background check upon arrival to the school. This check is carried out by a company called Raptor, which summarizes their services as:

Thousands of schools and community facilities across the country use Raptor’s V-soft visitor management and screening technology to help protect children from sex offenders, domestic dispute offenders and other trespassers. V-soft works in conjunction with law enforcement to add an extra layer of security and keep our kids safe.

While the mission of protecting children from sex offenders has a broad appeal, domestic dispute charges include a broad range of situations including issues as minor as loud arguments among siblings. A definition of domestic dispute from USLegal.com describes the term as including non-crimes:

A domestic dispute is generally any quarrel, which may or may not include violence, within a family or between members of the same household. Definitions are governed by local laws, which vary, and may also cover including any child or an adult or fully emancipated minor who is a spouse, former spouse, cohabitant, former cohabitant or person with whom a suspect has had a child or has or has had a dating or engagement relationship. It may or may not include criminal behavior. Local laws should be consulted for specific requirements in your area.

According to Raptor, their background check includes arrest records, which doesn’t indicate conviction or acquittal indicating that the notion of being innocent until proven guilty does not apply here. Below are the records included in a Raptor background check:

# Arrest Records (ARST)
# Administrative Office of the Courts
# Department of Corrections
# County Court
# District Court
# Superior Court
# Municipal Court
# District Clerk
# Common Pleas
# Clerk of Court

Recently, parents have begun taking legal action to defend their constitutional right to privacy, however, a federal appeals court has ruled that screening for sex offenders does not violate constitutional rights. The court failed to address the fact that Raptor screens for a much larger set of circumstances than sex offenses. Local Austin news station KXAN reported:

But a few years before, another mother, Yvonne Meadows, said, for simply wanting to see her child, Raptor seemed a little extreme, even an unconstitutional invasion of privacy.

“Don’t be asking me to fork out this information so I can go participate with my kids and their education,” Meadows told KXAN on the phone in 2008, when her case was still in the trial stage.

She has since moved away from the district, home schools her kids.

Disappointingly, teachers and faculty are being hired around the nation with often violent criminal records. Almost every week now, a story comes out about sex crimes being committed against students. While parents are being forced to reveal their entire history in order to see their own child, teachers are passed through the system.

Public schools have become more and more like prisons over the years as students are issued ids allowing them to be tracked as they move from class to class, subject to aggressive and violent “training operations“, and otherwise treated more like prisoners and less like citizens. For years public schools have increased in militarism, allowing themselves to give up state’s rights for national control.

Militants set fire to NATO tankers in Pakistan


KARACHI (Reuters) – Suspected militants in Pakistan set fire to three dozen tankers carrying fuel for NATO troops in Afghanistan on Friday, officials said, a day after three soldiers were killed in a cross-border NATO air strike.

Angered by repeated incursions by NATO helicopters over the past week, Pakistan has blocked a supply route for coalition troops in Afghanistan.

Pakistan is a crucial ally for the United States in its efforts to stabilize Afghanistan, but analysts say border incursions and disruptions in NATO supplies underline growing tensions in the relationship.

A senior Pakistani intelligence official said the border incursions could lead to a “total snapping of relations.” But U.S. special envoy Richard Holbrooke told a forum in Washington the current tensions were unlikely to “change the fundamental relationship between our two countries.”

Senior local officials blamed “extremists” for the attack on the tankers in the southern town of Shikarpur. About 12 people, their faces covered, opened fire with small arms into the air to scare away the drivers and then set fire to 35 tankers.

“Some of them have been completely destroyed and others partially. But there is no loss of human life,” Shikarpur police chief Abdul Hameed Khoso told Reuters.

In a separate incident, two unidentified men fired on a NATO tanker traveling through a town in Pakistan’s southwestern Baluchistan province toward Afghanistan. Two people burned to death after the vehicle caught fire, security officials said.

Police arrested 10 people after the earlier attack, including five netted from a raid on an Islamic seminary, or madrasa.

The tankers were parked at a filling station on their way to Afghanistan from Pakistan’s southern port city of Karachi.

Thursday, three Pakistani soldiers were killed and three wounded in two cross-border incursions by NATO forces chasing militants in Pakistan’s northwestern Kurram region.

It was the third cross-border incident in a week, the Pakistan military said. NATO said the helicopters briefly crossed into Pakistan airspace after coming under fire from people there.

OTHER OPTIONS?

Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani, speaking in parliament, said Pakistan was a partner in the war against Islamist militancy, but would allow no infringement of its sovereignty.

“I want to assure the entire nation from this house that we will consider other options if there is interference in the sovereignty of our country,” Gilani said without elaborating.

Pakistan’s ambassador to Belgium lodged a protest with NATO’s deputy general secretary over the incursions, the Pakistan embassy said in a statement.

Holbrooke, the U.S. special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, told the Washington Ideas Forum the border incident was “very unfortunate” and that the NATO secretary general had expressed his regrets, which Holbrooke echoed.

Despite tensions, analysts say a rift is unlikely between Pakistan and its Western allies as each side needs the other.

The European Union said it had decided to more than double its Pakistan flood aid to 150 million euros ($205 million).

Thursday, hours after the cross-border attack, Pakistani authorities halted tankers carrying supplies for the NATO forces passing through the Khyber tribal region on the Afghan border.

About three-quarters of the cargo for NATO forces in Afghanistan moves through Pakistan, mostly via two border crossings: Chaman north of Quetta in Baluchistan and Torkham at the Khyber Pass.

Another third flows into Afghanistan through the northern distribution network across Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. Sensitive gear like ammunition, weapons and critical equipment is flown in.

Officials say supplies through Chaman continue uninterrupted.

Holbrooke said it was “inconceivable” that border crossings in the Khyber region would face any long closure because of the “colossal effect” it would have on the surrounding area.

PAKISTAN UNDER SPOTLIGHT

Pakistan has again come under the spotlight after Western intelligence sources said a plot to stage attacks in Europe had been disrupted by an upsurge in missile strikes by U.S. drones.

Security officials said they had no evidence of a plot being hatched in Pakistan’s tribal areas. Most recent drone strikes have taken place in the northwestern North Waziristan region.

“It’s no secret that there are terrorists from all nationalities in North Waziristan. They are Arabs, Uzbeks, Pakistani, Afghan, Chechans, German, Brits, Americans, everyone. And they are threat to us, to their own countries and to the entire world,” a senior security official said.

“But to say that we have any specific information that they were plotting attacks against this country or that country, then sir, we don’t have any concrete information or intelligence about that.”

3 former Dallas officers indicted over beating


COLONEL SIXX: MEMO TO COPS. THE COMMUNITY WILL NOT STAND FOR YOUR BULLSHIT ANYMORE. WE WILL EITHER INDICT OR EMBALM YOU.

DALLAS — Three former Dallas police officers were indicted Thursday on charges related to a videotaped chase and beating of a motorcyclist, Dallas County District Attorney Craig Watkins said.

Patrol car dashboard camera video, released by Chief David Brown earlier, showed officers hitting the suspect.

“We want to reiterate to the public that we have a world class police department here in Dallas,” Watkins said. “These three officers are the exception and not the rule.”

Watkins said that Paul Bauer, Kevin Randolph and Henry Duetsch, who have since been fired, were indicted by a Dallas County grand jury.

In a statement Thursday, Brown said the indictments are “another step in the process of bringing this incident to a conclusion.”

Randolph and Bauer are accused of striking 28-year-old Andrew Collins after a chase, while Duetsch is accused of turning the in-car video away from Collins and the officers.

Bauer was indicted on charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon by a public servant, assault and official oppression. He faces up to 99 years in prison.

Randolph was indicted on charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon by a public servant, official oppression and tampering with a governmental record. He also faces up to 99 years in prison.

Duetsch was indicted on a charge of tampering with physical evidence and faces up to 10 years in prison.

Attorneys for the three did not immediately return calls Thursday.

Watkins also said Thursday that police have dropped all charges against Collins, who suffered bruising and blood clots following the Sept. 5 beating. Watkins said Collins had initially been charged with evading arrest, resisting arrest and possession of marijuana.

The incident began when Randolph and Bauer saw Collins, who has an extensive criminal record, riding a motorcycle on a sidewalk. Police tried to pull him over, but the video shows Collins repeatedly allowed police to close in before he sped away.

On the video, an officer can be heard saying he planned to “beat the (expletive)” out of Collins when they pulled him over.

After Bauer was told by the sergeant-on-duty not to get into a high-speed chase, Bauer continued to follow Collins and even went the wrong way down a street at a high rate of speed, the district attorney’s office said.

The district attorney’s office said that after Bauer and Randolph spotted Collins sitting on his motorcycle, Bauer struck the motorcycle with his patrol car and Collins went onto the ground on all-fours.

The DA’s office said that while Collins was on the ground, Randolph struck him with a baton and Bauer struck Collins with his hands and knee. It said Randolph also struck Collins while Bauer put hand restraints on him.

The district attorney’s office said that Duetsch, while whistling, turned the in-car video away from Collins and the other officers.

Police have said that 22 officers responded to the scene, but the incident became known only after an officer left an anonymous note for a supervisor suggesting someone look at the recordings.

Collins’ criminal record includes convictions on drug, weapons and drunken driving charges, according to Texas Department of Public Safety records. Five of his previous eight arrests were by Dallas police.

FBI spokesman Mark White said that Dallas police notified them when the incident occurred, but the FBI would not comment on whether they are investigating.

Silver Shines as an Economic Solution


Cassandra Anderson
MORPHcity
September 30, 2020

Idaho State Representative Phil Hart authored the Idaho State Silver Gem Act earlier this year which allows for the Idaho State Treasurer to issue silver medallions and make them available to the public; people may use them for any purpose they want and will have the option of paying their State taxes with the silver. The benefits of the Silver Gem Act are:

• Silver can be used as an alternative currency, outside of the banking system

• Jobs will be created in the metal refining industry in Idaho

• Silver- and gold- are a protection against inflation for both the public and Idaho State

The Idaho Silver Gem Act serves as a model that other states and local governments can use. If the bill passes, people can use silver with confidence because the government of Idaho will accept it, too. The Idaho Silver gem Act will also help to prevent possible federal precious metal confiscation.

According to G. Edward Griffin, America’s monetary system is based on fiat money, it has no intrinsic value and it is not asset- backed. Federal Reserve notes have value because of government regulations (the Legal Tender laws) that mandate their use under the threat of fine or imprisonment. The Legal Tender laws require people and businesses to accept Federal Reserve notes for payment, if Federal Reserve notes are offered as payment. However, people, businesses and even governments can also accept payment in the form of gold, silver or any other thing of value- they are not tied to accepting only Federal Reserve notes.

Mr. Griffin said that the bankers DO NOT own most of the gold- most of the gold is still in the ground! And even if the bankers did own all of the gold, but the monetary system was based on gold, such a commodity backed money system would prohibit the bankers from using fractional reserves to make loans and collecting interest on money created from nothing, thus limiting their primary stream of income.

Representative Hart’s Idaho Silver Gem Act, fully endorsed by G. Edward Griffin, is a first small step toward a competing currency. Instead of creating sweeping banking reforms Hart’s legislation is practical, incremental and it can be put into place immediately. For example, Georgia had a bill that would have made it mandatory for silver and gold to be used in all State business. Georgia’s bill failed because the implementation of the bill would have been monumental- imagine the difficulty of all businesses and entities trading with Georgia State’s government having to convert all payments into precious metals.

Representative Phil Hart’s Silver Gem Act passed the Idaho House vote (51 to 14) but it died in a Senate committee earlier this year. Two of the senators who were outspoken critics of the legislation were defeated in the 2010 primary election, improving the bill’s chances for next year. The Silver Gem Act is the only competing currency bill to get this far and Phil Hart will re-introduce it again next year if he is re-elected.

Military faces strains after decade of war: Gates


(Reuters) – The all-volunteer U.S. military has performed well during nearly a decade of continuous combat but shifting trends threaten to transform it into a force very different from the society it protects, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said on Wednesday.

Gates, in a speech to students at Duke University, said despite racial disparities in some ranks and specialties, the U.S. armed forces are now broadly representative of the country as a whole, drawing predominantly from the working and middle classes.

But members of the military are increasingly based in and recruited from rural and small-town areas of the South and mountainous West, partly as a result of cost-cutting that has led to the closure of military facilities in the Northeast and West Coast, he said.

“Basing changes in recent years have moved a significant percentage of the Army to posts in just five states: Texas, Washington, Georgia, Kentucky and here in North Carolina,” Gates said, adding that young people are more likely to join the military if they know someone who has served.

“For otherwise rational environmental and budgetary reasons, many military facilities in the Northeast and on the West Coast have been shut down, leaving a void of relationships and understanding of the armed forces in their wake,” he said.

Gates said the trend also affected training and recruitment of new officers. Alabama, with only 5 million people, has 10 Army reserve officer training programs in its colleges and universities. By comparison, the Los Angeles metropolitan area, with 12 million people, has only four programs and the Chicago metro area, with 9 million people, has three.

“There is a risk over time of developing a cadre of military leaders that politically, culturally and geographically have less and less in common with the people they have sworn to defend,” he said.

Gates noted that reserve officer training programs had been shut out of many elite Ivy League universities, initially as a result of opposition to the Vietnam war and later due to the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy requiring gays in the military to remain silent about their sexual orientation.

“Institutions that used to send hundreds of graduates into the armed forces,” he said, “… now struggle to commission a handful of officers every year.”

Gates, who is expected to leave the administration next year, offered no solution to the issues he raised. A Pentagon official said it marked a return to the kinds of speeches he was making toward the end of President George W. Bush’s administration, before he was asked to remain as President Barack Obama’s defense secretary.

SMALLER PERCENTAGE IN UNIFORM

Gates raised his concerns about the stresses on the all-volunteer force at Duke because it is in one of the states with a concentration of military bases and has maintained an active reserve officer training program, the official said.

“No major war in our history has been fought with a smaller percentage of this country’s citizens in uniform full-time — roughly 2.4 million active and reserve service members out of a country of over 300 million, less than 1 percent,” Gates said.

Since the wars have been fought by a small proportion of the country, for many they are “a distant and unpleasant series of news items that does not affect them personally,” he said.

But military families are under great stress, with anxiety and disruption inflicted on children, increased domestic strife and a growing number of suicides. Divorce rates in the Army have doubled since the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq began.

Gates, however, said there was no desire to return to military conscription.

Fort Hood Suicides Hit Record Numbers


HEWITT — The end of Spc. Armando G. Aguilar’s life was ironic, and tragic, after a year of searching for hidden bombs in Iraq with Fort Hood’s 87th Sapper Company.

A man often on the highway at home and in Iraq, he had driven the last 10 miles or so of his life last month when he again confronted a perceived enemy: a police officer who had been chasing him.

They faced each other at a service station just off Interstate 35 in Hewitt, the cop armed with a .45-caliber handgun, a video camera running in the patrol car.

“I observed a subject that was later identified as Armando Aguilar Jr. exit his truck and place a pistol to the side of his head,” Hewitt police officer Chad Kasting wrote in his report, citing the video he saw, “and then seconds later fire one shot point-blank to the side of his head and then fall to the ground.”

Aguilar’s suicide is one of at least 15 for Fort Hood this year, breaking a post record. When he tumbled face-first to the ground next to a Valero gas pump, his life at an abrupt end, so too, was the promise that comes with youth.

At 26, he enjoyed music. After coming home from Iraq’s deadly highways he was on the road once more, performing and thinking about going to school, but all was not well. As in many soldier suicides, he was grappling with mental problems and was seeking help.

“He was a ticking time bomb already,” said the soldier’s father, Armando G. Aguilar Sr.

The Bay City priest who officiated at the soldier’s funeral and talked of his musical gifts said one family member told him the medicine wasn’t working as it was intended.

“He took it and it affected him in a different way. That’s what I was told,” said Father Garry Cernoch, pastor of Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church in Bay City, who didn’t know Aguilar.

“He had plans for himself, and he was going to try to work on his music abilities,” Cernoch said, adding that the soldier planned to go to college.

Statistics released late last week for the year through August show the Army had recorded 196 confirmed or suspected suicides. Of those, 104 were active-duty soldiers; the rest in the Army Reserve and National Guard.

More than two-thirds of those deaths have been confirmed as suicides.

For Fort Hood, the toll has mounted despite the aggressive efforts of commanders to reduce soldier and family stress. So far this year, the post reports that it has confirmed 13 suicides. Three other deaths remain under investigation.

But statistics provided by the Army show there have been 15 suicides involving Fort Hood soldiers through last month, with one dying in the war zone. All the others killed themselves stateside.

Fort Hood recorded 11 suicides among its troops last year after posting 14 each in 2006, 2007 and 2008.

The San Antonio Express-News has found that in addition to the confirmed suicides listed by Fort Hood this year, at least two other soldiers have killed themselves.

One was Aguilar, 26, a Houston Parkview Baptist School graduate who records show at one time lived in San Antonio. He had family in Blessing, near Bay City, his birthplace.

Sgt. Delquan Robert Matthews, 23, of Brooklyn, N.Y., also committed suicide. Justice of the Peace Bill Cooke said he ruled that Matthews, who served in Iraq from June 2008 to June 2009, shot himself in the head at home in Killeen.

A third case involved a multidrug overdose that claimed the life of a 23-year-old mental health specialist, but it is unclear if a ruling has been issued. The justice of the peace handling that case did not return a phone call.

The Army last year recorded 163 suicides among active-duty troops, a record. The problem has vexed the Pentagon, which has launched mental health and suicide prevention programs and has established task forces in hopes of turning the tide. So far, though, little has changed. As in past years when suicides rose amid frequent deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, the vast majority of the victims are men, with the bulk of the soldiers coming from lower-enlisted ranks.

Last month, all but two of 23 troops committing suicide were men, and just two were officers. Ten were specialists.

Most dying by their own hand do so alone and in private, as Matthews did, but one GI this summer walked into a Subway restaurant in Killeen, went to a restroom and shot himself in the head.

Aguilar died in an incident that began early in the morning Aug. 21 in Bellmead, where he fired two shots into the ground during a domestic dispute.

Aguilar, whose death was ruled a suicide, joined the military nearly three years ago. He became a combat engineer after boot camp and had been assigned to the 87th Sapper Company, 8th Engineer Battalion, 36th Engineer Brigade.

In Iraq, he did one of the Army’s most dangerous jobs: clearing bombs from roads with other troops in a route clearance team.

Sensing that he was depressed in a phone call from Iraq, his wife, Samantha, sent Aguilar’s favorite guitar to the war zone, where he played for the troops.

But when he came home on midterm leave, “he was very jumpy. He was having nightmares about running in the field and being chased,” said his mother, Amelia Aguilar, 45.

His troubles might have begun after a battle buddy he went to basic training with committed suicide while in Iraq. A month or so before committing suicide, “Mondo,” as everybody called Aguilar, thought he was seeing shadows of the dead soldier. He twice tried to overdose and was hospitalized on both occasions, and he once was put on suicide watch after returning from Iraq.

Two weeks before his death, he began taking an antipsychotic medication.

Amelia Aguilar recalled her son saying “‘I’m going to be like this the rest of my life.’

“And I said ‘No, son, they’re going to help you.’”

She added that the gun he used to take his own life was owned by a friend. He took the gun away from the friend after stopping him from committing suicide, she said.

Authorities Plan To Trawl Phone Calls And E Mails For Signs Of “Resentment Toward Government”


Do you resent the government for enforcing Obamacare or raising your taxes? Write about it in an email or talk about it on the phone and you could be placed under surveillance as a potential terrorist, if frightening new technology being shopped to law enforcement agencies is implemented.

Forget pre-crime and get ready for face-crime, Big Brother is set to unleash a new wave of shockingly invasive and Orwellian technology on the American people if a recent symposium in Hamburg New York is anything to go by. Federal agencies, police departments and others were all in attendance to see a demonstration of a system that trawls phone conversations, emails and instant messages to detect “resentment toward government,” alerting authorities to potential “terrorists” who are then placed under surveillance.

The technology was demonstrated to law enforcement officials, mental health professionals, and military representatives at a recent International First Responder-Military Symposium held at Hilbert College.

“A Swiss professor working with a Massachusetts Institute of Technology scientist who heads the Mind Machine Project there outlined how this program operates through computerized scanning of phone calls and electronic messages sent through e-mail and social networking mechanisms,” reports the Buffalo News.

The system works by detecting “resentment in conversations through measurements in decibels and other voice biometrics,” more specifically the emotional spikes that characterize “hatred and deep resentment toward government.”

“As for written transmissions scrutinized by the computer program, it can detect the same patterns of fixation on specified subjects,” states the report.

Once an individual has been identified as harboring “resentment toward government,” the information can be “passed along to authorities so surveillance can begin.”

Besides law enforcement applications, the program is also designed to aid mental health professionals to help “war veterans” become emotionally stable, chillingly implying that distrust or hatred of government, which was hailed by the founding fathers as a vital virtue, is now considered a mental illness.

Of course, this technology completely violates the 4th amendment, but by introducing it as a tool to fight terrorism, authorities hope to skirt around the issue – the problem being that, as we have exhaustively documented, the federal government now sees any political activity whatsoever, be it anti-war protesters on the left, or anti-big government activists on the right, as potential domestic terrorists.

The technology is rationalized by its adherents, who claim that it will help stop terrorists in their tracks, while also being used against ‘troubled veterans and first responders’.

However, the introduction of a program that closely resembles George Orwell’s “facecrime” in 1984 has little to do with fighting extremist Muslims hiding in caves in central Asia, this is all about targeting the American people with total panopticon-style surveillance, while also creating a chilling atmosphere and reminding people that their every conversation, instant message or email is being scanned by super-computers for any sign of extremism or “resentment toward government”.

As we have seen from the MIAC report, the spying case in Pennsylvania, and a host of others in recent years, the federal government defines “terrorist propaganda” as any material critical of the state, therefore any dissent against Big Brother in a phone conversation or an email would automatically trigger the new technology.

This is not only a constitution killer, it represents a hammer blow to free speech. The Internet as a forum of open discourse and free exchange of ideas will be fundamentally damaged if people live in constant fear of being raided by the feds at any minute because they sounded off about the government in an e mail or a posting on a comment board.

Of course, with distrust towards the state touching all time highs, there are millions of Americans who “harbor hatred and deep resentment toward government,” but that doesn’t mean they plan on bombing federal buildings.

The technofascism blog dug up a couple of quotes from George Orwell’s 1984 that almost precisely describe the exact same technology being used in the legendary dystopia about a totalitarian society that constantly hounds, harasses, and surreptitiously spies on its citizens.

“It was terribly dangerous to let your thoughts wander when you were in any public place or within range of a telescreen. The smallest thing could give you away. A nervous tic, an unconscious look of anxiety, a habit of muttering to yourself–anything that carried with it the suggestion of abnormality, of having something to hide. In any case, to wear an improper expression on your face…; was itself a punishable offense. There was even a word for it in Newspeak: facecrime…”

-George Orwell, 1984, Book 1, Chapter 5

“Your worst enemy, he reflected, was your nervous system. At any moment the tension inside you was liable to translate itself into some visible symptom.”

– George Orwell, 1984, Book 1, Chapter 6

Rather than an improper facial expression or nervous tic, which was more within the purview of the equally ludicrous “gait analysis” division of Admiral John Poindexter’s Total Information Office, a program that claimed to be able to identify terrorists by the way they walk, the facecrime technology defines “abnormality” as being critical of the authorities, a frightening throwback to the Soviet psikhushkas — mental hospitals — which were used by the state as prisons in order to isolate political prisoners, discredit their ideas, and break them physically and mentally.

Indeed, the establishment media has intensified its dissemination of talking points that attempt to categorize distrust of authority as a mental disorder.

Although it survives under a number of different names with private sector funding, Total Information Awareness was mothballed by Congress in 2003 after widespread criticism that it would lead to the implementation of a “mass surveillance system”. Facecrime goes a step further, it not only creates a mass surveillance system of all our communications, it also corrodes and corrupts people’s confidence in being able to exercise their first amendment right to express “hatred and resentment toward government,” without being harassed and targeted as domestic terrorists.

Facecrime technology is illegal, immoral, anti-American and something that needs to be ditched permanently if the United States and indeed any free country is to heed George Orwell’s warning and resist the descent into totalitarianism.

“THE GREATEST FRAUD EVER PULLED ON THE AMERICAN PEOPLE”



Please listen. This is an ear full!!!

http://krld.cbslocal.com/author/texasovernight/

Jobless told they owe money to the ESC


BY DAVID BRACKEN – Staff Writer

Thousands of long-term unemployed North Carolinians could soon owe the state money because the Employment Security Commission improperly made about $28 million in payments over the last two years.

Last week, the ESC began sending out letters to about 38,000 people who it has determined were either overpaid or underpaid through no fault of their own.

Recipients, all of whom received unemployment benefits for a year or longer, are getting anywhere from one to six letters depending on the number of times their benefits have been extended.

The final letter has the correct amount due, but the letters often aren’t arriving in the right order. The letters also tell people they can apply for a waiver to have the overpayment forgiven. But the ESC can provide no details on how each wavier will be evaluated.

Despite sending out the letters, the ESC was unable on Monday to provide an estimate of how many people will owe the state money.

“We are hoping a majority of these [final letters] will say zero,” said Larry Parker, an ESC spokesman.

The ESC estimates about 15 percent of recipients were underpaid and will be eligible for additional benefits.

People who do owe money have until Oct. 8 to file the waiver.

“If their waiver’s not approved they would have to owe money back,” Parker said. “But we don’t know how many that’s going to be.”

How did it happen?

Parker said the improper payments are the result of the ESC paying people from the wrong funding sources and thus overdrawing some accounts and aren’t the result of incorrectly calculating individuals’ benefits. But he was unable to explain how the accounting problems might result in some people owing the state money.

“It’s really very hard to explain,” he said. “It gets really tricky just because of how the program evolved since July of 2008.”

Since July 2008, the federal government has approved a series of unemployment benefit extensions and North Carolina has qualified for an additional extension because of its high unemployment rate.

The ESC has been criticized at times during the economic downturn for being slow to verify unemployment claims and frustrating job seekers with delays. The ESC paid out about $42 million in unemployment benefits last week alone.

Parker said all of the 38,000 people who received letters still have active unemployment claims.

A bemused recipient

But Nikki Winterholler, 35, of Raleigh, who stopped collecting benefits Aug. 1, said she has received two letters since Saturday. The first said she was overpaid $390 for the period April 24 to May 29.

The second, which arrived Monday, said she owed $569 for the period from March 6 to April 17.

Winterholler said she has tried in vain to make sense of the numbers and plans to apply for a waiver. Having just found a job after being unemployed for 18 months, she said this was the last thing she needs.

“Now I’ve got these people, who are supposed to help us, wanting more money back,” Winterholler said. “It’s like, ‘What on earth?'”

In addition to the letters, the ESC posted a message on its website that said “the improper payments are being corrected with little impact on individuals in most cases.”

Those with questions were told to contact the commission by e-mail.

Winterholler said the ESC’s handling of the issue made her wonder whether it’s being swamped by all the unemployed people in the state.

“It think they are so overwhelmed over there that they don’t know what’s going on,” she said.

david.bracken@newsobserver.com or 919-829-4548

Read more: http://www.newsobserver.com/2010/09/28/706737/jobless-told-they-owe-money-to.html#ixzz10pUUT9QQ