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Friday, December 14, 2007
YAHOO MAIN PAGE: Mercury in mascara? Minnesota law bans it
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A model applies mascara in the backstage of the Emilio Pucci Spring/Summer 2008 collection in Milan, Italy, in this Thursday, Sept. 27. 2007 file photo. The quest for thicker eyelashes should get safer in Minnesota on Jan. 1, 2008 when the state bans mercury from mascara, eye liners and skin-lightening creams. The state apparently is the first in the nation to ban intentionally added mercury. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
Mercury in mascara? Minn. law bans it
By MARTIGA LOHN, Associated Press Writer Fri Dec 14, 6:13 AM ET
ST. PAUL, Minn. - The quest for thicker lashes and defined eyes should get safer in Minnesota on Jan. 1, when a state law banning mercury from mascara, eye liners and skin-lightening creams takes effect.
Minnesota apparently is the first state in the nation to ban intentionally added mercury in cosmetics, giving it a tougher standard than the federal government.
Retailers who knowingly sell mercury-containing cosmetics in Minnesota could face fines of as much as $700. Penalties could reach $10,000 for manufacturers who fail to disclose mercury on product labels, according to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.
"Mercury does cause neurological damage to people even in tiny quantities," said Sen. John Marty, the Democrat from Roseville who sponsored the ban. "Every source of mercury adds to it. We wanted to make sure it wasn't here."
Most makeup manufacturers have phased out the use of mercury, but it's still added legally to some eye products as a preservative and germ-killer, said John Bailey, chief scientist with the Personal Care Products Council in Washington. That group doesn't track mercury in beauty products and favors a national approach to regulating cosmetics, instead of laws that vary from state to state.
Federal law allows eye products to contain up to 65 parts per million of mercury. The exposure a person would get from a product used in small quantities around the eyes would not cause a problem, Bailey said.
"It's added at very low levels, and for good reason," he said.
No other state has specifically gone after mercury in cosmetics, said Stacy Malkan with the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics in Berkeley, Calif. Connecticut, Rhode Island and Louisiana ban products containing more than low levels of mercury, with some exceptions. New York and Illinois prohibit consumer products with mercury, such as figurines, toys and jewelry.
"Personal care products contain many problematic chemicals," Malkan said. "Many ingredients aren't listed on the labels."
Minnesota's cosmetics provision is part of a larger ban targeting better-known sources of mercury, such as thermostats, barometers, industrial switches and medical devices. The law also covers toiletries, fragrances and over-the-counter drugs such as eye drops, nasal sprays, hemorrhoid treatments and antiseptics.
State pollution regulators said they don't know how many beauty products containing mercury are sold in Minnesota.
The new law is intended as a warning to cosmetics manufacturers not to use mercury, said John Gilkeson, with the state Pollution Control Agency's toxics reduction program. Enforcement will happen mainly when consumers complain.
Using eye makeup with mercury is unlikely to cause immediate health problems, but mercury accumulates in the body, so consumers should avoid exposure whenever possible, said Carl Herbrandson, a toxicologist with the state Health Department.
"Mercury is bad, basically in all forms that get into the body," Herbrandson said.
Mercury can retard brain development in children and fetuses, who are most vulnerable to the metal's toxic effects. But it can also cause neurological symptoms in adults.
Mercury fumes can collect inside a jar of skin cream or a tube of mascara, and a person could inhale them when the container is opened, Herbrandson said.
Imported skin-lightening creams and soaps with high levels of mercury have been found in other states; they are illegal under federal law. Herbrandson said skin products with mercury are more dangerous than mercury-containing eye makeup because people apply larger quantities to their bodies.
On the Net:
Minnesota Pollution Control Agency: http://www.pca.state.mn.us
Personal Care Products Council: http://www.personalcarecouncil.org
Campaign for Safe Cosmetics: http://www.safecosmetics.org
DEC 16th - TeaParty07.com: "MONEY" RON PAULITICS vs. VEGAS 2-1 ODDS vs. VACCSCREAMS: Bet On Freedom! :-)
CIA Torture Jet crashed with 4 Tons of COCAINE
DEC 16th - TeaParty07.com: "MONEY" RON PAULITICS vs. VEGAS 2-1 ODDS vs. VACCSCREAMS: Bet On Freedom! :-)
Merry Christmas, it's a great time to remember who and what is important.
We are split into groups to fight and avoid the truth, but we can change that.
We are distracted from learning what's truly important, but we can change that.
We are happier when we're moving in the right direction, which is happening now.
We should support people supporting us, not the people who've lied to us before.
We should find news sources that tell us what credible whistleblowers are saying.
We should give up the fake Left vs. Right fights that get us to support different liars.
We should be individuals who are willing to know rather than believe what the truth is.
We should all realize our dreams of freedom, peace and prosperity for the world.
We should all realize that history shows people have always fought for their rights.
We should all work for de-centralized power and honest money to control our lives.
We should all work for President Ron Paul since we'll have an honest man in charge.
:::: (((( RON PAUL REVOLUTION )))) ::::
December 16th is the day we should all donate for President Ron Paul at TeaParty07.com.
It's the day we should stop saying "he can't win" just because the people want him to.
It's the day we should stop saying "he can't win" just because the media tells us to.
If he can't win then we can't win.
If he wins then we win.
It's simple and easy to repeat.
It's simple and easy for all of us working together to make happen.
Whether we know the big picture or not we can change our lives for the better.
Whether we think we know the odds or not the professional odds-makers know better.
President Ron Paul - http://www.ronpaul2008.com/
President Ron Paul Donation Day - http://www.teaparty07.com/
President Ron Paul Fans Got A Blimp - http://www.ronpaulblimp.com/
Odds Say 2/1 Ron Paul Will Smash $10 Million Barrier In One Day Donations
How will the mainstream media spin away such an astounding show of support for the Texas Congressman?
Infowars.net | Steve Watson | Dec 13, 2007
Betting odds on how much money Ron Paul's campaign will raise in one day this Sunday suggest that bookies believe the Congressman could easily break the $10 million mark and stun his constant detractors by raising close to $20 million in the fourth quarter.
(Ed note: With literally billions of dollars riding on their predictions this is huge news.)
President Ron Paul has been fighting for freedom or against corruption despite many 500 - 1 votes.
President Ron Paul has been well-liked by his peers as a courageous and principled man.
Based on his new rock-star status either he was always wrong or righter than ever.
It's the latter.
De-centralized power and honest money are needed for freedom and prosperity.
President Ron Paul knows that and is prepared to make it happen.
NOTE: There's more information about President Ron Paul and other issues below, but first we have to understand the problem with "believing" instead of "knowing" what the truth is based on the "Left vs. Right" fights we're supposed to have. Following the U.S. Constitution would solve these problems by fighting the centralized power and economic control it was designed against. This is where President Ron Paul comes in, the only presidential candidate who refers to it.
We can't afford to accept our brainwashing while so many attacks on our minds, bodies, souls and bank accounts are taking place. We can't afford to let the media hang us with their willful ignorance. We have governments and corporations raping and torturing the planet. If it continues everyone will be victimized. We need to continue to speak out louder than ever to wake everyone else up. We need to learn just how good it feels to do something worth doing.
The "I have a right to my opinion!" crap happened especially during the 2004 Bush vs. Kerry elections where "Red/Blue" households were normalized, or people refusing to listen to members of their own family. The trick is teaching us to feel smarter for defending what we've learned by not listening to others instead of improving on it. This is what stupid kids do. Smart kids are curious and rewarded with knowledge and power. We need curiosity.
The people who believed the Right about IraqAfghanistan have killed millions in depleted-uranium soaked hell-hole theatres of war. The people who believed the Left about the UN have killed millions with global taxing, trade and green-schemes that have impoverished the Third World they supposedly care about. Both the mainstream and indie Right and Left ignore the North American Union. Wake up, figure it out and find the truth.
The End of America: Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot (Paperback)
by Naomi Wolf
List Price: $13.95 Price: $11.16 & eligible for FREE Super Saver Shipping on orders over $25. Details You Save: $2.79 (20%)
"You will be shocked and disturbed by this book. Most Americans reject outright any comparison of post 9/11 America with the fascism and totalitarianism of Nazi Germany or Pinochet’s Chile. Sadly, the parallels and similarities, what Wolf calls the ‘echoes’ between those societies and America today, are all too compelling."
- Michael Ratner, Center for Constitutional Rights
From Hitler to Pinochet and beyond, history shows there are certain steps that any would-be dictator must take to destroy constitutional freedoms. And, argues Naomi Wolf, George Bush and his administration seem to be taking them all
The Guardian | Naomi Wolf | April 24, 2007
...If you look at history, you can see that there is essentially a blueprint for turning an open society into a dictatorship. That blueprint has been used again and again in more and less bloody, more and less terrifying ways. But it is always effective. It is very difficult and arduous to create and sustain a democracy - but history shows that closing one down is much simpler. You simply have to be willing to take the 10 steps.
As difficult as this is to contemplate, it is clear, if you are willing to look, that each of these 10 steps has already been initiated today in the United States by the Bush administration.
Because Americans like me were born in freedom, we have a hard time even considering that it is possible for us to become as unfree - domestically - as many other nations. Because we no longer learn much about our rights or our system of government - the task of being aware of the constitution has been outsourced from citizens' ownership to being the domain of professionals such as lawyers and professors - we scarcely recognise the checks and balances that the founders put in place, even as they are being systematically dismantled.
Because we don't learn much about European history, the setting up of a department of "homeland" security - remember who else was keen on the word "homeland" - didn't raise the alarm bells it might have.
It is my argument that, beneath our very noses, George Bush and his administration are using time-tested tactics to close down an open society. It is time for us to be willing to think the unthinkable - as the author and political journalist Joe Conason, has put it, that it can happen here. And that we are further along than we realise.
There are numerous valid alternatives to the conventional family unit.
But we are forgetting the value of male influence?
The Guardian | Libby Brooks | December 5, 2007
....Much has been written lately about the commodification of love, and the way consumer culture has inflated our expectations of relationships to an unmanageable degree. We are encouraged to consider partners as wish-list fulfillers and, when they fail to do so, as disposable. The modern premium on autonomy and self-determination does not sit easily with the loosening (rather than lowering) of expectations, the toleration of uncertainty and compromise necessary for sustaining intimacy and providing a platform for parenthood...
...This may be because popular culture has offered us an increasingly infantilised version of masculinity - from Nick Hornby's neurotic man-boys to the slacker dudes of Hollywood director Judd Apatow. Partnership and parenthood, responsibility and security, are set up as emasculating rather than instrumental to adult flourishing. And consumer culture works in tandem with this trend, thriving on the insecurities that drive us to buy more products.
Consortium News | Robert Parry | December 13, 2007
U.S. forces in Iraq soon will be equipped with high-tech equipment that will let them process an Iraqi’s biometric data in minutes and help American soldiers decide whether they should execute the person or not, according to its inventor.
"A war fighter needs to know one of three things: Do I let him go? Keep him? Or shoot him on the spot?” Pentagon weapons designer Anh Duong told the Washington Post for a feature on how this 47-year-old former Vietnamese refugee and mother of four rose to become a top U.S. bomb-maker.
Though Duong is best known for designing high-explosives used to destroy hardened targets, she also supervised the Joint Expeditionary Forensics Facilities project, known as a “lab in a box” for analyzing biometric data, such as iris scans and fingerprints, that have been collected on more than one million Iraqis.
The labs - collapsible, 20-by-20-foot units each with a generator and a satellite link to a biometric data base in West Virginia - will let U.S. forces cross-check data in the field against information collected previously that can be used to identify insurgents. These labs are expected to be deployed across Iraq in early 2008.
Duong said the next step will be to shrink the lab to the size of a “backpack” so soldiers who encounter a suspect “could find out within minutes” if he’s on a terrorist watch list and should be killed.
:::: (((( GLOBAL WHORING TAX )))) ::::
If you care about the "only planet we have" then you'll figure this out.
If you care about the "environment" you'll see who's been destroying it.
If you care about the "green revolution" you'll make sure it's going to work.
The groups in Bali are the governments and corporations destroying the world.
The Kyoto Protocols are a global taxing scheme that will soon make all of us poor.
The planet will not be saved by listening to liars selling us fake solutions on purpose.
Over 100 Prominent Scientists Challenge UN Move For Global Carbon Tax
Experts dismiss agenda as "futile," bureaucratic scheme that will increase human suffering
Prison Planet | Paul Joseph Watson | December 14, 2007
The UN has officially announced what the fearmongering about man-made global warming has been designed to justify all along - a global carbon tax which will do nothing to reduce carbon emissions but everything to feed the trough of world government. Over one hundred prominent scientists signed a letter dismissing the move as a futile bureaucratic scheme which will diminish prosperity and increase human suffering...
Following a discussion entitled “A Global CO2 Tax," a UN panel yesterday urged the adoption of “a global burden sharing system, fair, with solidarity, and legally binding to all nations,” to impose a tax on plant food (CO2).
Othmar Schwank, one of the participants, said that the U.S. and other wealthy nations need to “contribute significantly more to this global fund." He also added, “It is very essential to tax coal.”
The bounty from this $40 billion dollars a year windfall will go straight into the coffers of a UN controlled "Multilateral Adaptation Fund".
What we see unfolding in Bali is one of the major final stepping stones on the road to a complete globalist stranglehold on reducing the living standards of everyone in the industrialized world, and a scheme to prevent the third world from ever lifting itself out of poverty.
Seven years ago former French President Jacques Chirac said the UN’s Kyoto Protocol represented "the first component of an authentic global governance." The imminent agreement arising out of the Bali summit will be one of the final nails in the coffin aimed at decimating the middle class and the right of free people to strive for prosperity and happiness without laboring under suffocating serfdom imposed by unelected elitists.
As MIT climate scientist Dr. Richard Lindzen warned earlier this year, "Controlling carbon is a bureaucrat's dream. If you control carbon, you control life."
Lindzen is one of over 100 prominent scientists who have signed a letter slamming the UN move as a futile bureaucratic scheme, pointing out the results of a recent study in the International Journal of Climatology which concludes that climate change over the past thirty years is largely a result of solar activity and that attempts to reduce carbon dioxide emissions are irrelevant.
In the letter addressed to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, the scientists state, “Attempts to prevent global climate change from occurring are ultimately futile, and constitute a tragic misallocation of resources that would be better spent on humanity's real and pressing problems.”
"It is not possible to stop climate change, a natural phenomenon that has affected humanity through the ages. Geological, archaeological, oral and written histories all attest to the dramatic challenges posed to past societies from unanticipated changes in temperature, precipitation, winds and other climatic variables. We therefore need to equip nations to become resilient to the full range of these natural phenomena by promoting economic growth and wealth generation."
"The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has issued increasingly alarming conclusions about the climatic influences of human-produced carbon dioxide (CO2), a non-polluting gas that is essential to plant photosynthesis. While we understand the evidence that has led them to view CO2 emissions as harmful, the IPCC's conclusions are quite inadequate as justification for implementing policies that will markedly diminish future prosperity. In particular, it is not established that it is possible to significantly alter global climate through cuts in human greenhouse gas emissions. On top of which, because attempts to cut emissions will slow development, the current UN approach of CO2 reduction is likely to increase human suffering from future climate change rather than to decrease it."
The letter goes into detail about several conclusions of the IPCC report that are completely contradicted by recent major scientific studies.
Listed below are the names and credentials of the 100 scientists who signed the letter, again dispelling the myth that the man-made explanation behind global warming is an overwhelming"consensus" view.
We should give up futile attempts to combat climate change
The National Post | December 12, 2007
Open Letter to the Secretary-General of the United Nations
Dec. 13, 2007
His Excellency Ban Ki-Moon
Secretary-General, United Nations
New York, N.Y.
Dear Mr. Secretary-General,
Re: UN climate conference taking the World in entirely the wrong direction
It is not possible to stop climate change, a natural phenomenon that has affected humanity through the ages. Geological, archaeological, oral and written histories all attest to the dramatic challenges posed to past societies from unanticipated changes in temperature, precipitation, winds and other climatic variables. We therefore need to equip nations to become resilient to the full range of these natural phenomena by promoting economic growth and wealth generation.
The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has issued increasingly alarming conclusions about the climatic influences of human-produced carbon dioxide (CO2), a non-polluting gas that is essential to plant photosynthesis. While we understand the evidence that has led them to view CO2 emissions as harmful, the IPCC's conclusions are quite inadequate as justification for implementing policies that will markedly diminish future prosperity. In particular, it is not established that it is possible to significantly alter global climate through cuts in human greenhouse gas emissions. On top of which, because attempts to cut emissions will slow development, the current UN approach of CO2 reduction is likely to increase human suffering from future climate change rather than to decrease it..
...The current UN focus on "fighting climate change," as illustrated in the Nov. 27 UN Development Programme's Human Development Report, is distracting governments from adapting to the threat of inevitable natural climate changes, whatever forms they may take. National and international planning for such changes is needed, with a focus on helping our most vulnerable citizens adapt to conditions that lie ahead. Attempts to prevent global climate change from occurring are ultimately futile, and constitute a tragic misallocation of resources that would be better spent on humanity's real and pressing problems.
[List of signatories]
Copy to: Heads of state of countries of the signatory persons.
NOW talks to Congressman Ron Paul and his supporters across the country about Paul’s surprisingly popular run for the Republican nomination, led in large part by people acting on their own without help from Ron Paul or his campaign.
(Ed note: This story is pretty good, though PBS is usually doesn't tell the truth either. The media is not unified like "The Borg" on Star Trek, but the people at the top are all members of the Bilderberg Group, Council on Foreign Relations and other multi-national groups that run the world together. They control what's being said by six corporations pushing lies to distract and fool us.
Good journalists are trapped among crooks (owners), kooks (bubbleheadsellouts) and spooks (editors) and learn what they should do to keep their jobs like anyone else at work. When they've achieved success it's usually because they played-ball, while even after that it's tough as Dan Rather's firing over a story about Bush skipping his National Guard service showed.
Journalists know that promoting Hitlery, O'Bomber, Deadwards, Ghouliani, Bombney, Suckabee and other establishment candidates is encouraged, which is why random sniping and nonsense between Clinton-Obama is played up while real issues are ignored. They know that if they promote Ron Paul they usually have to attack him too.
A recent USA Today piece below titled "Ron Paul's YouTube rants about Bernanke grab attention" is a perfect example, with the author and editor ripping Ron Paul while also including links to the videos so you could see for yourself why he's right. The more the public talk about something the more journalists can report on it as a reflection of interest, so we have to make their jobs easier to make our lives easier since they control most public opinion.)
Ron Paul's YouTube rants about Bernanke grab attention
The Texas Republican wants to abolish the Fed.
USA Today | Sue Kirchhoff | December 12, 2007
WASHINGTON - Texas Congressman Ron Paul is getting help from an improbable source in his long-shot bid for the Republican presidential nomination: Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke.
Video clips of Paul - who supports the gold standard and has sponsored a bill to abolish the Fed - ripping into Bernanke at congressional hearings are getting hundreds of thousands of hits on the video-sharing website YouTube.
ROUND 1 (VIDEO): Ron Paul lets loose on Bernanke (YouTube)
ROUND 2 (VIDEO): Ron Paul lets loose on Bernanke (YouTube)
The Paul tongue lashings (they can't really be termed question-and-answer sessions, as Bernanke barely gets a word in edgewise) have also been posted to other websites by Paul backers.
In the footage Paul, a physician by training, warns Bernanke, a Ph.D. economist and former chairman of Princeton's economics department, that he is shoveling too much money into the economy.
Paul's charges may be serving to pump up the amount of cash flowing into his own campaign coffers. Comments posted with the videos include requests that viewers donate to Paul. The Texas lawmaker has raised more than $10.6 million in the fourth quarter, double the third quarter's total of $5.28 million.
The maverick lawmaker just months ago was little known beyond supporters in such political groups as the Libertarian Party or the Constitution Party.
But Paul has developed a grass-roots following, with rising poll numbers.
"This monetary issue finally is starting to rise to the forefront," says Jesse Benton, Paul campaign national press secretary. "It is the most defining issue of the campaign."
The Paul-Bernanke clips have headlines such as "Free Market Smackdown" "Ron Paul Speaks to Legalized Plunder by Moneyed Monster: FED" or "Ron Paul Ownz the Federal Reserve." There's a music video juxtaposing photos of former Fed chairman Alan Greenspan and Bernanke with quotes from Paul on the dangers of current policy.
Another clip attracting tens of thousands of viewers is a CNBC segment analyzing Bernanke's November testimony to Congress, including a reporter noting financial traders cheered Paul's remarks.
The videos don't have the pull of other YouTube political favorites, such as Obama Girl: a musical love note to Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois, sung by an alluring young woman, which has been viewed more than 4 million times.
Still, the Paul-Bernanke viewership is more than respectable, given the main characters are two guys in suits and the subject matter includes the MZM measure of the money supply, government wholesale and retail inflation gauges and the value of the dollar.
The Paul segments are among the most-viewed YouTube clips of Bernanke, whose careful, understated appearances purposely lack the bombast needed to become web classics.
(Ed note: Notice the efforts to both promote and undercut Ron Paul? This is the only way most journalists can get away with writing about him.)
What would it cost to buy the support of just about every nationally-syndicated neocon talk show host in America? About $19.5 Billion, which is what Mitt Romney’s private equity firm, Bain Capital, and Thomas H. Lee Partners have agreed to pay in a leveraged buyout agreement with Clear Channel Communications, the largest radio station owner in the country.
(Ed note: Ron Paul needs us to get his message out to the masses thanks to unprecedented censorship.)
Ron Paul Scrubbed From Glenn Beck Poll
Prison Planet | December 12, 2007
Neo-Con CNN hack Glenn Beck, who recently called Ron Paul supporters a potential physical threat that should be dealt with by the U.S. military, has conveniently scrubbed the popular Congressman’s name from his website poll which asks who will win the Republican nomination.
(Ed note: Ron Paul sees this happen to keep the "he can't win" talking point alive, but it's not true since he wins most polls unless they're pulled. He's won them on local, state and national levels. He's won every debate. He's won every heart and mind he could find. Don't believe the liars - surprise - they're lying again.)
Ron Paul Warns Middle Class Being "Wiped Out" In Final Debate
Congressman calls inflation "most evil tax"
Prison Planet | Paul Joseph Watson | December 13, 2007
In the final Republican debate before the 2008 primaries, Congressman Ron Paul slammed the destruction of the dollar, warning that inflation was wiping out the middle class, while also pointing out that Americans did not need to reduce their standard of living so long as a foreign policy of funding a ballooning empire was changed.
"The most sinister of all tax is the inflation tax and it is the most regressive - it hits the poor and the middle class," said the Congressman.
"When you destroy a currency by creating money out of thin air to pay the bills, the value of the dollar goes down and people get hit with a higher cost of living - it's the middle class that is being wiped out - it is the most evil of all taxes," he added.
Watch the highlights of the Congressman's responses during the debate in Iowa.
Speaking on the issue of the economy, Paul said that America was in the midst of a currency crisis because it had spent well beyond its means attempting to maintain an empire, but that didn't mean the American people should sacrifice their living standards to foot the bill.
"I think it's absolutely unnecessary to sacrifice, we want to give people more freedom, more chance to spend their own money - we can cut by looking at our foreign policy, we maintain an empire which we can't afford - we have 700 bases overseas, we are in 130 countries - we cut there - and then we have a better defense of this country and the people get that money and get to spend it here at home," said Paul.
With the debates over, the focus now shifts to this weekend's massive fundraising drive in the guise of the 2007 Tea Party.
Betting analysts predict that the Congressman is set to make $6-10 million on one day - the 16th - which would eclipse John Kerry's $5.7 million in one day record.
(Ed note: The Kerry day was full of mass media coverage, corporate donations and people sick of his Skull and Bones buddy Bush, who he then threw the election for. Ron Paul is ignored by most media, getting most of his money from ordinary people and is not a member of any secret or semi-secret societies. The difference is us.)
Individual rights give us the right to control what you put in your body.
Individual groups are trying to give us the information we need to keep them.
Individual people need to think about who benefits from giving out free information.
Individual people are valuable as a check on collective mistakes we've made for years.
I interviewed a holistic nutrition and real health professional who asked me how I knew - as an honest journalist - who was telling the truth. I told him one way is I've never heard of any alternative medicine or nutrition practicioners leaving their profession and calling it complete crap, but I'd be open to listening. I told him I've heard of lots of doctors do it very well. Whistleblowers mostly ignored and left unprotected by the mass media since "Erin Brockovich" are a great way to figure it out too.
It's one thing to listen to people who have opinions on professions, it's another to listen to people who used to work there come clean, or the people who quote them. They have information and show courage and character we can learn from as long as we don't think being smart is simply defending what we've learned. This is the ignorant way we're taught to (not) think today, making us dumber, more isolated and paranoid. We can change this if we know how, which we do now.
One good example is Dr. Richard Harris, the charming former editor of the British Medical Journal for 25 years who wrote a book called "The Trouble with Medical Journals" (2006) about the influence of money on healthcare practices and dangers to patients. In a recent talk called "Can The Public Trust Medical Journals?" (Nov 21, 2007 - U of T) he said he tried to figure out why Britain's doctors were so miserable. It's because they made people sicker.
The Trouble with Medical Journals
Richard Smith Chief Executive, United Healthcare Europe. Formerly Editor, BMJ, and Chief Executive, BMJ Publishing Group.
£19.95, 978-1-85315-673-1, 256pp, Paperback, September 2006
Topic covered include: Libel and medical journals; Patients and medical journals; Medical journals and the mass media; Medical journals and pharmaceutical companies: uneasy bedfellows; Editorial independence; misconduct; and accountability; Ethical support and accountability for journals; Peer review: a flawed process and Conflicts of interest: how money clouds objectivity.
"This is a unique offering by the former BMJ editor- challenging, comprehensive and controversial. This must be the most controversial medical book of the 21st Century."
- John Illman, MJA News
"Lively, full of anecdote and he [Smith] is brutally honest."
- British Journal of Hospital Medicine
People controlled by corrupt psychopaths who sicken and kill us can harm us easily.
People with million dollar lifestyles are not going to give them up easily.
People with respect in society are not going to give it up easily.
People weakened by hypocrisy are controlled easily.
People need our help to save us more easily.
People who tell us to eat better often don't own grocery stores and do it for the public good.
This is something we can only do in advance, which is spread the word.
This is an important warning about the new dangers of mandatory vaccines.
This is an important opportunity to act like people who care about each other.
This is an important chance to speak for people who may not learn how to speak.
A Proposal to Require Flu Vaccines for Preschool
The New York Times | Jill P. Capuzzo | December 9, 2007
The New Jersey Public Health Council is expected to vote tomorrow on a rule that would require flu vaccines for any child entering day care or preschool. If it is approved, New Jersey would become the first state in the country to impose that mandate. The flu vaccine is one of four that the council will consider.
(Ed note: Using the word "mandate" is how to introduce the term "mandatory" to vaccines to make it a new normal.)
Bush Set to Veto HHS-Labor-Education Appropriations Bill Due to Provision to Remove Mercury From Infant Vaccines
SafeMinds and autism community call the White House declaration 'irresponsible and dangerous'
WASHINGTON, July 18/PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- According to the Congressional Quarterly, the White House stated on Tuesday that President Bush would veto the HHS-Labor-Education Appropriations Bill because of the cost and "objectionable provisions" such as a measure to ban the use of childhood flu vaccines that contain thimerosal, a mercury-based preservative.
Autism advocacy groups are outraged because President Bush stated in a questionnaire during his 2004 campaign: "I support the removal of Thimerosal from vaccines on the childhood national vaccine schedule. During a second term as President, I will continue to support increased funding to support a wide variety of research initiatives aimed at seeking definitive causes and/or triggers of autism. It is important to note that while there are many possible theories about causes or triggers of autism, no one material has been definitely included or excluded."
But since 2005, President Bush has steadfastly refused to issue an Executive Order banning high amounts of mercury in vaccines that would protect children and pregnant women despite repeated requests from the autism community that he uphold his campaign promise. Under his current administration, mercury has been and will continue to be knowingly injected into the youngest of American citizens. The controversial mercury-containing preservative thimerosal has been linked by thousands of parents as being the cause of their children's mercury poisoning and autism.
(Ed note: When Bush vetoes a ban on mercury we know it's still in there and should listen to vaccine critics.)
You are about to find out what I never wanted to know about vaccines. I would love to be proven wrong about what I have discovered. So please, if you have information to the contrary, share it with me. To read my research, go to the cover page then follow the page numbers. Each one of the pictures on this page represents a page. You can use them to navigate as well. When you are finished reading it, let me know what you think.
Thanks, Wendy Callahan
(Ed note: This is one of many groups providing information for free, so ask who benefits from them spending time doing this, it's not billion-dollar Big Pharmacide.)
Vaccination doubts on the rise
A small but rising number of parents opt out for their children, citing side-effect risk and other fears.
More parents are citing philosophical reasons for deciding not to immunize their children.
Maine Today | Ann S. Kim | December 9, 2007
An organic diet free of processed foods, chiropractic adjustments, plenty of exercise and rest are among the things Meg Pickering thinks her children need for their health.
Immunizations don't make the list.
(Ed note: As Jenny McCarthy noted on Oprah, she almost cured her sons autism with changes in diet, something we should always look for instead of drugs. It's too bad about Oprah, she got hit with a pedophile scandal at her South African school shortly after, probably as a warning. The article above is valuable but misleading reminder of how our culture decides to "believe" instead of "know" stuff, which makes us easier to fool into fighting about nonsense. The objective truth can only be found when all sides are presented in a clear and concise manner. Vaccines do no proven good and lots of proven harm. That's it. Once you know that start reading the same articles to see how they carefully phrase things and you'll realize it too.)
Family says son is fighting unnecessary military mandate
Prior Lake American | Shawn Hogendorf | November 21, 2007
:::: (((( THE WAR ON DRUGS IS FAKE )))) ::::
President Ron Paul would end the fake War on Drugs that's cost over $700 billion since the 1970's while putting millions of people in jail for non-violent crimes. It's always been an excuse to set up a police state and control people easier. Drug abuse should be treated like alcohol abuse, with local programs focused on ending addiction instead of federal programs focused on incarceration.
This is an article about the legendary Gary Webb, a courageous journalist for the San Jose Mercury News who broke open the story of the CIA bringing drugs into America to fund rebels in Nicaragua, destroy the inner-cities with crack, and line their own pockets. The Iran-Contra scandal taking place just 20 years ago, so it's worth noting since most of the criminals involved are still in charge.
Following that is an article about Blackwater, the private mercenary army of the oligarchy. While it's not discussed much now, we used to know the world was run by multi-national corporations. They owe their allegiance to no country's laws and hire private security firms to defend their executives and destroy opposition in Third World countries they plunder. They are all being trained for use against us.
It's a lot of information, but once we know it we can put the rumors to rest and focus on solutions. The biggest one is to spread the word until everyone knows how to get empowered enough to figure them out. We are at the most dangerous point in history in facing the technology and armies ready to kill and enslave humanity. We need to use the freedom we have now to ensure we can save ourselves.
Find people who tell the truth so you can tell the truth, then tell it to everybody you can until we all know.
"Blame Reagan for making me 'to a monster / Blame Oliver North / Iran-Contra / I ran contraband / That they sponsored..."
- Jay-Z, "Blue Magic" from American Gangster
CIA Torture Jet wrecks with 4 Tons of COCAINE
December 13, 2007 Filed Under News Feed |
This Florida based Gulfstream II jet aircraft # N987SA crash landed on September 24, 2007 after it ran out of fuel over Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula it had a cargo of several tons of Cocaine on board now documents have turned up on both sides of the Atlantic that link this Cocaine Smuggling Gulfstream II jet aircraft # N987SA that crashed in Mexico
A Gulfstream II jet that crash landed in Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula in late September bearing a load of nearly four tons of cocaine. This particular Gulfstream II (tail number N987SA), was used between 2003 and 2005 by the CIA for at least three trips between the U.S. east coast and Guantanamo Bay - home to the infamous "terrorist" prison camp - according to a number of press reports.
3 min video
Gary Webb’s Enduring Legacy
Consortium News | Robert Parry | December 11, 2007
Three years ago, I walked into my home in Arlington, Virginia, and checked my phone messages. One was from a Los Angeles Times reporter who was looking for a comment from me about Gary Webb’s suicide on the night of Dec. 9, 2004. It was the first I had heard of the news.
After I recovered from the shock, I called the reporter back to get more details. I also told him he would have a hard time writing a decent obituary on Webb because the L.A. Times had never acknowledged that Webb was substantially correct in his reporting about the Nicaraguan contras’ role in smuggling cocaine into the United States in the 1980s.
Though Los Angeles had been hit hard by the “crack epidemic” and the L.A. Times had devoted front-page space to trash Webb’s contra-cocaine reporting in 1996, the newspaper never ran a story detailing the CIA inspector general’s 1998 findings, which confirmed much of what Webb had alleged - and more.
The CIA inspector general found that not only had the contras helped the cocaine cartels get their goods into the United States, but that the CIA and the Reagan administration had helped cover up the evidence.
However, to have written that story in 1998, the L.A. Times editors would have had to admit they had wronged Webb two years earlier when they bought into the ongoing government cover stories about the innocence of the Reagan administration and the CIA.
It was much easier for the L.A. Times to ignore the findings of the CIA’s own inspector general and to maintain the fiction that Webb was just a reckless reporter who had gotten the contra-cocaine story all wrong.
That decision by the L.A. Times - when combined with the abusive treatment Webb received from other major news outlets and his betrayal by his own editors at the San Jose Mercury News - had sent Webb’s life into a downward spiral that ended with him shooting himself with his father’s handgun.
On Dec. 10, 2004, I told the L.A. Times reporter that since his newspaper had never reported on the CIA’s admissions, he could not put Webb’s death in any honest context. So, I was not surprised the next day when the L.A. Times published a nasty obituary that treated Webb as if he had been a common criminal rather than a fellow journalist.
The Washington Post republished the graceless L.A. Times obit - and it quickly hardened into the official judgment on Gary Webb.
Yet, today, when trying to understand how the United States ended up with a national press corps that so eagerly passed on government propaganda about Iraq’s WMD and other lies, it is worth recalling the story of Gary Webb and the contra-cocaine scandal.
Webb’s death in 2004 had its roots in his fateful decision eight years earlier to write a three-part series for the San Jose Mercury News that challenged a potent conventional wisdom shared by the elite U.S. news organizations – that one of the most shocking scandals of the 1980s just couldn’t be true.
Webb’s “Dark Alliance” series, published in August 1996, revived the decade-old allegations that the Reagan administration in the 1980s had tolerated and protected cocaine smuggling by its client army of Nicaraguan rebels known as the contras.
Though substantial evidence of the contra crimes had surfaced in the mid-1980s (initially in an article that Brian Barger and I wrote for the Associated Press in December 1985 and later at hearings conducted by Sen. John Kerry), the major news outlets had bent to pressure from the Reagan administration and refused to take the disclosures seriously.
Reflecting the dominant attitude toward Kerry and his work on the contra-cocaine scandal, Newsweek even dubbed the Massachusetts senator a “randy conspiracy buff.” [For details, see Consortiumnews.com’s “Kerry’s Contra-Cocaine Chapter” or Robert Parry’s Lost History: Contras, Cocaine, the Press & Project Truth.]
Thus, the ugly reality of the contra-cocaine scandal was left in that netherworld of uncertainty, largely proven with documents and testimony but never accepted by Official Washington, including its premier news organizations, such as the New York Times and the Washington Post.
But Webb’s series thrust the scandal back into prominence by connecting the contra-cocaine trafficking to the spread of crack that ravaged Los Angeles and other American urban centers in the 1980s. For that reason, African-American communities were up in arms as were their elected representatives in the Congressional Black Caucus.
So, Webb’s “Dark Alliance” series offered a unique opportunity for the major news outlets to finally give the contra-cocaine scandal the attention it deserved.
But that would have required some painful self-criticism among Washington journalists whose careers had advanced in part because they had not offended Reagan supporters who had made an art out of punishing out-of-step reporters for pursuing controversies like the contra-cocaine scandal.
Also, by the mid-1990s, a powerful right-wing news media had taken shape and was in no mood to accept the notion that many of President Reagan’s beloved contras were drug traffickers. That recognition would have cast a shadow over the Reagan Legacy, which the Right was busy elevating into mythic status.
There was the turf issue, too. Since Webb’s stories coincided with the emergence of the Internet as an alternate source for news and the San Jose Mercury News was at the center of Silicon Valley, the big newspapers saw a threat to their historic dominance as the nation’s gatekeepers for what information should be taken seriously.
Plus, the major media’s focus in the mid-1990s was on scandals swirling around Bill Clinton, such as some firings at the White House Travel Office and convoluted questions about his old Whitewater real-estate deal.
In other words, there was little appetite to revisit scandals from the Reagan years and there was strong motive to disparage what Webb had written.
Rev. Moon’s Newspaper
It fell to Rev. Sun Myung Moon’s right-wing Washington Times to begin the counterattack. The Washington Times turned to some ex-CIA officials, who had participated in the contra war, to refute the drug charges.
Then - in a pattern that would repeat itself over the next decade – the Washington Post and other mainstream newspapers quickly lined up behind the right-wing press. On Oct. 4, 1996, the Washington Post published a front-page article knocking down Webb’s story, although acknowledging that some contra operatives did help the cocaine cartels.
The Post’s approach was twofold: first, it presented the contra-cocaine allegations as old news - “even CIA personnel testified to Congress they knew that those covert operations involved drug traffickers,” the Post sniffed - and second, the Post minimized the importance of the one contra smuggling channel that Webb had highlighted - that it had not “played a major role in the emergence of crack.”
A Post side-bar story dismissed African-Americans as prone to “conspiracy fears.”
Soon, the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times joined in the piling on against Gary Webb. The big newspapers made much of the CIA’s internal reviews in 1987 and 1988 - almost a decade earlier - that supposedly had cleared the spy agency of a role in contra-cocaine smuggling.
But the CIA’s decade-old cover-up began to weaken on Oct. 24, 1996, when CIA Inspector General Frederick Hitz conceded before the Senate Intelligence Committee that the first CIA probe had lasted only 12 days, the second only three days. He promised a more thorough review.
Nevertheless, Webb was becoming the target of media ridicule. Influential Post media critic Howard Kurtz mocked Webb for saying in a book proposal that he would explore the possibility that the contra war was primarily a business to its participants.
“Oliver Stone, check your voice mail,” Kurtz smirked. [Washington Post, Oct. 28, 1996]
Webb’s suspicion was not unfounded, however. Indeed, White House aide Oliver North’s chief contra emissary Rob Owen had made the same point in a March 17, 1986, message about the contra leadership.
“Few of the so-called leaders of the movement … really care about the boys in the field,” Owen wrote. “THIS WAR HAS BECOME A BUSINESS TO MANY OF THEM.” [Capitalization in the original.]
Mercury News Retreat
Kurtz and other big-name journalists may have been ignorant of key facts about the contra war, but that didn’t stop them from pillorying Gary Webb. The ridicule also had a predictable effect on the executives of the Mercury News. By early 1997, executive editor Jerry Ceppos was in retreat.
On May 11, 1997, Ceppos published a front-page column saying the series “fell short of my standards.” He criticized the stories because they “strongly implied CIA knowledge” of contra connections to U.S. drug dealers who were manufacturing crack-cocaine. “We did not have proof that top CIA officials knew of the relationship,” Ceppos wrote.
The big newspapers celebrated Ceppos’s retreat as vindication of their own dismissal of the contra-cocaine stories. Ceppos next pulled the plug on the Mercury News’ continuing contra-cocaine investigation and reassigned Webb to a small office in Cupertino, California, far from his family. Webb resigned the paper in disgrace.
For undercutting Webb and other Mercury News reporters working on the contra investigation, Ceppos was lauded by the American Journalism Review and was given the 1997 national “Ethics in Journalism Award” by the Society of Professional Journalists.
While Ceppos won raves, Webb watched his career collapse and his marriage break up.
Still, Gary Webb had set in motion internal government investigations that would bring to the surface long-hidden facts about how the Reagan administration had conducted the contra war.
The CIA published the first part of Inspector General Hitz’s findings on Jan. 29, 1998. Despite a largely exculpatory press release, Hitz’s Volume One admitted that not only were many of Webb’s allegations true but that he actually understated the seriousness of the contra-drug crimes and the CIA’s knowledge.
Hitz acknowledged that cocaine smugglers played a significant early role in the Nicaraguan contra movement and that the CIA intervened to block an image-threatening 1984 federal investigation into a San Francisco-based drug ring with suspected ties to the contras, the so-called “Frogman Case.”
On May 7, 1998, another disclosure shook the earlier presumptions of the Reagan administration’s innocence. Rep. Maxine Waters, a California Democrat, introduced into the Congressional Record a Feb. 11, 1982, letter of understanding between the CIA and the Justice Department.
The letter, which had been requested by CIA Director William Casey, freed the CIA from legal requirements that it must report drug smuggling by CIA assets, a provision that covered both the Nicaraguan contras and Afghan rebels who were fighting a Soviet-supported regime in Afghanistan and who were implicated in heroin trafficking.
The next break in the cover-up was a report by the Justice Department’s inspector general Michael Bromwich. Given the hostile climate surrounding Webb’s series, Bromwich’s report opened with criticism of Webb. But, like the CIA’s Volume One, the contents revealed new details about government wrongdoing.
According to evidence cited by Bromwich, the Reagan administration knew almost from the outset of the contra war that cocaine traffickers permeated the paramilitary operation. The administration also did next to nothing to expose or stop the crimes.
Bromwich’s report revealed example after example of leads not followed, corroborated witnesses disparaged, official law-enforcement investigations sabotaged, and even the CIA facilitating the work of drug traffickers.
The report showed that the contras and their supporters ran several parallel drug-smuggling operations, not just the one at the center of Webb’s series.
The report also found that the CIA shared little of its information about contra drugs with law-enforcement agencies and on three occasions disrupted cocaine-trafficking investigations that threatened the contras.
Though depicting a more widespread contra-drug operation than Webb had understood, the Justice report also provided some important corroboration about a Nicaraguan drug smuggler, Norwin Meneses, who was a key figure in Webb’s series.
Bromwich cited U.S. government informants who supplied detailed information about Meneses’s operation and his financial assistance to the contras. For instance, Renato Pena, a money-and-drug courier for Meneses, said that in the early 1980s, the CIA allowed the contras to fly drugs into the United States, sell them and keep the proceeds.
Pena, who was the northern California representative for the CIA-backed FDN contra army, said the drug trafficking was forced on the contras by the inadequate levels of U.S. government assistance.
The Justice report also disclosed repeated examples of the CIA and U.S. embassies in Central America discouraging Drug Enforcement Administration investigations, including one into contra-cocaine shipments moving through the international airport in El Salvador.
Inspector General Bromwich said secrecy trumped all. “We have no doubt that the CIA and the U.S. Embassy were not anxious for the DEA to pursue its investigation at the airport,” he wrote.
Despite the remarkable admissions in the body of these reports, the big newspapers showed no inclination to read beyond the press releases.
Cocaine Crimes & Monica
By fall 1998, Official Washington was obsessed with the Monica Lewinsky sex scandal, which made it easier to ignore even more stunning contra-cocaine disclosures in the CIA’s Volume Two.
In Volume Two, published Oct. 8, 1998, CIA Inspector General Hitz identified more than 50 contras and contra-related entities implicated in the drug trade. He also detailed how the Reagan administration had protected these drug operations and frustrated federal investigations throughout the 1980s.
According to Volume Two, the CIA knew the criminal nature of its contra clients from the start of the war against Nicaragua’s leftist Sandinista government.
The earliest contra force, called ADREN or the 15th of September Legion, had chosen “to stoop to criminal activities in order to feed and clothe their cadre,” according to a June 1981 draft CIA field report.
ADREN also employed terrorist methods, including the bombing of Nicaraguan civilian planes and hijackings, to disrupt the Sandinista government, the CIA knew. Cocaine smuggling was also in the picture.
According to a September 1981 cable to CIA headquarters, two ADREN members made the first delivery of drugs to Miami in July 1981.
ADREN’s leaders included Enrique Bermudez and other early contras who would later direct the major contra army, the CIA-organized FDN. Throughout the war, Bermudez remained the top contra military commander.
The CIA later corroborated the allegations about ADREN’s cocaine trafficking, but insisted that Bermudez had opposed the drug shipments to the United States which went ahead nonetheless.
Ends and Means
The truth about Bermudez’s supposed objections to drug trafficking, however, was less clear. According to Volume One, Bermudez enlisted Norwin Meneses, a large-scale Nicaraguan cocaine smuggler, to raise money and buy supplies for the contras.
Volume One had quoted a Meneses associate, another Nicaraguan trafficker named Danilo Blandon, who told Hitz’s investigators that he and Meneses flew to Honduras to meet with Bermudez in 1982.
At the time, Meneses’s criminal activities were well known in the Nicaraguan exile community. But Bermudez told the cocaine smugglers that “the ends justify the means” in raising money for the contras.
After the Bermudez meeting, contra soldiers helped Meneses and Blandon get past Honduran police who briefly arrested them on drug-trafficking suspicions. After their release, Blandon and Meneses traveled on to Bolivia to complete a cocaine transaction.
There were other indications of Bermudez’s drug-smuggling tolerance. In February 1988, another Nicaraguan exile linked to the drug trade accused Bermudez of narcotics trafficking, according to Hitz’s report.
After the contra war ended, Bermudez returned to Managua, where he was shot to death on Feb. 16, 1991. The murder has never been solved.
Along the Southern Front, in Costa Rica, the drug evidence centered on the forces of Eden Pastora, another leading contra commander. But Hitz discovered that the U.S. government may have made matters worse.
Hitz revealed that the CIA put an admitted drug operative – known by his CIA pseudonym “Ivan Gomez” – in a supervisory position over Pastora. Hitz reported that the CIA discovered Gomez’s drug history in 1987 when Gomez failed a security review on drug-trafficking questions.
In internal CIA interviews, Gomez admitted that in March or April 1982, he helped family members who were engaged in drug trafficking and money laundering. In one case, Gomez said he assisted his brother and brother-in-law in transporting cash from New York City to Miami. He admitted that he “knew this act was illegal.”
Later, Gomez expanded on his admission, describing how his family members had fallen $2 million into debt and had gone to Miami to run a money-laundering center for drug traffickers. Gomez said “his brother had many visitors whom [Gomez] assumed to be in the drug trafficking business.”
Gomez’s brother was arrested on drug charges in June 1982. Three months later, in September 1982, Gomez started his CIA assignment in Costa Rica.
Years later, convicted drug trafficker Carlos Cabezas alleged that in the early 1980s, Ivan Gomez was the CIA agent in Costa Rica who was overseeing drug-money donations to the contras.
Gomez “was to make sure the money was given to the right people [the contras] and nobody was taking … profit they weren’t supposed to,” Cabezas stated publicly.
But the CIA sought to discredit Cabezas at the time because he had trouble identifying Gomez’s picture and put Gomez at one meeting in early 1982 before Gomez started his CIA assignment.
While the CIA was able to fend off Cabezas’s allegations by pointing to these discrepancies, Hitz’s report revealed that the CIA was nevertheless aware of Gomez’s direct role in drug-money laundering, a fact the agency hid from Sen. Kerry’s investigation in 1987.
The Bolivian Connection
There also was more about Gomez. In November 1985, the FBI learned from an informant that Gomez’s two brothers had been large-scale cocaine importers, with one brother arranging shipments from Bolivia’s infamous drug kingpin Roberto Suarez.
Suarez already was known as a financier of right-wing causes. In 1980, with the support of Argentine’s hard-line anti-communist military regime, Suarez bankrolled a coup in Bolivia that ousted the elected left-of-center government.
The violent putsch became known as the Cocaine Coup because it made Bolivia the region’s first narco-state. Bolivia’s government-protected cocaine shipments helped transform the Medellin cartel from a struggling local operation into a giant corporate-style business for delivering cocaine to the U.S. market.
Some of those profits allegedly found their way into contra coffers.
Flush with cash in the early 1980s, Suarez invested more than $30 million in various right-wing paramilitary operations, including the contra forces in Central America, according to U.S. Senate testimony by an Argentine intelligence officer, Leonardo Sanchez-Reisse.
In 1987, Sanchez-Reisse said the Suarez drug money was laundered through front companies in Miami before going to Central America. There, other Argentine intelligence officers - veterans of the Bolivian coup - trained the contras.
CIA Inspector General Hitz added another piece to the mystery of the Bolivian-contra connection. One contra fund-raiser, Jose Orlando Bolanos, boasted that the Argentine government was supporting his anti-Sandinista activities, according to a May 1982 cable to CIA headquarters.
Bolanos made the statement during a meeting with undercover DEA agents in Florida. He even offered to introduce them to his Bolivian cocaine supplier.
Containing the Scandal
Despite all this suspicious drug activity around Ivan Gomez and the contras, the CIA insisted that it did not unmask Gomez until 1987, when he failed a security check and confessed his role in his family’s drug business.
The CIA official who interviewed Gomez concluded that “Gomez directly participated in illegal drug transactions, concealed participation in illegal drug transactions, and concealed information about involvement in illegal drug activity,” Hitz wrote.
But senior CIA officials still protected Gomez. They refused to refer the Gomez case to the Justice Department, citing the 1982 DOJ-CIA agreement that spared the CIA from a legal obligation to report narcotics crimes by non-employees.
Instead, the CIA eased Gomez, an independent contractor, out of the agency in February 1988, without alerting law enforcement or the congressional oversight committees.
When questioned about the case nearly a decade later, one senior CIA official who had supported the gentle treatment of Gomez had second thoughts.
“It is a striking commentary on me and everyone that this guy’s involvement in narcotics didn’t weigh more heavily on me or the system,” the official acknowledged.
A Medellin drug connection arose in another section of Hitz’s report, when he revealed evidence suggesting that some contra trafficking may have been sanctioned by Reagan’s National Security Council.
The protagonist for this part of the contra-cocaine mystery was Moises Nunez, a Cuban-American who worked for Oliver North’s NSC contra-support operation and for two drug-connected seafood importers, Ocean Hunter in Miami and Frigorificos de Puntarenas in Costa Rica.
Frigorificos de Puntarenas was created in the early 1980s as a cover for drug-money laundering, according to sworn testimony by two of the firm’s principals – Carlos Soto and Medellin cartel accountant Ramon Milian Rodriguez.
Drug allegations were swirling around Moises Nunez by the mid-1980s. At the AP, his operation was one of the targets of our investigation.
Finally reacting to these suspicions, the CIA questioned Nunez on March 25, 1987, about his alleged cocaine trafficking. He responded by pointing the finger at his NSC superiors.
“Nunez revealed that since 1985, he had engaged in a clandestine relationship with the National Security Council,” Hitz reported, adding:
“Nunez refused to elaborate on the nature of these actions, but indicated it was difficult to answer questions relating to his involvement in narcotics trafficking because of the specific tasks he had performed at the direction of the NSC. Nunez refused to identify the NSC officials with whom he had been involved.”
After this first round of questioning, CIA headquarters authorized an additional session, but then senior CIA officials reversed the decision. There would be no further efforts at “debriefing Nunez.”
Hitz noted that “the cable [from headquarters] offered no explanation for the decision” to stop the Nunez interrogation.
But the CIA’s Central American task force chief Alan Fiers said the Nunez-NSC drug lead was not pursued “because of the NSC connection and the possibility that this could be somehow connected to the Private Benefactor program [the contra money handled by North]. A decision was made not to pursue this matter.”
Joseph Fernandez, who had been the CIA’s station chief in Costa Rica, later confirmed to congressional Iran-Contra investigators that Nunez “was involved in a very sensitive operation” for North’s “Enterprise.” The exact nature of that NSC-authorized activity has never been divulged.
At the time of the Nunez-NSC drug admissions and his truncated interrogation, the CIA’s acting director was Robert M. Gates, who is now President George W. Bush’s Secretary of Defense.
The CIA also worked directly with other drug-connected Cuban-Americans on the contra project, Hitz found.
One of Nunez’s Cuban-American associates, Felipe Vidal, had a criminal record as a narcotics trafficker in the 1970s. But the CIA still hired him to serve as a logistics coordinator for the contras, Hitz reported.
The CIA also learned that Vidal’s drug connections were not only in the past.
A December 1984 cable to CIA headquarters revealed Vidal’s ties to Rene Corvo, another Cuban-American suspected of drug trafficking. Corvo was working with anti-communist Cuban Frank Castro, who was viewed as a Medellin cartel representative within the contra movement.
There were other narcotics links to Vidal. In January 1986, the DEA in Miami seized 414 pounds of cocaine concealed in a shipment of yucca that was going from a contra operative in Costa Rica to Ocean Hunter, the company where Vidal worked.
Despite the evidence, Vidal remained a CIA employee as he collaborated with Frank Castro’s assistant, Rene Corvo, in raising money for the contras, according to a CIA memo in June 1986.
By fall 1986, Sen. Kerry had heard enough rumors about Vidal to demand information about him as part of a congressional inquiry into contra drugs. But the CIA withheld the derogatory information.
On Oct. 15, 1986, Kerry received a briefing from Alan Fiers, who didn’t mention Vidal’s drug arrests and conviction in the 1970s.
But Vidal was not yet in the clear. In 1987, the U.S. attorney in Miami began investigating Vidal, Ocean Hunter and other contra-connected entities.
This prosecutorial attention worried the CIA. The CIA’s Latin American division felt it was time for a security review of Vidal. But on Aug. 5, 1987, the CIA’s security office blocked the review for fear that the Vidal drug information “could be exposed during any future litigation.”
As expected, the U.S. Attorney did request documents about “contra-related activities” by Vidal, Ocean Hunter and 16 other entities. The CIA advised the prosecutor that “no information had been found regarding Ocean Hunter,” a statement that was clearly false.
The CIA continued Vidal’s employment as an adviser to the contra movement until 1990, virtually the end of the contra war.
Hitz revealed that drugs also tainted the highest levels of the Honduran-based FDN, the largest contra army.
Hitz found that Juan Rivas, a contra commander who rose to be chief of staff, admitted that he had been a cocaine trafficker in Colombia before the war. The CIA asked Rivas, known as El Quiche, about his background after the DEA began suspecting that Rivas might be an escaped convict from a Colombian prison.
In interviews with CIA officers, Rivas acknowledged that he had been arrested and convicted of packaging and transporting cocaine for the drug trade in Barranquilla, Colombia. After several months in prison, Rivas said, he escaped and moved to Central America where he joined the contras.
Defending Rivas, CIA officials insisted that there was no evidence that Rivas engaged in trafficking while with the contras. But one CIA cable noted that he lived an expensive lifestyle, even keeping a $100,000 thoroughbred horse at the contra camp.
Contra military commander Bermudez later attributed Rivas’s wealth to his ex-girlfriend’s rich family. But a CIA cable in March 1989 added that “some in the FDN may have suspected at the time that the father-in-law was engaged in drug trafficking.”
Still, the CIA moved quickly to protect Rivas from exposure and possible extradition to Colombia. In February 1989, CIA headquarters asked that DEA take no action “in view of the serious political damage to the U.S. Government that could occur should the information about Rivas become public.”
Rivas was eased out of the contra leadership with an explanation of poor health. With U.S. government help, he was allowed to resettle in Miami. Colombia was not informed about his fugitive status.
Another senior FDN official implicated in the drug trade was its chief spokesman in Honduras, Arnoldo Jose “Frank” Arana.
The drug allegations against Arana dated back to 1983 when a federal narcotics task force put him under criminal investigation because of plans “to smuggle 100 kilograms of cocaine into the United States from South America.”
On Jan. 23, 1986, the FBI reported that Arana and his brothers were involved in a drug-smuggling enterprise, although Arana was not charged.
Arana sought to clear up another set of drug suspicions in 1989 by visiting the DEA in Honduras with a business associate, Jose Perez. Arana’s association with Perez, however, only raised new alarms.
If “Arana is mixed up with the Perez brothers, he is probably dirty,” the DEA responded.
Through their ownership of an air services company called SETCO, the Perez brothers were associated with Juan Matta Ballesteros, a major cocaine kingpin connected to the murder of a DEA agent, according to reports by the DEA and U.S. Customs.
Hitz reported that someone at the CIA scribbled a note on the DEA cable about Arana stating: “Arnold Arana … still active and working, we [CIA] may have a problem.”
Despite its drug ties to Matta Ballesteros, SETCO emerged as the principal company for ferrying supplies to the contras in Honduras.
During congressional Iran-Contra hearings, FDN political leader Adolfo Calero testified that SETCO was paid from bank accounts controlled by Oliver North. SETCO also received $185,924 from the State Department for ferrying supplies to the contras in 1986.
Hitz found that other air transport companies, which were used by the contras, also were implicated in the cocaine trade. Even FDN leaders suspected that they were shipping supplies to Central America aboard planes that might be returning with drugs.
Mario Calero, Adolfo Calero’s brother and the chief of contra logistics, grew so uneasy about one air-freight company that he notified U.S. law enforcement that the FDN only chartered the planes for the flights south, not the return flights north.
Hitz found that some drug pilots simply rotated from one sector of the contra operation to another. Donaldo Frixone, who had a drug record in the Dominican Republic, was hired by the CIA to fly contra missions from 1983-85.
In September 1986, however, Frixone was implicated in smuggling 19,000 pounds of marijuana into the United States. In late 1986 or early 1987, he went to work for Vortex, another U.S.-paid contra supply company linked to the drug trade.
By the time that Hitz’s Volume Two was published in fall 1998, the CIA’s defense against Webb’s series had shrunk to a fig leaf: that the CIA did not conspire with the contras to raise money through cocaine trafficking.
But Hitz made clear that the contra war took precedence over law enforcement and that the CIA withheld evidence of contra crimes from the Justice Department, the Congress and even the CIA’s own analytical division.
Besides tracing the evidence of contra-drug trafficking through the decade-long contra war, the inspector general interviewed senior CIA officers who acknowledged that they were aware of the contra-drug problem but didn’t want its exposure to undermine the struggle to overthrow Nicaragua’s leftist Sandinista government.
According to Hitz, the CIA had “one overriding priority: to oust the Sandinista government. … [CIA officers] were determined that the various difficulties they encountered not be allowed to prevent effective implementation of the contra program.”
One CIA field officer explained, “The focus was to get the job done, get the support and win the war.”
Hitz also recounted complaints from CIA analysts that CIA operations officers handling the contras hid evidence of contra-drug trafficking even from the CIA’s analysts.
Because of the withheld evidence, the CIA analysts incorrectly concluded in the mid-1980s that “only a handful of contras might have been involved in drug trafficking.” That false assessment was passed on to Congress and the major news organizations – serving as an important basis for denouncing Gary Webb and his series in 1996.
See No Evil
Although Hitz’s report was an extraordinary admission of institutional guilt by the CIA, it passed almost unnoticed by the big American newspapers. [For more details on the report, see Parry’s Lost History.]
On Oct. 10, 1998, two days after Hitz’s Volume Two was posted at the CIA’s Internet site, the New York Times published a brief article that continued to deride Webb but acknowledged the contra-drug problem may have been worse than earlier understood.
Several weeks later, the Washington Post weighed in with a similarly superficial article. The Los Angeles Times never published a story on the release of Volume Two.
To this day, no editor or reporter who missed the contra-cocaine story has been punished for his or her negligence. Indeed, some of them rose to become top executives at their news organizations. On the other hand, Gary Webb’s career never recovered.
Unable to find decent-paying work in a profession where his past awards included a Pulitzer Prize, Webb grew despondent. His marriage broke up. By December 2004, he found himself forced to move out of his rented house near Sacramento.
Instead, Webb decided to end his life.
On the night of Dec. 9, 2004, Webb typed out four suicide notes for his family, laid out a certificate for his cremation, put a note on the door suggesting a call to 911, and removed his father’s handgun from a box.
The 49-year-old Webb, a father of three, then raised the gun and shot himself in the head. The first shot was not lethal, so he fired once more.
His body was found the next day after movers, who were scheduled to clear out Webb’s rental house, arrived and followed the instructions from the note on the door.
A Last Chance
Webb’s suicide offered the New York Times, the Washington Post and the L.A. Times one more chance to set matters right, to revisit the CIA’s admissions in 1998 and to exact some accountability from the Reagan-era officials implicated in the contra crimes.
But all that followed Gary Webb’s death was more trashing of Gary Webb.
The L.A. Times ran its mean-spirited obituary that made no mention of the admissions in the CIA’s Volume Two. The Times obituary was republished in other newspapers, including the Washington Post.
No one reading this obit would understand the profound debt that American history owed to Gary Webb, who deserved the lion’s share of the credit for forcing the CIA to make its extraordinary admissions.
Though a personal tragedy, the destruction of Gary Webb had a larger meaning, too. Gary Webb was a kind of canary in the mine shaft, whose fate represented a warning about the dangers that can befall a nation whose journalists care more about their salaries and status than the truth and the public’s right to know.
Today, when Americans look at the mounting death toll in Iraq, the collapse of the U.S. dollar on international markets, and their nation’s loss of prestige around the world, they should recall what happened to Gary Webb when he tried to shed some light amid the shadows of corrupt and covert government actions.
Webb’s career destruction in the 1990s and his desperate act of suicide in 2004 were warnings to the American people that they must demand much more from their existing news outlets – or they must build honest new ones.
That understanding may be Gary Webb’s enduring legacy.
Is Blackwater the Private Mercenary Army of the Oligarchy?
TruthNews | Kurt Nimmo | December 14, 2007
In a democracy, or rather a corporate oligarchy, it does not matter what the people want, who they elect to office, or what they vote for in booths outfitted with Diebold election thievery devices. For instance, the people voted to end the occupation and looting of Iraq in 2004 by installing Democrats in Congress but this did not result in an end to that criminal operation.
Democrats went about their merry way enabling the neocons in their serial murder of Iraqis - the body count now numbering well over a million - a war crime by any standard, and Nancy Pelosi had the gall to complain about antiwar demonstrators perched on the sidewalk outside her lair.
Democrats, who swore to impeach Bush before the election, suddenly changed course after they were safely installed in the halls of the greatest whorehouse in the nation, complete with three “lobbyists” for each prostitute, er “representative.” Once again, the people were duped, as they will probably be duped in 2008, that is if they don’t elect Ron Paul.
As a choice example of corporate interest trumping the will of the people, consider Blackwater Worldwide. “Government security contractor Blackwater Worldwide reaffirmed plans Wednesday to build a rural training camp, a day after residents recalled five town officials who endorsed the project involving the North Carolina-based company,” reports the Associated Press. “The company wants to build 11 firing ranges, a driving track and a helipad in a valley just north of Potrero, a sleepy hamlet of about 850 people in the desert mountains about 45 miles east of San Diego.”
Potrero residents have repeatedly demonstrated their disapproval of Blackwater’s move into their community. But, of course, this does not matter. Regardless of what the people want, declared Brian Bonfiglio, Blackwater VP, the move is underway, no matter “who’s sitting in that seat,” that is to say the seat occupied by the San Diego County board of supervisors. “Voters gave the boot by wide margins to members of the advisory planning board,” notes the Associated Press.
“Bonfiglio said he thought objections to Blackwater’s other activities were irrelevant to the camp case.” These “other activities” include killing Iraqis at will, activity so egregious it resulted in congressional and criminal investigations. “He said the facility in Potrero would focus solely on training law-enforcement officers, not contractors who work for the company in Iraq and Afghanistan.” In other words, law enforcement, already riddled with goons who derive pleasure from tasering pregnant women, will get up to speed on the latest Blackwater tactics, for instance clearing intersections with automatic gunfire.
According to Gordon Hammers, one of the ousted advisory planning board members, the community was brainwashed by antiwar and anti-Bush “elements,” and it has nothing to do with the fact Blackwater hires trigger-happy mercenaries. “Certain elements made it an anti-Bush, anti-Iraq war surrogate and sold that to the community. They were successful,” Hammers complained.
“Americans tend to think in an American way, and therefore nobody seems to have noticed that the location of this camp is right on the US-Mexico border, just a few miles from Tecate.” writes Nancy Conroy. From an international perspective, there are a number of geopolitical reasons that could explain why this border location was selected. This is probably not merely an issue for the local planning commission, given that the idea of mercenaries along the border has broader international implications….
A Blackwater camp on the border may be a covert attempt to militarize the border without going through congressional oversight or public debate. A so-called ‘training camp’ could probably also function as an operational base. Perhaps Blackwater will obtain government contracts to patrol the border, gradually edging out US agents and putting border security into the hands of a private army away from public scrutiny.”
Of course, this is nonsense, as the ruling neocons and Congress have no intention of patrolling the border and keeping out illegal immigrants. In fact, by way of the SPP and NAU, our rulers are attempting to eradicate the border, not bolster it with mercenaries.
“The first Blackwater employees arrived in New Orleans just 36 hours after the levies broke,” Dina Temple-Raston wrote for NPR last September. “At one point, more than 600 Blackwater employees were in the city. Some were guarding the local Sheraton hotel. Others were helping fish people out of the water or were rescuing them off rooftops. Eventually, Blackwater landed a $73 million contact to protect FEMA staff helping with the Katrina recovery operation.”
Of course, FEMA did not really need to be protected and they did not run a “recovery operation” in New Orleans. Blackwater was invited to partake in a large experiment… call it an exercise for the corporate fascist security state. “What I saw when I was in New Orleans was really the emergence of an absolutely unmasked corporate military state,” explains Naomi Klein. “Now, I know these sound like buzz words, but I’ll give you an example. One of the images that’s really stuck in my mind is the conversion of a huge Wal-Mart into a military base in downtown New Orleans. They call it Camp Wal-Mart. So here you have - and we even hear people suggesting that Wal-Mart should replace FEMA at running disaster response… the presence of these privatized police forces, I think is more ideological than it is anything else.”
Indeed, Blackwater’s glaring presence in Potrero, California, a stone’s throw from the Mexican border, is more about an “ideological… privatized police force” than working to impede the crossing of illegal immigrants. As in Iraq, the presence of Blackwater in America is about a “merger - completely unmasked - of corporate and state interests. There’s no distinction,” as Klein characterizes it. In Iraq, Blackwater and other mercenary outfits worked side-by-side and often supplanted U.S. troops. In America, they will work with and possibly even replace domestic law enforcement.
Finally, all of this begs the question: as contractors, intimately connected to the neocons and the government, what does Blackwater know about what’s coming down the road that the residents of Potrero and America at large don’t know?
Maybe it is something the UK Ministry of Defense foresees, something the rest of us only dimly perceive: “The middle classes could become a revolutionary class,” a Ministry report states. “The growing gap between themselves and a small number of highly visible super-rich individuals might fuel disillusion with meritocracy, while the growing urban under-classes are likely to pose an increasing threat… Faced by these twin challenges, the world’s middle-classes might unite, using access to knowledge, resources and skills to shape transnational processes in their own class interest” and “flashmobs” comprised of “terrorists and criminals” may undermine the “highly visible super-rich,” who will naturally hire their own mercenary armies, as did the elite in the Late Roman era, as the citizenry was no longer dependable as cannon fodder and inevitably became political enemies.
Peace, (NOW!!!) BK
Black Krishna Brand
Philosophy - http://blackkrishna.blogspot.com/
Music - http://www.soundclick.com/bands/0/blackkrishna.htm
Apparently, Bush will help besieged mortgage holders the same way he helped the victims of Hurricane Katrina.
From The Huffington Post:
“At least one thing is clear about President Bush’s plan to help people trapped by the mortgage meltdown: it is an industry-led plan, not a government bailout.
Although Mr. Bush unveiled the plan at the White House on Thursday, its terms were set by the mortgage industry and Wall Street firms. The effort is voluntary and it leaves plenty of wiggle room for lenders. Moreover, it would affect only a small number of subprime borrowers.
The plan was the target of criticism from consumer advocates who said its scope was too narrow, and from investment firms, who said it went too far. Others warned that the plan, by letting some stretched homeowners off the hook, could encourage more reckless borrowing in the future.”
As should be expected, the government didn’t even get the toll-free number right, as the business of government is not to help the people but rather run scams and criminal operations.
“Fire up the calliope music.
Harried homeowners seeking mortgage relief from a new Bush administration hotline Thursday had to contend with a bit of temporary misdirection from the president himself.
As he announced his plan to ease the mortgage crisis for consumers, President Bush accidentally gave out the wrong phone number for the new ‘Hope Now Hotline’ set up by his administration.
Anyone who dialed 1-800-995-HOPE did not reach the mortgage hotline but instead contacted the Freedom Christian Academy — a Texas-based group that provides Christian education home schooling material.”
Well, at least the corporate business press understands what’s up:
“Paulson’s bailout may boost GOP’s prospects,” reports Fortune. “Whether or not he ‘fixes’ the subprime mortgage mess, at least temporarily, will be of keen interest to Republican politicians facing voters next November.”
In other words, use taxpayer money — again, perpetually, habitually — to slap up a cardboard facade designed to trick voters come the funny season.
Democrats love this sort of thing: “Democrats love to fix things — and the party’s presidential contestants brim with detailed proposals to insure the uninsured and narrow the gap between rich and poor. So it wasn’t surprising that Hillary Clinton — who has her own plan to help distressed homeowners — praised Paulson.”
You’re doing a heck of a job, Paulson.
“I’ve been digging deeper into the current Bush plan and if this doesn’t smack of political posturing with no meat, I really don’t know what does,” writes Dr. Housing Bubble. “There is a source of irony that the same administration that is criticizing ’socialized medicine’ is socializing corporate losses.”
But of course. Isn’t that the purpose of government, to socialize corporate loss?
The Motley Fool provides specifics:
“There are more limitations, but let’s stop for a moment with that last one: You qualify only if your loan has been passed along to some other bagholder. If the bank holds it, and if the bank stands to lose money on the deal … sorry, Charlie, but you don’t qualify for this program.
This is why I say the banks came to the table out of sheer self-interest. Clearly, they are looking to pass the costs onto others. Once they sold their junky loans off to Goldman Sachs — Treasury Secretary Paulson’s old haunt — or Bear Stearns to be packaged into securities and sold to other investors, they considered themselves free of responsibility. Apparently, they’re making sure that any bailout guarantees them that status.”
See? Problem fixed.
Peace, (NOW!!!) BK
Black Krishna Brand
Philosophy - http://blackkrishna.blogspot.com/
Music - http://www.soundclick.com/bands/0/blackkrishna.htm