Cops & Customs Agents Caught Drug Smuggling

New cases follow September 2007 crash of CIA plane containing 4 tonnes of cocaine

Following last September’s crash of a Gulfstream jet used by the CIA for torture flights that contained 4 tonnes of cocaine, more customs officials and cops have been caught in drug smuggling and drug dealing rackets.

Customs supervisor Walter Golembiowski and officer John Ajello face narcotics, bribery and conspiracy charges after they were arrested for helping smuggle drugs and contraband through New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport.

“The investigation has led to the indictment and prosecution of more than 20 people – “from distributors to overseas sources of supply” – and the seizure of more than 600 pounds of imported hashish and other drugs from the United States and France,” according to a CNN report.

Meanwhile in Texas, Cameron County Constable Saul Ochoa was arrested by the FBI yesterday morning for possession and distribution of marijuana.

Ochoa’s brother is Justice of the Peace Benny Ochoa III of Port Isabel and his cousin is Port Isabel Police Chief Joel Ochoa.

“The grand jury charged Ochoa with possessing five to 10 pounds of marijuana on four different days in May with the intent to distribute. Each of the four counts carries a maximum five years in prison and $250,000 fine,” according to a Brownsville Herald report.

While reports of customs agents and cops dealing drugs are almost routine, the real head of the hydra has always been CIA involvement in smuggling drugs that end up on America’s streets, a symbiotic process that also helps finance wars and terrorist groups to do the bidding of the U.S. government around the world.

The corporate media will report on lesser drug smuggling scandals involving cops and customs agents, but when it comes to the gargantuan sprawling CIA drug smuggling racket, the silence is deafening.

In September 2007, a Florida based Gulfstream II jet aircraft # N987SA was forced to crash land in Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula after it ran out of fuel.

After accident investigators arrived on the scene they discovered a cargo of nearly 4 tonnes of cocaine.

Journalists discovered that the same Gulstream jet had been used in at least three CIA “rendition” trips to Guantanamo Bay between 2003 and 2005.

Kevin Booth’s underground hit documentary American Drug War features footage of former DEA head Robert Bonner admitting that the CIA was involved in cocaine smuggling operations.

Former DEA agent Cele Castillo, who has appeared on The Alex Jones Show many times, personally witnessed CIA drug smuggling operations funneled through terrorists that were also involved in kidnappings and the training of death squads on behalf of the U.S. government.

Investigative reporter Gary Webb was instrumental in exposing CIA cocaine trafficking operations before his alleged suicide in 2004. In the You Tube clip below, Webb traces the history of Agency involvement in drug smuggling and its links to financing wars in central America.

Paul Joseph Watson
Thursday, May 29, 2008

Source: Prison Planet

US and European debt markets flash new warning signals

The debt markets in the US and Europe have begun to flash warning signals yet again, raising fears that the global credit crisis could be entering another turbulent phase.

The cost of insuring against default on the bonds of Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch and other big banks and brokerages has surged over the last two weeks, threatening to reach the stress levels seen before the Bear Stearns debacle. Spreads on inter-bank Libor and Euribor rates in Europe are back near record levels.

Credit default swaps (CDS) on Lehman debt have risen from around 130 in late April to 247, while Merrill debt has spiked to 196. Most analysts had thought the coast was clear for such broker dealers after the US Federal Reserve invoked an emergency clause in March to let them borrow directly from its lending window.

But there are now concerns that the Fed itself may be exhausting its $800bn (£399bn) stock of assets. It has swapped almost $300bn of 10-year Treasuries for questionable mortgage debt, and provided Term Auction Credit of $130bn.

“The steep rise in swap spreads this week is ominous,” said John Hussman, head of the Hussman Funds. “The deterioration is in stark contrast to what investors have come to hope since March.”

Lehman Brothers took writedowns of just $200m on its $6.5bn portfolio of sub-prime debt in the first quarter even though a quarter of the securities had “junk” ratings, typically worth a fraction of face value.

Willem Sels, a credit analyst at Dresdner Kleinwort, said the banks are beginning to face waves of defaults on credit cards, car loans, and now corporate loans. “We believe we’re entering Phase II. The liquidity crisis has eased a little, but the real credit losses are accelerating. The worst is yet to come,” he said.

Read moreUS and European debt markets flash new warning signals

Military Recruits Thousands More Warbots for New Unmanned Surge

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In December, after all the lawsuits, the private eyes and the backroom deals, iRobot finally wrestled away the biggest ground-robotics contract in military history from its former employee and his secret partner. This “unmanned surge” was worth up to $286 million and 3,000 machines. And it didn’t look like it would be topped any time soon.

But appearances can be deceiving in the world of military robots. Turns out, there’s been a second unmanned surge. And yesterday, iRobot’s rival, Foster-Miller, announced that it had won the contract to supply it.

The five-year deal is worth up to $400 million. And it will cover thousands of Talon bomb-handling robots and spare parts — maybe between 2,000 and 4,000 robots, F-M executive Bob Quinn tells Xconomy.

That would more than double the 2,000 Talons already in the field, finding and getting rid of improvised explosives. If all the robots are actually ordered under this “indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity” contract, that is.

Once the absolute darling of military bomb squads, the rugged, easy-to-drive Talon now has a more serious competitor in iRobot’s upgraded Packbot. With the number of bombs dropping overall in Iraq and Afghanistan, and with a beefed-up rival, is there really room to double the number of Talon machines?

Read moreMilitary Recruits Thousands More Warbots for New Unmanned Surge

RFID-tracking at the Olympics to Include Sensitive Personal Data

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The Chinese Olympic Committee for the 2008 Games has revealed that all tickets to the opening and closing ceremonies will include RFID-enabled microchips with spectators’ passport information and home and e-mail addresses, among other sensitive personal info.

This high-level precaution is in response to the increasingly sensitive security issues surrounding the games, due largely in part to the host’s controversial positions on human rights and freedom of speech.

All tickets for the ceremonies are valued at $720 and the RFID tagging is supposed to decrease the possibility of scalping and pirated tickets, which is obviously a big problem in copy-happy China. But carrying around all of that information with you is still a dangerous proposition.

We’ve heard that tickets were supposed to have the bearer’s photograph printed on them, which would have cut down on theft and the likely problem a family will face when distributing tickets right before a gate entrance. As you can see in the official ticket above, it appears that the idea has not been implemented.

Most security experts vacillate between thinking that a too-secure RFID system will put the Games at a standstill, or that a basic RFID set-up will expose people to hackers. According to Sports Illustrated, all tickets for the games will include RFID tags, but only the main two will have the passport and photo information. The Games’ security team will employ an IT team of at least 4,000 experts with 1,000 servers at their disposal — and they’ll begin testing the system full-bore for the next two months.

Yet, most of the stress about the tickets, apart from the RFID issue, can be traced to the fact that that it’s taken the committee a little bit longer to deliver the tickets than they originally thought –- it’s almost two months to the event and almost no one has received them. This has led some people to believe that the security restrictions are making it difficult for the hosts to actually deliver them on time.

However, the official ticketing website of The Games kept its dates conveniently open-ended –- it says the tickets will be delivered up to the end of June. This is not great if you’re traveling to the city for the opening event on August 8th.

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The tense atmosphere might also point to the fact that the RFID tags were developed by Tsinghua University in conjuction with Beijing Tsinghua Tongfang Microelectronics Company — and no one wants a company in a country with privacy concerns to have access to your personal information.

So what do you think? Are the committee members practically begging for people to get jumped with those RFID-packed tickets? Or are they making the most out of a very tough situation?

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Gingrich quips Bush should have allowed some ‘reminder’ attacks

During an appearance at a Long Island bookstore last month, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich was asked by a member of the audience why the United States has not been hit again since 9/11.

“I honestly don’t know,” Gingrich replied. “I would have expected another attack. I was very, very worried … when we had the sniper attacks, because the sniper attacks were psychologically so frightening. … I was amazed that the bad guys didn’t figure out how to send ten or twelve sniper teams.”

“This is … one of the great tragedies of the Bush administration,” Gingrich continued. “The more successful they’ve been at intercepting and stopping bad guys, the less proof there is that we’re in danger. And therefore, the better they’ve done at making sure there isn’t an attack, the easier it is to say, ‘Well, there never was going to be an attack anyway.’ And it’s almost like they should every once in a while have allowed an attack to get through just to remind us.”

Gingrich then recommended splitting the FBI into a domestic crime unit, which would respect civil liberties, and a “small but very aggressive anti-terrorism agency” with “extraordinary ability to eavesdrop.”

“I think that your liberties in a domestic setting are paramount,” Gingrich explained. “I would rather risk crime than risk losing my civil liberties. But I would not rather risk a nuclear weapon. … I think the greatest danger to our liberty is to actually have the country end up in the kind of attack that would lead us to favor a dictatorship for security.

This video is from C-SPAN 2, broadcast April 29, 2008. The full video can be viewed here.


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David Edwards and Muriel Kane
Published: Thursday May 29, 2008

Source: The Raw Story

Iraq war: former Bush aide admits manipulating opinion

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Bush Claims More Powers Than King George III

MASSACHUSETTS SCHOOL OF LAW AT ANDOVER

Bush Claims More Powers Than King George III,
Constitutional Scholar David Adler Contends

The Bush administration has arrogated powers to itself that the British people even refused to grant King George III at the time of the Revolutionary War, an eminent political scientist says.

“No executive in the history of the Anglo-American world since the Civil War in England in the 17th century has laid claim to such broad power,” said David Adler, a prolific author of articles on the U.S. Constitution. “George Bush has exceeded the claims of Oliver Cromwell who anointed himself Lord Protector of England.”

Adler, a professor of political science at Idaho State University at Pocatello, is the author of “The Constitution and the Termination of Treaties”(Taylor & Francis), among other books, and some 100 scholarly articles in his field. Adler made his comments comparing the powers of President Bush and King George III at a conference on “Presidential Power in America” at the Massachusetts School of Law, Andover, April 26th.

Adler said, Bush has “claimed the authority to suspend the Geneva Convention, to terminate treaties, to seize American citizens from the streets to detain them indefinitely without benefit of legal counseling, without benefit of judicial review. He has ordered a domestic surveillance program which violates the statutory law of the United States as well as the Fourth Amendment.”

Adler said the authors of the U.S. Constitution wrote that the president “shall take care to faithfully execute the laws of the land” because “the king of England possessed a suspending power” to set aside laws with which he disagreed, “the very same kind of power that the Bush Administration has claimed.”

Former Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez, Adler said, repeatedly referred to the President’s “override” authority, “which effectively meant that the Bush Administration was claiming on behalf of President Bush a power that the English people themselves had rejected by the time of the framing of the Constitution.”

Adler said the Framers sought an “Administrator in Chief” that would execute the will of Congress and the Framers understood that the President, as Commander-in-Chief “was subordinate to Congress.” The very C-in-C concept, the historian said, derived from the British, who conferred it on one of their battlefield commanders in a war on Scotland in 1639 and it “did not carry with it the power over war and peace” or “authority to conduct foreign policy or to formulate foreign policy.”

That the C-in-C was subordinate to the will of Congress was demonstrated in the Revolutionary War when George Washington, granted that title by Congress, “was ordered punctually to respond to instructions and directions by Congress and the dutiful Washington did that,” Adler said.

Adler said that John Yoo, formerly of the Office of Legal Counsel, wrote in 2003 that the President as C-in-C could authorize the CIA or other intelligence agencies to resort to torture to extract information from suspects based on his authority. However, Adler said, the U.S. Supreme Court in 1804 in Little vs. Barreme affirmed the President is duty-bound to obey statutory instructions and reaffirmed opinion two years later in United States vs. Smith.

“In these last eight years,” Adler said, “we have seen presidential powers soar beyond the confines of the Constitution. We have understood that his presidency bears no resemblance to the Office created by the Framers… This is the time for us to demand a return to the constitutional presidency. If we don’t, we will have only ourselves to blame as we go marching into the next war as we witness even greater claims of presidential power.”

The Massachusetts School of Law is a non-profit educational institution purposefully dedicated to providing an affordable, quality legal education to minorities, immigrants, and students from economic backgrounds that would not otherwise be able to afford to attend law school and enter the legal profession.

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Pentagon to shift funds to pay for Iraq war

The Pentagon plans to shift $9.7 billion of its overall budget to pay for war operations but warned on Wednesday it will run out of money if the U.S. Congress does not approve more funding by mid-July.

The Defense Department, with major operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, sent Congress requests to transfer $5.7 billion to the Army’s personnel account from the personnel accounts of other branches of the U.S. armed services.

It also asked Congress for permission to move $4 billion from the services’ operations and maintenance accounts to the Army and U.S. Special Operations Command, whose troops train local security forces and conduct counterterrorism missions.

If approved, the transfers will allow the Pentagon to continue operations until late July, according to department spokesman Bryan Whitman.

“I don’t want to leave you with the impression that this provides us a whole lot,” he said.

“This $9.7 billion reprogramming only buys another few weeks of operations until the department as a whole will then run out of critical funding.”

Read morePentagon to shift funds to pay for Iraq war

European Parliament to ban Eurosceptic groups

Plans to eliminate Eurosceptics as an organised opposition within the European Parliament are expected to be agreed by a majority of MEPs this summer.

The European Union assembly’s political establishment is pushing through changes that will silence dissidents by changing the rules allowing Euro-MPs to form political groupings.

Richard Corbett, a British Labour MEP, is leading the charge to cut the number of party political tendencies in the Parliament next year, a move that would dissolve UKIP’s pan-European Eurosceptic “Independence and Democracy” grouping.

Under the rule change, the largest and most pro-EU groups would tighten their grip on the Parliament’s political agenda and keep control of lavish funding.

“It would prevent single issue politicians from being given undue support from the public purse,” said Mr Corbett.

“We want to avoid the formation of a fragmented Parliament, deeply divided into many small groups and unable to work effectively.”

Mr Corbett’s proposals will also give the President of the Parliament sweeping powers to approve or reject parliamentary questions.

Nigel Farage, leader of the UK Independence Party, claimed that the move goes hand in hand with the denial of popular votes on the new EU Treaty.

Welcome to your future. This shows an EU mindset that is arrogant, anti-democratic and frankly scary,” he said.

“These people are so scared of public opinion they are willing to set in stone the right to ignore it. Freedom requires the governing elite to be held to account. They must be getting very worried if they are enacting such dictatorial powers for themselves.”

(Dictatorship & Fascism for the EU – The Infinite Unknown)

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