Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld ‘Knew Guantánamo Prisoners Were Innocent’

In other news:

Bush knew Guantánamo prisoners were innocent, former Colin Powell aide tells court (Daily Mail, April 10, 2010)

The Times has removed the following article.



Two detainees are escorted to interrogation by US military guards at Guantánamo Bay (Andres Leighton/AP)

Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld ‘Knew Guantánamo Prisoners Were Innocent’ (Times, April 9, 2010):

George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld covered up that hundreds of innocent men were sent to the Guantánamo Bay prison camp because they feared that releasing them would harm the push for war in Iraq and the broader War on Terror, according to a new document obtained by The Times.

The accusations were made by Lawrence Wilkerson, a top aide to Colin Powell, the former Republican Secretary of State, in a signed declaration to support a lawsuit filed by a Guantánamo detainee. It is the first time that such allegations have been made by a senior member of the Bush Administration.

Colonel Wilkerson, who was General Powell’s chief of staff when he ran the State Department, was most critical of Mr Cheney and Mr Rumsfeld. He claimed that the former Vice-President and Defence Secretary knew that the majority of the initial 742 detainees sent to Guantánamo in 2002 were innocent but believed that it was “politically impossible to release them”.

General Powell, who left the Bush Administration in 2005, angry about the misinformation that he unwittingly gave the world when he made the case for the invasion of Iraq at the UN, is understood to have backed Colonel Wilkerson’s declaration.

Colonel Wilkerson, a long-time critic of the Bush Administration’s approach to counter-terrorism and the war in Iraq, claimed that the majority of detainees – children as young as 12 and men as old as 93, he said – never saw a US soldier when they were captured. He said that many were turned over by Afghans and Pakistanis for up to $5,000. Little or no evidence was produced as to why they had been taken.

Read moreBush, Cheney and Rumsfeld ‘Knew Guantánamo Prisoners Were Innocent’

Greece: They’re Done

See also:

The Solution For Greece (Max Keiser, Matt Taibbi and Catherine Austin Fitts)


As Zerohedge reports, unless someone is playing with the Bloomberg data, you can put a fork in these guys:

game-over-3-month-greece1

That’s a 3-month yield of about 15% – an inversion that says that Greece blows to beyond the orbit of Mars within the next 90 days.

If there’s any validity to this they’re done, probably this weekend or some time next week, when they have an auction they have to roll.

Everyone who has bought their recent auctions has been trashed within days, with yields backing up almost immediately.  That is, people have been railroaded into dramatically overpaying as a consequence of jawboned “confidence measures” that in point of fact are not worth a warm bucket of spit.

Greece needs to pull out of the Euro now and take the hit.  There is a point beyond which the spiral tightens beyond all reason, and they may already be into the vortex too far to do anything meaningful, but this much is certain – the longer they delay the worse it’s going to get.

Read moreGreece: They’re Done

GAME OVER – Greek Curve Goes Apeshit: Bloomberg Reports 3 Month Bid At 21.3%

See also:
The Solution For Greece (Max Keiser, Matt Taibbi and Catherine Austin Fitts)


If this information is correct, it is all over. Bloomberg calculates the yield on the Greek 3 Month as determined by the bid, or where investors are willing to buy it, based on BVAL sources at 21.3%. In all honesty the bid/offer market in the 3 Month are all over the place. HDAT gives it as 99.650×99.840, BVAL is at 99.470×99.773. The HDAT bid implies a yield of 14.049%, which is still game over for Greece.

(Click on images to enlarge.)
game-over-3-month-greece

Another way to see the carnage is the Greek CDS curve: 3M-5Y is at -185 bps!

greek-cds-curve-100410

Why is all of this relevant? Because as Market News confirms as we initially noted, Greece plans to sell €600 million in 6 Month and €600 million in 12 Month Bills on April 13. Sorry, if the 3M is anywhere close to 14% bid (let alone 21%), this is not happening.

Read moreGAME OVER – Greek Curve Goes Apeshit: Bloomberg Reports 3 Month Bid At 21.3%

Polish President Lech Kaczynski Killed In Plane Crash


polish-president-lech-kaczynski-killed-in-plane-crash
A firefighter tries to extinguish the flames from the wreckage of the Polish government airplane that crashed near Smolensk airport (Reuters)

(Times) — The Polish president and his wife were killed in a plane crash this morning, according to Russian officials.

President Lech Kaczynski and his wife Maria were on board a flight which crashed at 10.56 Moscow time (0656GMT) near Smolensk airport.

Russian media is reporting that all 132 passengers were killed.

The Kaczynski’s were travelling with several senior government figures on a trip to mark the 70th anniversary of the Katyn forest massacre, in which thousands of Poles were executed by Soviet secret police.

Smolensk governor Sergei Anufriev made a statement to state news channel Rossiya-24 about an hour after the crash saying that there no survivors.

He said: “As it was preparing for landing, the Polish president’s aircraft did not make it to the landing strip.”

“According to preliminary reports, it got caught up in the tops of trees, fell to the ground and broke up into pieces. There are no survivors in that crash.”

The head of Russia’s top investigative body, Sergei Markin, said there were a total of 132 people on the plane.

The Polish Foreign Ministry has confirmed that Lech Kaczynski and his wife were on board the Tu-154 plane, flying from Moscow to Smolensk.

The Army chief of staff, General Franciszek Gagor, National Bank President Slawomir Skrzypek and Deputy Foreign Minister Andrzej Kremoer were also believed on the flight manifest.

Read morePolish President Lech Kaczynski Killed In Plane Crash

The Death Of The Internet: Unprecedented Censorship Bill Passes in UK

Before:

Digital Economy Bill: Lords Pass Controversial Internet Piracy Bill (BBC NEW)

And now it is law.

They don’t want you to use the internet:

UK Government To Kill Off Internet Cafes (The Inquirer)

Watch TV, because that is all you need!


digital-economy-bill-rushed-through-wash-up-in-late-night-session

“Wash-up” process used to rush through draconian legislation as a pitiful handful of MPs attend debate

A draconian Internet censorship bill that has been long looming on the horizon finally passed the house of commons in the UK yesterday, legislating for government powers to restrict and filter any website that is deemed to be undesirable for public consumption.

The “Digital Economy Bill” was rushed through parliament in a late night session last night after a third reading.

In the wake of the announcement of a general election on May 6, the government has taken advantage of what is known as the “wash-up process”, allowing the legislative process to be speeded up between an election being called and Parliament being dissolved.

Only a pitiful handful of MPs (picture) were present to debate the bill, which was fully supported by the “opposition” Conservative party, and passed by 189 votes to 47 keeping the majority of its original clauses intact.

The bill will now go back to the House of Lords, where it originated, for a final formal approval.

The government removed a proposal in clause 18 of the bill, which openly stated that it could block any website, however it was replaced with an amendment to clause 8 of the bill which essentially legislates for the same powers.

The new clause allows the unelected secretary of state for business, currently Lord Mandelson, to order the blocking of “a location on the internet which the court is satisfied has been, is being or is likely to be used for or in connection with an activity that infringes copyright”.

Opposing MPs argued that the clause was too broad and open ended, arguing that the phrase “likely to be used” could be used to block websites without them ever having been used for “activity that infringes copyright”. Other MPs argued that under the bill, whistleblower websites, such as Wikileaks, could be targeted.

The legislation will also allow the Home Secretary to place “a technical obligation on internet service providers” to block whichever sites it wishes.

Under clause 11 of the proposed legislation “technical obligation” is defined as follows:

Read moreThe Death Of The Internet: Unprecedented Censorship Bill Passes in UK

Germany’s Bundesbank: Greek Rescue as a Threat to Economic Stability and Probably Illegal; Calls IMF ‘Inflation Maximising Fund’

See also:

Greek Debt Crisis Deepens; Investors Rush to Sell Greek Bonds

The Solution For Greece (Max Keiser, Matt Taibbi and Catherine Austin Fitts)


Germany’s Bundesbank has fired a warning shot at Chancellor Angela Merkel, attacking the joint EU-IMF rescue plan for Greece as a threat to economic stability and probably illegal.

axel-weber-bundesbank
The Bundesbank, headed by ultra-hawk Axel Weber, said the decision to bring in the IMF makes matters worse, arguing that the EU would impose tougher budgetary discipline. Photo: Reuters

Leaked extracts from an internal report appeared in the Frankfurter Rundschau and may have contributed to a fresh day of mayhem for Greek bonds. Investors were already digesting reports that Greek residents had shifted €10bn (£8.8bn) abroad over the first two months of the year.

The yield on two-year Greek bonds surged by 136 basis points in early trading to 8.3pc, up from 5.2pc last week. The market stabilised later as Athens announced a 40pc cut in the budget deficit over the first quarter, suggesting that austerity measures are bearing fruit.

The Bundesbank document offers a withering critique of the deal agreed by EU leaders two weeks ago, saying the plan had been cobbled together without consulting central banks and will lead to monetisation of debt. “It brings problems in respect to stability policy that should not be underestimated.”

The joint rescue between the IMF and the EU would turn the Bundesbank into a “money-printing machine” for the purchase of Greek bonds, according to Rundschau. This would breach the EU’s ‘no-bail clause’.

Hans Redeker, currency chief at BNP Paribas, said the report greatly strengthens the hand of EMU critics in Germany. A group of professors is already itching to file a complaint at the constitutional court to block the Greek rescue. “This reduces Merkel’s room for manoeuvre to zero,” he said.

The Bundesbank, headed by ultra-hawk Axel Weber, said the decision to bring in the IMF makes matters worse, arguing that the EU would impose tougher budgetary discipline.

The report mocked the IMF as the “Inflation Maximising Fund”, saying the body had gone soft under Dominique Strauss-Kahn, a French socialist and Keynesian. It has shifted focus from fiscal cleansing to “growth-oriented” financial policies. “Currency reserves from the Bundesbank cannot plausibly be made available for such purposes,” it said.

Read moreGermany’s Bundesbank: Greek Rescue as a Threat to Economic Stability and Probably Illegal; Calls IMF ‘Inflation Maximising Fund’

Greek Debt Crisis Deepens; Investors Rush to Sell Greek Bonds

See also:

Germany’s Bundesbank: Greek Rescue as a Threat to Economic Stability and Probably Illegal; Calls IMF ‘Inflation Maximising Fund’

The Solution For Greece (Max Keiser, Matt Taibbi and Catherine Austin Fitts)


Market Turmoil Hits The Euro And Adds to Fears of Economic Collapse in Greece

angela-merkel-001
Some European leaders, including Angela Merkel of Germany, have said that Greece should have to borrow money at market rates. (Photo: EPA)

The Greek debt crisis deepened today, despite reassurances from European Union officials that the country was not on the brink of default.

Financial markets ignored European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet’s comments that “a default is not an issue for Greece,” and continued their bond sell-off for a third day.

The yield on Greek bonds – which the country needs to pay to fund its schools, hospitals and other public spending – rose to 7.35%, almost twice as much as Britain’s. This puts more pressure on Greece, making its financing practically unsustainable. Investors want more details about a potential bailout package, something that the EU has so far failed to provide, dragging the crisis into its fourth month.

“It’s like game theory,” said Michael Krautzberger, head of European fixed-income at Blackrock, whose team manages $50bn (£33bn) in bond funds. “At the beginning of the crisis, the EU didn’t want to give help too quickly because they wanted to pressure Greece to cut their budget, but now we have reached a point where it’s clear they need the help. For a few weeks, we thought maybe they don’t need the help, now we have passed that point, the yields are now too high to stay too long.”

The premium that investors demand to buy Greek bonds soared to 440 basis points over German bunds, the highest since the euro was created a decade ago. The cost of insuring $10m of Greek debt leapt to a record $470,000, from $410,000 on Wednesday, before settling back at about $435,000, according to Markit data. That is more than four times the price paid for Britain’s debt protection.

The turmoil sent the euro and European equity markets lower, as a collapse of the Greek economy could have a domino effect on other southern European countries, such as Portugal. The euro weakened to $1.328, although it recovered slightly after Trichet’s comments, trading near $1.334. All major European stock indexes lost about 1%.

“Greece continues to look like a slow-motion train crash,” Steve Barrow, analyst at Standard Bank, said. “The crash has not occurred yet but it is coming. Efforts to avoid a crash seem doomed to failure, whether it is emergency loans or some other initiative. As the crisis plays out, so bond spreads are likely to widen much further and the euro fall much more.”

Read moreGreek Debt Crisis Deepens; Investors Rush to Sell Greek Bonds

Qatari Diplomat Caught Smoking On A Plane Sarcastically Told Air Marshalls He Was Trying to Set His Sandals on Fire

Qatari Diplomat Was Going to See Al-Qaeda Inmate


Qatar diplomat Mohammad Al Madadi causes a scare after smoking on a plane.

The Qatari diplomat who was arrested for sarcastically telling air marshals on a jetliner that he was trying to set his shoes on fire was en route to visit an imprisoned member of al Qaeda at the Supermax prison in Colorado.

Mohammed Al-Madadi, a 27 year old official at the Qatari embassy in Washington, has full diplomatic immunity that makes charging him in U.S. courts very difficult.

Federal officials confirmed that he will not face any charges, saying he “absolutely will not be charged with a crime. He has diplomatic immunity. He invoked it.”

The joke, however, probably will cost al-Madadi his post in the U.S.

The diplomat is on his way back to Washington today and is expected to be sent out of the country soon as both sides are looking for a way to bring the matter to a close without further embarrassment, according to a senior U.S. official who spoke on the condition of anonymity due to diplomatic sensitivities surrounding the situation.

mohammed-al-madadi
Qatari diplomat Mohammed Al-Madadi sparked a bomb security scare after sneaking a smoke in an airplane’s bathroom will likely be sent home or transferred to another country, U.S. officials said Thursday.

Al-Madadi was flying first class to Denver for a consular visit with jailed al Qaeda member Ali Saleh Kahlah al-Marri who is imprisoned at the Colorado “supermax” penitentiary. Al-Marri was arrested in Illinois shortly after the 9/11 attacks and is believed to have been an al Qaeda sleeper agent.

During the flight, the diplomat allegedly went to the bathroom about 40 minutes before landing for a surreptitious smoke, an act that is against federal law. When flight attendants saw smoke coming from the bathroom, they alerted air marshalls who asked Al-Madadi what he was doing.

Al-Madadi allegedly made the off-handed comment to the officials he was trying to light his shoes on fire, at which point the air marshalls detained him and alerted authorities on the ground. Two F-16 fighter jets were scrambled to escort the plane and President Obama was notified of the incident as he flew to Prague on board Air Force One.

Read moreQatari Diplomat Caught Smoking On A Plane Sarcastically Told Air Marshalls He Was Trying to Set His Sandals on Fire

Obama Administration Approves Targeted Killing of American Cleric

bourne2008
What could possibly go wrong?

See also:

Director of National Intelligence Says US May Kill Americans Abroad

Rep. Ron Paul on Obama seeking to assassinate ‘US citizens’ he labels as terrorist

CIA Director Reveals Spec Ops Report: US Needs Hit Squads, ‘Manhunting Agency’



WASHINGTON — The Obama administration has taken the extraordinary step of authorizing the targeted killing of an American citizen, the radical Muslim cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, who is believed to have shifted from encouraging attacks on the United States to directly participating in them, intelligence and counterterrorism officials said Tuesday.

Mr. Awlaki, who was born in New Mexico and spent years in the United States as an imam, is in hiding in Yemen. He has been the focus of intense scrutiny since he was linked to Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, the Army psychiatrist accused of killing 13 people at Fort Hood, Tex., in November, and then to Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the Nigerian man charged with trying to blow up a Detroit-bound airliner on Dec. 25.

American counterterrorism officials say Mr. Awlaki is an operative of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, the affiliate of the terror network in Yemen and Saudi Arabia. They say they believe that he has become a recruiter for the terrorist network, feeding prospects into plots aimed at the United States and at Americans abroad, the officials said.

It is extremely rare, if not unprecedented, for an American to be approved for targeted killing, officials said. A former senior legal official in the administration of George W. Bush said he did not know of any American who was approved for targeted killing under the former president.

Read moreObama Administration Approves Targeted Killing of American Cleric