Money Raised for Africa ‘Goes to Civil Wars’

Imagine my shock.

Do you really think that anyone who’s ever made a loan or grant to any dictator, anywhere in the world, has any doubt about what is going to happen with the money?

Sure, Bono is an idiot, people will say. Woops. Silly Bono.

While there are lots of idiots in the world, not many of them just happen to be A) responsible for genocide, directly, indirectly or otherwise and B) an honorary Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire.

It’s all a coincidence, of course. As usual.

Via: New Zealand Herald:

Billions of dollars raised for African famine relief by celebrities Bono and Bob Geldof have instead funded civil war across the continent, says terrorism expert Dr Loretta Napoleoni.

London-based Napoleoni, in Auckland to appear at the Writers & Readers Festival, has written two books, Terror Inc: Tracing the Money Behind Global Terrorism and Insurgent Iraq: Al-Zarqawi and the New Generation, on the economics of terrorism.

Her latest book, Rogue Economics, studies the destabilising effect of economic globalisation, focusing in part on why more than half a trillion dollars worth of aid sent to Africa since the 1960s failed to reach the intended destination – developing the nations’ economies.

That huge amount of aid, which includes money from the United Nations and donations generated by Live Aid for Ethiopia, organised by Geldof, and the Live 8 concert in 2005, organised by Bono, has instead “served as a rogue force, notably as an important form of terrorist financing” in countries such as Ethiopia, Somalia, Sudan, Zimbabwe, Tanzania and Kenya. Ethiopia, for example, received $1.8 billion in foreign aid between 1982-85, including a large contribution from Live Aid; $1.6 billion of that, she points out, was spent on buying military equipment.

Research Credit: samadhisoft.com

Source: Cryptogon

In ‘Spies for Hire,’ U.S. Security Gets Outsourced

It’s become a $50 billion a year industry: Corporations like Booz Allen Hamilton, Lockheed Martin, and IBM are being paid to do things the CIA, the National Security Agency and the Pentagon usually do, including analysis, covert operations, electronic surveillance and reconnaissance.Investigative journalist Tim Shorrock details the outsourcing of U.S. intelligence in his new book, Spies for Hire: The Secret World of Intelligence Outsourcing.

Shorrock has covered the intersection of business and national security for over 25 years, writing for such publications as The Nation, Mother Jones and Salon.com, among others.
'Spies for Hire' coverOn May 9, 2006, John Humphrey, a former CIA officer making his way up the management ladder of one of the nation’s largest intelligence contractors, made a stunning disclosure to Intelcon, a national intelligence conference and exhibition at a hotel in Bethesda, Maryland. Outsourcing, Humphrey declared, was out of control. Contractors deployed in Iraq and other hotspots overseas were making decisions and handling documents that, in earlier times, had been the sole responsibility of U.S. military and intelligence officers. This had caused a “paradigm shift” in the relationship between government and the private sector, and left companies like his in an untenable position.

Five years ago, “you’d never have a contractor supporting an operation on the field where they’re making a recommendation to an officer,” said Humphrey. Nor would you find a contractor “making little contributions here and there” in the reports intelligence officers sent back to Washington. “This concerns me a lot, the way these lines are blurring,” he went on. “We shouldn’t be involved in some of these intelligence operations, or the planning, or the interrogations and what have you.” Unless government started taking more responsibility in the field, he warned, the “blowback” for the contracting industry could be profound.

The intelligence professionals in the room looked stunned. They had just sat through two days of upbeat discussions about the annual $10-billion expansion of U.S. intelligence budgets and the opportunities that money presented for defense contractors, information technology vendors, and former national security officials who still held their top secret security clearances. Upstairs in the exhibition hall, thirty-five companies were displaying the latest high-tech spying equipment and competing to recruit new employees, who could earn up to three times government pay by migrating to the private sector. Words like “blowback” did not come easily at such gatherings.

Read moreIn ‘Spies for Hire,’ U.S. Security Gets Outsourced

Security Flaws Exposed at Nuke Lab

If you were a terrorist looking for weapons-grade nuclear material in America, the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory might be a good place to start. At the core of the nuclear-weapons research facility about an hour’s drive from San Francisco stands the “Superblock,” a collection of buildings surrounded by multi-story steel-mesh fencing, a no-man’s-land, electronic security gear, armed guards and cables to prevent a helicopter landing on the roof. These defenses are in place largely to protect Building 332, a repository for roughly 2,000 pounds of deadly plutonium and volatile, weapons-grade uranium — enough fissile material to build at least 300 nuclear weapons. But a recent simulated terror attack tested those defenses, and sources tell TIME that the results were not reassuring.
One night several weeks ago, according to TIME’s sources, a commando team posing as terrorists attacked and penetrated the lab, quickly overpowering its defenses to reach its “objective” — a mock payload of fissile material. The exercise highlighted a number of serious security shortcomings at Livermore, sources say, including the failure of a hydraulic system essential to operating an extremely lethal Gatling gun that protects the facility. Experts contacted by TIME — including congressional staff from both parties informed of the episode, and experts personally familiar with safeguards at Livermore — all said that the test amounts to an embarrassment to those responsible for securing the nation’s nuclear facilities, and that it required immediate steps to correct what some called the most dangerous security weaknesses ever found at the lab.

Read moreSecurity Flaws Exposed at Nuke Lab

Air Force Aims for ‘Full Control’ of ‘Any and All’ Computers

The Air Force wants a suite of hacker tools, to give it “access” to — and “full control” of — any kind of computer there is. And once the info warriors are in, the Air Force wants them to keep tabs on their “adversaries’ information infrastructure completely undetected.”

The government is growing increasingly interested in waging war online. The Air Force recently put together a “Cyberspace Command,” with a charter to rule networks the way its fighter jets rule the skies. The Department of Homeland Security, Darpa, and other agencies are teaming up for a five-year, $30 billion “national cybersecurity initiative.” That includes an electronic test range, where federally-funded hackers can test out the latest electronic attacks. “You used to need an army to wage a war,” a recent Air Force commercial notes. “Now, all you need is an Internet connection.”

Read moreAir Force Aims for ‘Full Control’ of ‘Any and All’ Computers

Illegal Alien Raid Part Of FEMA Camp Drill

The federal government is getting ready to put large amounts of people in camps and they don’t care what the American people think about it.”
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As predicted last week, ICE has begun factory raids of illegal aliens in Iowa. This was not very difficult to predict. The federal government last week leased out the National Cattle Congress fairgrounds in Waterloo, Iowa until May 25th and began moving trailers and generators on location. Reports from the Des Moines Register and the Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier indicated that FEMA and ICE, two agencies within the Department of Homeland Security were involved in this secretive operation. Considering the large groups of illegal alien factory workers in the area of the fairgrounds, it wasn’t hard to figure out what was going to happen next. The Department of Homeland Security has now decided to go live with their test FEMA camp operation and are using illegal aliens as live subjects for processing purposes. This is a drill designed to setup a FEMA camp that will be used to process American citizens. Make no mistake about it, this has nothing to do with stopping illegal immigration. Rounding up a few hundred illegal aliens and asking them questions is going to do nothing to resolve the policies that have encouraged and facilitated the illegal alien problem. It does however serve as a fine test run for processing large groups of people through a FEMA camp.

Read moreIllegal Alien Raid Part Of FEMA Camp Drill

Town Halls should map race and religion to identify ‘tension hotspots’, says Hazel Blears

More than 10 million people are to have their everyday disputes, their politics and their business lives checked by new “tension monitoring” committees.

The committees are to be set up to try to cut the risk of riots or disturbances in the aftermath of terrorist outrages or outbreaks of local racial trouble.

They will ask for and file reports on named troublemakers whose political activities are considered to be raising community tensions.

Reports on the behaviour and attitudes of local residents will be collected by community workers, neighbourhood wardens, local councillors and provided by voluntary organisations, according to a paper published by Communities Secretary Hazel Blears today.


Mrs. Umbridge or Mrs. Stasi ?

It will then be considered by the monitoring committees run by town halls.

A sample “tension monitoring form” for use in checking on the likelihood of local racial or religious trouble asks for details of individuals considered to be making political trouble.

The monitoring committees will ask for information on those identified as troublemakers with includes “age, gender, ethnicity and faith” of those being reported on.

Read moreTown Halls should map race and religion to identify ‘tension hotspots’, says Hazel Blears

Blunt Federal Letters Tell Students They’re Security Threats

WASHINGTON — A German graduate student in oceanography at M.I.T. applied to the Transportation Security Administration for a new ID card allowing him to work around ships and docks.

What the student, Wilken-Jon von Appen, received in return was a letter that not only turned him down but added an ominous warning from John M. Busch, a security administration official: “I have determined that you pose a security threat.”

Similar letters have gone to 5,000 applicants across the country who have at least initially been turned down for a Transportation Worker Identification Credential, an ID card meant to guard against acts of terrorism, agency officials said Monday.

Read moreBlunt Federal Letters Tell Students They’re Security Threats

Scientist team creates first GM human embryo

Scientists have created what is believed to be the first genetically modified (GM) human embryo.

A team from Cornell University in New York produced the GM embryo to study how early cells and diseases develop. It was destroyed after five days.

The British regulator, the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA), has warned that such controversial experiments cause “large ethical and public interest issues”.

News of the development comes days before MPs are to debate legislation that would allow scientists to use similar techniques in this country.

The effects of changing an embryo would be permanent. Genes added to embryos or reproductive cells, such as sperm, will affect all cells in the body and will be passed on to future generations.

The technology could potentially be used to correct genes which cause diseases such as cystic fibrosis, haemophilia and even cancer. In theory, any gene that has been identified could be added to embryos.

Ethicists warn that genetically modifying embryos could lead to the addition of genes for desirable traits such as height, intelligence and hair colour.

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill, which will have its second reading this week, will make it legal to create GM embryos in Britain.

Read moreScientist team creates first GM human embryo

Not-So-Safe-Deposit Boxes: States Seize Citizens’ Property to Balance Their Budgets

The 50 U.S. states are holding more than $32 billion worth of unclaimed property that they’re supposed to safeguard for their citizens. But a “Good Morning America” investigation found some states aggressively seize property that isn’t really unclaimed and then use the money — your money — to balance their budgets.

Unclaimed property consists of things like forgotten apartment security deposits, uncashed dividend checks and safe-deposit boxes abandoned when an elderly relative dies.

Banks and other businesses are required to turn that property over to the state for safekeeping. The problem is that the states return less than a quarter of unclaimed property to the rightful owners.

Not-So-Safe-Deposit Boxes

San Francisco resident Carla Ruff’s safe-deposit box was drilled, seized, and turned over to the state of California, marked “owner unknown.”

“I was appalled,” Ruff said. “I felt violated.”

Unknown? Carla’s name was right on documents in the box at the Noe Valley Bank of America location. So was her address — a house about six blocks from the bank. Carla had a checking account at the bank, too — still does — and receives regular statements. Plus, she has receipts showing she’s the kind of person who paid her box rental fee. And yet, she says nobody ever notified her.

“They are zealously uncovering accounts that are not unclaimed,” Ruff said.

To make matters worse, Ruff discovered the loss when she went to her box to retrieve important paperwork she needed because her husband was dying. Those papers had been shredded.

And that’s not all. Her great-grandmother’s precious natural pearls and other jewelry had been auctioned off. They were sold for just $1,800, even though they were appraised for $82,500.

“These things were things that she gave to me,” Ruff said. “I valued them because I loved her.”

Bank of America told ABC News it deeply regrets the situation and appreciates the difficulty of what Mrs. Ruff was going through. The bank has reached a settlement with Ruff and continues to update its unclaimed property procedures as laws change.

California’s Class Action Lawsuit

Ruff is not alone. Attorney Bill Palmer represents her and countless other citizens in a class action lawsuit against the state of California.

Read moreNot-So-Safe-Deposit Boxes: States Seize Citizens’ Property to Balance Their Budgets