Hang The Bankers http://www.hangthebankers.com Thu, 28 May 2015 14:32:06 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.2 Bankers plan secret London meeting to ‘end cash’ http://www.hangthebankers.com/bankers-secret-london-meeting-end-cash/ http://www.hangthebankers.com/bankers-secret-london-meeting-end-cash/#comments Thu, 28 May 2015 14:32:06 +0000 http://www.hangthebankers.com/?p=25019
Economist Martin Armstrong claims there is a “secret meeting to end cash” set to take place in London before the end of the month involving representatives from the ECB and the Federal Reserve.

Armstrong, who is known for successfully predicting the 1987 Black Monday crash as well as the 1998 Russian financial collapse, expressed his shock that no news outlet has reported on this upcoming conference.

“I find it extremely perplexing that I have been the only one to report of the secret meeting in London. Kenneth Rogoff of Harvard University, and Willem Buiter, the Chief Economist at Citigroup, will address the central banks to advocate the elimination of all cash to bring to fruition the day when you cannot buy or sell anything without government approval,” writes Armstrong.

“When I googled the issue to see who else has picked it up, to my surprise, Armstrong Economics comes up first. Others are quoting me, and I even find it spreading as far as the Central Bank of Nigeria, but I have yet to find any reports on the meeting taking place in London, when my sources are direct.”

Armstrong first brought attention to the alleged meeting earlier this month when he revealed that representatives from the Federal Reserve, the ECB as well as participants from the Swiss and Danish central banks would all be attending a “major conference in London” at which Kenneth Rogoff of Harvard University, and Willem Buiter, the Chief Economist at Citigroup, would give presentations.

Kenneth Rogoff Harvard University

Kenneth Rogoff, Professor of Economics at Harvard University.

“We better keep one eye open at night for this birth of a cashless society that is coming in much faster than expected. Why the secret meeting? Something does not smell right here,” concludes Armstrong.

Discussions and moves towards banning cash have repeatedly cropped up in recent weeks.

Willem Buiter, who Armstrong claims is speaking at the secret meeting, recently advocated abolishing cash altogether in order to “solve the world’s central banks’ problem with negative interest rates.”

Last year, Kenneth Rogoff also called for “abolishing physical currency” in order to stop “tax evasion and illegal activity” as well as preventing people from withdrawing money when interest rates are close to zero.

Money capital controls

Striking a similar tone, former Bank of England economist Jim Leaviss penned an article for the London Telegraph earlier this month in which he said a cashless society would only be achieved by “forcing everyone to spend only by electronic means from an account held at a government-run bank,” which would be, “monitored, or even directly controlled by the government.”

Big banks in both the United Kingdom and the U.S. are already treating the withdrawal or depositing of moderately large amounts of cash as a suspicious activity. Reports emerged in March of how the Justice Department is ordering bank employees to consider calling the cops on customers who withdraw $5,000 dollars or more.

Willem Butler Citigroup

Willem Buiter, the Chief Economist at Citigroup.

Meanwhile in France, new measures are set to come into force in September which will restrict French citizens from making cash payments over €1,000 euros. Armstrong suggests that “financial police” could enforce this new law by, “searching people on trains just passing through France to see if they are transporting cash, which they will now seize.”

As Armstrong notes, banning cash in order to eviscerate what little economic freedoms people have left to avoid disastrous Keynesian central bank policy is nothing short of economic totalitarianism.

“In the mind of an economic tyrant, banning cash represents the holy grail,” writes Michael Krieger. “Forcing the plebs onto a system of digital fiat currency transactions offers total control via a seamless tracking of all transactions in the economy, and the ability to block payments if an uppity citizen dares get out of line.”

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Stuxnet 2.0: US launches cyber attack on Iran’s oil ministry http://www.hangthebankers.com/stuxnet-us-launches-cyber-attack-on-irans-oil-ministry/ http://www.hangthebankers.com/stuxnet-us-launches-cyber-attack-on-irans-oil-ministry/#comments Thu, 28 May 2015 06:43:07 +0000 http://www.hangthebankers.com/?p=25014
Iran has foiled a hacking attack on its Ministry of Petroleum, which originated from the US, head of the Iranian Cyber Police has said.

The website of Cyber Police (FATA) quoted Gen. Kamal Hadianfar as saying that the hackers had launched their attack during holidays in Iran.

“We managed to stop the ports of cyber-attacks and react to hackers and finally their attacks were neutralized,” he said.

“The IP used by the hackers originated from America which we have announced to (the Americans) in a formal letter. We have also submitted an international court order which is being followed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs,” Hadianfar added.

Iran oil

The worst cyber-attack against Iran, carried out jointly by the US and Israel, was discovered in June 2010.

In the attack, Iran’s nuclear facility in Natanz was the target of the Stuxnet virus which surreptitiously made centrifuges spin out of control.

The attack is known as the most serious case of state cyber-terrorism because of its complexity and sabotage of very sensitive properties.

Iran’s Ministry of Petroleum came under a cyber-attack first in April 2012 in which the computer and communication systems were targeted.

The ministry had to cut internet links to its oil terminal on the strategic Kharq Island which exports about 80% of Iran’s crude oil.

Kharg Island Iran oil

An aerial view from Kharg Island which exports about 80% of Iran’s crude oil. 

Deputy Chief of Staff of Iran’s Armed Forces Brigadier General Massoud Jazayeri said then that “hundreds of US think tanks” were concocting cyber-attacks against Iran and “trying to dominate Iran in cyberspace”.

“They are doing their utmost to create roadblocks to prevent Iran’s progress and success through cyber warfare. Therefore, we too must develop an organized means to address the fight with the enemy in this arena.”

Iran has now set up a unit called Passive Defense Organization that primarily deals with countering sabotage, including cyber terrorism.

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Nearly 200 scientists warn of cell phone health risks http://www.hangthebankers.com/200-scientists-cell-phone-health-risks/ http://www.hangthebankers.com/200-scientists-cell-phone-health-risks/#comments Wed, 27 May 2015 09:52:38 +0000 http://www.hangthebankers.com/?p=24842
Biological and health scientists from Russia and Iran to the USA are calling on the UN, the World Health Organization and national governments to develop strict regulations concerning devices and cellphones that create electromagnetic fields.

The scientists are from 39 nations and have authored 2,000 peer-reviewed papers on the health and biological effects of non-ionizing radiation, which is part of the electromagnetic field spectrum. In a letter, they say that devices like cellphones pose risks of cancer, genetic damage, changes in reproductive system, and learning and memory deficits.

Putting it bluntly they are damaging the living cells in our bodies and killing many of us prematurely,” said Dr. Martin Blank, from the Department of Physiology and Cellular Biophysics at Columbia University, in a video message.

People using cell phones radiation

We have created something that is harming us, and it is getting out of control. Before Edison’s light bulb there was very little electromagnetic radiation in our environment. The levels today are very many times higher than natural background levels, and are growing rapidly because of all the new devices that emit this radiation.”

One example that was cited is the cellphone. Blank pointed to a study which showed that as cellphone usage has spread widely, the incidence of fatal brain cancer in younger people has more than tripled.

The scientists see the unregulated use of radio frequency radiation in cellphones and Wi-Fi as developing into a public health crisis. Blank said biologists and scientists are not being heard from committees that set safety standards, that safety limits are much too high and that biological facts are being ignored.

“They are not protective,” he added. “We are really all part of large biological experiment without our informed consent. To protect ourselves, our children, and our ecosystem, we must reduce exposure by establishing more protective guidelines.”

Scientists are appealing to the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) to “convene and fund an independent multidisciplinary committee to explore the pros and cons of alternative to current practices that could substantially lower human exposure to RF and ELF fields.”

They request that the deliberations be “transparent and impartial,” and involve industry players in the field. However, scientists believe industry “should not be allowed to bias the process or conclusions.” Once completed, the analysis would offer the UN and WHO a guide for precautionary action.

Questions have surfaced about the safety of EMF among the scientific community and with the public, but it is largely absent from national debate despite the ubiquitous use of devices, particularly in the United States.

“…In the United States, where non-industry-funded studies are rare, where legislation protecting the wireless industry from legal challenges has long been in place…to suggest it might be a problem – maybe, eventually, a very public-health problem – is like saying our shoes might be killing us,” wrote journalist Christopher Ketchum in a 2010 GQ article called “Warning: Your Cell Phone May Be Hazardous to Your Health.”

Ketchum said a 2008 study sponsored by the International Agency for Research on Cancer in France reported that after a decade of cellphone use, the chances of getting a brain tumor – specifically on the side of the head where you use the phone – go up as much as 40 percent for adults.

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UBS given immunity in precious metals manipulation probe http://www.hangthebankers.com/ubs-immunity-precious-metals-manipulation/ http://www.hangthebankers.com/ubs-immunity-precious-metals-manipulation/#comments Wed, 27 May 2015 05:48:49 +0000 http://www.hangthebankers.com/?p=24957
UBS Group AG won immunity from criminal fraud charges in a Justice Department investigation into misconduct in the trading of precious metals.

The Swiss bank’s main UBS AG unit won’t be charged by the department’s criminal division for information the firm disclosed to prosecutors about precious-metals transactions, according to the company’s plea agreement released on Wednesday to resolve a probe into interest-rate manipulation.

Prosecutors have been investigating whether at least 10 banks, including Barclays Plc, JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Deutsche Bank AG, manipulated prices of precious metals such as silver and gold, Bloomberg reported in February. The scrutiny follows international probes into the rigging of financial benchmarks for rates and currencies, which have yielded billions of dollars in fines.

UBS precious metals manipulation

The Justice Department on Wednesday announced that JPMorgan, Barclays and units of Citigroup Inc. and Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc agreed to plead guilty to conspiring to manipulate the price of U.S. dollars and euros. In its deal, UBS promised to help investigators examine whether there was “manipulation of, or fraud in” precious metals markets. The four other banks’ agreements filed in federal court in Connecticut don’t detail cooperation by them in the metals case.

UBS spokeswoman Karina Byrne declined to comment beyond a statement the company issued Wednesday that noted the Zurich-based firm won’t be charged in the metals probe. UBS also won immunity from prosecution in the currency case.

“This immunity reflects UBS’s role as the firm that first reported potential misconduct to the DOJ, and the full cooperation provided to the DOJ and other authorities throughout the world,” the lender said.

HSBC Holdings Plc disclosed in February that the Justice Department and U.S. commodities regulators have sought documents on precious-metals dealings. The London-based bank, which is under a five-year deferred-prosecution agreement with the Justice Department from a money-laundering case, said it’s cooperating in the probes.

Wednesday’s plea agreement also said that UBS wouldn’t face criminal fraud charges for information it has given to prosecutors investigating the bank’s V10 Currency Indexes.

The Justice Department is investigating the UBS V10 Enhanced FX Carry Strategy, a product sold to institutional investors such as hedge funds and pension funds, to determine whether the bank misrepresented to clients the profits it was earning on the foreign-currency basket, a personal familiar with the matter told Bloomberg in February.

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Germany joins China and Russia’s flight to gold http://www.hangthebankers.com/germany-joins-china-russia-flight-to-gold/ http://www.hangthebankers.com/germany-joins-china-russia-flight-to-gold/#comments Tue, 26 May 2015 15:23:05 +0000 http://www.hangthebankers.com/?p=24998
From Filip Karinja, for Birch Gold Group

Germans are now rushing into gold. In search of a safe haven from a possible Greek debt default and the ultra-loose monetary policy of the European Central Bank (ECB) that makes even Ben Bernanke look fiscally conservative, Germans have significantly picked up their purchasing since the first quarter of this year.

New figures from the World Gold Council reveal that the German people increased their purchases of the monetary metal by a surprising 20% in the first three months of 2015.

But within Germany, it isn’t just the people who are flocking to gold for protection: In recent years, we have seen the German central bank, the Bundesbank, attempt to repatriate its gold from abroad.

Gold bars

In 2014, the Bundesbank repatriated 120 tonnes of gold: 85 tonnes from the New York Federal Reserve and 35 tonnes from Paris. By 2020, the Germans have requested a further 210 tonnes from New York and 307 tonnes be sent home from Paris. That’s a staggering 517 tonnes still to come!

Those core issues currently hanging over Europe, of the debt crisis in Greece and excessive money printing from the ECB, are central to why Germans are now making such a big move to gold.

Currently, in a last-ditch attempt to keep the titanic EU afloat a little longer, the ECB is pumping a minimum of €1.14 trillion into the economy through to the end of September 2016. The money printing program from Europe’s version of the Federal Reserve started in March of this year, with monthly purchases of €60 billion in government bonds.

The Germans are well aware of what this money printing can do to a currency; they don’t need to look any further than their own Weimar Republic from the early 1920′s.

Here’s what happened to gold versus paper money during the height of hyperinflation in Germany:

german hyperinflation gold

This scenario is no doubt in the back of the minds of the German people who would have heard stories from their grandparents’ generation about the horrors of hyperinflation. Can you believe that money was used in Germany to light the fire, as it was cheaper than using newspaper?

Then there’s the situation in Greece, one which could be a catalyst to bring down the global financial house of cards on its own.

At present, Athens and its creditors have locked horns over who owes what, and neither is willing to compromise. This is further increasing uncertainty in the Eurozone.

Germany has benefited the most from the Euro experiment, but they are also keenly aware that the tides of power are shifting east, and towards gold.

For one, Germans see China’s rise in power and may share the opinion of many others that it’s only a matter of time until the yuan challenges other leading currencies, including the U.S. dollar.

And second, China and Russia have recently hinted at future gold-backed currencies.

Just this week, German national newspaper DWN explained how such a scenario may unfold (translated into English):

“China intends to introduce later this year a gold fixing reference price in yuan. The country wants to create a competitor to the London gold price fixing. The country liberalized its gold market and aims to establish the gold exchange in Shanghai in order to determine the global price of gold. The Americans fear that China could introduce a new gold standard to displace the dollar.”

“A new gold standard to displace the dollar.”

Wow! Hope you caught that.

Q. So what do Germany, China and Russia all have in common?

A. All three nations are piling into gold, not just for diversification purposes, but also as possible use in future trade between nations.

Read more…

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Memorial Day: our soldiers died for the profit of the bankers http://www.hangthebankers.com/memorial-day-soldiers-died-for-bankers-profit/ http://www.hangthebankers.com/memorial-day-soldiers-died-for-bankers-profit/#comments Tue, 26 May 2015 04:06:48 +0000 http://www.hangthebankers.com/?p=24985
Memorial Day commemorates soldiers killed in war. We are told that the war dead died for us and our freedom.

US Marine General Smedley Butler challenged this view. He said that our soldiers died for the profits of the bankers, Wall Street, Standard Oil, and the United Fruit Company. Here is an excerpt from a speech that he gave in 1933:

War is just a racket. A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of people. Only a small inside group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few at the expense of the masses.

I believe in adequate defense at the coastline and nothing else. If a nation comes over here to fight, then we’ll fight. The trouble with America is that when the dollar only earns 6 percent over here, then it gets restless and goes overseas to get 100 percent. Then the flag follows the dollar and the soldiers follow the flag.

I wouldn’t go to war again as I have done to protect some lousy investment of the bankers. There are only two things we should fight for. One is the defense of our homes and the other is the Bill of Rights. War for any other reason is simply a racket.

There isn’t a trick in the racketeering bag that the military gang is blind to. It has its “finger men” to point out enemies, its “muscle men” to destroy enemies, its “brain men” to plan war preparations, and a “Big Boss” Super-Nationalistic-Capitalism.

It may seem odd for me, a military man to adopt such a comparison. Truthfulness compels me to. I spent thirty-three years and four months in active military service as a member of this country’s most agile military force, the Marine Corps. I served in all commissioned ranks from Second Lieutenant to Major-General. And during that period, I spent most of my time being a high class muscle- man for Big Business, for Wall Street and for the Bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism.

I suspected I was just part of a racket at the time. Now I am sure of it. Like all the members of the military profession, I never had a thought of my own until I left the service. My mental faculties remained in suspended animation while I obeyed the orders of higher-ups. This is typical with everyone in the military service.

I helped make Mexico, especially Tampico, safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefits of Wall Street. The record of racketeering is long. I helped purify Nicaragua for the international banking house of Brown Brothers in 1909-1912 (where have I heard that name before?). I brought light to the Dominican Republic for American sugar interests in 1916. In China I helped to see to it that Standard Oil went its way unmolested.

During those years, I had, as the boys in the back room would say, a swell racket. Looking back on it, I feel that I could have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents.

Most American soldiers died fighting foes who posed no threat to the United States. Our soldiers died for secret agendas of which they knew nothing. Capitalists hid their self-interests behind the flag, and our boys died for the One Percent’s bottom line.

Jade Helm, an exercise that pits the US military against the US public, is scheduled to run July 15 through September 15. What is the secret agenda behind Jade Helm?

The Soviet Union was a partial check on capitalist looting in the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s. However, with the Soviet collapse capitalist looting intensified during the Clinton, Bush, and Obama regimes.

War protest we won't fight another rich man's war

Neoliberal Globalization is now looting its own constituent parts and the planet itself. Americans, Greeks, Irish, British, Italians, Ukrainians, Iraqis, Libyans, Argentinians, the Spanish and Portuguese are being looted of their savings, pensions, social services, and job opportunities, and the planet is being turned into a wasteland by capitalists sucking the last penny out of the environment.

As Claudia von Werlhof writes, predatory capitalism is consuming the globe.

We need a memorial day to commemorate the victims of neoliberal globalization. All of us are its victims, and in the end the capitalists also.

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Report: US created ISIS to overthrow Syria’s President Assad http://www.hangthebankers.com/us-created-isis-to-overthrow-syrias-president-assad/ http://www.hangthebankers.com/us-created-isis-to-overthrow-syrias-president-assad/#comments Sun, 24 May 2015 16:20:00 +0000 http://www.hangthebankers.com/?p=24978
From the first sudden, and quite dramatic, appearance of the fanatical Islamic group known as ISIS which was largely unheard of until a year ago on the world’s stage and which promptly replaced the worn out and tired al Qaeda as the world’s terrorist bogeyman, we suggested that the “straight to beheading YouTube clip” purpose behind the Saudi Arabia-funded Islamic State was a simple one: use the Jihadists as the vehicle of choice to achieve a political goal: depose of Syria‘s president Assad.

Who for years has stood in the way of a critical Qatari natural gas pipeline, one which could dethrone Russia as Europe’s dominant – and belligerent – source of energy, reaching an interim climax with the unsuccessful Mediterranean Sea military build up of 2013, which nearly resulted in quasi-world war.

ISIS tank

The narrative and the plotline were so transparent, even Russia saw right through them. Recall from September of last year:

If the West bombs Islamic State militants in Syria without consulting Damascus, LiveLeak reports that the anti-ISIS alliance may use the occasion to launch airstrikes against President Bashar Assad’s forces, according to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. Clearly comprehending that Obama’s new strategy against ISIS in Syria is all about pushing the Qatar pipeline through (as was the impetus behind the 2013 intervention push), Russia is pushing back noting that the it is using ISIS as a pretext for bombing Syrian government forces and warning that “such a development would lead to a huge escalation of conflict in the Middle East and North Africa.”

But it’s one thing to speculate; it’s something entirely different to have hard proof.

And while speculation was rife that just like the CIA-funded al Qaeda had been used as a facade by the US to achieve its own geopolitical and national interests over the past two decades, so ISIS was nothing more than al Qaeda 2.0, there was no actual evidence of just this.

That may all have changed now when a declassified secret US government document obtained by the public interest law firm, Judicial Watch, shows that Western governments deliberately allied with al-Qaeda and other Islamist extremist groups to topple Syrian dictator Bashir al-Assad.

Syria Assad

According to investigative reporter Nafeez Ahmed in Medium, the “leaked document reveals that in coordination with the Gulf states and Turkey, the West intentionally sponsored violent Islamist groups to destabilize Assad, despite anticipating that doing so could lead to the emergence of an ‘Islamic State’ in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

According to the newly declassified US document, the Pentagon foresaw the likely rise of the ‘Islamic State’ as a direct consequence of the strategy, but described this outcome as a strategic opportunity to “isolate the Syrian regime.”

And not just that: as we reported last week, now that ISIS is running around the middle east, cutting people’s heads of in 1080p quality and Hollywood-quality (perhaps literally) video, the US has a credible justification to sell billions worth of modern, sophisticated weapons in the region in order to “modernize” and “replenish” the weapons of such US allies as Saudi Arabia, Israel and Iraq.

But that the US military-industrial complex is a winner every time war breaks out anywhere in the world (usually with the assistance of the CIA) is clear to everyone by now. What wasn’t clear is just how the US predetermined the current course of events in the middle east.

Now, thanks to the following declassified report, we have a far better understanding of not only how current events in the middle east came to be, but what America’s puppermaster role leading up to it all, was. 

From Nafeez Ahmed: Secret Pentagon report reveals West saw ISIS as strategic asset Anti-ISIS coalition knowingly sponsored violent extremists to ‘isolate’ Assad, rollback ‘Shia expansion’, originally posted in Medium.

ISIS plane

Hypocrisy

The revelations contradict the official line of Western government on their policies in Syria, and raise disturbing questions about secret Western support for violent extremists abroad, while using the burgeoning threat of terror to justify excessive mass surveillance and crackdowns on civil liberties at home.

Among the batch of documents obtained by Judicial Watch through a federal lawsuit, released earlier this week, is a US Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) document then classified as “secret,” dated 12th August 2012.

The DIA provides military intelligence in support of planners, policymakers and operations for the US Department of Defense and intelligence community.

So far, media reporting has focused on the evidence that the Obama administration knew of arms supplies from a Libyan terrorist stronghold to rebels in Syria.

Some outlets have reported the US intelligence community’s internal prediction of the rise of ISIS. Yet none have accurately acknowledged the disturbing details exposing how the West knowingly fostered a sectarian, al-Qaeda-driven rebellion in Syria.

Charles Shoebridge, a former British Army and Metropolitan Police counter-terrorism intelligence officer, said:

“Given the political leanings of the organisation that obtained these documents, it’s unsurprising that the main emphasis given to them thus far has been an attempt to embarrass Hilary Clinton regarding what was known about the attack on the US consulate in Benghazi in 2012. However, the documents also contain far less publicized revelations that raise vitally important questions of the West’s governments and media in their support of Syria’s rebellion.”

The West’s Islamists

The newly declassified DIA document from 2012 confirms that the main component of the anti-Assad rebel forces by this time comprised Islamist insurgents affiliated to groups that would lead to the emergence of ISIS. Despite this, these groups were to continue receiving support from Western militaries and their regional allies.

Noting that “the Salafist [sic], the Muslim Brotherhood, and AQI [al-Qaeda in Iraq] are the major forces driving the insurgency in Syria,” the document states that “the West, Gulf countries, and Turkey support the opposition,” while Russia, China and Iran “support the [Assad] regime.”

The 7-page DIA document states that al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI), the precursor to the ‘Islamic State in Iraq,’ (ISI) which became the ‘Islamic State in Iraq and Syria,’ “supported the Syrian opposition from the beginning, both ideologically and through the media.”

ISIS CIA creation

The formerly secret Pentagon report notes that the “rise of the insurgency in Syria” has increasingly taken a “sectarian direction,” attracting diverse support from Sunni “religious and tribal powers” across the region.

In a section titled ‘The Future Assumptions of the Crisis,’ the DIA report predicts that while Assad’s regime will survive, retaining control over Syrian territory, the crisis will continue to escalate “into proxy war.”

The document also recommends the creation of “safe havens under international sheltering, similar to what transpired in Libya when Benghazi was chosen as the command centre for the temporary government.”

In Libya, anti-Gaddafi rebels, most of whom were al-Qaeda affiliated militias, were protected by NATO ‘safe havens’ (aka ‘no fly zones’).

‘Supporting powers want’ ISIS entity

In a strikingly prescient prediction, the Pentagon document explicitly forecasts the probable declaration of “an Islamic State through its union with other terrorist organizations in Iraq and Syria.”

Nevertheless, “Western countries, the Gulf states and Turkey are supporting these efforts” by Syrian “opposition forces” fighting to “control the eastern areas (Hasaka and Der Zor), adjacent to Western Iraqi provinces (Mosul and Anbar)”:

“… there is the possibility of establishing a declared or undeclared Salafist Principality in eastern Syria (Hasaka and Der Zor), and this is exactly what the supporting powers to the opposition want, in order to isolate the Syrian regime, which is considered the strategic depth of the Shia expansion (Iraq and Iran).”

The secret Pentagon document thus provides extraordinary confirmation that the US-led coalition currently fighting ISIS, had three years ago welcomed the emergence of an extremist “Salafist Principality” in the region as a way to undermine Assad, and block off the strategic expansion of Iran. Crucially, Iraq is labeled as an integral part of this “Shia expansion.”

The establishment of such a “Salafist Principality” in eastern Syria, the DIA document asserts, is “exactly” what the “supporting powers to the [Syrian] opposition want.” Earlier on, the document repeatedly describes those “supporting powers” as “the West, Gulf countries, and Turkey.”

Further on, the document reveals that Pentagon analysts were acutely aware of the dire risks of this strategy, yet ploughed ahead anyway.

ISIS in cars

The establishment of such a “Salafist Principality” in eastern Syria, it says, would create “the ideal atmosphere for AQI to return to its old pockets in Mosul and Ramadi.” Last summer, ISIS conquered Mosul in Iraq, and just this month has also taken control of Ramadi.

Such a quasi-state entity will provide:

“… a renewed momentum under the presumption of unifying the jihad among Sunni Iraq and Syria, and the rest of the Sunnis in the Arab world against what it considers one enemy. ISI could also declare an Islamic State through its union with other terrorist organizations in Iraq and Syria, which will create grave danger in regards to unifying Iraq and the protection of territory.”

The 2012 DIA document is an Intelligence Information Report (IIR), not a “finally evaluated intelligence” assessment, but its contents are vetted before distribution. The report was circulated throughout the US intelligence community, including to the State Department, Central Command, the Department of Homeland Security, the CIA, FBI, among other agencies.

In response to my questions about the strategy, the British government simply denied the Pentagon report’s startling revelations of deliberate Western sponsorship of violent extremists in Syria. A British Foreign Office spokesperson said:

“AQ and ISIL are proscribed terrorist organisations. The UK opposes all forms of terrorism. AQ, ISIL, and their affiliates pose a direct threat to the UK’s national security. We are part of a military and political coalition to defeat ISIL in Iraq and Syria, and are working with international partners to counter the threat from AQ and other terrorist groups in that region. In Syria we have always supported those moderate opposition groups who oppose the tyranny of Assad and the brutality of the extremists.”

The DIA did not respond to request for comment.

Strategic asset for regime-change

Security analyst Shoebridge, however, who has tracked Western support for Islamist terrorists in Syria since the beginning of the war, pointed out that the secret Pentagon intelligence report exposes fatal contradictions at the heart of official pronunciations:

“Throughout the early years of the Syria crisis, the US and UK governments, and almost universally the West’s mainstream media, promoted Syria’s rebels as moderate, liberal, secular, democratic, and therefore deserving of the West’s support. Given that these documents wholly undermine this assessment, it’s significant that the West’s media has now, despite their immense significance, almost entirely ignored them.”

According to Brad Hoff, a former US Marine who served during the early years of the Iraq War and as a 9/11 first responder at the Marine Corps Headquarters in Battalion Quantico from 2000 to 2004, the just released Pentagon report for the first time provides stunning affirmation that:

“US intelligence predicted the rise of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or ISIS), but instead of clearly delineating the group as an enemy, the report envisions the terror group as a US strategic asset.”

Hoff, who is managing editor of Levant Report — ?an online publication run by Texas-based educators who have direct experience of the Middle East?—?points out that the DIA document “matter-of-factly” states that the rise of such an extremist Salafist political entity in the region offers a “tool for regime change in Syria.”

The DIA intelligence report shows, he said, that the rise of ISIS only became possible in the context of the Syrian insurgency?—?“there is no mention of US troop withdrawal from Iraq as a catalyst for Islamic State’s rise, which is the contention of innumerable politicians and pundits.” The report demonstrates that:

“The establishment of a ‘Salafist Principality’ in Eastern Syria is ‘exactly’ what the external powers supporting the opposition want (identified as ‘the West, Gulf Countries, and Turkey’) in order to weaken the Assad government.”

The rise of a Salafist quasi-state entity that might expand into Iraq, and fracture that country, was therefore clearly foreseen by US intelligence as likely?—?but nevertheless strategically useful?—?blowback from the West’s commitment to “isolating Syria.”

Complicity

Critics of the US-led strategy in the region have repeatedly raised questions about the role of coalition allies in intentionally providing extensive support to Islamist terrorist groups in the drive to destabilize the Assad regime in Syria.

The conventional wisdom is that the US government did not retain sufficient oversight on the funding to anti-Assad rebel groups, which was supposed to be monitored and vetted to ensure that only ‘moderate’ groups were supported.

However, the newly declassified Pentagon report proves unambiguously that years before ISIS launched its concerted offensive against Iraq, the US intelligence community was fully aware that Islamist militants constituted the core of Syria’s sectarian insurgency.

Despite that, the Pentagon continued to support the Islamist insurgency, even while anticipating the probability that doing so would establish an extremist Salafi stronghold in Syria and Iraq.

ISIS armed by US

As Shoebridge told me, “The documents show that not only did the US government at the latest by August 2012 know the true extremist nature and likely outcome of Syria’s rebellion”?—?namely, the emergence of ISIS?—?“but that this was considered an advantage for US foreign policy. This also suggests a decision to spend years in an effort to deliberately mislead the West’s public, via a compliant media, into believing that Syria’s rebellion was overwhelmingly ‘moderate.’”

Annie Machon, a former MI5 intelligence officer who blew the whistle in the 1990s on MI6 funding of al-Qaeda to assassinate Libya’s former leader Colonel Gaddafi, similarly said of the revelations:

“This is no surprise to me. Within individual countries there are always multiple intelligence agencies with competing agendas.”

She explained that MI6’s Libya operation in 1996, which resulted in the deaths of innocent people, “happened at precisely the time when MI5 was setting up a new section to investigate al-Qaeda.”

This strategy was repeated on a grand scale in the 2011 NATO intervention in Libya, said Machon, where the CIA and MI6 were:

“… supporting the very same Libyan groups, resulting in a failed state, mass murder, displacement and anarchy. So the idea that elements of the American military-security complex have enabled the development of ISIS after their failed attempt to get NATO to once again ‘intervene’ is part of an established pattern. And they remain indifferent to the sheer scale of human suffering that is unleashed as a result of such game-playing.”

Divide and rule

Several US government officials have conceded that their closest allies in the anti-ISIS coalition were funding violent extremist Islamist groups that became integral to ISIS.

US Vice President Joe Biden, for instance, admitted last year that Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Qatar and Turkey had funneled hundreds of millions of dollars to Islamist rebels in Syria that metamorphosed into ISIS.

But he did not admit what this internal Pentagon document demonstrates?—?that the entire covert strategy was sanctioned and supervised by the US, Britain, France, Israel and other Western powers.

The strategy appears to fit a policy scenario identified by a recent US Army-commissioned RAND Corp report.

The report, published four years before the DIA document, called for the US “to capitalise on the Shia-Sunni conflict by taking the side of the conservative Sunni regimes in a decisive fashion and working with them against all Shiite empowerment movements in the Muslim world.”

The US would need to contain “Iranian power and influence” in the Gulf by “shoring up the traditional Sunni regimes in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Pakistan.” Simultaneously, the US must maintain “a strong strategic relationship with the Iraqi Shiite government” despite its Iran alliance.

The RAND report confirmed that the “divide and rule” strategy was already being deployed “to create divisions in the jihadist camp. Today in Iraq such a strategy is being used at the tactical level.”

The report observed that the US was forming “temporary alliances” with al-Qaeda affiliated “nationalist insurgent groups” that have fought the US for four years in the form of “weapons and cash.” Although these nationalists “have cooperated with al-Qaeda against US forces,” they are now being supported to exploit “the common threat that al-Qaeda now poses to both parties.”

John McCain ISIS Assad

The 2012 DIA document, however, further shows that while sponsoring purportedly former al-Qaeda insurgents in Iraq to counter al-Qaeda, Western governments were simultaneously arming al-Qaeda insurgents in Syria.

The revelation from an internal US intelligence document that the very US-led coalition supposedly fighting ‘Islamic State’ today, knowingly created ISIS in the first place, raises troubling questions about recent government efforts to justify the expansion of state anti-terror powers.

In the wake of the rise of ISIS, intrusive new measures to combat extremism including mass surveillance, the Orwellian ‘prevent duty’ and even plans to enable government censorship of broadcasters, are being pursued on both sides of the Atlantic, much of which disproportionately targets activists, journalists and ethnic minorities, especially Muslims.

Yet the new Pentagon report reveals that, contrary to Western government claims, the primary cause of the threat comes from their own deeply misguided policies of secretly sponsoring Islamist terrorism for dubious geopolitical purposes.

SEE ALSO: This is how the United States created ISIS

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US sells over $4b in weapons to Israel, Iraq and Saudi Arabia http://www.hangthebankers.com/us-sells-weapons-israel-iraq-saudi-arabia/ http://www.hangthebankers.com/us-sells-weapons-israel-iraq-saudi-arabia/#comments Sun, 24 May 2015 08:04:58 +0000 http://www.hangthebankers.com/?p=24967
War, what’s it good for?

Aside from countless deaths of innocent civilians of course, it means a GDP boost for the biggest exporter of weapons on earth, the United States, and even more profits for the US military-industrial complex. Profits which mean the shareholders of America’s arms manufacturers get even richer.

Which is why following months of middle-eastern sabre ratling and numerous quasi-wars already raging in the region, moments ago the U.S. State Department approved the sale of 10 MH-60R Seahawk helicopters to Saudi Arabia for $1.9 billion, the first step in “a major multibillion-dollar modernization of the Saudi navy’s eastern fleet.”

MH-60R Seahawk helicopter

MH-60R Seahawk helicopter 

According to Reuters, the Pentagon’s Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) notified lawmakers on Thursday about the possible arms sale, which has been discussed for years.

The Saudi government had requested a sale of the 10 MH-60R multi-mission helicopters, built by Sikorsky Aircraft, a unit of United Technologies Corp and Lockheed, as well as radars, missiles and other equipment, the agency said.

Why do the Saudis need a modernization of their already state of the art weapons?

The proposed sale would improve Saudi Arabia’s capability to meet current and future threats from enemy weapons systems, as well as secondary missions such as vertical replenishment, search and rescue, and communications relay.

“Saudi Arabia will use the enhanced capability as a deterrent to regional threats and to strengthen its homeland defense,” the agency said.

In other words, the Saudis, by funding ISIS, are creating the very “regional threat” (which recently has launched numerous false flag attacks against the same Saudi Arabia to provie the cover for needing such a modernization) that they need to wage war against.

But wait, there’s more!

Because just to make sure the same vendors of lethal equipment have happy repeat customers, the Pentagon also announced a $1.9 billion deal with Israel to supply 3,000 Hellfire precision missiles, 250 AIM-120C advanced medium-range air-to-air missiles, 4,100 GBU-39 small diameter bombs and 50 BLU-113 bunker buster bombs. The order also includes 14,500 tail kits for Joint Direct Attack Munitions for 220kg and 900kg bombs and a variety of Paveway laser-guided bomb kits according to RT.

Bunker buster bomb

Bunker buster bomb in moment of deployment

Wait, wasn’t the US said to have tarnished its relations with Israel in recent months following various diplomatic snubs by Netanyahu and Obama? Well, it was all for show: according to Israeli media deal is seen as “compensation” for the rapprochement between Iran and the US.

Curiously, this is precisely what we wrote two weeks ago in “Obama’s Real Motive Behind The Iran Deal: A Backdoor Channel To Sell Weapons To Saudi Arabia” only we can now add Israel in the mix.

“The proposed sale of this equipment will provide Israel the ability to support its self-defense needs,” the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency said, adding that the new contract is meant to “replenish” Israel’s arsenal without supplying the country with any kind of new weapons.

In November 2014 it was reported that Pentagon was going to supplying Israel with 3,000 smart bombs, similar to those used by the Israeli Air Force in Gaza last summer, where an estimated 100 tons of munitions were dropped.

So “modernizing” the Saudi arsenal and “replenishing” that of Israel.

In other words, Obama’s warming up to Iran was nothing but a back door diplomatic loophole to arm Iran’s “threatened” neighbors in the region. Just as we forecast.

As for the beneficiaries, once again there is no question: the main contractors to fulfill the lucrative Israeli arms deal will be Boeing, Ellwood National Forge, General Dynamics, Lockheed Martin and Raytheon Missile Systems, AFP reported.

But wait, there is even more!

Because, just in case arming Israel and Saudi Arabia with sophisticated modern weaponry isn’t enough to assure of a full on war in the coming weeks as the balance of power in the middle east once again shifts dramatically, the US – to really make sure America’s MIC has even more happy repeat customers, will also deliver 2,000 AT-4 anti-tank rockets to Iraq as early as next week, 1,000 more than announced on Wednesday, to help Baghdad combat suicide car bombings by Islamic State.

Anti tank rocket launcher

Soldier firing AT-4 anti tank rocket

Wait, anti-tank bombs to counter suicide bombers? Apparently yes:

Spokesman Colonel Steve Warren said the delivery would help Iraq defend against approaching suicide bombers driving vehicles packed with explosives, attacks used by Islamic State militants last weekend to help them seize Ramadi from Iraqi forces. “This is a good counter to that (type of bombing),” Warren said.

Warren said the anti-tank weapons would allow the Iraqi forces to destroy approaching suicide car bombers at a distance. Relying on small arms requires disabling the engine or killing the driver, which can be difficult, he said.

And all of this why? So that the Saudis and Iran can “fight” against a Saudi-funded ISIS force, while Israel has “defensive” weapons against an Iran which may become a threat to Israel because of its recently friendly relations with the US.

Or, to conclude with the same summary we provided two weeks ago when predicting this outcome:

In other words, we have, for the past few years, been on the edge of a razor thin Middle Eastern balance of power equilibrium which prevented any one nation or alliance from garnering an outsized influence of military power.

All of that is about to change the moment the MIC figurehead known as president Obama greenlights the dispatch of billions of dollars in fighters, drones, missile batteries, and surveillance equipment to Saudi Arabia and its peers, in the process dramatically reshaping the balance of power status quo and almost certainly leading to yet another middle eastern war which will inevitably drag in not only Israel and Russia at least in a proxy capacity, but ultimately, the US as well.

Just as the US military industrial complex wanted.

Because as every Keynesian fanatic will tell you: in a world saturated by debt, and where organic growth is no longer possible, there is only one remaining option.

War.

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Monsanto funding a free ‘reporter boot camp’ for food writers http://www.hangthebankers.com/monsanto-reporter-boot-camp-for-food-writers/ http://www.hangthebankers.com/monsanto-reporter-boot-camp-for-food-writers/#comments Sat, 23 May 2015 04:53:47 +0000 http://www.hangthebankers.com/?p=24962
Biotech company Monsanto is helping fund a “reporter boot camp” that will be hosted by the National Press Foundation, featuring an all-expense-paid journalism conference called “Food, From Farm to Table.”

The event includes a visit to an organic farm and Monsanto’s research lab.

Twenty journalists will be selected as National Press Foundation fellows to attend the conference in July, which includes travel, meals and hotel accommodation in St. Louis, Missouri. It offers “to take a holistic look at the issues: hunger, food waste, organic, GMOs, food science, feeding the world’s population, and more.

National Press Foundation President Sandy Johnson told the Eater website that she initiated the NPF’s sponsorship relationship with Monsanto after attending a dinner party in January and finding herself sitting next to a member of the Monsanto board of directors. Eater asked if she was familiar with Monsanto’s controversial reputation.

In whose eyes? In your eyes? I’m familiar with the Monsanto that created research and science around agriculture that has allowed the United States to feed the world,” Johnson responded.

Johnson, according to the NPF website, was managing editor for the Institute of Public Integrity and previously the executive editor for state news for AARP. Before that, she was bureau chief for the Associated Press in Washington, DC, the news service’s largest bureau. Under her direction, AP refused to call the 2000 election for George W. Bush despite enormous pressure after TV networks had made an erroneous call.

Monsanto is one of four sponsors for the fellowship, including the AARP Foundation, the Organic Trade Association and the American Farm Bureau Federation, all of which have contributed towards a $100,000 fund to finance the conference. Johnson wouldn’t disclose how much each group had contributed, but she did tell Eater that they had decided to locate the conference in St. Louis, Missouri so they could include a visit to the Monsanto’s labs in the programming.

This is not the first time the NPF has accepted corporate sponsorship. In 2010, the nonprofit came under fire for a multi-day conference training journalists to write about cancer, sponsored by pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, and for another conference on retirement sponsored by Prudential, a company which sells insurance and pension investments.

Monsanto poison is killing you

On Saturday, a worldwide event dubbed March Against Monsanto is planned in 38 countries and 428 cities, meant to raise awareness about the dangers surrounding the company’s genetically modified seeds and cancer-linked herbicide Roundup.

The march comes as the demand for GMO labeling is gaining momentum in states like Vermont. In polls conducted by The New York Times, the Washington Post and Consumer Reports, 90 percent of respondents were in support of GMO labeling – an initiative defeated by heavy spending by Monsanto and other food industry-backed lobbying groups.

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Six banks fined $5.8 billion for market rigging http://www.hangthebankers.com/six-banks-fined-market-rigging/ http://www.hangthebankers.com/six-banks-fined-market-rigging/#comments Fri, 22 May 2015 02:37:46 +0000 http://www.hangthebankers.com/?p=24944
Editor’s note: these banks made billions more from their crimes, let alone received billions of $ in bailouts which the tax payers funded. So will we receive this money? Will any of these bankers ever go to jail for their crimes? If you or I committed the crimes that these bankers are guilty of we would be serving multiple life sentences behind bars.

Six of the world’s biggest banks will pay $5.8 billion and five of them agreed to plead guilty to charges tied to a currency-rigging probe as they seek to wind down almost half a decade of enforcement actions.

FOREX settlement

Citicorp, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Barclays Plc and Royal Bank of Scotland Plc agreed to plead guilty to felony charges of conspiring to manipulate the price of U.S. dollars and euros, according to settlements announced by the Justice Department in Washington Wednesday.

The main banking unit of UBS Group AG agreed to plead guilty to a wire-fraud charge related to interest-rate manipulation. The Swiss bank, the first to cooperate with antitrust investigators, was granted immunity in the currency probe.

Loretta Lynch

US attorney-general Loretta Lynch said the banks penalty was ‘fitting’. “It’s commensurate with the pervasive harm that was done.”

The four banks that agreed to plead guilty to currency charges are among the world’s biggest foreign-exchange traders. They were accused of colluding to influence benchmark rates by aligning positions and pushing transactions through at the same time. Traders who described themselves as members of “The Cartel” used online chat rooms to discuss their positions before the rates were set and suppress competition in the market, the Justice Department said.

All of the banks that pleaded guilty said they received needed waivers from the Securities and Exchange Commission to continue managing mutual funds and raise capital quickly, a person familiar with the matter told Bloomberg.

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