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Video: Chepiga/Mishkin? Is Bellingcat/Eliot Higgins MI6 ‘countergang’ 4 censored Julian Assange/Wikileaks?
Video: Chepiga/Mishkin? Is Bellingcat/Eliot Higgins MI6 ‘countergang’ 4 censored Julian Assange/Wikileaks?
Video: Chepiga/Mishkin? Is Bellingcat/Eliot Higgins MI6 ‘countergang’ 4 censored Julian Assange/Wikileaks?
This incisive article by veteran war correspondent Felicity Arbuthnot was published by Global Research a year ago, on February 2, 2012.
You will not read it in the New York Times.
At a time of mounting media fabrications –when “objective truths are fading” and “lies are passing into history”– this analysis reveals the diabolical modus operandi of US-NATO terrorism and how covert intelligence ops are applied to trigger conditions for the collapse of nation states. One of these “conditions” is the outright killing of innocent civilians as part of a cover operation and then blaming president Bashar Al Assad of have committed atrocities against his own people
Michel Chossudovsky, Global Research , January 27, 2012
“In order to facilitate the action of liberative (sic) forces, …a special effort should be made to eliminate certain key individuals. …[to] be accomplished early in the course of the uprising and intervention, …
Once a political decision has been reached to proceed with internal disturbances in Syria, CIA is prepared, and SIS (MI6) will attempt to mount minor sabotage and coup de main (sic) incidents within Syria, working through contacts with individuals. …Incidents should not be concentrated in Damascus …
Further : a “necessary degree of fear .. frontier incidents and (staged) border clashes”, would “provide a pretext for intervention… the CIA and SIS [MI6 should use … capabilitites in both psychological and action fields to augment tension.” (Joint US-UK leaked Intelligence Document, London and Washington, 1957)
“'The very concept of objective truth is fading out of the world. Lies will pass into history." (George Orwell (Eric Arthur Blair, 1903-1950.)
For anyone in two minds about what is really going on in Syria, and whether President Assad, hailed a decade ago as “A Modern Day Attaturk”, has become the latest megalomaniacal despot, to whose people a US-led posse of nations, must deliver “freedom”, with weapons of mass, home, people, nation and livelihood destruction, here is a salutary tale from modern history.
Have the more recent sabre rattlings against Syria* been based on US-UK government papers, only discovered in 2003 - and since air brushed (or erroneously omitted) from even BBC timelines, on that country?(i)
In late 2003, the year of the Iraq invasion, Matthew Jones, a Reader in International History, at London’s Royal Holloway College, discovered “frighteningly frank” documents:1957 plans between then UK Prime Minister, Harold Macmillan, and then President, Dwight Eisenhower, endorsing: “a CIA-MI6 plan to stage fake border incidents as an excuse for an invasion (of Syria) by Syria’s pro-western neighbours.” (ii)
At the heart of the plan was the assassination of the perceived power behind then President Shukri al-Quwatli. Those targeted were: Abd al-Hamid Sarraj, Head of Military Intelligence; Afif al-Bizri, Chief of Syrian General Staff: and Khalid Bakdash, who headed the Syrian Communist Party.
The document was drawn up in Washington in the September of 1957:
“In order to facilitate the action of liberative (sic) forces, reduce the capabilities of the regime to organize and direct its military actions … to bring about the desired results in the shortest possible time, a special effort should be made to eliminate certain key individuals.
“Their removal should be accomplished early in the course of the uprising and intervention, and in the light of circumstances existing at the time.”
In the light of President Assad’s current allegations of foreign forces and interventions, cross border incursions (as Colonel Qadafi’s before him, so sneered at by Western governments and media – and, of course, ultimately proved so resoundingly correct.) there are some fascinating, salutary phrases:
“Once a political decision has been reached to proceed with internal disturbances in Syria, CIA is prepared, and SIS (MI6) will attempt to mount minor sabotage and coup de main (sic) incidents within Syria, working through contacts with individuals.
“Incidents should not be concentrated in Damascus … care should be taken to avoid causing key leaders of the Syrian regime to take additional personal protection measures.”
Further : a “necessary degree of fear .. frontier incidents and (staged) border clashes”, would “provide a pretext for intervention”, by Iraq and Jordan - then still under British mandate.
Syria was to be: “made to appear as sponsor of plots, sabotage and violence directed against neighbouring governments … the CIA and SIS [Her Majesty's Secret International Serivce, MI6] should use … capabilities in both psychological and action fields to augment tension.”
Incursions in to Iraq, Jordan and Lebanon, would involve: “sabotage, national conspiracies, and various strong arms activities”, were, advised the document, to be blamed on Damascus.
In late December 2011 an opposition “Syria National Council” was announced, to “liberate the country”, representatives met with Hilary Clinton. There now seems to be a US – endorsed “Syrian Revolutionary Council.”
The Eisenhower-Macmillan plan was for funding of the: “Free Syria Committee” and “arming of political factions with paramilitary or other actionist capabilities”, within Syria.
CIA-MI6, planned fomenting internal uprisings and replacing the Ba’ath-Communist-leaning government, with a Western, user-friendly one. Expecting this to be met by public hostility, they planned to: “probably need to rely first on repressive measures and arbitrary exercise of power.”
The document was signed off in both London and Washington. It was, wrote Macmillan in his diary: “a most formidable report.” A Report which was: “withheld even from British Chiefs of Staff …”
Washington and Whitehall had become concerned at Syria’s increasingly pro-Soviet, rather than pro-Western sympathies – and the Ba’ath (Pan Arab) and Communist party alliance, also largely allied within the Syrian army.
However, even political concerns, were trumped by Syria then controlling a main pipeline from the Western bonanza of Iraq’s oil fields, in those pre-Saddam Hussein days.
Briefly put: in 1957, Syria allied with Moscow (which included an agreement for military and economic aid) also recognized China – and then as now, the then Soviet Union warned the West against intervening in Syria.
Syria, is unchanged as an independent minded country, and the loyalties remain. It broadly remains the cradle of the Pan Arab ideal of Ba’athism, standing alone, since the fall of Saddam Hussein’s regime.
In 1957, this independent mindedness caused Loy Henderson, a Senior State Department official, to say that:“the present regime in Syria had to go …”
Ultimately, the plan was not used, since, British mandate or not, neighbouring countries refused to play. However, the project, overtly, bears striking similarity to the reality of events over the last decade, in Syria – and the region.
In a near 1957 re-run, Britain’s Foreign Minister, William Hague has said President Assad “will feel emboldened” by the UN Russia-China vote in Syria’s favour.
Hilary (“We came, we saw, he died”) Clinton, has called for: “friends of a democratic Syria”, to unite and rally against the Assad government:
“We need to work together to send them a clear message: you cannot hold back the future at the point of a gun”, said the women filmed purportedly watching the extrajudicial, illegal assassination of may be, or may be not, Osma Bin Laden and others – but certainly people were murdered – by US illegal invaders – at the point of lots of guns.
Supremely ironically, she was speaking in Munich (5th February) historically: “The birth place of the Nazi party.”
The Russia-China veto at the UN on actions against Syria, has been condemned by the US, varyingly, as: “Disgusting”, ‘shameful”, “deplorable”, “a travesty.”
Eye opening, is the list of US vetoes to be found at (iii). Jaw dropping double standards can only be wondered at (again.).
Perhaps the bottom line is: in 1957, Iraq’s oil was at the top of the agenda, of which Syria held an important key. Today, it is Iran’s – and as Michel Chossudovsky notes so succinctly: “The road to Tehran is through Damascus.”(iv)
Following US lead? Gavin Williamson expresses ‘deep concerns’ about Huawei assisting on 5G network...
UK complicit in ‘inexcusable’ kidnap and torture of terrorist suspects post-9/11 – official reports...
Assange continues attack on UK judiciary, citing report where Judges bemoan ‘inappropriate pressure’ —...
Pro-ISIS hackers could be Russians, claims UK intelligence report… citing single Telegraph article —...
British mother jailed in Iran suffering ‘uncontrollable moods, insomnia, severe depression’ – doctor —...
‘Naïve’ jihadists should be reintegrated into British society after leaving ISIS, says govt expert...
Jury sees police taser ‘mentally ill’ Islamic extremist who slashed London commuter’s throat (VIDEO)
Maybury writes, "...the CIA’s legendary chief of counter-intelligence – its brain for years – was James Jesus Angleton (aka The Kingfisher)...the narrative of the CIA would not be complete without him to be sure.
"He began his career shortly after the formation of the CIA in 1947, and was the station chief in Italy just after the war ended. Here he was instrumental in the undermining of the bourgeoning communist movement taking root in the later 40s, and amongst the tactics he used was eliciting the support of Italy’s Mafia, thereby setting a long-time precedent for the agency that was to feature frequently in its clandestine operations for decades to come.
"He was amongst the most out-there of people, a TS Eliot quoting/loving, chain-smoking, hard-drinking, orchid-growing, fly-fishing, gem collecting, insomniac raconteur who burned the spy-candle at both ends. Exceedingly well read and (counter?) intelligent, he was something of a polymath. In his day many considered this dude the sharpest tool in the spy shed, bar none! JJ’s motto: ‘absolute security at any cost’, one that would prove to be his undoing, as we will see.
"The term ‘Angeltonian’ even entered the espionage vernacular to become a byword in spy circles for overly conspiratorial and/or obsessively paranoid behaviour. Angleton was like DCI Allen Dulles alter ego – he was the uber-counter-spy, the spookiest of spooks in the spookier end of the spook business.
"If his boss Dulles was the Dagger in the Cloak and Dagger business, JJ was the Cloak! His spycraft was apparently second to none in the non-communist world. Even the Soviets had a fan club going of sorts; he was that good at what he did, they even copied his methods, proving that even in the spy world, the ‘imitation as the sincerest form of flattery’ thing still applies. He was once quoted as saying that: ‘Deception is a state of mind and the mind of the state’.
"The origin of his nick-name The Kingfisher is uncertain, but interestingly they are a bird species that have evolved unique visual faculties whereby they can see equally well in polar opposite environments, in their case air and water. A nice metaphor one suspects given his line of work, especially if it was not intended.
"On a more mundane level his nick-name may have been because of his striking features, which were indeed bird-like, if not ‘kingfisherish’. He eventually rose to the position of chief of Counter-intelligence at The Company, and although it’s not known if he ever sought the position or was even offered it, he would have been a prime candidate for Director either way. He could even have interrogated/interviewed himself for the job, a bonus. The motherfucker was that good.
- Spy v Spy Redux -
"He served under Dulles, and then later on Dulles successors, firstly John McCone, then Richard Helms, and for a brief time William Colby. A cryptographer by training (and it has to be said) inclination, he was also very knowledgeable about nuclear technology, having worked on the Manhattan Project (of which more in a later episode), and was apparently involved in the breaking of the Germans’ Enigma code, which did so much to aid the allied effort in the latter part of the War.
"Both these skills were handy during a Cold War. If there is such a thing as spy heaven (a safe house or waiting room in the afterlife maybe?), most of them be coming up to the Kingfisher, high-fiving his avian-eyed ass and be saying how much they ‘love his work’.
As indicated he was as paranoid as they come, for the most part a truly valuable character trait in the counter-spy business, given that the counter espionage and counter intelligence business is all about stopping the targets of your spying from doing what you’re trying to do to them, which is to spy on them. By definition, this means being permanently paranoid.
"Or more accurately, the counter spy/espionage/intelligence ‘schtick’ is more about ensuring that the spies on the other side enjoy minimal success at recruiting your own spies to spy on you and not them as you’d prefer them to continue doing without you finding out about it until it is too late.
"However, like JJ often did, I digress!
"And if Angleton trusted anyone, it is not known whether it worked to their advantage or not, and we’re not even talking about the Soviets here. We’re talking his own – indeed, especially his own – CIA colleagues. He was one of the coldest and most calculating of the Langley Cold Warriors. A strong pro-war hawk on Vietnam, he was also notoriously known for his surveillance of anti-war protesters, political activists and domestic dissidents (of which there were no shortages) during the Vietnam War and throughout the 60’s and early 70’s. He has also been frequently mentioned as having involvement in, knowledge of, and/or connections to the JFK hit and the Norma Jean suicide/accidental death/murder.
- The Hollow Man -
"As good as Angleton was, he wasn’t good enough though to pick up on arguably the biggest spies in the West before they defected to the USSR, who were located in the UK, and operating out of the august Cambridge University.
"As CIA CI chief, part of his responsibility was liaison with foreign intelligence and security officials and spooks, including with Mossad, SAVAK and MI6. Although some say he had his suspicions about the Cambridge group before anyone else did including the British – yes, he was that paranoid – he failed to act on these in time to prevent their subsequent defection. This was an outcome from which he never recovered, and indeed amongst many other missteps, it brought about his downfall eventually, but not for a long time to come.
"After the belated discovery of the aforementioned Cambridge spies (one of whom – Philby – Angleton worked with closely in London during the war, and later got pissed with on a frequent basis, and with whom he shared secrets that got many Western agents killed), Angleton became even more paranoid, seeing spies all over the Langley complex, which began to irritate a lot of people, managing to piss off not only then DCI Richard Helms, but also J Edgar Hoover over at the FBI HQ as well, with Hoover pulling the pin on any further cooperation with the super-spook.
"To piss Edgar off, or to have him pull the pin on you as we’ve seen in an earlier episode, was not all that difficult and certainly not always a good career move to repeat it inside or outside of the FBI. And as for being paranoid, there were few more so than Edgar. But Angleton survived Edgar; he was that ‘good’! And that paranoid! History tells us that paranoia is often proven most justified when it is the most ignored, but many would argue the lessons of history don’t appear to have become a collective political wisdom in the West, and especially some might say in Washington D.C., or for that matter in Langley.
"Not even Angleton though could last forever in the CIA. The culture didn’t make allowances for that. His increasingly pathological paranoia eventually brought him unstuck."
Maybury's apt portrayal of JJ Angleton left me chilled and angry. To think that America was literally turned over, post-WWII, to rats like him and the Dulles brothers never stops infuriating me. Shrewd, ruthless, paranoid, warmongering sociopaths controlled our foreign and domestic policy for over half a century and still do. Of course, they could not have done it in a vacuum. When considering the sources and consequences of Corporation Invisible Army's consolidation of power, one must remember that Operation MK-ULTRA (the covert experimentation with and drugging of innocent Americans) relied on Operation Mockingbird (the subversion of the free press); Operation PBSUCCESS (the overthrow of duly elected foreign governments) went hand in hand with Operation Paperclip (the secret recruitment of Nazi war criminals to serve in our intelligence, medicine, military and aerospace spheres). Angleton and Dulles made sure they could run roughshod over democracy in secret. In so doing, they amassed power unprecedented in our history. More power than presidents, legislative bodies, the Pentagon, and the media combined.
While I concur with most of the content, I take exception to three assertions--one) von Braun was a Nazi...his reputation was softened by a compliant press (which assiduously, and at Dulles's insistence, referred to him as a "German" scientist) once he emigrated to America and his new position at NASA; two) ALL Nazis were war criminals because they either knew of the death camps or participated in the executions; three) Dulles was sympathetic to Hitler and the Reich because his Sullivan and Cromwell clients had big-time investments to protect. Dulles's "Heil Hitler" salutation in correspondences with the Fuhrer is telling.
May Angleton and Dulles and all the other rats burn in hell for eternity.
Timothy Alexander Guzman, Silent Crow News – A major economic crisis is looming in the Caribbean. Puerto Rico, a US Commonwealth will be the center of attention in the world of finance in the coming months ahead. Puerto Rico’s economy has been in a recession since 2006 and its bonds are close to junk status. Puerto Rico is facing an alarming economic downturn that is clearly unsustainable. The economy is headed for a major collapse, one not seen since the great depression, this time it could be far worse. Puerto Rico has $70 billion in debt and an underfunded government pension system that will be eventually face cuts which only adds to more economic uncertainties for the population. Unemployment levels are at 14.7 percent and a mass migration of the Puerto Rican people to the United States in search of better opportunities has taking hold. Puerto Rico’s economy is dependent upon the United States government and its corporations, which many are pharmaceutical conglomerates. It is politically and socially a “Colonial Possession” of the United States since the Spanish-American war of 1898. However, Puerto Rico is not alone. The United States has other colonial possessions namely Guam, American Samoa in the Pacific and the U.S. Virgin Islands. France and Great Britain also has “Colonial Possessions” or “Overseas Territories” in a number of regions throughout the world. Puerto Rico is no exception to the rule; it is a colony that has been exploited politically and economically for more than a century under US rule.
Puerto Rico’s economy is in a dire situation. As of October 2013, the official number of people who are unemployed is at 14.7 percent, perhaps a lot higher if you count those that have dropped out of the labor force because they are no longer looking for employment opportunities. The Public debt is currently at $70 Billion and increasing daily. Early this month an article written by Justin Velez-Hagan who is executive director of The National Puerto Rican Chamber of Commerce for Forbes magazine titled ‘Default: Puerto Rico’s Inevitable Option’ describes what lead to Puerto Rico’s debt crises:
With triple tax exemption (federal, state, and local), combined with higher-than-average yields, Puerto Rican bonds became so popular in recent years that it was able to rack up $70 billion of debt now held by institutional investors and mutual funds alike. The debt-to-GDP ratio is now nearly 70% and growing, not including pension obligations, which raises the ratio to over 90%. With a per capita debt load of $19,000 and growing, Puerto Ricans shoulder almost 4 times the burden of U.S. leader Massachusetts which carries a deficit of $5,077 per citizen
Puerto Rico’s debt is 4 times larger than Massachusetts who Velez-Hagan acknowledges as the most indebted state per citizen with $19,000. The Washington Post also sounded alarm bells concerning Puerto Rico’s economic crises. In ‘Puerto Rico, with at least $70 billion in debt, confronts a rising economic misery’ Michael A. Fletcher describes what the commonwealth faces with cuts to pensions and government jobs and a rise in taxes all across the board including small and big businesses causing a migration of Puerto Ricans to major US cities:
The economy here has been in recession for nearly eight years, crimping tax revenue and pushing the jobless rate to nearly 15 percent. Meanwhile, the government is burdened by staggering debt, spawning comparisons to bankrupt Detroit and forcing lawmakers to severely slash pensions, cut government jobs and raise taxes in a furious effort to avert default.
The implications are serious for Americans outside Puerto Rico both because a taxpayer bailout would be expensive and a default would be far more disruptive than Detroit’s record bankruptcy filing in July. Officials in San Juan and Washington are adamant that a federal bailout is not on the table, but the situation is being closely monitored by the White House, which recently named an advisory team to help Puerto Rican officials navigate the crisis.
The island’s problems have ignited an exodus not seen here since the 1950s, when 500,000 people left for jobs on the mainland. Now Puerto Ricans, who are U.S. citizens, are again leaving in droves. They are choosing the uncertainty of the job market in Orlando or New York City or Philadelphia over what they view as the certainty that their dreams would be crushed by the U.S. territory’s grinding economic problems.
Bloomberg Businessweek also published an article with concerns affecting the “Muni-Bond Market” that can rattle Wall Street’s Mutual Fund companies. ‘Puerto Rico’s Borrowing Binge Could Rock the Muni-Bond Market’ stated the facts:
The island’s plight affects almost anyone with a mutual fund invested in the municipal-bond market. Exempt from local, state, and federal taxes in the U.S., Puerto Rican bonds are held by 77 percent of muni funds, according to research firm Morningstar (MORN). About 180 funds, including ones run by OppenheimerFunds, Franklin Templeton Investments (BEN), and Dreyfus (BK), have 5 percent of their assets or more in Puerto Rican bonds.
General-obligation bonds, or GOs, which account for about 15 percent of the commonwealth’s public debt, carry the lowest investment-grade rating from Moody’s Investors Service (MCO) and S&P. A downgrade could force many mutual funds to sell part of their Puerto Rican holdings, flooding the market. “Puerto Rico could represent a systemic issue for the municipal-bond market,” says Carlos Colón de Armas, an economist and former official of the Government Development Bank, which conducts the island’s capital-markets transactions. “We are now in a situation where the bonds are trading like junk. I think the ratings agencies have been careful not to lower the GOs further, to avoid creating havoc in the muni-bond market.”
The Obama administration is sending a team of economic advisors according to Bloomberg News last month “With a $70 billion debt load and a substantially underfunded government pension system, the island has fueled market speculation it may need a bailout from Washington.” The report also stated what was on the agenda:
Most of the group’s work will focus on improving Puerto Rico’s management of federal funds to ensure officials are getting the amounts they are entitled to and putting them to effective use, according to the officials. “There is less here than some people think,” said Jeffrey Farrow, who served as the Clinton White House’s liaison on Puerto Rican affairs. “This is pretty straightforward and an extension of what they have been doing in the past, but more intense, formalized and public.”
The first team of officials was scheduled to be from the Environmental Protection Agency and the Health, Education and Housing and Urban Development departments, officials said. Puerto Rico’s education, health and housing departments are among of the biggest recipients of federal funding and have also been responsible for past Puerto Rico budget shortfalls.
The EPA’s intervention may stem from concerns regarding the ability of the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority to comply with new federal air quality regulations that take effect in 2015.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is one of the agencies participating under Washington’s request. Washington has required that the Puerto Rico government and the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) comply with new federal air quality regulations by 2015. The online news source Caribbean Business reported back on July 11th, 2013 ‘PREPA falling behind on 2015 EPA Deadline’ that Puerto Rico is in a race to meet Washington’s air-quality standards by 2015:
A high-ranking regulatory official is concerned that the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (Prepa) isn’t moving fast enough to comply with strict federal air-quality standards taking effect in two years, as industry sources told CARIBBEAN BUSINESS that key decisions on the compliance process won’t be taken until next spring. Prepa plans to either close or convert most of its oil-firing units to natural gas to comply with the new air-quality standards, but it won’t select a liquefied natural gas (LNG) supplier and decide on a method to deliver the gas to north-coast plants until March 2014, according to industry sources. That means the final contracts would probably not be enacted and finalized until the fourth quarter of 2014, they added.
Meanwhile, Prepa has an agreement with Texas-based Excelerate Energy to construct an offshore LNG terminal to feed the massive Aguirre powerplant in Guayama. A formal application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission was filed in April and the project remains in the permitting phase. Excelerate officials have said they expect the facility to be in service in early 2015, but that outlook depends on getting timely federal approval on its environmental impact statement and several permits.
Puerto Rico’s plan to convert most of its oil-firing units to natural gas will have an impact on its economy. Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) does not have the economic capacity to invest in the construction of new plants that would supply natural gas. “While the cash-strapped public utility can’t afford to build its own plants, there is interest from large energy companies to construct new generation units through public-private partnerships (P3s)” the report stated. “That is especially the case because the move to natural gas isn’t just about compliance, but about bringing down power costs.” Caribbean Business said that Edgardo Fábregas, a former member of PREPA’s board confirmed that the public utility is considering a plan to construct a gas-fired plant “The former Prepa board member said the public utility was considering a longer-term plan to construct, through a P3 initiative, a massive natural gas-fired plant, probably on the site of Arecibo’s Cambalache plant, which is rarely used.” The report also said that Fábregas admitted to the costs associated with the project:
To do a project right, building a plant that could “flex up or down” rapidly and would have the capacity to power the entire north coast, would cost $7 billion, and take six years to build. The project would allow for the elimination of the Palo Seco and San Juan plants, Fábregas said. “We have to move to natural gas as soon as we can, but at the end of the day, you have to renew your system. I understand the cost and time implications involved, but if we don’t start, we will never finish,” he added.
According to Robert Bryce, a senior fellow with the Center for Energy Policy and the Environment at the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, a conservative think tank based in New York City produced a report called ‘The High Cost of Renewable-Electricity Mandates’. He wrote about the effects of Washington’s new air-quality proposal:
Motivated by a desire to reduce carbon emissions, and in the absence of federal action to do so, 29 states (and the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico) have required utility companies to deliver specified minimum amounts of electricity from “renewable” sources, including wind and solar power. California recently adopted the most stringent of these so-called renewable portfolio standards (RPS), requiring 33 percent of its electricity to be renewable by 2020. Proponents of the RPS plans say that the mandated restrictions will reduce harmful emissions and spur job growth, by stimulating investment in green technologies.
But this patchwork of state rules—which now affects the electricity bills of about two-thirds of the U.S. population as well as countless businesses and industrial users—has sprung up in recent years without the benefit of the states fully calculating their costs. There is growing evidence that the costs may be too high—that the price tag for purchasing renewable energy, and for building new transmission lines to deliver it, may not only outweigh any environmental benefits but may also be detrimental to the economy, costing jobs rather than adding them. The mandates amount to a “back-end way to put a price on carbon,” says one former federal regulator. Put another way, the higher cost of electricity is essentially a de facto carbon-reduction tax, one that is putting a strain on a struggling economy and is falling most heavily, in the way that regressive taxes do, on the least well-off among residential users.
To be sure, the mandates aren’t the only reason that electricity costs are rising—increased regulation of coal-fired power plants is also a major factor—and it is difficult to isolate the cost of the renewable mandates without rigorous cost-benefit analysis by the states.
The new mandate is called Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) that automatically “require electricity providers to supply a specified minimum amount of power to their customers from sources that qualify as “renewable,” a category that includes wind, solar, biomass, and geothermal.” The report clarified what the results of the new energy plan would bring:
The federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is similarly bullish on the state programs. The RPS rules are designed “to stimulate market and technology development,” the agency says, “so that, ultimately renewable energy will be economically competitive with conventional forms of electric power. States create RPS programs because of the energy, environmental, and economic benefits of renewable energy.”
Although supporters of renewable energy claim that the RPS mandates will bring benefits, their contribution to the economy is problematic because they also impose costs that must be incorporated into the utility bills paid by homeowners, commercial businesses, and industrial users. And those costs are or will be substantial. Electricity generated from renewable sources generally costs more—often much more—than that produced by conventional fuels such as coal and natural gas. In addition, large-scale renewable energy projects often require the construction of many miles of high-voltage transmission lines. The cost of those lines must also be incorporated into the bills paid by consumers.
What Edgardo Fábregas forgets to mention is that Bryce’s analysis on the price of producing electricity through renewable energy sources can be astronomical. It is an amazing prediction given by the EPA under the Obama administration’s directives. It is important to note that the major players in the RPS programs are connected to Wall Street and major banks that includes Goldman Sachs who is one of President Obama’s major campaign contributors. Author and journalist Matt Taibbi wrote an article on the history of Goldman Sachs and the US government’s relationship for Rolling Stone magazine called ‘The Great American Bubble Machine’. Taibbi explains how Goldman Sachs would benefit from Washington’s air-quality mandates:
The new carbon credit market is a virtual repeat of the commodities-market casino that’s been kind to Goldman, except it has one delicious new wrinkle: If the plan goes forward as expected, the rise in prices will be government-mandated. Goldman won’t even have to rig the game. It will be rigged in advance.
Here’s how it works: If the bill passes, there will be limits for coal plants, utilities, natural-gas distributors and numerous other industries on the amount of carbon emissions (a.k.a. greenhouse gases) they can produce per year. If the companies go over their allotment, they will be able to buy “allocations” or credits from other companies that have managed to produce fewer emissions. President Obama conservatively estimates that about $646 billion worth of carbon credits will be auctioned in the first seven years; one of his top economic aides speculates that the real number might be twice or even three times that amount.
The feature of this plan that has special appeal to speculators is that the “cap” on carbon will be continually lowered by the government, which means that carbon credits will become more and more scarce with each passing year. Which means that this is a brand new commodities market where the main commodity to be traded is guaranteed to rise in price over time. The volume of this new market will be upwards of a trillion dollars annually; for comparison’s sake, the annual combined revenues of all electricity suppliers in the U.S. total $320 billion.
One other important factor to consider regarding Puerto Rico’s energy demands in the future is the supply of natural gas. Puerto Rico is hoping to secure a steady supply of natural gas from the United States for the next 100 years. “A key part of the plan is to secure a long-term LNG contract with the U.S., which has the most economical prices in the world, the result of a boon in U.S. natural gas exploration, which has unearthed a supply that experts say will last a century” according to the Caribbean Business report. In the 2012 State of the Union Address, US President Barack Obama said “We have a supply of natural gas that can last America nearly 100 years, and my administration will take every possible action to safely develop this energy.” F. William Endahl, a research associate at Global Research wrote a ground breaking report, ‘The Fracked-up USA Shale Gas Bubble’ wrote that the 100 year supply of natural gas is in fact an inaccurate prediction:
In a sobering report, Arthur Berman, a veteran petroleum geologist specialized in well assessment, using existing well extraction data for major shale gas regions in the US since the boom started, reached sobering conclusions. His findings point to a new Ponzi scheme which well might play out in a colossal gas bust over the next months or at best, the next two or three years. Shale gas is anything but the “energy revolution” that will give US consumers or the world gas for 100 years as President Obama was told.
Berman wrote already in 2011, “Facts indicate that most wells are not commercial at current gas prices and require prices at least in the range of $8.00 to $9.00/mcf to break even on full-cycle prices, and $5.00 to $6.00/mcf on point-forward prices. Our price forecasts ($4.00-4.55/mcf average through 2012) are below $8.00/mcf for the next 18 months. It is, therefore, possible that some producers will be unable to maintain present drilling levels from cash flow, joint ventures, asset sales and stock offerings.” 
Berman continued, “Decline rates indicate that a decrease in drilling by any of the major producers in the shale gas plays would reveal the insecurity of supply. This is especially true in the case of the Haynesville Shale play where initial rates are about three times higher than in the Barnett or Fayetteville. Already, rig rates are dropping in the Haynesville as operators shift emphasis to more liquid-prone objectives that have even lower gas rates. This might create doubt about the paradigm of cheap and abundant shale gas supply and have a cascading effect on confidence and capital availability.” 
What Berman and others have also concluded is that the gas industry key players and their Wall Street bankers backing the shale boom have grossly inflated the volumes of recoverable shale gas reserves and hence its expected supply duration. He notes, “Reserves and economics depend on estimated ultimate recoveries (EUR) based on hyperbolic, or increasingly flattening, decline profiles that predict decades of commercial production. With only a few years of production history in most of these plays, this model has not been shown to be correct, and may be overly optimistic….Our analysis of shale gas well decline trends indicates that the Estimated Ultimate Recovery per well is approximately one-half the values commonly presented by operators.”  In brief, the gas producers have built the illusion that their unconventional and increasingly costly shale gas will last for decades.
However, Caribbean Business says that “Prepa has invited several suppliers to bid on a project to supply the north-coast plants with natural gas. It is spelling out its gas needs at its Palo Seco and San Juan plants, letting the energy companies decide the best way to supply the natural gas” and that “Prepa has made some progress on its natural gas conversion plan, which energy experts say is the only way to bring down the high cost of electricity.” Allowing energy companies decide how to supply gas would add to the price in the long run. Russia Today recently reported that “fracking technology” is causing major environmental problems within the United States. Since 2008, the state of Texas has been experiencing more earthquakes than ever before:
Between 1970 and 2007, the area around the Texas town of Azle (pop. 10,000) experienced just two earthquakes. The peace and quiet began to change, however, at the start of 2008, when 74 minor quakes were reported in the region. Now an increasing number of people, including scientists, are speculating that natural gas production by fracking – a process that forces high pressure water and chemicals into rock in order to extract natural gas reserves – is the culprit. The problem, however, is proving the claims.
Cliff Frolich, earthquake researcher at the University of Texas, said waste water injection wells from fracking could be responsible for the recent spate of earthquake activity. “I’d say it certainly looks very possible that the earthquakes are related to injection wells,” he said in an interview with KHOU television.
Frolich left room for doubt when he said thousands of such wells have operated in Texas for decades with no quakes anywhere near them. Frolich co-authored a 2009 study on earthquake activity near Cleburne, just south of Azle, which concluded: “The possibility exists that earthquakes may be related to fluid injection.” A recent government study lent credence to Frolich’s findings.
There have been Anti-fracking protests around the world. Fracking or “hydraulic fracturing” is a water-intensive process where millions of gallons of water, sand, and chemicals combined are injected underground with intensive pressure to fracture rocks that surround an oil or gas well. This process then releases extra oil and gas from the rock which flows into the well. “Fracking Technology” is proving to be environmentally dangerous for the health and safety of communities located in close proximity to these well sites. It causes many problems for the air we breathe and long-term environmental damage. For example, water can become contaminated from the toxins fracking has caused. It is an environmental hazard.
EPA rules and regulations also have the potential to impose a “carbon tax option” for states according to The Hill, A Washington D.C. based daily newspaper reported last month that Brookings Institution economist Adele Morris said that a carbon excise tax can be imposed on states:
Morris, a carbon tax supporter, argues that a carbon excise tax could be part of the “menu of specific approaches” that the agency gives states that will craft plans to meet the federal guidelines. Morris suggests that the EPA could “allow states to adopt a specific state-level excise tax or fee on the carbon content of fuels combusted by the power plants regulated under this rule.”
In other words, an excise tax associated with renewable energy supplies can be added only leading to higher energy costs for households, businesses and major industries. It would also allow Puerto Rico to contribute to the environmental degradation because of its future demands of natural gas which has no guarantee of supplies for the next 100 years. It is a recipe for disaster for both the economy and the environment.
Will new EPA rules bankrupt farmers?
It is estimated that Puerto Rico imports at least 85% of the food supply from the United States according to the Latin American Herald Tribune. ‘Puerto Rico Imports 85 Percent of Its Food’ stated that “Puerto Rico imports 85 percent of the food its residents consume due to the lack of competitiveness among companies in this U.S. commonwealth, Agriculture Secretary Javier Rivera told Efe.” Agriculture Secretary Rivera admits that the majority of food is imported from the United States even though Puerto Rico has the capability to produce its own food, but cannot compete with US food suppliers. Rivera continued “Although we have the technical capacity, we’re not able to produce competitively” Why? “The secretary attributed the drop in production to the high operating costs of growing food on the island, which are, in turn, a result of high labor costs, as well as rising energy and fertilizer prices. Rivera acknowledged that therefore many farmers – of which there are fewer than 2,000 on the island, according to recent statistics – have come to depend on government subsidies to stay in business.” With new EPA regulations, remaining farmers will bear higher-energy costs because of the EPA’s new federal air quality regulations that will start in 2015. Agriculture on the island would be affected and farmers would be economically bankrupt when energy prices begin to rise.
From the 1929 Great Depression to the Recession of 2014
Looking back to the 1930’s, Puerto Rico was in economic despair due to the effects of the Great Depression. In 1940, the Popular Democratic Party (PPD) under the leadership of Washington’s puppet governor Luis Munoz Marin came to power with 37.9% of the vote compared to 39.2% of the Republican-Socialist coalition. The PPD also won the 1944 elections with 64.8% of the vote. The PPD was determined to transform Puerto Rico’s economy from an Agricultural farm-based to an export-driven modern industrial economy.
The US and Puerto Rico governments wanted to fast track the urbanization in many areas from a rural society to a modern, industrial urban center that would resemble New York City’s economy. For a short period of time, the project did increase living wages, improved housing conditions, health care and education. It also led to equitable land reforms,. At the same time the plan increased unemployment rates because many Puerto Ricans were unqualified for the types of jobs the new Industrial economy provided. It increased the migration levels to the United States, namely New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
Puerto Rico became more dependent on U.S. markets and created more public and private debts. The most important aspect of US economic and political control of Puerto Rico was the cultural transformation of the population. It became what sociologist call “Americanization”. They were subjected to American culture, media, laws, and even its foods under Washington’s economic and social plan. In ‘Economic History of Puerto Rico: Institutional Change and Capitalist Development’ by James L. Dietz, professor of economics and Latin American studies at California State University wrote:
Industrialization and the accompanying decline of agriculture after the late 1940s did nothing to expand and make permanent the relative autonomy of the early 1940s. Instead, the PPD program had just the opposite result: it laid the foundation for increased dominance by U.S. capital from the 1950s to the present. The PPD’s goal of eventual political independence, after the attainment of social justice and a solution to the island’s economic problems, faded further into the future and eventually disappeared altogether. It may be that Munoz and the PPD never really were committed to independence, as many have suggested, but it is more likely that, as the PPD’s redirection of the economy under Munoz’s leadership tied its destiny ever closer to that of the United States, what they had became what they wanted as what they had wanted slipped further and further from their grasp
In ‘How an Economy Grows and why it Crashes’ author and economist Peter Schiff stated that “The evidence supporting these claims is largely emotional. What is far more certain is that the government’s monopoly control of public projects and services almost always leads to inefficiency, corruption, graft, and decay.” Puerto Rico’s economy was under US control then as it is now. Dietz says that “From 1941 to 1949, the government followed a program of land reform, control over and development of infrastructure and institutions, administrative organization, and limited industrialization through factories owned and operated by the government.” Comparing to what Peter Schiff said the Puerto Rican government’s control of certain economic sectors led to numerous “inefficiencies” and “Decay.” The bleak economic growth of Puerto Rico did not improve through a program called ‘Operacion Manos a la Obra’ or ‘Operation Bootstrap’ in English. It was known as “Industrialization by Invitation” to attract foreign investment. It failed in the long-run. Dietz further wrote:
“Yet Operation Bootstrap made it difficult for Puerto Ricans to improve their standard of living through their own efforts, since it put control over that process in the hands of U.S. firms, whose interests did not necessarily coincide with those of the majority on the island. It is likely that no one consciously intended such results from a development program that seemed so promising, but Puerto Rico’s colonial relation with the United States prevented, or at a minimum made more difficult, a more independent existence for the economy and society”
Puerto Rico’s dependence on the US mainland became evident as the years went by, but right from the beginning of World War II, Puerto Rico’s economy suffered. “The war shut Puerto Rico off from its primary export market and source of imported goods, and meanwhile, there were no war industries to absorb surplus labor; consequently, unemployment increased” according to Dietz. Today, Puerto Rico is suffering from a recession that started in 2006. In another report by Caribbean Business ‘PR reverses growth forecast, now predicts another year of recession’ and stated the dire predictions by the government of Puerto Rico, “The Puerto Rico government has dropped expectations for economic growth this fiscal year as the island struggles to pull out of a marathon downturn dating back to 2006. The Planning Board said Friday it is now projecting that the economy will shrink by 0.8 percent in fiscal 2014, dropping its previous forecast for razor-thin growth of 0.2 percent.” Puerto Rico’s economy will continue to decline as the US economy continues with its own economic problems. It will become more difficult as time progresses for Puerto Rico.
The Collapsing US Dollar and the Fall of Rome
The US Dollar as a the world’s reserve currency is in its last stages because the US owes trillions of dollars in household, corporate and financial debt and future underfunded welfare liabilities. The demand for U.S. dollars kept prices and interest rates low. It allowed the U.S. government to acquire the economic power it needed to dominate the world economically. It allowed the Federal Reserve Bank to print dollars unconditionally. Although the US dollar is still dominate with more the 50% of foreign currency reserves in the world, a gradual transition for other currencies is coming in the near future. The dollar will eventually lose its value. Interest rates on every loan and credit card will rise.
This is a recipe for disaster, because if a country such as Puerto Rico cannot produce its own food and is dependent on a foreign source that is the most indebted nation in world history with more than $17 trillion dollars in debt which continues to increase each passing day is a serious problem for Puerto Rico’s future. Tyler Durden of zerohedge.com provided a chart in 2012 to show the fiscal danger the United States faces in the near future. Durden explains:
We present the following chart showing total US Federal debt/GDP as well as Deficit/(Surplus)/GDP since inception, or in this case as close as feasible, or 1792, which appears to be the first recorded year of historical fiscal data. We can see why readers have been so eager to see the “real big picture” – the chart is nothing short of stunning.
“[The Odds of] Longer Term Chronic Effects, Cancer Or Genetic Effects … Cannot Be Said To Be Zero” It is very difficult to obtain accurate information on the dangers from Fukushima radiation to residents of the West Coast of North … Continue reading →
What Is The ACTUAL Risk for Pacific Coast Residents from Fukushima Radiation? was originally published on Washington's Blog
Wayne Madsen: British Intelligence Operation to Kidnap Snowden? Number One MI-6 Officer Working Undercover...
WASHINGTON - October 17 - George W Bush’s former Under-Secretary for Homeland Security has dismissed claims advanced by lawyers for the UK Government that hearing cases brought by torture victims in the British courts may damage US-UK intelligence-sharing.
In the best known of these cases, Gaddafi opponent Abdulhakim Belhaj and his wife Fatima Boudchar are taking the Government, MI6 and former Foreign Secretary Jack Straw to court next week over their alleged role in their kidnap and ‘rendition’ to Libya in 2004, where Mr Belhaj was tortured. Mr Straw was Foreign Secretary, with responsibility for MI6, at the time.
Lawyers for the UK Government have claimed that the case should not proceed as it would damage UK-US relations and the US’ willingness to share intelligence with the UK. However, asked today by Reprieve’s Strategic Director, Cori Crider, whether he agreed with UK ministers’ claim that rendition and torture cases cannot be tried in Britain without endangering the intelligence-sharing relationship with the US, Asa Hutchinson, who also headed the Drugs Enforcement Administration under Bush, said “no.”
Mr Hutchinson was speaking at the UK launch of a report on ‘Detainee Treatment’ produced by a panel of former security officials, military figures, and senior US politicians. He was joined by former US Ambassador to the UN, Thomas Pickering, also a member of the panel, who agreed with his view on the UK Government’s claims. Ambassador Pickering stated that the information being shared and the partnership between the US and UK were “too important” and that, as a result, “of course” the information would be shared.
Ambassador Pickering also criticised the recently-passed Justice and Security Act, which rolls out secret courts known as Closed Material Procedures across the civil justice system in Britain, arguing that it seems it will lead to “more secrecy, not less.”
On Shaker Aamer, the British resident detained at Guantanamo Bay despite having been cleared for release, he said that “The US should immediately release Aamer or give reasons for his continued detention.”
Commenting, Cori Crider said: “When a Bush-era senior security official and a former US ambassador both dismiss the UK Government’s claims on why torture cases should not come before the court, it becomes clear that ministers do not have a leg to stand on. Government lawyers are trotting out the same tired old line to try to avoid accountability: that it will harm national security, and the US will stop sharing intelligence with us. Under-Secretary Hutchinson’s and Ambassador Pickering’s comments show that this claim is nonsense.”
Notes to editors
1. For further information, please contact Donald Campbell in Reprieve’s press office: +44 (0) 207 553 8166 / firstname.lastname@example.org. uk
Posted on Oct 16, 2013
By Amy Goodman
Oil is the source of so much pain in the world. Around the globe, wherever oil is extracted, people suffer a constellation of injuries, from coups and dictatorship to pollution, displacement and death. Pipelines leak, refineries explode, tankers break up and deep-sea drill rigs explode. The thirst for oil disrupts democracies and the climate. Not far from the burgeoning fracking fields of Colorado, Frederic “Rick” Bourke sits in a minimum-security federal prison. His crime: blowing the whistle on corruption and bribery in the oil-rich region of the Caspian Sea.
Rick Bourke is perhaps best known for founding the luxury handbag company Dooney and Bourke. He is a philanthropist, and has invested his wealth into ventures seeking novel cures for cancer. In the mid-1990s, he met a Czech national named Viktor Kozeny, dubbed “The Pirate of Prague,” who reaped tens of millions of dollars through controversial deals during the privatization of Czech national assets. Kozeny sought greater fortunes by recruiting investors for the takeover of SOCAR, the state-owned oil company of Azerbaijan, a former Soviet republic on the western shore of the Caspian Sea.
Kozeny promised unprecedented returns on the investments. Serious investors vetted the opportunity and sank huge sums into the enterprise, including Columbia University’s investment fund, the insurance giant AIG, legendary hedge-fund manager Lee Cooperman, a longtime executive at Goldman Sachs, and former Senate majority leader George Mitchell. Bourke’s attorney, Michael Tigar, summed up the result on the “Democracy Now!” news hour: “Kozeny was a crook. He stole every bit of Rick Bourke’s money and all of the other investors’ money. He bribed Azeri officials. He lives today happily unextradited in the Bahamas.”
Kozeny paid huge sums to the president of Azerbaijan, Heydar Aliyev. Like Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, Aliyev was a former top-level KGB official. He gained control of the country shortly after the Soviet breakup. His son, Ilham, during the period of Kozeny’s scheme, was the head of SOCAR. Kozeny employed a Swiss lawyer named Hans Bodmer to coordinate the complex scam. An American named Thomas Farrell, who runs a bar in St. Petersburg, Russia, became the bagman, ferrying duffel bags of cash to Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan.
The investment tanked, and Kozeny absconded with the remaining funds. Rick Bourke went to the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, which has a history of going after white-collar crime. He spoke with Assistant District Attorney Mariam Klipper, an expert on privatization in Eastern Europe. The DA’s office indicted Kozeny, who skirted the prosecution and is enjoying relative immunity in the Bahamas.
As the lone whistle-blower, Bourke also cooperated with federal prosecutors. Nevertheless, they decided to set their sights on him. He eventually was found guilty under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, not for bribing anyone, but for alleged knowledge of the bribes, even though the entire case rested on testimony of the Swiss lawyer, Bodmer, and Farrell. At sentencing, former assistant district attorney Klipper wrote to federal Judge Shira Scheindlin, seeking a lenient sentence for Bourke: “He was extremely helpful,” she wrote. He “came to my office voluntarily and spoke candidly and with conviction about the case. We did not offer anything in return. ... I never had reason to doubt him.” While Bodmer and Farrell also were indicted, they received very favorable plea deals. They both quickly left the U.S.
Much of the court record is sealed, likely because of the involvement of intelligence agencies. In a remarkable twist in the case, the former head of Britain’s intelligence service, MI6, Sir Richard Dearlove, and the former deputy director of operations at the CIA, James Pavitt, both sought to testify on Bourke’s behalf. They were reportedly denied the opportunity, perhaps to protect the intelligence value of both Bodmer and Farrell. In the murky world of petroleum geopolitics, it is very difficult to know.
The son of Heydar Aliyev, Ilham Aliyev, succeeded his father as president of Azerbaijan, ruling the country with dictatorial control. He just won his third term as president last week, with the initial election results being reported the day BEFORE voting began. Human Rights Watch issued a report in September, “Tightening the Screws: Azerbaijan’s Crackdown in Civil Society and Dissent.”
Rick Bourke sits in the federal prison in Englewood, Colo., sentenced to a year and a day. Former Washington Post reporter Scott Armstrong, who founded the National Security Archive and chaired the Government Accountability Project, spent years investigating the case. As a senior investigator on the Senate Watergate Committee, Armstrong uncovered the existence of President Richard Nixon’s secret taping system. He knows corruption when he sees it, and considers Bourke a genuine whistle-blower. He summed up the case: “This elaborate set of frauds that Kozeny was involved in were in essence covered up by the United States government, who chose instead to bring the full weight of their investigative enthusiasm against the whistle-blower. And that just shocks the conscience.”
Denis Moynihan contributed research to this column.
Amy Goodman is the host of “Democracy Now!,” a daily international TV/radio news hour airing on more than 1,000 stations in North America. She is the co-author of “The Silenced Majority,” a New York Times best-seller.
© 2013 Amy Goodman
Distributed by King Features Syndicate
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Sometimes globalizations are understood almost as a subject of – not history or social sciences – but of geology – huge long term processes that are impersonal, inevitable and irreversible – and almost impossible to act upon – or against. And certainly there is this deep trend. However, these developments have not appeared from nowhere. They have been consciously promoted by powerful agents, governments and corporations. Yet, from the point of view of individuals, they seem so overwhelming that they appear as impersonal structures.
4) Unions still have – despite of backlashes – a relatively robust organization. Among the movements that react to market driven globalization unions probably have the greatest capability.
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Now – globalization also involves people who move, the majority of today’s ca. 250 million migrants being labour migrants. These labour migrants come from a varied background and enter a variety of professions. Social anthropologist Sabina Stan, from Romania, Canada and Dublin, handles the theme of global care chains. Women from the South and East leave their family, sometimes their children, to take care of other families’ children. They are hushjelper in Norway, the badanti of Italy, maids, sometimes camouflaged as au pair. The global care chain also comprises nurses and other health personnel, both publicly and privately employed. The last may grow, due to privatization. She will investigate trade union reactions to this development.
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