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Hillary Clinton won’t release her personal medical records, but Obamacare keeps YOUR medical records...

Consider it another case of the governing elite playing by a set of rules different from the ones they impose on the rest of...

How Privatizing Medical Records Will Harm You

Imagine you're a doctor at a clinic in New York City. You have a patient come in who's in New York City on business. Their...

Police want right to see medical records without consent

Greater Manchester chief constable says move is needed to help police deal with people struggling to look after themselves Vikram Dodd Police want new and expanded rights...

My Doctor Can Disclose My Medical Records to the NSA Without My Authorization (and...

Peter Van Buren RINF Alternative News You can learn a lot about a person from their medical records— what’s that STD test all about? Mental health...

Canadian denied entry to the US after agent cites private medical records

A wheelchair-bound Canadian woman was denied entry to the United States this week because she was previously diagnosed with clinical depression. Now she wants...

Canadian denied entry to the US after agent cities private medical records

rt.comNovember 29, 2013 A wheelchair-bound Canadian woman was denied entry to the United States this week because she was previously diagnosed with clinical depression. Now...

State of Connecticut Refuses to Release Adam Lanza’s Medical Records

Assistant Attorney General: Identifying antidepressants Lanza was taking could “cause a lot of people to...

State of Connecticut Refuses to Release Adam Lanza’s Medical Records

Assistant Attorney General: Identifying antidepressants Lanza was taking could “cause a lot of people to...

FDA Sharing Patients’ Private Medical Records in Order to Harass Integrative Doctors

Alliance for Natural Health September 4, 2013 ANH-USA has learned that the FDA is working with state medical boards behind the scenes–sometimes in...

Electronic Medical Records: Friend or Foe?

Since our hospital adopted a new computerized record system, we nurses have been struggling to keep our focus on what was once considered nursing. “I...

Virginia Department of Health Acquires Children’s Medical Records Without Parental Consent

Julie Wilson Infowars.com July 9, 2013 A Virginia mom was notified by her child’s private school that her son, whom is set...

IRS Faces Lawsuit After Stealing 60 Million Medical Records

Jim Hoftthegatewaypundit.comMay 16, 2013 The IRS is facing a lawsuit after stealing 60 million medical records...

Your medical records, lost and sold

The NHS lost track of 1.8million confidential patient records in a single year, the Daily Mail can reveal. In worrying lapses in data security, sensitive...

Tory Leader wants to give our medical records to Google

During the weekend, Tory Leader, David Cameron placed further scrutiny under the Labour Governments "Electronic Patient Records system" and has called for NHS records to be...

CONSEQUENCES OF SHARING MEDICAL RECORDS

BRITISH MEDICAL JOURNAL PUBLISHES WARNING OF "STAGGERING" CONSEQUENCE OF SHARING MEDICAL RECORDS While the British bill is different than Obama's it raises similar concerns. The...

Hunt for nurse from Britain’s most prestigious military school over leaked records

A nurse from Britain’s most prestigious military school has been struck off and “gone to...

Search for nurse from Britain’s most prestigious military school after records leaked

A nurse from Britain’s most prestigious military school has been struck off and “gone to...

Veterans group sues Pentagon after personal military records exposed

The Pentagon is being sued by a veterans group after the agency exposed private information of...

Mom sues transgender teen, clinic for undergoing medical procedures without consent

Anmarie Calgaro is suing her 17-year-old daughter for pursuing gender reassignment treatment without permission. Calgaro is...

Pennsylvania woman records own shooting, death on cellphone

A Pennsylvania mother inadvertently recorded her own death at the hands of her boyfriend who shot...

The Jonas Salk Polio Vaccine: A Medical Breakthrough or a Propaganda Campaign for Big...

Timothy Alexander Guzman (RINF) — When polio (poliomyelitis) became an epidemic in the U.S. and other parts of the world many people were understandably concerned. Diseases...

Government Will Withhold One-Third of the Records from Database of Physician Payments

Many payments to doctors made by pharmaceutical and medical device companies will not be included in the public release of the database next month....

Are patient privacy laws being misused to protect medical centers?

A 1996 law known as HIPAA has been cited to scold a mom taking a picture of her son in a hospital, to keep...

Nurse: VA Medical Staff Stole Morphine From Dying Patients

Patrick Howley Vials of morphine were systemically stolen from a Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center and replaced with water and saline so that...

Sheriff Calls Homeland Security On Journalist For Requesting Public Records

A Sheriff in Tennessee called Homeland Security on a journalist for attempting to obtain public records about the treatment of prisoners at a local...

New zombie medical drug to hit the streets

New zombie medical drug to hit the streets by Jon Rappoport March 14, 2014 www.nomorefakenews.com It’s called Zohydro. Clinical Psychiatry News (3/13) has the story. West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin is protesting FDA approval of the drug. He’s written a stunning letter to US Health and Human Services head, Kathleen Sebelius. “…Sen. Manchin noted that […]

America’s Medical Regulation of Drugs Has Racist Roots

It all started with opium.

US Appeals Court Upholds Suppression of Secret Legal Memo approving Collection and Handover of...

Patrick Martin The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, the second most powerful federal court, ruled Friday that the Obama...

Medical, Military, and Ethics Experts Say Health Professionals Designed and Participated in Cruel, Inhumane,...

The documentary “Doctors of the Dark Side” revealed the issues highlighted in the report. The Institute on Medicine as a Profession's press release, below, summarizes...

The 18,000 cancer care records lost every year: One in nine patient files missing

Jenny HopeThe Daily MailAugust 9, 2013 Doctors and nurses lose 18,000 hospital records of cancer patients...

Say Goodbye to Medical Privacy Under ObamaCare

If you’re planning on buying health insurance on an ObamaCare exchange next year, be forewarned: Your personal health information (PHI) will be made available...

Say Goodbye to Medical Privacy Under ObamaCare

If you’re planning on buying health insurance on an ObamaCare exchange next year, be forewarned: Your personal health information (PHI) will be made available...

Now feds want your mental health records

Bob Unruh WND June 15, 2013 Privacy experts are warning of a strategy embedded inside a federal plan to adjust privacy rules so that...

Medical Marijuana: Big Pharma’s Campaign to Eliminate State-Sanctioned Cannabis Competitors?

As Colorado, California and Washington including 16 other states enjoy freedom under state law to operate legal medical marijuana-cannabis businesses the owners are often...

Washington ordered destruction of Guantánamo interrogation records

By Bill Van Auken | In another confirmation of the criminal character of Washington’s handling of so-called “enemy combatants,” a “Standard Operating Procedure” manual...

Millions put at risk from Government ID records

Millions of Britons face having their lives made a "misery" by mistakes on Government databases, it was claimed last night.Experts warned these errors could...

Appeals Court Strikes Down Bulk NSA Phone Spying

Appeals Court Strikes Down Bulk NSA Phone Spying

by Stephen Lendman

On June 11, 2013, the ACLU challenged "the constitutionality of the National Security Agency's mass collection of Americans' phone records (ACLU v. Clapper)."

It argued that doing so violates Fourth and First Amendment rights, saying: 

"Because the NSA's aggregation of metadata constitutes an invasion of privacy and an unreasonable search, it is unconstitutional under the Fourth Amendment." 

"The call-tracking program also violates the First Amendment, because it vacuums up sensitive information about associational and expressive activity."

NSA claims authorization under the Patriot Act's Section 215 - the so-called "business records" provision.

It permits warrantless searches without probable cause. It violates fundamental First Amendment rights. It does so by mandating secrecy. 

It prohibits targeted subjects from telling others what's happening to them. It compromises free expression, assembly and association. 

It authorizes the FBI to investigate anyone based on what they say, write, or do with regard to groups they belong to or associate with.

It violates Fourth and Fifth Amendment protections by not telling targeted subjects their privacy was compromised. 

It subverts fundamental freedoms for contrived, exaggerated, or nonexistent security reasons.

At the time of its suit, the ACLU said "(w)hatever Section 215's 'relevance' requirement might allow, it does not permit the government to cast a seven-year dragnet sweeping up every phone call made or received by Americans."

The 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) authorized surveillance relating to "foreign intelligence information" between "foreign powers" and "agents of foreign powers." 

It restricts spying on US citizens and residents to those engaged in espionage in America and territory under US control. 

No longer. Today anything goes. America is a total surveillance society. Obama officials claim no authority can challenge them. Governing this way is called tyranny.

The US Second Circuit Court of Appeals agreed. It held Section 215 of the USA Patriot Act doesn't permit bulk collection of Americans' phone records. A three-judge panel ruled unanimously - overturning a lower court decision.

The Obama administration argued that the ACLU lacked "standing" to challenge NSA surveillance practices, and Congress "precluded" judicial review except by the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court most often only hearing government arguments.

The appeals court rejected this reasoning, saying:

"If the government is correct, it could use Section 215 to collect and store in bulk any other existing metadata available anywhere in the private sector, including metadata associated with financial records, medical records, and electronic communications (including e‐mail and social media information) relating to all Americans." 

"Such expansive development of government repositories of formerly private records would be an unprecedented contraction of the privacy expectations of all Americans."

ACLU staff attorney Alex Abdo called the ruling "a resounding victory for the rule of law."

"For years, the government secretly spied on millions of innocent Americans based on a shockingly broad interpretation of its authority." 

"The court rightly rejected the government’s theory that it may stockpile information on all of us in case that information proves useful in the future." 

"Mass surveillance does not make us any safer, and it is fundamentally incompatible with the privacy necessary in a free society."

ACLU deputy legal director/lead counsel in the case Jameel Jaffer explained:

"This ruling focuses on the phone-records program, but it has far broader significance, because the same defective legal theory that underlies this program underlies many of the government’s other mass-surveillance programs." 

"The ruling warrants a reconsideration of all of those programs, and it underscores once again the need for truly systemic reform."

Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) executive director Cindy Cohn called the ruling "a great and welcome decision and ought to make Congress pause to consider whether the small changes contained in the USA Freedom Act are enough."  

''The 2nd Circuit rejected on multiple grounds the government's radical reinterpretation of Section 215 that underpinned its secret shift to mass seizure and search of Americans' telephone records.''

“While the court did not reach the constitutional issues, it certainly noted the serious problems with blindly embracing the third-party doctrine - the claim that you lose all constitutional privacy protections whenever a third-party, like your phone company, has sensitive information about your actions."

EFF's legislative analyst Mark Jaycox added:

"Now that a court of appeal has rejected the government's arguments supporting its secret shift to mass surveillance, we look forward to other courts - including the Ninth Circuit in EFF's Smith v. Obama case - rejecting mass surveillance as well." 

"With the deadline to reauthorize section 215 looming, we also call on Congress to both expressly adopt the interpretation of the law given by the court and to take further steps to rein in the NSA and reform the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court."

One court victory doesn't mean overall triumph. The right-wing Supreme Court may have final say - or Congress able to legislatively circumvent High Court or other judicial rulings with no administration opposition by either party.

US governance serves powerful entrenched interests at the expense of popular ones. It's fundamentally anti-democratic, anti-freedom. 

Odds strongly favor no change in business as usual. Sacrificing precious liberties for greater security assures losing both.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected] 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.


It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs. 

Sacking NYT Executive Editor Jill Abramson

Sacking NYT Executive Editor Jill Abramson

by Stephen Lendman

In September 2011, she succeeded Bill Keller. On May 14, The Times headlined "Times Ousts Jill Abramson as Executive Editor, Elevating Dean Baquet."

It reflects "an abrupt change of leadership." Times chairman/publisher Arthur Sulzberger, Jr. claimed "an issue with management in the newsroom."

Times staff familiar with her relationship with Sulzberger suggested she was "polarizing and mercurial." She "clash(ed) with (managing editor) Baquet.

He was "angered" over Abramson's "job offer" to senior London Guardian editor Janine Gibson. She wanted her as "co-managing editor."

"Conflict between them arose." Sulzberger got involved. He decided earlier to sack her. On May 15, he appointed Baquet executive editor.

"(N)either side (explained) detail(s) about Abramson's firing," said The Times. She was its first female executive editor in its 160-year history.

In 1997, she joined the broadsheet. She served as Washington bureau chief. As managing editor. 

Earlier she was a Wall Street Journal correspondent/reporter/deputy bureau chief. The American Lawyer staff reporter. 

The same capacity at Time magazine. As Legal Times editor-in-chief. She taught at Princeton. She's an American Academy of Arts and Sciences fellow.

As an undergraduate, she was arts editor of the Harvard Independent.

In 2012, Forbes named her its fifth most powerful woman. She ranked after German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Hillary Clinton, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, and Melinda Gates.

Michelle Obama ranked seventh. IMF chief Christine Lagarde was eighth.

Baquet is The Times first African-American executive editor. He promised staff he'd "listen hard…be hands on…be engaged…walk the room. That's the only way I know how to edit," he said.

David Bromwich is Yale University Professor of Literature. On May 15, he headlined "After 9/11: The Stories We Tell and the Stories We Don't."

He writes on civil liberty issues. About "America's wars of choice." About its "continuous engagement in multiple wars."

"And if not wars, then widely distributed black-op killings, in faraway places where (America claims having an) interest."

Officially it's called counterterrorism. Their alleged terrorism, not ours.

Bromwich called civil liberty wars "poisonous." Fundamental freedoms are destroyed. "(T)hings come up every day," he said.

He addressed Abramson's sacking. He cited Sulzberger's claimed reasons. They "seem credible enough," he said.

"(A)nd yet, the same qualities were compatible with (lots) of her predecessors." It begs the question. Why was Abramson sacked and not them?

It's unlikely for her management style. She learned former executive editor Bill Keller earned more than she did. She asked for a raise. Likely comparable pay and benefits.

It sounds credible, said Brownwich. Hardly reason to sack her. Or wanting a co-managing editor. As executive editor, it was her call.

Nothing suggested she was wrong. Executives make important decisions. It's their job. They get fired for serious bad ones. Ones adversely affecting profits. 

Abramson likely thought added managing editor strength would boost Times readership. It was her call to make. No reason to sack her.

Something else led Sulzberger to do so. Other than what he said. 

In January, Abramson called Julian Assange and Edward Snowden heroes.

"I view (Snowden), as I did Julian Assange and WikiLeaks, as a very good source of extremely newsworthy information," she said.

The Times didn't cover his revelations straightaway. At the same time, Abramson didn't avoid controversy.

Months earlier, she called the Obama administration "the most secretive" in her experience.

"I dealt directly with the Bush White House," she said. "(W)hen they had concerns (about) stories (relating) to national security…"

"The Obama administration had seven criminal leak investigations. That is more than twice the number of any previous administration in our history."

"It's on a scale never seen before. This is the most secretive White House that, at least as a journalist, I have ever dealt with."

It reflects direct orders from Obama, she added. In June 2013, she expressed concern over Justice Department officials surveilling reporters.

She said "the process of news gathering is being criminalized." Perhaps her views came home to roost.  

Perhaps the real reason for her sacking. Publicly criticizing US policy Times correspondents, commentators and editors defend in print appears cause for dismissal.

It reflects gross hypocrisy. Publishing one thing. Saying something entirely different at times. Bashing the White House The Times deplorably defends in print.

Baquet avoided doing it. As Times managing editor or elsewhere. He was a New Orleans-based Times-Picayune journalist. Then the Chicago Tribune.

In 1990, he became The Times' metropolitan editor. Then a business desk special projects one.

In 2000, he became LA Times managing editor. Then editor-in-chief. In 2007, he returned to the NYT. His positions included Washington bureau chief, national editor, assistant managing editor, managing editor, and now executive editor.

In 2006, he killed an LA Times story about NSA spying on Americans. About wiretapping them. About operating illegally.

About unconstitutional data-mining. About troubling civil liberty violations. About authorizing searches on millions of Americans without court-authorized warrants. 

Mark Klein worked for AT&T for 22 years. In 2004, he retired. After doing so, he turned whistleblower. 

He revealed blueprints and photographs of NSA's secret room. It's inside the company's San Francisco facility.

Three other whistleblowers submitted affidavits. They explained post-9/11 lawless NSA spying on millions of Americans. 

The FBI, CIA, Pentagon, state and local agencies operate the same way.

Spies "R" us defines US policy. America is a total surveillance state. It's unsafe to live in. Everyone is suspect unless proved otherwise.

The 2012 FISA Amendments Reauthorization Act renewed warrantless spying. It passed with little debate. 

On December 30, 2012, Obama signed it into law. Doing so largely went unnoticed. 

Warrantless spying remains law for another five years. Phone calls, emails, and other communications may be monitored secretly without court authorization. 

Probable cause isn't needed. So-called "foreign intelligence information" is sought. Virtually anything qualifies. Vague language is all-embracing.

Constitutional protections don't matter. All major US telecommunications companies are involved. 

So are online ones. They have been since 9/11. Things now are worse than then.

One expert said what's ongoing "isn't a wiretap. It's a country-tap." It's lawless. 

Congress has no authority to subvert constitutional provisions. Legislation passed has no legitimacy. Constitutional changes require amendments. 

The Patriot Act trampled on Bill of Rights protections. Doing so for alleged security doesn't wash. Fifth and Fourteenth Amendment due process rights were compromised. 

So were First Amendment freedom of association ones. Fourth Amendment protections from unreasonable searches and seizures were violated. Unchecked sweeping surveillance followed.

So-called "sneak and peak" searches are conducted through "delayed notice" warrants, roving wiretaps, email tracking, as well as Internet and phone use.

Section 215 pertains to alleged suspects, real or contrived. It authorizes government access to "any tangible item." 

Included are financial records and transactions, education and medical records, phone conversations, emails, other Internet use, and whatever else Washington wants to monitor.

Individuals and organizations may be surveilled whether or not evidence links them to terrorism or complicity to commit it. In other words, everyone is fair game for any reason or none at all.

Post-9/11, sweeping surveillance became policy. What Bush began, Obama escalated. 

Privacy rights are systematically violated. Good journalism requires telling people what they most need to know. 

Media scoundrels suppress it. They bury truth. They substitute misinformation rubbish. They lie, distort, mislead, conceal and twist reporting to fit official US policy.

They mock legitimate journalism. They betray its core ethical standards. They shame themselves in the process.

Expect Baquet to continue The Times ignoble tradition. It supports wealth, power and privilege. 

It does so at the expense of popular interests. Burying truth and full disclosure. Expect more of the same going forward.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected] 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs. 


http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour 

Reviewing James Petras’ The Politics of Empire: The US, Israel and the Middle East...

Reviewing James Petras' The Politics of Empire: The US, Israel and the Middle East (Part I) 

by Stephen Lendman

It's Petras at his best. It's important reading. It covers vital topics. Petras tells readers what they need to know. His analysis is masterful. Below is an account of what he said.

Washington and Israel are longstanding imperial partners. Petras does some of the best analysis explaining it.

Overview: The State of the Empire

In the 1990s, imperial adventurism increased. Post-9/11, it accelerated. One war after another followed. They continue "unhampered by congressional or large-scale public opposition," said Petras.

At least so far. Popular opinion against Obama's Syria war postponed it. Resuming it could happen any time. Perhaps it's one major false flag attack away.

Other wars may follow. Iran's turn awaits. Ukraine's full-blown crisis and regime change aftermath happened largely beyond the timeline of Petras' book.

He's a valued contributor to a forthcoming Clarity Press (CP) account of Ukraine's crisis. It promises to be the definitive analysis of what happened, why it matters, and what may follow. Watch for CP's announced publishing date.

Zionists and militarists define their current imperial objectives as follows, says Petras:

"(1) destroying regimes and states (as well as their military, police and civil governing bureaucracies) which had opposed Israel’s annexation of Palestine; 

(2) deposing regimes which promoted independent nationalist policies, opposing or threatening the Gulf puppet monarchist regimes; and

(3) supporting anti-imperialist, secular or nationalist-Islamic movements around the world."

Resistance was greater than they thought. Washington's Afghan war is its longest in history. It shows no signs of ending.

Iraq and Libya remain cauldrons of violence. Obama's war on Syria enters its fourth year.

Israel's goal isn't creating "political vacuum(s)." It's devastating its enemies. What follows is someone else's problem.

Tel Aviv loves getting Washington to wage its wars. The one Israel most wants most is destroying Iran. Whether America will oblige remains to be seen.

US economic conditions were different earlier than now. Overreach makes US leaders pause before undertaking what may cause more harm than good.

At the same time, public opinion is tired of wars. Enormous sums spent waging them harm their well-being. 

A late 2013 Pew Research report confirms the gap between "elite and public opinion," says Petras.

"By a vast margin (52% to 38%), the public agree that the US 'should mind its own business internationally and let other countries get along the best they can on their own,' " he explained.

In 2002, a scant 30% opposed foreign entanglements. Times changed dramatically.

Over 80% of Americans oppose Washington's Afghan war. Heading toward 14 years is too much.

Large majorities want domestic issues addressed. They want current jobs protected. They want new ones created. They want better ones. They want living wages. They want government serving their interests equitably.

They despise Wall Street. They reject new imperial wars. Whether they'll stop is another matter entirely.

America is addicted to war. It's the national pastime. Policymakers  believe war is peace. Out-of-control imperialism reflects it.

At the same time, public antipathy to Obama's wars weakened his ability to wage new ones. Whether 9/11 2.0 can change things perhaps remains to be seen.

In 2001, public appetite for war was keener than now. "Intervention fatigue," says Petras, makes most Americans crave peace. 

They're tired of endless imperial adventurism. They're suffering under the weight of pursuing it. According to Petras, they began to:

"(1) prioritize their choice of places of engagement; 

(2) diversify their diplomatic, political and economic instruments of coercion; and 

(3) limit large-scale, long-term military intervention to regions where US strategic interests are involved."

Washington isn't going soft by any means. A new page wasn't turned. Making the world safe for war profiteers is still policy.

Fear is stoked. It's used to manufacture consent. It's much tougher than before. It doesn't stop imperial rampagers from trying. Lots more effort is required.

Large-scale ground invasions are avoided. "Proliferation of special forces" substitutes. So do an array of destabilizing policies.

Ukraine is Exhibit A. Around $5 billion was spent replacing democratic governance with ultranationalist fascist extremists.

It's pocket change compared to trillions spent on Afghanistan and Iraq. It's changing Kiev on the cheap. 

It doesn't always work. Wars remain a bottom line option. Libya is the optimal model. Shock and awe supplemented proxy ground forces. 

Plans perhaps intend similar tactics against Syria. Objectives remain the same. Petras identified "at least eleven major or minor conflicts today engaging US empire builders to a greater or lesser extent."

They include "Ukraine, Thailand, Honduras, China-Japan-South Korea, Iran-Gulf States/Israel, Syria, Venezuela, Palestine-Israel, Libya, Afghanistan and Egypt."

Obama is more selective in choosing new targets. He's only got so much money to spend.

Debt reduction curtails open checkbook warmaking. Special forces in over 120 countries do it on the cheap if needed. So do CIA elements operating virtually everywhere. 

China and Russia comprise Washington's bottom line targets. It's hard imagining planned war on either of them. 

Co-opting neighboring states substitutes. So does surrounding them with US military bases. Weakening and isolating them matters most. 

Perhaps regime change by a thousand cuts is policy. Strategy is longterm. Overreach may defeat Washington's agenda.

Perhaps China and Russia intend letting America overspend until bankruptcy. They've got their own problems to resolve at the same time. 

Unity between them with likeminded allies is their best defense. America makes more enemies than friends. It's influence is declining. 

China's star is rising. Russia hopes to ascend at the same time. How it weathers things over Ukraine remains to be seen. Whether America prevails is unclear.

The battle for Ukraine's soul continues. It's longterm. Russia drew a red line. It's defending its vital issues responsibly. Putin isn't rolling over for Washington. Nor should he.

Obama has a tiger by the tail. He's in bed with fascist extremists. They've got a mind of their own. He may have bitten off more than he can chew.

Putin's patience may best him. Public Ukrainian anger may defeat him. It's unclear how things will go. Knowing either way won't happen soon. Nor in other parts of the world. 

Even superpowers can't prevail everywhere, all the time. Eventually they learn. Some do the hard way. 

Obama's wars made America weaker. New ones may be counterproductive. Nothing will be resolved any time soon. Major struggles are longterm.

Modern day Spartas may succumb like earlier ones. Living by the sword usually means perishing the same way. America may spend itself to death. Hegemons risk overreaching and failing.

Obama "relied on a wider variety of interventions than (his) predecessor," said Petras. He subcontracted more to European allies. 

France took the lead in Africa. Washington wants Japan and South Korea bearing a greater Asian burden.

It's "part of the long-term US strategy to encircle and limit China’s economic expansion," said Petras. 

Middle East control and "undermining Iran" is prioritized. "The principal strategic weakness in US empire building policy lies in the absence of domestic support."

Zionist power remains the wild card. It's deeply embedded in Washington. Media support is overwhelming. So are powerful monied interests.

War is their national pastime. Aroused public opinion is the best defense against it. Revving it up now is needed more than ever.

The Obama Regime's Military Metaphysics Rejects Diplomatic Opportunities

Obama prioritizes belligerence over diplomacy. He never misses an opportunity to miss an opportunity to pursue peace. 

Replacing independent governments with subservient pro-Western ones is prioritized. Adversaries are ravaged and destroyed. Hegemons operate this way.

Opportunities for peace are spurned. Bullying takes precedence. Obama sacrificed a "Grand Bargain" with Iran to serve Israel.

Israeli "land-grabbing" overrode Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.
Destabilizing Venezuela is prioritized. Regime change matters more than normalized relations.

"Obama's Snowden caper revive(d) the Cold War," said Petras.
Obama's war on Syria rages. He's allied with perhaps uncontrollable death squad extremists.

Afghanistan is a bottomless pit of war. It could continue for another decade or two. Taliban fighters show no battle fatigue.

Containing China may end up a losing proposition. Lost US opportunities overall may not resurface. At least not in the short run.

"The world view of the Obama regime is one of mirror looking in an echo chamber," said Petras. "(I)t cannot visualize and accommodate the interests of rivals, competitors or adversaries, no matter how absolutely central they are to any meaningful compromise." 

"The give and take of real world politics is totally foreign to the world's Chosen People." They only know how to " 'seize power' and create military facts, even as they then spend a dozen years and billions of dollars and millions of lives in endless wars, bemoaning lost markets amidst serial diplomatic failures." 

"The epitaph for the Obama regime will read:

They fought the Wars.
They lost.
They turned friends
into enemies.
Who became
Friends of our enemies.
They stood alone, in splendid isolation,
And said it was their only choice."

The Decline of the US (and everyone else...) 

Post-9/11, America "suffered a series of military defeats, experienced economic decline, and now faces severe competition and the prospect of further military losses," said Petras.

Some analysts believe US decline began decades earlier. The greater it overreaches, the faster its political and economic advantage wane.

America makes more enemies than friends. It aims to isolate Russia, China and other independent states. It may end up shooting itself in the foot trying.

Latin American countries reject US aggressiveness. They overwhelmingly oppose efforts to oust Venezuela's government.

In late March, Organization of American States (OAS) members  refused to hear fascist legislator Maria Corina Machado discuss ongoing Washington manipulated violence.

She opposes democratic governance. She backed the aborted April 2002 coup against Hugo Chavez.

She's involved in instigating ongoing violence. Venezuelan National Assembly members want her investigated. 

They want her charged with treason and incitement to crime. She's provoking civil war, they said. She's a Washington favorite.

Washington lost Asian influence to China. At the same time, it forged closer military ties with Japan, the Philippines and Australia.

The same holds in other areas. Empires don't fade easily. At the same time, they don't last forever. 

In the end, they all die. America won't be an exception. None existed earlier.

Washington stands "totally alone" against Cuba, says Petras. OAS nations are "no longer a US haven."

At the same time, reports of US imperial decline are "overstated…(T)here is no alternative imperial or modern anti-imperial tendency on the immediate horizon," Petras explains.

Longer-term tells a different story. The 21st century began as America's. It may end as China's.

Cyber-Imperialism: The Logic Behind Mass Spying: Empire and Cyber Imperialism

Edward Snowden revelations about NSA spying connected important dots for millions. He's a gift that keeps on giving.

He explained what everyone needs to know. Doing so "provoked widespread protests and indignation and threatened ties between erstwhile imperial allies," said Petras.

Obama presides over a homeland police state apparatus. "One of (its) essential components (is) an all-pervasive spy apparatus operating independently of any legal or constitutional constraints," he explained.

Big Brother watches everyone. Claims otherwise don't wash. Electronic and telecommunications surveillance is sweeping. 

It's pervasive. It targets everyone of potential interest. It operates globally. It's a power unto itself. It's unaccountable.

As technology advances, it promises worse ahead. No one can escape its spying eye. It monitors world leaders. It cracks encryption protections.

It listens to phone calls. It monitors emails and text messages. It accesses financial and medical records. 

It conducts espionage to get a leg up on foreign competitors. It does so with electronic ease.

Huge stakes are involved. Empires need to do more to hold on to what they have. They want their power enhanced. 

They want total unchallenged control. They want what's not easy to get.

The " 'Global War on Terror" (GWOT), became an open-ended formula for the civilian warlords, militarists and Zionists to expand the scope and duration of overt and covert warfare and espionage," said Petras.

It "provided the ideological framework for a police state based on the totalitarian conception that 'everybody and everything is connected to each other' in a 'global system' threatening the state." 

"This 'totalistic view' informs the logic of the expanded NSA, linking enemies, adversaries, competitors and allies."

A Big Brother world is no fit one to live in. It exists. It seeks omnipotence. It wants total control. Civil liberties and human rights are discarded in the process. They're disappearing in plain sight. 

Police State: The Domestic Foundation of Empire - Fabricating Terror Conspiracies

America's only enemies are ones it creates. Its war on terror is fake. It's waged to stoke fear. 

Supportive propaganda rages. Media scoundrels march in lockstep. They hype what demands denunciation. 

They do it without supportive evidence. None exists. They regurgitate official lies. They repeat them ad nauseam. 

Alleged global and domestic threats are fraudulent on their face. Warnings repeat anyway. Lies substitute for truth. They wore thin long ago.

Most people are fooled anyway. Many pay no attention either way.

"By evoking a phony 'terrorist threat' abroad and its detection by the NSA, Obama hopes to re-legitimize his discredited police state apparatus," says Petras.

At the same time, he "seeks to cover-up (his) most disreputable policies, despicable 'show trials' and harsh imprisonment of government whistle blowers and political, diplomatic and military defeats and failures which have befallen the empire in the present period."

Petras calls Obama "the Master of Deceit." He's polar opposite what supporters want. He wages multiple imperial direct and proxy wars. He plans new ones.

He wrecked the economy. He looted the nation's wealth. He consigned millions to unemployment or underemployment. 

Poverty, homelessness and hunger increased on his watch. He heads America toward full-blown tyranny.

Monied interests own him. He supports wealth, power and privilege. He let popular needs go begging.

He destroyed hard-won labor rights. He wants education commodified. He wants it made another business profit center.

He wages war on whistleblowers, dissenters, Muslims, Latino immigrants, and environmental and animal rights activists called terrorists.

He's a con man. Petras nailed him before taking office. He called him "the perfect incarnation of Melville's Confidence Man. He catches your eye while he picks your pocket. He gives thanks as he packs you off to war."

He spurns human need. He ignores rule of law principles. He deplores democratic values. He tolerates none at home or abroad. He wages war on freedom.

The Rise of the Police State and the Absence of Mass Opposition

Recent US history witnessed "the virtually unchallenged rise of the police state," said Petras. Diktat power rules. No mass pro-democracy movement confronts it. It rages out-of-control.

Bipartisan complicity supports it. So do media scoundrels. It reflects McCarthyism writ large. Anyone can be targeted for any reason or none at all.

Constitutional rights don't matter. Arbitrary rule replaced them. Police state powers reflect it.

It's "the dominant reality in US political life today," says Petras. It's largely unchallenged. Dismissiveness substitutes for mass outrage.

Obama gets away with murder and much more. Media scoundrels hype state-sponsored fear-mongering. Fake threats persist. Dissent is increasingly criminalized. Wars substitute for peace.

Part II continues discussing Petras' new book.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected] 

His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs. 


http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour

Lanza Spokesman is Top PR Flack, NY Democratic Party Operative

By James F. Tracy

Whenever the reclusive Peter Lanza wants to make a public statement concerning the Sandy Hook School massacre purportedly carried out by his son Adam Lanza, the press is contacted by Lanza’s “spokesman,” one Errol Cockfield Jr.

Lanza has thus been able to maintain his remarkable Howard Hughes-like withdrawal from the packs of reporters that would readily clamor for a brief interview with or even a snapshot of the reclusive dad. Since December 2012 virtually all of Lanza’s communications have gone through this man with strong ties to intransigent Democratic Party officials who’ve one way or another fallen from grace.

Who exactly is Errol Cockfield Jr.? “I am the day-to-day lead on what’s called crisis and issues management,” Cockfield explains.

So what I do is for large companies and organizations and universities is that when they have things that could become a media issue or have become a media issue, I lead a team of folks who help advise them and help them prepare to deal with those issues. For instance, Penn State has been a client of mine [and] General Electric is a client of mine. Companies like that.[1]

Cockfield’s services are most recently observed in early January 2014 when he made an announcement to the Hartford Courant on behalf of Lanza. “A statement released by Lanza’s spokesman, Errol Cockfield, said, ’As Mr. Lanza has informed law enforcement officials throughout this process, he is willing to approve the release of any [of Adam Lanza’s] medical records that he has the authority to release.’” The Courant failed to explain that Cockfield is not only a public relations expert, but once worked at the Courant as a reporter.[2]

Mr. Cockfield is a Guyanan-born journalist and former top New York Democratic Party staffer-turned-Vice President of Crisis and Risk Management for public relations firm Edelman. According to the trade publication PR Week, Edelman is the world’s largest public relations firm, with 66 offices and more than 4,500 employees worldwide, as well as affiliates in more than 30 cities.”[3] Operating out of the company’s New York office, Cockfield appeared to be assigned to the Lanza case roughly one week after the December 14, 2012 incident.

The Washington Post reported on Edelman’s relationship with the Lanza family after the paper questioned a New York Post story quoting a Facebook interview that was allegedly conducted with Adam Lanza’s brother Ryan.[4] On December 23, 2012 Cockfield came forward to correct the story, arguing on the Lanzas’ behalf that the interview was “a complete hoax” conducted between the New York Post and a third party who set up a Facebook account using Ryan Lanza’s name.[5]

Yet how is it that the Lanza family, during a domestic crisis of such magnitude, would see fit to retain the world’s largest public relations firm to correct a single sensationalized report of a faux interview published by an organ well-known for, well, its sensationalism? Are there more powerful parties involved seeking to manage the message, and perhaps Peter Lanza as well? Is Cockfield providing his services as a personal favor to Lanza? Or is he working as an employe of Edelmen? News stories, including published statements from Cockfield on behalf of Lanza, don’t exactly say. “The scope of work that the PR firm is providing to the Lanza family is unclear,” PR Week observes, “as well as whether it is charging for its services.” Cockfield would not return calls from the magazine for comment.[6]

Errol Cockfield Jr. was born in 1973 in the rural outskirts of Georgetown, Guyana. At age nine he moved to Trinidad, and shortly thereafter to the United States. Cockfield is a 1994 graduate of the State University of New York at Stony Brook, holding a bachelor’s degree in English. Following college Cockfield worked as a reporter for the Tribune Company’s Los Angeles Times, the Hartford Courant, then Long Island’s Newsday. In Los Angeles he reported on a series of random white skinhead attacks on blacks that led to an investigation by county officials.

At Newsday he was assigned as City Economic Development Reporter and the Nassau County Political Reporter. In these posts he covered the rebuilding of the World Trade Center in the wake of September 11, 2001. The young journalist also wrote on a controversial plan to build a taxpayer-financed football stadium in Manhattan.[7] In addition to some freelance writing on hip-hop artists for Vibe and The Source, Cockfield then worked out of Newsday’s Albany bureau.

The prominent journalist then segued into Democratic state politics in 2007 with the help of now-disgraced New York Governor Elliot Spitzer. Spitzer appointed Cockfield Press Secretary of the Empire State Development Corporation with an annual salary of $150,000.[8] Shortly thereafter in the midst of the Spitzer administration’s political surveillance controversy (also known as “Troopergate”) the embattled governor elevated Cockfield to Press Secretary, where he reported directly to Spitzer and his Communications Director. At this time Cockfield was recognized by New York’s political journal City & State as one of the region’s “rising stars” under the age of 40.[9]

Cockfield managed communications during the difficult transition of Democratic power from Spitzer to his Lieutenant Governor David Paterson. He continued as chief spokesman and adviser to Paterson, whose administration continued to be embroiled in controversy. In 2010 Paterson discontinued his bid for a full term as rumors ensued concerning alleged extramarital affairs and drug use.[10] Here Mr. Cockfield can be seen at work defending Paterson against one of the governor’s many suspected fiscal improprieties.

In August 2010 Cockfield was appointed Communications Director of the Senate Democratic Majority by then-New York State Senator and fellow Guyanese John Sampson, the Democrat Majority Conference Leader. In the position Cockfield served Sampson and other Democratic politicos.[11]

In April 2013 federal charges were brought against Sampson for embezzling $440,000 and financing an attempt to secure one of the most powerful posts in city politics—Brooklyn district attorney. Citing a record of corruption that dated to at least 2009, the indictment claimed Sampson even told an associate he could locate informants and “take them out.” A US attorney called the case “one of the most extreme examples of hubris and arrogance we have ever seen.” Sampson was charged with embezzlement, obstruction of justice, lying to FBI agents, and witness and evidence tampering. He pled not guilty to the charges.[12]

In October 2013 federal authorities charged one of Sampson’s chief aides, Melvin Lowe, with fraud and tax evasion – including charges he defrauded the New York Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee out of $100,000, and neglected to report over $2 million in consulting fees on his income tax returns.[13]

In late 2011 Cockfield was promoted to Sampson’s Chief of Staff with a salary of $140,000. But he unexpectedly stepped down less than one year later, in August 2012, to make the move to Edelman. “The timing of his departure raised eyebrows,” the Daily News noted, especially because the election deciding the fate of the Democratic majority was just three months away.[14]

And now for over one year Cockfield remains the official spokesperson for Peter Lanza, a man who has not had contact with the press since December 14, 2012.[15] The journalistic outlets reporting Cockfield’s pronouncements are more than likely aware that he is the Crisis and Issues Management director of the influential Edelman public relations firm, in addition to having an unsavory set of past associations with corrupt politicking. Why, then, do they maintain the pretense that he is merely an impartial (and politically isolated) agent of the Lanza family? Failing to do so clearly implicates such news media in actively perpetuating what more and more appears to be the Sandy Hook deception.

Notes

[1] Selwyn Collins, “Errol Cockfield Jr. Interview by Selwyn Collins,” at about 15:00, YouTube, December 7, 2013.

[2]  Kathleen Megan, “Adam Lanza’s Father Willing to Release Medical Records to Sandy Hook Commission,” Hartford Courant, January 10, 2014. Megan and the Courant‘s executive editor Andrew Julien did not return requests for an explanation concerning Cockfield.

[3] PR Week, Edelman Profile, n.d.

[4] Bonnie Goldstein, “Massacre Message Management Is New PR Task,” Washington Post, January 1, 2013.

[5] Peter Finn, “Lanza’s Brother Denies Giving Facebook Interview to New York Post,” Washington Post, December 23, 2012.

[6] Virgil Dickson, “Edelman Helps Lanza Father Deal with Media,” PR Week, January 2, 2013.

[7] Martin Buskin, “The Buskin Mentor Group,” Martin Buskin at Stony Brook, n.d.

[8] “Under Fire, Gov Changes Administration,” Associated Press, November 1, 2007. See also Cockfield’s Wikipedia profile,“Errol Cockfield Jr.,” Wikipedia, n.d.

[9] “Rising Stars: 40 Under 40,” City & State, September 17, 2007.

[10] “Governor denies drug, sex rumors,” CNN, February 9, 2010.

[11] Bevan Springer, “US Senator Taps Guyanese for Communications Job,” Kaieteur News, April 28, 2010.

[12] John Marzulli and Greg B. Smith, “Another State Lawmaker Busted: Brooklyn State Sen. John Sampson Surrenders to FBI on Charges of Embezzlement and Obstruction of Justice,” New York Daily News, May 6, 2013.

[13] Josh Saul, “Sen. John Sampson’s ex-Aide Busted for Fraud, Tax Crimes,” New York Post, October 29, 2013.

[14] Ken Lovett, “Errol Cockfield Leaving State Senate Dems,” New York Daily News, August 3, 2012.

[15] Maggie Gordon, “Reporter Broke News to Father of Suspect,” Stamford Advocate, December 14, 2012.

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Criminal Unaccountability

Criminal Unaccountability

by Stephen Lendman

Israel gets away with murder and much more. Crimes against humanity repeat multiple times daily. Palestinians are defenseless.

Who can contest Israel's military might? It's other security forces are ruthless. So are extremist settlers. Yesh Din Volunteers for Human Rights addresses them.

"Acts of violence are being committed by Israeli civilians against Palestinians in the West Bank on a daily basis," it says.

They repeat in many forms. They include violence and vandalism. They're not isolated incidences. They reflect more than hate or anger.

They're "part of a sophisticated wider strategy," says Yesh Din. They're "designed to assert territorial domination of Palestinians in the West Bank.

They include settler-imposed "no go zones." Palestinians face armed militants. They come from nearby settlements and outposts.

They "create effective 'no go zones.' " They're on privately owned Palestinian land.

Doing so gets them to abandon it. The do it in fear for their lives. Israeli soldiers, police and other security forces provide no protection. They support lawless settlers.

They commit so-called "price tag" attacks. Settlers use the term to describe retaliations relating to Israeli government actions limiting their political goals. Palestinians bear their brunt.

From September 2004 through 2011 alone, around 3,700 incidents occurred. They're documented by time, type, location, number of injuries and/or deaths, and settlements of origin. 

Every West Bank governorate is affected. Key is that Israeli and collaborating Palestinian security forces do little to stop them.

Ordinary Palestinians are left vulnerable on their own. They live in a virtual war zone. Israel is an occupying power. 

International law is clear. Palestinian security and safety must be protected. Israel ignores its mandated responsibility. 

It's worse than that. Israeli forces commit daily crimes against humanity. Settlers commit their own with impunity.

Complaints go unaddressed. Investigations when conducted are whitewashed. According to Yesh Din, over 97% "of investigative files relating to damage to Palestinian olive trees are closed due to police failings."

Repeated vandalism incidents go unpunished. Evidence shows "Israeli police overwhelmingly (don't) investigate incidents (or) prosecute offenders."

Vandalizing olive and other fruit trees "has become one of the symbols of the occupation." Doing so repeats with disturbing regularity. 

Crimes go unpunished. Palestinians are fair game. Settlers attack them and their property with impunity.

Israeli security forces are well aware of what's ongoing. They do nothing to stop it. They encourage it by inaction and failing to hold perpetrators accountable.

From 2005 through June 2013, Yesh Din documented 211 incidents of willfully damaging or destroying Palestinian fruit trees.

Four incidents alone led to perpetrators being punished. Doing so amounted to wrist slaps.

Vandalizing Palestinian property constitutes a serious assault on their well-being. Olive and other fruit trees provide employment and income for 100,000 Palestinian households.

According to Yesh Din researcher Noah Cohen:

"As the statistics show...areas of friction are well known. Nevertheless, the IDF leaves the Palestinian residents in these areas exposed to repeated violent attacks." 

The implication of the ongoing failure (by Israeli police) to investigate and prosecute persons who vandalize trees is equally apparent."

It reflects the "complete abnegation of responsibility, and the abandonment of these areas to the control of violent and extremist elements."

Failure to hold them accountable leaves Palestinians frustrated. Why complain when doing so is fruitless. "Those who do have little hope for redress," says Yesh Din.

Israel's failure to hold criminal elements accountable "empowers them and supports the continuation of their strategic brand of violence."

Yesh Din confronts individual and institutional violence, as well as other criminal acts. Its volunteers take victims' testimonies. They document what goes on.

They file criminal complaints. They follow-up with local authorities. They represent aggrieved victims. They work toward advancing genuine reform. They do so because it matters.

Israeli soldiers commit daily violence. Impunity is institutionalized. Accountability doesn't matter. 

"Most cases of violent crimes against Palestinians not only go unpunished - but often are completely ignored by the authorities," says Yesh Din. 

"This is a blatant violation of the human rights of Palestinian civilians living in the West Bank and of Israel's duties under International Humanitarian Law."

Even when criminal investigations are initiated, accountability rarely follows. Never against higher ranking IDS soldiers.

"Very light sentencing" follows rare convictions. It's too little to matter. Palestinians trying to file complaints face "staggering obstacles" doing so.

"The complete absence of military police stations open to the public in the West Bank, for example, makes it literally impossible for Palestinians to file complaints directly with the military police," says Yesh Din.

Defending the human and civil rights of persecuted people is an enormous task. Confronting the frequency of Israeli lawlessness makes it overwhelming.

On January 7, Haaretz reported a rare instance of Palestinians giving extremist settlers a taste of their own medicine.

Ten settlers trespassed on Palestinian land. They were confronted. They "were apprehended and beaten by Palestinian villagers," said Haaretz.

They were handed over to Israeli soldiers. The incident began Tuesday morning. Civil Administration officials arrived at the settlers' outpost. They came to uproot olive trees planted on private Palestinian land.

Palestinians "organized themselves into security details. Hours later, 10 settlers arrived at Kfar Kusra village. They were masked. They wore gloves. 

About 30 Palestinians surrounded them. They apprehended them. They took them to an abandoned building. They beat them. The incident lasted about an hour.

They were handed to soldiers. Some were injured. It's not known what Israeli authorities intend to do. A Yesh Din spokesman explained what happened, saying:

"After a (Civil Administration) action at the illegal outpost of Esh Kodesh...a group of Israeli civilians entered the villages of Kursa and Krayot, with the intention of harming the villagers." 

"The Palestinians themselves reported the incident to the security forces and requested that they arrive to arrest the attackers." 

They "were taken by the army and we hope that, in contrast to previous incidents, they will be transferred to the police for investigation and clarification about what they were doing in the village."

"Settler retaliation against Palestinians following action (by the civil administration) has become a regular and well-known phenomenon, particularly in that area." 

"The fact that the IDF was not deployed to protect the Palestinian villagers is symptomatic of a policy that completely abandons the Palestinian residents of the area and ignores the basic duty of the IDF as the sovereign authority in the area."

"Unfortunately, past experience teaches us that today's incident will be followed by further revenge attacks against Palestinians." 

"We expect the security forces to deploy as necessary in order to avoid all harm to the local residents."

Israel consistently won't do do so. Expect this time to be no different. Palestinians are on their own. Protection depends on their own resilience.

Israeli soldiers post a much greater threat. On January 5, Human Rights Watch (HRW) reported one incident. It's much like many others.

It headlined "Israel: No Evidence that Boy Killed by Soldiers Posed Any Threat."

Israeli soldiers murdered a 15-year-old Palestinian boy. They did so in cold blood. On December 9, he was shot in the back. It happened near his school.

"It was the second incident involving the lethal shooting of a child in the back by Israeli forces deployed near a school in 2013," said HRW.

Witnesses explained what happened. Wajih al-Ramahi was shot and killed. 

He and other youths were throwing stones at soldiers. They were about 200 meters away. They faced no risk of being hit.

Joe Stork is HRW Middle East and North Africa director. "Twice this year, Israeli soldiers hiding near schools, apparently to make arrests, have killed children who posed no apparent threat," he said.

"If the past is any guide, these boys' families can look forward to a prolonged, opaque, and fruitless process that does not hold perpetrators to account or deliver justice."

An earlier 2013 incident involved Israeli soldiers hiding near a Budrus village boys' school. They fatally shot 16-year-old Samir 'Awad.

He entered an open military gate in Israel's Apartheid Wall. Soldiers appeared. Awad threatened no one.

He tried to run away. He was shot and killed. IDF authorities said they're investigating both incidents. Expect whitewash to follow like always.

Medical sources and photos showed al-Ramahi "had a bullet wound in his back and no exit wound," said HRW.

"The lack of an exit-wound is consistent with statements that the bullet was fired from an assault rifle at considerable distance from al-Ramahi."

"There was no apparent justification for the use of live ammunition."

"International standards on the use of firearms in policing situations stipulate that lethal force may be used only as a last resort when strictly necessary to protect life."

"Should the incident be covered by the laws of war, which are applicable in the occupied West Bank, the shooting would violate the prohibition on targeting civilians, so long as the individual was not actively participating in hostilities." 

"An attack on a civilian that is carried out intentionally or recklessly is a war crime."

Since September 2000, Israel only held six soldiers accountable for willful murder and other high crimes. The longest imposed sentence was seven months.

The open area where 'Awad was shot "slopes downhill from the school" he attended, said HRW. About 250 meters away, "a series of military structures form part of the Israeli" Apartheid Wall.

Witnesses said 'Awad and two other boys walked toward the Wall. A 15-year-old boy told HRW:

"This was the first time we'd ever seen the fence gate open. We just decided to go inside because there was no (military vehicle) on the road. We thought there weren't any soldiers there."

A 14-year-old boy said:

"We saw the gate was open, and we got excited, we decided to go through it. It’s a grey gate." 

"We crossed the barbed wire coils and (two boys) went through the gate, first (a 13-year-old), then Samir, and then there were soldiers who had been lying in the ditch, four on the left and two on the right (of the gate)." 

"They stood up and said, 'Stop.' The others ran back toward the village, and the soldiers fired in the air, two or three times."

"Samir got scared and ran the wrong way through the gate. He tried to climb the (second) fence, and one the four soldiers from the left-hand side shot him in the leg." 

"He fell, got up, and came back through the gate toward the village. Another soldier grabbed him by the shoulder, but he got past and tried to run away toward the village." 

"He was limping. One of (the soldiers) threw a sound bomb, and then another soldier shot him in the back and the head."

The boys and other children nearby posed no threat. They carried nothing in their hands. They weren't throwing stones.

Medical records show 'Awad was shot three times - in the leg, back of the chest and back of the head. He was murdered in cold blood.

These aren't isolated incidents. In 2013, Israeli soldiers killed 28 West Bank Palestinians. Children are targeted like adults.

At least 11 Gazan children were shot last year. Israeli air and ground attacks kill other Palestinians.

On January 3, 16-year-old Adnan Abu Khater was shot and killed. Since 2000, over 6,700 Palestinians were killed. Almost 1,400 were children. 

Israel gets away with murder and much more. Excessive force is longstanding Israeli policy. Soldiers are taught to hate Arabs. They have license to kill. They take full advantage.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected] 

His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs Fridays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.


http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour

France Lies for Israel

France Lies for Israel

by Stephen Lendman

Overall French/Israeli ties are longstanding. France's ambassador to Israel, Patrick Maisonneuve, said President Francois Hollande "is a close friend of the State of Israel."

Netanyahu said both countries work closely together "to advance and deepen bilateral strategic and economic relations."

The relationship includes supporting the worst crimes both countries commit. Their rap sheets are long and loathesome.

Israel murdered Yasser Arafat. Polonium poisoning killed him. Switzerland's Radiophysique (SR) analysis proved it. SR director Dr. Francois Bochud said:

"I can confirm to you that we measured an unexplained, elevated amount of unsupported polonium-210 in the belongings of Mr. Arafat that contained stains of biological fluids."

On November 6, Al Jazeera headlined "Exclusive: Swiss study says Polonium found in Arafat's bones."

Scientists examined his remains. They found levels at least 18 times above normal. It's clear evidence he was poisoned.

Lausanne-based University Centre of Legal Medicine published a 108-page report. Al Jazeera obtained a copy.

Unnaturally high polonium levels were found in Arafat's ribs, pelvis, and "soil stained with his decaying organs."

France claims otherwise. Coverup and denial is longstanding official policy. More on that below. 

Ariel Sharon targeted Arafat for elimination. Previous articles discussed it. Labor party MK Haim Ramon said:

"Sharon wants Arafat to disappear and for a moderate Palestinian leadership to replace him." 

"What is happening is what we see now: the de facto destruction of what is left of the Palestinian Authority and Israel's full or almost full re-occupation of the West Bank and Gaza."

Veteran Israeli journalist/Sharon confidant/one time spokesman Uri Dan believed Sharon killed Arafat.

He discussed it in his book titled "Ariel Sharon: An Intimate Portrait." He believed George Bush approved it. He said Arafat was poisoned.

His longtime physician, Dr. Ashraf al-Kurdi, said so. On August 12, 2007, Haaretz headlined "Arafat's doctor: There was HIV in his blood, but poison killed him."

In September 2005, he said "any doctor would tell you that (Arafat's symptoms reflected) poisoning."

On November 19, Michel Chossudovsky quoted Tanya Reinhart's comment on a 2000 Israeli document. 

It was "prepared by the (Israeli) security services, at the request of then Prime Minister Ehud Barak." 

It said " 'Arafat, the person, is a severe threat to the security of the state (of Israel) and the damage which will result from his disappearance is less than the damage caused by his existence.' "

Assassinating Arafat "was part of the 2001 Dagan Plan," said Chossudovsky. "In all likelihood, it was carried out by Israeli Intelligence."

Mossad has a long bloodstained targeted assassination history. Coldblooded murder is official Israeli policy.

Before his death, Arafat said he survived 40 attempts on his life. His former aide, Hani al-Hassan, said he personally witnessed it 13 times.

Arafat became more liability than asset. Israel wanted a subservient Palestinian puppet leader replacing him. 

They chose longtime collaborator Mahmoud Abbas. They rigged his election. He has no legitimacy whatever. 

He enforces Israeli policy. He betrays his own people in the process. He accumulated enormous wealth doing so. 

He belongs in prison, not high office. Why Palestinians put up with him, they must explain. 

Perhaps he collaborated with Mossad against Arafat. Maybe he was directly involved. It wouldn't surprise. 

In 2004, he was complicit in covering up what happened. He had everything to gain. Israel got what it paid for.

On December 3, Reuters headlined "Arafat did not die of poisoning, French tests conclude."

Saying so counters clear Swiss evidence. "A senior Palestinian official dismissed the report as 'politicized,' " said Reuters.

Arafat's widow, Suha, challenged France's claim, saying:

"You can imagine how much I am shaken by the contradictions between the findings of the best experts in Europe in this domain."

"I am accusing no one. This is in the hands of justice and it is just the beginning."

In late 2004, Arafat became seriously ill in Ramallah. He was flown to Paris for treatment. On November 11, 2004, he died. 

It wasn't natural. He was assassinated. Israel had clear opportunity motive, and expertise. Failed previous attempts showed they wanted him dead. 

Polonium is slow-acting. It took its time killing him. In mid-October 2004, Arafat became suspiciously ill after ingesting a meal. 

Initial symptoms were nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. 
Hours earlier he was in good health. 

Scientists called acute gastrointestinal symptoms "compatible with ingestion of a large quantity of radioactivity."

"No other cause to explain the onset of the symptoms could be identified."

French doctors claimed they couldn't diagnose his illness. Why they inadequately explained. They claimed he died of a massive stroke. They were complicit in coverup.

No autopsy followed Arafat's death. No cause was announced. His medical records weren't released.

Suspicions of foul play surfaced. In July 2012, his widow, Suha, ordered his body exhumed. Al Jazeera published new information, saying:

"A nine-month investigation suggests that the late Palestinian leader may have been poisoned with polonium."

His personal belongings were examined. They included his clothes, kaffiyeh and toothbrush. Polonium traces were found. 

It's extremely toxic. It's most lethal when ingested or inhaled. It's hard to detect. It doesn't emit gamma rays. 

It emits only alpha particles. Normal radiation detectors don't recognize them. Hospital equipment only detects gamma rays. 

Ingesting or inhaling alpha particles causes significant radiation damage. Special equipment is needed to recognize it.

Switzerland's Radiophysique (SR) analyzed Arafat's belongings. Blood, sweat, saliva and urine samples were obtained. Tests confirmed abnormal polonium levels.

French denials don't wash. Its report won't be published. Failure to do so is suspicious. It concluded: "In sum, death was not due to poisoning with Polonium…"

"Measurements of Polonium 201 and other radioactive substances taken from biological samples of the body are consistent with a natural environmental origin."

Palestine Liberation Front leader Wasel Abu Yousef dismissed France's findings, saying:

"The French report is politicized, and is contrary to all the evidence which confirms that the president was killed by poisoning."

"This report is an attempt to cover up what happened in (Paris') Percy hospital."

Suha Arafat's lawyer Saad Djebbar said:

"We have no doubt that the most comprehensive and thorough report that examined all aspects of this case remains the Swiss report. (It's) the only show in town."

Switzerland's Radiophysique (SR) spokesperson Darcy Christen said: 

"Our team's original findings still stand. A key question here is whether the French team went as far as we did in our analysis."

Both found elevated polonium-210 levels in Arafat's remains. France incredibly called its presence "natural." 

They claimed radiation occurred post-mortem. They turned a blind to truth. They blamed air and soil. 

Swiss experts forthrightly said otherwise. Polonium related deaths are extremely rare. Foul play isn't natural.

A Final Comment

Israel's history is odious. It's bloodstained. False flags and targeted assassinations are specialties. They repeat with disturbing regularity.

Pre-emptive murder is official policy. On December 3, Al Manar headlined "Hezbollah Official Assassinated in Hadath, Israel held responsible."

Hezbollah announced the following:

"Haj Hassan Hawlo Lakkis was assassinated Tuesday midnight in front of his home in St. Therese-Hadath while he was on his way back from his work."

"Israel is automatically held complete(ly) responsibility for this heinous crime." Previous "assassination attempts" failed, it added. 

"This enemy should bear full responsibility and all consequences of this heinous crime, and this repeated targeting of dear resistance leaders and cadres."

Israel wanted Lakkis dead. Numerous previous attempts to kill him failed. Tuesday's attack around midnight succeeded. 

Doing so reflects longstanding Israeli state terrorism. Its rap sheet includes crimes of war, against humanity and genocide. Accountability is long overdue.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected] 

His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs Fridays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.


http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour

Feds Finger Probe Vagina & Anus Of Innocent Woman (Video)

By Susan Duclos

New Mexico authorities are out of control as now a third victim has come forward and is now suing with the claim that federal agents illegally probed her vagina and anus with their fingers with no warrant or consent.
This is sexual abuse and a violation from the very people that are supposed to protect us.

Via InfoWars:
“A dog alerted to the woman, and Schaur Ives said federal agents stripped searched her at the facility, asked her to undress, to spread her genitalia and to cough. Female agents also allegedly pressed their fingers into her vagina looking for drugs,” reports KOB 4. 

No drugs were found and police did not obtain a warrant for the intrusive search, according to the ACLU. Medical records show that the woman did not consent to the strip search or having her private parts sexually molested.
Read about the other two cases pending at InfoWars.

These cases are unacceptable and while the NM authorities say they do not tolerate corruption and abuse and will comply with a full investigation, the fact that this is a third victim stepping forward shows it is more than an isolated incident and if more a representation of a systematic problem that goes beyond one or two bad apples.

This is a police state mentality where laws and protections guaranteed under the constitution are being trampled on and it is happening more and more often.






Cross posted at Before it's News

Merkel in NSA’s Crosshairs


Merkel in NSA's Crosshairs

by Stephen Lendman

Nations spying on each other is longstanding. Friends do it on foes. Allies do it on each other.

Washington's Government Accountability Office (GAO) said Israel "conducts the most aggressive espionage operation against the United States of any US ally."

The Pentagon accused Israel of "actively engag(ing) in military and industrial espionage in the United States."

US national security officials consider Israel at times a genuine counterintelligence and espionage threat. France perhaps feels the same way about America. Add Germany to the list.

On October 24, the Washington Post headlined "Germans launch probe into allegations of US spying."

Reports about NSA listening to her phone calls is the latest diplomatic row. Germany's Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle summoned US ambassador John Emerson to explain.

"For us, spying on close friends and partners is totally unacceptable," he said. "This undermines trust and this can harm our friendship. We need the truth now."

Merkel said "trust needs to be reestablished" with Washington.
German Defense Minister Thomas de Maiziere called what's gone on "really bad. We can't simply return to business as usual."

White House press secretary Jay Carney lied saying:

"The US is not monitoring and will not monitor communications of the chancellor."

At the same time, he added:

"We are not going to comment publicly on every specified, alleged intelligence activity." 

"And, as a matter of policy, we have made clear that the United States gathers foreign intelligence of the type gathered by all nations." 

"We have diplomatic relations and channels that we use in order to discuss these issues that have clearly caused some tension in our relationships with other nations around the world, and that is where we were having those discussions."

State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf lied claiming Washington isn't involved in "some big dragnet." What's ongoing "are intelligence activities…with a defined purpose," she said.

"We want to make sure that we’re striking the proper balance between the legitimate security concerns and countering legitimate security threats, and protecting the privacy that all people around the world think is important, and we certainly do as well."

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper is a confessed perjurer. He admitted lying to Congress about NSA spying. On October 22, he said:

"Recent articles published in the French newspaper Le Monde contain inaccurate and misleading information regarding US foreign intelligence activities."  

"The allegation that the National Security Agency collected more than 70 million “recordings of French citizens’ telephone data” is false."

"While we are not going to discuss the details of our activities, we have repeatedly made it clear that the United States gathers intelligence of the type gathered by all nations."  

"The US collects intelligence to protect the nation, its interests, and its allies from, among other things, threats such as terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction."

"The United States values our longstanding friendship and alliance with France and we will continue to cooperate on security and intelligence matters going forward."

Merkel is currently under fire for mishandling earlier reports about NSA spying. According to German Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information Peter Schaar:

"The report that the chancellor's mobile phone was also tapped shows how absurd the attempt was to end the debate about the surveillance of everyday communications in this country."

"In light of the new revelations, it was downright irresponsible not to have pushed harder to get to the truth."

Schaar referred to German Chancellery chief of staff Ronald Pofalla's August statement. At the time, he downplayed clear evidence about NSA targeting Germany and other EU nations.

Green Party parliamentary floor leader Anton Hofreiter demanded Merkel "make public what she knew and when."

Does she or doesn't she know NSA monitors her cell phone calls? Publicly she calls it a "grave breach of trust."

Other EU leaders expressed outrage. They threatened to delay trade negotiations. European parliament president Martin Schulz said:

"This is a moment when we should pause and think over how the free trade pact is being approached. For us, a line has been reached." US intelligence agencies are "out of control."

German officials launched an official investigation. On Wednesday, Merkel spoke to Obama. He lied saying Washington "is not monitoring and will not monitor" her communications.

Major Italian newspapers said a parliamentary committee was told Washington monitored internal telecommunications, emails and text messages.

Prime Minister Enrico Letta raised the issue with John Kerry. The Secretary of State lied saying Obama's goal was striking a balance between security and privacy.

Foreign leaders protest too much. They know more than they admit. Official outrage is mostly for domestic consumption. Allies spying on each other isn't new. 

According to former French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner:

"Let's be honest. We eavesdrop too. Everyone is listening to everyone else. But we don't have the same means as the United States, which makes us jealous."

At the same time, security expert Constanze Stelzenmueller said there's a "general assumption that certain kinds of people were off limits."

"No one has a problem with spying on the bad guys. But when you start spying on your partner in leadership, who is presumably not a terrorist, that raises a lot of questions about trust."

London's Guardian said "(w)ith each leak, American soft power hemorrhages, and hard power threatens to seep away with it."

Merkel is known as a frequent cell phone communicator. She often sends text messages that way.

Last summer, her upgrading it to a modified BlackBerry Z10 made national headlines.

On October 24, Der Spiegel headlined "Frenemies: Spying on Allies Fits Obama's Standoffish Profile," saying:

Diplomats aren't surprised about US spy agencies monitoring allies like Merkel. She and Obama aren't close friends. Obama "failed to foster close relationships with other heads of state," said Der Spiegel.

It "caus(ed) much frustration around the world."

"Complaints about Merkel's 'lost friend' are misplaced. Obama doesn't want to be a friend."

The atmosphere during a recent unnamed EU head of state Washington visit was called "frosty by those in the entourage." 

"Obama didn't find the time for even a little small talk. (I)t seemed to some like an appointment with a lawyer."

Obama was "initially uncomfortable" about Washington's so-called "special relationship" with Britain.

An unnamed African head of state remarked after visiting Washington that he longed for the days of George Bush. At least with him, he said, you knew where you stood.

Israel was upset that Obama didn't visit during his first term. He's upset other heads of state.

"So much non-diplomacy is new among US presidents," said Der Spiegel. Reagan wooed Margaret Thatcher.

GHW Bush confided in Helmut Kohl. Clinton was close to Tony Blair. GW Bush had "a whole team of 'buddies.' " He entertained them at his ranch.

In 2010, Washington Post columnist Jackson Diehl said Obama has no close friends among world leaders. "But what for," asked Der Spiegel? "He has the NSA."

On October 23, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) headlined "NSA Spying in Congress: Stop the Intelligence Committee and What to Watch for in Upcoming Bills."

Congress was busy during the 16 day government shutdown. Various NSA related bills are being considered. A "still secret" House and Senate intelligence one aims to continue unrestrained telecommunications monitoring.

It'll "likely provide some window dressing transparency, while shoring up the legal basis for the spying," said EFF.

Since Snowden's documents were released, House and Senate intelligence committee chairs Rep. Mike Rogers (R. MI) and Senator Diane Feinstein defended NSA spying.

"While we have opinions about what the best way forward is, the only sure way to not go backwards, or seal the status quo into stone, is to stop the bill currently in the works by the Intelligence Committee chairs," said EFF.

It wants congressional legislation enacted against mass spying. It should either reverse Patriot Act provision 215 or act in some other way.

Section 215 pertains to alleged suspects. It authorizes government access to "any tangible item." 

Its language is vague and deceptive. It permits meta-data-mining.
Virtually anything can be monitored. Warrantless searches without probable cause are authorized. 

Information obtained can include financial records and transactions, education and medical records, phone conversations, emails, other Internet use, and whatever else Washington wants access to.

At issue are serious constitutional violations. First and Fourth Amendment rights are compromised. Other constitutional protections are at risk.

Anyone can be spied on for any reason or none at all. No probable cause, reasonable grounds, or suspicions are needed.

Lawless practices need fixing, said EFF. FISA Court operations need curbing. Increased transparency is vital. Intrusive National Security Letters (NSLs) are troubling.

They've been around since the mid-1980s. Pre-9/11, they had more limited authority to secure records and other personal information on alleged terrorists and spies. 

The USA Patriot Act's Section 505 changed things. It permits expanded FBI's authority to obtain personal customer records from ISPs, financial institutions, credit companies, and other sources without prior court approval.

At issue only is claiming information sought relates to alleged terrorism or espionage investigations. No proof is needed.

Innocent people are targeted. Virtually anything in public or private records can be obtained. 

Gag orders prevent targeted individuals or groups from revealing the information demanded. NSL use continues increasing exponentially. Doing so reflects police state tyranny.

Congressional action can change things. Legislation is being proposed to do so. Passage appears unlikely. Hardliners want status quo maintained. Future prospects look dim.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected] 

His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs Fridays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour

Family of Boston Marathon bombing witness killed by FBI denounces federal harassment

 

By Nick Barrickman
18 October 2013

Since the killing last May of Ibragim Todashev, a witness to the Boston Marathon bombings that occurred in April, family and friends of the deceased man have been subjected to threats, imprisonment and other forms of intimidation by federal officials.

On October 1, Tatiana Gruzdeva, the former live-in girlfriend of Todashev, was seized by federal agents and deported back to her native Moldova in eastern Europe. She had recently been granted a work visa with a year’s extension, but she was taken from immigration offices by FBI officials during a standard meeting.

Gruzdeva, 20, had spent several months in detention in the immediate aftermath of Todashev’s killing, having been detained on suspicion of an expired work visa on May 30 of this year. During that time, she had been repeatedly threatened and intimidated by FBI officials, including being subjected to several days of solitary confinement.

According to representatives from the Council of American-Islamic Relations, a civil rights group working closely with Todashev’s father, Abdulbaki Todashev, on the case, Gruzdeva was deported on the pretext of an interview she had given to a Boston-based web magazine last month.

“They told her ‘You have been talking to the reporters...and you have been saying that Ibragim was a good guy,’ ” said spokespeople from CAIR, in a transcript taken from Gruzdeva after she had been detained for the last time. CAIR officials also noted that Gruzdeva had been denied access to a lawyer while in custody.

The deportation comes in the immediate aftermath of the deportation of another close acquaintance of the Boston Marathon bombing witness last month. In late September, Ashurmamad Miraliev, 23, was detained by local authorities in Osceola County, Florida, on suspicion that the latter had made attempts to intimidate a witness in an unrelated battery case from last year, also involving Todashev.

Though spokesmen from the county sheriff’s office have stated that the two cases were not connected, Allen Moore, the public information officer of Osceola County Corrections, said that Miraliev had been jointly detained by both the county and a federal agency, which he declined to identify. Miraliev, too, was denied an attorney.

“There’s been a pattern and practice right now of the FBI intimidating and bringing perpetual charges and harassing many, many individuals who are associated with Ibragim,” said Hassan Shilby of CAIR to reporters. “They’re trying to teach her that if you speak out about injustice, they will make your life a living hell,” he stated.

“People who had anything to do with [Ibragim] are being put behind bars. I don’t know why. It’s supposed to be America, it’s supposed to be a democracy,” Abdulbaki Todashev, the father of the slain witness, told reporters from the Guardian. The elder Todashev noted that an independent investigation, slated to be conducted by Florida state attorney Jeff Ashton last August, when Todashev visited the region, had not yet taken place. “They promised it would be an honest and just investigation, but so far there has been no information at all,” he said.

The thuggish attempts to intimidate associates of the younger Todashev are of a piece with the behavior of federal officials nominally put in charge of the investigation of events surrounding the bombing of the Boston Marathon last April.

Todashev was shot multiple times and killed in his home while being questioned about his ties to Boston Marathon bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev. To this day, no official accounting of the exact circumstances leading to his death have been produced by officials. It was initially claimed that Todashev had suddenly “flipped out” and attacked officials with what was first described as a “sword” or a “knife,” or even a “broomstick.” Later, the authorities acknowledged that the witness may have been unarmed.

In connection with this, all information pertaining to Todashev’s autopsy report and medical records has been sealed and denied a public release. Similarly, independent investigations into the events by local Florida agencies have been stonewalled.

In June, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the younger suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings, was arraigned in a Massachusetts court on 45 charges for his potential role in the April events that killed three and wounded several hundred others. Seventeen of the charges carry the possibility of a death penalty. Attorneys for the suspect have often complained of being stonewalled by the prosecution in obtaining evidence that might help to reduce the charges against Tsarnaev. Later this month, the prosecution will announce whether it intends to proceed with the death penalty.

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Hugo Chávez Dies of Cancer

Death comes 18 months after news of pelvic tumor.

A man walks past a mural portraying President Hugo Chavez and South American liberator Simon Bolivar at the 23 de Enero neighbourhood, in Caracas on March 5, 2013.

March 5, 2013  |  

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Hugo Chavéz, the president of  Venezuela, has died in a military hospital after a long battle against cancer, Reuters has reported, prompting a wave of mourning in the country he ruled since 1999 with a globally distinctive and influential style of leadership.

The symbol of Latin American socialism succumbed to a respiratory infection on Tuesday evening, 21 months after he first revealed he had a tumour. He had not been seen in public for three months since undergoing emergency surgery in Cuba on 11 December.

He will be given a state funeral in Caracas, likely to be attended by millions of supporters and leftwing leaders from across the globe who have been inspired by Chavéz's doctrine of "Bolivarian 21st-century socialism", grateful for the subsidised energy he provided or simply impressed by his charisma.

His death will also trigger a presidential election, which must be held within 30 days, to decide who controls the world's greatest untapped reserves of oil. Chavéz's designated successor is vice-president Nicolás Maduro, who is likely to face Henrique Capriles, the losing  opposition candidate in the most recent presidential election. Until then, according to the constitution, the interim president should be the head of the national assembly, Diosdado Cabello.

Replacing one of most colourful figures on the global political landscape will be an immense challenge. Born to a poor family on the plains, Chavéz became a tank commander and a devotee of South America's liberator, Simón Bolívar. A failed coup in 1992 propelled him into the limelight but it was his ballot box triumphs that made him a inspiration for the resurgent Latin American left and the most outspoken – and often humorous – critic of the US, the war in Iraq and former president George W Bush, whom he described as a "donkey" and a "devil".

Formerly one of the most dynamic political leaders in the world with a globe-trotting schedule and a weekly, unscripted TV broadcast that usually went on for hours, Chavéz shocked his countrymen in June 2011 when he revealed that Cuban surgeons had removed a baseball-sized tumour from his pelvic region,

After that, he underwent several rounds of chemotherapy and two more operations in what he described as a "battle for health and for life". His medical records were never made public, prompting widespread speculation about his imminent demise, but he and his supporters insisted he was recovering. Before the presidential election in October 2012, aides claimed he was well enough to complete a full term of office.

During that campaign, Chávez was clearly affected by his illness. But although he made fewer and shorter appearances, he won more votes than in any of his earlier election battles, prompting him to proclaim victory in a "perfect battle".

Fears about his health escalated after he rushed to Cuba for hyperbaric oxygen treatment on 27 November. Less than a fortnight later, he made a televised address in which he said that doctors had discovered malignant cells that required surgery and urged Venezuelans to vote for Maduro if he was incapacitated.

Since his operation in December, Chávez has been visited by family members and several of his closest political allies, including Fidel and Raul Castro of Cuba, Ecuadorean president Rafael Correa and Bolivian president Evo Morales.

Beyond a set of four photographs released last month that showed a remarkably hearty looking Chavez smiling in a hospital bed and flanked by his daughters, the president has not been seen or heard for three months. This prompted frequent rumours that the president was dead or on life support. The government denied this and said he continued to run the country by writing down his orders.

Anti-Choice Activists Hold a Fake Memorial For Woman Who Died From Abortion Complications

These people will stop at nothing.

February 15, 2013  |  

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Anti-choice activists held an anti-funeral Monday outside the clinic where a 29-year-old woman died from abortion complications last week in Germantown, Maryland.

Hiding behind the façade of a “memorial service,” more than 150 anti-abortion crusaders exploited the death of a young woman to advance their hateful agenda. The anti-vigil draws comparison to the Westboro Baptist Church’s notorious funeral picketing. But, whereas the WBC overtly spreads their repulsive message, these anti-choice activists use far more insidious tactics.

“We understand how horrible this situation is,” said Michael Martelli, executive director of the Maryland Coalition for Life. “And really, we can’t imagine what the family is going through. The family is in no way any type of target.”

Yet, the protesters had no problem plastering the deceased woman’s face on signs brandished with the message: “Pregnant? Scared? We can help!” Apparently, the activists’ respect for family doesn’t go so far as not using a dead loved one as a political prop.

“We will not rest until this clinic is shut down and the license of [clinic leader] LeRoy Carhart is revoked. God let it be so,” said the Rev. Patrick Mahoney, director of the Christian Defense Coalition.

Mahoney’s invocation of the Almighty in a protest disguised as memorial represents the height of hypocrisy. Psalm 52:2 best describes the reverend’s words: “Your tongue plots destruction, like a sharp razor, you worker of deceit.”

Petula Dvorak, a columnist for the Washington Post notes that the protesters—by discussing intimate details of the woman’s medical records—could be violating federal privacy laws. Dvoark asks:

So how on earth did protesters get all of her medical records? How did they get enough detail to make huge posters of her face, give details about her marriage and employment, and make claims about what went on inside her body?

If Dvorak is right, then not only will these anti-choicers dishonor a dead woman for seeking an abortion, but they will break the law to do so. And this wouldn’t be the first time. Dvorak reports that groups associated with the protest, “have also bombarded the neighborhood of the landlord who leases space to the clinic,  Todd Stave, with gory, Nazi-themed fliers. And they tracked down the school that Stave’s children attend and picketed the back-to-school nights.”

Fake funerals. Privacy violations. Harrassing children. Have these people no shame?

Steven Hsieh is an editorial assistant at AlterNet and writer based in Brooklyn. Follow him on Twitter @stevenjhsieh.

Extremists Hold a Mock Memorial For Woman Who Died From Abortion Complications

These people will stop at nothing.

February 15, 2013  |  

Like this article?

Join our email list:

Stay up to date with the latest headlines via email.

Anti-choice activists held an anti-funeral Monday outside the clinic where a 29-year-old woman died from abortion complications last week in Germantown, Maryland.

Hiding behind the façade of a “memorial service,” more than 150 anti-abortion crusaders exploited the death of a young woman to advance their hateful agenda. The anti-vigil draws comparison to the Westboro Baptist Church’s notorious funeral picketing. But, whereas the WBC overtly spreads their repulsive message, these anti-choice activists use far more insidious tactics.

“We understand how horrible this situation is,” said Michael Martelli, executive director of the Maryland Coalition for Life. “And really, we can’t imagine what the family is going through. The family is in no way any type of target.”

Yet, the protesters had no problem plastering the deceased woman’s face on signs brandished with the message: “Pregnant? Scared? We can help!” Apparently, the activists’ respect for family doesn’t go so far as not using a dead loved one as a political prop.

“We will not rest until this clinic is shut down and the license of [clinic leader] LeRoy Carhart is revoked. God let it be so,” said the Rev. Patrick Mahoney, director of the Christian Defense Coalition.

Mahoney’s invocation of the Almighty in a protest disguised as memorial represents the height of hypocrisy. Psalm 52:2 best describes the reverend’s words: “Your tongue plots destruction, like a sharp razor, you worker of deceit.”

Petula Dvorak, a columnist for the Washington Post notes that the protesters—by discussing intimate details of the woman’s medical records—could be violating federal privacy laws. Dvoark asks:

So how on earth did protesters get all of her medical records? How did they get enough detail to make huge posters of her face, give details about her marriage and employment, and make claims about what went on inside her body?

If Dvorak is right, then not only will these anti-choicers dishonor a dead woman for seeking an abortion, but they will break the law to do so. And this wouldn’t be the first time. Dvorak reports that groups associated with the protest, “have also bombarded the neighborhood of the landlord who leases space to the clinic,  Todd Stave, with gory, Nazi-themed fliers. And they tracked down the school that Stave’s children attend and picketed the back-to-school nights.”

Fake funerals. Privacy violations. Harrassing children. Have these people no shame?

Steven Hsieh is an editorial assistant at AlterNet and writer based in Brooklyn. Follow him on Twitter @stevenjhsieh.

All In: North Dakota Anti-Choicers Seek Heartbeat Bans, Human Life Amendments, TRAP Laws, and...

The North Dakota legislature only meets every other year, so in its "on" year it has a lot of business to accomplish. Sadly, it looks like the major focus this year will be banning abortion any way they can.The last clinic in North Dakota that provides abortions. (NRL News.)

With just one clinic left—the Red River Women's Clinic has recently become the face of abortion limits in this post-Casey world of abortion restrictions—any new law meant to interfere with a woman's right to access an abortion can be devastating. Now, with four different laws being proposed, limited access may quickly turn into no access at all.

State Concurrent Resolution 4009 would add a "Human Life Amendment" to the state constitution, an action that anti-choice advocates have been trying to do nationally since Roe v. Wade was decided 40 years ago. Ballot initiatives to eliminate access to safe abortion care in the state have been a series of failures in the Dakotas, but with a cheap media market pursue a campaign through, anti-choice activists can't seem to take no for an answer.

But at least an amendment would be up for a vote. SB 2302 would enact a so-called "personhood" bill banning abortions, stem-cell research, and possibly birth control and IVF, depending on what the state decides is or is not birth control that "kills a person."

Nothing in this section may be construed to prohibit the sale, use, prescription, or
administration of a contraceptive measure, drug, or chemical. Only birth control
that can be clinically proven to kill a person shall be affected by this section. In
the interest of protecting the health and safety of the people of North Dakota, the
state department of health shall provide a list of birth control products along with
their clinically proven effects upon women and preborn human beings at every
stage of development.

Also clearly stated in the ban? No abortions allowed for victims of sexual assault. "The state of North Dakota does not punish the crime of sexual assault with the
death penalty, and neither shall persons conceived through a sexual assault be
punished with the loss of life."

SB 2303 reiterates much of the "fertilized eggs are people" legalese presented in SB 2302, but clarifies more how IVF would be affected. Once an embryo is created, the family and doctor have 36 hours to discard of it, or it must either be implanted or kept frozen, unless a doctor is willing to certify that after testing the embryo would not progress to a live birth if it were implanted. Criminal penalties for destroying a fertilized egg do not apply to:

The screening, collecting, preparing, transferring, or cryopreserving of a human
being created through in vitro fertilization for the purpose of being transferred to a
human uterus.
c. The disposal or destruction of a fertilized human ovum, zygote, or embryo,
created through in vitro fertilization, which has been subject to medical testing
and analysis, and in the reasonable judgment of a medical professional, if
transferred to a human uterus, would not produce a live birth.
d. The disposal or destruction of a fertilized human ovum, zygote, or embryo,
created through in vitro fertilization which has not progressed in development for
thirty - six hours in culture .

After that 36 hours, however, it looks like your options are implant it somewhere, or keep it frozen indefinitely.

As if the multiple attempts to ban abortion all together weren't enough, the state will also take a swing at closing down the sole clinic by introducing the same TRAP law that has now put Jackson Women's Health Organization in jeopardy. A combination of admitting privileges to a local hospital and a requirement that the doctor performing the abortion be a board certified OB-Gyn is likely expected to have the same effect for Red River as it is currently having down south. Even more daunting for the North Dakota clinic, however, is the fact that for many women in the state, if that clinic closes their next nearest option is the Planned Parenthood Clinic in South Dakota, which may have a 72-hour waiting period and potentially a mandatory crisis pregnancy center counseling session in effect as well.

Even without actually closing down the clinic or giving fertilized eggs legal rights, the legislature still has a backup plan to eliminate almost all abortions—a heartbeat ban. If all other bills fail, the state may still just eliminate abortions as soon as a heartbeat can be detected, sometimes less than 28 days post conception. Not a coincidence is this language, which makes it a crime to perform an abortion without first checking for a heartbeat.

Except when a medical emergency exists that prevents compliance with this subsection, an individual may not perform an abortion on a pregnant woman before determining, in accordance with standard medical practice, if the unborn child the pregnant woman is carrying has a detectable heartbeat. Any individual who performs an abortion on a pregnant woman based on the exception in this subsection shall note in the pregnant woman's medical records that a medical emergency necessitating the abortion existed.

Red River Clinic states that they have no equipment to listen for a heartbeat at this time.

“Anti-choice politicians in North Dakota have undertaken an all-out assault on women’s constitutionally protected rights, introducing not one, but five bills that would end safe and legal abortion in the state," Nancy Northup, President and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights said via email statement. The CRR is representing Red River Clinic in a lawsuit over a 2011 medication abortion restriction bill.

“Whether through tactics that outright ban abortion or backdoor efforts to block women’s access to reproductive health care providers, the end result is the same: women will be gravely harmed," continued Northup. "We strongly urge the members of these legislative committees to support women’s access to basic health care and reject these extreme measures that are both unconstitutional and dangerous for North Dakota women.”

All of the bills were heatedly debated in testemony at the state capital, where opponents of abortion called it murder, and said that TRAP laws that could close the only clinic were "safety" issues that no one could oppose "except those with a vested financial interest," according to the Bismark Tribune.

Also testifying, a woman who noted that with the new limits of "personhood" that would be put in place on invitro fertilization, her own existence never would have occurred. "I strongly believe my parents and the doctors are not abortionists, but rather miracle workers who brought life when there was none," said Alexis Grabinger, High School senior and daughter of state Senator James Grabiner.

© 2012 RH Reality Check

Robin Marty

Robin Marty is Senior Political Reporter for RH Reality Check

All In: North Dakota Anti-Choicers Seek Heartbeat Bans, Human Life Amendments, TRAP Laws, and...

The North Dakota legislature only meets every other year, so in its "on" year it has a lot of business to accomplish. Sadly, it looks like the major focus this year will be banning abortion any way they can.The last clinic in North Dakota that provides abortions. (NRL News.)

With just one clinic left—the Red River Women's Clinic has recently become the face of abortion limits in this post-Casey world of abortion restrictions—any new law meant to interfere with a woman's right to access an abortion can be devastating. Now, with four different laws being proposed, limited access may quickly turn into no access at all.

State Concurrent Resolution 4009 would add a "Human Life Amendment" to the state constitution, an action that anti-choice advocates have been trying to do nationally since Roe v. Wade was decided 40 years ago. Ballot initiatives to eliminate access to safe abortion care in the state have been a series of failures in the Dakotas, but with a cheap media market pursue a campaign through, anti-choice activists can't seem to take no for an answer.

But at least an amendment would be up for a vote. SB 2302 would enact a so-called "personhood" bill banning abortions, stem-cell research, and possibly birth control and IVF, depending on what the state decides is or is not birth control that "kills a person."

Nothing in this section may be construed to prohibit the sale, use, prescription, or
administration of a contraceptive measure, drug, or chemical. Only birth control
that can be clinically proven to kill a person shall be affected by this section. In
the interest of protecting the health and safety of the people of North Dakota, the
state department of health shall provide a list of birth control products along with
their clinically proven effects upon women and preborn human beings at every
stage of development.

Also clearly stated in the ban? No abortions allowed for victims of sexual assault. "The state of North Dakota does not punish the crime of sexual assault with the
death penalty, and neither shall persons conceived through a sexual assault be
punished with the loss of life."

SB 2303 reiterates much of the "fertilized eggs are people" legalese presented in SB 2302, but clarifies more how IVF would be affected. Once an embryo is created, the family and doctor have 36 hours to discard of it, or it must either be implanted or kept frozen, unless a doctor is willing to certify that after testing the embryo would not progress to a live birth if it were implanted. Criminal penalties for destroying a fertilized egg do not apply to:

The screening, collecting, preparing, transferring, or cryopreserving of a human
being created through in vitro fertilization for the purpose of being transferred to a
human uterus.
c. The disposal or destruction of a fertilized human ovum, zygote, or embryo,
created through in vitro fertilization, which has been subject to medical testing
and analysis, and in the reasonable judgment of a medical professional, if
transferred to a human uterus, would not produce a live birth.
d. The disposal or destruction of a fertilized human ovum, zygote, or embryo,
created through in vitro fertilization which has not progressed in development for
thirty - six hours in culture .

After that 36 hours, however, it looks like your options are implant it somewhere, or keep it frozen indefinitely.

As if the multiple attempts to ban abortion all together weren't enough, the state will also take a swing at closing down the sole clinic by introducing the same TRAP law that has now put Jackson Women's Health Organization in jeopardy. A combination of admitting privileges to a local hospital and a requirement that the doctor performing the abortion be a board certified OB-Gyn is likely expected to have the same effect for Red River as it is currently having down south. Even more daunting for the North Dakota clinic, however, is the fact that for many women in the state, if that clinic closes their next nearest option is the Planned Parenthood Clinic in South Dakota, which may have a 72-hour waiting period and potentially a mandatory crisis pregnancy center counseling session in effect as well.

Even without actually closing down the clinic or giving fertilized eggs legal rights, the legislature still has a backup plan to eliminate almost all abortions—a heartbeat ban. If all other bills fail, the state may still just eliminate abortions as soon as a heartbeat can be detected, sometimes less than 28 days post conception. Not a coincidence is this language, which makes it a crime to perform an abortion without first checking for a heartbeat.

Except when a medical emergency exists that prevents compliance with this subsection, an individual may not perform an abortion on a pregnant woman before determining, in accordance with standard medical practice, if the unborn child the pregnant woman is carrying has a detectable heartbeat. Any individual who performs an abortion on a pregnant woman based on the exception in this subsection shall note in the pregnant woman's medical records that a medical emergency necessitating the abortion existed.

Red River Clinic states that they have no equipment to listen for a heartbeat at this time.

“Anti-choice politicians in North Dakota have undertaken an all-out assault on women’s constitutionally protected rights, introducing not one, but five bills that would end safe and legal abortion in the state," Nancy Northup, President and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights said via email statement. The CRR is representing Red River Clinic in a lawsuit over a 2011 medication abortion restriction bill.

“Whether through tactics that outright ban abortion or backdoor efforts to block women’s access to reproductive health care providers, the end result is the same: women will be gravely harmed," continued Northup. "We strongly urge the members of these legislative committees to support women’s access to basic health care and reject these extreme measures that are both unconstitutional and dangerous for North Dakota women.”

All of the bills were heatedly debated in testemony at the state capital, where opponents of abortion called it murder, and said that TRAP laws that could close the only clinic were "safety" issues that no one could oppose "except those with a vested financial interest," according to the Bismark Tribune.

Also testifying, a woman who noted that with the new limits of "personhood" that would be put in place on invitro fertilization, her own existence never would have occurred. "I strongly believe my parents and the doctors are not abortionists, but rather miracle workers who brought life when there was none," said Alexis Grabinger, High School senior and daughter of state Senator James Grabiner.

© 2012 RH Reality Check

Robin Marty

Robin Marty is Senior Political Reporter for RH Reality Check

Bali: Death Penalty For British Drug Smuggler

British woman Lindsay Sandiford has been sentenced to death for drug smuggling on the Indonesian island of Bali.

The 56-year-old grandmother, originally from Redcar, Teesside, had been found guilty of violating the country's strict drug laws.

Sandiford was arrested in May 2012 at Bali airport when customs officers found 3.8kg of cocaine worth £1.6m in her luggage. She claimed she had been forced to smuggle the drugs into Bali from Thailand by a criminal gang.

Prosecutors announced in December that they would be recommending a 15-year prison sentence, after she agreed to co-operate in a sting operation in which police swooped on four other suspects, including British nationals Rachel Dougall, Julian Ponder and Paul Beales. 

Delivering their verdict, a judge panel headed by Amser Simanjuntak said that Sandiford had damaged the image of Bali as a tourism destination and weakened the government's programme of drug annihilation.

"We find Lindsay Sandiford convincingly and legally guilty of importing narcotics," said Simanjuntak.

In her witness statement, Sandiford said: "I would like to begin by apologising to the Republic of Indonesia and the Indonesian people for my involvement.

"I would never have become involved in something like this but the lives of my children were in danger and I felt I had to protect them."

Local journalist Amelia Rose was in court when the Sandiford was sentenced.

"She was in shock, but she managed to hold her composure and stand up while the judge read out her sentence," she said.

"Her eyes turned red from tears for a second but she managed to hold her composure again.

"There is still a long way to go before an execution can take place. She can appeal to the High Court then the Supreme Court in Jakarta. If she can present new evidence she can have a judicial review.

"Then there is also the chance of clemency with the President".

A spokeswoman for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office said: "We can confirm that a British national is facing the death penalty in Indonesia.

"We remain in close contact with that national and continue to provide consular assistance.

"The UK remains strongly opposed to the death penalty in all circumstances."

Dougall, whose young daughter is reportedly being cared for by their maid and gardener on the island, has claimed she was the victim of a "fit-up".

Reprieve, a charity which seeks to enforce human rights for prisoners, said Sandiford was targeted by drug traffickers.

Spokeswoman Harriet McCulloch said: "Lindsay was targeted by drug traffickers who exploited her vulnerability and made threats against her children.

"Following her arrest, she was interrogated by the Indonesian police without a translator, legal representation or the assistance of the British Embassy for 10 days.

A statement by Dr Jennifer Fleetwood, an expert on the coercion of women in the international drug trade, was also read out, which suggested that Sandiford's "vulnerability" would have made her an ideal target for drugs traffickers. 

"There is evidence to suggest that a trafficker would seek someone who was vulnerable. Having reviewed extracts from Lindsay's medical records I know that Lindsay has a history of mental health issues.

"This may have unfortunately made her an attractive target for threats, manipulation and coercion by one or more parties over a period of time, which led to her being stopped at Ngurah Rai International Airport".

More follows...

Mehdi’s Morning Memo: Fiddling The Figures

The ten things you need to know on Wednesday 16 January 2013...

1) 'FIDDLING THE FIGURES'

Coalition ministers - led by George Osborne and Iain Duncan Smith - have been keen to highlight "record high" employment figures in the UK, as well as the net creation of around half a million new jobs over the past year, but the Guardian has some rather interesting news for us this morning:

"Government claims to have created an additional 500,000 jobs in the past year have been called into question after it was revealed that one in five of the people involved are on government work schemes, including tens of thousands still claiming unemployment benefits.

".. [F]igures obtained by the Guardian from the Office for National Statistics show that just over 20% of this total (105,000) involves those on largely unpaid government back-to-work schemes, the majority of whom are still claiming jobseeker's allowance.

"They include unpaid workers doing voluntary and mandatory work experience in supermarkets and charity shops.

"Many more tens of thousands with no jobs, training or pay, who simply attend regular job hunt workshops as part of the work programme run by the Department for Work and Pensions, are also being counted as employed."

You couldn't make it up...

2) EUROPE: EVERYONE'S GOT AN OPINION

Less than 72 hours to go till the big Cameron speech on Europe in the Netherlands. Everyone - everyone - seems to want to give the PM some advice on what he should say/do. First, there's Eurosceptic Tory MPs - from the Telegraph:

"The Fresh Start group of Conservative backbenchers will throw down the gauntlet to the Prime Minister... as it sets out proposals to return responsibility for laws to Westminster and cut Britain’s bill for EU membership by billions of pounds a year."

"A copy seen by The Daily Telegraph recommends four “significant revisions” to the EU treaties:

"• The repatriation of all social and employment law, such as the Working Time Directive;
"• An opt-out from all existing policing and criminal justice measures;
"• An “emergency brake” on any new legislation that affects financial services;
"• An end to the European Parliament’s costly monthly move from Brussels to Strasbourg."

Then there's the "veteran Europhile", Ken Clarke, who issues this warning to the PM in the FT:

"Europe is not the primary interest of the British public and all kinds of things can arouse protest," Mr Clarke said in an interview with the Financial Times.

"... Mr Clarke admits that pro-Europeans have abandoned the battlefield and must regroup quickly. 'All referenda are a bit of a gamble. I don't think we can take a Yes vote for granted,' he said. 'I think one of the problems is, because so much of the media is overwhelmingly eurosceptic, no one has really campaigned very vigorously for the case for British leadership in the European Union for probably a decade or more.'"

Then there's Sir Nigel Sheinwald, the UK's former ambassador to Washington DC and Brussels, who tells the Guardian:

"I just cannot see any logical basis for thinking a move to the sidelines, or particularly a move out of Europe, would be anything other than diminishing to UK's capacity, standing, influence, ability to get things done and capacity to build coalitions internationally.

"... In any event other members of the EU would regard any really significant proposals by us to renegotiate as opportunistic, given the main areas they are going to be examining are ones they would say are necessary for the euro to survive and prosper."

Finally, there's the former (Labour) foreign secretary, David Miliband, writing in the Times: "Don’t be the PM who takes us out of Europe."

Lots to digest. Dave - over to you.

3) OUT OF CREDIT?

Perhaps, just perhaps, the PM should focus less on Europe and more on the British economy. He also might want to re-read the Conservative Party's 2010 manifesto, which promised to "safeguard Britain’s credit rating".

Because the Guardian has some bad news for Dave and for Gideon:

"Fitch, the credit ratings agency, has warned the chancellor that Britain could be stripped of its prized AAA status if he fails to boost the country's economic situation in the spring budget

"The agency said the UK remains under "significant pressure" following the autumn statement in December, when George Osborne conceded that growth would be lower over the next two years and for that reason he was likely to miss one of his two debt reduction targets."

Losing the triple-A crown at some point in 2013 could cost the chancellor, in particular, any little credibility that he might have left. He has, as the HuffPost UK documents here, staked his political and economic reputation on 'AAA'.

4) "STALINIST" NHS

The coalition's safest pair of hands, Jeremy Hunt, is back in the headlines again. From the Daily Mail:

"All medical records - including prescriptions and test results - are to be stored on computers and shared between hospitals, GPs, care homes and councils.

"Jeremy Hunt will pledge a 'paperless NHS' by 2018 to help save lives by allowing different parts of the NHS to communicate more effectively.

"... But the records 'free-for-all' raises fears that confidential information could be accessed inappropriately.

"Mr Hunt admitted the system was 'Stalinist' - in being driven from the top - but he said this was vital for patient safety."

5) OBAMA VS THE SECOND AMENDMENT

From the BBC:

"US President Barack Obama is expected on Wednesday to unveil wide-ranging measures aimed at curbing gun violence.

"The proposals could echo measures, considered the toughest in the nation, passed in New York state on Tuesday.

"Mr Obama has said he favours bans on assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines, as well as broader background checks."

Good luck, Barack!

BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR...

Watch this video of a drunk guy sing 'Bohemiam Rhapsody' - really loudly - on the New York subway.

6) BANKS WIN, WE LOSE (PART 1)

From the Telegraph:

"Taxpayers are sitting on a loss of £18 billion on government shareholdings in RBS and Lloyds Banking Group, which were acquired during the financial crisis.

"Grant Shapps, the Conservative Party chairman, compared the bank bail-out to Labour’s decision to sell the country’s gold reserves. 'Labour sold gold at a record low price and now it seems they massively overpaid for the taxpayer stakes in the banks,' he said.

"... Michael Cohrs, a member of the Bank of England’s financial policy committee, told MPs on the Treasury committee that the government had 'probably' overpaid for its stakes in the nationalised banks and that taxpayers were unlikely to enjoy the returns that had been seen in America."

Thanks, Gordon and Alistair.

7) BANKS WIN, WE LOSE (PART 2)

From the FT splash:

"In the face of withering criticism, Goldman Sachs has abandoned a plan which would have allowed bankers to benefit from a cut in the top rate of income tax by delaying UK bonus payments until after the start of the new British tax year.

"The Wall Street bank decided at a board meeting not to press ahead with the proposal after the governor of the Bank of England denounced the plan."

So, banks on the run, eh? Not quite. After all, why are banks still paying out massive bonuses to begin with, given the lack of lending and the ongoing economic stagnation? As the Telegraph reported earlier this week:

"Analysts expect the Wall Street bank to have amassed a total compensation pot, which includes bonuses and salaries, of between $13.3bn (8.2bn pounds) and $13.8bn for 2012... [t]hat is up from $12.2bn in 2011."

All in this together? I think not.

8) ROYAL 'VETO' UPDATE

The Guardian follows up on its exclusive from yesterday:

"Government ministers have exploited the royal family's secretive power to veto new laws as a way to quell politically embarrassing backbench rebellions, it was claimed on Tuesday.

"Tam Dalyell, the sponsor of a 1999 parliamentary bill that aimed to give MPs a vote on military action against Saddam Hussein, said he is 'incandescent and angry' that it was blocked by the Queen under apparent influence from Tony Blair's government. It also emerged that Harold Wilson used the Queen's power to kill off politically embarrassing bills about Zimbabwe and peerages."

9) MINISTERS VS LAWYERS

From the Times:

"The Government is facing a backlash from senior legal figures over plans to curb what ministers see as a 'growth industry' in judicial review challenges.

"Lord Woolf, the former Lord Chief Justice, and Lord Goldsmith, the former Attorney-General, warned that the Government should proceed with “caution” with any changes that could be seen as restricting the right to hold politicians to account.

"... The number of judicial review cases jumped from 160 in 1974 to more than 11,000 in 2011, costing the taxpayer millions in legal fees. But in 2011 only one in six applications was granted and even fewer were successful when they went ahead."

10) THE RETURN OF GORDO

Our ex-premier returned to the Commons yesterday to participate in a debate and give a speech - it's worth reading Ann Treneman's sketch in the Times:

"For the first time in 14 months, Gordo was in the Chamber.

"Dozens of MPs came to watch, peering at him as he appeared, at 6.44pm, at the tail end of a debate on Scotland. His fellow Scots stared at him as if they hardly recognised him. Alistair Darling, his Chancellor, moved as far away as possible. A small doughnut of hardcore Gordo fans formed around him."

"Almost Never Spotted was there for the adjournment debate on why the Government should save the Remploy factory in Fife. It started at 7pm.

"... When the lesser mortals stopped speaking, Gordo arose, his voice booming, his stomach protruding to the extent that his shirt-button deserves to be mentioned in despatches. He had known the factory for 30 years and he had a plan to save it. This involved the Government relaxing its financial restrictions. Gordon Brown asking for money!

"... When it was over, the Almost Never Spotted left, his shirt button relieved to have survived. When, I wondered, would we see him again?"

A very good question.

PUBLIC OPINION WATCH

From the latest Sun/YouGov poll:

Labour 44
Conservatives 32
Lib Dems 10
Ukip 9

That would give Labour a majority of 120.

140 CHARACTERS OR LESS

‏@David_Cameron Delighted that principle of wearing religious symbols at work has been upheld – ppl shouldn't suffer discrimination due to religious beliefs

‏@BenPBradshaw Bad ministers blame the #civilservice & if No 10 find out what's happening from the media it's because they don't have a grip @BBCr4today

@ShippersUnbound As we hang earnestly on the wisdom of Sir Nigel Sheinwald remember it was he who thought Barak Obama had no chance of getting elected

900 WORDS OR MORE

Mary Riddell, writing in the Telegraph, says: "Ed Miliband needs bolder answers over the European Union and immigration."

Simon Jenkins, writing in the Guardian, says: "Europe: no more talk of in-or-out. Let's think opt-outs."

Daniel Finkelstein, writing in the Times, says: "Public servants have private interests, just like the rest of us. They’ll only change if we make it worth their while."


Got something you want to share? Please send any stories/tips/quotes/pix/plugs/gossip to Mehdi Hasan ([email protected]) or Ned Simons ([email protected]). You can also follow us on Twitter: @mehdirhasan, @nedsimons and @huffpostukpol

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Police terrorize public with warrantless anal probes in freedom eviscerating “war on drugs” fallout Steve WatsonInfowars.comNov 8, 2013 When the animated series South Park lampooned the...

Did Israel Kill Arafat?

On November 11, 2004, Arafat died in a Paris hospital. He was 75. He was hospitalized for an undiagnosed illness. After developing, it worsened. He...

Israel Murdered Arafat

On November 11, 2004, Arafat died in a Paris hospital. He was 75. He was hospitalized for an undiagnosed illness. It developed in April. It...

Feds Subjected Innocent Woman to Finger Probe of Vagina & Anus

THIRD victim of sexual molestation at hands of New Mexico authorities comes forward Paul Joseph Watson A third victim of anal probing and sexual assault at...

Israel Killed Arafat

Israel Killed Arafatby Stephen LendmanOn November 11, 2004, Arafat died in a Paris hospital. He was 75. He was hospitalized for an undiagnosed illness. After developing, it worsened. He deteriorated badly. He needed special care. On November 3, he...

Tests show Yasser Arafat was poisoned with polonium

By Jean Shaoul8 November 2013 A Swiss forensic team has published findings strongly indicating that Yasser Arafat, the former President of the Palestinian Authority...

New Mexico Man Gets Cavity Search Over Stop Sign ?!?

MaKaElectricPlanet InfowarsNovember 6, 2013 This 4 On Your Side investigation looks into the actions of police officers and doctors in Southern New Mexico. A review of...

New Mexico police force anal probe

Police and doctors probe a New Mexico man�™s anus and subjected him to multiple humiliating medical procedures. A man who says he was pulled over...

Lawsuit: Police And Doctors Conduct Illegal Cavity Search, Colonoscopy On Innocent Man

A Southern New Mexico man has filed a federal lawsuit against the City of Deming and several Deming Police Officers after a January police...

Lawsuit: Police Accuse Man Of Drug Possession, Force Doctors To Conduct Enemas, Colonoscopy

A Southern New Mexico man has filed a federal lawsuit against the City of Deming and several Deming Police Officers after a January police...

RINFORMATION

USA Topics 9/11 Agenda 21 Assassinations Banks Bush, George Jr Boston Bombings Bohemian Grove CIA Cointelpro Corruption DARPA Democrats Disinformation Congress Drones Eugenics FBI Federal Reserve Guantanamo HAARP ...

BP’s “Widespread Human Health Crisis”

Peter Frizzell's medical notes show exposure to toxic chemicals. His towel is soaked in blood he coughed up. (Photo: Peter Frizzell)Truthout doesn't take corporate...

Crackdown on Lavabit violated Constitution, ACLU and EFF claim

Published time: October 25, 2013 21:58 Opponents of the United States government's use of subpoenas to compromise an encrypted email service call the...

Gitmo lawyer banned to talk torture

A lawyer for a 9/11 suspect, who is jailed in the notorious US-run Guantanamo prison, has criticized the limitations imposed on him for even...

For Transgender Patients, a Growing Fight Over Health Coverage

Or so she thought. Blair was born a male, undergoing gender-reassignment surgery a decade ago. But the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which...

Lancet report supports accusation that Yasser Arafat was poisoned

By Jean Shaoul21 October 2013 The Lancet, one of the world's leading medical journals, has published a report supporting the thesis that Yasser Arafat...

Obamacare Compromises Privacy

Obamacare Compromises Privacy by Stephen Lendman The 1974 Privacy Act governs the collection, maintenance, use and dissemination of personal information maintained by federal agencies. It prohibits disclosing...

Obamacare Compromises Privacy

Obamacare Compromises Privacyby Stephen LendmanThe 1974 Privacy Act governs the collection, maintenance, use and dissemination of personal information maintained by federal agencies.It prohibits disclosing it without written consent, stating:"No (feder...

Google’s wide net of data-fishing could land it whopping fines

Google may be facing its toughest fight yet, as a series of court cases involving the company's casual wiretapping of the world's e-mails and...

The Many Ways the Government Is Spying On Us

The Government Is Spying On Us Through Our Computers, Phones, Cars, Buses, Streetlights, At Airports...

The Washington Navy Yard Gunman: Buddhist Meditation was a Cure not the Cause of...

As media pundits scrounge through Aaron Alexis's background for clues to the uncontrolled fit of rage that led him to gun down 12 civilians...

ObamaCare Requires Doctors to Ask About Patients’ Sex History

As ObamaCare moves closer to full implementation, glaring privacy concerns are coming to light, as new rules, regulations, and penalties invade Americans' personal lives....

UN Report Accuses Both Sides in Syria of War Crimes

A four-person United Nations rights panel has released a report citing evidence of war crimes by both sides in Syria. The report comes at...

The End of Internet Privacy? Glenn Greenwald on Secret NSA Program to Crack Online...

via Shutterstock )' width="400" height="400">(Image: via Shutterstock).A new exposé based on the leaks of Edward Snowden has revealed the National Security Agency...

The NSA Has Effectively Destroyed Internet Privacy

The revelations this week by whistle-blower Edward Snowden (through documents provided to the Guardian, the New York Times and Propublica) prove that the NSA, working with its British...

The feds pay for 60 percent of Tor’s development. Can users trust it?

Brian Fung The Washington Post September 6, 2013 This week, we learned that the NSA had managed to circumvent much of the encryption that...

‘UK, US spies defeat internet privacy’

Privacy further undermined; British & U.S. spying agencies defeat online encryption Freshly disclosed top-secret files show the UK and U.S. spying agencies have had...

Documents Confirm NSA Inserts “Back Doors” Into Web, Software

RT September 6, 2013 The latest top-secret documents leaked to the media by former intelligence contractor Edward Snowden reveal that United States and...

NSA Cracking Encryption with Supercomputers

Michael Winter USA Today September 5, 2013 U.S. and British intelligence agencies have cracked the encryption designed to provide online privacy and security, documents...

US and UK spy agencies defeat privacy and security on the internet

James Ball, Julian Borger and Glenn GreenwaldTheGuardian.comSept. 5, 2013 US and British intelligence agencies have successfully...

US, UK spy agencies crack encryption

The National Security Agency (NSA) headquarters at Fort Meade, Maryland.American and British spy agencies have violated online privacy by cracking the encryption that secures...

New NSA Revelations: Internet Privacy Encryption Virtually 'Defeated'

Internet privacy safeguards known as encryption technologies promised by email, online banking, and other such online databases have been virtually 'defeated' by the U.S....

Syria, “Credibility” and Historical Amnesia

My grandfather, who helped raise me, was not a weepy guy. That almost goes without saying for men of his age and background: second-generation...

Syria, “Credibility” and Historical Amnesia

My grandfather, who helped raise me, was not a weepy guy. That almost goes without saying for men of his age and background: second-generation...

Child Taken Because Dad Read Gun Magazine

Government-run gun confiscation kickback program exposed Gigi ErnetaInfowars.comAugust 30, 2013 Reading a hunting magazine in New York...

252 Documented Examples of Barack Obama’s Lying, Lawbreaking, Corruption, Cronyism, etc.

freedomoutpost.com August 29, 2013 The following is a contribution from Dan from Squirrel Hill. The original title of the article is “Obama supporters...

Bo Xilai denies corruption charges

  By ...

Merkel rival says will suspend US talks

Candidate for chancellor of the Social Democratic Party (SPD) and challenger of German chancellor Angela Merkel, Peer Steinbrueck speaks during the summer interview of...

‘Germans seek transparency on US spying’

Germans are seeking transparency after their government has offered a limited response to reports that the United States systematically and actively spied on the...

Google Glass ‘Police’ App Allows Cops to View Live Feeds of Nearby Security Cameras

Darrell Etherington TechCrunch August 20, 2013 Google Glass has lots of potential applications beyond just making it easier for people to check out their...

Colombia's US Embassy to Evict GM Protestors From 2-Year Encampment, After Worker Ties Himself...

Frank Hammer: GM worker ties himself to a cross to get embassy's attention over GM's unsafe factories, refusal to pay disability claims, and the...

What NSA Reforms?

http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/what_nsa_reforms_20130813/ Posted on Aug 13, 2013 ...

The subversion of due process in America

  By ...

Planned Parenthood Pays Hefty Settlement in Texas Medicaid Fraud Case

The final settlement in a Planned Parenthood whistleblower Medicaid fraud lawsuit in Texas turned out to be significantly higher than the $1.4 million announced...

More US doctors opting out of Medicare

  By ...

Busybody Politics

It is hard to read a newspaper, or watch a television newscast, without encountering someone who has come up with a new "solution" to...

No legal impediment to track US phone

A top Justice Department official said on Wednesday he believes the government could legally track the location of every cellphone in the United States. "I...

The Dangerous ObamaCare Data Hub

Under the guise of expanding Americans’ access to healthcare, “the federal government is planning to quietly enact what could be the largest consolidation of...

Ten Years Ago: The Death of Dr. David Kelly. Murdered on the Orders of...

The official inquiry into that death, the Hutton Inquiry, was quickly convened and issue its report in January 2004, officially concluding that Dr. Kelly...

ECHELON Today: The Evolution of an NSA Black Program

People are shocked by the scope of secret state spying on their private communications, especially in light of documentary evidence leaked to media outlets...

The Government Is Spying On ALL Americans’ Digital and Old-Fashioned Communications

Washington’s Blog July 12, 2013 Even now — after all of the revelations by Edward Snowden and other whistleblowers — spying apologists say...

Why Edward Snowden is an American hero

Why Edward Snowden is an American hero by Dr. James Fetzer “Edward Snowden is both an American and an international hero for speaking out against tyranny and...

Why Edward Snowden is an American hero

Why Edward Snowden is an American hero by Dr. James Fetzer “Edward Snowden is both an American and an international hero for speaking out against tyranny and...

Why Snowden Matters: National Security vs. The National Security State

By Jim Fetzer and PressTV “Snowden is not revealing information that places the national security of the nation at stake but information revealing the NSA has instead been...

Wesley Clark, the NSA and Internet Censorship

by Jim Fetzer (with Kurt Nimmo) “The indictment suggests the Internet played an important role in the suspects’ radicalization”—AP, Wisconsin State Journal (28 June 2013)We knew that it...

Why the Ruling Class is So Upset About Edward Snowden

I don’t have a weak stomach, but I confess that watching TV news does get me nauseated. So I do so sparingly. I have...

How They Plan To Spend Obamacare $54 Mil ‘Navigator’ Slush Fund

Donna AndersonInfowars.comJune 21, 2013 Buried under the mountain of Obamacare’s rules and regulations is a $54...

The Frankendata Monster

So far, the biggest revelation of the NSA spying story is…that anyone actually thinks this story is a big revelation. A look back to 2006...

If You See Something, Say Something

Butler Shaffer lewrockwell.com June 12, 2013 “Doctor Murnau: A crowd is easier to control than an individual. A crowd has a common...

“Big Brother Obama” Systematic Spying on Americans: Unconstitutional US Data-Mining

On June 5, London’s Guardianreported part of it. “NSA collecting phone records of millions of Verizon customers daily,” it headlined.On June 6, a follow-up...

US Supreme Court allows Police to take DNA Samples of Arrestees

The US Supreme Court ruling on Monday that police can collect DNA samples from arrestees is another major attack on constitutional rights and an...

US Supreme Court allows police to take DNA samples of arrestees

The US Supreme Court ruling on Monday that police can collect DNA samples from arrestees is another major attack on constitutional rights and an expansion in the powers of the state.

Beware the Child Protectors

When Salt Lake City police and caseworkers from the state Division of Child and Family Services (DCFS) surrounded the home of Janet Adolf on...

Beware the Child Protectors

When Salt Lake City police and caseworkers from the state Division of Child and Family Services (DCFS) surrounded the home of Janet Adolf on...

An Even Bigger Scandal: Why Are IRS Audits Being Used To Punish Obama’s Political...

Michael SnyderEconomic CollapseMay 16, 2013 Is it right for Barack Obama to use IRS audits to...

The Criminalization of Political Dissent in America

In a series of prosecutions, precedents are being established for the criminalization of political dissent in America. Last week, Massachusetts high school student Cameron D’Ambrosio...

The criminalization of political dissent in America

  14 May 2013 ...

Is Your Car Spying On You?

Your car already collects a lot of data about your driving, and it may soon collect much more. In fact, cars are packed with systems that can rat on you, with devices that can track your whereabouts and driving habits.

New Database Puts Patients Privacy at Risk

Privacy campaigners and medical groups have warned the confidentiality of NHS patients could be in jeopardy as GPs are forced to hand over patient records to a central database.

Supreme Court to decide if DNA can be collected from the innocent

Warren Richey | The US Supreme Court on Friday agreed to take up a case examining whether the Fourth Amendment permits police to collect and analyze...

French energy plan slammed as Orwellian

Heating a French home could soon require an income tax consultation or even a visit to the doctor under legislation to force conservation in...

All Guantanamo detainees involuntarily drugged

Natalie O'Brien | New evidence has emerged that all Guantanamo Bay detainees, including David Hicks, were drugged involuntarily with a substance that has a long...

FTC admits laptop firms spied on users, stole private data & took photos

DAVID KRAVETS | Seven rent-to-own companies and a software maker are settling charges with the Federal Trade Commission that rental computers illegally used spyware that took...

The astonishing amount of data gathered on every one of us

Ever wondered how much personal information is held about you? Well, it looks something like this... Stacked over two feet high and weighing 12kg...

The innocent do have something to fear

The crashing of Jacqui Smith's privacy shows that data 'security' is garbage. Yet gullible MPs still vote as if it existed Sweet is the spectacle...

New Labour’s dream is a surveillance state nightmare

The Networker There's a delicious moment in Alastair Beaton's satirical film, The Trial of Tony Blair, in which the former prime minister is finally arrested...

Condi Rice Could’ve Written Biden’s Speech

By Jim Lobe I hate to agree with Bill Kristol, but he’s right about Vice President Joe Biden’s speech at the ongoing Munich security conference when...

A catalogue of NHS data breaches

By Leo King | The NHS has lost confidential medical records and personal details of thousands of patients it has emerged in an investigation...

Data Mining Your Life

By Carlton Meyer | Few Americans pay attention to the Bush administration’s effort to better monitor terrorist communications. In short, federal authorities want to...

Pentagon Documents Highlight Torture Methods

By Adam Goldman | New York - The military continued to use abusive interrogation methods on detainees after a 2003 directive meant to end...

Detainees Allege Being Drugged To Coerce Confessions

By Joby Warrick  | Adel al-Nusairi remembers his first six months at Guantanamo Bay as this: hours and hours of questions, but first, a needle. "I'd fall...

Inside the world of war profiteers

From prostitutes to Super bowl tickets, a federal probe reveals how contractors in Iraq cheated the U.S. By David Jackson and Jason Grotto | Tribune...

Insurance Fears Lead Many to Shun DNA Tests

By AMY HARMON Victoria Grove wanted to find out if she was destined to develop the form of emphysema that ran in her family, but...

New database increases power of surveillance

Richard Ford More than half the population supports the Government’s controversial identity card scheme, according to a survey for the Home Office. Sixty-one per cent of...

Military Doctors Infect Gitmo Detainee With HIV

From CagePrisoners US Attorney H. Candace Gorman has revealed that her client Abdul Hamid Al-Ghizzawi has been infected with the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). Al...

Expanding NSA Power Bad, Fourth Amendment Good

By Ralph Lopez  Missing from the debate over expanding NSA authority in the War on Terror is the simple question, beyond our reflexive desire for...

Ten ways to thwart Big Brother

We’ve never been under such intense scrutiny as we are today. So how do we evade the snoopers? Here, an ‘off-grid’ expert offers an...

Chip Implants Linked to Animal Tumors

By TODD LEWAN When the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved implanting microchips in humans, the manufacturer said it would save lives, letting doctors...

Surveillance state? No, it’ll be worse than that

To deal with gross factual inaccuracies first: the government's plans for ID cards do not include any provision for medical records and will not...

Osama tape is fake – dead man walking

By Tom Heneghan It can now be reported that the latest alleged bin Laden tape is a fake. As we have reported many times, Osama...

Psychologists in denial about torture

By Amy Goodman This weekend, the American Psychological Association rejected a moratorium that would have prevented its member psychologists from participating in interrogations at U.S....

MICROCHIPPING CHILDREN FOR THEIR ‘SAFETY’

By Tom Shelley Last month’s ‘appeal’ to identify technologies that could prevent child abduction has moved forward rapidly In a letter published last month, prompted by...

Facebook – the CIA conspiracy

By Matt Greenop  Facebook has 20 million users worldwide, is worth billions of dollars and, if internet sources are to be believed, was started by...

Big brother Britain

How can free people grapple with growing threats to their privacy and liberty? A computer-security guru's view of the surveillance dystopia worries Becky Hogge Becky...

Post-Coup Ukraine Hands Orthodox Churches to Non-Orthodox Clergy

Eric Zuesse The Ukrainian Government is trying to pass a law which will allow Russian Orthodox churches to be taken over by other faiths, but...

‘Get the pillow ready!’ 74yo woman’s email can be used to end her life...

Published time: 1 Nov, 2017 20:12 A judge has ruled that a 74-year-old Christian woman...

Black Is White, White Is Black, in the Washington Post

Eric Zuesse, originally posted at strategic-culture.org The Washington Post presents a shockingly imaginary Syria, in which the U.S. Government has been the friend of the...

Report: Illegal Immigrants Cost America $135 Billion a Year

The swelling population of illegal immigrants and their kids is costing American taxpayers $135 billion a year, the highest ever, driven by...

How America’s Corrupt Government Wastes Its Taxpayers’ Money

Eric Zuesse First, just look at these billions of dollars of U.S.-taxpayer-purchased weapons being exploded — simply wasted — in Ukraine, instead of killing people...

Gallup: 71% of Americans are “Dissatisfied with the way the nation is governed”

Eric Zuesse, originally posted at strategic-culture.org A Gallup poll headlined on September 17th, "Seven in 10 Dissatisfied With Way U.S. Is Being Governed”, and reported...

The 3 Americans Who Should Pay for Medicare-for-All

Of course, it will pay for itself eventually, with lower administrative costs and savings on medications and provider fees. Universal health care is getting closer...

What America’s Aristocracy Want

Eric Zuesse, originally posted at strategic-culture.org The American aristocracy want inequality of rights, with two basic polar-opposite classes: the ‘elite’, with themselves at the top...

NHS patient information illegally shared with Google DeepMind

Published time: 3 Jul, 2017 16:03 Data belonging to 1.6 million patients was illegally shared...

How and Why U.S. Honors and Aids Al Qaeda

Eric Zuesse, originally posted at The Saker This will present a typical example in which the U.S. promotes Al Qaeda and other jihadists, and then...

‘Always angry’: Shooter who targeted GOP congressmen railed against conservatives

The FBI has officially identified the man suspected of shooting at Republican lawmakers during a practice...

Republicans Keep Missing the Point About Gun Violence—Even When They’re the Targets

Gun rights activists for years have fought for the free proliferation of firearms throughout the U.S., perhaps subconsciously imagining they were only arming themselves....

Walmart uses ‘brutally unfair’ system to punish employees for illnesses ‒ report

Walmart is facing a battery of bad news about its treatment of employees, just in time...

Civil rights group sues US govt over treatment of immigrants in detention

A lawsuit is seeking documents on hunger strikes at immigration detention centers run by the Department...

Detroit doctor charged with female genital mutilation of 7yo girls

In what’s likely to be a first for the US court system, an emergency room physician...

3 California prison guards on trial for murder of mentally ill inmate

The trial has begun for three Santa Clara County correctional officers who are accused of involvement...

Tulsa County to pay $10mn over inmate death (VIDEO)

A federal jury has ruled in favor of the estate of an Army veteran who died...

You're On Your Own: Republicans Plan Attack on Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security

(Image: Lauren Walker / Truthout; Adapted: Tom Harris) Several years ago, 62-year-old Michael Kaufman, a disabled resident of Bovina, New York, accidently drilled through one...

NYPD must release all files about undercover spying on Black Lives Matter protests ‒...

A New York Supreme Court judge has ruled that the New York Police Department must comply...

'This Is What Resistance Looks Like': Dems Boycott Key Committee Votes

Charging them with lying to the panel, Democratic lawmakers on the Senate Finance Committee boycotted votes on two of President Donald Trump's controversial cabinet...

Climate Change Raises the Stakes for Affordable Healthcare Coverage

Today, more than 100 million Americans depend on healthcare safety-net programs: Medicare, Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act (ACA). But that safety net could...

Chicago PD sued over 'Stingray' surveillance of attorney, activists

The Chicago Police Department used a cell-site simulator, or "Stingray" device, to surveil citizens and activists...

How Did the World Get Addicted to Sugar?

By Dr. Mercola Few would argue that excess refined sugar is pernicious to our health. However, hardly anyone is aware of the manipulation and deceit...

Chicago cop kills teen, claims he had gun, no weapon found

A Chicago police sergeant shot and killed 19-year-old Kajuan Raye after believing Raye "matched the description"...

Scratch & sniff: Britain tops Europe for cocaine use & gonorrhea cases

Britain has been named the European capital of cocaine consumption and gonorrhea, according to a...

Big victories for weed and wages

There were big victories for ballot measures legalizing marijuana and boosting the minimum wage across the...

Because of Hillary Clinton, Emergency-Contraception Is Banned In Honduras

Eric Zuesse (RINF) - Of course, one of Hillary Clinton’s proudest claims is that as the U.S. Secretary of State she championed reproductive choice throughout...

Oklahoma suspect 'kills 2' with AK-47 after shooting & injuring 2 cops

A suspect is on the run from police after reportedly shooting two people dead in Oklahoma....

Record rates of sexually transmitted diseases hit US – CDC

Cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis reached records levels in 2015 among young Americans, according the...

Court Rules UK Mass Spying Was Unlawfully Conducted for Nearly Two Decades

In what rights campaigners heralded as a "significant" reproach to government overreach, a British court which oversees the nation's  intelligence and clandestine services ruled...

How the NY Times Commits Its Crimes

…pretends to do investigative reporting. Before the United States permitted a terrifying way of interrogating prisoners, government lawyers and intelligence officials assured themselves of one...

Toxic Allegiances and Corporate Power: Open Letter to the Oxford Martin Commission

Colin Todhunter The Oxford Martin School is based at Oxford University in the UK. In what seems to be a laudable aim, the school has...

NYPD used undercover police to snoop on Black Lives Matter protests – court documents

Newly obtained documents indicate the New York Police Department may have committed constitutional violations by deploying...

Republicans Issue Good News About Obamacare

Eric Zuesse, originally posted at strategic-culture.org To Republicans, good news about Obamacare (the American President’s ‘legacy’ healthcare-reform program, called officially “The Affordable Care Act”) is...

U.S. Public Don’t Care if Politicians Lie

Eric Zuesse, originally posted at strategic-culture.org Everybody knows that both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are inveterate liars; but, do Americans really care? The vast...

CIA whistleblower Jeffrey Sterling not receiving lifesaving healthcare in prison (VIDEO)

CIA whistleblower Jeffrey Sterling is serving a three-and-a-half year prison sentence after being convicted under the...

What’s Behind the Latest Government Scam

“The fact is that the government, like a highwayman, says to a man: Your money, or your life. And many, if not most, taxes...

10 Orwellian Moments

The Intercept recently began releasing batches of top secret internal newsletters from the most important division of the NSA, the Signals Intelligence Directorate, or...

Turkey Says Obama Lies — U.S. Was Behind Failed Coup

Eric Zuesse, originally posted at strategic-culture.org U.S. President Barack Obama has been resisting the demands of the Turkish government to extradite the person that Turkey...

The Central Issue in the U.S. Presidential Campaign

Eric Zuesse, originally published by The Saker The central issue in the U.S. Presidential campaign can’t even be discussed in U.S. newsmedia, because America’s media...

20 veterans committed suicide every day in 2014 – study

An average of 20 American veterans committed suicide daily in 2014, the US Department of Veterans Affairs revealed in its “most comprehensive” study of...

Do You Suffer From Migraines?

If you’re a migraine sufferer, as I used to be, you probably know the feeling of desperation that comes with the pain, nausea, and...

Never Take These Killer Drugs

By Dr. Mercola It is now estimated that 1 in 8 Americans are on serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) antidepressants1 and a shocking 1 in 4...

U.S. Study Finds Immigrants Imprisoned to Boost Prison-Corporation Profits

Eric Zuesse 93% of the people who are locked up in the U.S. in order to meet the minimum legal requirements for the number of...

How Corrupt America Is

Eric Zuesse, originally posted at strategic-culture.org The best reporting on the depth of America’s dictatorship is probably that being done by Atlanta Georgia’s NBC-affiliated, Gannett-owned,...

Dishonorable discharge: 10,000 British troops catch STDs since 2012, Army most afflicted

Almost 10,000 British military personnel have contracted a sexually transmitted disease (STD) since 2012 and...

Dr. Scapegoat, I Presume

The war on human beings who use, sell or possess drugs (private property), is, from the perspective of reason or morality, dead. Yet, it...

'Wait a few days before you waste any prayers' – Prince's final words to...

Apr 22, 2016 By Henrik Palmgren | redice.tv The record producers, the managers and everyone else involved in Prince's career is...

Gallup: Americans Want Socialized Healthcare

Eric Zuesse Most Americans want Obamacare to be replaced by what Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders proposes and what both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump oppose:...

Strokes among young adults surge 44% over 10 years – study

The number of young American adults hospitalized due to strokes spiked 44 percent over a 10-year period, a new study shows, even as older...

‘A description of hell’: OxyContin makers downplayed addiction, hyped effectiveness – report

OxyContin became the best-selling US pain-killer based on its maker’s claim that its effect lasts for 12 hours. An investigation has now cast doubts...

Human errors & technology failures led to MSF hospital strike in Kunduz – CENTCOM

Sixteen people will be punished for their involvement in the October airstrike on a Doctors Without...

Over 5 million American children have a parent in jail – report

A new report examining the devastating toll of incarcerated parents on children, families and their community...

Good chance spies are hoovering up your personal data in bulk, documents show

British security services “routinely” collect personal data on bulk from thousands of public and private...

The Death Gap

Rich people live longer than poor people. No big news there — we’ve known that health tracks wealth for quite some time now. But here’s...

Life expectancy gap between US rich and poor widens

Via WSWS. This piece was reprinted by RINF Alternative News with permission or license. Jerry White A study published Monday in the Journal of the American...

'This reopens the pain': Biggest US military base shootings in last decade

The apparent murder-suicide at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas turns attention once again to fatal...

Why Hillary Clinton’s Paid Speeches Are Relevant

Eric Zuesse, originally posted at strategic-culture.org On the fake-‘progressive’ (actually conservative-Democratic-Party) website that’s run by a longtime CIA asset Markos Moulitsas, “Daily Kos,” there was...

Objection! Woman convicted for practicing law without degree or license for 10 years

A central Pennsylvania woman who had served as the president of the county bar associated was...

Requiem for a Wrecking Ball

Aubrey McClendon’s 2013 Chevy Tahoe ignited after he slammed into an Oklahoma City overpass at high speed. Flames charred the brazen oil and gas...

Libertarians’ False Assumptions About Economics

Eric Zuesse We’ll start with a typical example of libertarians’ big misconception: Here was the libertarian white Texan Alex Jones, in a riff for the racist white...

Why doesn’t the U.S. government track prescription drug death statistics more diligently … since...

Recent revelations that the National Security Agency (NSA) spied on the heads of state of countries allied with the United States – even after...

Snoopers’ charter ‘expensive & confusing,’ say MPs

MPs have advised the government to make the taxpayer subsidize the costs of its expensive data-harvesting program under the Draft Investigatory Powers Bill (IPB),...

Detroit high school students stage walkouts to support teachers

By E.P. Bannon Hundreds of Detroit high school students walked out of their classes Monday to oppose the legal persecution of teachers who have launched a...

A Balanced View of the Obama Presidency

Eric Zuesse, originally posted at strategic-culture.org Barack Obama’s Presidency turns out to have been what neither his supporters nor his opponents expected. A balanced historical...

Convincing the Young to Blame the Old, Not the Rich

The Washington Post‘s Catherine Rampell suggests that these Princeton students should be less upset about Woodrow Wilson’s racism and more outraged about old people...

Almost 1200 people, mostly minorities, killed by US cops in 2015

US law enforcement officers killed up to 1,199 people last year, the majority of whom were 'people of color'. Black men between the ages of...

Pentagon ‘thwarted’ Obama’s plan to close Guantanamo Bay — report

The Pentagon has been “thwarting” the president’s plans to close the Guantanamo Bay prison for years, Reuters revealed, reportedly creating bureaucratic obstacles and showing...

‘The Tendency Is to Just Publish the Police Blotter’

Janine Jackson interviewed Jamie Kalven about the Laquan McDonald cover-up for the December 11 CounterSpin. This is a lightly edited transcript. MP3 Link Janine Jackson: At...

Inmate’s brutal death at NY prison highlights lack of accountability — report

In 2010, a schizophrenic inmate at a New York prison was violently beaten by prison guards, dying shortly after. Prison staff did little to...

America’s Empire of African Bases Spreads

In the shadows of what was once called the “dark continent,” a scramble has come and gone. If you heard nothing about it, that...

America’s Awesome Corruption – Especially in the Military

Eric Zuesse, originally posted at strategic-culture.org On November 16th, the great journalist on international strategic and military issues, F. William Engdahl, headlined at journal-neo, “Do We...

TTIP: The Aristocracy Aren’t Satisfied; They Demand More

Eric Zuesse, originally posted at strategic-culture.org A new analysis of the Obama-proposed TTIP ‘trade’ treaty, which the U.S. would have with Europe, finds that it...

Bernie Sanders versus Obama & the Clintons: The Big Difference

Eric Zuesse I state here why I have come to support Bernie Sanders for President: Whereas Hillary Clinton, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama – the...

Is the New ‘Law of War Manual’ Actually ‘Hitlerian’?

Eric Zuesse The Obama U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) has quietly issued its important Law of War Manual, and, unlike its predecessor, the 1956 U.S. Army...

Living near fracking wells raises risk of heart failure, nerve damage, cancer and more,...

The health risks associated with unconventional oil and gas drilling (UGOD), i.e. hydraulic fracturing or "fracking," have been of concern to many since the...

ACLU files lawsuit over handcuffing of Kentucky school children

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Flying the LCAP Way and Killing JFK, Part II

The Warren Commission’s investigation of the Kennedy assassination, shoddy at best and a blatant, cynical cover-up at worst, neglected to dig deeply into many malignant and menacing areas. Especially, and probably intentionally, overlooked were Lee Harvey Oswald’s ties to the CIA. More than any other deficiency, this “oversight” led the Commission to the wrong conclusion about what really happened in Dallas. De facto head of the Commission Allen Dulles, CIA chief fired by Kennedy after the Bay of Pigs, carefully steered his colleagues away from the evidence which would have indicted the Agency. So it is left to us to do the dirty work. And a good place to start is Oswald’s membership in the Louisiana Civil Air Patrol (LCAP), a pack of social misfits, loners, thugs, thieves, and merciless CIA killers.

Rummaging through Lee Harvey Oswald’s past can be a murky and sometimes frightening enterprise, but it is quite necessary if one wants to understand the residue of the tangled plot that took JFK’s life. Even casual perusal leaves no doubt that Oswald and his associates had deep-rooted intelligence ties. Some of Lee’s best friends were CIA operatives, from David Ferrie to the Dallas White Russian community, which included people like Oswald’s best friend in Dallas George DeMohrenschildt and his erstwhile Irving, Texas, landlady Ruth Paine. Obvious patterns of sheepdipping and shepherding emerge as one follows Oswald’s journey from Louisiana to Texas, and to Russia and back. He was a low-level agent on deep-background assignments for the Company. Just the kind of dupe who can be set up as the fall when the Agency needs a patsy. But how did Oswald get to that point? Who picked him out of the hordes of nickel-and-dime operatives the CIA was running in the 1950s and’60s? And why?

It began when Lee was just a teenager and he joined LCAP. On the surface this was a harmless group of post-pubescent wannabe fliers who signed up for air rescue techniques, campouts, and long speeches about duty and country. But in reality LCAP was much more. It was established by David Harold Byrd, a wealthy Dallas businessman and defense industry insider who fancied himself an Air Force Colonel. Indeed he was bestowed this title by none other than his great pal, General Curtis (Bombs Away) LeMay, virulent Kennedy hater and Air Force Chief of Staff under same. Byrd and LeMay made LCAP look like a unit of weekend flyboys to outsiders, just an excuse to make Byrd a colonel and to have an auxiliary pilot training presence in the South. This was merely the cover story, however. US military intelligence and the CIA wanted to train and recruit pilots to make surreptitious flights, into the Caribbean and elsewhere, involving weapons trading, support for paramilitary operations, and drug running (later Air America). Louisiana was a logical location for this (easy access to Cuba, Latin America and South America). Later, of course, Byrd, one of LBJ's most ardent political and financial benefactors, owned the Texas School Book Depository. I have always been confounded by researchers who overlook this one incredible fact (which, in and of itself, screams conspiracy): Byrd, a Texas oil millionaire with nefarious connections to potential suspects, provided the first and last places of employment for Oswald. This is either the most incredible coincidence in history, or Byrd's businesses were being used as fronts for intelligence operations. Think of it, JFK's supposed assassin fires from a building owned by the same man to whose air patrol unit he was attached a decade earlier. And Byrd neither admits to nor is questioned about this suspicious happenstance. Of course, he had plausible deniability because he merely provided the facilities for intelligence assets to perform their operations while keeping a safe distance from the action.

Anyway, back to LCAP. The ideal candidates for CIA recruitment were young, impressionable, adventuresome cadets seeking daring and stealth and lacking morals or a social conscience; or, in the alternative, they were outcasts and misfits, willing to commit abnormal or questionable acts without resistance. Consequently, an unusually high number of Louisiana Civil Air Patrol cadets became psychopathic killers, CIA pilots, or gullible, low-level fall guys. Among them were John Liggett, Charles Rogers, Lee Harvey Oswald, Barry Seal, and James Bath, all of whom were either tangentially or directly connected to the JFK hit.

In order to facilitate its recruitment of LCAP cadets, the CIA needed mesmeric leaders who had sway over young men. It found one such leader in David Ferrie, a defrocked priest, a skilled pilot, a hypnotist, and a pedophile. Oswald was probably directed to Ferrie and LCAP by Dutz Murret, Oswald’s bookmaking uncle who worked for New Orleans crime boss Carlos Marcello. Rogers likewise had a bookmaker in the family, his father Fred, who also paid tribute to Marcello. Ferrie worked for Marcello as a pilot. When Marcello was deported by Bobby Kennedy’s Justice Department in 1961, Ferrie flew a private plane to Guatemala, picked up the gangland boss and flew him back home. Ferrie fancied himself an expert pilot, and loved flying secret missions for the Mafia and the CIA. In LCAP he insisted on being called “Captain Ferrie,” and despite his weird appearance (he wore an orange wig and painted-on eyebrows), his trainees were apparently defenseless against his hypnotic powers. One of “Captain” Ferrie’s most unusual recruits was a future mortician/body reconstructionist/assassin named John Liggett. More on him later.

Ferrie taught his prized pupils the tricks of spycraft. And while most LCAP alums tried to maintain their covers after joining the CIA, Barry Seal was flamboyantly and unabashedly open about his occupation. His remarkable life is well-chronicled in Daniel Hopsicker’s stunning book, Barry and the Boys. Seal was entrusted by the CIA to fly drugs out of Southeast Asia, Central America, and South America; guns in and out of troubled nations across the globe; and operatives to secret CIA missions whenever it needed a democratic or socialist leader overthrown. Hopsicker writes, ‘[Seal] was a high-rolling mercenary, a rogue pilot, an infamous gun-runner, the chief Mena narcotics trafficker, a fast-talking, self-assured, 300-pound pilot and Special Forces veteran, a notorious drug smuggler, a mystery man, and the most valuable informant in DEA history.”

Seal’s abilities as a CIA pilot were so valued that he was protected by powerful interests. He had George H.W. Bush’s private phone number; it was found on Seal’s body after he was mysteriously gunned down in the mid-1980s. Hopsicker writes of a witness overhearing one of Seal’s conversations with Vice President Bush. Seal reportedly threatened to expose the Iran-Contra scheme if the IRS did not stop hounding him. One week after the phone conversation, Seal was dead. The witness goes on to say that the murderers were acting under orders from Oliver North. Seal, according to Hopsicker, was also involved in another monstrous operation—he was one of the getaway pilots flying out of Dallas after JFK was killed.

Facts uncovered by this author indicate that JFK’s body was surreptitiously flown out of Dallas via Red Bird Airport and not Love Field. Here’s where another LCAP grad enters the drama. John Liggett, a Dallas funeral home employee, was present at Parkland Hospital just minutes after the mortally wounded Kennedy arrived there. On November 22, 1963, Liggett was officiating the funeral of his wife’s aunt at Restland Funeral Home, when he was suddenly called away from the graveside. He returned after a few minutes to tell his wife that Kennedy had been shot and he had to go to Parkland Hospital. When his wife asked him if Restland was going to get the job, John replied that he did not know but that she should not try to contact him. This was quite unusual. Normally when Liggett was on a job or on call, his wife and kids visited him at the funeral home. Never before had he instructed them to stay away. His funeral home did not get the JFK job; no matter, Liggett had other intentions. Circumstantial evidence indicates that Liggett, with the assistance of treasonous Secret Service agents, switched JFK’s body for a fake wrapped in sheets in Emergency Room 1. The substitute body was placed in the expensive coffin which publicly left Parkland Hospital on November 22, 1963. The genuine corpse was placed in a cheap shipping coffin and spirited away by John Liggett in a Restland Funeral Home hearst. It was then rushed to Red Bird where Seal or possibly some other CIA pilot flew the body to Washington, DC, for body alteration prior to the autopsy. And, according to Liggett’s peers, there was no one better in the business at altering dead bodies than John Liggett. He even referred to himself as a “reconstruction artist.”

As incredible as this scenario sounds, several people close to Liggett have come forward to verify this story. It dovetails with the official record in many regards. The Dallas doctors saw wounds on the dead President which were radically different from the ones the Bethesda autopsy doctors saw. The only reasonable explanation for this is that someone, somewhere between Dallas and Washington, got access to Kennedy’s corpse and altered it. This ploy, this diabolical deception was the plotters’ ace in the hole. It is how they intended to forever cover up the truth of the manner of JFK’s death. For in any murder investigation where the victim dies by gunshot wounds, examination of the corpse reveals the direction and number of shots. The Dallas doctors saw evidence of frontal entry and rear exit, indicating Kennedy was shot from the grassy knoll area of Dealey Plaza, a place where Oswald definitely was not positioned. The Bethesda doctors saw evidence of rear entry and frontal exit, indicating Kennedy was shot from the TSBD, a place where Oswald definitely was positioned. At Bethesda Hospital several witnesses saw Kennedy’s body arrive in the cheap shipping casket and the not the expensive public coffin that flew back to Washington aboard Air Force One. One LCAP grad (Liggett) framed another LCAP grad (Oswald).

Liggett did not return home from Washington until the next day. When he arrived he seemed worn and disheveled, quite unlike his customarily cool comportment and dapper dress. He quickly ordered Lois and the kids to pack up; they were going to hit the road. The family traveled south, and along the way Liggett stopped for furtive meetings with unknown parties out of the earshot of his wife and kids. They finally settled on a motel for the evening, and on the morning of November 24, after witnessing Ruby shoot Oswald to death on TV, Liggett breathed a deep sigh of relief and told his family it was okay to return home now. At no time did he let on what he knew about the historic events which had taken place that weekend or that he even knew Oswald, Ferrie, or any other LCAP members.

After the assassination Liggett came into a good deal of money which he used to purchase a home for his family in an upscale Dallas neighborhood. There he was visited on several occasions by Ferrie, whose appearance was so bizarre and amusing that they could not forget him. It is likely that Ferrie was conveying “liquidation” assignments to Liggett, as he was connected to many of the mysterious deaths of assassination witnesses after the fact.

Certainly Liggett did not learn his morturarial talents in the LCAP; instead he joined the Air Force where he served as an attaché, a common euphemism for military intelligence work. At some point after his discharge he was encouraged by his benefactors (possibly Curtis LeMay, possibly D.H. Byrd himself) to enroll in a school for undertakers. Upon graduation, he went to work embalming and burying innocent people by day and underworld/intelligence victims by night. If the CIA or the local Mafia wanted a body disposed of, Liggett was called upon. He interred the poor saps in the “Field of Honor,” a Dallas joke for burial plots of the nefarious. If the unlucky stiff needed a transformation to disguise the manner of death, Liggett was equal to the task.

But Liggett was more than just a mortician; he was a killer, and, like Charles Rogers, he had a preference for bludgeoning his victims with a hammer. The Dallas police caught up to Liggett in 1974, when he was arrested for the attempted murder of Dorothy Peck, wife of Jay Bert Peck. Jay Bert Peck was Lyndon Johnson’s cousin, and he bore a stunning resemblance to LBJ. Liggett never divulged his reasons for viciously beating Peck and burning her home. But according to some researchers, Dorothy was about to talk about how her own husband had been murdered by Liggett. Jay Bert Peck had reportedly stood in for his cousin at the Fort Worth Hotel where the presidential party had stayed the night before the JFK assassination. This allowed LBJ to slip out the back door and attend a “Kill Kennedy” planning session at the home of local oil millionaire Clint Murchison. LBJ’s long-time mistress Madeleine Brown reported seeing many powerful JFK enemies at Murchison’s that night, including H.L. Hunt, J. Edgar Hoover, John McCloy (later a member of the Warren Commission), and George Brown (of Brown & Root, nee Halliburton). If this account is true it would explain the importance of silencing the Pecks. Lyndon Johnson, named by many as the prime mover behind the assassination, certainly had no qualms about killing those close to him if it suited his political purposes. He was once accused by his long-time associate and criminal co-conspirator, Billy Sol Estes, of ordering the executions of many LBJ political enemies. Estes’ lawyer wrote a letter to the U.S. Justice Department in 1984 which named these victims, one of whom was President Kennedy. But I digress.

The Dallas Police eventually caught up to Liggett when they arrested him in 1974. After his arrest, Liggett’s first wife Lois was warned by Liggett’s brother Malcolm to stay away from John and to avoid all contact with him. Malcolm was later appointed to a high-level presidential economic advisory commission by Gerald Ford. (As a side note, Ford was one of four future presidents closely tied to the events in Dallas. He served on the Warren Commission. Three future presidents—Johnson, Nixon and George H.W. Bush--were in Dallas the day of Kennedy’s murder. This was no coincidence. All played a role in the events of November 22, 1963. But that’s another story.)

Liggett’s death is just as fraught with subterfuge and deviousness as his life. In February 1975 the Dallas Times-Herald reported that “John Melvin Liggett died on a Parkland Hospital table about 30 minutes after he was shot by Dallas Police while trying to escape custody.” But Liggett left behind two widows who adamantly contradicted the official version of Liggett’s death. One saw a stranger with facial hair in Liggett’s coffin (Liggett was unable to grow facial hair); the other insisted she saw Liggett in a Las Vegas casino years later. It would be a relatively simple matter for the Agency which killed a sitting U.S. President to fake the death of a mortician, so the reports of Liggett’s death may well be exaggerated.

Another LCAP alumnus who became notorious was Texas native Charles Rogers, CIA pilot and murdering psychopath. Rogers was as brilliant as he was disturbed. A graduate of the University of Houston, Rogers worked as a seismologist for Shell Oil in the 1950s before joining the CIA. It is a seismologist’s job to determine if the underlying rock or substrata of any particular area is fertile ground to drill for oil or natural gas. This was and is vital information to oil companies; thus, seismologists and geologists are in great demand. But that kind of life was apparently not adventurous enough for Charles. So in 1956, he applied with the CIA and was interviewed in the offices of Shell Oil’s law firm, Fulbright-Jaworski (yes, the Leon Jaworski of Watergate fame).

Like other LCAP alums, Rogers graduated to the big-time when he was identified as having direct ties to the JFK murder. Many are convinced he is one of the three tramps who were photographed being escorted by Dallas cops away from the crime scene in Dealey Plaza on November 22, 1963. The tramp photos have become part of assassination lore and have been the subject of much speculation and guesswork. What we know is the tramps bear a remarkable resemblance to killers Charles Rogers, Charles Harrelson, and the CIA’s E. Howard Hunt. Others claim they are real hobos whom the cops rousted from boxcars behind the grassy knoll. The matter ostensibly could be cleared up with some scientific analysis—comparison of height and weight, facial features, hairlines, arm length, and the like. Lois Gibson, a Houston Police Department forensics expert, performed such an analysis in 1991. Her meticulous study convinced her that Charles Rogers is the short tramp in the infamous photos. This begs the question, what was he doing there? Not likely he just happened to be boxcar-hopping just yards from the site of the murder of the century, at the exact time and day of its occurrence. There is no doubt that Rogers was a psychopath. He murdered his parents in June 1965, chopped them into pieces and stored them in a freezer before disappearing into the murky sub-world of CIA skullduggery.

It was most likely George DeMohrenschildt who recommended Rogers be hired by the CIA. A long-time CIA asset, and Lee Harvey Oswald’s handler in Dallas, DeMohrenschildt was also an expert in knowing where to drill for oil. He had an advanced degree in petroleum engineering, and he was associated with many Texas oil millionaires, including H.L. Hunt. LCAP founder D. H. Byrd once employed DeMohrenschildt at Three States Oil and Gas Company; DeMohrenschildt also was connected to Byrd through Byrd’s wife, whom DeMohrenschildt appointed to the board of his charitable organization in 1962. This would have provided cover for Byrd and DeMohrenschildt to have interaction during the time that Oswald was being shepherded to his tragic fate. DeMohrenschildt also had deep ties to the Bush family. George H.W. actually roomed with DeMohrenschildt’s uncle at Andover in the early 1940s. Later, when Bush was head of the CIA, DeMohrenschildt wrote a desperate letter to his old friend begging for help. DeMohrenschildt feared for his life because he was writing a factual book about his relationship with his old pal Lee Harvey Oswald. A few months later DeMohrenschildt was found shot to death in his home. The address and phone number of George H.W. Bush was on his person. Like Barry Seal, when DeMohrenschildt posed a threat of exposure of Bush secrets he met an untimely end.

Another Bush family intimate, one James R. Bath, turned out to be another “illustrious” grad of Byrd’s Civil Air Patrol. He served in his CAP unit in the mid-1950s, about the time Oswald, Ferrie, Seal and the other CIA recruits were active members. But it’s what he accomplished after his LCAP training that makes him notorious. Bath began a lucrative CIA career sometime in the late 1960s or early 1970s, after leaving active duty with the Air Force. He joined the Texas Air National Guard in 1965 where he met his great pal, George W. Bush, just as the Vietnam War was escalating. The Air National Guard was a great hideout for those pilots who wanted to avoid combat. Bath was George W. Bush's good buddy in the Texas Air National Guard. Like W, Bath refused a medical exam and went AWOL when he pleased. Bath eventually became the Bin Ladens' money man in Texas; this included investments in W's failed oil business--Arbusto. According to author Pete Brewton, Bush claimed that he and Bath never went into business together; however, “…records filed in a Houston lawsuit involving Bath contradict the [Bush’s] son: they show Bath was an investor in a Bush oil and gas enterprise.”

Brewton also claims that Bath became intertwined with some of the wealthiest and most powerful international players in global politics and finance. Among other things Bath became a trustee at a Saudi bank which provided financing for Adnan Khashoggi around the time that Khashoggi was involved in the arms-for-hostages transactions with the Iranians. The Khashoggis and the bin Ladens were intimately acquainted. Bath also went into business with Lan Bentsen, son of Texas politician Lloyd Bentsen. (Bath served in the 147th Fighter Group “Champagne Unit” Air National Guard with Lan Bentsen, George W. Bush, John Connally III—son of Texas governor John Connally, wounded in JFK’s death limo, Al Hill—grandson of H.L. Hunt, and several members of the Dallas Cowboys football team.) Bath formed a Cayman Islands company which moved money around for Oliver North in the Iran/Contra operation. And he worked for the du Pont family’s Atlantic Aviation corporation. Quite a success story for a guy who started out as a lowly cadet in David Ferrie’s LCAP.

Of all the sordid characters mentioned above, Byrd and Bath prospered the most. Byrd, rich beyond reason already, garnered million-dollar defense contracts for his Ling-Temco-Vought weapons company during Vietnam. His good friend LBJ apparently rewarded him for services rendered. Bath bilked American taxpayers for $12 million in Defense Department overcharges for one of his companies in 1990. Neither Byrd nor Bath was ever brought to account for anything. No investigative body—not the Dallas Police, not the Warren Commission, not the House Select Committee on Assassinations—interviewed Byrd. He answered no questions about the nature of his business, his associations, nor his weird connection to Oswald. Not a hint of suspicion was raised about who hired Oswald, nor who had access to the Texas School Book Depository building before, during and after the assassination. In his autobiography Byrd did not even mention the fact that he owned the TSBD, a tidbit he wanted to keep hidden for good reason. He does refer to his citation from General LeMay for starting up the Civil Air Patrol, but he excludes the names of all criminals therein bred. To remove himself as far from suspicion as possible, at the time of Kennedy’s assassination Byrd was on safari in Africa, his first-ever safari on foreign soil. He did not return to Dallas until the smoke had cleared.

Undeniable killers Charles Rogers and John Liggett were never convicted of any crime. Oswald, Ferrie, and Seal, all set up for murder by the covert forces which set their fates in motion, were the unluckiest of the lot.

In retrospect the Louisiana Civil Air Patrol was some sort of nexus of evil CIA recruitment and secrecy. Its founder and members went on to attain almost unfathomable notoriety. The truth of who LCAP members really were, the associations they made, and what they went on to do with their lives is quite provocative, and very dangerous information to the plotters of JFK’s murder. Their actions and connections speak to some sort of subterranean, for-profit enterprise that was dedicated to subverting democracy and creating what Jack Ruby called a “whole new form of government in the United States.” No wonder when the House Select Committee on Assassinations went to investigate the Louisiana Civil Air Patrol it found that all LCAP records prior to 1960 were missing.

http://neverlandpublishing.com/tpm.html

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Duplicitous Obama Civil Rights Hyperbole

Duplicitous Obama Civil Rights Hyperbole

by Stephen Lendman

Obama represents the worst of rogue governance. On April 10, he honored Lyndon Johnson. One war criminal paid tribute to another.

He spoke at his Austin-based Presidential Library and Museum. He did so commemorating the 50th anniversary of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

His words rang hollow. The New York Times called his speech "stirr(ing)." It stopped short of denouncing his duplicity. More on what he said below.

America's human and civil rights record is by far the world's worst. No other nation matches its lawlessness. None approach it.

It's by far the world's most unprincipled. It's responsible for virtually every crime imaginable and then some.

It's police state than democracy. It's more battleground than homeland.

Lawless FBI, CIA, NSA, FEMA, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Border Patrol, and other federal operatives work jointly with state and local authorities. 

They target fundamental freedoms. They harm their own people.

Anyone can be arrested, charged, prosecuted, and imprisoned for any reason or none at all. US citizens at home or abroad can be murdered. Obama can order them killed by presidential diktat.

Others can be arrested and detained. They can be held indefinitely. They can be thrown into military dungeons. They can be denied civil justice. They can be held uncharged.

Innocence is no defense. State terrorism is official policy at home and abroad. Police states operate this way. America is by far the world's worst.

Freedom, human rights, and other democratic values don't matter. Supporting right over wrong is hazardous. 

Challenging Washington's right to dominate globally risks persecution or death. America is unfit to live in. Things go from bad to worse.

Obama exceeds the worst of his predecessors. Rogue governance defines his agenda. Humanity may not survive on his watch.

On July 2, 1964, Lyndon Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act into law. Officially it's called:

"An act to enforce the constitutional right to vote, to confer jurisdiction upon the district courts of the United States of America to provide injunctive relief against discrimination in public accommodations, to authorize the Attorney General to institute suits to protect constitutional rights in public facilities and public education, to extend the Commission on Civil Rights, to prevent discrimination in federally assisted programs, to establish a Commission on Equal Employment Opportunity, and for other purposes."

It was more feel good than do good. Objectives fell short of promise. They were more hype than reality. They weren't achieved. Things today are worse than ever in modern times.

On June 11, 1963, Jack Kennedy called for legislation "giving all Americans the right to be served in facilities which are open to the public…"

He included "hotels, restaurants, theaters, retail stores, and similar establishments." He urged "greater protection for the right to vote."

Segregationists kept legislation from being enacted. Bottling it up in committee works as intended.

Kennedy's November 22, 1963 assassination changed things. Johnson was a former Senate Majority Leader. He was a powerful mover and shaker.

He wielded bully pulpit power as president. He supported civil and voting rights legislation. On November 27, 1963, he told Congress:

"No memorial oration or eulogy could more eloquently honor President Kennedy's memory than the earliest possible passage of the civil rights bill for which he fought so long."

Enactment of legislation he sought followed. Designed to prohibit discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin fell woefully short.

Powers enacted were weak. They remain so. Equal protection under law is more fantasy than real. It's a figure of speech.

Millions of persons of color bear witness. Muslims in America at the wrong time know the sting of US injustice. They're persecuted for praying to the wrong God. Constitutional protections don't help.

Johnson's July 2, 1964 statement rang hollow. He called signing the Civil Rights act a "proud triumph."

"Americans of every race and color have died in battle to protect our freedom," he said. 

They died for imperial lawlessness. More than ever today. Johnson didn't explain. Nor presidents following him.

"Americans of every race and color have worked to build a nation of widening opportunities," he said. For America's rich, well-born and able alone. 

"Now our generation of Americans has been called on to continue the unending search for justice within our own borders," he added. 

It's selectively given. America has the best democracy money can buy.

"We believe that all men are created equal," said Johnson. "Yet many are denied equal treatment."

The vast majority do today. A select few benefit. They do so at the expense of all others.

"We believe that all men have certain unalienable rights," said Johnson. 

"Yet many Americans do not enjoy those rights." Overwhelming numbers enjoy few today. 

Freedom is an endangered species. It's disappearing in plain sight. Tyranny is on a fast track toward replacing it. International, constitutional and US statute laws don't matter.

Democracy is pure fantasy. A year after civil rights legislation passed, the Voting Rights Act followed. On August 6, 1965, Johnson signed it into law.

It nominally supports 15th Amendment protections. They prohibit federal or state governments from denying citizens voting rights based on "race, color, or previous condition of servitude."

On February 3, 1870, it was ratified. Fulfillment didn't follow promise. Nor from the 1965 Voting Rights Act.

US voting rights were constitutionally flawed by design. America's founders enfranchised adult white male property owners only.

Laborers were excluded. So were women. They were considered homemakers and child-bearers alone. Slaves were called property, not people. 

Native Americans, free Black men, apprentices, felons, and persons considered incompetent were denied.

From inception to today, US elections were never open, free and fair. Big money controls them. Electoral fraud is rife.

Things are pre-scripted. Voters have no say. Secrecy and back-room deals substitute for a free, fair and open process.

Candidates are pre-selected. Monied interests own them. Key outcomes are predetermined. America is a one-party state.

Republicans and Democrats are two sides of the same coin. Not a dime's worth of difference separates them.

Independent candidates are shut out. Media scoundrels ignore them. 

Issues mattering most are unaddressed. Horse race journalism and trivia substitute.

Millions of Americans are disenfranchised. Criminal records alone exclude many. Effort to suppress minority voters are rife.

Half of eligible voters opt out. They do so because interests they most care about go unaddressed. 

Because candidates from either party don't care. Because corporate-controlled touchscreen electronic voting machines are rigged.

They're programmed using secret software. They're easy to manipulate. They steal elections.

They provide no receipts. Excluding them prevents vetting. Opponents end up with voter choices. Losers are declared winners.

Partisan politics serves privileged elites. Democracy is pure illusion. It's a figure of speech. It bears repeating. Americans get the best one money can buy. 

Supreme Court rulings affirmed it. One dollar = one vote. Deep pockets cast many. It's the American way. It shams the right way.

Commemorating civil rights legislation ignores today's deplorable conditions. Duplicitous Obama rhetoric highlighted the disgraceful state of the nation. He called expressing them "a singular honor."

Doors "swung open for" him, he said. "That's why I'm standing here today," he added. 

"…I have lived out the promise of LBJ's efforts." He spoke at the end of a three-day summit. It commemorated civil rights law. Carter, Clinton and GW Bush spoke earlier. 

None connect to popular struggles. Jim Crow never touched their lives. Human and civil rights eroded on their watch. 

So did other fundamental freedoms. They did nothing to prevent it. They support wealth, power and privilege. Ordinary people don't count. People of color least of all.

Clinton signed the repressive 1996 Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act (AEDPA) into law. It violates constitutional protections. 

It compromises habeas rights. It limits judicial relief. It assured more capital punishment for innocent victims. 

Nearly always, people of color, Muslims, or others among society's most disadvantaged are affected.

Clinton lied calling AEDPA "an important step forward in the federal government's continuing efforts to combat terrorism."

Its enactment had nothing whatsoever to do with it. International or homegrown terrorism is a ruse.

Clinton said he requested legislation after Oklahoma City. On April 19, 1995, a massive explosion destroyed its downtown Murrah Federal Building.

It killed 168 people. Hundreds more were injured. A 16-block area was affected. Over 300 buildings were destroyed or damaged.

Elgin Air Force Base's Armament Wright Laboratory studied the incident. No single truck bomb caused it. 

Former director/explosives and ordnance expert/(Ret.) Brig. General Benton K. Partin was in charge. His report was damning. In part it said:

"Indeed, a careful examination of photographs showing the collapsed column bases reveal a failure mode produced by (internally installed) demolition charges and not by a blast from (a) truck bomb" as claimed.

Additional forensic evidence showed other devices were involved. Official reports suppressed what happened. 

Lies substituted for truth. It's longstanding US practice. So-called terror plots are state-sponsored. 9/11 is Exhibit A.

Bush administration police state laws followed. Civil and human rights were targeted. They were eviscerated.

Patriot Act legislation alone gutted Fifth and 14th Amendment due process rights.

First Amendment ones eroded. Anyone can be wrongfully accused. Prosecutions can claim membership in, association with or support for so-called "undesirable groups."

Fourth Amendment protections against illegal searches and seizures no longer exist. Unchecked surveillance was authorized.

Powers include accessing personal financial, medical and other records. So-called "sneak and peak" searchers are OK.

"Delayed notice" warrants were approved. Warrantless searches became standard practice.

So were roving wiretaps, email and text message tracking, as well as Internet and telecommunications monitoring.

Prosecutions include secret evidence withheld from defense counsel. It's officially OK. It's common police state practice.

Guilt by accusation follows. For the first time, so-called "domestic terrorism" became a federal crime.

Virtually none exists. Numerous innocent victims were charged. They languish unjustly in America's gulag. Hundreds, perhaps thousands, of other political prisoners do so.

Patriot Act legislation began things. Other harsh measures followed. Homeland Security is America's Gestapo. 

It operates ruthlessly. It does so extrajudicially. It targets innocent victims. It lies calling them terrorists.

Military commission legislation gutted civil protections. It grants extraordinary power to detain, interrogate, and prosecute alleged terrorists extrajudicially.

It legalized torture. Bush made it official US policy. It continues under Obama. He exceeded the worst of all his predecessors.

He presides over a repressive police state apparatus. Big Brother watches everyone. Mass surveillance is official US policy.

Fake war on terror persists. Rule of law principles don't matter. Nor democratic values. Human and civil liberty violations are rife.

Administration policies are the most secretive in US history. Whistleblowers are ruthlessly targeted. Exposing government lawlessness was criminalized.

So is protesting for fundamental constitutional rights. Tyranny is official US policy. Executive diktats can declare martial law. 

Constitutional law can be suspended. It can be abolished altogether. Federal troops can be deployed against ordinary people.

Peaceful protests are endangered. National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) legislation authorized indefinite detentions. 

Anyone can be held without charge or trial. Solely based on suspicions, baseless allegations or none at all is OK.

Presidents have unchecked authority to arrest, interrogate and indefinitely detain law-abiding citizens. They can target anyone they wish. They can do it extrajudicially.

No one is safe. Due process, civil protections, and judicial fairness don't apply. Abuse of power replaced them. Obama endorses them.

He mocks legitimacy. He governs lawlessly. His duplicitous civil right rhetoric rings hollow. His agenda bears witness to his lies.

'No one knew politics and no one loved legislating more than President Johnson," he said . 

"He was charming when he needed to be, ruthless when required."

"Those of us who've had the singular privilege to hold the office of the presidency know well that progress in this country can be hard and it can be slow, frustrating. And sometimes you're stymied." 

"You're reminded daily that in this great democracy, you are but a relay swimmer in the currents of history, bound by decisions of those who came before, reliant on the efforts of those who will follow to fully vindicate your vision." 

"But the presidency also affords a unique opportunity to bend those currents by shaping our laws and by shaping our debates, by working within the confines of the world as it is, but also by reimagining the world as it should be."

Obama's demagoguery wore thin long ago. Duplicity substitutes for truth. His deplorable record speaks for itself. He's a world class con man.

He's a war criminal multiple times over. He's a serial liar. He's a moral coward. Throughout is tenure, he waged war on freedom.

He's gone all-out to destroy it altogether. He deplores equity and justice for all. He's beholden solely to monied interests.

He supports wealth, power and privilege. He's mindless of popular needs. He trashed human and civil rights throughout his tenure.

He represents the worst of rogue governance. His agenda is state terrorism writ large. His worst crimes go unpunished. 

He's got nearly three more years left in office. Humanity may not survive his onslaught.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected] 

His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs. 


http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour

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Wolfgang Halbig’s Quest for Truth

Requests for public records under the Connecticut Freedom of Information Act can result in threats of arrest under felony harassment charges. This is what former Florida State Trooper and school safety expert Wolfgang Halbig discovered after repeatedly telephoning and sending the series of emails, a portion of which appear below, to Newtown, Connecticut state and U.S. federal officials demanding more information on the Sandy Hook School massacre of December 14, 2012.

All of the requests below, spanning from records on Sandy Hook’s routine asbestos inspections to the key FBI crime report on the incident, have been met with almost complete silence. The non-responses from Connecticut and federal agencies were punctuated by two residential visits from local Lake County Sheriff’s deputies threatening to lock Halbig up if he persists in his pursuit of the truth. The most recent visit from law enforcement took place on Tuesday, February 18, when deputies questioned Halbig on his recent remarks to American Free Press’ David Gahary that he intended to travel to Newtown on a fact-finding mission in March.-JFT

From: Wolfgang Halbig
Fri, 27 Sep 2013 09:00:43 -0500
To: [email protected]
Cc: [email protected]
Subject: Mike Kehoe your Police Chief should be immediately fired for Negligence

Mrs Llordra:

I find this e-mail very difficult to write but as a Former Florida State Trooper and old now find the actions of your Police Chief very disturbing.

I have dedicated my life in public service and to read about your police chief giving Lt. George Sinko only a letter of reprimand for failing to respond to the Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting on Dec 14, 2012

You should ask yourself as to how a Lt. working an off-duty detail at a construction site and making overtime money can ignore 911 calls and a Newtown police dispatcher requesting help from police officers for shots fired at The Sandy Hook Elementary School.

I cannot imagine any police officer ignoring emergency help requests when children and school staff lives are being threatened.  To sit in your car and listen to all those emergency calls go over the airwaves and do nothing is negligence.

For over two hours he sits and does absolutely nothing while children and school staff are being shot and killed.

Your Police Chief states in the newspaper that he is not a first responder.  He also states that he was off duty.

I can tell you and so can any other certified law enforcement officer when working an off-duty detail that you are never off-duty especially when lives of children and school staff are at stake.

We in law enforcement are on duty 24/7 always on call.

This Lt is  24 year veteran and if he does not know his responsibilities then he should also be immediately be fired along with the Police Chief.

This is a national embarrassment that clearly demonstrates negligence by both the Police Chief for not calling him to duty that morning and for the Lt not responding to this crisis.

We are all first responders even if you are a Lt.

How embarrassing for the City of Newtown Ct having a Lt. sit for over two hours and not respond and only be given a letter of reprimand.

I know that there is more to the story and I only hope that you use common sense in handling this huge embarrassment for your City.

Wolfgang W Halbig

From: Wolfgang Halbig
Date: Thu, 17 Oct 2013 14:11:53 -0500
To: Kathy June <[email protected]>
Cc: “[email protected]”  “[email protected]
Subject: Last try for Freedom of Information Act from your Interim Superintendent

Kathy;

Please tell your Interim School Superintendent that his response is total Horsepoop.

Hiding behind the safety of children and school staff in not releasing my information request is unprofessional if he is an educator.

I am simply asking for the Vendors name who you the school district or school hired to install the security system at Sandy Hook Elementary School with address and contact numbers

Just like Stanley Security Solutions has installed all of the security tools at the Sandy Hook replacement school.

They have donated over $100,000 thousand dollars in front door access control with CCTV CAMERA AND ACCESS BUTTON WITH CMAERA BEING A COLOR CAMERA.

THEY HAVE PROVIDED CARD READERS AT VARIOUS DOORS FOR STAFF USE.

THEY HAVE PROVIDEd YOUR SCHOOL WITH A NUMBER OF CCTV COLOR CAMERAS PLACED IN VARIOUS AREAS OF THE SCHOOL WHICH I DON’T WANT TO DISCLOSE SINCE IT MAY PLACE CHILDREN AND SCHOOL STAFF AT RISK.

What is wrong with your school district and your superintendents?  What are they afraid off?

I need the total cost of the project.

I need the date of completion.

I need the breakdown of the total cost as to what did the cameras cost? Are they color or just black and white?

I do not want to know the locations as I do know the placement of the cameras at the Sandy Hook replacement school and I promise not to ever hurt any child or staff in your school district.

Please comply with my FOIA as soon a possible since I have been waiting forever.

Wolfgang W Halbig

From: Wolfgang Halbig
Date: Tue, 29 Oct 2013 09:12:28 -0500
To: <[email protected]>
Cc: Kathy June <[email protected]>, “Katersky, Aaron” <[email protected]>, “[email protected]”, “[email protected]
Subject: Freedom of Information Act for the State of Ct.

Captain Rios:

Please provide me with copies of the contracts  and costs for the Crime Scene Cleanup in Decontaminating and Sanitizing the Sandy Hook Elementary School after Dec 14, 2012 .

The School Districts was considering allowing children and school staff to return to the school and now they have decided just to tear it down.

Who was the company that you the police allowed in the school providing me with the start date and end date of removing all of the Bio-Hazard materials.

Copy of the licenses that the company provided to you for transporting Medical Waste.

They would have to remove all the blood, bodily fluids, brain matter, skull fragments and around 45-60 gallons of blood based on the number of children and school staff shot and killed that day.

I am the Chief Investigator for the Children’s Safety Institute and a School safety Expert which now requires this information to be made available since it has been 11 month and you have not even provided a simple police or incident report.

If you do not have that information then please direct me to the agency that would have been responsible for decontaminating the crime scene and Sanitizing it since you allowed them into the school to remove furniture.

My address is [address]

Wolfgang W halbig

From: Wolfgang Halbig
Date: Wed, 13 Nov 2013 11:00:41 -0500
To: Boston <[email protected]>
Subject: Re: Do I need to get arrested to show the FBI’s negligence in Sandy Hook?

Boston FBI Offices;You get things done.Boston Marathon Bombing and spectators killed and seriously  injured and you the Boston FBI in three days solve this heinous crime.Millions of people watching and with a President stating in a National Press Conference that he will use every resource in his office in solving this horrendous crime just as he stated during the Sandy Hook Press Conference.You are good and now I am being told that the FBI has NO jurisdiction in the Sandy Hook Elemenatry School Shooting. That only the CT State Troopers and the Dansbury State Attorney control this event yet I am told that you the FBI in New Haven are being told to retract your official report and that is why it is taking so long.I call this Bullshit.  Sorry for the profanity.I know the FBI since I worked with you guys in Miami, Florida as a Florida State Trooper and will never for get April 11, 1986 when two of your Agents were killed and five others were serioulsy injured.>We are law enforcment partners for life and after having to seen that crime scene my request for information and help should not be that difficult.I understand crime scenes and how we collect evidence but after 11 months and the failure of disclosing the truth has caused National Panic and Fear in all schools across this country and I can take you guys on a field trip and show it.Panic and fear should not drive school safety especially when we have not heard the truth.You act accordingly when knowing all the facts.Please help and I know it is New haven but they refuse to respond.Wolfgang W halbig

From: Wolfgang Halbig
Date: Wed, 13 Nov 2013 17:17:45 -0500
To: <[email protected]>
Subject: Do I need to get arrested to make my point?

Newhaven FBI Field Offices:

In major crimes such at Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting multiple agencies work closely together is trying to solve a crime as quickly as possible so rummors don’t fly around and create panic and fear as it now has now at sandy Hook.

You are part of this huge problem because I know that President has the report on the Sandy Hook supposed incident.

I know that the Attorney General Eric Holder has the report of the supposed incident at Sandy Hook.  Why not the National Media and put this ever occurring Sandy Hook terms to bed.

Boston; FBI replied and this was my response back to them.

>You make things happen.

You get things done.

Boston Marathon Bombing in which spectators were killed and seriously  injured and you the Boston FBI in three days solve this heinous crime.

Millions of people watching and with a President stating in a National Press Conference that he will use every resource in his office in solving this horrendous crime just as he stated during the Sandy Hook Press Conference.

You are good and now I am being told that the FBI has NO jurisdiction in the Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting. That only the CT State Troopers and the Dansbury State Attorney control this event yet I am told that you the FBI in New Haven are being told to retract your official report and that is why it is taking so long.

I call this Bullshit.  Sorry for the profanity.

I know the FBI since I worked with you guys in Miami, Florida as a Florida State Trooper and will never for get April 11, 1986 when two of your Agents were killed and five others were serioulsy injured.

We are law enforcment partners for life and after having to seen that crime scene my request for information and help should not be that difficult.

I understand crime scenes and how we collect evidence but after 11 months and the failure of disclosing the truth has caused National Panic and Fear in all schools across this country and I can take you guys on a field trip and show it.

Panic and fear should not drive school safety especially when we have not heard the truth.

You act accordingly when knowing all the facts.

Please help and I know it is New haven but they refuse to respond.

Wolfgang W Halbig

From: Wolfgang Halbig
Date: Thu, 14 Nov 2013 08:18:58 -0500
To: Kathy June <[email protected]>
Subject: CT Freedom of Information Request again

Kathy;

You don’t return my phone calls and now I am requesting again the following which has nothing to do with the criminal investigation or places children and school staff at risk.

Please provide quickly.

Please provide me with copies of the contracts  and costs for the Crime Scene Cleanup in Decontaminating and Sanitizing the Sandy Hook Elementary School after Dec 14, 2012 .

The School Districts was considering allowing children and school staff to return to the school and now they have decided just to tear it down.

Who was the company that you the police allowed in the school providing me with the start date and end date of removing all of the Bio-Hazard materials.

Copy of the licenses that the company provided to you for transporting Medical Waste.

They would have to remove all the blood, bodily fluids, brain matter, skull fragments and around 45-60 gallons of blood based on the number of children and school staff shot and killed that day.

I am the Chief Investigator for the Children’s Safety Institute and a School safety Expert which now requires this information to be made available since it has been 11 month and you have not even provided a simple police or incident report.

If you do not have that information then please direct me to the agency that would have been responsible for decontaminating the crime scene and Sanitizing it since you allowed them into the school to remove furniture.

My address is [address]

Thanks

Wolfgang W halbig

From: Wolfgang Halbig
Date: Fri, 22 Nov 2013 08:38:07 -0500
To: “Rubio, Casework (Rubio)” <[email protected]>
Subject: Re: Request a investigative copy if the Sandy Hook School shooting from President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder now.

Whoever the case worker is:

You just don;t get it do you?  This is as urgent as it can get.  I am a Florida constituent who needs the Senator to get off his ass and get the report on Sandy Hook from the President or Attorney General Eric Holder.

You have NO clue as to what is happening out here with panic and fear running wild in all of our schools and you just don’t get it.

If you wait until Dec 14, 2012 when it becomes the first year anniversary of the Sandy Hook Shooting we will only escalate this panic and fear.

Do your research you don’t wait 11 month and have no solutions to the shooting especially when the FBI was directed by the President to investigate.

I need to hear from you and that Senator quickly on this issue and don’t tell me that this not an urgent issue pleae.

Wolfgang W halbig

From: “Rubio, Casework (Rubio)” <[email protected]>
Date: Thu, 21 Nov 2013 16:08:57 +0000
To: Wolfgang Halbig
Subject: RE: Request a investigative copy if the Sandy Hook School shooting from President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder now.

Dear Mr. Halbig,

Thank you for your comments. I will be sure to share them with the Senator. Please direct any future legislative comments via our website; http://www.rubio.senate.gov to ensure that a member of our legislative staff has an opportunity to respond to your concerns. This email account is reserved for Florida constituents who require immediate and direct assistance with a federal agency. Thank you for your cooperation and understanding.

Sincerely,

David

From: Wolfgang Halbig
Date: Wed, 27 Nov 2013 20:22:37 -0500
To: <[email protected]>
Subject: Re: Criminal Investigation is now closed so please provide my FOIA request now.

You need to be fired and actually if it turns out to be a conspiracy you need to go to jail and loose your pension like so many others in this heinous crime.

You guys should be ashamed of what you have done.

Your Lt stay on an off-duty construction site detail for over two hours and you justify it by saying he is not a first responder. I hope when you do your speaking engagements you share that will all our other law enforcement police chiefs and officers so they can have a great laugh.

You and vance are at the head of the line and you know it.  The truth will get out sooner or later.

Hope you sleep well you coward.

wolfgang

From: “Kehoe, Michael”
Reply-To:
Date: Wed, 27 Nov 2013 12:39:28 -0500
To: Wolfgang Halbig
Subject: Fwd: Criminal Investigation is now closed so please provide my FOIA request now.

Sir
The items you seek under FOIA are exempt from disclosure under the same law.

Thank you!!

Chief Michael Kehoe
Newtown Police Department
3 Main Street
Newtown, CT 06470
203.270.4256

From: Wolfgang Halbig
Date: Tue, Nov 26, 2013 at 3:28 PM
Subject: Criminal Investigation is now closed so please provide my FOIA request now.

I need you and your school superintendent to honor my CT State FOIA request that have been requested three months ago.

I requesting again under the CT State FOIA request protocols the following;

Contractors name and business address and contact numbers who was hired by the Sandy Hook Elementary School or the Newtown School District in installing the security system at the old Sandy Hook Elementary School.

The cost of the total project
The cost broken down by line item such as door locks at the front door, camera system to monitor people at the door and the recording system costs.

The cost of CCTV cameras for the school and the recording device purchased.

I do not want to know the locations of those cameras for school safety reason,

You were provided a complete and free security system by Stanley Security K-12 which included card readers for school staff, front door access controal with video monitoring and color CCTV cameras throughout the school.

I even know were they are located but I do not care about that just provide the information for the old Sandy Hook School.

Second Request under the Ct State FOIA request procedures;

1.The company that you the Newtown School Board and the Director of Facilities contracted to decontaminate and Santize the Sandy Hook Elementary School of all Bio-Hazards rsulting from the Dec 14, 2012 school killings.

2. The start date of the project in removing all Bio-Hazards such as Blood, Bodily Fluids, brain matter, skull  fragments, blood stained carpets in room 8 and room 10, blood splatter on desks and walls and windows etc.

3. The ending date of the project and total cost for decontaminationg the Sandy Hook Elementary School since you were considering opening the school again.

4. A copy of the contractors certification that he is approved in conducting crime scene decontamination of all Bio-Hazards in the State of Ct.

Your secretary took my other request of the FOIA dealing with the Life Insurance that the school board had to pay to six school satff members beneficiaries when they were killed in the line of duty.

Also the workers Compensation death benefits paid by the school board to the school  staff members beneficiaries who were killed in the line of duty by the school district.

This is my research project for my Doctorate so please provide this information.

Thanks

Wolfgang W halbig
352——–
[address]

From: Wolfgang Halbig
Date: Mon, 02 Dec 2013 09:06:02 -0500
To: Kathy June <[email protected]>
Subject: Ct Freedom of Information Act Request

Kathy;

This FOIA request is for the the name and all contact numbers of the Newtown School Districts licensed School Asbestos Inspector.

This request is also for all copies of all reinspections required every three years starting in 1997 through the demolition of the Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2013.

1997
2000
2003
2006
2009
2012

Please provide copies of written notification for each of the years listed to parents, school staff and employees organizations on an annual basis regarding the availability of the Sandy Hook Asbestos Management Plan.

Please provide training verification for your custodial Staff at Sandy Hook of the 14 hours of training and the two hours of training within the first 60 days of hire.

I hope that is not exempt as you always respond exempt.

Also do not make the Police Chief respond to my Newtown School District FOIA requests it is your responsibility.

I have forwarded my complaints to the Freedom of Information Commission for a response of your stone walling my requests.

Please mail all information requested to [address]

Thanks
Wolfgang w halbig
352———

From: Wolfgang Halbig
Date: Mon, 02 Dec 2013 08:43:53 -0500
To: Sally Cox <[email protected]>
Subject: SHS Parent Contact

I am a trainer for the US Justice Department COPS IN SCHOOL PROGRAM.

Are you a registered Nurse?

Why in the closet for four hours?

Why close your eyes when you have seen blood before you are a nurse?

Wolfgang W halbig

From: Wolfgang Halbig
Date: Mon, 23 Dec 2013 10:51:52 -0500
To: “Vance, Paul” <[email protected]>
Cc: “Kehoe, Michael” <[email protected]>, “Ross, Brian E.” “[email protected]” “Tom Winter (Personal)”
Subject: CT Freedom of Information Act request again

Lt. Vance;

You are great at ignoring CT Freedom of Information requests which being a law enforcement officer makes you intentionally reposnible since you threatened others for posting false information.

You threatened people with arrest and yet you fail to comply with the laws of CT.

I am requesting againg the Flight log of Ct Trooper One Helicopter for Dec 13, 2012 and Dec 14, 2012 starting each day at 6:00 am and ending each of those days at 6:00 pm.

I am requesting the helicopter manifest as to who was on board and all copies of video that was shot and recorded for both days that are dated and time stamped for accuracy.

I am also requesting the company that was contracted to clean up all Bio-Hazards such as all the blood, brain matters, bone fragments, stained carpet with blood.  Bookbags and furniture that was contaminated and had to be sanitized.

These are simple questions that even you should understand and have this request processed urgently

The case is closed and I believe the information is not exempt form public records.

Please act accordingly as someone who is a PIO for the CT State Police.

Thanks

Wolfgang W halbig
[address]
352———

From: Wolfgang Halbig
Date: Tue, 28 Jan 2014 09:25:05 -0500
To: Kathy June <newtown.k12.ct.us>
Cc: “Ross, Brian E.” <[email protected]>, “[email protected]
Subject: Asbestos in the Sandy Hook School

Kathy;

I am requesting under the CT Freedom of Information Act the Tri-annual Asbestos Inspection reports from a private individual certified in conducting this required inspections.

I want the name of the company ans contact numbers.

I need copies of the reports starting in 2002 through 2011.

I need copies of letetrs sent to parents and teachers informaing them of all of the Asbestos inside the Sandy Hook Elemenatry School.

There is NO doubt that Asbestos was present since I am providing you a picture of a company demolishing the scvhool and not using the proerr Asbestos removal protocol which is a serious federal violation.

Please provide this quickly since I have tried over and over again with NO return phone calls or repsonses to my Ct of Information Act requests.

Thanks again
Wolfgang W Halbig

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Spotlight shines on Palestinian collaborators

Al-Jazeera - 17 February 2014

Fadi al-Qatshan is one of the latest casualties of a war taking place in Gaza’s shadows, as Israel seeks ever more desperate ways to recruit collaborators while Hamas, the Islamic movement ruling Gaza, enforces tough counter-measures.

The 26-year-old graduate died in November. He was killed not by a bullet or in a missile strike, but when a simple piece of medical hardware – an implant in his heart – failed. His repeated requests to the Israeli authorities over more than a year to be allowed out of Gaza for medical treatment had gone unheeded.

According to his family, Israeli security services knew his life was in danger but denied him a permit to attend a medical appointment at a hospital in East Jerusalem. Gaza’s own hospitals, in crisis after years of Israel’s blockade, warned him they could no longer help.

Following a request for a travel permit, his family says al-Qatshan received a call from someone identifying himself as from the Shin Bet, Israel’s intelligence service. Speaking in Arabic, the man said he knew the device in his heart “might explode any minute”. He was urged to “cooperate” in return for a permit.

Al-Qatshan was told he could call the mobile phone number on his screen and arrange an appointment at Erez, the Israeli-controlled crossing that is the only way for ordinary Palestinians to exit Gaza. The agent reportedly rang off with the words, “See you in Tel Aviv”, Israel’s large coastal city. Al-Qatshan sealed his fate by deleting the number.

‘Terrible choices’

Issam Yunis, director of Al-Mezan human rights organisation in Gaza City, says his group regularly records cases of Palestinians in desperate need of medical treatment being approached to collaborate. “The choice for these patients is really a terrible one. It is to cooperate with Israel or die in Gaza.”

Although Israel is suspected of recruiting tens of thousands of Palestinians as collaborators since its creation in 1948, the practice has rarely attracted more than superficial attention. Palestinians are ashamed that cooperation with the Israeli security services is widespread, while Israel is loath to draw attention to the systematic violations of international law at the root of its system of rule in the occupied territories.

But the issue of collaboration is finally emerging from the shadows, assisted in recent months by a spate of films addressing the subject.

In the running for an Oscar at the Academy Awards ceremony next month is Omar, a Palestinian film that places the awful dilemmas faced by collaborators at the heart of its love story.

Omar nudged out of the competition Israel’s own entry, Bethlehem, which features a similar story about the fraught relationship between a Shin Bet agent and a young Palestinian informant.

And last month the audience award at the Sundance Festival went to the Green Prince, an Israeli documentary based on the memoirs of Mosab Hassan Yousef, son of a Hamas leader in Gaza who channeled information to the Shin Bet for 10 years before fleeing to the United States. His father, Sheikh Hassan Yousef, was recently released from an Israeli prison.

With Palestinian collaborators a hot topic in Hollywood, they are also in the spotlight in the occupied territories.

A missile strike that killed Hamas military leader Ahmed Jabari in November 2012 – the opening salvo in Israel’s eight-day attack on Gaza known as Operation Pillar of Defence – has been widely ascribed to intelligence provided by a collaborator.

In response, Hamas carried out public executions of several suspected informants in the streets of Gaza City, including dragging the body of one behind a motorbike.

‘Tightly classified’

According to Hillel Cohen, who has researched Israel’s recruitment of collaborators since the state’s earliest years, the extent of the problem is difficult to assess. Israel keeps most of the archives on its intelligence operations in the occupied territories “tightly classified”.

The use of collaborators, he says, was probably most extensive in the 1970s and ’80s, before Israel handed over areas of the occupied territories to the Palestinian Authority under the Oslo Accords and before the advent of today’s more sophisticated surveillance technology.

Nonetheless, the practice has far from ended.

“Israel still needs people on the ground,” says Cohen. “If they want to place a bomb in a car or supply a phone with a hidden tracking device, someone has to do it. The technology can only help so much.”

According to Saleh Abdel Jawwad, a politics professor at Bir Zeit University in the West Bank, there are many different types of collaborators.

In East Jerusalem, for example, where Israel hopes to prevent any future Palestinian control of the city, a feature of life are the “land dealers”, Palestinians who buy land in strategic areas, secretly on behalf of settler organisations.

Israel also uses economic collaborators, who, for example, act as contractors for Israel in selling its products in the occupied territories. Israel has also tried to recruit political collaborators, in an effort to place them in charge of Palestinian communities or weaken candidates Israel opposed.

But Israel prizes most highly the recruitment of active members of Palestinian national organisations, who can provide reliable information on resistance operations or the movements of Palestinian leaders.

Typically, these collaborators are “turned” after their arrest. They may agree to cooperate under torture or as a way to receive a reduced prison sentence, said Morad Jadalah, a researcher with Addameer, a prisoners’ rights organisation in the West Bank city of Ramallah.

Children recruited

But the most common type of collaborator is the informant, who provides general information about the activities of political groups or the movement of individual activists, as well as the names of those taking part in demonstrations.

Jadalah says when Palestinians are arrested, as they try to cross a checkpoint or during a raid on their village, the weakest and most vulnerable – often children – are targeted during interrogation with a mix of threats, violence and inducements.

Long jail terms and the use of administrative detention – imprisonment on secret charges – are the most obvious threats, but there are other ways to pressure Palestinians in detention, says Jadalah.

“The interrogators may beat them, or threaten to beat or rape their mother or sister, or arrest a close relative. They usually already know something about the family, so they can threaten, for example, to revoke the father’s work permit. They may even threaten to spread rumours that the family are already acting as informants.”

In other cases, the Israeli security services may offer inducements. “Israel controls most people’s lives, including their ability to work and move around. Between 30 and 40 per cent of adults are unemployed. That gives Israel the leverage it needs to recruit collaborators.”

According to Jadalah, the Israeli security services usually want general information about the neighbourhood where the collaborator lives, or details about a specific person.

Reports suggest in recent years the Shin Bet has been using arrested children to gain information about the leaders of non-violent resistance movements in the West Bank. They have shown special interest in villages such as Bilin, Nabi Saleh and Budrus where well-publicised protests are trying to stop Israel’s efforts to build the separation barrier on Palestinian land.

Cohen says the benefit to Israel of controlling an extensive network of collaborators is not limited to the information they pass on.

“It encourages the atomisation of Palestinian society. It fosters mistrust within the society and between members of the political movements. When everyone becomes a potential suspect, political passivity is encouraged. That is, in fact, the main goal.”

‘Infiltrated society’

Yunis, of Al-Mezan, agrees: “We are an infiltrated society. When there is so much suspicion, organised and effective resistance to the occupation becomes extremely hard.”

In addition, Jadalah blames the Palestinian Authority for setting a bad example. “When it is clear that our leaders are working with Israel on ‘security cooperation’ and that they look to Israel for protection, a very powerful message is sent to Palestinian society that only Israel can offer such guarantees.”

Hamas, apparently fearful of its inability to organise in the face of extensive collaboration, has officially waged war on Gaza’s informants.

Early last year it offered a brief amnesty to existing collaborators, many of them recruited before Israel’s 2005 disengagement, allowing them to turn themselves in in return for lenient sentences and financial help for their families. However, it has vowed a policy of zero tolerance since.

Faced with a shrinking pool of collaborators in Gaza, says Yunis, Israel has increased its use of electronic surveillance, especially drones. But it has sought new ways to recruit collaborators too.

That includes exploiting increased opportunities to reach Palestinians in Gaza indirectly, through social media. In particular, youngsters, often those without jobs or whose families are in dire need, are approached via Facebook or receive a call to their mobile phone.

“The caller might introduce himself as a businessman and says he can help them to get a permit out of Gaza. Once they attend the meeting, they are ensnared,” says Yunis.

Fishermen are also reported to have been targeted since Israel tightly limited the extent of the waters they are allowed to fish. When they cross out of that zone, they can be picked up by a naval patrol and taken for interrogation in Israel. There they can be pressured to turn informant.

‘Desperate’ situation

But the most wrenching cases, says Hamdi Shaqura, director of the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights in Gaza, occur with patients such as al-Qatshan who need urgent medical treatment.

Because they are among the few cases that Israel still treats as humanitarian, they and the relative that accompanies them present the Shin Bet with a rare opportunity to try to recruit a collaborator directly.

“These permits from Israel become a tool for blackmail. It is a serious violation of international law. Because Israel still occupies Gaza, the welfare of these patients is fully its responsibility. Israel is obligated to facilitate their movement and access to proper healthcare.”

According to the World Health Organisation, about 150 patients from Gaza were called for a security interrogation by the Shin Bet last year, including a 16-year-old girl in November. In most cases they were denied a permit afterwards.

Israel also arrested five patients at Erez and six of their companions over the course of last year. They included Mohammed Saber Abu-Amsha, a 33-year-old patient with damage to his eyes, who has been held in prison in Israel since his arrest on December 4.

Amal Ziada, a researcher for Physicians for Human Rights in Israel, said her organisation was hoping to launch a new campaign to raise awareness among the Israeli public of the pressures being used against medical patients.

That included lobbying members of the Israeli parliament and taking high-profile cases to the Israeli supreme court.

“What these patients go through is a kind of torture,” she said. “The danger is that some of them avoid seeking medical treatment because they are afraid. They are worried about being arrested, or the suspicion among other Palestinians that they may have collaborated if they receive a permit.”

Guy Inbar, spokesman for COGAT, the Israeli military unit that coordinates civilian matters in the occupied territories, said he awarded permits to Palestinians for medical treatment based only on medical need and the applicant’s security record.

A senior Israeli security official said the accusation that Israel used the permit system to recruit collaborators was “baseless”. “There have been many recent instances where terror organisations have manipulated people needing humanitarian help so that they assist in carrying out terror operations.”

No welcome

According to an Israeli human rights lawyer, Yadin Elam, most of the collaborators whose cover is blown and manage to flee the occupied territories do not receive the warm welcome in Israel they may have expected.

Israeli authorities divide collaborators into two groups, he says. Important collaborators, categorised as sayanim, or helpers, fall under the responsibility of the defence ministry and receive a salary and status inside Israel.

But most collaborators who reach Israel – numbering a few hundred, according to Elam – are classified simply as “threatened people”, referring to the fact that they might be killed if they return to Palestinian areas.

Elam says Palestinians in this latter category are usually left in a desperate situation, sometimes given a temporary permit to stay for a few months, but denied permits for their immediate family or the right to work. Typically they live underground in Israel with their families and drift into crime.

Elam says these collaborators’ insecurity, and their frequent arrests, provide an ideal opportunity for Israel to keep up the pressure.

“When things are so desperate, it is easier to persuade the family, including the children, to continue working for the intelligence services.”

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Media Blackout on Smart Meter Dangers

Major power utilities continue to deploy “smart” electrical meters on businesses and private residences throughout the United States and Canada. Yet those in North America and elsewhere remain in the dark on the negative health effects of such devices that systematically blast their homes with radio-frequency (RF) radiation on a minute-by-minute, round-the-clock basis.

In 2009 the Obama administration partnered with utilities by allocating $3.4 billion in federal stimulus funds toward building a nationwide “smart grid,” where smart meters figure centrally.[1] The project is part of President Obama’s “Climate Action Plan” that under United Nations auspices seeks to reduce US carbon emissions 20% by the year 2020.[2]

There is more than ample research available that has associated negative health effects of RF radiation emitted by smart meters [3] for regulatory authorities to place restrictions on power utilities and compel them to abide by the precautionary principle. Such restrictions would require power providers to refrain from wide scale installation of smart meters until a sufficient body of scientific research demonstrating the safety of such devices has been produced and rigorously evaluated.

Yet in the US and elsewhere the imperative of having a “smart grid,” the prospect of a carbon trading scheme, lax (and in at least some cases corrupt) state and federal regulatory bodies, and the sheer power of the utilities combine to jeopardize the long term health of the entire population.

In a purportedly democratic society news outlets play a decisive role in such an impending health crisis. By failing to report on the dubious health research of smart meters and the fact that the public is being involuntarily subjected to such technology, news media are a key factor in the citizenry’s continued ignorance and inaction.

In May 2011 the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer categorized “radiofrequency electromagnetic fields as possibly carcinogenic to humans based on an increased risk for glioma, a malignant type of brain cancer, associated with wireless cellphone use.”[4] Despite this warning from a well-recognized source, the utilities stubbornly insist that all residences must be equipped with a smart meter issuing dangerous electropollution.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ceased studying the health effects of radiofrequency radiation when the Senate Appropriations Committee cut the department’s funding and forbade it from further research into the area.[5] Thereafter RF limits were codified as mere “guidelines” based on the EPA’s tentative findings and are presently overseen by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

These weakly enforced standards are predicated on the alleged “thermal effect” of RF to which the FCC subscribes. In other words, if the energy emitted from a wireless antenna or device is not powerful enough to heat the skin or flesh then no danger is posed to human health.[6]

To this day power utilities cling to this severely outmoded and unscientific standard when confronted with the formidable body of research linking RF to cancer, destruction of DNA, and other negative health effects. News media seldom question the FCC policy when it is cited by utilities and regulators alike to underline the supposed overall safety of smart meters.[7]

An electronic LexisNexis search of newspaper articles referencing “smart meters” appearing between May 31, 2011, the date WHO classified RF a Class 2B carcinogen, and June 19, 2014, yields close to 839 pieces published in English language papers. Yet for the same time span only one tenth of the sample (82 articles) mentions “smart meters” and “carcinogen” or “carcinogenic” in the same report. Of these, 65 of the articles appeared in Canadian, and to a much lesser degree Australian or UK papers. Note that each sample includes guest editorials and letters to the editor penned by concerned citizens.

Using parameters from the date May 31, 2011, the date WHO declared RF a Class 2B carcinogen, to January 19, 2014, of 93 newspaper articles referencing “smart meter” and “World Health Organization,” 76 were published in Canadian, and to a much lesser degree UK, Australian, Malaysian or New Zealand outlets.

As the above suggests, the extremely limited awareness especially in the US of the potential health consequences of exposure to the continual RF emitted by smart meters is primarily because the issue is being blacked out in the press. When such dangers are reported, they are tempered by the refrain of the FCC’s “thermal effect” policy, which in light of the abundant countervailing research amounts to disinformation.

In December 2013 I contacted the reporter at the local metro-daily Palm Beach Post covering the state power utility, Florida Power and Light, and its smart meter policy to remind her of the bevy of public health and medical research documenting the likely consequences of sustained RF exposure. I also directed her to the WHO statement classifying RF as potentially carcinogenic.

To the Post’s credit a subsequent story highlighting Florida Power and Light’s “opt out” policy referenced the WHO statement. Yet the piece appeared deep in the business section of the paper, and the WHO warning was accompanied by the Florida Public Service Commission’s familiar rejoinder.

In 2011 the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer classified radio frequency electromagnetic fields such as those emitted by cellular phones, microwaves and smart meters as possibly carcinogenic to humans.

The PSC has said its authority does not extend to health issues related to meters. Smart meters are certified for compliance with radio frequency emission standards by the Federal Communications Commission, and the FCC has deemed that meters in compliance with the standards do not have adverse health impacts.[8]

While one or more hidden agendas likely exist to keep the public unaware of the health dangers associated with RF and smart meters (again, think carbon trading, in addition to the social control possibilities via energy rationing and surveillance soon to be realized through the “smart grid,”) a more immediate cause for such censorship is simply profit and continued media monopoly control of public opinion and discourse.

The telecommunications industry whose services are largely predicated on RF has recently exhibited the largest growth in advertising outlays, which are surely recognized in bottom line terms by the news and media industries.[9] With potential continued revenue growth on this scale, raising questions and relaying information that can safeguard public health and allow citizens to ask intelligent questions concerning the health of themselves and their loved ones simply constitutes poor business practice.

Notes

[1] “President Obama Announces $3.4 Billion Investment to Spur Transition to Smart Energy Grid,” The White House, October 27, 2009.

[2] Ed King, “Obama Promises to Cut Carbon Pollution in Climate Action Plan,” Responding to Climate Change, June 26, 2013.

[3] See, for example, the American Association of Environmental Medicine EMF-RF Reference List (PDF) and AAEM’s April 12, 2012 Press Advisory (PDF).

[4] World Health Organization International Agency for Research on Cancer, “IARC Classifies Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Fields as Possibly Carcinogenic,” May 31, 2011.

[5] Susan Luzzaro, “Field of Cell Phone Tower Beams,” San Diego Reader, May 18, 2011,

[6] FCC Office of Engineering and Technology, http://www.fcc.gov/oet/rfsafety. See also James F. Tracy “Wireless Technology and the Accelerated Toxification of America,” memoryholeblog.com, July 7, 2012.

[7] When this author obtained documents through a public records request from the Florida Public Service Commission on Florida Power and Light’s smart meter campaign–a very simple and routine endeavor for any journalist–it was evident that no human health impact studies on statewide smart meter deployment were ever considered. The PSC merely accepted FPL’s rationale and related public relations literature.

[8] Susan Salisbury, “Media Opt-Out Fee to Be Considered, PSC Staff Proposes Enrollment, Monthly Cost for Device For Device Foes,” Palm Beach Post, January 3, 2014, B4.

[9] “Ad Spend By Sector: Consumer Goods and Telecom Take the Cake in 2012,” Nielsen.com, April 25, 2013.

Republished at GlobalResearch.ca on January 21, 2014.

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Top Ten Reasons: Sandy Hook Was an Elaborate Hoax

By Vivian Lee, Sofia Smallstorm, James Tracy, Jim Fetzer and the Sandy Hook Research Group

“[T]he names and ‘contextually identifying information of involved children’ were withheld, including descriptions of the children, their clothing and their belongings”–Reuben F. Bradford, Commissioner, Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection

Everyone must check inThe New York Times, our nation’s newspaper of record (which records the “official history” of the United States), has reported that, with its “final report,” the criminal investigation of Sandy Hook by the State of Connecticut is over. 

Remarkably, the report does not even include the names, the ages or the sex of the alleged victims of the shooting. There is no actual identification of any of the dead. Even the Danbury, CT, Newstimes found it unsatisfying.

Even the 52 “autopsy photos” that accompany the report are redacted. The Times itself appears to be responsible for a stunning display of journalistic incompetence on a matter of enormous public concern. 

Anyone with the inclination can comb through hundreds of years of American crime reports and will not find an instance in the which the names, the ages or the sex of the victims is not given–with the exception of victims of sex crimes.  Withholding this information is part of a pattern of deception and deceit that extends to the Clerk of Newtown making secret arrangements with the state legislature to avoid releasing death certificates to the public, attempts to withhold the 911 calls and gag orders imposed upon those responsible for tearing down the building itself:

In a letter accompanying the report, Reuben F. Bradford, the commissioner of the state’s Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection, said the names and “contextually identifying information of involved children” were withheld, including descriptions of the children, their clothing and their belongings. “All visual images depicting the deceased have been withheld,” he added, “as well as written descriptions whose disclosure would be highly offensive to a reasonable person and would violate the constitutional rights of the families.”

The commissioner said that balancing the “often competing interests of government transparency and individual privacy has been difficult,” but the situation is completely absurd.  This appears to be only the latest in a series of obscene measures being adopted to conceal from the public that the Sandy Hook “massacre” was in fact an elaborately staged hoax, which no one who takes a serious look at the evidence can reasonably deny because, in view of what we have now proven about the event, no alternative explanation is reasonable.

The basic principle that applies here is inference to the best explanation. Consider the totality of the evidence in this case.  Is the evidence more probable on the hypothesis that Sandy Hook was a real event or that it was instead an exercise (or a “drill”) , which was presented as though it had been a real event?  The hypothesis that confers the highest probability on the evidence is the preferable, which, when the evidence has “settled down,” is acceptable as true in the tentative and fallible fashion of science. Here are the “top ten” reasons that support the conclusion that Sandy Hook was staged and not real, where no children or adults appear to have died there.

1. Proof of death has been suppressed

UntitledTwenty-eight people allegedly died: 27 children and adults, including Adam Lanza,  at the school, and his mother, Nancy Lanza, in her home at 36 Yogananda Street, Newtown. However, there is no direct proof of their death: no photographic evidence or video footage was released to confirm the official story that these 28 persons actually died. In fact, no video surveillance footage shows anything—not even Adam shooting out the front plate-glass window or walking through the halls like Rambo, even though this is a school that had updated its security system at the start of the 2012-13 academic year.

The best the authorities could come up with was a heavily redacted report that includes numerous photos of the inside of the school, with a few dings that look like bullet holes, several bullets on the floor, and many black images with white numbers, which we are supposed to associate with dead people. One photo (left) shows the blown-out glass window through which Adam Lanza presumably entered the premises. But how did he get past the furniture, with all his weaponry, without moving anything out of position?

Compounding the situation, the parents were not even allowed to view their children’s bodies to identify them. Instead, they were reportedly shown photographs of the deceased. This was done, according to the Medical Examiner, Wayne Carver, in order to “control the situation.” But what was there about the situation that required “control”? No parent of our acquaintance would have agreed to accept the death of a child without viewing the body. James Tracy has published a discussion of the medical examiner’s performance.  According to Carver:

Uh, we did not bring the bodies and the families into contact. We took pictures of them, uhm, of their facial features. We have, uh, uh—it’s easier on the families when you do that. Un, there is, uh, a time and place for the up close and personal in the grieving process, but to accomplish this we thought it would be best to do it this way and, uh, you can sort of, uh … You can control a situation depending on the photographer, and I have very good photographers. Uh, but uh—

Remarkably, the state has done its best to avoid releasing the death certificates and even recordings of the 911 calls. Death certificates were eventually “released” but not to the public or those who might want to investigate the case further, where only a short, general summary was available. According to The New York Times, in relation to the 911 calls, “no children are identified by name, no callers indicate that they can see a child being shot, and the only injury described is that of an educator’s being shot in the foot.”

Moreover, the funerals were all “closed casket,” with one exception—that of Noah Pozner. As recounted in interviews with the families, the circumstances of their last encounters with their children (or with their caskets) are strange to say the least. The “love fest” at the white coffin of Grace McDonnell was detailed on CNN for Anderson Cooper:

YouTube Video

Veronique Pozner gave her account of her last look at her son Noah to the Jewish Daily Forward on 26 December 2013.

Veronique asked the medical examiners not to autopsy her son; she felt that his body had suffered too many indignities. At his funeral, Noah was dressed in a suit and tie. A Jewish friend of Veronique’s at work enjoined Rabbi Praver to allow him to be wrapped in a blue tallis, even though he had not yet had a bar mitzvah.The family placed stuffed animals, a blanket and letters to Noah into the casket. Lastly, Veronique put a clear plastic rock with a white angel inside — an “angel stone” — in his right hand. She asked the funeral director to place an identical one in his left, which was badly mangled.

Just before the ceremony, Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy came to the funeral home to pay his respects. Veronique took him by the arm and brought him to the casket. Noah’s famously long eyelashes — which she spoke about in her eulogy — rested lightly on his cheeks and a cloth covered the place where the lower half of his face had been. “I just needed it to be real for [the governor],” she says. “This was a live, warm, energetic little boy whose life was snuffed out in a fraction of a second because our schools are so defenseless.”

2. Emergency protocols were not followed

There is no evidence of any frantic effort to save lives or to remove bodies to hospitals; instead the scene outside the school looked calm and largely bloodless—with police and other personnel milling around casually and a severe shortage of dead or injured victims. One Sandy Hook researcher decided to call Lt. Paul Vance to ask who cleaned up the blood, which would have been considered to be a bio-hazard, and got the reply, “What blood?” Here is Jim Fetzer’s interview with Kelley from Tulsa on “The Real Deal” where she discusses this, which also includes several of the 911 calls.

Kelley was onto a real issue. Under the CT Medical Waste Tracking Act of 1988, a paper trail must kept by all parties involved in the clean up and must be tracked all the way to the incinerator with names and dates.

In a Mass Casualty Incident (MCI) like Sandy Hook, the proper protocol is START triage (Simple Triage and Rapid Treatment) using tarps of different colors with the aim being to save lives and get the injured to the hospital for treatment.  Not even the black tarps for the dead were used, much less the red ones for those who needed immediate treatment.  As Sofia Smallstorm has documented, nothing at all like this occurred at Sandy Hook: the appropriate protocols were not followed:

YouTube Video

Sandy Hook Fire Chief Bill Halstead was ready to help the victims but could recall only two wounded people. A few survivors were reportedly taken to the hospital, but, oddly, these people were never interviewed. There were no first-hand accounts that proved anyone was killed or injured. Nonetheless, according to Lt. Vance, 18 children were pronounced dead at the scene, two children were removed to “an area hospital” and were pronounced dead at the hospital, and seven adults were pronounced dead at the scene, including the shooter (NBC).

No emergency vehicles were present at the school or even lined up in the fire lane for a rescue attempt—the parking lot was filled with parked cars, police cars and possibly media vehicles. Such rescue activity as occurred was centered, not on the school premises, but at the nearby Firehouse. Emergency vehicles at the Firehouse were jammed together impeding access to the school, in case anyone might have thought about attempting a rescue. The scene at the Firehouse was quite peculiar, with people milling around and circling through the building, walking out one door and into another, to give the impression of lots of people and lots of action:

YouTube Video

3. Drill protocols were followed instead

We are now living in a security state, and the school system is among its beneficiaries. While we used to have “fire drills” from time to time, we now have “lockdown drills” implemented by school districts, with some states requiring a set number of drills by law. Private security firms, which operate for profit, now conduct “crisis preparedness assessments” at the tax-payer’s expense.

Larger scenarios are also developed as active-shooter drills, in which local law enforcement can take part in storming a school in pursuit of an active-actor-shooter. One such plan available on the web is “Operation Closed Campus” developed in Iowa following guidance set forth by the Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program (HSEEP) of the US Department of Homeland Security.

According to protocol, everyone at the drill must check in, identification badges are issued to personnel and observers, and drinking water and restrooms are available. Personnel include the director, staff, controllers, evaluators, actors, media personnel and “players” (agency employees) both in uniforms and civilian clothes. This protocol appears to have been followed at Sandy Hook, where many participants wore ID/identification badges on lanyards, a huge check-in sign is visible and even Porta Potties are at the ready.

YouTube Video

An emergency preparedness drill took place on 14 December 2012, 9 AM to 4 PM/ET, in Bridgeport, CT, which is a 20 minute drive from Sandy Hook. The course was run by the Connecticut Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection/Emergency Management and Homeland Security, entitled “Planning for the Needs of Children in Disasters.”

The Sandy Hook “shooting” appears to have been an Integrated Capstone Event (ICE), an exercise run by FEMA to coordinate federal, state and local emergency response teams in the case of a mass-casualty event. As such, it would have utilized actors and media partners to simulate a tragedy in order to train participants, and also in order to observe the reaction of the citizenry.

4. There was foreknowledge of the event

The Connecticut state emergency system was taken over long before the “massacre” occurred, with a frequency change implemented five hours in advance of the “shooting.” Normal police and EMS dispatch protocol, using the Alpha Phonetic System for communications between officers and dispatchers, was replaced with staged transmissions by non-trained personnel. 

In addition, tweets about the shooting began before it occurred, a tribute was apparently uploaded one month before the event, and web pages honoring the victims, including a Facebook page R.I.P. Victoria Soto, were established before they had “officially” died. 

YouTube Video

A Sandy Hook timeline has been reconstructed at memoryholeblog.com, detailing major developments and highlighting the numerous inconsistencies in reports by the media.

5. There were contradictory reports about the weapons

According to initial reports in the media, weapons used in the shooting included four handguns recovered at the scene, the only guns taken into the school (NBC). Then an AR-15 was said to have been found in the trunk of Lanza’s car (NBC). Then it was reported that Lanza may have carried only two handguns and that a rifle was also found in the school (NBC).

Dr. Carver's bizarre presss conference

Wayne Carver, the Medical Examiner, said that all the victims were shot with the “long weapon.” Lt. Paul Vance then said that a Bushmaster AR-15 assault weapon with high capacity magazines was used “most of the time” and that Lanza was carrying “many high-capacity clips” for the weapon (Huffington Post).

In January 2013, Connecticut state police released a statement indicating that they had found four guns inside the school: a Bushmaster .223 caliber XM 15-E2S semi-automatic rifle with high capacity 30 round clips, a Glock 10-mm handgun and a Sig-Sauer P226 9mm handgun. They said they also found an Izhmash Canta-12 12-gauge shotgun in Lanza’s car (NBC).

This shotgun is also shown in a video aired on the night of 14 December 2013  by NBC. An evidence collection team and a policeman find the gun in the trunk of Lanza’s Honda Civic—the policeman handles the gun without gloves and ejects the ammunition on the spot. Some have seen two long guns in the trunk in the NBC video: the 12-gauge shotgun and the Bushmaster rifle.

YouTube Video

Lt. Vance then asserted that Lanza had killed all his victims with the .223-caliber semi-automatic rifle (ctpost.com). Regarding the confusion, Vance told reporters, “It’s all these conspiracy theorists that are trying to mucky up the waters.” Perhaps “The Top Prize for Fantastical Reporting” goes to Fox News, however, which announced that a 12-gauge shotgun along with two magazines containing 70 rounds of Winchester 12-gauge shotgun rounds had been found in the glove compartment of Adam Lanza’s Honda Civicthat’s right, in the glove compartment.

6. Adam Lanza cannot have done the shooting

Adam Lanza, reportedly a frail young man weighing 120 pounds with Asperger’s Syndrome, is said to have carried massive weaponry on his person when he shot his way into the Sandy Hook school and proceeded to kill 26 people and then himself. This after he supposedly killed his mother before driving to the school.

Adam Lanza

According to State’s Attorney Stephen Sedensky, Lanza killed his 26 victims with the Bushmaster .223-caliber rifle and then killed himself with his Glock 10-mm handgun. Lanza was also supposedly carrying three 30-round magazines for the Bushmaster as well as a Sig-Sauer 9 mm handgun (see above). The victims were shot multiple times each in a fusillade of bullets from these military-style weapons. In order to wreak this havoc, he fired more than 150 rounds, and he must have carried more rounds in addition. Lanza was reportedly found dead wearing a bulletproof vest and military-style clothing (AP).

As Mike Powers, a professional military investigator and ballistics expert, has observed, this young man of slight build could not have carried all these heavy, bulky weapons and ammunition on his person. Furthermore, since first responders were supposedly inside the school within seven minutes, there was not enough time for Lanza to have carried out the shooting as reported. In an interview with Joyce Riley, Powers states that Lanza could not have fired so many times continuously without destabilizing himself from the intense noise from the Bushmaster. As a novice, he could not have shot an AR-15 with such speed and accuracy, supposedly changing magazines 8-10 times without a stoppage.

According to Lt. Vance on the night of the shooting, one victim survived. So in less than seven minutes—or less than five minutes according to the media—Lanza killed 26 people and then himself, producing only one injured victim. This is a 96% kill ratio, which is unheard-of accuracy among the most experienced marksmen. Powers thinks the whole scenario is a physical impossibility. He is not even convinced that Adam Lanza was a real person. The story of the shooting should not be taken seriously.

YouTube Video

The final travesty involves the weapons and other paraphernalia that were allegedly found in the Lanza house. The “arsenal” supposedly included guns, Samurai swords, knives, a bayonet and more than 1,000 rounds of ammunition, according to search warrants released. Other items of interest were ear and eye protection, binoculars, holsters, manuals, paper targets, a military-style uniform and Lanza’s NRA certificate (Fox). Lanza had reportedly compiled a spreadsheet 7 feet long and 4 feet wide in 9-point type detailing 500 victims of other mass murders (CBS). We are supposed to believe this, and, at the same time, that Adam Lanza was a shy, quiet kid who didn’t like noise and chaos, as promoted by the PBS Frontline Special, “Raising Adam Lanza.”

7. Key participants displayed inappropriate behavior

There are many bizarre media reports and interviews of those associated with the “shooting.” Some examples:

Wayne Carver—Medical Examiner Wayne Carver’s surreal press conference is one of the most startling of all the media offerings. Widely available on youtube, this event shows H. Wayne Carver II, a public official of some standing, clowning and acting outlandish—grinning strangely, making irrelevant comments, and basically appearing unknowledgeable and unprofessional.

YouTube Video

Robbie Parker—Perhaps the most famous press conference is that of Robbie Parker, the alleged father of victim Emilie Parker, speaking on a CNN report of December 15, 2012. He chuckles as he walks up to the camera, then gets into character by hyperventilating, and finally feigns distress as he talks about his daughter—and about the fund set up to help raise money “for Emilie.”

YouTube Video

The families—In addition to Robbie and Alissa Parker, other parents and family members take their turn in the spotlight, including (but not limited to) Mark and Jackie Barden, Jimmy Greene and Nelba Marquez-Greene, Ian and Nicole Hockley, Neil Heslin (alleged father of Jesse Lewis), Chris and Lynn McDonnell, Veronique Pozner, Carlee Soto, and David and Francine Wheeler. Anderson Cooper is the interviewer in two notable instances: his conversation with the McDonnells mentioned above, and an interview with Veronique Pozner, remarkable for its green-screen effects such as Anderson’s disappearing nose.

YouTube Video

The school nurse—Numerous reports offer detailed and totally fictitious information, some of which was later abandoned in favor of more tenable versions. On the evening of December 14, a USA Today reporter said she had spoken with the school nurse, whom she had met on the street. The nurse told her that the gunman had come into her office, “they met eyes, she jumped under her desk,” and he walked out.  The nurse said that the gunman was the son of the kindergarten teacher, who was known to her and “an absolutely loving person.” It later developed that Nancy Lanza had not been a kindergarten teacher at all, and that neither Nancy nor Adam had any connection to Sandy Hook school whatsoever.

YouTube Video

Dawn Hochsprung—In an embarrassing fiction, The Newtown Bee reported on 14 December 2013  that Dawn Hochsprung, the Sandy Hook school principal, told the paper that a masked man had entered the school with a rifle and started shooting multiple shots – more than she could count – that went “on and on.” Of course, Dawn Hochsprung was allegedly killed by Adam Lanza and so could not easily have provided this statement. In fact, Dawn was said to have acted heroically, dying while lunging at the gunman—although one wonders who witnessed and reported this act of heroism. On 17 December 2013, The Bee retracted the report and apologized:

An early online report from the scene at the December 14 shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School quoted a woman who identified herself to our reporter as the principal of the school. The woman was not the school’s principal, Dawn Hochsprung, who was killed in the Friday morning attack. The quote was removed from subsequent online versions of the story, but the original story did remain in our online archive for three days before being deleted. We apologize for whatever confusion this may have caused our readers and for any pain or anguish it may have caused the Hochsprung family.

Gene Rosen—Gene Rosen is one of the most prolific of the Sandy Hook media stars, giving animated and conflicting statements to a series of reporters (in English and Spanish). Considered a “good Samaritan” by the mainstream media, Gene supposedly harbored six children who ran away from the school, rode to his house on a school bus, sat down on his lawn and proceeded to cry and tell him that their teacher, Miss Soto, was dead. Strangely, Rosen took the children inside and gave them some toys to play with, instead of calling 911 like any normal person.

YouTube Video

The Gene Rosen videos are important for the official narrative, in that they corroborate many of its details: the staccato gunfire (and thus a semi-automatic weapon) and heresay evidence from the children (Lanza had a big gun and a little gun, Vicki Soto was killed, etc.).These incriminating videos are some of the best evidence that the Sandy Hook shooting was a hoax.

8. Photos at scene and of victims look staged or fake

The only photo we have seen of any children being evacuated from the school was apparently taken earlier in the fall during a drill (no coats, smiling faces). Shannon Hicks, a photographer for The Newtown Bee, took the photo and claims to have taken many others of the event—which have not been released.

Shannon Hicks

Hicks reportedly took this photo “as an associate editor” and then, when another editor arrived, “changed into her firefighting gear and tried to help.” The account was promoted by NPR.

Parker family

Perhaps more insidious are the photographs of the children who allegedly died at Sandy Hook, many of which are concoctions prepared on Photoshop. Some of the most problematic involve the Parker family, with Emilie’s red-and-black dress supposedly worn by her younger sister for the visit with Obama.

YouTube Video

The photograph of Victoria Soto’s class of students has been shown to be an elaborate composite:

YouTube Video

And many of the individual images of the children released to the media are peculiar—some look outdated and may be old photos.  In a very sloppy slip-up, a photo of a real child, Lily Gaubert (right, below), who is alive and well, was promoted in the media as an image of Allison Wyatt (left, below), an alleged victim. Lily’s mother discovered the error and made it public.

Allison Wyatt vs. Lily Gaubert

And the ridiculously fraudulent photographs of Adam Lanza clearly do not depict a real person:

YouTube Video

9. The crime scene was completely destroyed

As with Ground Zero after 9/11, Sandy Hook Elementary and all the evidence have been completely obliterated; $50 million in CT state funds were allocated for the demolition and rebuilding of Sandy Hook school. This would never have been tolerated if an actual crime had been committed—at least one that was meant to be investigated. The demolition of the school has now been declared complete.
Sandy Hook demolition

Employees who worked on the project were required to sign non-disclosure agreements. They were not only prohibited from removing anything from the site, but they were forbidden from discussing publicly anything they may have observed or not observed during the demolition, such as an absence of bullet marks on the walls or blood on the floor of the classrooms.

10. Deceased children sang at the Super Bowl

Recent research has resulted in a “Sandy Hoax Surprise,” a convincing youtube video identifying eight alleged Sandy Hook victims and six of their brothers singing in the Newtown children’s choir at the 2013 Super Bowl.

YouTube Video

One more victim has been identified since the original video, making a total of 15 out of the 21 children in the choir who were from the Sandy Hook “families.” The newly recognized “victims” are all older than they appear in their photos, giving credence to the theory that the children’s photographs were outdated images.

YouTube Video

The Newtown children, whoever they are, seem quite happy to be singing at the Super Bowl, smiling and running across the field after the event—giving no sign of the trauma they had been through less than two months prior. So are these children actually alive? One can only hope. 

Cui bono?

The evidence demonstrates (1) that proof of death has been suppressed, (2) that emergency protocols were not followed, (3) that drill protocols were followed, (4) that there was foreknowledge of the event, (5) that there was confusion over what weapons were used, (6) that the suspect cannot possibly have carried out the shooting as claimed, (7) that strange behavior was displayed by officials, witnesses and relatives, (8) that there are many odd photos of participants, (9) that the crime scene was destroyed under conditions of secrecy and (10) that some of the children appeared at the Super Bowl.

With the possible exception of (5) and (9), all of these features would have low probabilities had Sandy Hook been a massacre but high probabilities were it merely a drill.  Some of them are decisive by themselves, such as (1), (2), (3), (4) and (6)–not to mention (10).  EMTs cannot make determinations of whether a victim is dead or alive, so there should have been a surge of EMTs into the building to rush those little bodies off to hospitals where doctors could determine their condition.  But that was not done–and nothing else about this event supports the conclusion that it was real. On the contrary, virtually everything indicates that this was a drill.

Going in circles

The probability of the evidence on the hypothesis that this was a drill is overwhelmingly greater than on the hypothesis that it was an actual massacre. And the evidence appears to have “settled down” and point in the same direction. No alternative is reasonable, which means it has been proven beyond a reasonable doubt. So who did it and why? This is the final question. If the perpetrator had been Adam Lanza, then he had no apparent motive, as even “the final report” acknowledged.  When considering cui bono (who benefits), a large amount of money is at stake–and much of it has already been distributed.

Follow the Money

First of all, the construction industry got a boost, with the $50 million in Connecticut state funds allocated for the destruction of Sandy Hook School and to rebuild a new school on the premises. And this from a state with a projected budget deficit of $1.1 billion for the coming year.

The Sandy Hook School Support Fund has raised approximately $12 million and distributed it to the Newtown-Sandy Hook Community Foundation, overseen by Ken Feinberg, “a victim compensation master with a national reputation,” according to United Way Western Connecticut. And the Support Fund posted its condolences on 11 December 2013, which was three days before the actual event.

Premature announcements
The estimated payout was $281,000 paid to each of the victims’ families, who have raised additional funds from their own websites—some of which were apparently advertised on the web in advance of the shooting. At present, all of the victims, both children and adults, have memorial funds that are currently collecting money.

“Sandy Hook Promise,” which actively solicits money for family members and others “impacted by this tragedy,” as well as for lobbying for “mental wellness and gun safety,” currently boasts over 300,000 people who have made the “Sandy Hook Promise” to turn the “tragedy into a moment of transformation.”

The federal government has also forked over a lot of taxpayer money, including a $150,000 federal grant to Newtown to pay for two “school resource officers” (aka police), and $2.5 million in federal funds to compensate the local entities for their trouble: $663,444 to the Connecticut State Police, $602,293 to the town of Newtown, $882,812 to the town of Monroe and $296,838 to other partner agencies. This hush money is sure to keep the lid on things for now.

Gun Control

The families have been out in force, appearing on television and in print, lobbying for gun control in the states and the US capitol. By now, their stories are known to everyone in America. This has created an impression that the Sandy Hook hoax was about gun control. Meanwhile, however, the gun industry has benefited immensely.

Efforts to increase security in schools—and even arm teachers—are underway. The New York Times reports that around 1,500 state gun bills have been introduced since the time of the shooting, and 109 have become law. However, nearly two-thirds of these laws ease legal restrictions and support the rights of gun owners. 

This may well have been an unintentional consequence of an intentional plan. Nonetheless, it is not clear that the Sandy Hook event was carried out solely with the aim of disarming the American public. Perhaps we are seeing a kind of Homeland-Gladio—implementing a strategy of tension with real and simulated events. Remarkably, one of the earliest school safety/gun control proposals came from the family of Noah Pozner:

New Proposal from Noah Pozner family
Both the gun industry and the already immense and rapidly growing “security industry” have also benefitted from the Sandy Hook “shooting,” as we, the citizens of the United States, lose more of our Constitutional rights. A more subtle but nonetheless insidious effect relates to the promotion of mental health screening and the consequent medication of the “mentally unstable” in our society, based upon an event that did not take place, where President Obama has signed an on-going series of executive orders to implement a political agenda. For the latest, check this one out.

The emergence of the Department of Homeland Security as a major threat to democracy cannot go without comment. Even though a subcommittee of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Intelligence released a report on 3 October 2012 establishing the virtual non-existence of domestic terrorist threats, DHS has acquired more than 2 billion rounds of .40 calibre hollow-point ammunition. Sandy Hook appears to be part of a complex and evolving scenario, beginning with 9/11, to establish an enhanced Police State. Whether or not it succeeds depends on public awareness and political action.

Vivian Lee, Ph.D., is a Sandy Hook researcher and professor at an East Coast University. Sofia Smallstorm is an independent researcher, who produced and directed “Unraveling Sandy Hook.” James Tracy, Ph.D., maintains a web site at memoryholeblog.com. And Jim Fetzer, Ph.D., a former Marine Corps officer, is McKnight Professor Emeritus at the University of Minnesota Duluth.

This article originally appeared at Veterans Today on January 8, 2014. Republished with permission.

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Sandy Hook Elementary School — Incident and Response

By Stephen J. Sedensky III, Connecticut State Attorney for Danbury

The following is excerpted from the introductory pages of the document, “Report of the State Attorney’s for the Judicial District of Danbury on the Shootings at the Sandy Hook Elementary School and 36 Yogananda Street, Newtown, Connecticut, on December 14, 2012.” This document was released with additional materials by the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection on December 27, 2013.

The report is duly sworn as a full and accurate accounting of the incident by Stephen J. Sedensky III, State Attorney, Judicial District of Danbury,  who closed further inquiry into the case effective November 25, 2013.

Numbering 285 pages, the document provides a detailed narrative and timeline of events, suggesting several internal incongruities, in addition to inconsistencies with what has been broadly reported as factual by major news media and accepted by the American public from the event’s initial occurrence to the present. These contradictions include the specific weapons and ammunition reportedly used and recovered at the scenes, in addition to the alleged positions and relative proximities of the perpetrator vis-a-vis victims and witnesses to the event.

Most importantly, in a move with few precedents the names of victims, victim family members, and witnesses, in addition to crucial photographic and video images of the crime scenes, have been wholly expunged from all released materials, including Sedensky’s report. Because the principle crime scene, Sandy Hook Elementary School, was slated for demolition in October 2013 and is now fully leveled, there is no way for future investigators or the public at large to corroborate the accuracy of documentation now accessible.

The intent to preserve the anonymity of figures intimately involved in the event should not be considered apart from the fact that local, state and federal agencies were directly involved in the overall inquiry, including the United States Attorney’s Office, which “was stationed at the Emergency Operations Center overseeing the investigation into the possible commission of federal crimes and the issuance of federal legal process [sic].” Many of the local and state law enforcement and emergency response agencies, as recipients of $2.5 million disbursed by Attorney General Eric Holder’s Department of Justice in late 2013, are now invariably bound to federal prerogatives concerning the Sandy Hook Massacre event.

For additional information and analysis of the event please see the Sandy Hook School Massacre Timeline developed from corporate and alternative media reports of the event, and The Sandy Hook School Massacre: A Compendium of Research and Analysis, that provides links to all articles appearing here.-JFT

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

The purpose of this report is to identify the person or persons criminally responsible for the twenty-seven homicides that occurred in Newtown, Connecticut, on the morning of December 14, 2012, to determine what crimes were committed, and to indicate if there will be any state prosecutions as a result of the incident.

The State’s Attorney for the Judicial District of Danbury is charged, pursuant to Article IV, Section 27 of the Constitution of the State of Connecticut and Connecticut General Statutes (C.G.S.) Sec. 51-276 et seq., with the investigation and prosecution of all criminal offenses occurring within the Judicial District of Danbury. The Connecticut State Police have the responsibility to prevent and detect violations of the law and this State’s Attorney has worked with and relied upon the Connecticut State Police since the incident occurred.

Since December 14, 2012, the Connecticut State Police and the State’s Attorney’s Office have worked with the federal authorities sharing responsibilities for various aspects of this investigation. Numerous other municipal, state and federal agencies assisted in the investigation. The investigation materials reflect thousands of law enforcement and prosecutor hours. Apart from physical evidence, the materials consist of more than seven-hundred individual files that include reports, statements, interviews, videos, laboratory tests and results, photographs,
diagrams, search warrants and returns, as well as evaluations of those items.

In the course of the investigation, both state and federal law enforcement personnel received a large number of contacts purporting to provide information on the shootings and the shooter. Although many times these “leads” would go nowhere, each one was evaluated and often required substantial law enforcement time to pursue. An abundance of caution was used during the investigation to ensure that all leads were looked into, despite the fact that more than 40 such “leads” proved, after investigation, to be unsubstantiated. Information that was substantiated and
relevant was made part of the investigation.

It is not the intent of this report to convey every piece of information contained in the voluminous investigation materials developed by the Connecticut State Police and other law enforcement agencies, but to provide information relevant to the purposes of this report. While no report is statutorily required of the State’s Attorney once an investigation is complete, it has been the practice of State’s Attorneys to issue reports on criminal investigations where there is no arrest and prosecution if the State’s Attorney determines that some type of public statement is necessary. Given the gravity of the crimes committed on December 14, 2012, a report is in order.

On the morning of December 14, 2012, the shooter, age 20, heavily armed, went to Sandy Hook Elementary School (SHES) in Newtown, where he shot his way into the locked school building with a Bushmaster Model XM15-E2S rifle. He then shot and killed the principal and school psychologist as they were in the north hallway of the school responding to the noise of the shooter coming into the school. The shooter also shot and injured two other staff members who were also in the hallway.

The shooter then went into the main office, apparently did not see the staff who were hiding there, and returned to the hallway. After leaving the main office, the shooter then went down the same hallway in which he had just killed two people and entered first grade classrooms 8 and 10, the order in which is unknown. While in those rooms he killed the two adults in each room, fifteen children in classroom 8 and five in classroom 10. All of the killings were done with the Bushmaster rifle.

He then took his own life with a single shot from a Glock 20, 10 mm pistol in classroom 10.

Prior to going to the school, the shooter used a .22 caliber Savage Mark II rifle to shoot and kill his mother in her bed at the home where they lived at 36 Yogananda Street in Newtown.

The response to these crimes began unfolding at 9:35:39 a.m. when the first 911 call was received by the Newtown Police Department. With the receipt of that call, the dispatching and the arrival of the police, the law enforcement response to the shootings began. It was fewer than four minutes from the time the first 911 call was received until the first police officer arrived at the school. It was fewer than five minutes from the first 911 call, and one minute after the arrival of the first officer, that the shooter killed himself. It was fewer than six minutes from the time the
first police officer arrived on SHES property to the time the first police officer entered the school building. In fewer than 11 minutes twenty first-grade pupils and six adults had lost their lives.

The following weapons were recovered in the course of this investigation: (1) a Bushmaster Model XM15-E2S semi-automatic rifle, found in the same classroom as the shooter’s body. All of the 5.56 mm shell casings from the school that were tested were found to have been fired from this rifle. (2) a Glock 20, 10 mm semi-automatic pistol found near the shooter’s body and determined to have been the source of the self-inflicted gunshot wound by which he took his own life. (3) a Sig Sauer P226, 9 mm semi-automatic pistol found on the shooter’s person. There is no evidence this weapon had been fired. (4) a Izhmash Saiga-12, 12 gauge semi-automatic shotgun
found in the shooter’s car in the parking lot outside the school, and which was secured in the vehicle’s trunk by police responding to the scene. There is no evidence this weapon had been fired. (5) a Savage Mark II rifle found at 36 Yogananda Street on the floor of the master bedroom near the bed where the body of the shooter’s mother was found. This rifle also was found to have fired the four bullets recovered during the autopsy of the shooter’s mother.

All of the firearms were legally purchased by the shooter’s mother. Additionally, ammunition of the types found had been purchased by the mother in the past, and there is no evidence that the ammunition was purchased by anyone else, including the shooter.

At the date of this writing, there is no evidence to suggest that anyone other than the shooter was aware of or involved in the planning and execution of the crimes that were committed on December 14, 2012, at Sandy Hook Elementary School and 36 Yogananda Street. From the time an unknown male was encountered by the Newtown police outside of the school during the initial response, until well after the staff and children had been evacuated, the thought that there may have been more than one shooter was a condition all responding law enforcement worked under as they cleared the school. Individuals located in the wooded areas surrounding the school as the searches and evacuations were taking place were initially treated as suspect and handled accordingly (including being handcuffed) until their identity could be determined. The circumstances surrounding all of these individuals were fully investigated and revealed no additional shooters. DNA testing of evidence recovered from both the school and 36 Yogananda Street also revealed no potential accessories or co-conspirators.

It is the conclusion of this State’s Attorney that the shooter acted alone and was solely criminally responsible for his actions of that day. Moreover, none of the evidence developed to date demonstrates probable cause to believe that any other person conspired with the shooter to commit these crimes or aided and abetted him in doing so.

Unless additional – and at this time unanticipated – evidence is developed, there will be no state criminal prosecution as result of these crimes. With the issuance of this report, the investigation is closed. Should additional reliable information related to the existence of accessories or coconspirators come to the attention of the investigators, the investigation will be reopened.2

In the course of his rampage the shooter committed a number of crimes in violation of our Connecticut Penal Code. The most significant are those where lives were taken and people were physically injured. In Sandy Hook Elementary School, the crime of Murder under Special Circumstances, in violation of C.G.S. Sec. 53a-54b, was committed twenty-six times and Attempted Murder under Special Circumstances in violation of C.G.S. Secs. 53a-49 and 53a-54b was committed twice as it relates to the two individuals who were shot by the shooter and survived. The crime of Murder in violation of C.G.S. Sec. 53a-54 was committed by the shooter
in killing his mother.

The obvious question that remains is: “Why did the shooter murder twenty-seven people, including twenty children?” Unfortunately, that question may never be answered conclusively, despite the collection of extensive background information on the shooter through a multitude of interviews and other sources. The evidence clearly shows that the shooter planned his actions, including the taking of his own life, but there is no clear indication why he did so, or why he targeted Sandy Hook Elementary School.

It is known that the shooter had significant mental health issues that affected his ability to live a normal life and to interact with others, even those to whom he should have been close. As an adult he did not recognize or help himself deal with those issues. What contribution this made to the shootings, if any, is unknown as those mental health professionals who saw him did not see anything that would have predicted his future behavior. He had a familiarity with and access to firearms and ammunition and an obsession with mass murders, in particular the April 1999
shootings at Columbine High School in Colorado. Investigators however, have not discovered any evidence that the shooter voiced or gave any indication to others that he intended to commit such a crime himself.

This State’s Attorney expresses his sincere sympathy and condolences to the victims of the incident of December 14, 2012, and to their families. He also expresses his appreciation for their continued patience and understanding during the course of the investigation and preparation of this report. He acknowledges and thanks law enforcement, which responded to Sandy Hook Elementary School in minutes and entered the building believing someone could be there ready to take their lives as well. He also acknowledges and thanks the staff of the Sandy Hook Elementary School who acted heroically. The combination saved many children’s lives.

This report would not have been possible if not for the assistance and cooperation of numerous agencies at the state, local and federal levels of government. The State’s Attorney expresses his sincere gratitude and appreciation to all of these agencies and to all of the men and women who contributed so much to this investigation. The assistance of federal authorities has been invaluable. Particularly worthy of special note are the men and women of the Connecticut State Police, and in particular, the Western District Major Crime Squad. The thoroughness and sensitivity with which they conducted their investigation is unmatched in my experience.

INTRODUCTION

On the morning of December 14, 2012, Adam Lanza, the shooter,3 age 20, went to Sandy Hook Elementary School (also SHES) in Newtown, Connecticut, where he shot his way into the building and killed twenty children and six adults and wounded two other adults, all with a Bushmaster Model XM15-E2S rifle. The shooter then took his own life with a single shot from a Glock 20, 10 mm handgun. From the time the doors of the school were locked at 9:30 a.m. until the time it is believed the shooter killed himself at 9:40:03, fewer than 11 minutes had elapsed.

Prior to going to the school, the shooter used a .22 caliber Savage Mark II rifle to shoot and kill his mother in her bed. This occurred at the home where they lived at 36 Yogananda Street, also in Newtown.

With these unprecedented horrific crimes came a responsibility for an investigation to determine what crimes were committed and, more importantly, if the shooter acted alone. Any person who aided and abetted the shooter or who conspired with him had to be held accountable.

Beginning on December 14, 2012, the Connecticut State Police and the State’s Attorney’s Office worked in cooperation with the federal authorities sharing responsibilities for various aspects of the case. The federal involvement has been invaluable. Though some evidence is still being examined, there is no indication in the investigation by either state or federal authorities to date that the shooter acted with anyone on December 14, 2012, or had co-conspirators or accessories
who could be prosecuted.

In addition to physical evidence,4 the investigation materials contain over seven-hundred individual files that include reports, statements, interviews, videos, laboratory tests and results, photographs, diagrams, search warrants and search warrant returns as well as evaluations of those items. Investigators interviewed individuals who were present at SHES on December 14, 2012, and witnessed the incident, among them students, staff members, parents of students and neighbors. Special attention and consideration was given to the interviewing of child witnesses,
given their traumatic experience. Also interviewed were police officers and other first responders who were present at SHES during the course of the incident itself and in the course of the subsequent search, evacuation of the school and processing of the scenes.

Investigators attempted to obtain as much information about the shooter’s life as possible in an effort to determine the reasons or motives for his actions on December 14, 2012. Interviews were conducted with members of the shooter’s family, those who knew the shooter or his family throughout his life, as well as teachers and school personnel who had been involved with him and his family over his time in Newtown.

Efforts were made within the limits of privacy laws to gather information on medical
consultations and/or treatments the shooter was involved with over the course of his years in Newtown. In doing so, investigators found no evidence to suggest the shooter had taken any medication that would affect his behavior or by any means to explain his actions on December 14, 2012.

An investigation of this magnitude requires careful planning and review. The interviews took substantial time, first to identify which individuals should be interviewed and then to conduct the actual interviews. Physical evidence had to be examined and forensically reviewed. This included ballistics, fingerprint and DNA analysis. Additionally, all of the information collected had to be reviewed and summarized in written statements that have since become a part of the investigation, reflecting thousands of dedicated law enforcement and prosecutor hours.

I had been working closely with the Connecticut State Police, who conducted the state investigation, and federal law enforcement officers since December 2012. Once the investigation was delivered for my review, I took the time to read, digest, evaluate and summarize the material, mindful of the privacy interests involved and the approaching December 14, 2012, anniversary.

The federal authorities have stated that under federal law many of their reports and materials cannot become part of the public record due to rules regarding the dissemination of information obtained pursuant to grand jury subpoenas, sealed search warrants, and federal Freedom of Information law. Therefore, information obtained by federal authorities will not, for the most part, be incorporated into the Connecticut State Police criminal investigation file.

While the reports and materials will not be part of the state investigation record, such materials have been examined and considered by state law enforcement authorities. Based upon a review of all of the documentation, both state and federal, we are left confident at this time that the evidence developed to date does not reveal co-conspirators or accessories. Accordingly, as a result of the investigation to date, there will be no state criminal prosecution of anyone.

PURPOSE AND SCOPE OF REPORT

The State’s Attorney’s Office for the Judicial District of Danbury is charged, pursuant to Article IV, Sec. 27 of the Connecticut State Constitution5 and Connecticut General Statutes (C.G.S.) Sec. 51-2766 et seq., with the investigation and prosecution of all criminal offenses occurring within the Judicial District of Danbury. The Connecticut State Police have the responsibility to prevent and detect violations of the law and this State’s Attorney has worked with and relied
upon the Connecticut State Police since the incident occurred. The investigation has been tirelessly conducted by the Connecticut State Police (also CSP) with the assistance of multiple local, state and federal agencies, both in and out of Connecticut.

While no report is statutorily required of the State’s Attorney once the investigation is complete, it has been the practice of state’s attorneys to issue reports on criminal investigations where there is no arrest and prosecution if the state’s attorney determines that some type of public statement is necessary.7 Given the gravity of the crimes committed on December 14, 2012, a report is in order.

The purpose of this report is to identify the person or persons criminally responsible for the twenty-seven homicides that occurred in Newtown, Connecticut,8 on the morning of December 14, 2012, to determine what crimes were committed, and to indicate if there will be any state prosecutions as a result of the incident.

Many witnesses to this case have expressed great concern that their identities will be disclosed publicly and make them susceptible to threats or intimidation as a result of their cooperation or connection with the investigation.9 This cooperation has been essential and greatly appreciated. As a result of the witnesses’ concerns, this report will not identify lay witnesses, except where necessary.

Consistent with Public Act 13-311,10 exceptions to the state Freedom of Information Act11 and C.G.S. Sec. 17a-101k(a) 12 this report will not list the names of the twenty children killed in Sandy Hook Elementary School, nor will it recite 911 calls made from within the school on that morning or describe information provided by witnesses who were in the classrooms or heard what was occurring in the classrooms. It is not the intent of this report to convey every piece of information contained in the voluminous investigation materials developed by the Connecticut State Police and other law enforcement agencies, but to provide information relevant to the purposes of this report.

SANDY HOOK ELEMENTARY SCHOOL – INCIDENT AND RESPONSE

Incident

On the morning of December 14, 2012, the shooter parked his 2010 Honda Civic next to a “No Parking” zone outside of Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.13 Shortly after 9:30 a.m. he approached the front entrance to the school.14 He was armed with a Bushmaster Model XM15-E2S rifle (also Bushmaster rifle), a Glock 20, 10 mm pistol and a Sig Sauer P226, 9 mm pistol and a large supply of ammunition.

The doors to the school were locked, as they customarily were at this time, the school day having already begun. The shooter proceeded to shoot his way into the school building through the plate glass window to the right of the front lobby doors.

The main office staff reported hearing noises and glass breaking at approximately 9:35 a.m. and saw the shooter, a white male with a hat and sunglasses, come into the school building with a rifle type gun. The shooter walked normally, did not say anything and appeared to be breathing normally. He was seen shooting the rifle down the hallway.

Just down the hallway from the main office, in the direction that the shooter was to be seen firing, a 9:30 a.m. Planning and Placement Team (PPT) meeting was being held in room 9, a conference room. It was attended by Principal Dawn Hochsprung and School Psychologist Mary Sherlach, together with a parent and other school staff. Shortly after the meeting started, the attendees heard loud banging. The principal and school psychologist then left the room followed shortly after by a staff member. After leaving the room, Mrs. Hochsprung yelled “Stay put!”

As the staff member left the room, the staff member heard gunshots and saw Mrs. Hochsprung and Mrs. Sherlach fall down in front of the staff member. The staff member felt a gunshot hit the staff member’s leg. Once down, the staff member was struck again by additional gunfire, but laid still in the hallway. Not seeing anyone in the hallway, the staff member crawled back into room 9 and held the door shut. A call to 911 was made and in the ensuing moments the telephone in room 9 was also used to turn on the school wide intercom system. This appears to have been done inadvertently, but provided notice to other portions of the building.15

At the same time the shooter was firing in the hallway, another staff member was at the far east end of the hallway near classroom 1. The staff member was struck by a bullet in the foot and retreated into a classroom.

Both Dawn Hochsprung, age 47, and Mary Sherlach, age 56, died as a result of being shot. Both wounded staff members shot in the hallway were later evacuated to the hospital and survived. After shooting and killing the two adults and wounding the two others, the shooter entered the main office. The office staff had taken shelter in the office. They heard sounds of the office door opening, footsteps walking inside the office and then back toward the office door. Staff members heard the door open a second time and then heard more gunfire from outside the office. They called 911.

Where the shooter specifically went next is unclear. The evidence and witness statements establish the shooter went down the hallway in an easterly direction ultimately entering first grade classrooms 8 and 10. The order is not definitively known. While in classrooms 8 and 10, the shooter shot and killed four adults and twenty children with the Bushmaster rifle. Twelve children survived, one from classroom 8 and eleven from classroom 10.

The shooter finally killed himself in classroom 10 with one gunshot to his head from a Glock 20, 10 mm pistol. This is believed to have occurred at 9:40:03.16

Classroom 8’s substitute teacher was Lauren Rousseau, age 30, who was assisted by Rachel D’Avino, age 29, a behavioral therapist. Fifteen children were found by police. Fourteen who were deceased and one who was transported to Danbury Hospital and later pronounced dead. The two adults were found deceased close to the children. In all, seventeen people were killed in classroom 8. A sixteenth child survived and exited classroom 8 after the police arrived.

Classroom 10’s teacher was Victoria Soto, age 27. Working with her was Anne Marie Murphy, age 52, a behavioral therapist. Five children were found, with Mrs. Murphy partially covering one child. Four of the five children were deceased. One of the five children was transported to the hospital and pronounced dead. Miss Soto was found deceased in the room near the north wall with a set of keys nearby. Nine children had run out of the room and survived. A police officer found two uninjured children in the class restroom.

In all, eighteen children and six adult school staff members were found deceased within the school. Two more children were pronounced dead at Danbury Hospital. Two other adult school staff members were injured and were treated at nearby hospitals and survived.

The two classrooms on either side of 8 and 10 were numbered 6 and 12. Classroom 6 was on the eastern side of classroom 8 and classroom 12 was on the western side of classroom 10. Staff and students hid in the class restrooms, locking the restroom doors from the inside.

Throughout the rest of the school, staff and students hid themselves wherever they happened to be at the time they became aware of gunfire. The staff used various ways to keep the children calm, from reading to having them color or draw pictures. Those hiding in rooms closest to the shooter kept silent. Some people were able to escape out of the building prior to the police arrival and went to Sandy Hook center, nearby residences, or received rides from parents going to the school or from passersby.

One staff member heard a loud crashing noise and ran toward the front lobby. As the staff member got closer, bullet holes could be seen and gun powder smelled. Realizing what was going on, the staff member immediately called 911, turned and went back down the hall from where the staff member had come. During the incident, while staying on the line with the 911 operator, this staff member sent other staff to their rooms or had them stay in their rooms and this staff member went about locking doors. The staff member remained in the hallway on the telephone with the 911 operator until the police arrived.

Response

Upon the receipt of the first 911 call, law enforcement was immediately dispatched to the school. It was fewer than four minutes from the time the first 911 call was received until the first police officer arrived at SHES. It was fewer than five minutes from the time the first 911 call was received until the shooter killed himself. It was fewer than six minutes from the time the first police officer arrived on SHES property to the time the first police officer entered the school building.

Below is an abbreviated time line from the first 911 call received to the time the police entered the school building.17

9:35:39 – First 911 call to Newtown Police Department is received.

9:36:06 – Newtown Police Department dispatcher broadcasts that there is a shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

9:37:38 – Connecticut State Police are dispatched to SHES for active shooter.

9:38:50 – CSP are informed that SHES is in lockdown.

9:39:00 – First Newtown police officer arrives behind SHES on Crestwood Rd.

9:39:13 – Two more Newtown officers arrive at SHES and park on the driveway near the ball field. Gunshots are heard in the background.

9:39:34 – Newtown officer encounters unknown male running along the east side of
SHES with something in his hand.

9:40:03 – Last gunshot is heard. This is believed to be the final suicide shot from the
shooter in classroom 10.

9:41:07 – Information is relayed as to the location of the last known gunshots heard
within SHES, the front of the building.

9:41:24 – Newtown officer has unknown male prone on ground, starting information
relay regarding possibly more than one shooter.

9:42:39 – Newtown officer calls out the license plate of the shooter’s car.

9:44:47 – Newtown officers enter SHES.

9:46:23 – CSP arrive at SHES.

9:46:48 – CSP enter SHES.

As the gravity of the situation became known, local, state and federal agencies responded to the scene to assist.

From the time the unknown male was encountered by the Newtown police outside of SHES until after the staff and children were evacuated, all responding law enforcement operated under the belief that there may have been more than one shooter and acted accordingly.18

For example, K-9 units were brought in to search the area and officers were posted to act as lookouts to ensure the safety of those evacuating the school building. Some people were located in the areas surrounding the school as the searches and evacuations were taking place. Some of those individuals were treated initially as suspects and handled accordingly, including being handcuffed, until their identities and reason for being there could be determined.

Some of these detentions included:

1. The initial unknown male who turned out to be a parent with a cell telephone in his hand;

2. Two reporters located in the woods around SHES, who were held at gun point by
Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) police officers until
their identities could be determined; and

3. A man from New York who was working in a nearby town and went to SHES after
an application on his cell telephone alerted him to the situation at the school. He
drove to the firehouse and went up to the school on foot. He was taken from the scene of the school in handcuffs and later to Newtown Police Department. It was later determined that he did not have a connection to the shooting and had gone to SHES to see what was going on.

As noted above, on December 14, 2012, there was a concern that there may have been more than one shooter. This was based upon a number of factors:

1. The initial police encounter with the unknown male outside SHES;19

2. Reports by school personnel during the shooting on a 911 call of seeing someone
running outside the school while the shooting was ongoing;

3. The location of two black zip up sweat jackets on the ground outside of the shooter’s car;

4. The discovery of an Izhmash Saiga-12, 12 gauge shotgun and ammunition in the
passenger compartment of the shooter’s car. A police officer moved this shotgun and
ammunition to the car’s trunk for safety purposes;

5. Shell casings that were located outside of the school; and

6. The apparent sound of gunfire coming from outside of the school;

The subsequent investigation revealed there were no additional shooters based upon:

1. Searches of the area and examinations of local business security surveillance videos;

2. Persons detained revealed they were not connected to the shootings. In the case of the initial unknown male, he was identified as the parent of a student and had a cell telephone, rather than a weapon, in his hand;

3. Witness interviews which indicated that no witness saw anyone other than the
shooter, with a firearm;

4. Witness interviews in which it was determined that a number of SHES staff had
escaped from the school through a window and had been running outside the school
building during the shootings;

5. The shotgun located in the shooter’s car had been purchased by the shooter’s mother previously;

6. The two sweat jackets were both C-Sport brand black zip up hooded sweat jackets
with no size listed and were located immediately outside the shooter’s car;20 Both are believed to have been brought there by the shooter;21

7. The live shotgun shells (other than the one found on the shooter and the ones found in the shooter’s car) that were located inside and outside of the school were in locations where first responders had been. Additionally, there were first responders who reported missing live shotgun rounds. Moreover, the shells were found in locations where there had not been reported sightings of any non-law enforcement individuals;

8. There were no expended shotgun shells found in the actual crime scene nor were any expended 12 gauge shotgun pellets or slugs recovered;

9. The only expended casings located outside of the school building were 5.56 mm
casings located just outside the school’s front entrance, consistent with the shooter’s
entry into the school; and

10. The officer who heard what he believed to be outside gunfire was in a position to
have heard the shooter’s gunfire coming from window openings in the classroom in
which the shooter was firing.

Stopping the active shooter was the first priority. Once that occurred, the location and treatment of the victims, the search for additional shooters, and the safe evacuation of the school were of primary importance.22 The collection of evidence and the preservation and documentation of the crime scene, while important, came second.

Two command centers were set up, one at the firehouse on Riverside Road and the other at Newtown’s Emergency Operations Center, located on the Newtown Fairfield Hills Campus. In the week immediately after the shootings, services to victims’ families and victims, as well as support to the investigators in the school were handled out of the firehouse. All other aspects of the investigation not related to the school itself were run out of the Emergency Operations Center.

Investigation responsibilities were handled as follows:23