Saturday, December 31, 2011

Progressives and the Ron Paul fallacies

Salon
Glenn Greenwald

As I’ve written about before, America’s election season degrades mainstream political discourse even beyond its usual lowly state. The worst attributes of our political culture — obsession with trivialities, the dominance of horserace “reporting,” and mindless partisan loyalties — become more pronounced than ever. Meanwhile, the actually consequential acts of the U.S. Government and the permanent power factions that control it — covert endless wars, consolidation of unchecked power, the rapid growth of the Surveillance State and the secrecy regime, massive inequalities in the legal system, continuous transfers of wealth from the disappearing middle class to large corporate conglomerates — drone on with even less attention paid than usual.

Because most of those policies are fully bipartisan in nature, the election season — in which only issues that bestow partisan advantage receive attention — places them even further outside the realm of mainstream debate and scrutiny. For that reason, America’s elections ironically serve to obsfuscate political reality even more than it usually is.

This would all be bad enough if “election season” were confined to a few months the way it is in most civilized countries. But in America, the fixation on presidential elections takes hold at least eighteen months before the actual election occurs, which means that more than 1/3 of a President’s term is conducted in the midst of (and is obscured by) the petty circus distractions of The Campaign. Thus, an unauthorized, potentially devastating covert war — both hot and cold — against Iran can be waged with virtually no debate, just as government control over the Internet can be inexorably advanced, because TV political shows are busy chattering away about Michele Bachmann’s latest gaffe and minute changes in Rick Perry’s polling numbers.

Then there’s the full-scale sacrifice of intellectual honesty and political independence at the altar of tongue-wagging partisan loyalty. The very same people who in 2004 wildly cheered John Kerry — husband of the billionaire heiress-widow Teresa Heinz Kerry — spent all of 2008 mocking John McCain’s wealthy life courtesy of his millionaire heiress wife and will spend 2012 depicting Mitt Romney’s wealth as proof of his insularity; conversely, the same people who relentlessly mocked Kerry in 2004 as a kept girly-man and gigolo for living off his wife’s wealth spent 2008 venerating McCain as the Paragon of Manly Honor.

That combat experience is an important presidential trait was insisted upon in 2004 by the very same people who vehemently denied it in 2008, and vice-versa. Long-time associations with controversial figures and inflammatory statements from decades ago either matter or they don’t depending on whom it hurts, etc. etc. During election season, even the pretense of consistency is proudly dispensed with; listening to these empty electioneering screeching matches for any period of time can generate the desire to jump off the nearest bridge to escape it.

Then there’s the inability and/or refusal to recognize that a political discussion might exist independent of the Red v. Blue Cage Match. Thus, any critique of the President’s exercise of vast power (an adversarial check on which our political system depends) immediately prompts bafflement (I don’t understand the point: would Rick Perry be any better?) or grievance (you’re helping Mitt Romney by talking about this!!). The premise takes hold for a full 18 months — increasing each day in intensity until Election Day — that every discussion of the President’s actions must be driven solely by one’s preference for election outcomes (if you support the President’s re-election, then why criticize him?).
Worse still is the embrace of George W. Bush’s with-us-or-against-us mentality as the prism through which all political discussions are filtered. It’s literally impossible to discuss any of the candidates’ positions without having the simple-minded — who see all political issues exclusively as a Manichean struggle between the Big Bad Democrats and Good Kind Republicans or vice-versa — misapprehend “I agree with Candidate X’s position on Y” as “I support Candidate X for President” or I disagree with Candidate X’s position on Y” as “I oppose Candidate X for President.” Even worse are the lying partisan enforcers who, like the Inquisitor Generals searching for any inkling of heresy, purposely distort any discrete praise for the Enemy as a general endorsement.

So potent is this poison that no inoculation against it exists. No matter how expressly you repudiate the distortions in advance, they will freely flow. Hence: I’m about to discuss the candidacies of Barack Obama and Ron Paul, and no matter how many times I say that I am not “endorsing” or expressing supporting for anyone’s candidacy, the simple-minded Manicheans and the lying partisan enforcers will claim the opposite. But since it’s always inadvisable to refrain from expressing ideas in deference to the confusion and deceit of the lowest elements, I’m going to proceed to make a couple of important points about both candidacies even knowing in advance how wildly they will be distorted.
* * * * *
The Ron Paul candidacy, for so many reasons, spawns pervasive political confusion — both unintended and deliberate. Yesterday, The Nation‘s long-time liberal publisher, Katrina vanden Heuvel, wrote this on Twitter:


That’s fairly remarkable: here’s the Publisher of The Nation praising Ron Paul not on ancillary political topics but central ones (“ending preemptive wars & challenging bipartisan elite consensus” on foreign policy), and going even further and expressing general happiness that he’s in the presidential race. Despite this observation, Katrina vanden Heuvel — needless to say — does not support and will never vote for Ron Paul (indeed, in subsequent tweets, she condemned his newsletters as “despicable”). But the point that she’s making is important, if not too subtle for the with-us-or-against-us ethos that dominates the protracted presidential campaign: even though I don’t support him for President, Ron Paul is the only major candidate from either party advocating crucial views on vital issues that need to be heard, and so his candidacy generates important benefits.

RT's Best of 2011



A Call for Peace: Say NO to America's Military Adventure

With the pace of war against Iran now thundering in all its fury, it is time to mobilize once again to demand peace

Global Research

Michael Carmichael's Talk to the Elders for Peace, Chapel Hill, N.C. on December 19th, 2011. 

Good afternoon. 

I am delighted to be here amongst all of you lovely people working together for peace. In fact, since we are the Elders for Peace, we are all veterans of the perpetual war against peace. Our side never wins, but we still keep working just the same. Never winning, because peace versus war is not a game. We are working for the survival of not only the human race, or even our tiny planet. In our time, when technology has finally led mankind to weapons of mass destruction of literally infinite power – the power to destroy in virtual simultaneity every form of life on earth, we are among the relatively few humans who have embarked on the mission in search of the key to survival of life as we know it. 

Today, we find ourselves inside the vortex of a gigantic conundrum – the United States of America. Our nation is the strongest military force in the history of the known universe. For the past century, we have been waging wars all over our tiny planet. 

The Great War, WWI was followed by WWII, a war that many believe was even greater. Both world wars catapulted our nation into the leading role of all the nations on earth. We are the richest, the most respected, the most reviled, the most envied, the most powerful nation among nations.
We are the most warlike nation. We must, therefore, be the most warlike people ever to have populated this planet. 

Over the past decade, our nation has prosecuted wars in the Middle East. A war of vengeance against Afghanistan. A war of cupidity against Iraq. Both wars have gone badly for America. While the final combat forces departed Iraq last week, more than 100,000 of our troops are still waging a twilight war in Afghanistan. 

But it is really worse than that, for our press, television and mainstream media do not reveal the truth to our people. We are already engaged in a third major land war in the Middle East, a war against Iran.
Before we examine the onrushing Iran War, let us review a few of the latest developments. 

Good news 

1 – The United States is Pulling out of Iraq. The last combat forces departed from Iraq last week. 

2 – The United States is winding down our military operations in Afghanistan. 

3 – The United States is preparing to cut the military budget, and for the time being both principal parties appear to be engaged with this important idea. 

4 – Former President George W. Bush has been constrained to the confines of the USA by legal maneuvers that would swiftly lead to his indictment for violations of the Geneva Convention on Torture if he were to travel abroad. In recent months, Former President Bush was troubled by attempts to place him under arrest when he visited Canada very briefly, and he was forced to cancel his trip to Switzerland for fear of arrest for war crimes and torture. 

5 -- Certain Key Elements of our government, the White House, the Obama Administration and the Department of State, are resisting increasingly shrill demands for war against Iran, and at the same time they are fighting for the right to conduct diplomatic contacts with Iran against an ominous array of forces recently unleashed in Congress and beyond. 

Bad News 

1 - The War on Drugs is a multinational disaster with over 35,000 civilians killed in Mexico over the past five years. The War on Drugs is our most costly war and the most counterproductive. Little is being done to control it. Virtually nothing is being done to bring it to an end. 

2 - The Military-Industrial-Complex (MIC) is moving inexorably toward war with Iran. 

3 - Technology is totally autonomous – it cannot be controlled. It cannot be managed. It cannot be suppressed. Technology in the hands of the MIC is advancing rapidly toward the robotification of war via drones for surveillance and targeted assassinations. This ominous trend in the technology of death will continue to gain momentum, and this dreadful development of technology is now unstoppable. Soon, we will be witnessing battlefields with many forms of robotic and cybernetic warriors – cyborgs – organisms with biological and cybernetic components. Cyborg assassins. Robotic assassins. The world of Terminator is racing rapidly toward us right now, and nothing whatsoever is being done to restrain it. 

4 - Mind Control, Mental Programming, Brainwashing and Perception Management have reached or exceeded Orwellian levels, and we are now moving confidently toward Huxleyian levels of totalitarian enslavement as vividly portrayed in Brave New World – a far more advanced dystopia than George Orwell’s Oceania, where torture was still applied to recalcitrant subjects. Brave New World programmed masses via propaganda, brainwashing and sensuality. Here are direct quotations from Aldous Huxley about the evolution of totalitarianism: 

It is possible to make people contented with their servitude. I think this can be done. I think it has been done in the past, and it can be done even more effectively now because you can distract them with bread and circuses and you can provide them with endless amounts of distractions and propaganda. . .
The nightmare of 1984 is destined to modulate into the nightmare of Brave New World – the change will be brought about as a result of a self-need for increased efficiency . . . 

US Drones Used in Turkey Airstrikes; 5 Killed in Other Iraq Violence

US Drones Used in Turkey Airstrikes; 5 Killed in Other Iraq Violence

U.S. Drones mistook civilians for rebels at the border between Turkey and Iraq. The subsequent attack, which may have taken place inside Iraqi territory left 35 Turkish Kurds dead and wounded 15 more who were apparently smuggling fuel. Meanwhile, at least five Iraqis were killed and 18 more were wounded.

In what is the largest civilian death count in Turkey’s history fighting Kurdish rebels, 35 civilians have been killed in an air strike at an Iraq border point. U.S. drones, which had been relocated from Iraq, had detected the group earlier and mistook them for rebels.

Although many of the victims may have been diesel smugglers, they were not working for the Kurdistan Workers Party (P.K.K.) rebels. Over a dozen of those killed were reportedly teenagers, and some were the sons of village guards. Most of the survivors were said to be wounded, but only one injury was officially reported. Witness put the number of injured at fifteen.

Kurdish officials in Turkey claimed they had warned the military of the smuggler’s presence but were ignored. Meanwhile, protests in Istanbul condemning the air strike were met with water cannons and tear gas. No injuries were reported, but several people were arrested.

In recent days, Iraqi Kurdish officials had complained Turkey was still conducting air strikes, as they have since summer. Then as every summer, the Turkish military stepped up attacks against rebels who use remote northern Iraq for its hideouts. This year’s attacks, however, were more intense.

In political crisis news, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki promised to honor Anbar province’s set of requests concerning government power abuses. The province had put forward a number of demands that needed to be meet to keep them from seeking semi-autonomy status. Despite fears that the premier is creating a dictatorship, the United States is moving ahead with military sales to Iraq.

In Mosul, gunmen stormed a home where they killed an Interior Ministry official and his mother. A female police officer was wounded in a blast. An off-duty policeman was shot dead. Gunmen also killed a civilian.

A bomb killed a soldier and wounded another in Safra.

In Baghdad, two bombs exploded in the Adhamiya neighborhood and wounded six people.
A roadside bomb wounded five people in Baquba.

Four people were wounded in an attack on a school principal’s home in Suleimaniya.
In Balad, a sticky bomb wounded a police officer.

A sticky bomb at the Kirkuk home of a passport official left no casualties. Another bombing took place at the home of a court official.

A Kurdish kidnap victim was released in Rashad after a ransom was paid.

Friday, December 30, 2011

GM recalling nearly 4,300 Chevrolet Sonics that may have missing brake pads

Washington Post



DETROIT — General Motors Co. is recalling more than 4,000 of its 2012 Chevrolet Sonic subcompact cars to check for missing brake pads.

Some Sonics could be missing an inner or outer brake pad, which could increase stopping distance. GM said there are no known crashes or injuries related to the issue.


The recall involves 4,296 of GM’s 2012 Sonics sold in the U.S. Affected models are from the Orion Township, Mich., assembly plant, which makes Sonics for the U.S. and Canadian markets.

Dealers will inspect front brakes on Sonics for missing inner or outer pads and install new pads, if necessary. Customers affected by the recall will receive dealer letters beginning Jan. 14.



Slip-Sliding to War with Iran

Consortium News

Exclusive: Having apparently learned nothing from the Iraq disaster, many of the same political/media players are reprising their tough-guy roles in a new drama regarding Iran. These retread performances may make another war, with Iran, hard to avoid, writes Robert Parry

By Robert Parry

With the typical backdrop of alarmist propaganda in place, the stage is now set for a new war, this time with Iran. The slightest miscalculation (or provocation) by the United States, Israel or Iran could touch off a violent scenario that will have devastating consequences.

Indeed, even if they want to, the various sides might have trouble backing down enough to defuse today’s explosive situation. After all, the Iranians continue to insist they have no intention of building a nuclear bomb, as much as Israeli and American officials insist that they are.

So, this prospective war with Iran – like the one in Iraq – is likely to come down to intelligence assessments on Iran’s intentions and capabilities. And, as with Iraq’s alleged WMD, the many loud voices claiming that Iran is on pace to build a nuclear bomb are drowning out the relatively few skeptics who think the evidence is thin to invisible.

For instance, the recent report from the International Atomic Energy Agency about Iran’s supposed progress toward a nuclear bomb was widely accepted as gospel truth without any discussion of whether the IAEA is an unbiased and reliable source.

In framing the story in support of the IAEA, the major U.S. newspapers and TV networks ignored documentary evidence that the IAEA’s new director-general was installed with the support of the United States and that he privately indicated to U.S. and Israeli officials that he would help advance their goals regarding Iran.

These facts could be found easily enough in WikiLeaks cables that the U.S. news media has had access to since 2010. Yet, the Big Media has ignored this side of the story, even as the IAEA report has been touted again and again as virtually a smoking gun against Iran.

This pattern of ignoring – or downplaying – evidence that runs counter to the prevailing narrative was a notable feature during the run-up to war with Iraq. It is now being repeated not just by the right-wing news media, but by the New York Times, the Washington Post, MSNBC and other centrist-to-left-leaning outlets. [Update: The IAEA report was cited again on Friday in another bellicose editorial in the Times.]

The IAEA Cables

Thus, very few Americans know that U.S. embassy cables from Vienna, Austria, the site of IAEA’s headquarters, revealed that the U.S. government in 2009 was celebrating its success in installing Japanese diplomat Yakiya Amano to replace Egyptian Mohamed ElBaradei, who famously had debunked some of President George W. Bush’s claims about Iraq’s supposed nuclear ambitions.

In a July 9, 2009, cable, American chargé Geoffrey Pyatt said Amano was thankful for U.S. support of his election. “Amano attributed his election to support from the U.S., Australia and France, and cited U.S. intervention with Argentina as particularly decisive,” the cable said.

Debris Field The Size Of California From Japanese Tsunami Begins To Litter West Coast

Intel Hub



The fact that no federal agency is preparing for this huge wave of radiated garbage shows just how insane the leaders of this once great country have become.

A massive debris field the size of California that is surely fully radiated is on its way to the west coast yet the corporate controlled media(see Project Mockingbird) instead focuses on Iran and its nuclear program.

The west coast of the United States WILL be hit with at least partially radiated debris from Japan and the corporate media WILL either heavily downplay the dangers or completely ignore them all together.



Consider the fact that a recent medical journal study has shown that upwards of 14,000 people may have died WITHIN the United States due to the Fukushima nuclear disaster:

An estimated 14,000 excess deaths in the United States are linked to the radioactive fallout from the disaster at the Fukushima nuclear reactors in Japan, according to a major new article in the December 2011 edition of the International Journal of Health Services.

This is the first peer-reviewed study published in a medical journal documenting the health hazards of Fukushima.

Authors Joseph Mangano and Janette Sherman note that their estimate of 14,000 excess U.S. deaths in the 14 weeks after the Fukushima meltdowns is comparable to the 16,500 excess deaths in the 17 weeks after the Chernobyl meltdown in 1986.

Initial reports stated that it would take up to a year for these partly radiated debris to hit the west coast, but as the video report above shows, debris have already begun to hit the coast.

Debris in British Columbia has caused local citizens and officials to claim that this is the largest quantity of debris they have ever seen that is actually moving much faster than expected.

We now live in a world where government and nuclear industry officials continually downplay the dangers of nuclear power while at the same time thousands are being devastated by its effects.


Ron Paul attacks eclipsing the real issues?

Ron Paul is winning, so Iowa doesn't matter



Thursday, December 29, 2011

Sears to close 100-120 stores after poor holiday sales

Guardian


Struggling numbers and outdated stores cited as cause for closure of over a hundred Sears and Kmart stores in the US
 
Sears Holdings Corp plans to close between 100 and 120 Sears and Kmart stores after poor sales during the holidays, the most crucial time of year for retailers.

The closings are the latest and most visible in a long series of moves to try to fix a retailer that has struggled with falling sales and shabby stores.

In an internal memo Tuesday to employees, CEO and President Lou D'Ambrosio said that the retailer had not "generated the results we were seeking during the holiday."

Sears Holdings Corp said it has yet to determine which stores will close but said it will post on its website when a final list is compiled. Sears would not discuss how many, if any, jobs would be cut.
The company has more than 4,000 stores in the US and Canada. Its stock dropped $8.67, or 18.9%, to $37.18 in morning trading. The shares dipped to their lowest point in more than three years at $36.51 during the first few minutes of trading.

The company's revenue at stores open at least a year fell 5.2% to date for the quarter at both Sears and Kmart, the company said Tuesday. That includes the critical holiday shopping period.

Sears Holdings said the declining sales, ongoing pressure on profit margins and rising expenses pulled its adjusted earnings lower. The company predicts fourth-quarter adjusted earnings will be less than half the $933m it reported for the same quarter last year.

Sears Holdings also anticipates a non-cash charge of $1.6bn to $1.8bn in the quarter to write off the value of carried-over tax deductions it now doesn't expect to be profitable enough to use.

Sears said it will no longer prop up "marginally performing" stores in hopes of improving their performance and will now concentrate on cash-generating stores.

"These actions will better enable us to focus our investments on serving our customers," D'Ambrosio said.

The weaker-than-expected performance reflects what analysts say is a deteriorating outlook for the retailer.

The results point to "deepening problems at this struggling chain and renewed worries about Sears survivability," said Gary Balter, an analyst at Credit Suisse. "The extent of the weakness may be larger than expected but the reasons behind it are not. It begins and some would argue ends with Sears' reluctance to invest in stores and service."

Balter also said Sears' weakening performance may lead its vendors to start to worry about their exposure.

The company has seen rival department stores like Macy's Inc and discounters like Target Corp continue to steal customers. It's also contending with a stronger Wal-Mart Stores Inc, the world's largest retailer, which has hammered hard its low-price message and brought back services like layaway, which allows financially stressed shoppers to finance their holiday purchases by paying a little at a time.

Red Lines and Ticking Clocks: U.S. War Plans Against Iran

Global Research
Tom Burghardt
Before the first bomb falls disinformation specialists prepare the ground. Leading media outlets, foreign policy journals and a plethora of think tanks funded by elite foundations, energy and weapons' conglomerates, "right," "left" or "center" take your pick, churn out war propaganda disguised as "analysis."

From the neoconservative American Enterprise Institute (AEI) to the neoliberal Center for American Progress (CAP), rhetorical skirmishes aside, the line is remarkably similar. Indeed, for "conservative" and "liberal" elite bloviators alike, Iran poses an "existential threat" to Israel and America's regional "allies," a disparate crew of land-grabbing colonizers, murderous princes and profligate potentates.

Only U.S. intervention, in the form of an overt military attack now or crippling economic sanctions followed by military action later, can save the day and bring "democracy" to the benighted Iranian people.

If we're to believe neocon acolyte Thomas Donnelly, "The rapid ticking of the Iran nuclear clock also marks an increasingly dark hour for the United States and its closest allies and partners, because it coincides with a third clock ... the timetable of retreat set in motion by Barack Obama."

Meanwhile, liberal interventionists Rudy deLeon and Brian Katulis over at CAP tell us that "President Barack Obama and his administration are ratcheting up the pressure on the Iranian regime, building an international coalition that is increasingly isolating and weakening Iran--making it pay a price for not living up to its international responsibilities."

While AEI and their fellow-travelers claim that "in the after-midnight hour when the Obama retreat is complete, the United States would find itself with few options at the chiming of the nuclear clock," CAP's liberal hawks loudly proclaim that the "Obama administration has adopted a tough approach to Iran, centered on three main components: Unprecedented defense cooperation with regional allies that enhances their security and independence; An international coalition that holds Iran accountable for its actions; Smart, targeted economic sanctions."

In other words, while elite Washington factions may disagree over tactical issues, they are in full agreement on the wider strategic goals: undisputed American hegemony over energy corridors in Central Asia and the Middle East.

From the darkest days of the Cold War to the present moment, American policy is designed with one goal in mind: smash the competition, firstly China and Russia, but also the crisis-ridden European Union, whose main task is to keep quiet and fall in line.

Red Lines
Last week in an interview with the CBS Evening News, U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta said that "despite the efforts to disrupt the Iranian nuclear program, the Iranians have reached a point where they can assemble a bomb in a year or potentially less."

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Proposed Guantanamo lawyer-inmate rule sparks backlash

Globe and Mail
Ben Fox
Adam Goldman

The new commander of the Guantanamo Bay prison wants a team of government and law enforcement officials to be allowed to review all communications between lawyers and inmates accused of helping organize the Sept. 11 attacks, The Associated Press has learned.

The proposed changes, contained in a 27-page draft order, have sparked a backlash from the Pentagon-appointed lawyers representing the five Guantanamo prisoners charged in the attacks. They say the new rules would violate attorney-client privilege and legal ethics and deprive the prisoners of their constitutional right to counsel.

The order is still in draft form and has not yet been signed by the commander, a detention centre spokeswoman, Navy Cmdr. Tamsen Reese, said Tuesday. She said the commander was not immediately available for an interview.

Lawyers for the Sept. 11 prisoners received the draft order from the commander, Navy Rear Adm. David Woods, on Dec. 22 and were told to sign an agreement to abide by the rules within 48 hours.
Instead, they sent a written response contending that requiring them to abide by such rules in order to see their clients was illegal.

“This requirement, as a precursor to engaging in client communications, interferes with the attorney-client relationship, compels counsel to violate ethical obligations, and therefore renders it impossible for counsel to effectively represent our clients,” they wrote, appealing for more time to review the proposed order.

The memo was signed by at least one member of each legal team representing the five prisoners, according to a military official who spoke on condition of anonymity because the document had not been publicly released.

The March to War: Iran and the Strategic Encirclement of Syria and Lebanon

Global Research
Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya

The encirclement of Syria and Lebanon has long been in the works. Since 2001, Washington and NATO have started the process of cordoning off Lebanon and Syria. The permanent NATO presence in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Syrian Accountability Act are part of this initiative. It appears that this roadmap is based on a 1996 Israeli document aimed at controlling Syria. The document’s name is A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm.

The 1996 Israeli document, which included prominent U.S. policy figures as authors, calls for “rolling back Syria” in 2000 or afterward. The roadmap outlines pushing the Syrians out of Lebanon, diverting the attention of Damascus by using an anti-Syrian opposition in Lebanon, and then destabilizing Syria with the help of both Jordan and Turkey. This has all respectively occurred from 2005 to 2011. This is also why the anti-Syrian March 14 Alliance and the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) were created in Lebanon.

As a first step towards all this the 1996 document even calls for the removal of President Saddam Hussein from power in Baghdad and even alludes to the balkanization of Iraq and forging a strategic regional alliance against Damascus that includes a Sunni Muslim Arab “Central Iraq.” The sectarian nature of this project is very obvious as are its ties to opposing a so-called “Shiite Crescent.” The roadmap seeks to foment sectarian divisions as a means of conquering Syria and creating a Shiite-Sunni rift that will oppose Iran and keep the Arab monarchs in power.
The U.S. has now initiated a naval build-up off the Syrian and Lebanese coasts. This is part of Washington’s standard scare tactics that it has used as a form of intimidation and psychological warfare against Iran, Syria, and the Resistance Bloc. While Washington is engaged in its naval build-up, the mainstream media networks controlled by the Saudis and Arab clients of the U.S. are focusing on the deployment of Russian naval vessels to Syria, which can be seen as a counter-move to NATO.

Al-Ramtha in Jordan is being used to launch attacks into Daraa and Syrian territory. The Jordanian Minister of State for Media Affairs and Communications, Rakan Al-Majali, has even publicly admitted this and dismissed it as weapons smuggling. For years, Jordanian forces have successfully prevented weapons from reaching the Palestinians in the Israeli-occupied West Bank from Jordanian territory. In reality, Amman is sending weapons into Syria and working to destabilize Syria. Jordanian forces work as a frontline to protect Israel and the Jordanian intelligence services are an extension of the C.I.A. and Mossad.

According to the Turkish media, France has sent its military trainers into Turkey and Lebanon to prepare conscripts against Syria. The Lebanese media also suggests the same. The so-called Free Syrian Army and other NATO-GCC front organizations are also using Turkish and Jordanian territory to stage raids into Syria. Lebanon is also being used to smuggle weapon shipments into Syria. Many of these weapons were actually arms that the Pentagon had secretly re-directed into Lebanon from Anglo-American occupied Iraq during the George W. Bush Jr. presidency.

The French Foreign Minister, Alain Juppé, has promised the Syrian National Council, that a so-called “humanitarian corridor” will be imposed on Syria. Once again, the Syrian National Council is not an independent entity and therefore Juppé did not really make a promise; he really made a declaration.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Ron Paul is not the only victim of the media




Angry former ATF chief blames subordinates for Fast and Furious

Los Angeles Times
Richard A. Serrano

In a deposition with congressional investigators, Kenneth E. Melson faults agents, supervisors and top aides for the gun sale program that has been linked to drug cartel violence.

Kenneth E. Melson
Reporting from Washington — In a confidential deposition with congressional investigators, the then-head of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives blamed agents, field supervisors and even his top command for never advising him that for more than a year, his agency allowed illegal gun sales along the southwestern U.S. border.

The deposition, which was taken in July and was recently obtained by the Washington bureau, shows that Kenneth E. Melson was irate. Even his chief intelligence officer at ATF headquarters was upset with the operation, dubbed Fast and Furious, but did little to shut it down, Melson complained. "He didn't come in and tell me, either," Melson said. "And he's on the same damn floor as I am."

But B. Todd Jones, Melson's replacement as acting director of the agency, said in an interview that Melson allowed overzealous field agents and supervisors to go beyond approved tactics.
Pointing out that the ATF has had five acting directors in the last six years, Jones said the resulting weak management structure has given some field agents a license to operate independently of Washington.

"There was a vacuum. Fast and Furious went off the rails, and there were plenty of opportunities to pivot so none of this would happen," Jones said.

UK plunges into moral, economic decline

PressTV



Austerity measures are having such an adverse social impact on British youth that some of them have to find sex work in order to pay their tuition fees. 
video
The Archbishop of Canterbury has delivered his Christmas 2011 sermon, focusing on the dismal British economy and where it is headed.

Press TV has interviewed Webster Griffin Tarpley, author and journalist from Washington to discuss the current economic situation in Britain.

What follows is an approximate transcript of the interview:

Press TV: Mr. Tarpley, before I go to the question of the banking system and what should be done by the government, first let's discuss what we saw in London and what we are seeing in the US where you are. What's been called the riots, the looting that happened and the archbishop was referring to that looting and riots and he was raising a lot of concern there.

One question is how the governments in both countries have been responding to these protests, cracking down on them or asking people to go back home. Is this a historic mistake that the governments are making and is this the right way forward in dealing with these protests?

Tarpley: I think in the case of the British regime that we have right now with [British Prime Minister David] Cameron and [British Chancellor George] Osborne, we have a government which has chosen to respond to a world banking panic with a deflationary policy of austerity meaning savage, brutal cuts in what remains of the social safety net causing a vast increase in the rate of poverty and despair.

We have this in the Republican Party here. We have one [US presidential] candidate Ron Paul who wants to cut one trillion dollars out of the US federal budget which would; I'm sure cause riots here.

The Cameron, Osborne budget of May last year is the direct precursor and in many ways the cause of these riots but I would like to say something first about the Archbishop of Canterbury- I don't regard him as a humanitarian leader, I don't regard him as a moral authority.

I regard him as a kind of signal light for the British ruling class, for the British oligarchy, for the financiers of the city of London and everything that goes with the British establishment, what he's basically saying to them is: our power could be in danger.

A signal light goes on. I'm thinking of for example the moment when the British oligarchy decided that King Edward the eighth had gone too far down the road with Hitler and become some kind of an embarrassment, he had to go.

In this case I think it's a signal light that when you have Cameron and Osborne with one quarter of Britain already living in poverty by the Roundtree Foundation definition.

If we are going to pitch a 100 thousand more children into poverty, fire 1.4 million civil servants or public workers, this is now getting very grim and the riots may be just a precursor of what's coming.

The other thing which the Archbishop doesn't talk about is I think a fear in the British ruling class that what Cameron has done, vis-a-vie Europe threatens the future of Britain. If you look at the city of London it is in many ways one of the greatest concentrations of speculative finance in the world.

It's kind of a parasite on the world economy when you have these institutions like the London [International Currency Exchange] ICE exchange that drives up the price of energy when you have the Liffe or Life futures exchange or the LCH.Clearnet which is the place where they declare crises for Greece or Italy or some other country.

These institutions cannot live without exploiting, some would say parasitizing for example the economic activity of France, Germany, Italy and so forth.

What Cameron has done- he's chosen to make this break, precisely on the issue of will the city of London be regulated or not and above all will the speculative turnover of the British financial sector be taxed and this is something that the Archbishop, to his credit, has talked about.

The idea of a city of London sales tax or he calls it a Robin Hood tax, if you had this Robin Hood tax- there are many versions- but if you had that tax, that if it were sufficient, if it were 1 percent let's say, that would be enough to maintain the pensions- the other aspects of the British social safety net.

Unfortunately I think what the archbishop talks about is something that would go more to the world wildlife fund of Prince Philip to take care of the Penguins and the Polar bears, whereas it's really British working people.

Press TV: In Washington, Mr. Tarpley, the critics in the UK are saying the government is not putting enough care or is not taking responsibility about the social impact that this austerity drive is having, specially on the youth.

I have this recent study by Leeds University saying that 25 percent of strippers and lap dancers are students in the UK and they have to find sex work because of the situation of the tuition fees.

So do you think that here now the government is actually refusing to take responsibility or simply as the activists are saying doesn't care about the impact that it's creating and what dangers it's going to pose to the government later on?

Tarpley: The Tory reactionaries, Cameron and Osborne and the rest of them, with Clegg from the Liberal Party if you can believe that, they have decided to shift the cost of the world economic depression as far as Britain is concerned off the backs of the city of London bankers and finance capitalists and oligarchs and on to the backs of working people but also the middle class.

The signature thing I think last year was when this new government said from now on you have got to pay if you want to go to a university which was a tremendous blow, basically wiping up the future for the people who now ought to be attending college.

This does not work economically, in other words the super austerity is a failure in its own terms, it doesn't balance the budget, it actually increases the deficit by having a recession which they're now finding.

But it also could lead to something like what we had with Wilson and Heath in the mid-seventies when people were wondering will the British Isles disappear below the waters of the North Sea in economic terms.

In the entire English speaking world now we've just gotten through with the Christmas holiday, anybody who turned on a television or even a radio has heard the Dickens Christmas carol, probably in about a dozen versions, and when you hear Scrooge ranting about prisons, workhouses, treadmills and the poor law this is the mentality of Cameron and Osborne.

And the other thing is they are going from the Thatcher playbook, the 30 year ago interlude that the other guest referred to. The Thatcher playbook is you can have crushing, brutal, savage austerity at home; you can bust the unions, you can attack public workers and do all these things, provided you have some kind of a foreign adventure going.

And that would be in the case of Cameron he had plenty of money to bomb Libya and now he's said the coming year is going to be the year of Somalia. So the former British colony of Libya or Italian Libya whatever was and - now it's going to be British Somali land.

This is his gambit to keep the Chauvinists and the coronel blimps happy and try to dominate the elections with this and I think what the Archbishop is trying to suggest is this is a failing package.

Press TV: If you can tell me in 30 seconds that major question of where Britain is according to the Archbishop or where Britain is heading to?

Tarpley: I would just like to say that the secessionism is the ruling class program, the busting up of the nation's sates into impotent entities is exactly what they want under the IMF [International Monetary Fund].

I think Britain right now is threatened by the fact that if we get a European banking panic in the next couple of months that would bring down the city of London in a panic and at that point Britain has almost nothing left.

I mean, here in the US we still have some farm production, we still have a few factories left but the deindustrialization of Britain is gone so far that if the city of London collapses, you have a really grim scene with terrible danger. 




Occupy Rigged Elections: A Call for the Second American Revolution in 2012

Truthout
Victoria Collier
Rosie Cummins

When candidates emerge who support the positions and demands of the 99 percent, the more certain we can be that our elections will be rigged.

A great battle is coming. The 2012 elections are our chance to turn the tide back toward real democracy, but we must begin immediately. Only by organizing for a democratic revolution now can we break the hold of corporate criminals over our elections and take real power in 2012, legitimately and nonviolently.
Thanks to Occupy Wall Street and the 99 percent movement, millions of Americans are finally shaking off the depression and torpor of the past decade, heeding the mass-consciousness call to reclaim power from corporatist forces that have hijacked our country, our planet, and our future. We may not all have taken to the streets yet, but we will. Or we'll contribute in other creative, personally liberating ways, pitching in with prison-break fervor to unblock the channels of revolutionary energy.
Despite the jeering of the corporate media, the Occupy movement is not going to fade away, burn out or be crushed like the radical movements of the 60s and 70s. The Occupy movement is going to change the world, because the world itself has arrived at a momentous crossroads where change is inevitable. Occupy is part of an unstoppable transformation - the contractions of a new world desperate to be born, based on a renewal of community, tolerance, justice and deep respect for all life. A sane, resilient world capable of withstanding the ecological, climatic and economic upheavals we can no longer avoid.
Now is the time to prepare, in this newly awakened, prerevolutionary phase, for Occupy Elections 2012. Because the closer we get to democratically taking power - when candidates emerge who support the positions and demands of the 99 percent - the more certain we can be that our elections will be rigged.
Anarchists and many younger activists today reject representative democracy as unviable. They are rightly disgusted with the macabre, corporate-sponsored, electoral charade we endure every two years like a recurring nightmare. The Occupy movement has already birthed a powerful new form of roots-down direct democracy, where learning to communicate and really hearing each other is the first step toward rebuilding our shattered and alienated communities.
So, do elections matter anymore? Is representative democracy for the People even possible?
Wherever you are on the revolutionary road, whoever you are in your mind and soul, we ask you to please listen to the message we're conveying today, and consider how it impacts your activism in the coming year.
American elections are not going away any time soon. They are rigged, and we must end the rigging - for the sake of our planet and its 7 billion people, entwined in complex technological and social systems that do require some form of representative government to function.
Our electoral process is rigged in the following ways:
The battle to topple the corporatocracy must strategically attack all of these points. But for the purpose of this call to action - Occupy Rigged Elections - we're going to focus on the last, least understood bullet point: computerized election fraud.

Health Canada Admits Studies on Cell Phones Convincing Enough to Promote Limited Use

Food Consumer
Dr. Mercola
Health Canada is proposing to adopt a precautionary approach and guidelines for limited cell phone use.
Canadians are being encouraged to limit cell phone call length and to text message or use a hands-free device whenever possible.
Other countries have already adopted this precautionary approach.
Russian officials have issued the recommendation that all children under the age of 18 should avoid using cell phones entirely.
The UK, Israel, Belgium, Germany, India and Finland also urge citizens to err on the side of caution with respect to their children's use of cell phones.
1) All cell phones must be sold with a device limiting head exposure to EMF.
2) Any advertising campaign promoting the use of cell phones by children below 14 years is banned.
3) Providing radio equipments designed for children under 6 may be banned by ministerial order.
4) In kindergarten, primary school and junior high, the use of cell phones is banned for kids during all teaching activities in locations listed in School rules.
5) For all cell phones sold on the French territory the SAR must be indicated clearly and in French.
Possible risks resulting from excessive use must also be mentioned.

Cell Phone Radiation Classified as 'Possibly Carcinogenic to Humans'

As the use of cell phones and other wireless technologies have exponentially exploded over the past couple of decades, concerns about the health effects of such technology has increased as well. Today, we're at a point of no turning back, as cell phone subscriptions are now estimated at 5 billion globally—that's the majority of people on the planet!
A growing body of researchers has spoken out against the technology, warning that it may have serious biological side effects. On May 31 this year, the World Health Organization (WHO)/International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) issued a report admitting cell phones might indeed cause cancer, classifying radiofrequency electromagnetic fields as "possibly carcinogenic to humans" (Class 2B). The classification came in part in response to research showing wireless telephones increase the risk for brain cancer.
"Dr Jonathan Samet (University of Southern California, USA), overall Chairman of the Working Group, indicated that "the evidence, while still accumulating, is strong enough to support a conclusion and the 2B classification. The conclusion means that there could be some risk, and therefore we need to keep a close watch for a link between cell phones and cancer risk."
"Given the potential consequences for public health of this classification and findings," said IARC Director Christopher Wild, "it is important that additional research be conducted into the long?term, heavy use of mobile phones. Pending the availability of such information, it is important to take pragmatic measures to reduce exposure such as hands?free devices or texting. "

Israel Cannot Wage a War against Iran without a "Green Light" from the US

Global Research
Michel Chossudovsky

Preparing for a Confrontation with Iran: Beefing Up Israel's Missile Defense

Turning point in the Structure of Israel's Air Defense System
In late December 2008, coinciding with the onslaught of Israel's "Operation Cast Lead" directed against Gaza, the Pentagon dispatched some 100 military personnel to Israel from US European Command (EUCOM) to assist Israel in setting up a new sophisticated X-band early warning radar system as part of a  new and integrated air defense system. (See defense.gov/news/, December 30, 2011). The project had been approved by Secretary of Defense Robert Gates in September 2008.

With media attention focussing on Gaza, this crucial military initiative in the area of US-Israel Air Defense passed virtually unnoticed. The official story was that Tel Aviv had requested this aid "to help defend against a potential missile attack from Iran". 

What was at stake, however, was a new threshold, a fundamental turning point in the structure of Israel's Air Defense system and its relationship to the US global missile detection system.

Casually heralded as "military aid", the project consisted in strengthening the integration of Israel's air defense system into that of the US, with the Pentagon rather than Israel calling the shots:   
"Once fully operational, the system will be capable of tracking and identifying small objects at long distance and at very high altitude, including space, according to U.S. Missile Defense Agency officials. It also will integrate Israel’s missile defenses with the U.S. global missile detection network.
This, he said, will greatly enhance Israel’s defensive capabilities. “There is a growing ballistic missile threat in the region, particularly from Iran,” Morrell said. “And no one in the region should feel more nervous about that threat than the Israelis. And they clearly do, and they have asked for our assistance.” (Defense Talk.com, January 6, 2009, emphasis added.)
The new X-band radar system 'permits an intercept soon after launch over enemy instead of friendly territory" (Sen. Joseph Azzolina, Protecting Israel from Iran's missiles, Bayshore News, December 26, 2008). 

The X-band radar would "integrate Israel’s missile defenses with the U.S. global missile detection network, which includes satellites, Aegis ships on the Mediterranean, Persian Gulf and Red Sea, and land-based Patriot radars and interceptors." (Ibid) .

According to a July 2008 report by Stratfor, the use of the more advanced X-band radar system would enable Israel to be more effective in the use of its Arrow and Patriot missiles (in comparison to its Super Green Pine radar system).
"Meanwhile, integration with the U.S. early warning system would further give the Israelis access to the Defense Support Program’s space-based infrared launch detection satellites, and perhaps even to feeds from U.S. BMD-capable Aegis-equipped warships operating in the Persian Gulf. ... As a whole, these two developments would ultimately further harden Israeli airspace from ballistic missile attack, thus further undermining the threat of Iranian Shahab-3 medium-range ballistic missiles." (Stratfor, July 30, 2008) 
"This is our system and not that of Israel"

No-man's land attests to Japan's nuclear nightmare

Seattle Pi
DAvid Guttenfelder
Eric Talmadge

IWAKI, Japan (AP) — Fukushima was just emerging from the snows of winter when the disaster hit — a 9.0-magnitude earthquake, the strongest in Japan's recorded history, followed by a tsunami.

The wall of water destroyed much of the northeastern coast on March 11. In the northeast region of Fukushima, a different disaster was brewing: Three reactors at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant were melting down, irreparably damaged by the super tremor.

Now, as the snows are beginning to fall again, the government has announced the plant has attained a level of stability it is calling a "cold shutdown." As many as 3,000 workers — plumbers, engineers, technicians — stream into the facility each day.

The tsunami's destruction is still visible. Mangled trucks, flipped over by the wave, sit alongside the roads inside the complex, piles of rubble stand where the walls of the reactor structures crumbled and large pools of water still cover parts of the campus.

In the ghost towns around Fukushima Dai-ichi, vines have overtaken streets, feral cows and owner-less dogs roam the fields. Dead chickens rot in their coops.

The tens of thousands of people who once lived around the plant have fled. They are now huddling in gymnasiums, elementary school classrooms, bunking with friends, sometimes just sleeping in their cars, moving from place to place as they search for alternatives.

For those who lived on the perimeter of the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant, fliers used to come in the mail every so often explaining that someday this might happen. Most recipients saw them as junk mail, and threw them away without a second glance. For those who did read them, the fliers were always worded to be reassuring — suggesting that although a catastrophic nuclear accident was extremely unlikely, it could require evacuating the area.

Never was it even hinted that the evacuation could last years, or decades.

At most of the shelters, food is doled out military-style, at set times. Personal space is extremely limited, often just big enough to fit a futon and the collective snoring at night makes sleep fitful, at best. Baths are public, cramped, dark.

The total amount of radiation released from the plant is still unknown, and the impact of chronic low-dose radiation exposures in and around Fukushima is a matter of scientific debate.
Recent studies also suggest Japan continues to significantly underestimate the scale of the disaster — which could have health and safety implications far into the future.

According to a study led by Andreas Stohl the Norwegian Institute for Air Research, twice as much radioactive cesium-137 — a cancer-causing agent — was pumped into the atmosphere than Japan had announced, reaching 40 percent of the total from Chernobyl. The French Institute for Radiological Protection and Nuclear Safety found 30 times more cesium-137 was released into the Pacific than the plant's owner has acknowledged.

Under a detailed roadmap, plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. will remove the melted nuclear fuel, most of which is believed to have fallen to the bottom of the core or even down to the bottom of the larger, beaker-shaped containment vessel, a process that is expected to begin in 10 years.
All told, decommissioning the plant will likely take 40 years.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Preparing to Attack Iran with Nuclear Weapons: "No Option can be taken off the Table."

Global Research
Michel Chossudovsky

"When a US sponsored nuclear war becomes an "instrument of peace", condoned and accepted by the World's institutions and the highest authority, including the United Nations, there is no turning back: human society has indelibly been precipitated headlong onto the path of self-destruction." (Towards a World War III Scenario, Global Research, May 2011)

.
The World is at a Dangerous Crossroads. America's is on a War Path.

World War III is no longer an abstract concept

The US and its allies are preparing to launch a nuclear war directed against Iran with devastating consequences.

This military adventure in the real sense of the word threatens the future of humanity.
The Pentagon’s global military design is one of world conquest. 

The military deployment of US-NATO forces is occurring in several regions of the world simultaneously. 

War pretexts and "justifications" abound.  Iran is heralded as a threat to Israel and the World. 
The war on Iran has been on the drawing board of the Pentagon for more than eight years. In recent developments, a renewed set of threats and accusations directed against Tehran have been launched.
A "war of stealth" has already commenced. Mossad intelligence operatives are on the ground. Covert paramilitary formations are being launched inside Iran, CIA drones are being deployed. 

Meanwhile, Washington. London, Brussels and Tel Aviv have launched specific destabilizing initiatives "to choke Iran diplomatically, financially and economically"

A stepped up economic sanctions regime has been formulated by the US Congress:
"a bipartisan consensus has emerged in Washington in favor of strangling the Iranian economy."  The latter consists in implementing "an amendment to the 2012 defence authorisation bill, designed to "collapse the Iranian economy"... by making it virtually impossible for Tehran to sell its oil." (Tom Burghardt, Target Iran: Washington's Countdown to War, Global Research, December 2011). : 
This new wave of diplomatic hype coupled with the threat of economic sanctions has also contributed to triggering an aura of uncertainty in the market for crude oil, with potentially devastating consequences on the global economy. 

Meanwhile, the corporate media has embarked on a renewed propaganda stint pertaining to Iran's alleged nuclear program, pointing  to "activities related to possible weaponization." 

In recent developments, barely acknowledged by the US media, President Barack Obama met privately (December 16), behind closed doors with Israel's Defense Minister Ehud Barak. The meeting was held in the outskirts of Washington DC at the Gaylord Hotel, National Harbor, Maryland under the auspices of the Union for Reform Judaism.

The importance of this timely private meeting under URJ auspices cannot be underestimated. Reports suggest that the Barack O / E. Barak meeting centered largely on the issue of a US-Israeli attack on Iran.

Writing in Haaretz, Israeli political analyst Amir Oren described the Barack-Barak meeting as a potential "Green Light" to Israel to launch an all out war on Iran:






"When a US sponsored nuclear war becomes an "instrument of peace", condoned and accepted by the World's institutions and the highest authority, including the United Nations, there is no turning back: human society has indelibly been precipitated headlong onto the path of self-destruction." (Towards a World War III Scenario, Global Research, May 2011).

The World is at a Dangerous Crossroads. America's is on a War Path.

Egyptians stage mass rally against army

Al Jazeera



Egyptian activists have gathered in Cairo for a mass protest against the ruling military and its handling of a series of clashes between security forces and demonstrators that killed 17 people and drew international criticism, even as thousands of others demonstrated their support for the army.

Tens of thousands protested in the capital's Tahrir Square, the focal point of protests against the Supreme Council of Armed Forces (SCAF) after Friday prayers.

Students called for Egyptians to join Friday's protest with a march from Ain Shams University to Tahrir Square. Two students were among those killed in the latest clashes.

"The current predicament we have reached is a result of the army council's reluctance to play its role, its intentional foot-dragging, breaking its obligations and failing over the economy and security, putting the whole country on the edge of a huge crisis," said a statement signed by two dozen parties, youth movements and others calling for Friday's protest.

Violence 'unacceptable'

Al Jazeera’s Sherine Tadros, reporting from Tahrir Square, said the crowd had been swelling since after the Friday prayers.

“There are also protests in other cities, in Suez and Alexanderia. Lots of different demonstrations, but one clear message: that the SCAF needs to hand over power to civilians," she said.

"They are also saying the recent violent crackdown, specially the violence soldiers used against women, is unacceptable."

The now iconic pictures and videos of a woman protester being dragged and stripped by military forces during bloody clashes that erupted last Friday dominated the media and heightened criticism against the SCAF.

"The women of Egypt are a red line," the protesters in Tahrir chanted. "We either die like them or we get them their rights," followed.

A similar protests was held in Alexandria, Egypt's second city, where several thousand people marched towards an army base chanting slogans against the military. Smaller rallies took place in Suez, Ismailiya and Port Said, witnesses said.

Competing rally

A competing rally of several thousand people gathered in support of the military in another part of Cairo on Friday.

Nuclear Energy: Profit Driven Industry

Global Research
Washington's Blog

“Nuclear Can Be Safe Or It Can Be Cheap … But It Can’t Be Both”


Nuclear engineer Arnie Gundersen was said in a recent interview that nuclear power can be made safe, but not at a competitive price:
[Interviewer] With air transport, it’s incredibly safe. Could nuclear power ever reach that level of safety?
[Gundersen] I have a friend who says that nuclear can be safe or it can be cheap, but it can’t be both.
***
It boils down to money. If you want to make nuclear safe, it gets to the point where it’s so costly you don’t want to build the power plant anyway … especially now with plummeting renewable costs.
So can you make a nuclear reactor safe? Yes. Can it also at the same time compete with renewables, which are, of course, higher [priced] than natural gas? And the answer is no.
Wall Street is demanding federal loan guarantees for this and of course we already subsidized Price-Anderson insurance. So Wall Street won’t spend the money to build it, and won’t insure it.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Roger Weigand: Indicators Show an Imminent Mass Devaluation of Currency

sent me an email today from Roger Weigand of WeBeatthestreet.com
                                                                                 Roger Weigand
Both  of them are metals experts and always keep their eyes on what is happening in the investment area of metals and mining.   
                                                                  
I have had the pleasure of interviewing both previously about the "Red Alert" email regarding the plans of confiscating metals by the government, for the IMF and One World Currency.  fyi - Roger has communicated with me that I could post the email here.
                                                                                                  
It seems something is going down with the banks in Europe today.  Here is Roger's email sent out to other  experts in the metals (Gold and Silver) field.

Here is the email:

Trader Tracks Situational Alert Saturday, 12-24-11 -Christmas Eve at 740am PST - roger wiegand -Traderrog:



"We have received a report of unusual banking activity. Banking screens on 138 different currencies are show 00.000.  Some rate fluctuations are beginning to appear. There have been no answers on this activity but banks have been notified to expect a large change in currency rates." (quote not attributed to protect the source).  

In our view, what is happening is a massive devaluation in probably the Euro Currency relative to the values versus individual nations. The ECB loaned over $600 Billion (produced out of thin air with no collateral) last week to European Central Bank Member Nations. We think this next step is to re-configure the values of the Euro within each member country.