Obama on Libya: “I Don’t Even Have to Get to the Constitutional Question”

Obama on Libya: “I Don’t Even Have to Get to the Constitutional Question”

  • The Alex Jones Channel Alex Jones Show podcast Prison Planet TV Infowars.com Twitter Alex Jones' Facebook Infowars store

Paul Joseph Watson
Infowars.com
June 30, 2011

During his speech yesterday, Barack Obama delivered probably the most arrogant statement thus far betraying his open hostility to the rule of law as it applies to his administration’s illegal war on Libya, churlishly dismissing criticism from Congress and remarking, “I don’t even have to get to the Constitutional question.”

Speaking to CNN, Congressman Ron Paul reacted to Obama’s disregard for the Constitution by labeling his claim, “A horrible statement.”

“You take an oath of office to obey the Constitution… the Constitution is very clear, you don’t go to war without a declaration,” said Paul.

But should Obama’s rampant hypocrisy really surprise us? This is the Nobel Peace Laureate who hasmore U.S. troops deployed than at any time under George W. Bush. This is a man who came to power promising to end war yet has involved the United States in more conflicts than Bush ever presided over.

Obama has used word games and mental gymnastics to claim he hasn’t violated the War Powers Resolution. Even as universities, apartment blocks and marketplaces are bombed, killing innocent civilianscommunications are blocked, and even as top admirals now admit that the scope of the mission is all about regime change, the Obama administration still clings to the ludicrous fallacy that the bombardment of Libya is not a war.

Indeed, the White House itself characterized the goal in Libya as “installing a democratic system,” a euphemism for regime change, acknowleding that the agenda goes far beyond “protecting civilians,” as Obama claimed during his March 19 speech.

White House Counsel Bob Bauer claims that because the US and NATO has reserved its campaign to air strikes, relying on Al-Qaeda terrorists to do the dirty work on the ground (aided by US, British and French Special Forces), this means that the US is “not engaged in sustained fighting.” In other words, because the conflict is pretty much of a turkey shoot so far, with Gaddafi unable to zap fighter jets out of the sky, that turns an act of aggressive warfare into a loving exercise of peaceful slaughter.


Barack Obama, the Nobel Peace Laureate, committed U.S. forces to the bombardment promising it would “last days not weeks.” Three months and abillion dollars later and Obama is now preparing to do the one thing he explicitly promised not to – send in ground troops – because the NATO and US-backed Al-Qaeda terrorists just aren’t getting the job done properly.

Having ignored his own constitutional lawyers on the legality of the conquest, Obama then set about doing something else he promised was not on the agenda– targeting Gaddafi directly for assassination and regime change. NATO bombs have thus far failed to accomplish that feat, but killing Gaddafi’s three grandchildren on May 1st was at least a consolation.

It’s abundantly clear that Obama’s arrogance betrays a President who lives in a world of complete make-believe, thinking his loyalties lie with the UN and NATO and that Congress can go whistle. Unsurprising therefore that during the same speech yesterday Obama chacracterized the people who will be hit by his tax increases, those who earn $250,000 a year, as “private jet owners,” another example of his strident delusion.

Three years ago, before Obama had even defeated McCain for the presidency, we foresaw how thiscorporate marketing creation would be used to front a new wave of “humanitarian” wars sold on false pretenses.

“Obama may eventually withdraw a portion of troops from Iraq, but mark our words, they won’t be home long before they are sent off to bomb another broken-backed third world country, this time in the name of a United Nations-backed “humanitarian” war, just as Bill Clinton presided over in Somalia and Serbia with the full support of the establishment political left.” we wrote on November 4 2008 in an article entitled, The More Things “Change” The More They Stay The Same.

NYC Dept. of Buildings: Portions of WTC 7 Emergency Command Center “Plans” Withheld, Release Would “Endanger … Life or Safety”


The New York City Department of Buildings (DoB) has reported within a May 4, 2011 Freedom of Information (FOI) response, that portions of requested DoB records pertaining to the former NYC Office of Emergency Management command center located within the former World Trade Center building 7 are exempt from release.

“Your request will be granted in part and denied in part. Under FOIL the Department will release copies of all documents we have pertaining to the above referenced address but we will not release copies of plans. We are withholding the plans under §87(2)(t) of the Public Officer’s Law on the grounds that, if disclosed, the documents requested would endanger the life or safety of any person.”

To date, no reportedly releasable records have been received.

April 15, 2011 FOI request:

Records Access Officer/Freedom of Information Requests
Attn: Angela Orridge
280 Broadway, 7th Floor
New York, NY 10007
Phone: (212) 566-2899
Fax: (212) 566-3843

Re: Freedom of Information request

To Whom It May Concern:

I respectfully request copies of the following NYC Department of Buildings records:

All records and/or permits regarding modifications to the former World Trade Center Building 7 to accommodate to the installation of the New York City Office of Emergency Management, formerly located at the former World Trade Center Building 7. Such modifications were reportedly completed in 1999 or shortly before 1999.

Please be advised that disclosure of the requested information is not in my commercial interest.

Thank you.

Bernanke Is Either Not Very Bright or Not Very Honest. He Admits He Doesn’t Know Why We Have a Weak Economy … But He’s the One Who Weakened It

via Washington’s Blog

 

In “Bernanke Admits He’s Clueless On Economy’s Soft Patch”, Forbes blogger Agustino Fontevecchia notes:

 

Brutally honest, Bernanke admitted that he had no clue what was actually causing the current fragility in the U.S. economic recovery. While the FOMC statement assigned blame outside of the U.S., pointing at Japan along with rising food and oil prices, Bernanke was put on the spot by a reporter who noted the inconsistency behind that explanation and a lowering of long term forecasts. Bernanke took the hit, admitting only some of the factors were temporary and that he didn’t know exactly what was causing the slowdown, but that it would persist. “Growth,” said Bernanke, “will return into 2012.”

 

Specifically, Bernanke said today:

 

We don’t have a precise read on why this slower pace of growth is persisting.

 

Well, it is obvious to anyone who has been paying attention what’s causing the slow down, and if Mr. Bernanke doesn’t know, he should be fired.

As I’ve repeatedly explained since 2008, all independent economists and financial experts know why the economy is weak … and everything the Fed has been doing has been weakening it.

High-Level Fed Officials Slam Bernanke

Fed Vice Chairman Donald Kohn conceded that the government’s actions “will reduce [companies’] incentive to be careful in the future.” In other words, he’s admitting that the government’s actions will encourage financial companies to make even riskier gambles in the future.

Kansas City Fed President and veteran Fed official Thomas Hoenig said:

Too big has failed….

The sequence of [the government’s] actions, unfortunately, has added to market uncertainty. Investors are understandably watching to see which institutions will receive public money and survive as wards of the state…

Any financial crisis leaves a stream of losses among the various participants, and these losses must ultimately be borne by someone. To start the resolution process, management responsible for the problems must be replaced and the losses identified and taken. Until these actions are taken, there is little chance to restore market confidence and get credit markets flowing. It is not a question of avoiding these losses, but one of how soon we will take them and get on to the process of recovery….

Many of the [government’s current policy revolves around the idea of] “too big to fail” …. History, however, may show us a different experience. When examining previous financial crises, both in other countries as well as the United States, large institutions have been allowed to fail. Banking authorities have been successful in placing new and more responsible managers and directions in charge and then reprivatizing them. There is also evidence suggesting that countries that have tried to avoid taking such steps have been much slower to recover, and the ultimate cost to taxpayers has been larger…

The current head of the Philadelphia fed bank, Charles Plosser, disagrees with Bernanke’s strategy of the endless printing-press and ever-increasing fed balance sheet:

Plosser urged the Fed to “proceed with caution” with the new policy. Others outside the Fed are much more strident and want plans in place immediately to reverse it. They believe an inflation storm is already in train.***

Bernanke argued that focusing on the size of the balance sheet misses the point, arguing the Fed’s various asset purchase programs are not easily summarized in a single number.

But Plosser said that the growth of the Fed’s balance sheet was a key metric.
“It is not appropriate to ignore quantitative metrics in this new policy environment,” Plosser said…
Plosser is bringing the spotlight right back to the Fed’s balance sheet.

“The size of the balance sheet does offer a possible nominal anchor for monitoring the volume of our liquidity provisions,” Plosser said.

The former head of the Fed’s Open Market Operations says the bailout might make things worse. Specifically, the former head of the Fed’s open market operation – the key Fed agency which has been loaning hundreds of billions of dollars to Wall Street companies and banks – was quoted in Bloomberg as saying:

“Every time you tinker with this delicate system even small changes can create big ripples,” said Dino Kos, former head of the New York Fed’s open-market operations . . . “This is the impossible situation they are in. The risks are that the government’s $700 billion purchase of assets disturbs markets even more.”

And William Poole, who recently left his post as president of the St. Louis Fed, is essentially calling Bernanke a communist:

Poole said he was very concerned that the Fed could simply lend money to anyone, without constraint.

In the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe during the Cold War era, economies were inefficient because they had a soft-budget constraint. If a firm got into trouble, the banking system would give them more money, Poole said.

The current situation at the Fed seems eerily similar, he said.

“What is discipline – where are the hard choices – when does Fed say our resources are exhausted?” Poole asked.

But the strongest criticism may be from the former Vice President of Dallas Federal Reserve, who said that the failure of the government to provide more information about the bailout could signal corruption. As ABC writes:

Gerald O’Driscoll, a former vice president at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas and a senior fellow at the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank, said he worried that the failure of the government to provide more information about its rescue spending could signal corruption.

“Nontransparency in government programs is always associated with corruption in other countries, so I don’t see why it wouldn’t be here,” he said.

Of course, former Fed chairman Paul Volcker has also strongly criticized current Fed policies.

 

Global Agencies Slam Bernanke

 

The Bank of International Settlements (BIS) – called “the central banks’ central bank” – has slammed the Fed for blowing bubbles and then “using gimmicks and palliatives” which “will only make things worse”.

As the Telegraph wrote in June 2007:

The Bank for International Settlements, the world’s most prestigious financial body, has warned that years of loose monetary policy has fuelled a dangerous credit bubble, leaving the global economy more vulnerable to another 1930s-style slump than generally understood…

The BIS, the ultimate bank of central bankers, pointed to a confluence a worrying signs, citing mass issuance of new-fangled credit instruments, soaring levels of household debt, extreme appetite for risk shown by investors, and entrenched imbalances in the world currency system…

The bank said it was far from clear whether the US would be able to shrug off the consequences of its latest imbalances …

“Sooner or later the credit cycle will turn and default rates will begin to rise,” said the bank.

A year later, in June 2008, the Telegraph wrote:

 

A year ago, the Bank for International Settlements startled the financial world by warning that we might soon face challenges last seen during the onset of the Great Depression. This has proved frighteningly accurate…

[BIS economist] Dr White says the US sub-prime crisis was the “trigger”, not the cause of the disaster.

Indeed, BIS slammed the Fed and other central banks for blowing the bubble, failing to regulate the shadow banking system, and then using gimmicks which will only make things worse. As the 2008 Telegraph article notes:

In a pointed attack on the US Federal Reserve, it said central banks would not find it easy to “clean up” once property bubbles have burst…

Nor does it exonerate the watchdogs. “How could such a huge shadow banking system emerge without provoking clear statements of official concern?”

“The fundamental cause of today’s emerging problems was excessive and imprudent credit growth over a long period. Policy interest rates in the advanced industrial countries have been unusually low,” he said.

The Fed and fellow central banks instinctively cut rates lower with each cycle to avoid facing the pain. The effect has been to put off the day of reckoning…

“Should governments feel it necessary to take direct actions to alleviate debt burdens, it is crucial that they understand one thing beforehand. If asset prices are unrealistically high, they must fall. If savings rates are unrealistically low, they must rise. If debts cannot be serviced, they must be written off.

“To deny this through the use of gimmicks and palliatives will only make things worse in the end,” he said.

In other words, BIS slammed the easy credit policy of the Fed and other central banks, and the failure to regulate the shadow banking system.

More dramatically, BIS slammed “the use of gimmicks and palliatives”, and said that anything other than (1) letting asset prices fall to their true market value, (2) increasing savings rates, and (3) forcing companies to write off bad debts “will only make things worse”.

But Bernanke and the other central bankers (as well as Treasury and the Council of Economic Advisors and Barney Frank and Chris Dodd and the others in control of American and British and French and Japanese and German and virtually every other country’s economic policy) ignored BIS’ advice in 2007 and 2008, and they are stillignoring it today.

Instead, they are doing everything they can to (2) prop up asset prices by trying to blow a new bubble by giving banks trillions, (2) re-write accounting and reporting rules to let the big banks and other giants keep bad debts on their books (or in sivs or other “second sets of books”) and to hide the fact that they are bad debts, and (3) encourage consumers to spend spend spend!

“The world’s most prestigious financial body”, “the ultimate bank of central bankers” has condemned Bernanke and all of the other G-8 central banks, and stripped bare their false claims that the crash wasn’t their fault or that they are now doing the right thing to turn the economy around.

As Spiegel wrote in July 2009:

White and his team of experts observed the real estate bubble developing in the United States. They criticized the increasingly impenetrable securitization business, vehemently pointed out the perils of risky loans and provided evidence of the lack of credibility of the rating agencies. In their view, the reason for the lack of restraint in the financial markets was that there was simply too much cheap money available on the market…

As far back as 2003, White implored central bankers to rethink their strategies, noting that instability in the financial markets had triggered inflation, the “villain” in the global economy…

In the restrained world of central bankers, it would have been difficult for White to express himself more clearly…

It was probably the biggest failure of the world’s central bankers since the founding of the BIS in 1930. They knew everything and did nothing. Their gigantic machinery of analysis kept spitting out new scenarios of doom, but they might as well have been transmitted directly into space…In their report, the BIS experts derisively described the techniques of rating agencies like Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s as “relatively crude” and noted that “some caution is in order in relation to the reliability of the results.”…

In January 2005, the BIS’s Committee on the Global Financial System sounded the alarm once again, noting that the risks associated with structured financial products were not being “fully appreciated by market participants.” Extreme market events, the experts argued, could “have unanticipated systemic consequences.”

They also cautioned against putting too much faith in the rating agencies, which suffered from a fatal flaw. Because the rating agencies were being paid by the companies they rated, the committee argued, there was a risk that they might rate some companies too highly and be reluctant to lower the ratings of others that should have been downgraded.

These comments show that the central bankers knew exactly what was going on, a full two-and-a-half years before the big bang. All the ingredients of the looming disaster had been neatly laid out on the table in front of them: defective rating agencies, loans repackaged to the point of being unrecognizable, dubious practices of American mortgage lenders, the risks of low-interest policies. But no action was taken. Meanwhile, the Fed continued to raise interest rates in nothing more than tiny increments…

The Fed chairman was not even impressed by a letter the Mortgage Insurance Companies of America (MICA), a trade association of US mortgage providers, sent to the Fed on Sept. 23, 2005. In the letter, MICA warned that it was “very concerned” about some of the risky lending practices being applied in the US real estate market. The experts even speculated that the Fed might be operating on the basis of incorrect data. Despite a sharp increase in mortgages being approved for low-income borrowers, most banks were reporting to the Fed that they had not lowered their lending standards. According to a study MICA cited entitled “This Powder Keg Is Going to Blow,” there was no secondary market for these “nuclear mortgages.”…

William White and his Basel team were dumbstruck. The central bankers were simply ignoring their warnings. Didn’t they understand what they were being told? Or was it that they simply didn’t want to understand?

 

The head of the World Bank also says:

Central banks [including the Fed] failed to address risks building in the new economy. They seemingly mastered product price inflation in the 1980s, but mostdecided that asset price bubbles were difficult to identify and to restrain with monetary policy. They argued that damage to the ‘real economy’ of jobs, production, savings, and consumption could be contained once bubbles burst, through aggressive easing of interest rates. They turned out to be wrong.

A study of 124 banking crises by the International Monetary Fund found that propping banks which are only pretending to be solvent hurts the economy:

Existing empirical research has shown that providing assistance to banks and their borrowers can be counterproductive, resulting in increased losses to banks, which often abuse forbearance to take unproductive risks at government expense. The typical result of forbearance is a deeper hole in the net worth of banks,crippling tax burdens to finance bank bailouts, and even more severe credit supply contraction and economic decline than would have occurred in the absence of forbearance.

Cross-country analysis to date also shows that accommodative policy measures (such as substantial liquidity support, explicit government guarantee on financial institutions’ liabilities and forbearance from prudential regulations) tend to befiscally costly and that these particular policies do not necessarily accelerate the speed of economic recovery.

***

All too often, central banks privilege stability over cost in the heat of the containment phase: if so, they may too liberally extend loans to an illiquid bank which is almost certain to prove insolvent anyway. Also, closure of a nonviable bank is often delayed for too long, even when there are clear signs of insolvency (Lindgren, 2003). Since bank closures face many obstacles, there is a tendency to rely instead on blanket government guarantees which, if the government’s fiscal and political position makes them credible, can work albeit at the cost of placing the burden on the budget, typically squeezing future provision of needed public services.

By failing to break up the giant banks, governments are forced to take counter-productive emergency measures (see this and this) to try to cover up their insolvency. Those measuresdrain the life blood out of the real economy … destroying national economies.

Indeed, instead of directly helping the American people, the government threw trillions at the giant banks (including foreign banks; and see this) . The big banks have – in turn – used a lot of that money to speculate in commodities, including food and other items which are now driving up the price of consumer necessities [as well as stocks]. Instead of using the money to hire Americans, they’re hiring abroad (and getting tax refunds from the government).

Economists Slam Bernanke

Stephen Roach (former chief economist for Morgan Stanley, and now director of Morgan Stanley Asia) is one of the most influential and respected American economists. Roach told Charlie Rose recently that we have had terrible Federal Reserve policy for the past 12 years under Greenspan and Bernanke, that they concocted hair-brained theories (for example, that we should let the boom and bust cycle occur, but then “clean up the mess” once things fall apart), and that we really need to reform the Fed.

Specifically, here’s the must-read portion of the interview:

STEPHEN ROACH: And what’s missing in the debate that drives me nuts is going back to the very function of central banking that’s at the core of our financial system. Do we have the right model for the Fed to go forward? And, you know, I think we’ve minimized the role that the custodians, the stewards of our financial
system, the Federal Reserve, played in leading to this crisis and in making sure that we will never have this again. I think we’ve had horrible central banking in the United States for the past dozen of years. I mean, we elevate our central bankers, we probably .

CHARLIE ROSE: From Greenspan to Bernanke.

STEPHEN ROACH: Yeah.

CHARLIE ROSE: Both.

STEPHEN ROACH: We call them maestro, and, you know, we make them
sound larger than life. And, you know, and the fact is, they condoned
policies that took us from one bubble to another. They failed to live up
to their regulatory responsibility granted them by law. They concocted new
theories to explain why these things could go on forever, and they harbored
the belief, mistakenly in my view, that monetary policy is too big and
blunt an instrument, and so you just bring it in to clean up the mess
afterwards rather than prevent a mess ahead of time. Well, look at the
mess we’re in right now. We need a different approach here. We really do.

 

Leading economist Anna Schwartz, co-author of the leading book on the Great Depression with Milton Friedman, told the Wall Street journal that the Fed’s entire strategy in dealing with the financial crisis is wrong. Specifically, the Fed is treating it as aliquidity problem, when it is really an insolvency crisis.

Moreover, prominent Wall Street economist Henry Kaufman says that the Federal Reserve is primarily to blame for the financial crisis:

“I am convinced that the misbehavior of some would have been much rarer — and far less damaging to our economy — if the Federal Reserve and, to a lesser extent, other supervisory authorities, had measured up to their responsibilities …

Kaufman directly criticized former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan for not using his position to dissuade big banks and others from taking big risks.

“Alan Greenspan spoke about irrational exuberance only as a theoretical concept, not as a warning to the market to curb excessive behavior,” Kaufman said. “It is difficult to believe that recourse to moral suasion by a Fed chairman would be ineffective.”

Partly because the Fed did not strongly oppose the repeal in 1999 of the Depression-era Glass-Steagall Act, more large financial conglomerates that were “too big to fail” have formed, Kaufman said, citing a factor that has made the global credit crisis especially acute.

“Financial conglomerates have become more and more opaque, especially about their massive off-balance-sheet activities,” he said. “The Fed failed to rein in the problem.”…

“Much of the recent extreme financial behavior is rooted in faulty monetary policies,” he said. “Poor policies encourage excessive risk taking.”

Economist Marc Faber says that central bankers are money printers who create bubbles, and that the system would be much better now if the Fed hadn’t intervened. Specifically, Faber says that – if the Fed hadn’t intervened – the system would be cleaned out, the system would be healthier because debt load and burden on taxpayers would be reduced.

Economist Jane D’Arista has shown that the Fed has failed miserably at its main task: providing a “counter-cyclical” influence (that is, taking the punch bowl away before the party gets too wild).

The Fed has also failed miserably in its role as regulator of banks and their affiliates. As well-known economist James Galbraith says:

The Federal Reserve has never been an effective regulator for the straightforward reason that it is dominated by economists and bankers and not by dedicated skeptics who make bank regulation a full-time profession.

Unemployment

The Federal Reserve is mandated by law to maximize employment. The relevant statutestates:

The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and the Federal Open Market Committee shall maintain long run growth of the monetary and credit aggregates commensurate with the economy’s long run potential to increase production, so as to promote effectively the goals of maximum employment, stable prices, and moderate long-term interest rates.

But the Fed has apparently decided to fight inflation instead of unemployment.

No wonder we’re suffering depression-level unemployment.

Leverage

The Fed says that we should reduce leverage, but is doing everything in its power toincrease leverage.

Specifically, the New York Federal published a report in 2009 entitled “The Shadow Banking System: Implications for Financial Regulation”.

One of the main conclusions of the report is that leverage undermines financial stability:

Securitization was intended as a way to transfer credit risk to those better able to absorb losses, but instead it increased the fragility of the entire financial system by allowing banks and other intermediaries to “leverage up” by buying one another’s securities. In the new, post-crisis financial system, the role of securitization will likely be held in check by more stringent financial regulation and by the recognition that it is important to prevent excessive leverage and maturity mismatch, both of which can undermine financial stability.

And as a former economist at the New York Fed, Richard Alford, wrote recently:

On Friday, William Dudley, President of FRBNY, gave an excellent presentation on the financial crisis. The speech was a logically-structured, tightly-reasoned, and succinct retrospective of the crisis. It took one step back from the details and proved a very useful financial sector-wide perspective. The speech should be read by everyone with an interest in the crisis. It highlights the often overlooked role of leverage and maturity mismatches even as its stated purpose was examining the role of liquidity.

While most analysts attributed the crisis to either specific instruments, or elements of the de-regulation, or policy action, Dudley correctly identified the causes of the crisis as the excessive use of leverage and maturity mismatches embedded in financial activities carried out off the balance sheets of the traditional banking system. The body of the speech opens with: “..this crisis was caused by the rapid growth of the so-called shadow banking system over the past few decades and its remarkable collapse over the past two years.”

In fact, every independent economist has said that too much leverage was one of the main causes of the current economic crisis.

Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco President Janet Yellen said recently that it’s “far from clear” whether the Fed should use interest rates to stem a surge in financial leverage, and urged further research into the issue.“Higher rates than called for based on purely macroeconomic conditions may help forestall a potentially damaging buildup of leverage and an asset-price boom”.

And yet, the Fed has been and continues to be one the biggest enablers for increased leverage. As anyone who has looked at Mr. Bernanke and Geithner’s actions will tell you, many of the government’s programs are aimed at trying to re-start securitization and the “shadow banking system”, and to prop up asset prices for highly-leveraged financial products.

Indeed, Mr. Bernanke said in February 2009:

In an effort to restart securitization markets to support the extension of credit to consumers and small businesses, we joined with the Treasury to announce the Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility (TALF).

And he said it again in September 2009:

The Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility, or TALF … has helped restart the securitization markets for various types of consumer and small business credit. Securitization markets are an important source of credit, and their virtual shutdown during the crisis has reduced credit availability for many borrowers.

As I noted in 2009, the economy is not getting better because government’s policies arestrengthening the parasite and killing the patient.

Fraud

Two fundamental causes of the Great Depression, and of our current economic problems, are fraud and inequality.

Fraud was one of the main causes of the Great Depression and of our current economic problems,, but the Federal Reserve has done nothing to rein in fraud today.

Inequality

Inequality was another major cause of the 1930s Depression and today’s lousy economy, but the Fed has done nothing to even things out. Indeed, inequality is currently worsethan during the Depression

Bottom Line

The reason for the weak economy is obvious to anyone paying attention.

If Bernanke can’t see it – or won’t admit – he should be fired.

U.S. Officially Drop all Charges Against Osama bin Laden, Still “No Evidence” for 9/11, War Expansion Costing a $Billion-a-Month

The UK’s Daily Mail reported that the U.S. dropped charges against Bin Laden for the USS Cole and US Embassy bombings:

U.S. District Court judge Lewis Kaplan, who had been presiding over the bin Laden case in Manhattan federal court, issued an order called ‘nolle prosequi’, which means ‘do not prosecute’ in Latin, a typical legal move once a defendant is deceased.

Bin Laden was indicted back in 1998 in the Southern District of New York for his role in the al Qaeda attack on the U.S. embassies in Tanzania and Kenya, which killed more than 200 people, including a dozen Americans.

The indictment was later revised to charge bin Laden in the dual bombings of two American embassies in East Africa that killed 224 on August 7, 1998, and in the suicide attack on the USS Cole in 2000. None of the charges involved the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

It was 5 long years ago that author Ed Haas had noticed that the FBI web page for Bin Laden did not mention the attacks of 9/11. He called the FBI to find out more:

On June 5, 2006, author Ed Haas contacted the Federal Bureau of Investigation headquarters to ask why, while claiming that bin Laden is wanted in connection with the August 1998 bombings of US Embassies in Tanzania and Kenya, the poster does not indicate that he is wanted in connection with the events of 9/11.

Rex Tomb, Chief of Investigative Publicity for the FBI responded, “The reason why 9/11 is not mentioned on Osama bin Laden’s Most Wanted page is because the FBI has no hard evidence connecting bin Laden to 9/11.” Tomb continued,“Bin Laden has not been formally charged in connection to 9/11.” Asked to explain the process, Tomb responded, “The FBI gathers evidence. Once evidence is gathered, it is turned over to the Department of Justice. The Department of Justice then decides whether it has enough evidence to present to a federal grand jury. In the case of the 1998 United States Embassies being bombed, bin Laden has been formally indicted and charged by a grand jury. He has not been formally indicted and charged in connection with 9/11 because the FBI has no hard evidence connecting bin Laden to 9/11.”

Since that report, the FBI has not displayed bin Laden’s web-page with information connecting him to the 9/11 attacks. Even further, the FBI has acknowledged evidence of controlled demolitions as “backed by thorough research” when presented by Richard Gage.That letter from the FBI is downloadable here.

Lack of evidence to connect Bin Laden to 9/11 aside, many are wondering why the death of Usama does not translate into the death of the ill-named “War on Terror.” Quite the opposite has become the case actually.

Within days of killing Bin Laden a NATO air-strike was launched on Tripoli, Libya killing one of Gaddafi’s sons. The death was not confirmed by NATO and there are questions as to the veracity of the report as Al Jazeera noted, however the article also pointed out the following:

Gaddafi and his wife were in the Tripoli house of his 29-year-old son, Saif al-Arab Gaddafi, when it was hit by at least one missile fired by a NATO warplane late on Saturday, Libyan government spokesman Moussa Ibrahim said on Sunday.

Al-Arab’s compound in Tripoli’s Garghour neighbourhood was attacked “with full power” in a “direct operation to assassinate the leader of this country”, Ibrahim said, calling the strike a violation of international law.

“What we have now is the law of the jungle,” he told a news conference. “We think now it is clear to everyone that what is happening in Libya has nothing to do with the protection of civilians.”

Alongside the Libya campaign were drone strikes in Yemen; barely remembered at this point but not completely forgotten. Karen Greenburg reports at Salon:

As if to underscore the policy implications of this commitment to “redoubling our efforts,” drone aircraft were dispatched on escalating post-bin-Laden assassination runs from Yemen (including a May 6th failed attempt on American al-Qaida follower Anwar al-Awlaki) to Pakistan. There, on May 23rd, a drone failed to take out Taliban leader Mullah Omar, while, on June 2nd, an attempt to kill Ilyas Kashmiri, a militant associated with the 2008 terrorist attack on Mumbai, India, may (or may not) have failed. And those were only the most publicized of escalating drone attacks, while reports of a major “intensification” of the drone campaign in Yemen are pouring in.

Appropriately she also brings up the PATRIOT Act, Guantanamo Bay and other attempts to expand the all-out-war-on-everything:

In the meantime, President Obama used the bin Laden moment to push through and sign into law a four-year renewal of the Patriot Act, despite bipartisan resistance in Congress and the reservations of civil liberties groups. They had stalled its passage earlier in the year, hoping to curtail some of its particularly onerous sections, including the “lone wolf” provision that allows surveillance of non-US citizens in America, even if they have no ties to foreign powers, and the notorious Section 215, which grants the FBI authority to obtain library and business records in the name of national security.

One thing could not be doubted. The administration was visibly using the bin Laden moment to renew George W. Bush’s Global War on Terror (even if without that moniker). And let’s not forget about the leaders of Congress, who promptly accelerated their efforts to ensure that the apparatus for the war that 9/11 started would never die. Congressman Howard McKeon (R-CA), chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, was typical. On May 9th, he introduced legislation meant to embed in law the principle of indefinite detention without trial for suspected terrorists until “the end of hostilities.” What this would mean, in reality, is the perpetuation ad infinitum of that Bush-era creation, our prison complex at Guantanamo (not to speak of our second Guantanamo at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan).

However all is not lost. At a recent Conference of Mayors the discussion was focused on bringing money for the war back home (interestingly money seems to be the factor – not the human toll). One mayor summed it up nicely as The Nation reports:

Mayor Joseph O’Brien of Worcester, Massachusetts, summed up sentiments at the conference when he complained that, “We are spending a billion a month after Osama bin Laden has been killed. And while I appreciate the effort to rebuild nations around the world, we have tremendous needs in communities like mine.”

Also Dennis Kucinich, Ron Paul and others came together to sue the Federal Government for violating the War Powers Act and the Constitution during its war with Libya. The AP notes:

The lawmakers say Obama violated the Constitution in bypassing Congress and using international organizations like the UnitedNations and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to authorize military force.

The lawmakers want a judge to issue an order suspending military operations without congressional approval. They said they were filing their lawsuit Wednesday against Obama and Defense Secretary Robert Gates.

Capping this story well is a reminder by Jonathon Shell at TomDispatch:

Nobody seems to have noticed, but in the nearly two and a half years of the Obama administration at least three commonplace phrases of the George W. Bush era have slipped into oblivion: “regime change,” “shock and awe,” and “imperial presidency.” The war in Libya should remind us of just how appropriate they remain.

Conspiracy Theory by Paul Craig Roberts – June 20, 2011

http://www.opednews.com/articles/Conspiracy-Theory-by-paul-craig-roberts…

Conspiracy Theory

By Paul Craig Roberts June 20, 2011

While we were not watching, conspiracy theory has undergone Orwellian redefinition.

A “conspiracy theory” no longer means an event explained by a conspiracy. Instead, it now means any explanation, or even a fact, that is out of step with the government’s explanation and that of its media pimps.

For example, online news broadcasts of RT have been equated with conspiracy theories by the New York Times simply because RT reports news and opinions that the New York Times does not report and the US government does not endorse.

In other words, as truth becomes uncomfortable for government and its Ministry of Propaganda, truth is redefined as conspiracy theory, by which is meant an absurd and laughable explanation that we should ignore.

When piles of carefully researched books, released government documents, and testimony of eye witnesses made it clear that Lee Harvey Oswald was not President John F. Kennedy’s assassin, the voluminous research, government documents, and verified testimony was dismissed as “conspiracy theory.”

In other words, the truth of the event was unacceptable to the authorities and to the Ministry of Propaganda that represents the interests of authorities.

The purest example of how Americans are shielded from truth is the media’s (including many Internet sites’) response to the large number of professionals who find the official explanation of September 11, 2001 inconsistent with everything they, as experts, know about physics, chemistry, structural engineering, architecture, fires, structural damage, the piloting of airplanes, the security procedures of the United States, NORAD’s capabilities, air traffic control, airport security, and other matters. These experts, numbering in the thousands, have been shouted down by know-nothings in the media who brand the experts as “conspiracy theorists.”

This, despite the fact that the official explanation endorsed by the official media is the most extravagant conspiracy theory in human history.

Let’s take a minute to re-acquaint ourselves with the official explanation, which is not regarded as a conspiracy theory despite the fact that it comprises an amazing conspiracy. The official truth is that a handful of young Muslim Arabs who could not fly airplanes, mainly Saudi Arabians who came neither from Iraq nor from Afghanistan, outwitted not only the CIA and the FBI, but also all 16 US intelligence agencies and all intelligence agencies of US allies including Israel’s Mossad, which is believed to have penetrated every terrorist organization and which carries out assassinations of those whom Mossad marks as terrorists.

In addition to outwitting every intelligence agency of the United States and its allies, the handful of young Saudi Arabians outwitted the National Security Council, the State Department, NORAD, airport security four times in the same hour on the same morning, air traffic control, caused the US Air Force to be unable to launch interceptor aircraft, and caused three well-built steel-structured buildings, including one not hit by an airplane, to fail suddenly in a few seconds as a result of limited structural damage and small, short-lived, low-temperature fires that burned on a few floors.

The Saudi terrorists were even able to confound the laws of physics and cause WTC building seven to collapse at free-fall speed for several seconds, a physical impossibility in the absence of explosives used in controlled demolition.

The story that the government and the media have told us amounts to a gigantic conspiracy; really a script for a James Bond film. Yet, anyone who doubts this improbable conspiracy theory is defined into irrelevance by the obedient media.

Anyone who believes an architect, structural engineer, or demolition expert who says that the videos show that the buildings are blowing up, not falling down, anyone who believes a Ph.D. physicist who says that the official explanation is inconsistent with known laws of physics, anyone who believes expert pilots who testify that non-pilots or poorly-qualified pilots cannot fly airplanes in such maneuvers, anyone who believes the 100 or more first-responders who testify that they not only heard explosions in the towers but personally experienced explosions, anyone who believes University of Copenhagen nano-chemist Niels Harrit who reports finding unreacted nano-thermite in dust samples from the WTC towers, anyone who is convinced by experts instead of by propaganda is dismissed as a kook.

In America today, and increasingly throughout the Western world, actual facts and true explanations have been relegated to the realm of kookiness. Only people who believe lies are socially approved and accepted as patriotic citizens.

Indeed, a writer or newscaster is not even permitted to report the findings of 9/11 skeptics. In other words, simply to report Professor Harrit’s findings now means that you endorse them or agree with them. Everyone in the US print and TV media knows that he/she will be instantly fired if they report Harrit’s findings, even with a laugh. Thus, although Harrit has reported his findings on European television and has lectured widely on his findings in Canadian universities, the fact that he and the international scientific research team that he led found unreacted nano-thermite in the WTC dust and have offered samples to other scientists to examine has to my knowledge never been reported in the American media.

Even Internet sites on which I am among the readers’ favorites will not allow me to report on Harrit’s findings.

As I reported earlier, I myself had experience with a Huffington Post reporter who was keen to interview a Reagan presidential appointee who was in disagreement with the Republican wars in the Middle East. After he published the interview that I provided at his request, he was terrified to learn that I had reported findings of 9/11 investigators. To protect his career, he quickly inserted on the online interview that my views on the Iraq and Afghanistan invasions could be dismissed as I had reported unacceptable findings about 9/11.

The unwillingness or inability to entertain any view of 9/11 different from the official view dooms to impotence many Internet sites that are opposed to the wars and to the rise of the domestic US police state. These sites, for whatever the reasons, accept the government’s explanation of 9/11; yet, they try to oppose the “war on terror” and the police state which are the consequences of accepting the government’s explanation. Trying to oppose the consequences of an event whose explanation you accept is an impossible task.

If you believe that America was attacked by Muslim terrorists and is susceptible to future attacks, then a “war on terror” and a domestic police state to root out terrorists become necessary to make Americans safe. The idea that a domestic police state and open-ended war might be more dangerous threats to Americans than terrorists is an impermissible thought.

A country whose population has been trained to accept the government’s word and to shun those who question it is a country without liberty in its future.

Paul Craig Roberts was an editor of the Wall Street Journal and an Assistant Secretary of the U.S. (more…)

NYC Dept. of Buildings: No Records for Pre-9/11 WTC Elevator Rebuild, One of the “Largest, Most Sophisticated” Ever

 by Aidan Monaghan 

 

The New York City Department of Buildings (DoB) has reported within a June 6, 2011 Freedom of Information (FOI) response, that no records could be located regarding the following request for information pertaining to the massive elevator modernization project underway at World Trade Center buildings 1 and 2 until the very morning of September 11, 2001, one of the largest ever [1]. The DoB governs elevator construction and use within New York City.

An April 15, 2011 FOI appeal request sought:

“Permits or certifications provided by the NYC Department of Buildings regarding elevator modernization/renovation work performed at the former World Trade Center buildings 1 and 2 during the 1990s and 2000s.”

The DoB’s June 6, 2011 FOI answer reads as follows:

“BIS shows no elevator records for the time period in question.”

The DoB’s Building Information System (BIS) “is the Department of Buildings’ main database. The database was put into production in 1984 and supports Department functions with respect to: … Application Processing (application submission …)” [2]

The DoB’s description of its role regarding elevator installation and use within New York City: “The Department of Buildings’ Elevator Division oversees the use and operation of New York City’s elevators”. [3] Such duties include the receipt and issuance of construction applications and permits: “Applications and Permits; New Installations or Major Upgrades; File an Elevator Application (EA) to install a new device or perform a substantial upgrade, alteration, replacement or modernization to an existing device.” [4]

The New York City building code regarding elevator construction reads as follows: “SUBCHAPTER 18 ELEVATORS AND CONVEYORS; § [C26-1803.1] 27-1001 Permit required. – No construction, alteration or removal shall be commenced until a written work permit therefor shall have been issued by the commissioner” [5]

“Dear Mr. Monaghan

The New York City Department of Buildings (“the Department/DOB”) is in receipt of your April 15,2011 letter appealing the Department’s February 28, 2011 letter that acknowledged receipt of your FOIL request letter and advised you that it was currently working to determine if it had any of the requested documents. DOB’s letter further advised that it would notify you within 30 business days regarding the status of your request. You are treating this determination as a constructive denial based on the fact that the Department did not provide an update within the 30 days as stated, and that the Department is still working on your request.

Your FOIL request asked for the following DOB records:

“Copies of inspections and certifications records issued by the New York City Department of Buildings, pertaining to construction projects performed at the World Trade Center Buildings 1 and 2 between January 2000 and January 2002.”

“Permits or certifications provided by the NYC Department of Buildings regarding elevator modernization/renovation work performed at the former World Trade Center buildings 1 and 2 during the 1990s and 2000s.”

According to the Department’s Building Information System (“BIS”), there was a complaint registered on January 11, 2001 at 1 World Trade Center, but the Department did not inspect in view of a lack of jurisdiction. Nor are there records of the Department having inspected 1 World Trade Center during the time period in question for any other reason. There are no records of complaints filed or inspections conducted at 2 World Trade Center for the period requested.

The Department of Buildings records show no violations issued during that period, so there would be no certification records.

BIS shows no elevator records for the time period in question.

Therefore, the Department has no records responsive to your request.

This constitutes the Department’s final determination.”

References:

[1] DRIVE TO THE TOP
http://www.elevator-world.com/magazine/archive01/0103-002.html-ssi
[2] The Buildings Information System
http://www.nyc.gov/html/dob/html/bis/bis.shtml
[3] Elevators
http://www.nyc.gov/html/dob/html/applications_and_permits/elevator_home….
[4] Elevators: Applications and Permits
http://www.nyc.gov/html/dob/html/applications_and_permits/elevator_appl….
[5] REFERENCE MATERIALS: 1968 New York City Building Code
http://www.nyc.gov/html/dob/html/reference/code_internet.shtml