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Number of posts: 49,900
Member since: 2003 before July 6th
Number of posts: 49,900
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The Blue Sphere
We are surrounded by the majestic statement of the sea
and the ever changing murmur of the forests;
we share all these miracles with our lively cousins:
the ones that fly
the ones that crawl
the ones that swim
the ones that run
all seeking the blessings of Mother Nature.
But all the ones that walk:
the builders of cathedrals, pyramids,
great walls and temples to the sun,
we still look at each other with hatred and misgivings
while seeking the forgiveness of a forgotten God.
-- by Adolfo Chipoco, MD
Posted by Octafish | Tue Nov 17, 2015, 07:10 PM (0 replies)
Planet earth from beyond the far side of the moon.
Mankind's Rarest View: Earth from Afar
Space travelers recall what the planet looks like from above
By Seth Borenstein
AP, April 21, 2007
The first full view of Earth came from the moon-bound Apollo 8 during the waning days of a chaotic 1968. Apollo 8 astronaut Bill Anders put it in perspective in a documentary: “We came all this way to explore the moon, and the most important thing is that we discovered the Earth.”
Some of the photos Anders took were used on posters and pins on the first Earth Day in 1970. They’ve been “an environmental staple of Earth Days ever since,” said Denis Hayes, the first Earth Day coordinator.
For Earth Day this year — at a time when perhaps some perspective is needed — The Associated Press asked space travelers to recall what it’s like to see Earth from above:
“It was the only color we could see in the universe. ...
Thank you, xocet, for the link to the High-Def Earth Viewing System. Incredible! There's gotta be a way to turn it into a screensaver...
Posted by Octafish | Tue Nov 17, 2015, 06:21 PM (1 replies)
"You develop an instant global consciousness, a people orientation, an intense dissatisfaction with the state of the world, and a compulsion to do something about it. From out there on the moon, international politics look so petty. You want to grab a politician by the scruff of the neck and drag him a quarter of a million miles out and say, 'Look at that, you son of a bitch.'" ― Edgar D. Mitchell
Posted by Octafish | Tue Nov 17, 2015, 03:13 PM (102 replies)
Torture report reveals CIA spent $300 million
by Gregory Wallace
CNN, Dec. 9, 2014
The CIA spent "well over" $300 million on the CIA's covert detention and interrogation program, according to the blockbuster Senate report made public Tuesday.
What exactly did that money buy? The report offers some answers -- and hides others. A relatively quick scan of the report found more than two dozen instances in which dollar figures were covered over by a thick black bar or omitted entirely.
The money funded an elaborate operation including the detention centers themselves. Additional cash -- sometimes called "subsidies" -- was used to "show appreciation" to host countries that housed the jails.
Outsourcing to former CIA employees:
The report reveals that two psychologists formed a company "specifically for the purpose of conducting their work with the CIA." The company was paid at least $81 million and had a nearly-exclusive contract for staffing the facilities.
Shortly after the company was founded, "the CIA outsourced virtually all aspects of the program." Many employees were former CIA employees.
The company provided both interrogators and psychologists. According to the Senate report, an inspector general review noted "concerns about conflict of interest" because of how the contractor was paid.
The company would assess the mental state of detainees. It would then collect extra money if its own interrogators were cleared to use "enhanced interrogation techniques."
Posted by Octafish | Mon Nov 16, 2015, 05:06 PM (1 replies)
All can be forgiven, as long as it's done in the name of fighting communism, except for talking and Colby was a patriot who told the truth when asked by Congress.
Intelligence agency friends hide corruption
Paul Malone, Canberra Times columnist, Nov. 14, 2015
For sceptics who think it must be some wild flight of fantasy to suggest that a small merchant bank set up in Sydney in 1973 could have significant links with the CIA and gun running, let me name a few of the bank's personnel and associates as documented in official sources.
Passing over the bank's founders, let's look at other players as identified by the Commonwealth-NSW Joint Task Force on Drug Trafficking published in June 1982.
The first president of Nugan Hand International was US Rear-Admiral Earl P. Yates (retired), formerly head of planning for US Pacific Command who joined the bank in 1977;
In the month following his death many of the Sydney records of the group were destroyed.
The Joint Task Force discovered Hand's means of escape. A former US Special Forces CIA associate of Hand, James Oswald Spencer, arrived in Australia on May 14, 1980, giving a contact as H. Boreland of Sydney. Helen Boreland was Hand's wife.
Spencer left Brisbane aboard an Air Pacific flight for Fiji, accompanied by Hand travelling under the name Alan Glen Winter.
Former CIA Indo-China station chief Theodore (Ted) Shackley told investigative journalist Brian Toohey that Hand had worked for him in clandestine CIA activities in the 1960s. Other sources told Toohey that while in Laos, Hand worked with US-backed mercenary armies drawn from the Meo hill tribes.
It's a safe bet someone has profited from Mr. Colby's demise. Theodore Shackley, the Blond Ghost, was one of Poppy's friends sacked by Jimmy Carter's CIA director, Adm. Stansfield Turner. Shackley would come back to haunt America through the Safari Club, which helped sack Jimmy Carter via the Ayatollah Khomeini, Reagan's arms-for-hostages partner.
Posted by Octafish | Mon Nov 16, 2015, 11:47 AM (0 replies)
Posted by Octafish | Sat Nov 14, 2015, 10:20 AM (60 replies)
At least Stein swings for the fences...
The Ghosts of Nugan Hand: A New Chapter in a Long-Running CIA Bank Mystery
BY JEFF STEIN
Newsweek 11/12/15 AT 3:00 PM
Ask Australian authorities about Michael Hand, and you get a big collective shrug. The fugitive former Green Beret and onetime CIA operative went missing 35 years ago after his mysterious, scandal-drenched bank went bust following the alleged suicide of his Australian business partner, Frank Nugan. A subsequent official commission “found evidence of money-laundering, illegal tax avoidance schemes and widespread violations of banking laws,” according to The Sydney Morning Herald.
But now he’s suddenly popped up under a new name in Idaho, insisting he did nothing wrong, and Australian authorities seem in no rush to get him back.
Officially headquartered in Hong Kong and chartered in the Cayman Islands during the Cold War, Nugan Hand had a roster of top ex-military officials and CIA figures that attracted suspicion that it was deeply involved in unsavory activities. “Over the years, the two words Nugan Hand became shorthand for drug-dealing, gun-running, organised crime and clandestine intelligence activities,” The Sydney Morning Herald wrote this week.
“Nugan Hand had enough generals, admirals, and spooks to run a small war,” the late Wall Street Journal investigative reporter Jonathan Kwitny wrote in his definitive 1987 book about the bank, The Crimes of Patriots: A True Tale of Dope, Dirty Money, and the CIA. Nugan Hand, he wrote, was “a giant theft machine” involved in CIA operations from Angola to Iran. In Saudi Arabia, where interest-charging banks are illegal, it acted as a cash depository for American expats.
In 1976, the attorney general of New South Wales, Frank Walker, launched an investigation into Nugan Hand, saying the bank had engaged in “serious crimes...and it wasn't just in Australia. It was all over the world where this bank was operating.”
Like all good articles published in Corporate Owned News, though, the article fails to connect the dots for the reader. What matters most is the guy's a protected, made man of the BFEE. Like banksters and politicians who lie America into wars for profit, they never go to jail because they never are held to account for their crimes -- whether money laundering or arms dealing or child trafficking -- when committed under cover of "national security."
Posted by Octafish | Fri Nov 13, 2015, 02:11 PM (0 replies)
"What S&L crisis? Is that like the Wall Street bailout thing?"
Banking CIA-Style : How the Money Moves Under The Table to Fund Covert Operations.
August 04, 1991|Burton Hersh | Burton Hersh's new book, "The Old Boys," about the origins of the CIA, will be published next year by Scribner's
BRADFORD, N.H. — The worldwide dredging operation on the Bank of Credit and Commerce International has carried with it to the surface the Central Intelligence Agency. This is an old story by now. Sink any hook deep enough, haul on it hard enough and up comes the CIA, again.
Perhaps this is inevitable--the consequence of climbing into bed for almost half a century with talent that ranged from the Mafia (repeatedly) to drug lords of every odor from Canarsie, N.J., to the palaces of Bangkok, Thailand. The CIA has always promoted itself as an equal-opportunity employer.
Created by the National Security Act of 1947 to counter by any imaginable means--preferably foul--the postwar depredations of International Communism, the CIA was expected to immerse itself at society's tangled depths. What it was not to do was join the heavies.
Dulles had long served--with certain ill-disguised misgivings--as general counsel and board member of the New York affiliate of J. Henry Schroder. Almost as his dowry, Dulles laid before the U.S. intelligence community the international amenities of the Schroder group once he became involved with the agency in the late '40s. Schroder retained its long-standing ties throughout South and Central America, as well as durable associations with senior German industrial and intelligence personalities--including many former Nazis. It was this network that became the flywheel of innumerable CIA projects in Europe--especially after Dulles himself moved up to director in 1953.
Even then, the question arose who was using whom. By 1980, when the Nugan Hand Bank in Australia collapsed shortly after the apparent suicide of its founder, Frank Nugan, another incident of massive CIA involvement in a profoundly corrupt banking empire slowly reached public awareness. Like BCCI, the Nugan Hand Bank amounted to a global Ponzi scheme. After recruiting a reputable-appearing assortment of retired senior U.S. military and ex-CIA personnel, the Nugan Hand entrepreneurs scoured U.S. military installations worldwide for deposits. They pledged to pay double-digit interest--offshore and tax free. They used this stake to underwrite rogue enterprises throughout the planet.
The renegade ex-CIA arms merchant, Edwin Wilson, financed his catastrophic weaponry empire through Nugan Hand, including, by the end, the transfer of tons of plastique to Moammar Kadafi. According to a galvanizing 1982 series in the Wall Street Journal by Jonathan Kwitny, the bank not only financed, but arranged for the trans-shipment of, millions of dollars worth of heroin--often by the contract pilots who flew for Air America, the CIA's huge proprietary fleet. "Air America was a Vietnam War-era airline," Kwitny wrote, "with close connections with the CIA. U.S. drug enforcement officials now acknowledge that the airline also occasionally ran heroin out of Southeast Asia's famed 'Golden Triangle' poppy-growing areas." A Joint Task Force study by Australian officials confirmed the extensive use of the Nugan Hand Bank as a blind depository by CIA leaders. The fast-moving co-founder of the bank, ex-Green Beret Michael Hand, bragged regularly about his intimacy with CIA operatives before he disappeared. By then the bank itself had collapsed.
With Nugan Hand down, the rise of the BCCI was more than providential. Had not a coalition of Pakistani and Saudi sharpshooters set it up, the agency would probably have contrived to reinvent it. U.S. diplomacy of recent decades has depended more on whom we can pay off quietly than whom we can talk around. It remains much cheaper to bribe than invade, as our intelligence mentors, the British, always insisted. Yet still they object, because BCCI payments went out at CIA request to winkle out the unpublished details of English arm sales and overseas contracts.
Posted by Octafish | Fri Nov 13, 2015, 01:46 PM (2 replies)
It is to laugh.
"This is a superbly researched and exceptionally well-told story." -- John Kenneth Galbraith
What a small world. Koch Brothers funded PBS big time and until recently enjoyed a pass on it.
Speaking of FARC:
When it comes to making money, Columbia is wicked awesome!
Ask Richard Grasso (left, photo below), then-head of the New York Stock Exchange, as he gives a nice warm hug to Raul Reyes, (photo, right) then-living FARC #2.
The Real Deal: The Ultimate New Business Cold Call
NYSE's Richard Grasso and the Ultimate New Business "Cold Call"
Monday, 18 February 2002, 10:13 am
Column: Catherine Austin Fitts
Lest you think that my comment about the New York Stock Exchange is too strong, let's look at one event that occurred before our "war on drugs" went into high gear through Plan Colombia, banging heads over narco dollar market share in Latin America.
In late June 1999, numerous news services, including Associated Press, reported that Richard Grasso, Chairman of the New York Stock Exchange flew to Colombia to meet with a spokesperson for Raul Reyes of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Columbia (FARC), the supposed "narco terrorists" with whom we are now at war.
The purpose of the trip was "to bring a message of cooperation from U.S. financial services" and to discuss foreign investment and the future role of U.S. businesses in Colombia.
Some reading in between the lines said to me that Grasso's mission related to the continued circulation of cocaine capital through the US financial system. FARC, the Colombian rebels, were circulating their profits back into local development without the assistance of the American banking and investment system. Worse yet for the outlook for the US stock market's strength from $500 billion - $1 trillion in annual money laundering - FARC was calling for the decriminalization of cocaine.
To understand the threat of decriminalization of the drug trade, just go back to your Sam and Dave estimate and recalculate the numbers given what decriminalization does to drive BIG PERCENT back to SLIM PERCENT and what that means to Wall Street and Washington's cash flows. No narco dollars, no reinvestment into the stock markets, no campaign contributions.
It was only a few days after Grasso's trip that BBC News reported a General Accounting Office (GAO) report to Congress as saying: "Colombia's cocaine and heroin production is set to rise by as much as 50 percent as the U.S. backed drug war flounders, due largely to the growing strength of Marxist rebels"
Har har. Secret government.
PS: Thank you for the heads-up on Kwitny, MinM. Remember the Federal Witness Removal Program.
Posted by Octafish | Fri Nov 13, 2015, 01:30 PM (0 replies)
The secret government and bankster types have a history of working together, not only to fight godless communism, but to make big bucks without anyone really being held to scrutiny, let alone account.
Bankers to the New World Scum Class :
BCCI and its ilk flourish because they serve the needs of spies, tyrants and crooks.
ALEXANDER COCKBURN | Alexander Cockburn writes for the Nation and other publications
The Los Angeles Times, August 01, 1991
To do their dirty business, spy agencies like the CIA need dirty money and the services of dirty banks, which is why we find the Central Intelligence Agency using the same institution as did Abu Nidal, Manuel Noriega, the Contras and the Medellin cartel.
One day they'll probably make a soap opera out of the daily business life of the Bank of Credit and Commerce International, whose sordid affairs are slowly coming to light and many of whose officers have just been indicted in New York. The soap opera could use such authentic scenes as:
-- The CIA depositing millions to the account of the Contras, in straightforward defiance of U. S. law;
BCCI is not the first and will not be the last bank to stand at the crossroads of international knavery. In January, 1980, the body of Frank Nugan was found in a car on a back road in New South Wales, Australia. Nugan was half-owner and chairman of the Nugan Hand Bank, whose specialty was, like BCCI's, the no-questions-asked acceptance and transfer of large sums of cash from one country to another. In the wallet of the deceased Nugan were found the business cards of William Colby, former director of Central Intelligence and subsequently a legal adviser to Nugan Hand Bank, and of Bob Wilson, at that time ranking Republican on the House Armed Services Committee, and guest at a dinner Nugan had recently held.
Nugan Hand, which started its existence in Sydney, Australia, in 1973, operated in 26 countries including the United States. It shunted drug money from one haven to another; smuggled money out of the Philippines for the Marcos family account; financed such CIA schemes as the sale of a spy ship to Iran in the 1970s and the funneling of money to the UNITA rebels in Angola. Eventually the bank, its payroll resplendent with retired U.S. generals and admirals, collapsed just like BCCI in scandal and ruin.
The reason drug moguls and CIA agents stood shoulder to shoulder in line at Nugan Hand or BCCI branches was that their interests often ran in tandem, whether in Central America, the Golden Triangle of Southeast Asia or in Pakistan, home of Agha Hasan Abedi, founder of BCCI.
FAIR reports Cockburn's LA Times essays are the only places where US media mentioned the BCCI-Nugan Hand connection.
Posted by Octafish | Fri Nov 13, 2015, 12:16 PM (0 replies)