December 26, 2009
U.S. history has seen many presidents elected on a wave of progressive promises, only to see them compromise again and again once in office, caving to the very interests, military and corporate, that they railed against so effectively. Barack Obama is only the latest to get elected on a promise to end a war and take care of working people, only to preside over an administration stacked with Wall Street types and wind up continuing a war he wanted to wind down. Americans voted for change and are getting frustrated with the lack of it, but our guests have both written about the powerful forces holding the status quo in place. John Perkins is the author of Hoodwinked and Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, and has written about how corporations push politicians around and even threaten them with violence. Russ Baker, meanwhile, is the author of Family of Secrets: The Bush Dynasty, the Powerful Forces That Put It in the White House, and What Their Influence Means for America and has written extensively about the military-industrial complex. They argue the only weapon we have is public opinion and public pressure–and we need to bring it to bear not just on the government, but on the corporations.
Thursday, 17. December 2009
Sibel Edmonds’ Boiling Frogs
Podcast Show #16
The Boiling Frogs Presents Russ Baker
Russ Baker is an award-winning investigative journalist and the author of Family of Secrets — the Bush Dynasty, America’s Invisible Government, and the Hidden History of the Last Fifty Years. He has written for The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, The Nation, The New York Times, The Washington Post, the Village Voice and Esquire. He has served as a contributing editor to the Columbia Journalism Review, and is the founder of WhoWhatWhy, a nonpartisan, nonprofit investigative news organization.
Here is our guest Russ Baker unplugged!
Careful investigation leads one to notice that a number of intriguing groups of people and organizations converged on the events of September 11th, 2001. An example is the group of men who were members of Cornell University’s Quill & Dagger society. This included Paul Wolfowitz, National Security Advisors Sandy Berger and Stephen Hadley, Marsh & McLennan executive Stephen Friedman, and the founder of Kroll Associates, Jules Kroll. Another interconnected group of organizations is linked to these Cornell comrades, and is even more interesting in terms of its members being integral to the events of 9/11, and having benefited from those events.
After the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center (WTC), a company called Stratesec (or Securacom) was responsible for the overall integration of the new security system designed by Kroll Associates. Stratesec had a small board of directors that included retired Air Force General James Abrahamson, Marvin Bush (the brother of George W. Bush) and Wirt Walker III, a cousin of the Bush brothers. Other directors included Charles Archer, former Assistant Director in charge of the FBI’s Criminal Justice Information Services Division, and Yousef Saud Al Sabah, a member of the Kuwaiti royal family.
Yousef Saud Al Sabah was also chairman of the Kuwait-American Corporation (KuwAm), which between 1993 and 1999 held a controlling share of Stratesec. The other owners of Stratesec were Walker and an entity controlled by Walker and Al Sabah, called Special Situation Investment Holdings (SSIH). SSIH was said to form a group with… Continue reading
By Kim Zetter
December 1, 2009
Want to know how much phone companies and internet service providers charge to funnel your private communications or records to U.S. law enforcement and spy agencies?
That’s the question muckraker and Indiana University graduate student Christopher Soghoian asked all agencies within the Department of Justice, under a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request filed a few months ago. But before the agencies could provide the data, Verizon and Yahoo intervened and filed an objection on grounds that, among other things, they would be ridiculed and publicly shamed were their surveillance price sheets made public.
Yahoo writes in its 12-page objection letter (.pdf), that if its pricing information were disclosed to Soghoian, he would use it “to ‘shame’ Yahoo! and other companies — and to ‘shock’ their customers.”
“Therefore, release of Yahoo!’s information is reasonably likely to lead to impairment of its reputation for protection of user privacy and security, which is a competitive disadvantage for technology companies,” the company writes.
Verizon took a different stance. It objected to the release (.pdf) of its Law Enforcement Legal Compliance Guide because it might “confuse” customers and lead them to think that records and surveillance capabilities available only to law enforcement would be available to them as well — resulting in a flood of customer calls to the company asking for trap and trace orders.
“Customers may see a listing of records, information or assistance that is available only to law enforcement,” Verizon writes in its… Continue reading
by Steven Aftergood
November 23rd, 2009
Federation of American Scientists Project on Government Secrecy’s Secrecy News
Development of a new executive order on classification of national security information is now proceeding at an accelerated pace in order to preempt a deadline that would require the declassification of millions of pages of historical records next month.
A revised draft executive order was circulated to executive branch agencies by the Office of Management and Budget on November 16, with agency comments due back today, November 23. A final order is likely to be issued by the end of this year.
There is an incentive to complete the development of the executive order before December 31, 2009 because of a deadline for declassification of historical records that falls on that date. Under the current Bush executive order, classified records that are at least 25 years old and that have been referred from one agency to another because they involve multiple agency interests are supposed to be automatically declassified at the end of this year. (See E.O. 13292, section 3.3(e)(3)).
But in order to meet this December deadline, several agencies would have to forgo a review of the affected historical records, which they are unwilling to do. And so it seems they will simply be excused from compliance. But in order to modify the deadline in the Bush order, it will be necessary to issue another executive order. If the comprehensive new Obama order on classification policy (which would assign processing of such records to a National Declassification Center that does not yet exist) is not ready for release by December 31, then another stand-alone order would have to be issued, canceling or extending the looming deadline.…Continue reading
By Peter Phillips
November 22, 2009
Police are arresting and attacking student protesters on University of California (UC) campuses again. “Why did he beat me I wasn’t doing anything,” screamed a young Cal Berkeley women student over KPFA radio on Friday evening November 20. Students are protesting the 32% increase in tuition imposed by the UC regents in a time of severe state deficits. The Board of Regents claims that they have no choice. Students will now have to pay over $10,000 in tuition annually for a public university education that was free only a few decades ago.
The corporate media spins the tuition protests as if we are all suffering during the recession. For example, the San Diego Union Tribune November 20 writes, “These students need a course in Reality 101. And the reality is that there is virtually no segment of American society that is not straining with the economic recession. With UC facing a $535 million budget gap due to state cuts, the regents have to confront reality and make tough choices. So should students.”
Yet, the reality is something quite different. Our current budget crisis in California and the rest of the country has been artificially created by cutting taxes on the wealthiest people and corporations. The corporate elites in the US, the top 1% who own close to half the wealth, are the beneficiaries of massive tax cuts over the past few decades. While at the same time working people are paying more through increased sales and use taxes and higher public college tuition.…Continue reading
November 10th, 2009
By David DeGraw
As most of you have noticed, we are primarily focused on covering the economic coup. We strongly feel that the theft of Trillions of taxpayer dollars by a small group of men on Wall Street is the biggest story of our time. We understand that these are very difficult times for most people and there are many pressing and vitally important issues confronting us. However, the theft of Trillions of dollars has to be the lead story every day until there are investigations and prosecutions to resolve it.
Many of the news sites that we link to on a daily basis have been covering this issue. However, these sites are not covering the issue sufficiently. There should be blazing headlines on a daily basis: ECONOMIC COUP IN THE US! TRILLIONS OF TAXPAYER DOLLARS STOLEN!
Think about all the vital issues you care about and then think about the Trillions of dollars that were stolen. How could a small fraction of that money directly affect the issues you care about most? We need to make this connection, and we need to make the theft of Trillions of dollars THE LEAD ISSUE RIGHT NOW!
Just think about how much can be done with this stolen money. The highest quality universal healthcare could be provided to everyone in the US. Every foreclosed mortgage in the US can be paid off, for that matter, it would take a fraction of the stolen money to provide a free house to every family in the US.…Continue reading
by Brad Jacobson
Thursday, November 5th, 2009
The Pentagon’s Office of Inspector General is conducting a new investigation into a covert Bush administration Defense Department program that used retired military analysts to produce positive wartime news coverage.
Last May, the Inspector General’s office rescinded and repudiated a prior internal investigation’s report on the retired military analyst program, which had been issued by the Bush administration, because it “did not meet accepted quality standards for an Inspector General work product.” Yet in recent interviews with Raw Story, Pentagon officials who took part in the program were still defending it by referencing this invalidated report.
Gary Comerford, Inspector General spokesman for the Defense Department, told Raw Story last week that his office is conducting an investigation into the retired military analyst program and confirmed that the investigation began during the summer.
Asked when his office expects to conclude the investigation, Comerford said, “As a matter of policy we do not set deadlines since any number of variables or factors could result in a delay.”
He did confirm that investigators in his office have read Raw Story’s recent articles on the topic.
Congressman John F. Tierney (D-MA), Chairman of the Subcommittee on National Security and Foreign Affairs, issued a press release (cache link) this past June, announcing that Pentagon Inspector General Gordon Heddell had begun the new investigation.
Yet Raw Story and Comerford could find no other news… Continue reading
Welcome to Boiling Frogs Post – Tuesday, 27. October 2009
Forming the Irate Minority Club
Those of you who are getting here from our old place: Good to see and have you here. Those of you who are visiting my blog for the first time: Welcome and hope to have you here regularly. And those of you who somehow stumbled upon this site because of a typo or a confused link: This may just be the site you’ve been looking for, or not; take your time and check out a few old posts and comments, and you may decide to become one of our regulars, or not;-)
First, before I go any further, I want to thank Scott with Twerp Laboratories for my beautifully designed and executed new home, and for working with me so hard, patiently and diligently.
Next, I want you to meet our current team members here. In the next few days we’ll introduce you to several additional members.
For the last few months I have been either in meetings or on the phone with many veteran investigative journalists and producers. We’ve been talking about the current sorry state of our media. We’ve been discussing the lack of bold and independent investigative reports and exposés. We’ve been sharing our views on ways to do something about it. We’ve been talking business: How can we collaborate and form a venue where we can present some of the significant stories, cases, news, and editorials that have been… Continue reading
October 27, 2009
Larry Wilkerson: “From US debt to the geopolitics of
oil, the US empire will come to an end”
Lawrence Wilkerson is a retired United States Army soldier and former chief
of staff to United States Secretary of State Colin Powell. Wilkerson is an adjunct
professor at the College of William & Mary where he teaches courses on US
national security. He also instructs a senior seminar in the Honors Department
at the George Washington University entitled “National Security Decision
Larry Wilkerson: The beginning of the American “Imperial Rome” and Eisenhower’s warning
Wilkerson: From US debt to the geopolitics of oil, the US empire will
The gagged whistleblower goes on the record.
By Sibel Edmonds and Philip Giraldi
American Conservative Magazine
Sibel Edmonds has a story to tell. She went to work as a Turkish and Farsi translator for the FBI five days after 9/11. Part of her job was to translate and transcribe recordings of conversations between suspected Turkish intelligence agents and their American contacts. She was fired from the FBI in April 2002 after she raised concerns that one of the translators in her section was a member of a Turkish organization that was under investigation for bribing senior government officials and members of Congress, drug trafficking, illegal weapons sales, money laundering, and nuclear proliferation. She appealed her termination, but was more alarmed that no effort was being made to address the corruption that she had been monitoring.
A Department of Justice inspector general’s report called Edmonds’s allegations “credible,” “serious,” and “warrant[ing] a thorough and careful review by the FBI.” Ranking Senate Judiciary Committee members Pat Leahy (D-Vt.) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) have backed her publicly. “60 Minutes” launched an investigation of her claims and found them believable. No one has ever disproved any of Edmonds’s revelations, which she says can be verified by FBI investigative files.
John Ashcroft’s Justice Department confirmed Edmonds’s veracity in a backhanded way by twice invoking the dubious State Secrets Privilege so she could not tell what she knows. The ACLU has called her “the most gagged person in the history of the United States of America.”
But… Continue reading
The BRAD BLOG : Exclusive: Upcoming Cover Story on Edmonds ‘Outs’ Video-taped, ‘Blackmailed’ Dem Congresswoman; Alleges State Dept. Mole at NYTimes; MUCH MORE…
‘American Conservative’ mag’s description of interview with previously-gagged FBI whistleblower as ‘explosive’ may prove to be a gross understatement
Blackmail, bribery, infiltration, theft and sale of nuke secrets by Turkey,
Israel explained in clearer detail than ever before…
It seems it may be difficult to not notice it, given that Edmonds finally names, on the record, for the first time, in a right-leaning periodical founded by Pat Buchanan, the identity of the currently-serving Democratic Congresswoman she has previously described as married with grown children and having been “hooked” into participating in a lesbian affair with a Turkish foreign agent, as she was secretly video-taped for blackmail purposes.
Edmonds has alluded to the Congresswoman, without naming her, in the past, most notably in her recent sworn and video-taped deposition in the Schmidt v. Krikorian case now pending before the Ohio Election Commission. In that testimony, she did manage to name the names of other Congress members she had previously identified publicly. At the time, we (and virtually no other media outlets) reported on her disclosures that Dennis Hastert (R-IL), Bob Livingston (R-LA), Dan Burton (R-IN), Roy Blunt (R-MO), Stephen Solarz (D-NY) and Tom Lantos (D-CA, deceased), were all participants in blackmail and/or bribery schemes by and with agents of the Turkish government, as she became aware while translating wiretaps in the FBI’s counterintelligence division after 9/11. Some… Continue reading
September 5, 2009
Breaking Down the Under-Oath Disclosures of the Formerly-Gagged Sibel Edmonds…
It has now been over a week since the video tape and transcript from the remarkable 8/8/09 deposition of former FBI translator-turned-whistleblower Sibel Edmonds was publicly released. Previously, the Bush Administration invoked the so-called “state secrets privilege” in order to gag Edmonds, in attempting to keep such information from becoming public.
The under-oath, detailed allegations include bribery, blackmail, espionage and infiltration of the U.S. government of, and by current and former members of the U.S. Congress, high-ranking State and Defense Department officials and agents of the government of Turkey. The broad criminal conspiracy is said to have resulted in, among other things, the sale of nuclear weapons technology to black market interests including Pakistan, Iran, North Korea, Libya and others.
Even as many of these allegations had been previously corroborated to varying extents, by a number of official government reports, documents and independent media outlets (largely overseas), not a single major mainstream media outlet in the U.S. has picked up on Edmonds’ startling claims since her deposition has been made fully available.
Granted, last week was a busy news week, with the death of Ted Kennedy, the release of the CIA Inspector General’s report on torture, and the announcement that Michael Jackson’s death was ruled a homicide. And, it’s true, a 4-hour deposition and/or 241-page transcript [PDF] is a lot of material to review, particularly given the wide scope of the charges being… Continue reading
by Philip Giraldi
Posted on August 27th, 2009
The American Conservative
Those who are interested in issues like widespread corruption of our elected officials by foreigners have no doubt followed the ex-FBI traslator turned whistle blower Sibel Edmonds saga for the past few years. Sibel has finally testified in court under oath about some of the things that she learned while working for the bureau. The testimony was in a court in Ohio about two weeks ago. A full transcription and a useful summary appear at http://www.bradblog.com/?p=7374. In short, she names a number of Congressmen including former Speaker Dennis Hastert who took money from Turkish lobbyists. She also identifies senior State Department and Pentagon officials who apparently did the same, including our friends Marc Grossman, Paul Wolfowitz, and Doug Feith. Interestingly, she claims that Grossman blew the cover of Valerie Plame’s company Brewster Jennings back in 2001, causing CIA to shut it down, so Robert Novak was not guilty of exposing the CIA cover mechanism. In another interview given a few weeks ago, Edmonds claims that CIA was working closely with al-Qaeda in the Balkans and continued to do so until 9/11.
As I have reported before, Edmonds is a credible witness who is ignored by the mainstream media and congress because her tales, if true, would be devastating to both political parties and to the Israel and Turkish lobbies. She is dismissed as a crackpot. She might in fact be blowing smoke, but now that she has testified under oath and in considerable detail making very specific accusations isn’t it time for someone in the administration to review the FBI files and stand up to say whether her accounts are true or not?…Continue reading
Sibel Edmonds finally gets to tell her story
August 24, 2009
The newspaper of record for Brown County, Ohio
Ohio Second District Congresswoman Jean Schmidt, R-Cincinnati, filed nine election complaints against independent candidate David Krikorian concerning the 2008 election in May this year.
Krikorian opposed Schmidt in the Second District Congressional race as an independent in 2008 and is seeking the Democratic nomination for the 2010 race in April. The complaints focus on Krikorian’s statements during the election stating that Rep. Schmidt was taking money from organizations related to the Turkish government in exchange for denying the occurrence of what Krikorian called the Armenian Genocide at the hands of the Turks during World War I.
The complaints also relate to Election Commission records on campaign contributions Schmidt received from the Turkish American Heritage PAC and the Turkish Coalition USA PAC.
Since filing the complaints, Schmidt’s counsel has withdrawn four complaints, and an Ohio Elections Commission three-person panel decided there was probable cause to hear the remaining complaints on Thursday, Aug. 13. The five remaining complaints will be reviewed by the entire Commission on Sept. 3.
In preparation for the Sept. 3 hearing, Krikorian’s lawyer requested a subpoena for well known whistleblower and former interpreter for the FBI, Sibel Edmonds. The OEC declined to enforce the subpoena, however Edmonds agreed to speak to Krikorian and Schmidt’s lawyers on a voluntary basis.
The video deposition was brought forward by Krikorian’s counsel to provide background on the alleged involvement of the Turkish government in Congressional affairs through blackmail, bribery, and campaign contributions filtered through various organizations.…Continue reading
by Prof. Peter Dale Scott
” In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.” Dwight David Eisenhower, “Military-Industrial Complex Speech,” 1961, 1
” My observation is that the impact of national elections on the business climate for SAIC has been minimal. The emphasis on where federal spending occurs usually shifts, but total federal spending never decreases. SAIC has always continued to grow despite changes in the political leadership in Washington.” Former SAIC manager, quoted in Donald L. Barlett and James B. Steele, “Washington”s $8 Billion Shadow.” Vanity Fair, March 2007 2
“We make American military doctrine” Ed Soyster, MPRI 3
In The Road to 9/11 I summarized the dialectic of open societies: how from their energy they expand, leading to a higher level of more secretive corporations and agencies, which eventually weaken the home country through needless and crushing wars. 4 I am not alone in seeing America in the final stages of this… Continue reading
August 12, 2009
by Jeremy R. Hammond
Shahid R. Siddiqi contributed to this report
In an exclusive interview with Foreign Policy Journal, retired Lt. Gen. Hamid Gul responds to charges that he supports terrorism, discusses 9/11 and ulterior motives for the war on Afghanistan, claims that the U.S., Israel, and India are behind efforts to destabilize Pakistan, and charges the U.S. and its allies with responsibility for the lucrative Afghan drug trade.
Retired Lieutenant General Hamid Gul was the Director General of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) from 1987 to 1989, during which time he worked closely with the CIA to provide support for the mujahedeen fighting the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. Though once deemed a close ally of the United States, in more recent years his name has been the subject of considerable controversy. He has been outspoken with the claim that the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 were an “inside job”. He has been called “the most dangerous man in Pakistan”, and the U.S. government has accused him of supporting the Taliban, even recommending him to the United Nations Security Council for inclusion on the list of international terrorists.
In an exclusive interview with Foreign Policy Journal, I asked the… Continue reading