heroin

Iran-Contra is not dead: Gary Webb's Dark Alliance on the big screen! Kill the Messenger tackles corporate media & CIA-aligned drug trafficking

"Even now, those who like to say Iran-Contra’s long over, are wrong.

There are still Congressional hearings about it today that we don’t hear much about because they’re behind closed doors, but there is still media interest in it.

There are many people within the government who can still be hurt, and they are in even higher positions than they were then. That’s why it remains sensitive.”Al Martin, The Conspirators: Secrets of an Iran Contra Insider p282 (2002)

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Nothing is ever really acknowledged in America until it gets the Hollywood treatment, wrapped by a screenplay and soundtrack into that big image-stream narrative America tells itself as it reproduces its existence every day. The difficult map of intelligence agencies and the war on drugs has mostly been skirted by Hollywood, but in an overdue turn of good fortune Gary Webb’s story finally gets pinned to the Big Board pretty well.

Journalist Gary Webb used the Internet to nearly bring the war on drugs to the brink of collapse by exposing intelligence connections to leading cocaine flows in the US during Iran-Contra. In the 1990s major media forces were faced with critical new voices undermining the credibility of America's post-EO12333 drug war system. Like many before and since, Webb got the corporate media banhammer, portrayed here in incisive and indicting detail (looking at you, Walter Pincus).

"For the better part of a decade, a San Francisco Bay Area drug ring sold tons of cocaine to the Crips and Bloods street gangs of Los Angeles and funneled millions in drug profits to an arm of the contra guerrillas of Nicaragua run by the Central Intelligence Agency, the San Jose Mercury News has found." Gary Webb circa 1996.

Leading the way with a star-studded cast in Focus Features’ Kill the Messenger, a decent set of films taking on Iran-Contra-related intelligence intrigue and the war on drugs is hitting the US this month, and a veritable wave of news stories exploring these old narratives are popping up nationwide!

I was very lucky to get into an advance screening & now trying to provide here more links for those both new and old to this sick twisted tale at the heart of the American Dream. Iran-Contra really fascinated me in 2007 & I got books, started putting videos together until l’Affair d’2008RNC pulled me away into more local concerns. "Iran-Contra Goggles” remain useful to decode the same basic corrupt systems we have today.

Kill the Messenger covers Webb’s tragic story, as he exposes the roles of CIA assets moving literally tons of cocaine into the US to create a covert money source for the Contras in Nicaragua. Freeway Ricky Ross, the key recipient of the cocaine, has a film coming out Oct 17th, Freeway: Crack in the System and Shadows of Liberty also features a Gary Webb-oriented segment, “Killing the Messenger".

dark-alliance-7anim.gifKill the Messenger encompasses Gary’s story, Dark Alliance, the first groundbreaking news story to really go viral over the Internet, providing readers around the world with primary source documents and more to explore. Animated gifs - a new technology at the time - showed cocaine pathways flowing into the US.

Iran-Contra aficionados and Gary’s family, who supported the film’s production, will feel a strong sense of vindication, although the latter third of the story quits expanding our view of this high-level drug underworld as the bottom of Gary’s life gradually falls out.

We get a sound foundation under the story, it seems they didn’t cut any especially bad corners that would undermine this critical shot at contextualizing Webb in American journalism.

This film doesn’t explain Southern Air Transport or Barry Seal, later extensions of similar work, or the similar sad fates of Danny Casolaro, Michael Ruppert and others.

darktop.gifAs is tradition, it’s already been belittled in the New York Times - by David Carr, who frames the notion of CIA drug trafficking networks as it "might ring some distant, skeptical bell” — ignoring his own paper’s recent reporting on Karzai’s brother’s CIA-backed cartel style operation etc.

Jeremy Renner played a laudable role getting this whole thing out the door: "It resonated with movies like 'All the President's Men' and 'The Parallax View.’”

The CIA leisure suits, aviator sunglasses and careful color palettes harken to these carefully styled 1970s paranoia thrillers, both directed by Alan J Pakula in the “Paranoia Trilogy”.

Andy Garcia as Norwin Meneses and Michael Kenneth Williams as Freeway Ricky Ross are excellent, while Oliver Platt as the rumpled, dubious editor, Michael Sheen as the bureaucrat, all of these are well-crafted roles if brief. West Wing's Richard Schiff as the Washington Post's coverup editor ringleader was just right.

Ray Liotta’s surprise covert ops "nighttime of the soul” scene is also pretty damn good.

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This nice media wave is a good chance for everyone to learn more, and hear from the old journalists who also got the banhammer for daring to push the truth out there. Robert Parry has a new piece: The CIA/MSM Contra-Cocaine Cover-Up (Oct 3 2014).

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I’ll suggest giving money to NarcoNews to help them keep rolling, if you can. Part of the backstory contextualized by NarcoNews: The Field: Hollywood’s Gary Webb Movie and the Message that Big Media Couldn’t Kill. NarcoNews is hosting the original Dark Alliance archive here. Sept 24th update with the family: Narco News: Gary Webb: Vindicated

The CIA has even released its creepy internal reaction piece for PR control via FOIA: http://www.foia.cia.gov/sites/default/files/DOC_0001372115.pdf - "Managing a Nightmare: CIA Public Affairs and the Drug Conspiracy Story,” and the Intercept IDed the CIA writer as Nicholas Dujmovic.

“It’s like we say “Iran-Contra”. "Iran-Contra" activity continues to go on today. In some cases, it’s the very same names and faces. In other cases, it’s a newer, younger generation of names and faces. But the narcotics, weapons and fraud aspects still continue to this day.” - Al Martin p330

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More coverage and reviews: How Kill the Messenger Will Vindicate Investigative Journalist Gary Webb | The Informer | LA Weekly

Positive review in Variety: ‘Kill the Messenger’ Review: Jeremy Renner Plays Journalist Gary Webb | Varietybush-cocaine.jpg

Skeptical review: 'Kill the Messenger' Review: Jeremy Renner's Muckraking Feels Half-Baked in This Biopic - TheWrap (Sept 26th)

'Kill the Messenger': Film Review - The Hollywood Reporter

Esquire Sept 2013: The late Chuck Bowden’s The Pariah - Esquire. A must-read on this whole equation. (on Scribd)

Ex-L.A. Times Writer Apologizes for "Tawdry" Attacks | News | Los Angeles | Los Angeles News and Events | LA Weekly

Robert Parry 2013: Contra-Cocaine Was a Real Conspiracy | Consortiumnews discussing how he and Brian Barger started the Contra-cocaine scandal unravelling at the AP in 1985.

cia-cocaine-reagan-bush-clinton.jpg“Kill the Messenger”: The dark side of journalism - Opinion Shop Sept 19 2014

Jeremy Renner Wears a Wedding Ring -Showbiz411 discusses film

Out On The Weekend - Esquire - Sept 5, quick story referencing Gary

The film is also based on a book by Nick Schou of the same name. Interview here. Book: Kill the Messenger: How the CIA's Crack-Cocaine Controversy Destroyed Journalist Gary Webb: Nick Schou, Charles Bowden. Audiobook read by Bowden.

Nick Schou on the adaptation of 'Kill the Messenger' | Creative Loafing Atlanta

Kill The Messenger: the Gary Webb story has holes but Renner's performance still sticks – review | Film | theguardian.com (Sept 26th)

CinemaBlend positive review: Kill The Messenger Review - CINEMABLEND

Pretty good WSWS writeup on recent FOIA: CIA document details cover-up of drug trafficking by Contras - World Socialist Web Site

We lost Charles Bowden recently and he was a true friend of Gary Webb. Charles Bowden has died, but his voice is louder than ever | the narcosphere Sept 2 2014

Public radio interview

Rotten Tomatoes only has 6 reviews up. This is #7 - and the only one with Ollie DC-6 gif below!

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Freeway Ricky Ross is making his move in all this, somehow having survived everything so far. Last summer: Freeway Rick Is Dreaming - Los Angeles Magazine (May 2013) An odd story by Jesse Katz who had a unique long term relationship with him as a journalist.

Trailer for Freeway: Crack in the System: Dropping Oct 18th:

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Another film, Shadows of Liberty, (FB) released in 2012 & playing Midwest theaters lately, includes everything from a “Killing the Messenger” segment on Webb & Dark Alliance to a Iraq marketing section covering Iraq Intel war spoofing, Iraqi National Congress, Rendon Group psyops discussed by James Bamford. Both hit the New York Times pretty hard, as well they should, in propagandizing for Iraq & attacking Webb.

In a latter section Sibel Edmonds and Phil Giraldi look at covert agents among US nuclear secrets & Marc Grossman at the State Dept. Really a nicely rounded collection, even if I’m not a big fan of some of the film participants. Detailed notes here. New Zealand review here.

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Other materials. From inside the CIA: Statement of the CIA IG Hitz in 1998: https://www.uspiked.com/assets/article-assets/Shadows of Liberty/Statement of CIA Inspector General to The House Committee On Intelligence - March 16, 1998 - Wikisource, the free online library.pdf (also here) STATEMENT BY FREDERICK P. HITZ, INSPECTOR GENERAL, CIA.. Volume 1: https://www.cia.gov/library/reports/general-reports-1/cocaine/overview-of-report-of-investigation-2.html

Introduction: The Contra Story — Central Intelligence Agency

Namebase index from Hitz Report. Better know a player: CIA Report on Contras and Cocaine

Fusion: A drug cartel guide to laundering millions — Fusion (9/30/2014)

Freeway Ricky Ross as advocate for literacy: Former Drug Kingpin ‘Freeway’ Rick Ross Becomes Advocate for Literacy | Atlanta Daily World (9/26/2014)

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Supporting material: Panthers, Crips & Bloods: Bastards of the Party - Top Documentary Films (2005) a must see for the development of Los Angeles gang structure in the context of massive importation of drugs & sophisticated police & federal operations since the days of the Black Panthers.

Pissed off CIA honcho Duane Clarridge - “there’s never been a conspiracy in this country!” (great clip in two of these films)

EO12333: The Private Contractor angle: roughly speaking, once this executive order was created, devious operations could be wrapped in corporate fronts like “Southern Air Transport”, “Vortex”, “Evergreen International” and others even lesser known.

2.7 Contracting. Agencies within the Intelligence Community are authorized to enter into contracts or arrangements for the provision of goods or services with private companies or institutions in the United States and need not reveal the sponsorship of such contracts or arrangements for authorized intelligence purposes. Contracts or arrangements with academic institutions may be undertaken only with the consent of appropriate officials of the institution.

Executive Order 12333 is back in the news: The Ghost of Ronald Reagan Authorizes Most NSA Spying - The Intercept

They also point to a gap in the public reaction to Ed Snowden’s revelations about those programs. Despite that fact that most of the NSA’s spying relies on Reagan’s directive, Executive Order 12333, the vast majority of reform efforts have concentrated on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) and other legislative fixes. “Congress’s reform efforts have not addressed the executive order,” notes Alex Abdo of the ACLU, ”and the bulk of the government’s disclosures in response to the Snowden revelations have conspicuously ignored the NSA’s extensive mandate under EO 12333.”

The documents assert that mandate baldly. A legal factsheet from the NSA, dated June 2013, states that the FISA, which requires judicial oversight over spying on Americans, “only regulates a subset of the NSA’s signals intelligence activities. NSA conducts the majority of its SIGINT activities solely pursuant to the authority provided by Executive Order 12333.”

Often referred to as “twelve triple three” or EO 12333, the executive order came into being in 1981 under Reagan. Much of the post-Snowden debate, particularly with respect to the bulk collection of Americans’ phone records, has focused on the interlocking legal authorities of Section 215 of the Patriot Act and the 2008 FISA Amendments Act. But, the ACLU notes, “because the executive branch issued and now implements the executive order all on its own, the programs operating under the order are subject to essentially no oversight from Congress or the courts.” The documents describe procedures for safeguarding the rights of Americans whose information might be “incidentally” collected under 12333, but those procedures are overseen by the director of national intelligence or the attorney general.

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Classic item: The only memo that made it out of Ollie’s Shredding Party, the Annotated Oliver North memo: Oliver North – Release of American Hostages in Beirut ("Diversion Memo") | Genius

From the Wilderness, Michael Ruppert’s old website: C.I.A. IG Report - Vol II - Oliver North is Toast!

Basic writeup: (3/23/98) CIA Admits Knowledge of Contra Drug Trafficking

The CIA IG report Part II: Volume II: The Contra Story — Central Intelligence Agency

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Who? Oliver Hardy? Andy Garcia’s great line in Kill the Messenger about how it was Ollie’s idea to run drugs & guns around is a nod to Oliver North’s wonderful note: The “Honduran DC-6 which is being used for runs out of New Orleans is probably being used for drug runs into U.S."

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A personal favorite :]

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The 1996 Los Angeles CIA Town Hall meeting on drug trafficking was a critical moment. I would identify this meeting as the closest point to total collapse of the war on drugs edifice since Nixon, and it’s worth noting Deutch resigned shortly thereafter. This meeting cost the director of the CIA his job - and two years later they had to concede so much of Gary’s work was 100% accurate.

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Another regular day - Day 28 of Iran Contra hearings Part 1, July 14 1987: They get into the weird Continuity of Government stuff in the 3rd hour.

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Gary Webb on Gary Webb - CIA Drug Smuggling [2004] - YouTube

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Mr Blum - portrayed in similar hairstyle fashion in Kill the Messenger: CIA Allegations of Cocaine Trafficking Conspiracy - Crack Epidemic (1996) - YouTube. Good stuff around 47 minutes about the prosecution manipulations.

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Immortal Technique - Immortal Technique - Peruvian Cocaine feat Diabolic, Tonedeff, Poison Pen, Loucipher, C-Rayz Walz - YouTube. The Scarface-sampling hiphop opus magnum of this whole damn thing.

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Classic: Gary Webb on C-SPAN 1996: How Crack Funded a CIA War: Gary Webb Interview on the Contras and Ronald Reagan (1996) - YouTube

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OTHER LINKS:10561558_519106554857975_5309717516771745206_n.jpg August 2005: Judas Retires: Jerry Ceppos and the Burning Memory of Gary Webb: Judas Retires: Jerry Ceppos and the Burning Memory of Gary Webb | the narcosphere. Still around at the LSU Mass Comm school: LSU Manship School of Mass Communication

Meh 2005 piece from AJR on Webb: American Journalism Review

Timeline: Understanding the Iran-Contra Affairs

Bill Conroy 2005: "He Drew Blood" » CounterPunch - includes Bowden discussion.

Esquire: Gary Webb's Glorious Comeback - Esquire June 2013

Esquire: Gary Webb And The Limits Of Vindication - Esquire June 2013

Semi-related: alt journalist Wayne Madsen on Franklin sex trafficking scandal which had Iran-contra financing connections. The “Conspiracy of Silence” is related but goes way, way beyond all this. Wayne also suspects a similar Iran-Contra-like complex role related to 9-11 and the Pinal Air Park intel aviation field in Arizona, I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s how it turns out. (The late author Philip Marshall seemed to be on this tack as well before his weird death in early 2013.)

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MOAR BIBLIOGRAPHY:10606152_537701239665173_8067769002059518467_n.jpg Dark Alliance is now available in paperback and you should buy it at your local bookseller.

Powderburns by Cele Castillo covers much of the same arena. Here is his Webb web page.

The Politics of Heroin in Southeast Asia (1972) by Alfred McCoy is *critical* because it’s probably the first academic book that shows how heroin is used geopolitically by US covert forces to finance their allies through the power of chemical dependency combined with covert logistics and the monopoly granted by the force of the state. Everything subsequent follows this pattern. [PDF 1] [PDF 2]

Film: The House I Live In by Eugene Jarecki (2012) & How to Make Money Selling Drugs (2012) by Matthew Cooke.

Al Martin: The Conspirators: Secrets of An Iran-Contra Insider (2002). Horribly edited but you won’t find a better collection of names and front companies, code words and the true texture of Reagan era intel/fraud complexes. *Not* for beginners.

Life During Wartime: Resisting Counterinsurgency by AK Press. Kristian Williams (Editor); Lara Messersmith-Glavin (Editor); William Munger (Editor). Great guide to drug war militarization in its most sophisticated forms.

Barry & The Boys: The CIA, the Mob & America’s Secret History (2001, 2006) by Daniel Hopsicker. Covers Iran-Contra related nodes especially Florida and New Orleans aviation and shell activities, Barry Seal and a lot of hemispheric covert operations in a jaunty style. Mad Cow Morning News has been persisting in Iran-Contra style exposures for a long time in Florida .

End Times: The Death of the Fourth Estate (Counterpunch): Alexander Cockburn, Jeffrey St. Clair. Covers corporate media corruption with major case study of media hit on Webb,

Cocaine Politics: Drugs, Armies and the CIA and Central America by Peter Dale Scott and Jonathan Marshall. (1991)

The Iran Contra Connection: Secret Teams and Covert Operations in the Reagan Era by Jonathan Marshall, Peter Dale Scott and Jane Hunter (1987)

The Killing Game by Gary Webb (2011). There are plenty of other good books but this can get you started, anyway.

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Kill the Messenger was also the title of a film about FBI whistleblower Sibel Edmonds, produced in 2007. Watch it here, I thought it was quite good.

Also: Support NarcoNews! Narco News Needs Your Help at this Exciting Moment

A final note: Michael Kenneth Williams, who notably played gangsta-assassin Omar on the Wire, does a great job as Ricky Ross. He also plays an oddly related role in 2014’s “The Purge: Anarchy”, a pulpy dystopian fantasy about the government granting everyone the “right” to kill each other 12 hours a year. Williams’ character is the revolutionary who recognizes & resists how the elite surveil them and clink champagne glasses, as the lower classes kill each other mercilessly to maintain social stratification. I couldn’t think of a better parallel to the modern American war on drugs.

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Keep riding with those Aviators, Gary.
RIP Truth Tellers.

FinCEN floats new Bitcoin related currency regulation advisory as criminal bankster operations sack depositors in Cyprus

UPDATE 3.28 - BITCOIN SURGES TO $92 - see http://www.forbes.com/sites/jonmatonis/2013/03/24/cyprus-goes-cashless-t...
for notes on Bitcoin's surge in popularity as a refuge from the Looting, and more context to the FinCEN stuff as well.

The FinCEN structure is one of those good at gracefully failing to say much about the huge volumes of drug money circulating in the Federal Reserve System. They are now setting their eyes on extending the Ontology of Fail into Bitcoin.

Since the Cyprus looting political situation has slid forward, Bitcoin apps have been going viral in Europe - particularly in the small Spanish iOS market. For some unclear reason Bitcoin's value has been going parabolic since the start of 2013.

Good intro, suggests the rideup not just because of Cyprus: Bitcoin bubble or new virtual currency? | | MacroBusiness

Bitcoin interest spikes in Spain as Cyprus financial crisis grows (Wired UK)

Spain turns to Bitcoin, prompting incoherent discussion on Today

Bitcoin analysis: Cyprus crisis increases virtual currency interest | BGR

Bitcoin apps soar in Spain – will the Cyprus shocker boost virtual currencies? - Yahoo! News

BREAKING: In Response To Building Cyprus Panic - BITCOIN HITS NEW ALL-TIME HIGH OF $50....er, $52, $54, $55 - Max Keiser // Bitcoin-Related Apps Spike In Spain Over Weekend, Alongside Cyprus

Bitcoin getting a boost from euro crisis - FRANCE 24

BrianLehrer.tv: Saving the Kimani Grays - YouTube & bookmark'd to an interview Erik Voorhees and Marc Hochstein. Includes the quickie intro video for Bitcoin.

For updates: Bitcoin Watch

The rideup from ~ $47/Bitcoin to a pretty solid $64-72 range, likely due to Cyprus, shows that even if things cool off, Bitcoin demand definitely has reached a new audience.

This chart is from Mt. Gox, the largest Bitcoin exchange site.

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Here is the Euro chart, perhaps more relevant.

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Needless to say, the market spike has made Bitcoin mining quite a bit more profitable than only a few weeks ago.

Welcome To FinCEN.gov - FinCEN’s mission is to safeguard the financial system from illicit use and combat money laundering and promote national security through the collection, analysis, and dissemination of financial intelligence and strategic use of financial authorities.

FinCen Regulation of BitCoin and Virtual Currency

20 March 2013

A sends:

http://www.fincen.gov/statutes_regs/guidance/html/FIN-2013-G001.html

http://www.fincen.gov/statutes_regs/guidance/pdf/FIN-2013-G001.pdf

Guidance

FIN-2013-G001

Issued:

March 18, 2013

Subject:

Application of FinCEN's Regulations to Persons Administering, Exchanging, or Using Virtual Currencies

            The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network ("FinCEN") is issuing this interpretive guidance to clarify the applicability of the regulations implementing the Bank Secrecy Act ("BSA") to persons creating, obtaining, distributing, exchanging, accepting, or transmitting virtual currencies.1 Such persons are referred to in this guidance as "users," "administrators," and "exchangers," all as defined below.2 A user of virtual currency is not an MSB under FinCEN's regulations and therefore is not subject to MSB registration, reporting, and recordkeeping regulations. However, an administrator or exchanger is an MSB under FinCEN's regulations, specifically, a money transmitter, unless a limitation to or exemption from the definition applies to the person. An administrator or exchanger is not a provider or seller of prepaid access, or a dealer in foreign exchange, under FinCEN's regulations.

Currency vs. Virtual Currency

            FinCEN's regulations define currency (also referred to as "real" currency) as "the coin and paper money of the United States or of any other country that [i] is designated as legal tender and that [ii] circulates and [iii] is customarily used and accepted as a medium of exchange in the country of issuance."3 In contrast to real currency, "virtual" currency is a medium of exchange that operates like a currency in some environments, but does not have all the attributes of real currency. In particular, virtual currency does not have legal tender status in any jurisdiction. This guidance addresses "convertible" virtual currency. This type of virtual currency either has an equivalent value in real currency, or acts as a substitute for real currency.

Background

            On July 21, 2011, FinCEN published a Final Rule amending definitions and other regulations relating to money services businesses ("MSBs").4 Among other things, the MSB Rule amends the definitions of dealers in foreign exchange (formerly referred to as "currency dealers and exchangers") and money transmitters. On July 29, 2011, FinCEN published a Final Rule on Definitions and Other Regulations Relating to Prepaid Access (the "Prepaid Access Rule").5 This guidance explains the regulatory treatment under these definitions of persons engaged in virtual currency transactions.

Definitions of User, Exchanger, and Administrator

            This guidance refers to the participants in generic virtual currency arrangements, using the terms "user," "exchanger," and "administrator."6 A user is a person that obtains virtual currency to purchase goods or services.7 An exchanger is a person engaged as a business in the exchange of virtual currency for real currency, funds, or other virtual currency. An administrator is a person engaged as a business in issuing (putting into circulation) a virtual currency, and who has the authority to redeem (to withdraw from circulation) such virtual currency.

Users of Virtual Currency

            A user who obtains convertible virtual currency and uses it to purchase real or virtual goods or services is not an MSB under FinCEN's regulations.8 Such activity, in and of itself, does not fit within the definition of "money transmission services" and therefore is not subject to FinCEN's registration, reporting, and recordkeeping regulations for MSBs.9

Administrators and Exchangers of Virtual Currency

            An administrator or exchanger that (1) accepts and transmits a convertible virtual currency or (2) buys or sells convertible virtual currency for any reason is a money transmitter under FinCEN's regulations, unless a limitation to or exemption from the definition applies to the person.10 FinCEN's regulations define the term "money transmitter" as a person that provides money transmission services, or any other person engaged in the transfer of funds. The term "money transmission services" means "the acceptance of currency, funds, or other value that substitutes for currency from one person and the transmission of currency, funds, or other value that substitutes for currency to another location or person by any means."11

            The definition of a money transmitter does not differentiate between real currencies and convertible virtual currencies. Accepting and transmitting anything of value that substitutes for currency makes a person a money transmitter under the regulations implementing the BSA.12 FinCEN has reviewed different activities involving virtual currency and has made determinations regarding the appropriate regulatory treatment of administrators and exchangers under three scenarios: brokers and dealers of e-currencies and e-precious metals; centralized convertible virtual currencies; and de-centralized convertible virtual currencies.

            a. E-Currencies and E-Precious Metals

            The first type of activity involves electronic trading in e-currencies or e-precious metals.13 In 2008, FinCEN issued guidance stating that as long as a broker or dealer in real currency or other commodities accepts and transmits funds solely for the purpose of effecting a bona fide purchase or sale of the real currency or other commodities for or with a customer, such person is not acting as a money transmitter under the regulations.14

            However, if the broker or dealer transfers funds between a customer and a third party that is not part of the currency or commodity transaction, such transmission of funds is no longer a fundamental element of the actual transaction necessary to execute the contract for the purchase or sale of the currency or the other commodity. This scenario is, therefore, money transmission.15 Examples include, in part, (1) the transfer of funds between a customer and a third party by permitting a third party to fund a customer's account; (2) the transfer of value from a customer's currency or commodity position to the account of another customer; or (3) the closing out of a customer's currency or commodity position, with a transfer of proceeds to a third party. Since the definition of a money transmitter does not differentiate between real currencies and convertible virtual currencies, the same rules apply to brokers and dealers of e-currency and e-precious metals.

            b. Centralized Virtual Currencies

            The second type of activity involves a convertible virtual currency that has a centralized repository. The administrator of that repository will be a money transmitter to the extent that it allows transfers of value between persons or from one location to another. This conclusion applies, whether the value is denominated in a real currency or a convertible virtual currency. In addition, any exchanger that uses its access to the convertible virtual currency services provided by the administrator to accept and transmit the convertible virtual currency on behalf of others, including transfers intended to pay a third party for virtual goods and services, is also a money transmitter.

            FinCEN understands that the exchanger's activities may take one of two forms. The first form involves an exchanger (acting as a "seller" of the convertible virtual currency) that accepts real currency or its equivalent from a user (the "purchaser") and transmits the value of that real currency to fund the user's convertible virtual currency account with the administrator. Under FinCEN's regulations, sending "value that substitutes for currency" to another person or to another location constitutes money transmission, unless a limitation to or exemption from the definition applies.16 This circumstance constitutes transmission to another location, namely from the user's account at one location (e.g., a user's real currency account at a bank) to the user's convertible virtual currency account with the administrator. It might be argued that the exchanger is entitled to the exemption from the definition of "money transmitter" for persons involved in the sale of goods or the provision of services. Under such an argument, one might assert that the exchanger is merely providing the service of connecting the user to the administrator and that the transmission of value is integral to this service. However, this exemption does not apply when the only services being provided are money transmission services.17

            The second form involves a de facto sale of convertible virtual currency that is not completely transparent. The exchanger accepts currency or its equivalent from a user and privately credits the user with an appropriate portion of the exchanger's own convertible virtual currency held with the administrator of the repository. The exchanger then transmits that internally credited value to third parties at the user's direction. This constitutes transmission to another person, namely each third party to which transmissions are made at the user's direction. To the extent that the convertible virtual currency is generally understood as a substitute for real currencies, transmitting the convertible virtual currency at the direction and for the benefit of the user constitutes money transmission on the part of the exchanger.

            c. De-Centralized Virtual Currencies

            A final type of convertible virtual currency activity involves a de-centralized convertible virtual currency (1) that has no central repository and no single administrator, and (2) that persons may obtain by their own computing or manufacturing effort.

            A person that creates units of this convertible virtual currency and uses it to purchase real or virtual goods and services is a user of the convertible virtual currency and not subject to regulation as a money transmitter. By contrast, a person that creates units of convertible virtual currency and sells those units to another person for real currency or its equivalent is engaged in transmission to another location and is a money transmitter. In addition, a person is an exchanger and a money transmitter if the person accepts such de-centralized convertible virtual currency from one person and transmits it to another person as part of the acceptance and transfer of currency, funds, or other value that substitutes for currency.

Providers and Sellers of Prepaid Access

            A person's acceptance and/or transmission of convertible virtual currency cannot be characterized as providing or selling prepaid access because prepaid access is limited to real currencies. 18

Dealers in Foreign Exchange

            A person must exchange the currency of two or more countries to be considered a dealer in foreign exchange.19 Virtual currency does not meet the criteria to be considered "currency" under the BSA, because it is not legal tender. Therefore, a person who accepts real currency in exchange for virtual currency, or vice versa, is not a dealer in foreign exchange under FinCEN's regulations.

* * * * *

            Financial institutions with questions about this guidance or other matters related to compliance with the implementing regulations of the BSA may contact FinCEN's Regulatory Helpline at (800) 949-2732.

1 FinCEN is issuing this guidance under its authority to administer the Bank Secrecy Act. See Treasury Order 180-01 (March 24, 2003). This guidance explains only how FinCEN characterizes certain activities involving virtual currencies under the Bank Secrecy Act and FinCEN regulations. It should not be interpreted as a statement by FinCEN about the extent to which those activities comport with other federal or state statutes, rules, regulations, or orders.

2 FinCEN's regulations define "person" as "an individual, a corporation, a partnership, a trust or estate, a joint stock company, an association, a syndicate, joint venture, or other unincorporated organization or group, an Indian Tribe (as that term is defined in the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act), and all entities cognizable as legal personalities." 31 CFR § 1010.100(mm).

3 31 CFR § 1010.100(m).

4 Bank Secrecy Act Regulations - Definitions and Other Regulations Relating to Money Services Businesses, 76 FR 43585 (July 21, 2011) (the "MSB Rule"). This defines an MSB as "a person wherever located doing business, whether or not on a regular basis or as an organized or licensed business concern, wholly or in substantial part within the United States, in one or more of the capacities listed in paragraphs (ff)(1) through (ff)(7) of this section. This includes but is not limited to maintenance of any agent, agency, branch, or office within the United States." 31 CFR § 1010.100(ff).

5 Final Rule - Definitions and Other Regulations Relating to Prepaid Access, 76 FR 45403 (July 29, 2011),

6 These terms are used for the exclusive purpose of this regulatory guidance. Depending on the type and combination of a person's activities, one person may be acting in more than one of these capacities.

7 How a person engages in "obtaining" a virtual currency may be described using any number of other terms, such as "earning," "harvesting," "mining," "creating," "auto-generating," "manufacturing," or "purchasing," depending on the details of the specific virtual currency model involved. For purposes of this guidance, the label applied to a particular process of obtaining a virtual currency is not material to the legal characterization under the BSA of the process or of the person engaging in the process.

8 As noted above, this should not be interpreted as a statement about the extent to which the user's activities comport with other federal or state statutes, rules, regulations, or orders. For example, the activity may still be subject to abuse in the form of trade-based money laundering or terrorist financing. The activity may follow the same patterns of behavior observed in the "real" economy with respect to the purchase of "real" goods and services, such as systematic over- or under-invoicing or inflated transaction fees or commissions.

9 31 CFR § 1010.100(ff)(1-7).

10 FinCEN's regulations provide that whether a person is a money transmitter is a matter of facts and circumstances. The regulations identify six circumstances under which a person is not a money transmitter, despite accepting and transmitting currency, funds, or value that substitutes for currency. 31 CFR § 1010.100(ff)(5)(ii)(A)-(F).

11 31 CFR § 1010.100(ff)(5)(i)(A).

12 Ibid.

13 Typically, this involves the broker or dealer electronically distributing digital certificates of ownership of real currencies or precious metals, with the digital certificate being the virtual currency. However, the same conclusions would apply in the case of the broker or dealer issuing paper ownership certificates or manifesting customer ownership or control of real currencies or commodities in an account statement or any other form. These conclusions would also apply in the case of a broker or dealer in commodities other than real currencies or precious metals. A broker or dealer of e-currencies or e-precious metals that engages in money transmission could be either an administrator or exchanger depending on its business model.

14 Application of the Definition of Money Transmitter to Brokers and Dealers in Currency and other Commodities, FIN-2008-G008, Sept. 10, 2008. The guidance also notes that the definition of money transmitter excludes any person, such as a futures commission merchant, that is "registered with, and regulated or examined by…the Commodity Futures Trading Commission."

15 In 2011, FinCEN amended the definition of money transmitter. The 2008 guidance, however, was primarily concerned with the core elements of the definition - accepting and transmitting currency or value - and the exemption for acceptance and transmission integral to another transaction not involving money transmission. The 2011 amendments have not materially changed these aspects of the definition.
16 See footnote 11 and adjacent text.

17 31 CFR § 1010.100(ff)(5)(ii)(F).

18 This is true even if the person holds the value accepted for a period of time before transmitting some or all of that value at the direction of the person from whom the value was originally accepted. FinCEN's regulations define "prepaid access" as "access to funds or the value of funds that have been paid in advance and can be retrieved or transferred at some point in the future through an electronic device or vehicle, such as a card, code, electronic serial number, mobile identification number, or personal identification number." 31 CFR § 1010.100(ww). Thus, "prepaid access" under FinCEN's regulations is limited to "access to funds or the value of funds." If FinCEN had intended prepaid access to cover funds denominated in a virtual currency or something else that substitutes for real currency, it would have used language in the definition of prepaid access like that in the definition of money transmission, which expressly includes the acceptance and transmission of "other value that substitutes for currency." 31 CFR § 1010.100(ff)(5)(i) .

19 FinCEN defines a "dealer in foreign exchange" as a "person that accepts the currency, or other monetary instruments, funds, or other instruments denominated in the currency, of one or more countries in exchange for the currency, or other monetary instruments, funds, or other instruments denominated in the currency, of one or more other countries in an amount greater than $1,000 for any other person on any day in one or more transactions, whether or not for same-day delivery." 31 CFR § 1010.100(ff)(1).

12 [sic] As our response is not in the form of an administrative ruling, the substance of this letter should not be considered determinative in any state or federal investigation, litigation, grand jury proceeding, or proceeding before any other governmental body.

//////////////

I thought this dubious speech was kind of interesting. Moar Fear of Bitcoin!!

ASSOCIATION OF CERTIFIED ANTI-MONEY LAUNDERING SPECIALISTS (ACAMS) 18TH ANNUAL INTERNATIONAL AML AND FINANCIAL CRIME CONFERENCE

REMARKS OF JENNIFER SHASKY CALVERY
DIRECTOR
FINANCIAL CRIMES ENFORCEMENT NETWORK
ASSOCIATION OF CERTIFIED ANTI-MONEY LAUNDERING SPECIALISTS (ACAMS)
18TH ANNUAL INTERNATIONAL AML AND FINANCIAL CRIME CONFERENCE
MARCH 19, 2013
HOLLYWOOD, FL

          Good morning. I want to start by thanking our hosts, THE ASSOCIATION OF CERTIFIED ANTI-MONEY LAUNDERING SPECIALISTS, for the opportunity to join you at this year's conference.

          Some of you may have heard me speak recently about FinCEN's broad mission, and how important it is for us to build strong public-private partnerships for us to achieve success. I cannot emphasize this fact enough. Our nation's financial institutions play a vital role in our efforts to safeguard the financial system from illicit use, combat money laundering, and promote national security. And we do this through the collection, analysis, and dissemination of financial intelligence and strategic use of our financial authorities.

          FinCEN depends on the information financial institutions provide to us, and today I'd like to focus on what our analysts do with that information. FinCEN is a leader in the analysis of Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) data and financial intelligence. Our advanced analytic tools and highly skilled analysts play a unique role in analyzing and integrating BSA data and other information to accomplish three ends: (1) map illicit finance networks; (2) identify compromised financial institutions and jurisdictions; and (3) understand the current methods and schemes for illicit finance. These three key pieces of analysis are critical to enable our stakeholders - law enforcement, regulators, foreign partners, and industry - to take action against money laundering and terrorist financing.

          FinCEN's analysis depends primarily on the excellent information you provide - it is the baseline from which our analysts work. During my time at FinCEN, I have been continually impressed by the exceptionally high caliber of FinCEN's analytical team. What our analysts do now - and do very well - is look across that data to find interconnections to support ongoing law enforcement cases, to find trends and patterns within that data, and to understand the overall changes and shifts within it. They will also combine those findings with other information sources, such as law enforcement data or publicly available data, and enhance the picture.

          Where our analysts are going - and we're not there yet, but we are on the cusp of these capabilities - is to take our analysis to a whole new level. Currently, we are capable of dissecting law enforcement and BSA information to identify a specific methodology for illicit finance in a particular segment of the financial industry related to a particular type of crime. We are also capable of using such information to identify entirely new and unknown bad actors engaged in similar activity in other parts of the country. However, right now this is long and arduous work as analysts sift through hundreds and sometimes thousands of reports. Very soon, new capacities made possible by our internal technology modernization, will allow our analysts to deal with such data sets to find leads in a fraction of the time previously necessary. Very soon, we will be able to point law enforcement and other stakeholders precisely to where they should be looking. Our analysts, working hand-in-hand with our superb technology team, are now putting these new capacities into place.

          FinCEN does this analysis well now - and having seen the initial results from our new capabilities, I am excited about where we are headed. I am committed to making this a central role for FinCEN in the 21st Century. So today, I'd like to talk to you about some of the work we are doing and where our cutting-edge analytical efforts are taking us as we seek to remain out in front of emerging payment systems, identify and track third party money launderers, and uncover trends and patterns in the BSA data.

Emerging Payment Systems

          I'd like to begin today by discussing how FinCEN's analysts are working hard to stay ahead of the curve in understanding emerging payment systems and related financial flows and vulnerabilities and to put that information into the hands of those customers who need it most.

          As we all know, during the past decade, the development of new market space and new types of payment systems have emerged as alternatives to traditional mechanisms for conducting financial transactions, allowing developing countries to reach beyond underdeveloped infrastructure and reach those populations who previously had no access to banking services. For consumers and businesses alike, the development and proliferation of these systems are a significant continuing source of positive impact on global commerce.

          These new systems have also expanded the boundaries of "money transmission" as more sophisticated payment systems have become available. And the inherent added complexity of these systems opens them to potential misuse by criminals.

          FinCEN's analysts are continually working to understand the schemes and methods used to exploit emerging payment methods for money laundering and terrorist financing, and to develop related guidance for law enforcement. This guidance provides law enforcement with information on key sectors' operations, recordkeeping practices, and efforts to identify and counter vulnerabilities.

          Partnership is key. As our analysts develop their understanding of these new systems, they are significantly aided by working directly with the financial industry. This partnership enables them to better follow financial trails and realistically understand financial mechanisms.

          For instance, FinCEN's analysts are working to finalize a bulletin that will explore the relatively new payment technology of digital currency systems. FinCEN's bulletin will help "de-mystify" the digital currency realm by explaining to the broader law enforcement community how these systems work. The bulletin will also address the role of traditional financial institutions as intermediaries.

          We're viewing our analytic work in this space as an important part of an ongoing conversation between industry and law enforcement. FinCEN is dedicated to learning more about digital currency systems, along with other emerging mechanisms, to protect those systems from abuse and to aid law enforcement in ensuring that they are getting the leads and information they need to prosecute the criminal actors. As our knowledge base develops, in concert with you, we will look to leverage our new capabilities to identify trends and patterns among the interconnection points of the traditional financial sector and these new payment systems.

          To date, FinCEN's analysts have explored and produced reference products for law enforcement on many traditional and emerging payment systems. These include: cross border funds transfers and correspondent accounts, money transmitters, online payment systems, prepaid cards, and mobile payments. FinCEN's analysts then follow up this work by providing in-person analysis and training to thousands of investigators each year.

          In addition to developing products to help law enforcement follow the financial trails of emerging payments methods, FinCEN also develops guidance for the financial industry to clarify their regulatory responsibilities as they relate to emerging areas.

          In fact, just yesterday, FinCEN issued interpretive guidance to clarify the applicability of BSA regulations to virtual currencies. The guidance responds to questions raised by financial institutions, law enforcement, and regulators concerning the regulatory treatment of persons who use virtual currencies or make a business of exchanging, accepting, and transmitting them.

          FinCEN's rules define certain businesses or individuals as money services businesses (MSBs) depending on the nature of their financial activities. MSBs have registration requirements and a range of anti-money laundering, recordkeeping, and reporting responsibilities under FinCEN's regulations. The guidance considers the use of virtual currencies from the perspective of several categories within FinCEN's definition of MSBs.

          The guidance explains how FinCEN's "money transmitter" definition applies to certain exchangers and system administrators of virtual currencies depending on the facts and circumstances of that activity. Those who use virtual currencies exclusively for common personal transactions like receiving payments for services or buying goods online are not affected by this guidance. Those who are intermediaries in the transfer of virtual currencies from one person to another person, or to another location, are money transmitters that must register with FinCEN as MSBs unless an exception applies. Some virtual currency exchangers are already registered with FinCEN as MSBs, though not necessarily as money transmitters. The guidance clarifies definitions and expectations to ensure that businesses engaged in similar activities are aware of their regulatory responsibilities.

Third Party Money Launderers

          Analysts at FinCEN work on the front lines with law enforcement to help address head-on some of the U.S. government's highest investigative priorities. Healthcare fraud and tax fraud (by identity theft) are both serious and growing drains on U.S. government programs, with losses estimated in the hundreds of billions of dollars.

          To combat these serious and growing frauds, FinCEN has partnered with the Department of Justice, the Internal Revenue Service, and officials within the Department of Health and Human Services to provide targeted analysis of individuals and organizations engaged in fraud. In this effort, FinCEN has to date analyzed more than 270,000 BSA filings in support of more than 300 healthcare fraud investigations.

          FinCEN's mapping of the illicit finance networks used to move such fraud proceeds revealed that check cashers are a key node. They are often used to cash out fraudulent healthcare claims and fraudulent tax returns. While we cannot determine what percentage of the overall illicit proceeds pass through complicit check cashers, we assess that such third-party money launderers comprise a crucial link in the movement of fraudulent proceeds by significant organized criminal actors.

          But here is where FinCEN's analysts have taken their work to the next level. In mapping these networks, FinCEN has also uncovered distinct and unique trends concerning the laundering of fraud proceeds through check cashers. Illegal proceeds from healthcare fraud and tax return fraud by identity theft are moved through the U.S. financial system in identifiable ways, leading FinCEN to identify markers of these transactions.

          FinCEN's review of suspicious activity reports related to these cases reveals several indicators of money laundering in multiple transactional models. Often these transactions involved a third party closely linked to a check casher. FinCEN determined that many of these third parties received ACH credits from Medicare, Medicaid, or private insurance companies.

          FinCEN analysts continue to provide ongoing support to investigations into laundering healthcare and tax fraud proceeds. And we will leverage our analytic findings to better inform industry of key indicators to improve their awareness and enhance BSA filings received on these actors. Our analysts are committed to proactively identifying financial institutions involved in the laundering of proceeds of frauds against the U.S. government. We believe that using this information will be key to furthering both criminal and civil enforcement actions, and preventing such fraudulent activity in the future.

Uncovering Trends and Patterns

          In addition to providing case support, some of you may know that FinCEN has, for many years, carried out trends and pattern analyses of the information contained in the millions of SARs and CTRs that financial institutions send to FinCEN annually. For example, FinCEN studies the BSA records filed on U.S. dollar and foreign currency movement and transactions associated with Mexico and other foreign jurisdictions. These high level analyses aid in detection of illicit financial activity of specific targeted groups, such as Mexican drug trafficking organizations and other transnational criminal organizations operating in the United States and elsewhere.

          For example, our advanced data matching algorithms have allowed us to increase match rates between CMIRs, CTRs, and SARs by over 50 percent in some jurisdictions. This gives us insight into dollar flow from a foreign jurisdiction to the point the dollars are deposited into a U.S. bank, from which we can work to ultimately identify the foreign beneficiary of a wire emanating from the account.

          In another example, analysts have developed a product that allows investigators to review, evaluate, and compare the transactional and aggregate remittance activity of MSB agents using various "red flag" indicators to assist in the identification of agents acting as third party money launderers.

Advanced Analytics

          Naturally, FinCEN's ability to conduct this kind of complex analysis would be impossible without the BSA data financial institutions provide.

          There are also technical challenges to producing timely, cogent, and actionable intelligence products, useful to both our policy leaders and to field personnel. As I noted, filing protocols and the data within FinCEN reports vary from form to form, particularly with respect to those forms not filed strictly by financial institutions, such as the CMIR and Form 8300. Because of these variances, FinCEN analysts are challenged to find innovative solutions to match and fuse data as part of their mapping of illicit finance networks, identification of compromised financial institutions and jurisdictions, and understanding of schemes and methods for illicit finance.

          In the very recent past, our analysts often needed to develop ad hoc tools to help analyze the data because our technical backbone was unable to sufficiently support the layers of tasks required to query, download, integrate, sort, connect, and chart the data.

          Last fall, FinCEN began rolling out a key component in our IT Modernization Program to improve upon our ability to conduct analysis and make the BSA data available to a large number of federal and state agencies, including law enforcement and regulators. FinCEN Query allows users to easily access, query, and analyze 11 years of BSA data; apply filters to narrow search results; and utilize enhanced data capabilities. Our users are now able to look at the information more comprehensively, and we are excited to work with them in making sure that your filings become more valuable than ever before in this new system.

          To give you an idea of the value of the information your institutions provide, in the months since FinCEN Query went live last September, there have been over 1.1 million queries of the BSA data by more than 6,400 users. This past Wednesday alone, there were over 20,000 queries of the BSA data through FinCEN Query.

          With our technology advancements, we are now getting closer to being able to leverage predictive analytics to take our work even further. This will provide us with the ability to work with our law enforcement partners, review their top completed investigations, understand the money laundering indicators present in our data, parse through the existing BSA forms, and then develop automated business rules that will allow us to provide agencies with new leads indicative of similar illicit activity elsewhere.

          For example, FinCEN is working towards developing business rules based on information provided by our law enforcement and regulatory partners. Our goal is to dive deeper into aggregated regional and state level data to extract underlying drivers and trends between and among regions. We are doing this by automating the detection of regions and industries with significant changes, reviewing BSA records, and drilling down to understand which financial institutions are on the front lines of seeing changes in trends and patterns.

          Moving forward, we expect to use the strategic application of business rules on the data industry provides to not only detect, but also to "predict" where certain types of money laundering, such as the placement of dollars in connection with trade-based money laundering activities, might be manifested.

          This type of predictive analysis will significantly improve our intelligence and enforcement efforts by allowing us to focus on those vulnerable regions or financial sectors where money laundering or financial crimes are most prevalent. Furthermore, it will allow us to provide new leads to law enforcement, alert our regulatory partners, and develop "red flags" for industry so we can provide feedback on the kind of information that would be helpful in their SAR reporting.

          We are beginning to touch the very early parts of this capability; we are very excited to be heading in this direction and I greatly look forward to seeing the products when we are able to reach full implementation.

          In another aspect of our modernization, financial institutions will be required to utilize the new FinCEN reports, including CTRs and SARs, starting April 1, 2013. The new FinCEN reports were specifically developed to work with the new FinCEN Query system that we just rolled out, and these new FinCEN reports allow us, law enforcement, and regulators to slice and dice the information submitted in a much more advanced way.

          We're happy that more and more institutions are coming on board with the new formats in advance of the deadline. As of last Friday, approximately 90 percent of the batch-filed SARs and CTRs received from the largest financial institutions, and 60 percent of single SAR or CTR filings received (typically from smaller financial institutions), were submitted using the new formats. We know that industry is working hard to make the changes. One thing I want to point out in particular with respect to the new formats is the guidance that we put out last March with respect to new fields.

          As that guidance clearly explains, the new FinCEN CTR and FinCEN SAR do not create any new obligations or otherwise change existing statutory and regulatory expectations. Financial institutions must provide the most complete and accurate information known to them. They are not under an obligation to collect non-mandatory information simply because there is now a field for it. However, just as has always been the case, if financial institutions have information that is pertinent to a report, they need to be able to include it in the report, so that the CTR, SAR, or other FinCEN report is complete and accurate.

          FinCEN has and will continue to provide additional guidance and training materials in support of the new reports through Webinars, FAQs, and other publications and materials. And to keep this rapidly approaching deadline fresh in everyone's minds, we continue to work with our regulatory and industry partners by issuing our own reminders to industry.

          As a result of all the work that is being done within the industry, at FinCEN, and in partnership with regulatory and law enforcement partners, the adoption of the new reports will prove extremely valuable to our shared fight against money laundering, terrorist financing, and other financial crimes.

Conclusion

          My remarks today have focused extensively on the work being done by FinCEN's analytical team - not only their ongoing efforts, but where we are heading in the future. From the time I arrived at FinCEN, I have been continually impressed by the fascinating work our analysts are doing, and even more so, by their dedication each and every day to FinCEN's mission, and their desire to make a real difference as public servants.

          I've been in government long enough to know that FinCEN's analysts can stand toe-to-toe alongside the best analysts in the federal government and around the world. And to be their champion as Director of FinCEN is an honor. It is gratifying to hear how passionately our analysts feel about their work. In their own words, here is what some of them have to say:

"Arriving at FinCEN as an analyst from the banking compliance sector opened up a whole new world for me. I was really excited to join FinCEN because for the first time I would be able to view and analyze all of the SARs associated with a case and gain a better understanding of how my SARs were being used by FinCEN, as well as our Federal, state, and local partners. My first assignment was to analyze the movement "repatriation" of U.S. dollar currency from Mexico and the players engaged in the wholesale banknote industry. This project relied heavily on my banking knowledge, but it also required me to work alongside law enforcement, regulators, and the financial industry in a whole new capacity. I learned how best to review and analyze BSA data, but more importantly, I was having a real-time impact on the fight against Mexican Drug Cartels and their ability to place large amounts of illicit dollars back into the U.S. financial system. It was amazing that as a new analyst I could make such a difference."

"As a career analyst, I truly enjoy coming to work every day here at FinCEN for many reasons, but specifically because I am challenged by analyzing the BSA, adding value to a law enforcement case, developing a methodology for how money is laundered through a specific industry, or identifying a money laundering network. I think the best way to describe my job is to imagine five different 1,000 piece puzzles mixed together in a pile. My job is to try and determine how to put together each puzzle, while not knowing how many actual puzzles are in front of me. It's truly a rewarding and satisfying experience once you've finished a "puzzle" and are confident that you know not only what you're looking at, but that you can explain it to others."

          There is no doubt that we will never run out of puzzles to complete. And as the escalation of transnational criminal threats to the U.S. financial system has increased, so too has the imperative to ensure that FinCEN is fully maximizing its potential to disrupt this activity. I am hopeful that my remarks today have given you new insight into the team at FinCEN working to respond to these threats.

          But we can't do it alone. Your financial institutions are the eyes and ears in the fight against terrorists and other bad guys. The BSA data starts with you. It is the key to our defenses and we are depending on you. I am committed to maximizing our ability to be effective partners and colleagues.

          FinCEN is a critical partner in the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing. Our talented and dedicated team is committed to that mission. We have an incredible opportunity to serve the American public and to contribute to the safety of this country and the world. FinCEN will meet the challenges ahead working together with you, law enforcement, and our regulatory partners.

          Thank you once again for inviting me here to speak with you today.

###

Get back to us when you help get some money laundering banksters in jail!

A few more elements on the semi-suspended MN Drug Recognition Evaluator (DRE) program

Previously on hongpong.com: MK Occupy Minnesota: The Drug Recognition Evaluator BCA Investigation files (Nov 12 2012) -- MK Occupy Minnesota (May 3 2012)

The training section of Minnesota's Drug Recognition Evaluator program continues to be suspended, after a 513-page Bureau of Criminal Apprehension investigation raised more questions and stonewalling from officials. Whether or not anyone will 'get real' about intrinsically corrupt war on drugs and protected misconduct is another question. Whether or not anyone will admit the war on drugs funnels profits into Wall Street is yet another.

Fox 9 reporter Tom Lyden covered the DRE story (VIDEO), talking to one of the test subjects as well as my friend, attorney Nathan Hansen, who is planning to file a lawsuit. (I have done a little design work for Hansen in years past)

The role of the Minneapolis Police Department in DRE remains untouched by local officials. 3 months ago I interviewed the chair of the city public safety committee, council member Don Samuels (VIDEO) about the shutdown of civilian oversight in the city, and he said that there was no expected report from MPD about the DRE.

Other typical recent misconduct: MPD Officer Blayne Lehner named in misconduct lawsuit; Mpls settles for $85k - City Pages Blotter

CityPages has covered DRE from the beginning and has posted a series on it: DRE 'victims' to file civil lawsuit against alleged pot-distributing officers [SECOND IN SERIES] - Minneapolis - News - The Blotter

Here are a few more new DRE documents a research colleague found from elsewhere on the interwebs:

http://www.decp.org/documents/pdfs/WhatNew/Labor%20Day%20Period%20Totals%2020102.pdf - typical touting of arrests. Crossposted to Scribd: DRE Labor Day Period Totals 20102

Via Washington state, the 2010 version of the official DRE manual (it has the same distinct typeface as the DRE IACP certification form in the BCA document) : http://www.wsp.wa.gov/breathtest/docs/webdms/DRE_Forms/Manuals/dre7/Student%20Manual%20-%20January%202010%20-%20Part%201.pdf - rejected by Scribd because of password protection. Mirrored at http://hongpong.com/files/dre/DREStudentManual-January2010-Part1.pdf  - 4MB - 212 pgs. Again it is important to note this material emerges from a committee of the decidedly sketchy International Association of Chiefs of Police, not a scientific body with open peer review. Good stuff about licking toads on page 187 etc etc.

Minnesota - the 1997 DRE plan: http://archive.leg.state.mn.us/docs/pre2003/mandated/970234.pdf - crossposted to Scribd: DRE-MN-POST-1997-970234

Another DRE document from Littleton CO indicates state & federal funding: http://townoflittleton.org/images/TOLimgs/files/septpdactivities2012.pdf -

A password-protected Powerpoint. Anyone care to take a look? http://hongpong.com/files/dre/DRE_STL06.ppt . via http://entrapped.com/Media/DRE_STL06.ppt .

*****

Out in the wider world the drumbeat of drug war corruption continues. A popular cartoon from Politico / M.Wuerker:

drugwar-politico-cartoon.jpg

In both Mexico and Afghanistan, absurd formations are emerging. (via here) Pentagon Wants to Keep Running Its Afghan Drug War From Blackwater's HQ | Danger Room | Wired.com, related to 2009 - cryptogon.com » Blackwater Worldwide Changes Its Name to Xe; Same Mercenaries, but Now with More “Aviation Support”. Also the latest from NarcoNews: Mexico’s New President Set to Empower a “Devil’s Cartel” | the narcosphere.

Also via DaveyD, thorough documentation of this racist project: US Marshal Told By Supervisors Not to Bring the ‘War on Drugs’ to White Communities | Davey D's Hip Hop Corner

We'll leave it there for now...

MK Occupy Minnesota: The Drug Recognition Evaluator BCA Investigation files

By Dan Feidt -- hongpong.com -- MINNEAPOLIS -- NOV 12 2012 -- Law enforcement officers under a state training program called Drug Recognition Evaluators encouraged people in downtown Minneapolis, including Occupy Minnesota protesters at Peavey Plaza and other vulnerable and houseless people to participate in alcohol and drug intoxication evaluations. After a 35-minute video "MK Occupy Minnesota" [produced by Occupy Minneapolis, Communities United Against Police Brutality, Rogue Media & Twin Cities Indymedia] was released documenting claims of several DRE participants they'd been given drugs and encouraged to take drugs, an officer from Hutchinson, MN, stepped forward to corroborate part of that story.

UPDATE Nov 28: For a DRE training manual & a few other docs see the update. Thanks to CityPages for doing a whole series of posts including an interview.

Mn Bureau of Criminal Apprehension under the Department of Public Safety, generated a 513-page investigative report described in Minnesota Public Radio & Star Tribune stories, but not available publicly in full until now, adding another chunk to this incomplete story from one of the many gray areas in the war on drugs & the suppression of Occupy protesters.

New BCA Report URL: http://hongpong.com/files/dre/DRE-investigation-BCA.pdf (78MB)

May 3: http://www.hongpong.com/archives/2012/05/03/mk-occupy-minnesota-drugs-dre-program-peavey-plaza


Original video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vTgN17FZGKE MK Occupy Minnesota: Drugs & the DRE Program at Peavey Plaza - May 2 2012 - 155,777 views @ Nov 12 2012

SCRIBD URL: http://www.scribd.com/doc/112922193/DRE-Investigation-BCA

DRE Investigation BCA

This BCA report, a compilation of interviews, correspondence & law enforcement & their lawyers refusing to answer the BCA's questions about DRE, raises many questions. Besides the claims of the Occupy protesters, many unethical practices including cash for participation, discussing gaining "leverage" over "volunteers" by threatening to arrest them (pg 76), not having an ambulance near where people were encouraged to take drugs at the gravel pit in Richfield near the MnDOT garage, no waivers, the explicit suspending of state drug laws for a privately organized certification program (pg 91, 99), etc.

Many of the officers discuss a general sense of unease across their entire class, of trespassing certain obvious moral or ethical boundaries ('your morals are gone', pg 428). As Minneapolis considers dissolving the Civilian Review Authority oversight board, many connections to the Minneapolis Police Department including the 5th Precinct have not been reviewed.

Other items include: a BCA AT&T phone subpoena to trace phone/SMS activity by one of the officers involved, and more on the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) role in the program (pg 223, 231) -- as an officer discusses, they're called "evaluators" rather than "experts" because the courts don't really recognize it (pg 202). IACP receives large donations from major defense contractors to promote local police policies expanding biometrics & surveillance, war-on-terror tech deployed at home, mass incarceration and intensifying the war on drugs. The IACP has managed to impose this pseudo-legal yet scientifically unproven framework, the DRE, with its morally abhorrent training program, on many states besides Minnesota.

In the end of this phase, the Hennepin County Attorney's office ruled out filing charges after so many officers stonewalled (pg 54-57) [as the Strib noted, some of the same same legal operations used by the disgraced Metro Gang Strike Force officers]. Pages significant to documenting the way illegal government operations in Minnesota get papered over, the 'coverup machine' network of lawyered up law enforcement, listed below ('get everyone quiet', pg 367)-- and really, Hennepin concluded, unless an officer handed out a generous 42 grams in one sitting, it wouldn't be a felony crime.

While everything in this strange report should be taken critically, disturbing themes of emerge of relatively young rural police officers being sent around Minneapolis to find the chemically dependent & mentally ill, turn them loose again after they're intoxicated, without any help like medical or social support, and connections to further gray areas like developing informants in the drug world(pg 381), and a methamphetamine-addicted informant handled into performing an evaluation by a Ramsey County deputy.

Another key subject is the Donald Steven Turner interview (pg 485-492) wherein he describes not only his certainty that Occupiers were lying, he seemingly brags about giving a Minneapolis police officer he knows one person's name and then scaring them into jumping a train out of town, talking up his ability to develop 'profiles' on OccupyMN members, etc. While the authorities describe Turner as a credible OccupyMN member, he had a reputation for scuffling with people and being tossed from Occupy meetings, taking at least one bike, and other serious issues stretching back long before Occupy started in New York. This are some of the most jaded & disturbing statements I've ever seen documented, seemingly bragging about informing to spread fear. More interviews with others he affected are really needed to tell this particular story. Whether or not his statements have any validity, the damage to privacy of third parties he named has already been done in his statement to law enforcement -- unfortunately, redacting the first names Don put out there would do no good.

Voters showed last week they're becoming increasingly weary of the war on drugs, which has generated huge profits for lawyers, corporations, banks and Wall Street through laundered money. All this shadiness isn't a bug, it's a feature. Will Minnesota recognize the failure of the war on drugs and cancel abusive, unscientific programs like the DRE? Can Minnesota shift from punishment, coercion & incarceration to harm-reduction chemical dependency policies that treat everyone humanely?

[birthday/phone/contact info of people targeted by DRE was removed with black rectangles. This document did not arrive via government/data practices channels, and some other details, likely police personal details like cell phone & home addresses were apparently removed with marker probably by the BCA.]

For more information & work on similar issues please see the websites of groups involved in producing the initial MK Occupy Minnesota video:

Communities United Against Police Brutality - CUAPB.org - @CUAPB

roguemedia.org @roguemedia_org

OccupyMinneapolis.mn - @occupyMN

tc.indymedia.org @TCIMC

hongpong.com @hongpong

globalrevolution.tv @globalrevlive

---- This story and the original video MK Occupy Minnesota are licensed Creative Commons with Attribution --

--------

Here is shorthand for some interesting pages to check out further. Particular interesting pages marked with asterisks:

22 coverup

36 Hutchinson drug kit?

90 Munoz

42 coverup

49 Holiday parking lot lol

54-57 coverup

66 LDF coverup

76 using statutes for leverage to gain 'volunteers'

79 coverup

83 * "I just gave them marijuana it's not like I hurt anybody"

91 WTF instruction on illegal drugs?

99 WTF little to no instruction on street subjects

102 incentives "could offer them money"

105 "wink wink nod nod"

106 - why blank?

109 "I just gave them marijuana"

112 warnings about occupy minnesota / Munoz instruction after video

116 WTF

125 Telephone subpoena

129 Don Turner says occupiers lied about DRE

136 possible missing marijuana from Nobles Co evidence room?

140 Hennepin County Attorney CASE CLOSED summary

141 Hutchinson starts inquiry

142 Roster of police participants

148 players in International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP)

152-153 *** the case - interview

154 **** disposing of the case

157 no independent medical personnel or ambulance nearby (even though drugs are being taken in area)

162 phone subpoena

163 drugs with volunteers

190-191 coverup

198 getting leverage on volunteers- threaten to arrest

202 definitions of 'expert' vs 'evaluator' - they aren't real 'experts' but IACP labels it

206 Munoz instructs not to hand out drugs after video is posted

208 Michelle Ness: "we kinda looked over to Peavey and we're like whoa concentration of potential clients"

217 Hutchinson PD evidence sheet

223-224 IACP control log & material

226 instructors watch all evaluations?

227-228 training schedule

231 IACP

232 "kidnapping" & volunteers

233 probation & volunteers, illegal/warrant issues

235 sketchiness 'it was odd'

239 offering cheeseburgers

241 occupy & video questions

244 national players in IACP / DRE

245 coverup lawyer

249 5th Precinct MPD connection

259 seizure

261 MPD 5th Pct

268 MPD 5th Pct

273 MPD & incentives advice

275 coverup lawyer

278 * Certificates & IACP

279 uneasy feeling for all students

286 Otterson - no instruction

287 "shitty areas"

288 occupy video day we took final exam / weed

289 call to MPD about beat-up guy

291 * direct supervisor for years

295 no independent medical presence or ambulance at MnDOT

297 IACP

305 specs for program change from 12 to 15 evals

309 MPD 5th Pct

310 No waivers for drug participants

311 Munoz says don't provide drugs after occupy video

315 "target area"

323 story about prostitute

325 MPD

335 blackmail "volunteers" via Minneapolis statutes: " get us copies of Minneapolis codes, um in case we saw people you know breaking any city ordinances and kinda use that as a way to get them to see that, you know you can come with us or you know Minneapolis"

340 certification goes via the IACP DRE national website (NOT 'real' state authority)

343 coverup

347 *** Willers narrative - confusion over brothers

348 MPD

354 MPD

357 fear of being recorded at Peavey Plaza

360 ok to buy cigarettes, cash, overlook state drug law etc

361 giving $$$

367-8 *** coverup Legal Defense Fund "get everyone quiet"

381 developing informants "a lot of times we never charged 'em. We said you know give us some info on who your source is"

385-386 Pete's box getting low

387-88 ** informants high on meth

389 smoking in the gravel pit

390 letting off warrant suspect, more suspension of law

391 officer had weed "a bag the officer had the marijuana in" ??

402 incentives

405 MPD

406 coercion of "volunteers"

412-413 woman who was "nuts" = no mental health support

414 using traffic stops & $ for "volunteers"

415 giving out beer

421 snitching: "We did a UA and ah they actually um they apparently he was gonna snitch out some people for drugs and guns"

426 getting desperate, offering a buffet

427 threat of jail

428 ** "your morals are gone"

429 "you can either go to jail for possession of the drugs or if you want to cooperate with us we'll give you a pass."

434 morals/instruction

439 giving out shooter glasses

443-445 getting high

447 odd redaction may be house address?

460 crimes at discretion

468-469 crack, pimp, Popeye's

470 a pimp / the jacket incident

471"it is weird. It is a weird class to go out and try to find someone high"

479 AT&T cell phone subpoena

485-492 *** Don Steven Turner interview

487-492 *** Don talks to MPD Mercil (Sp?) a lot

495 it's like a joint task force re expanded geographic arrest powers

496-497 smoking in Richfield

499 goodie bag MJ

501-513 final Hennepin County report

--
To reach the publisher of this file contact Dan Feidt at hongpong@hongpong.com or at twitter.com/hongpong.

Meet the new Boss in Town: ICE spawns... HSI Homeland Security Investigations, for great justice & cocaine cowboys

Now with moar National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center ... Security unit targets ‘worst’ in world crime - John Lantigua, Palm Beach Post, Nov 26 2011

HSI is a new directorate within the Immigration and Customs Enforcement service. Formed in September, its agents are responsible for investigating large-scale international crime, such as narcotics or arms smuggling, human trafficking, money laundering and any form of terrorism. They also defend against the illegal appropriation and exporting of technology that is crucial to U.S. security.

"In other words we're looking for illegal activity that is crossing the border into the country or crossing the border out of the country," Pino says.

The HSI Special Response Team serves warrants and apprehends international criminals considered too dangerous for other law enforcement to go up against.

"A lot of these criminal organizations are very well-armed, very well-funded and some of them may come from military backgrounds in their home countries," Pino says.

While its name is new, the response team can be traced to the 1980s, before the Department of Homeland Security existed.

"It started here in Miami, in the old cocaine cowboy days," HSI Special Agent in Charge Mike Shea says. "This is the oldest and best tactical entry team in the country. High-risk entry is the core mission."

HSI consists of more than 10,000 employees, including 6,700 special agents, who are assigned to more than 200 U.S. cities and 47 countries .

A relatively monstrous SWAT style truck leads us to a whole new blob of police state developments, busy hands with little to do and a lot of hardware to do it. It's yet another plateau of mad new security bureaucracy, something in this case I was loosely aware of tectonic plates moving, but a little digging revealed quite a nasty new nucleus. Let's plow in and see what was beta-tested through the willingness of politicians to throw money at repressing immigrants. The results begin with big, black scary trucks. And the biggest intelligence group inside the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and more. Surprise!

Via CopBlock.org's Facebook page:

Homeland Security SRT riot truck

What in the hell is the Special Response Team, why do they have eight of these things? etc. What turns up is an entirely new nasty agency gestating with Immigration & Customs Enforcement, from the burbling mass of confused federal police... a new team emerges. With exciting competitions and lurid ways of guarding the Super Bowl from Terrorist Attack - a National Special Security Event. The wikipedia page outlines the bizarre weave of this particular bureaucratic nucleus. And the List of special response units on the ol Wiki shows a spreading motif -- but this Homeland Security super-swat is perhaps the swattiest of all.

HSI SRT Training to jump off shiny new helicopters to save the Super Bowl in Miami - yayyyy!!
(this is why your schools/bridges are crumbling, America, the purposeless authoritarian spectacle at its finest ;)

This recently reorganized, months-old ICE Homeland Security Investigations (formerly known as ICE Office of Investigations) should really be on the radar of anyone because this year they are apparently 'filling in the gaps for the Secret Service' at NSSEs like G20, NATO summits and the Republican and Democratic national conventions. (unfortunately the Secret Service is now a part of DHS, not Treasury.) The Federal Protective Service, which likes to take photos around the Twin Cities (see my 2010 Fort Snelling Undercover Fail video, classic times) is now part of some weird directorate but briefly passed through ICE after being removed from the General Services Administration.

The HSI Special Response Teams are seemingly the top layer of a lot of things, from the war on terror / war on drugs motif, to the Super Bowl, to whatever the hell they are planning to do to immigrants on the I-5 near LA, which was where this pic was taken according to Copblock. ICE has a large number of staff on the Joint Terrorism Task Forces that do statistic-generating police state busywork around the country, and interestingly this HSI group is now officially becoming publicly distinguished from the rest of ICE -- and the theory of course is HSI would be spun out of ICE to become a freestanding 'directorate', a more modern and insane paramilitary FBI or whatever.

I wonder if the Secure Communities biometric collection program which was forced upon all counties in Minnesota, regardless of state & local wishes, would feed citizens' data into HSI.... just like the monstrous truck above, now moving more into the "non immigrant" category of freeform federal police activity. Perhaps they shall do some serious black ops against occupier groups angling to get to the conventions? Nevar!

Wikipedia:

The Special Agents of HSI use their broad legal authority to investigate and combat a range of issues that threaten the national security of the United Statessuch as strategic crimes, human rights violations, human smuggling, art theft,human trafficking, drug smuggling, arms trafficking and other types of smuggling(including weapons of mass destruction), immigration crimes, gang investigations; financial crimes including money laundering, bulk cash smuggling, financial fraud, and trade based money laundering; terrorism, computer crimes including the international trafficking of child pornography over the Internet, intellectual property rights crimes (trafficking of counterfeit trademark protected merchandise), cultural property crimes (theft and smuggling of antiquities and art), and import/export enforcement issues. HSI special agents conduct investigations aimed at protecting critical infrastructure industries that are vulnerable to sabotage, attack or exploitation.[8] HSI special agents also provide security details for VIPs, witness protection, and support the U.S. Secret Service's mission during overtaxed times such as special-security events and protecting candidates running for U.S. president.

HSI was formerly known as the ICE Office of Investigations (OI). HSI Special Agents have legal authority to enforce the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act (Title 8), U.S. Customs Laws (Title 19), along with Titles 5, 6, 12, 18 (Federal Criminal Code and Rules), 21 (drugs), 22, 26, 28, 31 (exclusive jurisdiction over Money and Finance investigations), 46, 49, and 50 (War and National Defense) statutes; giving them the broadest federal law enforcement jurisdiction of any agency. HSI has more than 8,500 Special Agents, making it the second largest federal law enforcement and criminal investigative agency within the United States government next to the FBI.

The change of names from ICE OI to HSI was announced in June 2010. Part of the reasoning behind the name change was to better describe the general activities of the agency, and to avoid the uninformed stigma that this agency only investigates immigration-related issues (ex. OI/HSI special agents duties were often mistaken by the public, other LE agencies and the media to mirror ERO agents/officers). HSI does have a public relations problem. Its the second largest investigatory agency, but the general public has never heard of it. ICE held it close to the belt and until recently, didn't publicly make the distinction as TSA does with Federal Air Marshals and CBP does with Border Patrol. In 2012, ICE and HSI have mandated a public distinction be made between both organizations. Most often news reports bury HSI's efforts as "immigrations agents" or as ICE efforts, and frequently Department of Justice and US Attorney's Office press releases of HSI-led investigations get spun up to sound like DOJ or FBI investigations that received assistance from local partners and ICE.

The name change to HSI better reflects that it is the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's primary investigative body, and as a result, its thought that someday it will be pulled out from under the ICE umbrella and stand independent under the DHS. An obscure fact is the original planned name before settling on ICE was the Bureau of Investigations and Criminal Enforcement, but the brothers at the FBI didn't approve and made their complaints heard.

Intelligence

Intelligence is a subcomponent of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). The Office of Intelligence uses its Intelligence Research Specialists for the collection, analysis, and dissemination of strategic and tactical intelligence data for use by the operational elements of ICE and DHS. Consequently, the Office of Intelligence works closely with the Central Intelligence Agency, IRS the Federal Bureau of Investigation and U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

International Affairs

IA is a subcomponent of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). The Office of International Affairs, with agents in over 60 locations around the world, represents DHS’ broadest footprint beyond US borders. ICE Attaché offices work with foreign counterparts to identify and combat transnational criminal organizations before they threaten the United States. IA also facilitates domestic HSI investigations.

Oh good, the CIA and FBI together at last... (and let's not forget the ICE/DHS network of detention facilities: Detention Facilities official front page- what is the HSI role for something like that applied to - somehow - non-immigrants?)

Official Site: http://www.ice.gov/about/offices/homeland-security-investigations/

The ICE Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) directorate is a critical asset in the ICE mission, responsible for investigating a wide range of domestic and international activities arising from the illegal movement of people and goods into, within and out of the United States.

HSI investigates immigration crime, human rights violations and human smuggling, smuggling of narcotics, weapons and other types of contraband, financial crimes, cybercrime and export enforcement issues. ICE special agents conduct investigations aimed at protecting critical infrastructure industries that are vulnerable to sabotage, attack or exploitation.

In addition to ICE criminal investigations, HSI oversees the agency's international affairs operations and intelligence functions. HSI consists of more than 10,000 employees, consisting of 6,700 special agents, who are assigned to more than 200 cities throughout the U.S. and 47 countries around the world.

Report suspicious activity. Complete our tip form.....

HSI conducts criminal investigations against terrorist and other criminal organizations who threaten national security. HSI combats worldwide criminal enterprises who seek to exploit America's legitimate trade, travel and financial systems and enforces America's customs and immigration laws at and beyond our nation's borders.

HSI comprises six key divisions:

-Domestic Operations

-Intelligence

-International Affairs

-Investigative Programs

-Mission Support

-National Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Coordination Center

The official page for the HSI Special Agent in Charge Field Offices of which there are 26:

Homeland Security Investigations has 26 Special Agent in Charge (SAC) principal field offices throughout the United States. The SAC offices are responsible for the administration and management of all investigative and enforcement activities within the geographic boundaries of the office. The SACs develop, coordinate, and implement enforcement strategies to ensure conformance with national policies and procedures and to support national intelligence programs. SACs coordinate law enforcement activities with the highest level of Federal, state, and local governments, as well as intelligence organizations and international law enforcement entities. In addition, SACs supervise all administrative responsibilities assigned to the office and ensure a responsive Internal Controls Program is developed.

To efficiently manage their designated geographic regions, SAC offices maintain various subordinate field offices throughout their areas of responsibility, which support the enforcement mission. These subordinate field offices, Deputy Special Agents in Charge (DSAC), Assistant Special Agents in Charge (ASAC), Resident Agents in Charge (RAC) and Resident Agents (RA), are responsible for managing enforcement activities within the geographic boundaries of the office.

SAC Minneapolis/St. Paul

2901 Metro Drive, Suite 100

Bloomington, MN 55425

Main (952) 853-2940

Fax (612) 313-9045

If you search for 2901 Metro Drive Suite 100 that is the same office for other immigration, ICE & Homeland Security sub-offices.

These guys also have the completely insane National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center, a hearty reminder that the kafkaesque nature of what they call "intellectual property" combined with bureaucratic bloatware budget and an aggressively fascist private industry-friendly design, can truly combine to make one of the most awful, yet admittedly bold, authoritarian government logos of all time. Our Partner Agencies — National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center

intel-property-rights-center.png

It's almost enough to make you believe that swat teams could control all the memes they want, and even maybe the copy and paste commands too!

These are like a new branch of goons yet to be accounted for: HSI-Intel.

The ICE Homeland Security Investigations Intelligence Office (HSI-Intel) is a robust intelligence force that supports the enforcement needs of ICE’s executive leadership and operational field units.

Cutting edge technology, complex intelligence gathering tools, multifaceted investigative techniques and a high level of professionalism have enabled HSI-Intel to set the standard for federal law enforcement/intelligence agencies.

HSI-Intel also serves as home to the National Incident Response Unit (NIRU). This unit ensures that ICE is prepared to respond to national emergencies or critical events, including natural disasters, disease pandemics and terrorist attacks. NIRU plans for ICE’s continuity of operations before, during and after catastrophic incidents. During these incidents, NIRU serves as the agency’s central communications “nerve center,” coordinating the sharing of information between ICE components and other federal, state and local agencies. .....

HSI-Intel collects, analyzes and shares strategic and tactical data for use by DHS and ICE leadership and operational units. It also supports federal, state, local, tribal and international law enforcement partners.

HSI-Intel’s analysis and targeting information plays a vital role in supporting investigations related to illegal immigration, terrorism, weapons proliferation, war crimes, financial crimes, trade fraud, drug smuggling, human smuggling and trafficking, child sex tourism and other criminal activities.

I am sure they will figure out how all that drug money gets through the Federal Reserve Bank computer systems one of these days.

Organizationally parallel to ICE and the gestating HSI within it is the National Protection and Programs Directorate - Wikipedia. Has the Federal Protective Service now. A hodgepodge. Not the Center of the Action like HSI!

Oh true story... the KGB is now... wait for it... Federal Protective Service (Russia) - Wikipedia. Федеральная служба охраны, ФСО,

As far as I can tell, the following picture is not some satirical fan-boy art piece come to life. And those fonts.... christ! It looks like you can clearly see the 'investigations' part on there.

photo.jpeg

What about the Office of Investigations Special Response Team? Looks like we've found #8 and #10 so far. Both manilla and black color schemas.

Alright lets move this along & get these links out there.I found #9 for the Los Angeles set in Flickr user DFP2746 (plz forgive remixing a part of the images, you intellectual property fusion center types) Source: Homeland Security MRAP / DHS/ICE Special Response Team | Flickr - DFP2746

ice-investigation-srt-9.png

dhs-ice-srt.png

This is getting to be like Pokemon... my SRT trucks. Let me show you them...

First get the swag on eBay: specialresponseteam.JPG HOMELAND SECURITY ICE SRT SPECIAL RESPONSE PATCH | eBay

Press release from 2005 Katrina madness is nice: Department of Homeland Security Special Response Team Deploys to New Orleans Equipped with Zensah Tactical Gear

A– ICE Special Response Team (S.R.T.), an elite tactical unit attached to the Department of Homeland Security, deployed to New Orleans equipped with Zensah (http://www.zensah.com/tactical.html) tactical gear. By wearing Zensah™ moisture wicking tactical clothing, ICE special response team members receive a first line of defense against hazardous conditions found in the Gulf Coast areas affected by Hurricane Katrina.

ICE special response team members are in the affected areas to save lives, to protect lives, and to provide security to the recovery effort. ICE’s primary objectives are to support authorities in securing New Orleans and other affected communities and to provide security to federal rescue and recovery efforts.

....The ICE Special Response Team is an elite tactical team for the office of investigations under the Department of Homeland Security in Miami, Florida. Duties and responsibilities include search and arrests warrants, maritime interdiction, customs and immigration enforcement. For more information pleas visit http://www.ice.gov

Similar: Over 700 ICE Law Enforcement Personnel Were Sent to the Gulf Coast

MOAR GUNS: Tactical-Life.com » THE U.S. ICE MEN: The ICE Special Responders cometh bringing high-speed efficiency and low-drag force as required! "ICE also maintains five additional certified SRT units that are managed by ICE Detention and Operations." ... not sure if they mean 5 or 6 SRTs total. "the U.S. Customs Service evolved into a very progressive and highly successful interdiction and investigative agency. Due to the number of high-risk enforcement actions being executed on a regular basis, the U.S. Customs Service decided to establish a tactical unit called the WETT (Warrant Entry Tactical Team). In time, the U.S. Customs Service changed the name of its tactical team to the Special Response Team."

They're Hiring. Supervisory Border Patrol Agent (Special Response Team) - Homeland Security, Customs and Border Protection Job Posting

Buy training: Special Response Team Training 1: Overview & Objectives | Homeland Security Network USA newest backbone information source for First Responders

Gunfire a regular occurrence for ICE employees | California Watch. This has the following govt-produced pic, look how big that damn truck is. We can't see the apparent city-like (SAC?) insignia on the side or which number it has. It was at this Fort Benning GA training they blather about.

Another benefit of filling up society with needless paramilitary organizations is random accidental gunfire. Nice. "Roughly 80 ICE-involved shootings were unintentional and often involved agents dropping, cleaning or reaching for their guns, records show. The guns, in many cases, discharged in offices, government vehicles or during target practice. "

Special response teams prep for high risk situations at Ft. Benning - Nov 2011 press release ICE.gov

ice-special-training-ft-benning.png

City of Buffalo NY budget mentions a Major Award for it.

The confusing story of Homeland Security whistleblower Julia Davis ties into this I think. ie. see: Medal of Honor Held By The DHS PAGE 2

[ OKC Tangent. One other note -- In the Oklahoma City case I think Terry Nichols tried to tip off these Homeland Security types to a stash of explosives he'd obtained from FBI-friendly weapons dealer and Contra player Roger Moore. I don't have that info on hand here but it's around (notes on that ). It failed because some mafia guy snitched to the FBI -- the FBI has a pretty careful info cage around Nichols because of the informant-saturated nature of OKC he likes to talk about. This went down in like 2005. (Source of FBI Delay on Terry Nichols Explosives etc) So the idea is if the DOJ/FBI had a specific scheme such as OKC you could get around them through HSI. There's more to all of this, don't have the notes here, but there have been developments in recent weeks, search 'Jesse Trentadue'.. ]

201204120404.jpg

Check the ICE photos for some mad stuff. including saving the world from counterfeit NBA swag.

Conclusions? In any case it's good to know who the 'filler goons' are for NSSE campaigns of state-sponsored violence and insanity, of which 3.5 are scheduled for Chicago/Camp David, RNC & DNC this year, (along with the all important national sporting events), and ICE's new spawn HSI and the HSI SRT giant trucks will soon be a fixture at high profile gigs. There were weird Border Patrol Swat types at the 2009 G20 - See TC Indymedia Exclusive: Secret 'Trigger' & blueprint for emergency domestic military crackdown plan revealed - BORTAC is that team. And who knows what they might do with good ol' FEMA.

What to expect: HSI's avid effort to become a domestic Swiss army knife of police activity between IRS, CIA and FBI; another layer on the Joint Terrorism Task Force cake and a free-wheeling institution in its own right, combined with a few new flashy PR initiatives (a high profile bust of a little fish or 2 perhaps, etc) in order to carry out the planned 'branding' of HSI.

Perhaps we can just shut it down and use the borrowed debt 'money' we save to be less permanently indebted to the banker police state... borrowed money to build out echelons of mass suppression is always a grim spectacle. Imagine what we could have done with the wasted resources instead. Now we know which new goonsquad will get the biometrics data from Secure Communities.

And of course, who better to 'manage' the war on drugs than the organizational descendant of the 'cocaine cowboys' and the 1980s task forces which helped pass through planeload after planeload of cocaine? That era's keywords, Barry Seal, aviation fronts like Vortex, Southern Air Transport, Evergreen, Polar Air Cross and Air America (some still thriving), operations like AMADEUS, PEGASUS and WATCHTOWER, the quasi-privatized intelligence operations authorized under proclamations like Executive Order 12333 to facilitate the drugs-for-weapons smuggling... those were a few critical points of that era.

What awaits us next? How will HSI deal with the vast scale of financial corruption? What will they do? Who are they going to point the weapons at, and where are the trucks going? Chicago, Charlotte & Tampa... but first, LA, of course. For the immigrants.

9-11 FBI Foreknowledge Nibbles with Ali Soufan; Who is Rich Blee? and other recent new elements; Balkans, Cacuasus, CIA-Al Qaeda Islamist joint ops in Central Asia, consistent policy of support for Islamic radicals

Ah so it's been a decade eh comrades? The skrewing over of emergency personnel has gone almost unnoticed. FDNY member on 9/11 Truth “I support you guys” | We Are Change -- some new stuff has been trickling out -- pretty solid stuff, at that. The glorious official narrative got its booster shot, but noticeably absent from the necro-political media spectacle were all those sickly and/or dead 9-11 first responders. Over time we find more elements that are obviously pretty credible against the official narrative, but it's still difficult to get a larger picture. Let's nosh on some new goodies -- what better time than now?

Ali Soufan describes the situation behind the scenes with the FBI and 9-11 foreknowledge as well as the torture nightmare going on.... obviously Soufan was able to get better intel from captured militants by persuasion than cruel & unusual coercion, but what else is new?

CIA Threats of Federal Prosecution Delay 9/11 Documentary | 911 Truth News - this newly unearthed Rich Blee figure is one of the latest twists on the 9-11 CIA front. This is the project which the Richard Clarke speculation about hoping to flip al-Hazmi and al-Mihdhar to the CIA was the reason their identities were buried... however that also doesn't track entirely because they were already in touch with another government operative or 2 (an FBI informant and a likely Saudi government operative)

I'm posting the whole bit as it's one of the more substantial elements in the scheme to surface lately.

*********

September 14, 2011

Author: Kyle Hence

Source: secrecykills.com

On Thursday, the CIA threatened the journalists behind Who Is Rich Blee? with possible federal prosecution if their investigative podcast reveals the names of two CIA analysts at the center of a pattern of obstruction and mishandling of intelligence that many feel would have stopped the 9/11 attacks.

Like FBI agent Ali Soufan and Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer before them, the podcast team, including John Duffy and Ray Nowosielski, are being subjected to intimidation and censorship by government officials over blowing the whistle on the true story surrounding two alleged 9/11 hijackers, Nawaf al-Hazmi and Khalid al-Mihdhar.

The podcast originally scheduled for September 11th release presents a narrative of how three CIA analysts working under Richard Blee, the long unknown former head of CIA’s Bin Laden Station, deliberately misled their colleagues and withheld key intelligence from FBI and the White House regarding the presence of two known Al-Qaeda operatives in the U.S.

Four government investigations into CIA handling of pre-911 intelligence included personal details of the two CIA analysts and their actions. Nowosielski and Duffy deduced the identities of the two as yet unnamed CIA employees from internet research based on details provided from these and other open sources. When the producers used their full names in interviews, interviewees offered no correction. The CIA response provided the final confirmation.

In project updates posted at SecrecyKills.com the producers announced the delay of the podcast and posted background of a complicated case that involves dozens of violations of protocol, intimidation, and incidents of obstruction by the CIA, with the two yet named CIA analysts at the center of many of them.

Author and expert on the subject, Kevin Fenton, documents 35 such incidents between January 2000 and September 11th in his book, Disconnecting the Dots: How 9/11 Was Allowed to Happen.

Pulitzer-prize winner Lawrence Wright, interviewed for the podcast, told producers the actions of one of the unnamed CIA analysts still employed at CIA amounts to obstruction of justice in the FBI’s criminal investigation of the deaths of 17 seaman aboard the USS Cole.

The producers are not the first subject to government censorship over this case. Last month The New York Times reported on CIA efforts to censor an autobiography by Ali Soufan, a front-line FBI counter-terrorism special agent. Prior to 9/11, Soufan was interested in Mihdhar and Hazmi because of links to the bombing of the USS Cole in Yemen. The CIA censored references to a passport photo of Mihdhar the CIA had withheld from Soufan, despite three written requests.

Scott Shane of the New York Times reports today that, “Mr. Soufan accuses C.I.A. officials of deliberately withholding crucial documents and photographs of Qaeda operatives from the F.B.I. before Sept. 11, 2001, despite three written requests, and then later lying about it to the 9/11 Commission.”

Lt. Colonel Anthony Shaffer, interviewed for the podcast, was himself intimidated, demoted and smeared by the Pentagon after he came forward to the 9/11 Commission with details of how, on three occasions, unnamed DoD officials prevented his Able Danger operation from meeting with the FBI prior the attacks.

In 2000 the Able Danger data-mining program placed Mohammed Atta in a Brooklyn terrorist cell but had also placed Hazmi and Mihdhar in a San Diego cell, the epicenter of intrigue around Alec Station’s Rich Blee, Tom Wilshere and the two as yet unnamed subordinates who themselves repeatedly withheld intelligence from the FBI. Though Shaffer was interviewed by 9/11 Commission’s Director Philip Zelikow and staffer Dieter Snell, the Commission left any mention of Able Danger from its final report.

In the planned podcast, 9/11 Commission Chair Tom Kean is asked about a scant footnote to Chapter 6 of the 9/11 Report referring to an intelligence cable, seen by 50 at the CIA, but prevented from reaching the FBI. For Kean the incident was not a case of bungling or intel ‘stovepiping’: “Oh, it wasn’t careless oversight. It was purposeful. No question about that in mind. It was purposeful.”

Whereas Kean explains it as a penchant for secrecy, Richard Clarke, the former head of counter-terrorism at the Bush White House, goes farther suggesting malfeasance and the possibility of illegal CIA-led domestic spying activity. Comments by Clarke released in a video in August led to a formal statement from George Tenet, Cofer Black and Richard Blee, and a response from the producers.

“This was perhaps the closest U.S. intelligence got to foiling the 9/11 plot,” explains Nowosielski, “but instead of stopping the attack, the CIA stopped intel on two high-value targets from getting to the right people, repeatedly. And still the CIA protects the individuals responsible by intimidating those who simply want to know the truth behind a shocking and possibly criminal pattern of obstruction”

In an email Thursday the CIA warned Nowosielski he could be subject to prosecution under the Intelligence Identities Protection Act, a law intended to apply to government employees who violate their security clearance and never used to convict journalists.

The producer’s online response: “The Society of Professional Journalists’ code of ethics states that ‘journalists should be free of obligation to any interest other than the public’s right to know’ and should ‘be vigilant and courageous about holding those with power accountable.’ The day that journalists’ exposés of wrongdoing within government agencies require the approval of those government agencies before release, that is the day that transparency and accountability are lost.”

John Duffy and Ray Nowosielski, both graduates of Chicago’s Columbia College Film School, produced the critically acclaimed 2006 documentary “9/11: Press for Truth.”

***********

More developments on this line noted by Sibel Edmonds today. Finally, here is part three of the interview with Paul Thompson featuring hard-core covered-up goodies of Al Qaeda, covert geopolitics, Central Asia and protected operatives! Too Legit to Quit!!

This is Part 3 of our three-part one-of-a-kind interview series with author and researcher Paul Thompson. For additional background information please visit the complete 9/11 Timeline Investigative Project at HistoryCommons.Org.

Paul Thompson joins us to discuss one of the most blacked-out and censored aspects of Al-Qaeda-CIA connections: The partnership and alliance between the CIA and Al Qaeda and their joint operations in Central Asia, Balkans and Caucasus throughout the 1990’s. Mr. Thompson talks about Al-Qaeda’s Balkans operations, running training camps, money-laundering, and drug running networks in the region, Ayman Al-Zawahiri and his residence in Bulgaria in order to help manage the Al Qaeda effort in nearby Bosnia, the Al Qaeda cells in Chechnya and Azerbaijan, BCCI and more!

Big ups to James Corbett for the Boiling Frogs Post video about 9-11, the CIA & the Art of the Hangout - including the ready-preloaded "blame the Saudis" narrative.

Also commentary posted on the fun YT channel IranContraScumDid911: 9/11 Richard Clarke: The CIA Tried To Recruit The 'Hijackers' As Al-Qaeda Agents Before 9/11 - YouTube - pointing out there is some mix of CIA disinfo in this mix, to basically downplay the patsy dimension of it all. (i.e. Richard Clarke is not going to be candid about the actual level of patsy madness)

Frankly I think at this point it should be noted that George Tenet is just one of many intelligence establishment figures who are members of the Knights of Malta - a key authoritarian little nest of establishment weasels, probably more relevant to geopolitical happenings than, say, the Freemasons :)

2004: 9 11 Prior Knowledge Richard Clarke Testimony 3 28 2004 NBC - YouTube

Meanwhile other pins are poppin in the middle east: AFP: US risks being 'toxic' over Palestinian veto: Saudi prince - also Corbett on the mideast happenings.

Americans Need The Truth About 9/11 :   Information Clearing House News

Even Sen Graham sez WTF: Re-investigate 9/11? - Fox Business Video - Fox Business.....

Anyway that's all for now!

LinkDump March 27 2011 - We looked into the fire and the fire looked back

The Silver Conspiracy xtranormal lolbears are back for Part V!

Listening now to Lifeboat Hour with Michael Ruppert presently on ProgressiveRadioNetwork.com. Mostly about Japan so far. Lyric flagged from Ruppert's band New White Trash - "We looked into the fire and the fire looked back." Indeed.

New Shocking Video Of The Japanese Tsunami by timbarracuda ----- and this 9nania video Called It © YouTube - MARCH 11-23 EVENT?! Signs and Evidence

Al Jazeera talks with Roger Waters on the Walls in Palestine and Iraq - nice!

Glowing Japan News: Get your measurement fail straight from the source: Disaster Prevention and Nuclear Safety Network for Nuclear Environment // Fukushima update: False radiation readings, radioactive water and anti-nuclear protesters // one sort of conspiracy vid out there: YouTube - JAPAN GOING TO SINK? JAPAN TSUNAMI QUAKE CAUSED PURPOSELY? // FuKuSHiMa: CoRRuPTioN, SySTeMiC FaiLuRe oR BoTH? | zero hedge // On The Ground Reports From Japan // Latest And Greatest Tsunami Video | zero hedge // Radiation levels reach new highs as conditions worsen for workers - The Washington Post // Both Japan And New Zealand Earthquakes, Volcanic Eruptions Were Precisely Predicted Last Month By Solar Watchers // Local Notes Indian point. // The Automatic Earth: March 13 2011: How Black is the Japanese Nuclear Swan?

Mideast rebellion spreads to Syria: Check out assorted thugs hanging with security in Deraa: YouTube - 1.mp4 // peeps hangin out: YouTube - اين الأعلام السوري من ساحة المسجد العمري بدرعا22 // more rally action: YouTube - 21 اين الأعلام السوري من ساحة المسجد العمري بدرعا // more rallies YouTube - 19 هؤولاء علمائنا يا بوطي فأين انت وحاشيتك // YouTube - 18 التحام المعتصمين بالبلد بالقادمين من عتمان // One hell of a convoy going I think to Deraa: YouTube - توافد المعتصمين الى درعا من عتمان وباقي القرى 8 // Social Media Sites Face Quandary Over Activists’ Use - NYTimes.com // YouTube - Syrian Troops Fire on Demonstrators in Several Cities // Yemen’s president says he’s ready to step down | The Raw Story // chortling from arch neocon Elliot Abrams: Ridding Syria of a despot - The Washington Post // Yemen ruler ready to step down, Syria protests spread | Reuters // Assad’s Promises Fail to Halt Protests in Syrian Cities // AFP: Syria unrest has wide ramifications in Lebanon: analysts // someone bleeding, graphic video forget where: YouTube - أستاذ يلفظ أنفاسه بعد القمع الهمجي الذي تعرضوا له يوم 26مارس2011 // YouTube - شام - اللجزيرة - إتصال لإمام مسجد الرحمن باللاذقية 26-3 // YouTube - الثورة السورية حمص حرق سيارة للجيش 25-03-2011 // YouTube - ماعاد ينفع الترقيع بدنا اسقاط النظام

Libya horrors: Sky News Sees A Woman Bundled Away By Minders From Tripoli Hotel After Allegedly Being Raped | World News | Sky News // US Naval Update: CVN 65 Enterprise Abandons Libya, Reinforces CVN 70 Vinson In Straits Of Hormuz as risk of "Saudi" Arabia collapse accelerates. // Protests against the 2011 military intervention in Libya - Wikipedia go mpls // Videos From The Violent Syrian Revolution: Will A "No Oil Zone" Mean Syrians Can Kiss Dreams Of A "No Fly Zone" Goodbye? | zero hedge

London Calling! Huge anti austerity protests and assorted ruckus. Crazy videos: BBC News - Anti-cuts march: Tens of thousands at London protest //   YouTube - 4500 Police 400,000 March 26th 2011 London Anti-cuts 2pay Ponzi-Debts Anti-War Anti-Census Anti-NWO! // YouTube - LONDON SHUT DOWN (26th March 2011) // YouTube - London Police Losing Control - Protesters Gaining Ground // YouTube - Police Van Attacked In London Protests Against Public Sector Cuts // BBC News - Night-time protest clashes in Trafalgar Square // YouTube - Police battle to restore order in central London // Anti-cuts demo: Protesters occupy Fortnum & Mason as half a million march on London // Anti-cuts demo: Protesters occupy Fortnum & Mason as half a million march on London | Mail Online // Police clash with protesters from campaign group - Home News, UK - The Independent // The battle of Trafalgar Square: Police struggle to control rioters after 500,000-strong London march against cuts ends in violence | Mail Online // Austerity policy engine: Everything we've won: they want it back - Anarchist Federation.

UKIP lol: YouTube - UKIP Nigel Farage interview on Channel 4 ten 'oclock live - March, 2011

Local labor crackdown: The Jimmy John’s Settlement with its workers, in Plain English // West metro Jimmy John's labor dispute escalates - TwinCities.com // Wisconsin-style attacks spawn record turnout in St. Paul | Twin Cities Daily Planet

Police State America: Steven Segal edition: Police Use Tank To Make an Arrest! // American Terrorist Drill Canceled Due To Public Backlash // RCFP: Privacy Act suit based on leak to Detroit reporter dismissed // The Black mayor of Waterproof, Louisiana, has spent nearly a year behind bars without bail | San Francisco Bay View // Urgent leak investigation needed - Glenn Greenwald - Salon.com // Willie Nelson Resolves Pot Charge for a Song | AlterNet // In Prison for Taking a Liar Loan even though the mortgage agent was the fraudster :-( // Pool Reporter tossed into closet during Biden event. // COLUMN — American workers got what they deserved - Holland, MI - The Holland Sentinel // » You Tube Admits To Censoring View Count On Biden Impeachment Video Alex Jones' Infowars: There's a war on for your mind!// Copyright Enforcement, Now Featuring Wiretaps! //

IACP Scary Goonification Industrializations & Rationalizations -- Crazed Napolitano Video: sez moar crackdown coming yr way because We Are Rational. Full article from an event at the dangerous-as-hell apparent globalist enforcer front, the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) which is now basically a big military industrial cutout. There are tons of horrible IACP documents around.

Local public worker sacrifice & Mnbits: This public worker gave his all, and in the end, his life | StarTribune.com // Walking back Pawlenty's Islamic home ownership program // Does Pawlenty Have a Sharia Problem? // Mn Legislature privacy flag alert: Open Secrets: Legislation that can compromise or be improved on in regards to accountability, privacy, and transparency

Esoteric financial conspiracy materialz: The White Hats Report including who else: The White Hats Report: The Wanta Files (VIEW DOCS). [see earlier: The biggest scandal in world history; WANTAGATE, Leo Wanta, the post-Soviet trillions and lots of tangled disinfo from shady operatives (or not) | HongPong.com ] // Amidst Growing World Doubts About 9/11, Career Army Officer Takes Bush Administration Officials to Court April 5th Represented by the Center for 9/11 - Yahoo! News // interesting: Shill Alerts // YouTube - A99 Operation Empire State Rebellion - Communication #1 // WikiLeaks Starting Monday: Market riggers and destroyers of the global economy? | The Agonist

Moar financials: Nash Equilibrium Fail: Ireland Wants Senior Bondholder Haircuts // Lear Capital: Could an Ounce of Gold Be Worth Trillions One Day // Dylan Grice Explains Why He Likes Gold, And Why $7,500/Oz Makes A Gold Standard Possible // Of The Fed's $120 Billion In "Other Assets" - An $80 Billion Gift To Primary Dealers? // Congressman John Campbell's Moment Of Epiphany - Realizes US Is One Big Ponzi | zero hedge // YouTube - End the Fed: Filmmaker Tad Lumpkin Animates the Financial Crisis //

Corruption / Whistleblower coverups: Investigation Raises Questions about Government's Sole Witness Against High-Profile Whistleblower - The Project On Government Oversight (POGO) Blog //  CIA drugs and Afghanistan // CIA whistleblower spells out CIA drug link to Gadhaffi and the Real Lockerbie Truth from Susan Lindauer.

Are you prepared to survive collapse? SurvivalBlog.com - written from a very non-survivable region, Florida!? // JOURNAL: Alternative Currencies // Interesting forum: Sovereign Man: Finance, Lifestyle Design, Offshore Business and Expat News

Sweet art: this is impressive, artist Lisa Bufano suffered amputations, makes awesome art: Lisa Bufano - 3rd Ward Open Call

The Achievers! theachieversmovie.com // also, now with moar duct tape! Video of Why Red Green is White Hot by Growing Bolder, at growingbolder.com // Jeopardy, Watson, and Why Artificial Intelligence is Still Pointless | Bex Huff

Tea Party stuff, corporatist nightmares etc: The Biggest Threat Facing the Country Today Is Fast Creeping Ignorance | Tea Party and the Right | AlterNet. Interesting notes on the classic establishment Social Engineering: Social Engineering. Dang you frankfurt skewl! // It Started In Wisconsin: Labor Fights Back Across The U.S. - Infoshop News // really good: Guest Post: Thoughts On The Liberty Dollar Debacle.

Canadian government collapses or whatever as Ignatieff lols: Harper, Tories hurl C-word at Michael Ignatieff

Online hagglings: Magazine editor seeks to reveal identity of forum poster | The Raw Story // Target sues gay rights group - Minneapolis / St. Paul News - The Blotter // NYC mayor booed at Triangle fire commemoration | The Raw Story // "Sucker Punch" goes beyond awful, to become commentary on the death of moviemaking // oh you guys: Young Pundits Become Washington’s Media Elite - NYTimes.com // Matt Taibbi: "Of course we've been lied to about 9/11" and earlier: Before the 9/11 Conspiracies, There Was the Oklahoma Bombing | | AlterNet - kind of a left version of the shill alerts above? Most useful for flagging the path of conspiracy scene barnacles like Ted Gunderson.

Nearly 14 million Americans are jobless and the outlook for many of them is grim. Since there is just one job available for every five individuals looking for work, four of the five are out of luck: Losing Our Way - NYTimes.com // YOUR NEW REALITY

Code NerdAlert: cmurphycode/Git-Diagrams - GitHub // Pro Git - Pro Git 3.6 Git Branching Rebasing // Git 102 - Adventurous // PDF git good deep tutorial // Pro Git - Pro Git 3.6 Git Branching Rebasing // Feeds QueryPath Parser // Juitter - jQuery Twitter live search feeds // Firefox 4 Is Better Than Microsoft Internet Explorer 9: 10 Reasons Why // p2pnet Anon News, Operation Payback: interviews //postmodern's Profile - GitHub // ronin-ruby/ronin-ruby.github.com - GitHub // Content push - Drupal Module // Bitcoin Address help obsolete The Fed // Lessons from Anonymous on cyberwar - Opinion - Al Jazeera English // Freedcamp - Free Project Management

Mormonlol: The Bizarre Religious Myths Mormon Right-Wingers Are Pushing on Tea Partiers -- With Glenn Beck's Help. It's hangin by a thread lol! another lol page. Great new video from the New Pornographers.

Grim books and such: Amazon.com: The Scientific Way of Warfare: Order and Chaos on the Battlefields of Modernity //

More yuk from soy: Is the Hidden Unfermented Soy in Your Foods Contributing to Illness?

WTF? Children's Consumption of Digital Media On The Rise [STATS] : About 80% of children between the ages of 0 and 5 who use the Internet in the United States do so on at least a weekly basis, according to a report released Monday from education non-profit organizations Joan Ganz Cooney Center and Sesame Workshop.

Well that's all the linkdump for tonight!

CIA Aircraft Shell Companies; FAA notices 119,000 unregistered aircraft for epic drugflight lols; Afghan drug informant/patsy blamed; Evergreen Dispersant Chemtrails; DEA rents plane from drug traffickers for total win in Fake War on Drugs

ssBOREvergreenIntl2.jpg

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Going back to 2005:C.I.A. Expanding Terror Battle Under Guise of Charter Flights - New York Times

While posing as a private charter outfit - "aircraft rental with pilot" is the listing in Dun and Bradstreet - Aero Contractors is in fact a major domestic hub of the Central Intelligence Agency's secret air service. The company was founded in 1979 by a legendary C.I.A. officer and chief pilot for Air America, the agency's Vietnam-era air company, and it appears to be controlled by the agency, according to former employees.

Behind a surprisingly thin cover of rural hideaways, front companies and shell corporations that share officers who appear to exist only on paper, the C.I.A. has rapidly expanded its air operations since 2001 as it has pursued and questioned terrorism suspects around the world.

An analysis of thousands of flight records, aircraft registrations and corporate documents, as well as interviews with former C.I.A. officers and pilots, show that the agency owns at least 26 planes, 10 of them purchased since 2001. The agency has concealed its ownership behind a web of seven shell corporations that appear to have no employees and no function apart from owning the aircraft.

The planes, regularly supplemented by private charters, are operated by real companies controlled by or tied to the agency, including Aero Contractors and two Florida companies, Pegasus Technologies and Tepper Aviation.

....[the Masri rendition flight] ... episode illustrates the circumstantial nature of the evidence on C.I.A. flights, which often coincide with the arrest and transporting of Al Qaeda suspects. No public record states how Mr. Masri was taken to Afghanistan. But flight data shows a Boeing Business Jet operated by Aero Contractors and owned by Premier Executive Transport Services, one of the C.I.A.-linked shell companies, flew from Skopje, Macedonia, to Baghdad and on to Kabul on Jan. 24, 2004, the day after Mr. Masri's passport was marked with a Macedonian exit stamp.

Son of Air America: Aero appears to be the direct descendant of Air America, a C.I.A.-operated air "proprietary," as agency-controlled companies are called.

Just three years after the big Asian air company was closed in 1976, one of its chief pilots, Jim Rhyne, was asked to open a new air company, according to a former Aero Contractors employee whose account is supported by corporate records.

.......As the C.I.A. tries to veil such air operations, aviation regulations pose a major obstacle. Planes must have visible tail numbers, and their ownership can be easily checked by entering the number into the Federal Aviation Administration's online registry. So, rather than purchase aircraft outright, the C.I.A. uses shell companies whose names appear unremarkable in casual checks of F.A.A. registrations.

On closer examination, however, it becomes clear that those companies appear to have no premises, only post office boxes or addresses in care of lawyers' offices. Their officers and directors, listed in state corporate databases, seem to have been invented. A search of public records for ordinary identifying information about the officers - addresses, phone numbers, house purchases, and so on - comes up with only post office boxes in Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C.

But whoever created the companies used some of the same post office box addresses and the same apparently fictitious officers for two or more of the companies. One of those seeming ghost executives, Philip P. Quincannon, for instance, is listed as an officer of Premier Executive Transport Services and Crowell Aviation Technologies, both listed to the same Massachusetts address, as well as Stevens Express Leasing in Tennessee.

No one by that name can be found in any public record other than post office boxes in Washington and Dunn Loring, Va. Those listings for Mr. Quincannon, in commercial databases, include an anomaly: His Social Security number was issued in Washington between 1993 and 1995, but his birth year is listed as 1949.

Mr. Glerum, the C.I.A. and Air America veteran, said the use of one such name on more than one company was "bad tradecraft: you shouldn't allow an element of one entity to lead to others."

The Fake War On Drugs - exhibit 12245-12831221:

DRUGS-articleLarge.jpg

Propping Up a Drug Lord, Then Arresting Him - NYTimes.com

WASHINGTON — When Hajji Juma Khan was arrested and transported to New York to face charges under a new American narco-terrorism law in 2008, federal prosecutors described him as perhaps the biggest and most dangerous drug lord in Afghanistan, a shadowy figure who had helped keep the Taliban in business with a steady stream of money and weapons.

But what the government did not say was that Mr. Juma Khan was also a longtime American informer, who provided information about the Taliban, Afghan corruption and other drug traffickers. Central Intelligence Agency officers and Drug Enforcement Administration agents relied on him as a valued source for years, even as he was building one of Afghanistan’s biggest drug operations after the United States-led invasion of the country, according to current and former American officials. Along the way, he was also paid a large amount of cash by the United States.

Meanwhile the Federal Aviation Administration concedes that its recordkeeping on more than a hundred thousand aircraft is totally hosed. This is amusing because the FAA was from the beginning set up this way to enable the rich and powerful to use small aircraft for protected criminal conspiracies. It has always been trivial for them to use shell companies and various dead-end forms of paperwork magic to hide direct ownership of drug trafficking planes. A state employee spelled a lot of this out for me, as if it were almost common knowledge.

Evergreen, Polar Air Cross, Air America, Civil Air Transport, the Flying Tigers, L3, Titan, Skyway Aircraft, Vortex, these are just a few of the classics from then and now. AIG had tons of aircraft and got its start by insuring drug planes around Asia quite a bit.

Contractors are allowed to import as much drugz as they want, and they are able to routinely use special bypasses inside airports. For example Evergreen was frequently able to get the keys to the 'sterile corridors' at JFK Airport which let them circumvent Customs. These kinds of criminal conspiracies are what the National Security Act of 1947 is all about.

Let's have some lulz:

The Associated Press: US senator calls for hearings on plane registry

NEW YORK (AP) — The chairman of the Senate subcommittee overseeing aviation said Friday he would recommend holding congressional hearings on aircraft registration after The Associated Press reported the Federal Aviation Administration was missing data on one-third of U.S. planes.

"We need to find out why, and how it can be brought back to have a registry that has credibility," said North Dakota Sen. Byron Dorgan, a Democrat.

The FAA says as many as 119,000 of the 357,000 U.S.-registered aircraft have "questionable registration" due to missing paperwork, invalid addresses and other paperwork problems.

In reports in 2007 and 2008, the agency warned that the gaps were causing loopholes that terrorists, drug traffickers and other criminals might exploit. Law enforcement agencies were increasingly turning to the FAA for information, and the registry needed more accuracy as the government launched new computer systems to track suspicious flights, it said.

On Friday the FAA said it was taking "proactive steps" to clean up the database by requiring all aircraft owners to re-register their planes over the next three years.

"The agency is moving to a mandatory re-registration system like the ones most states use to register automobiles, so we have more current and complete registration information in our database," the agency said.

Dorgan's counterpart in the House of Representatives, Rep. Jerry Costello, D-Ill., said Friday the FAA needs to improve its recordkeeping but stopped short of calling for hearings.

"Given the security issues at stake, revising and modernizing the registration process is necessary," Costello said in a written statement. "The FAA needs to ensure the re-registration process runs as smoothly as possible and that the maintenance of records is improved, and I believe the FAA is proceeding accordingly."

Both congressmen will soon be stepping down from their leadership roles in the aviation committees. Dorgan is retiring in January, and Senate leaders have not yet chosen a new committee chair.

Costello, a Democrat, will lose the post when Republicans take control of the House in January. His likely replacement, Rep. Tom Petri, R-Wis., was unavailable for comment on Friday, a spokeswoman said.

Until now, aircraft owners were only required to register once, when they purchased an aircraft. Errors accumulated over decades as new purchasers forgot to register, owners died, invalid addresses went uncorrected and junked aircraft went unreported, the FAA says.

In addition to law enforcement purposes, the FAA said it uses the database to contact owners about safety problems and locate planes that go missing.

Pilot groups said the outdated registry was not a security risk, noting the United States has other safeguards against terrorism.

The Transportation Security Administration does background checks on student pilots from other countries, air traffic controllers watch for suspicious flights, and the Department of Homeland Security has launched new computer systems to screen aircraft arriving from other countries.

EVERGREEN 0WNZ TEH CHEMTRAIL OPS IN GULF!

Photo of fire suppressant-equipped plane from Evergreen

evergreen-airr.jpg

I got a kick out of a pretty interesting expose about Evergreen, which is a massive CIA cutout corporation created because the Church Commission was flushin' out a lot of covert ops. Evergreen's planes, many C-130s, were supposedly under the control of the US Forest Service for firefighting purposes, hence the tree name metaphor.

evergreen1.jpg

Evergreen is still extremely active and gets a lot of contracts. Evergreen International Aviation, Inc.

Screen shot 2010-12-13 at 12.18.10 AM.png

The website IntelHub.com posted that Evergreen is what else, engaged in spraying nasty chemtrails all over the place. Evergreen Air and a Secret Chemtrail Facility :

On Feb 18, 2010 NotForSale from the Intel Hub interviewed a whistleblower employed as a private contractor at an Evergreen Air facility. The information he provided was mind blowing. Never before had a whistleblower came forward about this top secret facility located in the Arizona desert north of Tucson. In the interview the whistleblower described how the facility is heavily secured by well armed personnel. During his time at the facility he was involved in retro fitting 727 and 747-c aircraft with liquid discharge tanks and aerosol sprayer devices. He has also confirmed reports of triangular black jets at the facility as well during his time there in the early 1990’s. It is also important to note that the facility owns fully functional warbirds that have been fully restored from WWII, where all of the weapon systems and bomb bay doors are operable on the craft. This type of craft is not authorized by civilian, public or private use within the U.S. This would indicate that Evergreen Air is indeed a CIA operation. The Whistleblower has also heard there is an underground base at the facility and confirms there is a possible “Black Helicopter” base on site as well.Note: Evergreen Air also specializes in unmanned aerial drones.

Riki Ott: ‘People Now Dropping Dead’ In the Gulf : - claimed here Evergreen is spraying dispersants around the Gulf even now. A ton of posts saying Evergreen is involved: Search Results evergreen :

JFK airport attacker (patsy) worked at Evergreen: ‘Plot to blow up New York airport would have made 9/11 look small’ - Times Online

It is claimed that Mr Defreitas, 63, a naturalised US citizen born in Guyana, told the informant that he wanted to attack the airport because in the early 1990s he had seen missiles being shipped to Israel while he was working for Evergreen International Aviation.

Great list here: Known CIA Fronts includes Evergreen.

SSP SCIENCE TEAM MEETS NASA OFFICIALS AT EVERGREEN AIR CENTER


Evergreen2a.jpg

Nibbles from LewRockwell.com - William Norman Grigg:

“The CIA has always been involved in drug smuggling, and Evergreen or Air America has played a big role in it,” Kleiman told me in a recent phone interview. “When I was working Customs at JFK, we had this huge problem with airline personnel using their secure keys to give unauthorized access to 'sterile corridors' that bypassed Customs inspection. Quite often this involved drug smuggling, and I've got ample reason to believe that Evergreen and other CIA assets were involved in it.”

A few notes from AllSeeingI member @ AboveTopSecret: Chemtrails Flights Exposed - Evergreen Aviation (A CIA Front), page 1

EVERGREEN AVIATION...

Is possibly the largest Aviation and logistics company which is a major front for Government Black Ops. Also possibly the company responsible for the so-called Chemtrails Flights. Read what I have to say....

I have worked in a number or different aviation related jobs at a handful of airports over the past 15 years. I worked for FedEx for a few years as well as had direct contact with Evergreen Aviation and their employees.

The USPS (United States Postal Service) contracts all of the USPS Express mail, airmail, and overnight types of USPS services to FedEx because of the FedEx Express air logistics network which always has connecting overnight aircraft.

Evergreen Aviation is contracted by the USPS to pick-up the USPS shipments from FedEx. Evergreen Aviation then sorts the deliveries and USPS trucks pick-up the sorted deliveries and takes them to the individual post offices.

This system offers the perfect opportunity for a government run package logistics cover operation. Any airport which handles USPS can therefore be used to ship secret government shipments of ANYTHING (weapons, drugs, secret equipment, tech, documents, bombs, use your darkest imagination).

Also because the USPS is operated within the government the situation allows very easy financial back-scratching both ways and makes it easy to cover it up using and a combination of methods such as contracts, special accounts, and fake front companies to pay for the shipments. Just imagine how easy it would be for a guy in a suit to show up at a post office in Washington D.C. with a package and ship it overnight via the USPS and pays a huge amount for the service using a front-company government black-budget credit card to pay for it.

At my job with FedEx at two different airports, both times FedEx had this relationship with Evergreen Aviation. They would pick up the containers filled with USPS Express shipments from FedEx once we unloaded our FedEx aircraft. Then later, Evergreen would bring back outbound shipments for us to load on outbound FedEx aircraft.

I noticed a consistency with Evergreen Aviation at both locations: Their equipment and personnel were substandard. But from what I heard they were paid very well and had great benefits. This also sounds like a government operation: Contract work which is over-budgeted overpaid employees, equipment which is poorly maintained, and employees who don’t ask questions.  

And check it their website even promotes Weather Modification!

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Massive contracts: A bunch of these are clearly not the same Evergreen but it's funny:Federal Contracts to Contactor(s) matching "evergreen", FY 2007, list of contractors


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A moment for the Mad Cow Productions:

We can't touch this topic without referencing MadCowProd.com and Daniel Hopsicker, who was all up in the business with schemes like the massive Wachovia/Wells Fargo giga-moneylaundering conspiracies for years. Hopsicker has had to spend a lot of time on Venice, Florida, from whence the 9/11 flight trainer conspiracy and various other weird things have emerged. Supporting Hopsicker is worthwhile because as he sez: "Today’s Drug Lords don’t look like Tony Montana in “Scarface,” but preppy Yale and Harvard-educated scions of America’s traditional political elite, which in point of fact is what that they are."

Latest: Chairman Chavez, Oliver North & "co-conspirators not named as defendants"

From Tampa Bay to Timbuktu

New DEA Chief Tough on Chavez, Soft on American DrugLords

GOTCHA! 9/11 Heroin Pilot's 10-year Crime Spree Stopped

The Brassington FilesTeterboro Crash Trial Coverup

9/11 Drug Pilot Linked to Operation Blue Lightning

Pilot for 9/11 flight school considered "grave threat to national security"

Charter Company Ran Second Jet Off Runway

Arrested Pilot Flew Jets Owned by Clinton White House Official

CIA Drug Pilot Linked to Russian Mob

Pilot in New Jersey Crash Is Key Figure in Caribbean Probe

Dusty & 'the boys' - The CIA, the Narco-Republicans, & 5.5 tons of cocaine

etc etc.

Phoenix Air has its own shadyPlanez:

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PostScript: Tulsa has Epic DrugWar Corruption Explosion! Drugs, money, police, informants. Scandal in Tulsa. - Drug WarRant // Scandal Roils Tulsa Police - WSJ.com including fake informants!

For Moar: cryptogon.com excellent early writeup, FAA Loses Track of 119,000 Aircraft; Situation Could Facilitate Terrorism and Drug Trafficking.

.... more random bits - Via IntelHub, a researcher into rad energy systems had a creepy-as-hell VeriChip and tumor removed. Good luck Bob Boyce!!!! Bob Boyce's un-requested Verichip and associated tumor removed. SICK!

UPDATE 12/16: Consider Cryptome.info featuring the Aero operations: http://cryptome.info/cia-plane-nc.htm
Also this has some moar shells listed: http://www.wikiwatch.info/us-war/rendition/Shell-companies/

UN crime chief Costa says it again: banks bailed out by now "laundered" drug money

There was a quip about this a while ago, now it is more established. Posted in full cause it's a big deal.... via Agonist .

These people are criminals!

Drug money saved banks in global crisis, claims UN advisor

Drugs and crime chief says $352bn in criminal proceeds was effectively laundered by financial institutions

Drugs money worth billions of dollars kept the financial system afloat at the height of the global crisis, the United Nations' drugs and crime tsar has told the Observer.

Antonio Maria Costa, head of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, said he has seen evidence that the proceeds of organised crime were "the only liquid investment capital" available to some banks on the brink of collapse last year. He said that a majority of the $352bn (£216bn) of drugs profits was absorbed into the economic system as a result.

This will raise questions about crime's influence on the economic system at times of crisis. It will also prompt further examination of the banking sector as world leaders, including Barack Obama and Gordon Brown, call for new International Monetary Fund regulations. Speaking from his office in Vienna, Costa said evidence that illegal money was being absorbed into the financial system was first drawn to his attention by intelligence agencies and prosecutors around 18 months ago. "In many instances, the money from drugs was the only liquid investment capital. In the second half of 2008, liquidity was the banking system's main problem and hence liquid capital became an important factor," he said.

Some of the evidence put before his office indicated that gang money was used to save some banks from collapse when lending seized up, he said.

"Inter-bank loans were funded by money that originated from the drugs trade and other illegal activities... There were signs that some banks were rescued that way." Costa declined to identify countries or banks that may have received any drugs money, saying that would be inappropriate because his office is supposed to address the problem, not apportion blame. But he said the money is now a part of the official system and had been effectively laundered.

"That was the moment [last year] when the system was basically paralysed because of the unwillingness of banks to lend money to one another. The progressive liquidisation to the system and the progressive improvement by some banks of their share values [has meant that] the problem [of illegal money] has become much less serious than it was," he said.

The IMF estimated that large US and European banks lost more than $1tn on toxic assets and from bad loans from January 2007 to September 2009 and more than 200 mortgage lenders went bankrupt. Many major institutions either failed, were acquired under duress, or were subject to government takeover.

Gangs are now believed to make most of their profits from the drugs trade and are estimated to be worth £352bn, the UN says. They have traditionally kept proceeds in cash or moved it offshore to hide it from the authorities. It is understood that evidence that drug money has flowed into banks came from officials in Britain, Switzerland, Italy and the US.

British bankers would want to see any evidence that Costa has to back his claims. A British Bankers' Association spokesman said: "We have not been party to any regulatory dialogue that would support a theory of this kind. There was clearly a lack of liquidity in the system and to a large degree this was filled by the intervention of central banks."

*****

Thanks Costa!!

A time for truth: New York Times reports Brother Karzai is taking CIA money & movin teh drugz as DEA agents die senselessly

I was a bit surprised to see the New York Times report this evening that embattled Afghan President Hamid Karzai's brother has been taking mad CIA cash for some time. [Or rather, the three journalists who did the story are oddly emphasized, 'compartmentalized' on this risky exposure.]

Earlier William Engdahl described the need for opium money to keep Wall Street liquidity flowing:
One of the most remarkable aspects of the Obama Presidential agenda is how little anyone has questioned in the media or elsewhere why at all the United States Pentagon is committed to a military occupation of Afghanistan. There are two basic reasons, neither one of which can be admitted openly to the public at large.
Behind all the deceptive official debate over how many troops are needed to “win” the war in Afghanistan, whether another 30,000 is sufficient, or whether at least 200000 are needed, the real purpose of US military presence in that pivotal Central Asian country is obscured.
Even during the 2008 Presidential campaign candidate Obama argued that Afghanistan not Iraq was where the US must wage war. His reason? Because he claimed, that was where the Al Qaeda organization was holed up and that was the “real” threat to US national security. The reasons behind US involvement in Afghanistan is quite another one.
The US military is in Afghanistan for two reasons. First to restore and control the world’s largest supply of opium for the world heroin markets and to use the drugs as a geopolitical weapon against opponents, especially Russia. That control of the Afghan drug market is essential for the liquidity of the bankrupt and corrupt Wall Street financial mafia.
Sadly a bunch of DEA agents also got killed in some helicopter incident/accident, having arrived to perform some sort of political control upon the local opiate-oriented economy. Their deaths are yet another travesty from this terrible situation -- and we can only hope it will soon draw to a close.
DEA Identifies Special Agent Casualties OCT 27-- WASHINGTON, DC– It is with great sadness that the Drug Enforcement Administration announces the deaths of three Special Agents who were supporting counternarcotics operations in Afghanistan.
The following Special Agents died on Oct. 26:
Special Agent Chad L. Michael, 30, of Quantico, VA.
Special Agent Forrest N. Leamon, 37, of Woodbridge, VA.
Special Agent Michael E. Weston, 37, of Washington, D.C.

Special Agents Leamon and Michael were members of DEA’s FAST (Foreign-deployed Advisory and Support Teams); and Special Agent Weston was assigned to DEA’s Kabul Country Office.
People with integrity are bailing out of the bullshit fest going down in Afghanistan.
Wikileaks did everyone a favor by exposing the official "strategic communications" NATO agenda in Afghanistan -- this being the 'Powerpoint centric' root of the whole spinstorm:

The encrypted document, which is dated October 6, and believed to be current, can be found on the Pentagon Central Command (CENTCOM) website oneteam.centcom.mil. [UPDATE: Fri Feb 27 15:18:38 GMT 2009, the entire Pentagon site is now down--probably in response to this editorial, parts of the site can still be seen in Google's cache ]

The encryption password is progress, which perhaps reflects the Pentagon's desire to stay on-message, even to itself.

Among the revelations, which we encourage the press to review in detail, is Jordan's presence as secret member of the US lead occupation force, the ISAF.

Jordan is a middle eastern monarchy, backed by the US, and historically the CIA's closest partner in its extraordinary rendition program. "the practice of torture is routine" in the country, according to a January 2007 report by UN special investigator for torture, Manfred Nowak.[1]

The document states NATO spokespersons are to keep Jordan's involvement secret. Publicly, Jordan withdrew in 2001 and the country does not appear on this month's public list of ISAF member states.[2]

Some other notes on matters to treat delicately are:

  • Any decision on the end date/end state will be taken by the respective national and/or Alliance political committee. Under no circumstances should the mission end-date be a topic for speculation in public by any NATO/ISAF spokespeople.
  • The term "compensation" is inappropriate and should not be used because it brings with it legal implications that do not apply.
  • Any talk of stationing or deploying Russian military assets in Afghanistan is out of the question and has never been the subject of any considerations.
  • Only if pressed: ISAF forces are frequently fired at from inside Pakistan, very close to the border. In some cases defensive fire is required, against specific threats. Wherever possible, such fire is pre-coordinated with the Pakistani military.

Altogether four classified or restricted NATO documents on the Pentagon Central Command (CENTCOM) site were discovered to share the 'progress' password. Wikileaks has decrypted the documents and released them in full:

[There was a DOD one too.] Glenn Greenwald reflects on the resignation of Matthew Hoh, who seems basically like a tough sumbitch who's had enough of bullshitting politicians and these pot smoking hippies too, as he told WaPo.
Digby is all over this stuff:
It seems that our two abstract, endless Orwellian wars --- the War on Drugs and the War on Terror --- have officially merged. And the complications stemming from that decision are going to be immense. What are we fighting for again?
McClatchy posted the abuse of DEA agents made pawns in this lethal criminal farce:
As the Obama administration ramps up the Drug Enforcement Administration's presence in Afghanistan, some special-agent pilots contend that they're being illegally forced to go to a combat zone, while others who've volunteered say they're not being properly equipped.
In interviews with McClatchy, more than a dozen DEA agents describe a badly managed system in which some pilots have been sent to Afghanistan under duress or as punishment for bucking their superiors.
Such complaints, so far mostly arising from the DEA's Aviation Division, could complicate the Obama administration's efforts to send dozens of additional DEA agents to Afghanistan as part of a civilian and military personnel "surge" that aims to stabilize the country.
And now the big obscenity! NYTimes: Brother of Afghan Leader Is Said to Be on C.I.A. Payroll
This article is by Dexter Filkins, Mark Mazzetti and James Risen.
KABUL, Afghanistan — Ahmed Wali Karzai, the brother of the Afghan president and a suspected player in the country’s booming illegal opium trade, gets regular payments from the Central Intelligence Agency, and has for much of the past eight years, according to current and former American officials.
The agency pays Mr. Karzai for a variety of services, including helping to recruit an Afghan paramilitary force that operates at the C.I.A.’s direction in and around the southern city of Kandahar, Mr. Karzai’s home.
The financial ties and close working relationship between the intelligence agency and Mr. Karzai raise significant questions about America’s war strategy, which is currently under review at the White House.
[........]A C.I.A. spokesman declined to comment for this article.
“No intelligence organization worth the name would ever entertain these kind of allegations,” said Paul Gimigliano, the spokesman. [Adding LOLOLOL]
Now, with more American lives on the line, the relationship with Mr. Karzai is setting off anger and frustration among American military officers and other officials in the Obama administration. They say that Mr. Karzai’s suspected role in the drug trade, as well as what they describe as the mafialike way that he lords over southern Afghanistan, makes him a malevolent force.
These military and political officials say the evidence, though largely circumstantial, suggests strongly that Mr. Karzai has enriched himself by helping the illegal trade in poppy and opium to flourish. The assessment of these military and senior officials in the Obama administration dovetails with that of senior officials in the Bush administration.
“Hundreds of millions of dollars in drug money are flowing through the southern region, and nothing happens in southern Afghanistan without the regional leadership knowing about it,” a senior American military officer in Kabul said. Like most of the officials in this article, he spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the secrecy of the information.
....A former C.I.A. officer with experience in Afghanistan said the agency relied heavily on Ahmed Wali Karzai, and often based covert operatives at compounds he owned. Any connections Mr. Karzai might have had to the drug trade mattered little to C.I.A. officers focused on counterterrorism missions, the officer said.
“Virtually every significant Afghan figure has had brushes with the drug trade,” he said. “If you are looking for Mother Teresa, she doesn’t live in Afghanistan.”
The debate over Ahmed Wali Karzai, which began when President Obama took office in January, intensified in June, when the C.I.A.’s local paramilitary group, the Kandahar Strike Force, shot and killed Kandahar’s provincial police chief, Matiullah Qati, in a still-unexplained shootout at the office of a local prosecutor.
Senior Afghan investigators say they know plenty about Mr. Karzai’s involvement in the drug business. In an interview in Kabul this year, a top former Afghan Interior Ministry official familiar with Afghan counternarcotics operations said that a major source of Mr. Karzai’s influence over the drug trade was his control over key bridges crossing the Helmand River on the route between the opium growing regions of Helmand Province and Kandahar.
The former Interior Ministry official said that Mr. Karzai was able to charge huge fees to drug traffickers to allow their drug-laden trucks to cross the bridges.
But the former officials said it was impossible for Afghan counternarcotics officials to investigate Mr. Karzai. “This government has become a factory for the production of Talibs because of corruption and injustice,” the former official said.
Some American counternarcotics officials have said they believe that Mr. Karzai has expanded his influence over the drug trade, thanks in part to American efforts to single out other drug lords.
In debriefing notes from Drug Enforcement Administration interviews in 2006 of Afghan informants obtained by The New York Times, one key informant said that Ahmed Wali Karzai had benefited from the American operation that lured Hajji Bashir Noorzai, a major Afghan drug lord during the time that the Taliban ruled Afghanistan, to New York in 2005. Mr. Noorzai was convicted on drug and conspiracy charges in New York in 2008, and was sentenced to life in prison this year.
Habibullah Jan, a local military commander and later a member of Parliament from Kandahar, told the D.E.A. in 2006 that Mr. Karzai had teamed with Haji Juma Khan to take over a portion of the Noorzai drug business after Mr. Noorzai’s arrest.
[How many hundreds of millions of dollars in drug money are moving through the southern region of Manhattan?!]
It certainly appears on the surface that the death of these three DEA agents flushed the CIA hypocrisy on the "war on rival drug traffickers" to the surface!
My condolences to everyone involved in this tragedy. Best of luck to all of you....
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