Bribery and Corruption: The Clintons are a Textbook Case

Narrated by author Peter Schweizer, Clinton Cash explores how former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton granted special concessions to wealthy investors and foreign leaders in return for donations to the Clinton foundation and humongous speaking fees (for her husband Bill).

Examples include

  • State Department approval for Joe Wilson’s mining company to cut a mineral deal with Sudanese warlords in return for large donations to the Clinton Foundation.
  • Waiver of US sanctions against Democratic Republic of Congo – enabling Swedish oligarch Lucas Lundin to access their mineral reserves – in return for a $100 million donation to the Clinton Foundation.
  • State Department reversal of sanctions President Bill Clinton initiated against India for violating the nuclear anti-proliferation treaty – in return for big donations to the Clinton Foundation, millions in speaking fees and illegal donations to Hillary’s senate campaign.
  • Approval of the sale of 50% of America’s uranium deposits to Uranium One, putting 20% of US uranium production under Russian control – in return for millions of Clinton Foundation donations from Uranium One shareholders and a half a million dollars in speaking fees.
  • A favorable State Department environmental impact statement on the Keystone XL Pipeline – after TD Bank, one of Keystone’s major investors, paid Bill for ten speaking engagements.

The film also details the massive corruption associated with the Haiti Reconstruction Commission, which the Clintons headed after the 2008 Haiti earthquake. Instead of being used to rebuild homes and roads, most of the international aid ended up in the pockets of Clinton corporate benefactors. This includes hundreds of millions for luxury hotels and for a company with no gold mining experience to build the first Haitian gold mine in sixty years. The Clintons also authorized Caracol, a new textile factory in northern Haiti (the earthquake occurred in southern Haiti), which pays sweatshop wages to produce clothing for the Gap, Target and Walmart.

 

2016 Vote Fraud and Sanders’ Landslide

Code Red: Computerized Election Theft and the New American Century

(Election 2016 Edition)

Jonathon Simon

In Code Red, Simon lays out a powerful case that computerized voting machines have opened US elections to large scale fraud and election theft. The book offers an impressive compilation of studies demonstrating exactly how the vote hacking is carried out – both on Direct Recording (DRE) voting machines and optical scanners that count paper ballots. The book also highlights the immense danger of denying access to the public, and more importantly election officials, to voting memory cards, programming code and server logs to verify the validity of American elections. All of this information is declared off-limits by the handful of right-leaning corporations that supply voting equipment to local jurisdictions. On the spurious claim this is proprietary corporate information.

Simon also presents his own extensive research into marked discrepancies between vote counts and voter exit polls over the last 15 years – reminding us that the US State Department uses voter exit polls to verify the legitimacy of overseas elections.

As a Bernie Sanders supporter, I was most interested in the section on the 2016 Democratic primary. Here Simon not only examines discrepancies between the vote count and the original exit polls (before the corporate media massaged the data to bring it in line with the vote count), but serious discrepancies between states that choose candidates via caucus (where ballots must be counted by hand) with demographically similar states that choose candidates via primary elections.

In all but the first two states (Iowa and Nebraska), Sanders didn’t just beat Clinton – he won by a landslide. I confess to my absolute fury on seeing the table below and realizing how thoroughly we were ripped off by the Democratic National Committee and the corporate media.

In The Red Shift, Simon examines every presidential and congressional election since 2002, when computerized voting was first introduced. He finds evidence of a fraudulent “red shift” (ie a hacker-based shift towards the more pro-corporate candidate) in each of them, including the 2006, 2008, 2010 and 2012 elections where there were significant Democratic victories.

He also finds evidence of a “red shift” in most gubernatorial and state house elections from 2002 on, including the 2012 recall election of Wisconsin Republican Governor Scott Walker.

People can download a free excerpt from the 2016 Election Edition by registering at Simon’s website: http://codered2014.com/

State Sanders Clinton
Colorado 59.0% 40.3%
Minnesota 61.6% 38.4%
Kansas 67.7% 32.3%
Nebraska 75.1% 42.9%
Maine 64.3% 35.5%
Idaho 78.0% 21.2%
Utah 79.3% 20.3%
Alaska 86.1% 18.4%
Hawaii 69.8% 30.0%
Washington 72.7% 27.1%
Wyoming 55.7% 44.3%
North Dakota 64.2% 25.6%
Average 68.0% 31.4%

Steal This Film

Steal This Film – Trial Edition

League of Noble Peers (2006)

Film Review

Steal This Film is the prequel to TPB-AFK (see Pirate Bay, Wikileaks and the Swedish Pirate Party), the documentary about Sweden’s prosecution of the four Pirate Bay founders.

It goes much deeper into the ideological values behind Pirate Bay, whose activities its creators view as civil disobedience aimed against Swedish (and American) copyright laws.

The Pirate Bay (TPB) founders and their supporters (including members of the Swedish Pirate Party and the late Aaron Swartz – see The Mystery of Aaron Swartz’s Alleged Suicide) argue that the Motion Picture Association (MPAA), the powerful US lobby that forced Sweden to prosecute Pirate Bay, experienced minimal economic damage from Pirate Bay users sharing free copies of their films. In the their view, the main financial damage to the film industry, music industry and print and electronic stems from the Internet allowing millions of ordinary people to become creators of video, music and the written word. They feel that file sharing is one the best ways to fight archaic copyright laws, which limit creativity and control of information to a handful of elites for their own profit and political control.

They argue it’s virtually impossible to end file sharing owing to its extremely decentralized nature. Every time a big file sharing site like Knapster, Pirate Bay or Kim Dotcom’s Megaupload (see Kim Dotcom and America’s Diabolic Intellectual Property Laws) is shut down, thousands of new ones spring up to take their place.

The documentary also explores historical precedents going back thousands of years where ruling elites have sought to suppress information exchange and creativity. Following the invention of the printing press, France enacted strict censorship laws on printers, publishers and booksellers. This would lead to a dedicated publishing industry in bordering countries that made a fortune by smuggling banned titles to eager French readers.

They point out the MPAA also filed numerous court actions against the first video recorder and MP3 player manufacturers.

Although the Swedish government was extremely reluctant to take action against TPB (and violate Sweden’s guaranteed right to public access), the powerful MPAA put pressure on the US State Department. They, in turn, threatened Sweden with WTO sanctions for failing to uphold “intellectual property” rights. After the MPAA hired their own private investigator to locate TPB’s server and its four founders.

The film TPB-AFK (see link above) covers the trial, in which all four men were found guilty of “accessory to crime against copyright law.” They each served eight to nine months in jail – the last, Fredrik Neij, was released in 2015

Membership in Sweden’s Pirate Party swelled on the back of the TPB case. Countries all over the world have formed Pirate Party – in 2015 Iceland’s Pirate Party would win 16 seats in parliament. The first US Pirate Party was formed in Atlanta in 2006.

The State Department/CIA Psy-Op Against North Korea

The Haircut – A North Korean Adventure

Hokusai Films (2017)

Film Review

The Haircut is a 20-minute classic Aussie satire exposing the blatant western propaganda aimed at demonizing North Korean leader Kim Jung Un. Prior to seeing this film, it never occurred to me that constant propaganda churned out about Kim Jung Un is virtually identical to the psy-ops painting Saddam Hussein, Manuel Noriega and Bashar al-Assad as insane monsters – and used to justify US invasion of their countries.

The video begins by reviewing jathe US-directed split of Korea in 1945 (similar to the US-British directed split of India-Pakistan and of Vietnam) to thwart the establishment of a unified nationalist socialist government unfriendly to western interests. Following the Korean War (1950-53), land reforms (ie returning land to landless peasants) continued under North Korean leader Kim Jung Il. Meanwhile South Korea was placed under the control of a US puppet dictator. South Korean troops remained under the control of the US military until 1994, a year after the South Korean people overthrew the last US-installed dictator (see The Long US War Against the Third World).

The filmmakers proceed to expose a number of specific lies the CIA, State Department and corporate media aggressively propagate to portray North Korea as a dangerous rogue state, starting with the myth that all North Korean men are required to wear their hair like Kim Jung Un. They trace this particular psy-op back to the CIA’s own Radio Free Asia – which credits the claim to “unnamed sources.”

They go on to examine the oft repeated slur about North Korean prison camps, pointing out that no country in the world comes close to the US record for imprisoning its population.

The film finishes with an actual visit to various North Korean tourist sites.

Reflections on the Overthrow of Communism – Michael Parenti

Reflections on the Overthrow of Communism

Michael Parenti (2009)

Michael Parenti maintains that the Soviet Union didn’t collapse of its own accord in 1991 – that it was overthrown by the US and their allies.  He details the US-backed coup undertaken by Boris Yeltsin’s in 1993 when the Russian parliament refused to approve his extreme market-based reforms. Parenti also discusses the extreme misery Wall Street elites and the State Department inflicted on the Russian people in the effort (prior to Putin’s rise to power) to transform their country into a third world sweatshop. He highlights the massive increase in gang inequality and crime, and the increase in gender inequality (as the right to maternity leave, day care, divorce and abortion were stripped from the Russian constitution), sexual harassment, domestic violence and murder of women by their husbands.

The US Left’s Virulent Anticommunism

Parenti freely acknowledges that Soviet citizens sacrificed civil liberties for economic democracy, ie a society in which all citizens are  lifted out of poverty and enjoy free health care and education, subsidized housing and public transport and an absolute guarantee against brutal exploitation. He contrasts this with life in the US, where working people enjoy neither economic democracy nor civil liberties. He’s also scathingly critical of the American left (he mentions Noam Chomsky by name), which is much more virulently anti-communist than their right wing counterparts.

He goes on to detail serious weaknesses of the Soviet system, which he believes contributed to its demise. Overall he feels the Soviet economic system suffered from an absence of independent analysis. While Karl Marx offers a thorough critique of capitalism, he has no counterpart to critique the socialist/communist model.

The Human Nature Debate

Where Parenti and I part company is is contention that “pure socialism” (ie total abolition of the state) is impossible. He makes the argument that if workers run everything, it’s impossible to accumulate enough surplus value to finance an army to 1) to break the stranglehold of the capitalist class and 2) to defend against counter-revolution. He also maintains a state is necessary to protect against the greedy, acquisitive nature of human beings.

These views are also contradicted by decades of sociological research that human beings (like all primates) are hard wired to be social animals and naturally inclined towards cooperation and interdependence (see Human Nature: Cultural or Genetic. There is also strong evidence that much of the greed and antisocial behavior that characterizes the capitalist system stems from traumatic child rearing styles.

The CIA and Congo’s 20-Year Civil War

The following presentation by Friends of the Congo Executive Director Maurice Carney provides an elegant but horrifying summary of the CIA’s 50-year assault on the Republic of Congo. The Congo has the distinct misfortune of having amazingly rich mineral resources (uranium, gold, diamonds, copper, cobalt and especially coltran*). The result has been a single minded determination by Wall Street and the CIA to destroy democratic rule in that country. I was well aware of the importance of CIA and US State Department in destabilizing Latin America, Asia, Russia and the Middle East. Until recently I was less aware of their aggressive machinations in Africa.

According to Carney, their first president Patrice Lumumba became a high priority CIA target it due to joint efforts with Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana to establish a United States of Africa. This presumably would have granted the continent total independence of US corporate rule.

After briefly summarizing the county’s ruthless colonization by Belgium, Carney describes the Congo’s struggle for independence under Patrice Lumumba in 1960, the first and only legitimately elected president. After assassinating Lumumba, the CIA installed a 30 year dictatorship to ensure US corporations continued access to Congo’s resources on their terms.

In 1996, the people of Congo had just overthrown the dictatorship and installed democratic government when the CIA instigated puppet sociopaths ( Paul Kagami of Rwanda and Yoweri Museveni of Uganda) to invade and instigate a 20 year civil war in Congo. In addition to providing them military aid and training, the US government actively covers up Kagami and Museveni’s war crimes, resulting in millions of civilian deaths.

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) has recently ordered to Uganda to pay millions in reparations to Congo. As Rwanda doesn’t belong to the ICJ, Spanish courts (under the authority of universal jurisdiction) have indicted 40 top Rwandan officials for war crimes

Current Congo president Joseph Kabila, also handpicked by the CIA, who succeeded his father Laurent-Désiré Kabila (1997-2001), maintains power by way of a US-rigged election in 2006 and massive electoral fraud in 2011.

See also The US Rape of the Congo


*Coltran is a rare earth mineral essential in the manufacture of cellphones and computers.

 

Obama’s Double Dealing on Canadian Tar Sands

keystone

The Other Keystone: The Alberta Clipper, the Pipeline No One Is Talking About

According to In These Times, while climate activists were celebrating Obama’s November 15, 2015 rejection of the Keystone pipeline, Canadian oil giant Enbridge was already transporting 800,000 barrels of tar sands crude – with State Department approval – along an alternative pipeline network extending from Alberta to Gulf of Mexico refineries.

Enbridge already has State Department approval, granted in 2007, to tranship a maximum of 450,000 barrels a day across the Canadian border via a pipeline known as the Alberta Clipper or Line 67. .

State Department Approves Illegal Switchero

In 2013 Enbridge made application to double Alberta Clipper capacity. When this generated massive public protest, they performed what In These Times describes as an “illegal switchero.”

Instead of relying on Line 67 to transport 800,000 BPD of crude oil across the border, they have been diverting the crude to another existing pipeline called Line 3. This segment transports the oil across the border before it’s ultimately transferred back to Line 67 in Minnesota.

Enbridge describes the project as a “maintenance-driven replacement” of Line 3, which stretches from Edmonton to Superior. As part of this replacement, Enbridge constructed four totally new pipeline interconnections between Line 67 and its new “replacement” Line 3: two at the company’s Gretna, Manitoba station in Canada, and two more in the United States just south of the border.
The State Department ultimately acceded to these changes without requiring new permits or environmental review.

Activists Lose in Court

In November 2014, a coalition of tribal and environmental groups filed suit against the State Department, claiming that it had violated federal preservation and environmental laws and calling for an injunction on the bypass project until it went through the full permitting process. Tar sands oil is the most environmentally damaging form of oil. Enbridge is already responsible for more than 800 pipeline spills, which are linked to major health problems in affected communities.

On December 9, 2015 the federal judge ruled in favor of Enbridge and the State Department, arguing that the State Department’s decision is not subject to judicial review.

Obama’s Gift to Enbridge Stockholders

Ken Rumelt, staff attorney at Vermont Law School’s Environmental and Natural Resources Law Clinic, says that Enbridge’s endgame has always been clear: even though projects have been proposed piecemeal, they constitute one large network capable of ramping up transport of Canadian tar sands to the Gulf Coast.

Enbridge has a number of other pipeline projects either already in existence or in the works, which form links in this network. When the rest of the Line 3 replacement goes online in 2017, it will open up a new corridor for tar sands oil to flow in through the Upper Midwest.

Then there’s Line 61, a huge, 42-inch pipeline built in 2007 that runs from Superior to Flanagan, Ill, The final links in this tar sands chain have been around for some time. Two pipelines will run nearly 800,000 BPD from Flanagan to Cushing, Oklahoma., where they link up with Enbridge’s 500-mile long Seaway pipeline and its 850,000 BPD capacity “twin.” These pipelines extend all the way to the Gulf Coast.

Two days before Obama’s Keystone rejection, Enbridge announced plans to build import and export facilities at the Gulf of Mexico region. With Congress and President Obama having lifted the United States’ 40-year ban on oil exports in December, Enbridge is now perfectly positioned to export tar sands oil through the Gulf.

Read more here

Photo credit: chesapeakeclimate (Bill McKibben) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (Creative Commons licenses)], via Wikimedia Commons