Sunny: KBR & Halliburton Potentially Liable for Iraq Toxic Burn Pits, Court Rules 57 Lawsuits Can Proceed

03 Environmental Degradation, 04 Inter-State Conflict, 07 Health, 07 Other Atrocities, 10 Transnational Crime, Commerce, Corruption, Government, Idiocy, Military
Burn, Baby, Burn...
Burn, Baby, Burn…

KBR and Halliburton Can Be Sued For Iraq Toxic Burn Pits, Court Rules

by Fatima Hansia, CorpWatch Blog

April 17th, 2014

KBR and Halliburton – two major U.S. military contractors – can be sued for the health impacts of trash incineration on U.S. soldiers who served in the war in Iraq, according to a new court decision that allows a series of 57 lawsuits against the companies to go forward.

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Chuck Spinney: Robert Rubin, ROOT for the Collapse — With Bill Clinton as Active Enabler of Wall Street Crime — None of the “Advisors” Show Deep Integrity

07 Other Atrocities, 10 Transnational Crime, Commerce, Corruption, Government, Law Enforcement
Chuck Spinney
Chuck Spinney

Attached herewith is an important report in the Guardian.  It places the deregulation of Wall Street during the Clinton Administration into a particularly smarmy perspective by examining documents just released by the Clinton library.  Note the connections to players now in the Obama Administration.

This report paints a revealing albeit depressingly familiar portrait of how the iron triangle of individuals and money moving between government executive positions, and private sector, together with friendly legislators in Congress encourages corruption that leads ultimately to taxpayer bailouts.  Consider please the following:

1. Note how the memos make it look like President Clinton was being rushed, implying a certain degree of passivity and manipulation by advisors.  But before taking this at face value, bear in mind, Clinton was never a passive actor; quite the opposite, he was a highly energetic president.  He set the tone, and he picked these advisors; he stayed with them; and he passed many of them on to President Obama.

2. Note that the repeal of Glass Steagall — Clinton’s signature deregulation of the financial markets and perhaps the major contributor to the rise of speculation that culminated in 2008 crash — was not a last minute affair.  In fact, the memos show effort to repeal reaches bat to at least in February 1995 and May 1997 and the reference to eating the paper after you read it suggests a degree of malevolent cynicism.

3. Note the tight connection between the repeal Glass-Steagall and the pending Citigroup merger with Travelers Group, and particularly, the central the role played by Secretary of the Treasury Robert Rubin in the promotion of the of that repeal.  Rubin was Secretary of the Treasury from 11 January 1995 to 2 July 1999 — the period covered by the memos contained in the Guardian report.

4. Finally, the reader should note that four months after leaving the Treasury Department, in Oct 1999, Rubin joined Citigroup.  Here is a contemporary portrait painted by a  27 October 1999 report in the New York Times,

Mr. Rubin, 61, a former top official of Goldman, Sachs & Company, said yesterday that he had joined Sanford I. Weill and John S. Reed, the chairmen and chief executives Citigroup, in what Mr. Reed described as a ”three-person office of the chairman” that will oversee what has become the first true American financial conglomerate since the Depression.

The appointment came less than a week after the Clinton Administration and Congress agreed on a compromise bill that would overhaul the laws that regulate the financial industry, a measure that removes many of the restrictions preventing banks, securities firms and insurance companies from buying one another or engaging in one another’s businesses. Both Mr. Rubin and Citigroup strongly supported the bill, which would greatly benefit the company. Mr. Rubin said he played a role in arranging the final compromise that will probably lead to the repeal of the so-called Glass-Steagall legislation. But he said that had nothing to do with his decision to join the company.” 

By 2007 Rubin was Chairman of Citigroup. And in 2008, nine years after the repeal of Glass Steagall, the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression hit Wall Street to trigger the worst and longest recession since the Great Depression.  That crisis, among other things, collapsed the stock markets, destroyed retirement nest eggs, wrecked the housing markets, and put millions of people out of work — and our nation has still not recovered.  Then the “best government money can buy” added insult to injury by bailing out of the banks that created the mess, while ducking the issue of re-regulating their behaviour with anything close to proven power of defunct Glass-Steagall Act. Some observers are now warning the government’s failure to reign in speculative behaviour is setting the stage for yet another crash (e.g., here and here)

And what about Rubin’s role? According to information in Wikipedia, on 3 December 2008, shortly after the financial collapse, the Wall Street Journal characterized Rubin’s mix of oversight and management responsibilities at Citigroup “murky.”  In an interview with the Journal, Rubin defended himself, saying: “I think I’ve been a very constructive part of the Citigroup environment.”But, the Journal reported that Citigroup shareholders suffered losses of more than 70 percent since Rubin joined the firm and that he encouraged changes that led the firm to the brink of collapse.[23]  Investors filed a lawsuit in December contending that Citigroup executives, including Rubin, sold shares at inflated prices while concealing the firm’s risks. A Citigroup spokesman said the lawsuit was without merit.[24].

But what happened to Rubin personally? According to a 20 September 2012 report in Bloomberg, Rubin received a total compensation of $126,000,000 from Citigroup between 1999 and 2009.  Among other things, the former eagle scout is now co-chairman of the prestigious Council on Foreign Relations.

Chuck Spinney

The Blaster

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Wall Street deregulation pushed by Clinton advisers, documents reveal

Previously restricted papers reveal attempts to rush president to support act, later blamed for deepening banking crisis

Continue reading “Chuck Spinney: Robert Rubin, ROOT for the Collapse — With Bill Clinton as Active Enabler of Wall Street Crime — None of the “Advisors” Show Deep Integrity”

Berto Jongman: Malaysian Airlines “Rothschild Chip” Could Power Nano-Drones for Good or Evil

07 Other Atrocities, 09 Terrorism, 10 Transnational Crime, Commerce, Corruption, Government, IO Deeds of War, Military
Berto Jongman
Berto Jongman

MH370: How Fatal is the Chip That Rothschild Reportedly ‘Acquired’?

EXTRACT

How destructible could this chip be?

In a detailed report from Malaysia Chronicle dated April 8, it said that Freescale launched what could be the world’s smallest microcontroller in Feb 2013 called the Kinesis KL02.

KL02 measures 1.9 mm by 2mm and contains RAM, ROM and a clock. Even with its minute size, KL02 might be the most potent next-generation war weaponry.

Whether remotely controlled or automatically programmed, KLO2 can be utilised to employ drones smaller than flies. Such small-sized drones were allegedly being used to deliver lab-cloned viruses or toxic drugs instrumental for spreading plague, virus and disease; track spy satellites or large scale and hidden weaponries.

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Berto Jongman: Frederick Kagan on Why US Has Failed to Defeat Al Qaeda

01 Poverty, 02 Infectious Disease, 03 Environmental Degradation, 04 Inter-State Conflict, 05 Civil War, 06 Genocide, 07 Other Atrocities, 08 Proliferation, 09 Terrorism, 10 Transnational Crime, Corruption, Government, Military, Peace Intelligence
Berto Jongman
Berto Jongman

Missing the Target: Why the US Has Not Defeated al Qaeda

Frederick W. Kagan, TESTIMONY

American Enterprise Institute, 8 April 2014

All conditions are set for a series of significant terrorist attacks against the US and its allies over the next few years. But that’s not the worst news. Conditions are also set for state collapse in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Yemen, and possibly Jordan. Saudi Arabia, facing a complex succession soon, is likely to acquire nuclear weapons shortly, if it has not already done so. Turkey and Egypt confront major crises. Almost all of Northern and Equatorial Africa is violent, unstable, and facing a growing al Qaeda threat. And Vladimir Putin’s assault on Ukraine is likely to empower al Qaeda-aligned jihadists in Crimea and in Russia itself. That eventuality is, of course, less worrisome than the prospect of conventional and partisan war on the European continent, likely threatening NATO allies. The international order and global stability are collapsing in a way we have not seen since the 1930s. There is little prospect of this trend reversing of its own accord, and managing it will require massive efforts by the US and its allies over a generation or more.

This distressing context is essential for considering the al Qaeda threat today. On the one hand, it makes that threat look small. The long – term effects of global chaos and conflict among hundreds of millions of people across Europe, Africa, and the Middle East on US security, interests, and way of life are surely greater than any damage al Qaeda is likely to do to us in the immediate future. Yet the two threats feed each other powerfully. Disorder and conflict in the Muslim world breed support for al Qaeda, which is starting to look like the strong horse in Iraq and even in Syria. Al Qaeda groups and their allies, on the other hand, powerfully contribute to the collapse of state structures and the emergence of horrific violence and Hobbesian chaos wherever they operate. They are benefiting greatly from the regional sectarian war they intentionally triggered (the destruction of the Samarra Mosque in 2006 was only the most spectacular of a long series of efforts by al Qaeda in Iraq to goad Iraq’s Shi’a into sectarian conflict , for which some Shi’a militants, to be sure, were already preparing) — and have been continuing to fuel.

Al Qaeda is like a virulent pathogen that opportunistically attacks bodies weakened by internal strife and poor governance, but that further weakens those bodies and infects others that would not otherwise have been susceptible to the disease. The problem of al Qaeda cannot be separated from the other crises of our age, nor can it be quarantined or rendered harmless through targeted therapies that ignore the larger problems.

Yet that is precisely how the Obama administration has been trying to deal with al Qaeda.

PDF (6 Pages): 20140408 Kagan on Why US Has Not Defeated Al Qaeda

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Berto Jongman: John Whitehead Reviews the the US Budget and What It Says About America and Americans

03 Economy, 07 Other Atrocities, 10 Transnational Crime, 11 Society, Corruption, Government
Berto Jongman
Berto Jongman

Why Are Americans Paying to be Searched, Spied On, Shot At, and Robbed Blind by the Government [and the Oligarchs Behind the Government]?

John Whitehead

OpEdNews, 7 April 2014

The State Department wants $400,000 to purchase a fiberglass sculpture of a camel looking at a needle for its new embassy in Pakistan. They’ve already spent their allotted $630,000 to increase the number of “likes” and fans on their Facebook and Twitter pages. The NATO ambassador for the U.S. needs $700,000 for landscaping and gardening, the National Science Foundation would like $700,000 to put on a theatrical production about climate change, and the Senate staffers need $1.9 million for lifestyle coaching. Also, Yale University researchers could really use $384,000 so they can study the odd cork-screw shape of a duck’s penis.

Continue reading “Berto Jongman: John Whitehead Reviews the the US Budget and What It Says About America and Americans”