From Volume 7, Issue 47 of EIR Online, Published Nov. 18, 2008

United States News Digest

Rohatyn Protégé Gotbaum Co-Chairs Treasury Transition

Nov. 14 (EIRNS)—Amidst a scramble over the direction of the incoming Presidency, Barack Obama has designated former Lazard Frères banker Joshua Gotbaum as co-chairman of the team overseeing the transition at the Treasury Department.

Gotbaum's father, Victor Gotbaum, president of AFSCME in New York City (1965-87), was the key labor representative betraying the unions in the 1970s bankers' dictatorship led by investment bank Lazard boss Felix Rohatyn, which destroyed the city's municipal services and labor conditions. In return, Rohatyn took the junior Gotbaum in as a partner in the early 1980s; from 1990 to 1992, Joshua was in London as managing director of Lazard there, learning the British imperial methods for the destruction of U.S. industry.

Gotbaum emerged as a star performer in the Lazard-instigated process of savage downsizing, asset-stripping, and crushing of labor in the 1990s victimization of the defense and other sectors subject to "restructuring."

LaRouche: Gates' Reply to Medvedev Is 'Bullshit'

Nov. 13 (EIRNS)—At a news conference in the Estonian capital of Tallinn today, after a NATO meeting with Ukraine, U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates called the Russian threat to place tactical missiles in the Baltic enclave of Kaliningrad, if the U.S. places an anti-missile defense system in Poland, provocative and misguided. Gates said that such a Russian move was "hardly the welcome a new American administration deserved. Such provocative remarks are unnecessary and misguided." To the Medvedev offer in Le Figaro, that Moscow could cancel its deployment of the Iskander missiles if Obama scrapped plans for the missile defense system, Gates said, "I don't think that is a credible offer. Quite frankly, I am not clear what the missiles would be for in Kaliningrad. After all the only real emerging threat on Russia's periphery is Iran, and I don't think the Iskander missile has the range to get there from Kaliningrad. So, this is an issue apparently between ourselves and the Russians. Why they would threaten to point missiles at European nations seems quite puzzling to me."

Lyndon LaRouche commented: Gates' reply is bullshit. The threat is coming from the British, who are using the placement of an anti-missile defense system in Poland as a threat to Russia. If Gates doesn't understand this, either there is something wrong with him, or he is taking orders from an idiot.

'Do You Have To Be a Dope To Be a Democrat?'

Nov. 13 (EIRNS)—George Soros, the multi-billionaire, dope-legalization pusher, who operates for Brutish Empire interests, was denounced in Congress today for his drug-decrim activities. Rep. Mark Souder (R-Ind.) called Soros's "intervention in the drug area, appalling." Soros was the star guest at a House of Representatives hearing by the Government Oversight Committee, on hedge funds and financial turmoil. Committee member Souder broke with the otherwise fatuous atmosphere by leading off his questioning of the panel of five hedge-fund directors, by singling out the head of the Soros Fund Management LLC for attack. Souder charged Soros with leading the "back-door legalization of marijuana." It has "damaged many Americans. I hope you will re-evaluate" what you are doing." Souder's district includes Fort Wayne, the former factory center that now is home to poverty, despair, and drugs.

However, later in the hearing, Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) praised Soros for his support of drug legalization. Cummings led off his questions on hedge funds by saying that Soros "should be thanked for what you've done in Baltimore. And thanks to the Open Society." Cummings' Baltimore district is a formerly world-class industrial center, now devastated by drugs and misery, with one of the highest rates of HIV/AIDS in the world.

Now They Want To 'Save the Auto Industry!'

Nov. 11 (EIRNS)—House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) wrote to Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson on Nov. 8, calling on him to use part of his $700 billion bailout fund to save the automobile industry—but it was they and other Democratic bigwigs who rejected Lyndon LaRouche's widely supported auto industry conversion plan when he proposed it in 2005 and 2006.

"How the hell are they going to bail out an auto industry which virtually doesn't exist?" LaRouche asked Nov. 9. "What kind of fakery is this? Bankruptcy? What's going to stop it? There is no market!"

Democrats who should have known better, rejected LaRouche's plan, in 2005-06, when the industry could have been saved, not as an auto industry as such, but by redirecting idle machine-tool capacity to vital national infrastructural needs. "Now they've blown it, there is no industry left; it's gone, and they want to save the corpse," LaRouche said.

At that time, Democrats who should have known better, were saying, "LaRouche is wrong, General Motors is not going to go bankrupt." Now GM itself is saying it will go bankrupt, perhaps even within weeks, without massive aid.

ADL Hypes Racist Assassination Threats Against Obama

Nov. 10 (EIRNS)—Following the lead set by the British tabloid press, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) is hyping the "white supremacist" racist attacks, which call for the assassination of Barack Obama. A web page on the ADL site is devoted to white supremacist "rage" over the election of Obama, citing various blogs and websites. The ADL gives much more prominence and circulation to the disgusting incitement than do the racist blogs themselves. A number of large news services, including MarketWatch, have picked up the ADL's self-aggrandizing report.

The ADL's historical role in paying "stringers" to become KKK or Nazi activists against Jewish institutions in order to create panic and fear, has been well documented, and its current fanning of the flames of racism is in keeping with the British profiling of the security arrangements for Obama and family. Two skinhead youth are under arrest for plotting to shoot African American students, and to kill Obama.

Lyndon LaRouche, in response to a Nov. 9 London Times claim that, "Fears are growing that Obama will be the target of an assassination attempt," said, "They're preparing to kill the guy, so they have all this stuff set up, 'Oh, we told you they were going to kill him.'"

EIR Told You First: White House Behind Attack on Syria

Nov. 10 (EIRNS)—The New York Times finally reports the story that EIR first broke two weeks ago: that the White House, and specifically Vice President Dick Cheney, were behind the illegal U.S. raid on Syria that killed several civilians on Oct. 26. The Times article, "Secret Order Lets U.S. Raid Al Qaeda in Many Countries; Authorized Since 2004 to Hit Across Borders of 15 to 20 Nations," discloses that a classified order, signed by former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld in 2004, and authorized by President George W. Bush, was used "dozens of times" to attack suspected al-Qaeda locations in Nigeria, Somalia, Pakistan, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, and "several other Gulf States" that provide "sanctuary" to al-Qaeda. It is called "Al Qaeda Exord," or Executive Order.

Even with the order, says the Times, each action requires specific approval by the Secretary of Defense, while certain countries—specifically Syria—"require Presidential approval." But the Times never mentions the real White House power in this operation: Dick Cheney. Sources confirmed to EIR today that the White House approval did not go through the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and that the recent Syria raid, like many of these operations, bypassed the regional military commands and the U.S. ambassadors altogether.

The Times also says that in 2004, there was a heavy push to include Iran on the list of countries approved for attacks, but, "ultimately Iran was set aside, possibly to be dealt with under a separate authorization." A senior U.S. intelligence official elaborated: At no time did the Iranian regime engage in any training or support of al-Qaeda. Therefore, Iran was excluded from the broad Rumsfeld order, despite efforts by the neocon crowd to have Iran listed on the target states.

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