United States News Digest
Holder Turns DoJ Sights on Financial Fraud
April 3 (EIRNS)Attorney General Eric Holder told reporters yesterday that cleaning out financial, corporate, and mortgage fraud is yet another of the areas in which the Bush-era policies and priorities of the Department of Justice are being reviewed, and will be changed.
An official announcement is expected coming soon, of the creation of a task force to investigate financial fraud and "white-collar crime," he said, including, policing what happens to the billions in public monies distributed under the rubric of the "stimulus." Holder emphasized that the Department of Justice will draw on the expertise of state prosecutors as well, because the Federal government can't do this alone.
Holder made these remarks while in Cuernavaca, Mexico, for a cabinet-level conference on binational coordination to shut down arms trafficking from the U.S. into Mexico, a problem which Holder said "must be met as part of a comprehensive attack against the [drug] cartelsan attack in depth, on both sides of the border, that focuses on the leadership and assets of the cartel." The Justice Department's investigation of "financial fraud," properly executed, will inevitably overlap the investigations and prosecutionsof the drug cartels.
Cheney Wages Intell Psywar vs. Obama Administration
April 2 (EIRNS)Former Vice President Dick Cheney is conducting a propaganda war against the Obama Administration, as a debate over national security policy is taking place.
On March 15, Cheney claimed on a CNN news program, that President Obama "is making some choices that, in my mind, will, in fact, raise the risk to the American people of another attack." Among the Obama decisions which apparently offended Cheney, were plans to eventually close the Guantanamo detention facility, a ban on waterboarding, a requirement for CIA interrogators to abide by rules in the Army Field Manual, and an order for the closure of secret intelligence interrogation sites.
Several days before Cheney's emergence, veteran intelligence journalist Seymour Hersh remarked, at a college forum in Minnesota, that the Joint Special Operations Command under Bush-Cheney was "going into countries, not talking to the ambassador or the CIA station chief, and finding people on a list and executing them and leaving."
In interviews this week on NPR and MSNBC Countdown, Hersh said that Cheney has "stay behinds" in the Obama Administration, particularly in Defense and NSA, who provide him inside information. Hersh identified the "stay behinds" as senior military officers "that got promoted ahead of the curve because they were closer and more friendly to Rumsfeld, to Cheney, and their policies.... Cheney has enormous influence with a lot of the senior officers in the Pentagon, absolutely."
Congressional Bailout Trio Going Down
March 30 (EIRNS)The Congressional bailout trio of Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), and Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.), the group which rammed through then-Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson's bailout in September, and has had a deadly influence on President Obama, is in trouble. Pelosi's ratings have taken a precipitous drop in the polls in the last two weeks; Dodd is trailing his likely Republican rival in his 2010 Senate race; and Frank, while being slammed in his hometown press, has been named "Porker of the Month," by a government watchdog group that points to the hypocrisy of his getting his knickers in a twist about the AIG bonuses, while pushing financial bailouts.
In the aftermath of the announcement of the latest bailout scheme last week, 60% of U.S. voters now have an "unfavorable" opinion of Pelosi, a 7% spike from just two weeks ago, according to a Rasmussen Reports telephone survey. Of that 60%, fully 42% view her "very unfavorably," a spike of 8%. What Pelosi's handlers might find even more disturbing is that she's now viewed "favorably" by just 57% of Democrats (16%, very favorably); but in the previous survey, 65% of Democrats liked Pelosi, with 27% "very favorable."
A front-page "exclusive" article in today's Washington Times is headed, "AIG Chiefs Pressed To Donate to Dodd: $160,000 Streamed In as Senator Gained Power on Banking Committee." The Times quotes a 2006 memo from Joseph Cassano, the head of AIG's financial products division, many of whose chieftains had received million-plus-dollar bonuses, imploring execs to funnel money to Dodd. It was Senator Dodd who altered the bailout legislation to allow the bonuses to go through. The article also notes that Dodd is trailing his likely Republican opponent, former U.S. Rep. Rob Simmons, in his 2010 race.
Single-Payer Health Insurance Introduced in Senate
March 30 (EIRNS)The challenge to the parasitic role of private medical insurance and pharmaceutical corporations took another step forward March 26, when a current bill for a single-payer, Medicare for All bill was introduced in the U.S. Senate. The bill complements H.R. 1200 in the House. The Physicians for National Health Program estimates the single-payer program would save $400 billion on bureaucracy, enough to cover all Americans now without health insurance.
The Senate bill (S. 703), named the American Health Security Act of 2009, introduced by Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), includes funds for community health centers, and for support of the National Health Service Corps, health professionals education, including education of clinical nurse practitioners, certified registered nurse anesthetists, certified nurse midwives, and physician assistants.
Sanders serves on the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee. His new bill draws heavily upon the single-payer legislation introduced by the late Sen. Paul Wellstone (D-Minn.) in 1993, S. 491, and closely parallels similar legislation pending before the House, H.R. 1200, introduced by Rep. Jim McDermott (D-Wash.).
A single-payer bill introduced by Rep. John Conyers, Jr. (D-Mich.), H.R. 676, obtained 93 co-sponsors in the House during the last session. It has been reintroduced in the new Congress as the U.S. National Health Care Act with the same bill number.
Why LaRouche Is Critical of Ron Paul
March 30 (EIRNS)In a piece on his website today, libertarian Rep. Ron Paul (R-Tex.) echoed the lines of the Soros drug mafia, demanding that the United States "End the War on Drugs."
Lyndon LaRouche recalled in discussion with staff that some supporters have been confounded by his refusal to ally with Paul, despite Paul's opposition to the war in Iraq and the Cheneyac neocons. Now, they should understand why he's been so critical of Paul. His call for legalization of drugs is further confirmation that Paul can't be trusted, LaRouche said. Saying that "smuggling operations and gangland violence fell apart with repeal" of 1920s Prohibition, Paul reiterates the old bogus line about how, "Similarly today, the best way to fight violent drug cartels would be to pull the rug out from under their profits by bringing these transactions out into the sunlight.... I would urge them [advocates of defeating the narco traffickers] to go back to the Constitution and consider where there is any authority to prohibit private personal choices like this."