United States News Digest
BAE in Big Trouble with U.S. Justice Department
Oct. 4 (EIRNS)The British defense cartel, BAE Systems, is in even deeper trouble with the U.S. Department of Justice, following the announcement last week by Britain's Serious Fraud Office (SFO), that it intends to prosecute BAE on bribery charges, involving defense contracts with Tanzania, Romania, the Czech Republic, and South Africa. While the SFO continues to cover up the BAE role in the mega-slush-fund scheme with Saudi Arabiathe so-called al-Yamamah programthe fact that it does intend to prosecute other bribery cases has spilled over into the U.S.A., where prosecutors have been probing the alleged $2 billion in al-Yamamah bribes that BAE paid to former Saudi Ambassador to Washington, Prince Bandar bin-Sultan, through U.S. banks.
The DOJ has now asked the SFO to turn over documentation of the other BAE bribes, to consider whether any American laws were violated in those deals. As the result, all efforts by BAE to shut down the U.S. investigation, by reaching an out-of-court settlement and paying a fine, are at least temporarily off the table. One immediate consequence of the SFO and DOJ actions is that BAE's stocks plunged, and the company is now in danger of losing many of its contracts with the Pentagon, which comprise more than half of its revenue stream.
According to British press accounts today, BAE is trying to revive plea talks with the SFO, before formal criminal charges are presented to the British Attorney General for approval. At one point, the SFO offered to settle with BAE for nearly a $1 billion fine and some admissions of criminal guilt, but that deal is now excluded.
As EIR has exclusively reported, beneath the surface of the BAE bribery scandal is the much more significant Anglo-Saudi secret intelligence program, funded through the al-Yamamah oil-for-weapons offshore slush fund, estimated at over $100 billion at minimum. And, should the U.S. Department of Justice extend the BAE probe to include money laundering, it could open up an even bigger scandal: the role of the Saudis in the 9/11 attacks. As EIR has reported, Prince Bandar and his wife funneled money to two Saudi intelligence officers, who passed it along to at least two of the California-based 9/11 hijackers, at exactly the same time that Bandar was getting his cut of the BAE al-Yamamah kickbacks.
New U.S. Bill, EPA Rules Announced for 'Clean Air/Anti-Warming'
Oct. 1 (EIRNS)A 821-page (!) bill was introduced in the Senate yesterday, called the "Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act," which purports to combat climate change and move the country to a "clean energy" economy. Its sponsors are Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and John Kerry (D-Mass.). On the same day, the White House moved to push for anti-C0@12 action through the Executive Branch, with or without Congress.
The Environmental Protection Agency announced that it will seek to issue a rule that the nation's biggest greenhouse gas emitters must install advanced pollution-control technology to operate any facility they plan to construct or significantly modify. This affects hundreds of power and other facilities. This EPA initiative, and the Boxer-Kerry bill, can be seen as attempts to create political arguments for the Administration at the Kyoto II climate meeting in December in Copenhagen, that the U.S. is acting to curb carbon emissions, etc., and the rest of the world should follow suit, by strangling their own industry and agriculture.
Apart from providing a pretense of momentum, pre-Copenhagen, some of the details of the Boxer-Kerry bill are apparently "up in the air." For example, Kerry said that the exact details of carbon cap-and-trade or other funding and gas emission programs, would be left to the Senate Finance Committee to work outthe same Committee now wrestling with the fascist Obamacare proposals.
H1N1/09 Pandemic on Course for Damage and Death in North America
Sept. 30 (EIRNS)The "Fall Wave" of the H1N1/09 flu is now gathering speed in North America, as expected by epidemiologists, and as downplayed by the Obama Administration, bent on imposing health-care "reforms" to cut infrastructure and population; not to treat and protect people.
In the United States, the new flu is now widespread in at least 26 states, where there are hundreds of clusters of cases, along with "hot spots" of cases showing up in outlying areas. In Mexico, the number of flu cases reported last week was above the level of last April, in Round One of the new influenza. In Canada, flu is present in all provinces.
The de facto U.S. public health policy for dealing with the new fluas stated by local leadersis that: We hope and pray it won't hit lots of nearby places all at the same time, because we can't cope. Already, hospitals in St. Louis, Atlanta, Nashville, several locations in Texas, and elsewhere, have activated their parking lot tents, and other expediencies to try to deal with the surge of emergency visits, especially for the fraction of severe casesusually the youngthat develop complications. The new flu favors youth. So far, more than 50 children have died, directly or indirectly from the virus, in the United States.
These emergency tents, mobile hospital vans, and other makeshift arrangements are just the manifestation of what has been lined up by local hospitals and state governments over the past six months, to try to handle the Fall Wave they knew was coming. There was no other recourse, given the rate of takedown of beds and facilities under the last 35 years of HMO policy. Added to that, the Obama Administration has refused to intervene, except for a pretense amount of funding and "guidelines." Instead, the White House has focussed on commercial vaccine production, the first batches of which are going out in the first week of October, but whose impact may not take place until after the peak of the Fall Wave.
Obama's Prof Says President Is Depressed About Being a Dictator
Sept. 30 (EIRNS)President Obama's alma mater, Occidental College, ran a front-page story in it current issue, about Prof. Roger Boesche's meeting with President Obama in the White House last month. (The professor taught Obama in 1979, and Obama had mentioned him as a positive influence.)
The article gives the professor's account of his meeting with Obama, as discussed with the student reporter, quoted below.
"Besides pleasantries, what did you guys talk about?' I asked.
" 'I gave him my Tyranny book and told him that if everybody in the State Department read it, they would completely understand places like North Korea. He was looking at the book, studying the cover.' "
The cover has the word "Tyranny" in bright bold letters against a background of famous tyrants: Mao Zedong, Stalin, and Hitler. "[Obama] said, thoughtfully, "'Some people would think that my photo should be on this,' Boesche recalled.
" 'You try and get something like health care and you get called all sorts of names. I found myself trying to cheer him up,' said Boesche."
The Boesche-Obama meeting was a total of 12 minutes, and the only thing the professor could report, was that he had to cheer up Obama about belonging in the picture gallery with Hitler!
Retired Officers Press Administration To Close Guantanamo
Sept. 30 (EIRNS)A group of 15 retired flag officers, pressing the Obama Administration to follow through on its commitment to close the Guantanamo prison camp, met with Attorney General Eric Holder Sept. 28, and were to meet with other top defense and intelligence officials over the next two days. The retired generals and admirals spoke out forcefully against the system of preventive detention being proposed by President Obama.
In a press conference and interviews yesterday, the officers accused former Vice President Dick Cheney and others of scaremongering about the dangers of closing the prison camp. "It's up to all of us to say these arguments advanced by Cheney and his acolytes are nonsense, and that really what they're doing is undermining our national security by delaying the date at which Guantanamo is closed," retired Brig. Gen. James Cullen said. The officers charged Cheney and his daughter Liz with exaggerating the risks of bringing Guantanamo prisoners to the United States. "Can you imagine getting a terrorist from Guantanamo convicted and put in a federal penitentiary in your town?" retired Gen. David Maddox, former commander of U.S. Army forces in Europe, asked. "Have you ever checked who the hell's in there already? Have any of them gotten out? The person who we're putting in is probably a heck of lot less dangerous than most of them who are already in there."
Some of the officers said they are less concerned about meeting the Jan. 22 deadline set by Obama, than about completing the review process, and ensuring that Guantanamo will be closed as soon as possible. They said that they were "encouraged" by Holder's commitment to close the prison by the January deadline set by the Administration. Maddox said all detainees at Guantanamo should be either prosecuted or released, and the goal should be that none of the prisoners remain in preventive detention. Maddox added that Attorney General Holder "shared that goal."
Also participating in the officers' visit to Washington, which was organized by Human Rights First, was retired Army Gen. Anthony Taguba, who conducted the ground-breaking investigation of Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. The officers are planning to speak at events across the country to present their case for closing Guantanamo.