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Pakistan Army: NATO Attack Planned – Pentagon Dumps Soldiers Remains in Landfill – FEMA Camps – DEA Drug Money Laundering

December 10, 2011

Iran exhibits US drone undamaged. US and Israeli intelligence shocked

Pakistan army believes NATO attack planned – reports

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Pentagon Dumps Soldiers Remains in Landfill – FEMA Camps

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Congress Probes DEA Drug Money Laundering Scheme

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Written by Alex Newman
Friday, 09 December 2011 13:00
DEA moneyAs the “Fast and Furious” gun-trafficking scandal continues to grow, Congress is now investigating a Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) program that was laundering money for Mexican cartels. Meanwhile, multiple cartel leaders and reports continue to suggest that the federal government is deeply involved in the narcotics and arms trades.

According to an article in the New York Times that first revealed the DEA money-laundering scheme to the public, U.S. drug agents supervised by the Justice Department likely laundered hundreds of millions in illegal profits — maybe more. The DEA and other agencies also helped send the illicit cash back across the border to Mexico in operations “orchestrated to get around sovereignty restrictions,” the Times reported in the article, headlined “U.S. Agents Launder Mexican Profits of Drug Cartels.”

“The high-risk activities raise delicate questions about the agency’s effectiveness in bringing down drug kingpins, underscore diplomatic concerns about Mexican sovereignty, and blur the line between surveillance and facilitating crime,” the article stated, noting that the agency often allows cartels to continue operating for years before taking any action.

And the program does not appear to be disrupting the criminal organizations. One former DEA official was quoted by the paper as saying that if the program failed to show results, “the D.E.A. could wind up being the largest money launderer in the business, and that money results in violence and deaths.” And the program has failed to show results, according to analysts.

Activists and members of Congress were already deeply suspicious of Attorney General Eric Holder and the Obama administration’s Department of Justice over a program that put thousands of weapons into the hands of cartels — some of the guns were eventually linked to murders of U.S. law enforcement officers — as well as subsequent efforts to cover up the scandal using lies. So when news of federal money laundering broke, lawmakers immediately demanded answers.

“It also appears as though these American agents, posing as smugglers, assisted Mexican drug cartels in their illicit and deadly drug trade,” Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee investigating Fast and Furious, wrote in a letter to Holder citing the Times article. “These allegations, if true, raise further unsettling questions about a Department of Justice component engaging in a high-risk strategy with scant evidence of success.”

Issa repeated the concern expressed in the Times article that the DEA operations point to serious issues in the agency’s effectiveness in actually catching drug bosses. There are other problems, too, including worries about sovereignty and the blurring of the line between “surveillance” and actually helping criminals.

“The law limits the conduct alleged in this story,” Rep. Issa noted. “The existence of such a program again calls your leadership into question…. The consequences have been disastrous. It is almost unfathomable to contemplate the degree to which the United States Government has made itself an accomplice to the Mexican drug trade.”

The Justice Department responded with a letter saying similar tactics have been used since the 1980s, but that it could not discuss specifics. Like the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (still known as ATF), the DEA also promptly responded to the accusations by claiming the operations were aimed at fighting crime, not assisting it. And anonymous “sources” were deployed by the federal drug agency to defend the scheme, saying a comparison with Fast and Furious was off the mark.

In a statement, the agency also defended its operations, saying the money laundering was aimed at tracking drug profits rather than aiding criminals. “The DEA has well-established mechanisms for coordinating and approving activities associated with the fight against money laundering,” it claimed. “As a result of this cooperation, DEA has seized illicit transnational criminal organization money all around the world through our partnership with law enforcement.”

The federal agency also said it had been working closely with Mexico’s notoriously corrupt government for years. “As part of that collaboration, DEA works with Mexican authorities to gather and use information about these criminal organizations to counter the threats they pose to both of our countries,” it alleged in the statement, claiming the cooperation was based on “mutual trust” and respect for each government’s jurisdiction.

But lawmakers were not thoroughly convinced by administration denials, noting that Holder, Obama, and the Justice Department have admittedly been lying about the Fast and Furious scandal for almost a year. “The first answer you get from this Justice Department doesn’t have a high credibility,” Rep. Issa said this week.

Conservative activists seized on the story to renew calls for Holder to resign or be fired immediately. “More importantly than lying to Congress —and now laundering drug monies — he is guilty of being an ‘Accessory to Murder,’” Conservative Action Alerts said in an e-mail to supporters urging them to demand congressional action.

Over 50 representatives in the House have already signed a letter calling on Holder to step down, and the list is growing fast. Several Senators and GOP presidential hopefuls have also joined the chorus. Holder, meanwhile, lashed out at conservative media outlets for his woes.

But critics are still hammering away at the nation’s top law enforcement officer. “Note to Holder: No one believes you were after cartel members. Everyone believes you were trying to cause enough crime on the border to justify the passage of more gun control,” noted conservative commentator A.W.R. Hawkins, who called on Rep. Issa to prosecute Holder to the full extent of the law as the latest scandal made headlines.

American Thinker writer Hugh de Payns called for changes at the very top of government. “First it was guns, and now it is their money,” he wrote. “A person could be excused for thinking that these recent revelations smell of a conspiracy to raise violence and trouble along the southern border for crass political purposes.”

New official documents have emerged showing the various Project Gunrunner firearm-trafficking schemes were indeed being used to promote more unconstitutional restrictions on the gun rights of Americans. And Mexican drug bosses have recently implicated the U.S. government in all of their operations — from trafficking to obtaining weapons.

“In addition, the defense has evidence that from time to time, the leadership of the Sinaloa Cartel was informed by agents of the DEA through [Mexican attorney and Sinaloa-Cartel figure Humberto] Loya that United States government agents and/or Mexican authorities were conducting investigations near the home territories of cartel leaders so that the cartel leaders could take appropriate actions to evade investigators,” stated a court document filed recently by high-ranking Mexican drug trafficker Jesus Vicente Zambada-Niebla.

“El Vincentillo,” as the Sinaloa operative is known, also said the U.S. government allowed his organization to import multi-ton quantities of drugs while providing U.S. weaponry to the cartel. More than a few other top drug bosses have made similar assertions just this year.

According to reports and government insiders, the Central Intelligence Agency has been deeply involved in the various aspects of the operations as well. The agency has a long history of shadowy drug-dealing scandals. And even former DEA chief Robert Bonner has appeared on television accusing the CIA of importing cocaine.

It remains unclear exactly what the purpose and extent of the agency’s involvement might be in the emerging scandals. But a report in the Washington Times, citing a CIA insider, said it had to do with affecting Mexican politics and the cartel balance of power.

Violence related to the drug war has left more than 40,000 Mexicans dead in recent years. Yet despite billions spent on the expanding unconstitutional “war” so far, the murders and the flow of drugs through the nation continues to grow.

Photo of money seized during DEA raids: AP Images

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Half of Americans Opposed to X-Ray Scanners, Says Poll

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Written by Raven Clabough  –   New American
Friday, 09 December 2011 11:45
A recent poll reveals that approximately half of Americans are interested in seeing the Transportation Security Administration do away with X-ray body scanners. The survey, conducted by the media group ProPublica, shows that 46 percent of Americans do not believe that the risks associated with the machines outweigh the purported benefits of the machines.

The question posed to the respondents states, “If a security scanner existed which would significantly help in preventing terrorists from boarding a plane with powder, plastic, or liquid explosives, do you think the TSA should still use it even if it could cause perhaps six of the 100 million massengers who fly each year to eventually develop cancer?”

Those figures seen in the question came from a study out of the University of California in San Francisco, which was conducted by a professor of radiology and epidemiology.

Just 36 percent of the nearly 3,000 respondents answered yes, while 46 percent responded in the negative, and 18 percent remained undecided.

When the results of this poll were presented to TSA spokesman Michael McCarthy, he stated that the X-Ray scanners are “well within national standards.”

“TSA’s top priority is the safety of the traveling public and the use of advanced imaging technology is critical to the detection of both metallic and non-metallic threats,” he said. “All results from independent evaluations confirm that these machines are safe for all passengers.”

ProPublica felt compelled to conduct this recent poll following assertions by the TSA that most Americans were in favor of the scanners. The TSA cited a number of polls which show that Americans favored the scanners, but those polls weighed privacy issues versus the benefits of the machines, not health concerns. ProPublica explains, “Only one of these polls — by CBS News — asked specifically about X-ray body scanners, finding that 81 percent of Americans thought that such X-ray scanners should be used in airports. But that poll — like all others — did not mention the risk of cancer.”

For the most part, Americans have been kept in the dark regarding the potential health risks of the X-ray machines, but recently, PBS NewsHour featured a report entitled, “U.S. Government Glossed Over Cancer Concerns.” According to NewsHour:

On Sept. 23, 1998, a panel of radiation safety experts gathered at a Hilton hotel in Maryland to evaluate a new device that could detect hidden weapons and contraband. The machine, known as the Secure 1000, beamed X-rays at people to see underneath their clothing.

One after another, the experts convened by the Food and Drug Administration raised questions about the machine because it violated a longstanding principle in radiation safety — that humans shouldn’t be X-rayed unless there is a medical benefit.

“I think this is really a slippery slope,” said Jill Lipoti, who was the director of New Jersey’s radiation protection program. The device was already deployed in prisons; what was next, she and others asked — courthouses, schools, airports? “I am concerned … with expanding this type of product for the traveling public,” said another panelist, Stanley Savic, the vice president for safety at a large electronics company. “I think that would take this thing to an entirely different level of public health risk.”

The machine’s inventor, Steven W. Smith, assured the panelists that it was highly unlikely that the device would see widespread use in the near future. At the time, only 20 machines were in operation in the entire country.

Little did Watson know that by 2011, millions of American airline passengers would be put through the radiation-emitting machines.

ProPublica/PBS NewsHour concluded that the U.S. government believes that security issues outweigh health risks, even when those risks have been confirmed. This is clear by the simple fact that it was not the FDA which made the decision to allow widespread use of the machines, but the TSA, whose sole purpose is to “prevent” terrorist attacks.

There are approximately 250 X-ray scanners in American airports, along with an additional 250 body scanners that use low-energy radio waves called millimeter waves. The body scanners are safer to use; however, like the X-ray scanners, they raised issues regarding privacy because images taken by the machines revealed genitalia, as well as breasts and buttocks. The TSA eventually addressed those concerns by making the images less graphic, but concerns regarding the use of radiation by the X-ray machines has been virtually scoffed at by the TSA.

Robin Kane, TSA’s assistant administrator for security technology, essentially glossed over the cancer threats that the machines pose, asserting that it’s more important to have both types of scanners to create competition. “It’s a really, really small amount relative to the security benefit you’re going to get,” Kane said. “Keeping multiple technologies in play is very worthwhile for the U.S. in getting that cost-effective solution — and being able to increase the capabilities of technology because you keep everyone trying to get the better mousetrap.”

The TSA is hoping to see one of the machines operating in every security lane in American airports by the year 2014. Every passenger will be directed through either one of the scanners, or a metal detector, and the only other alternative passengers will have is the enhanced pat-down.

John Pistole, head of the TSA, attempted to assuage concerns regarding the safety of the X-ray machines by assuring the Senate that his agency would conduct new evaluations of the safety of the machines, but shortly after reneged on that promise.

Meanwhile, Europe has already moved past the X-ray machines in response to the health concerns. In November, the European Commission adopted guidelines which outright ban the machines in the airports.

A press release for the European Commission read, “In order not to risk jeopardizing citizens’ health and safety, only security scanners which do not use X-ray technology are added to the list of authorized methods for passenger screening at EU airports.”

Ironically, when U.K. passengers were asked a question similar to the one posed in the Harris poll, they came out in favor of the machines regardless of the health risks.

Breaking Travel News reports, “Sunshine.co.uk carried out a flash poll of 967 Britons and asked each respondent questions about their opinions of the airport scanners that are used for security reasons…. Respondents were asked, ‘Do you think airport ‘strip-search’ scanners should be banned, in light of the cancer risks they could pose?’ and the majority, 67%, said ‘no’. They were then asked to explain their reason for this decision, to which 54% said they would rather ‘risk their health and travel safe’, whilst a fifth, 22%, said they didn’t believe the health risks.”

The British government, in response to the people of Britain, has decided to disregard the EU order to ban the machines, and will maintain its policy of “no scan, no fly” for travelers who refuse to enter the machines when requested.

It seems the U.S government is falling in line with the British policy, even as the American people stand opposed to the use of the X-ray scanners.

Photo: AP Images

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