Thursday, July 31, 2014

Ebola - What You're Not Being Told

United States Crafting Legislation to Incite World War III

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Republican Senator and ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Bob Corker, is the most recent inciter of global war, as he is the main sponsor of the Russian Aggression Prevention Act of 2014.

The piece of legislation, which has already been seen in congressional committee, intends to effectively declare war on Russia by imposing even more draconian sanctions on Russian businesses, and individuals, maintaining American troops in European countries, increasing the presence of American troops and military equipment in countries that support NATO’s actions against Russia, including former Soviet republics, forcing Ukraine to become a member of NATO so the United States can station troops and armament on the Russian-Ukrainian border and cancel any nuclear disarmament treaties signed between the United States and Russia, among other things.

Senator Corker’s proposed legislation has the support of traditional neoconservative members of Congress, such as Arizonan Republican, John McCain and Senator Marco Rubio, the Cuban-American Republican who is actively campaigning to become a Republican presidential candidate for the 2016 election.

The Russian Aggression Prevention Act of 2014 “Directs the Secretary of Defense (DOD) to submit to Congress a strategic framework for U.S. security assistance and cooperation in Europe and Eurasia,” begins the text. According to Wayne Madsen, from the Strategic Culture Foundation, the legislation also intends to punish former US allies in Europe who are now in business with Russian companies. Among them, former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroder, who would be subject to a travel ban and asset freeze by the United States.

The act would authorize President Obama to provide $100,000,000 in military equipment, including lethal equipment, to Ukraine, including anti-tank weapons and ammunition; anti-aircraft weapons and ammunition; small arms and ammunition, including pistols; submachine guns, assault rifles, grenade launchers, machine guns, and sniper rifles; mine resistant ambush protected vehicles; High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles (Humvees); inflatable boats; body armor; fire control, range finder, optical and guidance and control equipment; and other equipment deemed appropriate.
In other words, the United States wants to, once and for all, surround Russia along with its NATO partners in Europe, a dream that has been lingering in American politics for decades since the end of the Cold War.

But the piece of legislation is not limited to bringing about World War III with Russia, as it provides for the effective theft of natural resources by opening the doors of Ukraine, Moldova, and Georgia to American multinationals. Under the rules included in the Russian Aggression Prevention Act of 2014, energy companies would be free to drain those countries from their natural gas reserves.

The complete text of S.2277, the Russian Aggression Prevention Act of 2014, can be read below:

Russian Aggression Prevention Act of 2014 – Directs the Secretary of Defense (DOD) to submit to Congress a strategic framework for U.S. security assistance and cooperation in Europe and Eurasia.

Directs the President to: (1) halt for 180-days all current and planned redeployments of combat forces from Europe other than certain redeployments, and (2) develop a plan to correct any deficiencies in the Armed Forces’ ability to respond to contingencies in Europe and Eurasia.

Expresses the sense of Congress that: (1) the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) represents the most successful collective security agreement of the modern era, and (2) a strong NATO is critical to maintaining peace in Europe and Eurasia and ensuring that the Russian Federation plays an appropriate role in the region.

Directs the President to: (1) implement a plan for increasing U.S. and NATO support for the armed forces of Poland, Estonia, Lithuania, and Latvia, and other NATO member-states; and (2) direct the U.S. Permanent Representative to NATO to seek consideration for permanently basing NATO forces in such countries.

Directs the President to submit a plan to Congress for accelerating NATO and European missile defense efforts.

Directs the President to establish a United States-German Global and European Security Working Group to focus on areas of mutual concern, including the situation in Ukraine, and increasing political, economic, and military cooperation between the two states.

Directs the President to impose asset blocking and U.S. exclusion sanctions, if Russian armed forces have not withdrawn from Crimea within seven days after enactment of this Act, against: (1) any government official, and any close associate or family member of that official, who is responsible for or otherwise directing violations of Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty, or who is responsible for acts of significant corruption in the Russian Federation; (2) any individual who sponsored or provided financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services in support of such acts; (3) any individual or entity with respect to which sanctions were previously imposed relating to violations of Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty; (4) any entity owned or controlled by a sanctioned entity that is owned or controlled by a citizen of the Russian Federation; and (5) any senior executive of a sanctioned entity who is a citizen of the Russian Federation.

Directs the President to impose asset blocking and U.S. exclusion sanctions, if Russian armed forces have not withdrawn from the eastern border of Ukraine within seven days after enactment of this Act, or if agents of the Russian Federation do not cease actions to destabilize the control of the government of Ukraine over eastern Ukraine, against: (1) Sberbank, (2) VTB Bank, (3) Vnesheconombank, (4) Gazprombank, (5) Gazprom, (6) Novatek, (7) Rosneft, (8) Rosoboronexport, (9) any entity owned or controlled by such an entity that is owned or controlled by a citizen of the Russian Federation; and (10) any senior executive of such an entity who is a citizen of the Russian Federation.

Imposes asset blocking, U.S. exclusion, and foreign financial entity sanctions, if Russian armed forces expand further into, or the government of the Russian Federation annexes, sovereign territory of Ukraine or any other country in Europe or Eurasia, against: (1) any senior Russian official, (2) any entity owned or controlled by a senior Russian official, and (3) any close associate of a senior Russian official who provides significant support or resources to such senior Russian official.

Imposes asset blocking and U.S. exclusion sanctions also, in such circumstances, against: (1) any entity organized under the laws of the Russian Federation that is owned or controlled by the government of the Russian Federation, or owned or controlled by a person sanctioned for violations of Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty; (2) any entity that operates in the arms, defense, energy, financial services, metals, or mining sectors of the Russian Federation; and (3) any senior executive of such an entity who is a citizen of the Russian Federation.

Sets forth related penalty requirements.

States that U.S. exclusion sanctions shall not apply if necessary to permit the United States to comply with the Agreement regarding the Headquarters of the United Nations or other applicable international obligations.

Authorizes the President to waive sanctions if in the U.S. national security interests, and with prior congressional notification.

Directs the Secretary of Commerce to limit the transfer or export by any U.S. person of oil and gas advanced technology to any person in, or any citizen of, the Russian Federation if: (1) the Russian Federation has not substantially withdrawn its armed forces from the eastern border of Ukraine within 30 days, or (2) agents of the Russian Federation do not end destabilizing measures in eastern Ukraine.

Directs the Secretary of State to work with U.S. allies to limit: (1) sales of defense articles and services to the government of the Russian Federation, and (2) cooperation with the government of the Russian Federation on matters related to the production of defense articles and services by Russian entities.

Prohibits the President from: (1) entering into any agreement with the government of the Russian Federation regarding the reduction of nuclear forces except with the advice and consent of the Senate; (2) reducing the number of deployed or non-deployed launchers under the Treaty between the United States of America and the Russian Federation on Measures for the Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms while Russian armed forces are threatening the territorial integrity or sovereignty of Ukraine or another European or Eurasian state; (3) sharing sensitive U.S. missile defense information with the government of the Russian Federation; and (4) authorizing any Open Skies Treaty overflights of U.S. territory or government facilities by Russian airplanes that employ any surveillance devices beyond those employed before January 1, 2014.

Prohibits amounts from being obligated or expended to integrate into any U.S. or NATO common-funded missile defense system any stand-alone radar or missile defense system manufactured, sold, or exported by: (1) a Russian entity, or (2) any person or entity currently sanctioned or designated under U.S. law for missile technology proliferation.

Directs the Secretary of State to provide access to appropriate consular resources, including prioritized access for refugee and other immigration or travel status to the United States, for journalists, political and civil society activists, and dissidents in the Russian Federation.

Directs the Secretary of State to increase efforts to strengthen democratic institutions and political and civil society organizations in the Russian Federation.

Directs DOD to assess the capabilities and needs of the Ukrainian armed forces. Authorizes the President, upon completion of such assessment, to provide specified military assistance to Ukraine.

Expresses the sense of Congress that the President should: (1) provide Ukraine with information about Russian military and intelligence capabilities on Ukraine’s eastern border and within Ukraine’s territorial borders, including Crimea; and (2) ensure that such intelligence information is protected from further disclosure.

Provides major non-NATO ally status for Ukraine, Georgia, and Moldova (during the period in which each of such countries meets specified criteria) for purposes of the transfer or possible transfer of defense articles or defense services.

Directs the President to increase: (1) U.S. Armed Forces interactions with the armed forces of Ukraine, Georgia, Moldova, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, and Serbia; and (2) U.S and NATO security assistance to such states.

Amends the Natural Gas Act to apply the expedited application and approval process for natural gas exports to World Trade Organization members.

Urges the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the Trade and Development Agency, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the World Bank Group, and the European Bank for Reconstruction to promote assistance to Ukraine, Georgia, and Moldova in order to exploit natural gas and oil reserves and to develop alternative energy sources.

Prohibits any federal department or agency from taking any action that recognizes Russian Federation sovereignty over Crimea or otherwise endorses the Russian Federation’s illegal annexation of Crimea.

Directs the Secretary of State to: (1) strengthen democratic institutions, the independent media, and political and civil society organizations in countries of the former Soviet Union; and (2) increase educational and cultural exchanges with countries of the former Soviet Union.

Directs the Broadcasting Board of Governors and the Voice of America (VOA) to provide Congress with a plan for increasing and maintaining through FY2017 the quantity of U.S.-funded Russian-language broadcasting into countries of the former Soviet Union, with priority for broadcasting into Ukraine, Georgia, and Moldova.

Russia Prepares for War

While the United States government is seeking to further encircle Russia to provoke World War III, Vladimir Putin is also preparing his country for military conflict. This week, Putin addressed the Russian Security Council and announced that further measures will be taken to reduce the dependence of the national economy from external negative factors, in a clear allusion to the international situation and sanctions that some countries are imposing on Moscow. At the same time, he said there is no military threat to the sovereignty of Russia, although he noted a strengthening of NATO near the country, to which he said, Russia would respond with increased defensive capacity.

Of course not, today there is no direct military threat to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Russia. Putin described the stage of strategic military balance in the world as one where “NATO demonstratively shows its power and growth in the territories of the East European countries, including in the waters of the Black and Baltic seas. “ Meawhile, Russia can “adequately answer to this by fulfilling planned measures to strengthen the defense capacity of the country, including Crimea and Sevastopolwhere Russia will build a new military infrastructure.

The Russian leader warned that “there are attempts to destabilize the socio-political situation in the country, to weaken Russia one way or another, hitting on weaknesses, problems and, of course, these attacks will always exist “. Putin said that the recipes used in weak countries are not applicable in Russia, and added that those measures are unacceptable and counterproductive” because “they destroy the contemporary world order.”

The Russian President lamented the “increasingly often heard language of ultimatums and sanctions and that the concept of state sovereignty is weakened; with inconvenient regimes and countries being destroyed by applying policies that are of the interests of others.” However, he said he hoped that the “legitimate national interestsof Russia will be taken into account and that the differences that always arise, will be resolved only through diplomatic negotiations.

European Hypocrisy

While in public the European Union speaks of more sanctions against Russia, in private and in practice, EU members refuse to follow their own rules. Although a new round of sanctions intends to punish Russia by cutting down commercial activity valued at $1o billion a year, on the other hand, France and Great Britain refused to stop selling military equipment to Russia. The conflict between Britain, France and the rest of the EU shows how sharply divided its politicians are about how to address their relations with Russia.

The EU is attempting to prevent Russian public banks from accessing European capital and suspending the export and import of arms. However, this week British Prime Minister, David Cameron has been under fire for maintaining some 200 licenses that allow Britain to sell arms to Russia.

The most damaging measure still to come is an economic one that would prevent financial institutions controlled by the Kremlin from being financed with European money. According to 2013 data provided by the European Commission, 47% of the bonds issued last year by those entities were bought by EU investors. The total value was equivalent to 7,500 billion euros.

What the EU executive proposes is to prohibit any person or community entity to invest in Russian financial instruments with a maturity exceeding 90 days. But EU analysts do not seem to agree with extending these restrictions to European investment in Russia’s public debt, and neither do they agree with limiting the access that private Russian companies have to European money. The Commission clarifies that it is technically possible” to extend the range in other phases. In this first attempt, the Commission intends to apply the maximum damage to Russia while keeping financial and commercial costs to the continent to a minimum, which greatly limits the scope of the measures.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Are you ready for nuclear war?

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Are you ready for war—including possibly nuclear war—between the United States, Europe, and Russia? That is the question that everyone should be asking him- or herself in light of the developments since the destruction of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17.

The crisis provoked by American and European charges of Russian responsibility for the shooting down of flight MH17 has brought the world the closest it has been to global war since the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962. But the situation today may be even more dangerous. A half century ago, the Kennedy administration—haunted by fears that miscalculations on either side could precipitate a nuclear exchange—sought to keep the lines of communications open and avoid the demonization of Soviet leaders.

Today, on the other hand, the CIA is directing an incendiary propaganda campaign against Russia and its president, Vladimir Putin, a campaign that seems intent on provoking a direct military confrontation with the country with the second largest nuclear arsenal in the world. There is no question that the CIA is mobilizing all the resources and assets it commands—within governments, the media, and among academics—in a carefully orchestrated campaign aimed at polluting public opinion with anti-Russian hysteria.

As of now, there is nothing approaching a definitive explanation of the chain of events that led to the destruction of MH17. Despite all the massive surveillance technology at its disposal, upon which it lavishes tens of billions of dollars annually, the US intelligence agencies have not produced a shred of hard evidence to back up the accusations of Russian responsibility.

But while the physical circumstances surrounding MH17’s destruction remain unknown, the political purposes to which this tragedy is being put to use have become all too clear.

Since the beginning of the week, the three most influential mass circulation newsmagazines of the United States, Britain, and Germany—Time, The Economist, and Der Spiegel—have published cover stories that combine wild accusations against Vladimir Putin with demands for a showdown with Russia.

The most striking and obvious characteristic of these cover stories is that they are virtually identical. The CIA has scripted them all. The stories employ the same insults and the same fabrications. They denounce Putin’s “web of lies.” The Russian president is portrayed as a “depraved” mass murderer.

What is the Russian president to make of the use of this sort of language in the most influential newsmagazines? He is on the receiving end of the same campaign of vilification that was previously directed against Serbia’s Slobodan Milosevic, Iraq’s Saddam Hussein, Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi, and Syria’s Bashar al-Assad. Putin certainly knows the outcome of these propaganda campaigns. Serbia was bombed into political submission and Milosevic was carted off to The Hague, where he died, mysteriously, in prison. Iraq was invaded and Hussein executed. Libya was also invaded, and Gaddafi —much to the amusement of Hillary Clinton—was savagely tortured and lynched. As for Assad, the United States has directed a bloody insurgency that has resulted in the deaths of more than 100,000 Syrians.

Given this record, Putin could hardly be accused of paranoia were he to conclude that the United States and its European allies want him dead. Therefore, one must ask, what impact might this well-grounded suspicion have on his own course of action as the confrontation escalates?

In all three cover stories, the governments of Western Europe and the United States are taken to task for failing to move against Putin and Russia. The three magazines adopt a tone of angry impatience with what they perceive to be insufficient aggressiveness. They all argue that the time for talk is over. Der Spiegel declares “The wreckage of MH17 is also the wreckage of diplomacy.”

How should this statement be interpreted? If diplomacy has failed, it can only mean that war is imminent.

In its article “In Russia, Crime without Punishment,” Time attacks Obama for asking Putin to assist in the investigation of the crash rather than immediately threatening Russia with war. It writes, “This was the crisis in a nutshell: the least Putin could do was the most Obama could ask for. The American President announced no deadlines, drew no red lines and made no threats.”

The invocation of “deadlines,” “redlines,” and “threats” is the language of war. How else should these words be read?

Time attacks Italy and France and even the Obama administration and the American people for not backing aggression against Russia: “Putin doesn’t have a lot to worry about when he looks at the forces aligned against him. Obama, as the leader of a war-weary nation, has ruled out all military options, including the provision of weapons to Ukraine.” Clearly, Time wants to place military options on the table.

In its lead editorial, entitled “A web of lies,” The Economist follows the same script, accusing the West of vacillation. “The Germans and Italians claim to want to keep diplomatic avenues open, partly because sanctions would undermine their commercial interests. Britain calls for sanctions, but it is reluctant to harm the City of London’s profitable Russian business. America is talking tough but has done nothing new.”

The coordinated media campaign is already producing the desired effect. On Tuesday the Obama administration and the European Union announced that they had agreed on a new set of tougher sanctions. These measures are being interpreted as a transitional measure toward what Financial Times columnist Wolfgang Munchau describes as “The Atom Bomb of Financial War.” Munchau’s piece has been published not only in the Financial Times but also in Der Spiegel.

By a combination of military threats and economic strangulation, the US and the EU are moving to politically destabilize Russia. As their continuous references to the Russian oligarchs make clear, they are hoping that the financial sanctions will encourage a conspiracy to overthrow and even murder Putin. The regime envisaged by Washington would convert Russia into a neo-colonial protectorate, entirely subordinated politically, economically and militarily to US imperialism.

Of course, were Putin to shift course and accommodate himself to US demands, the media campaign would make the necessary adjustments. However, events can proceed in a direction unforeseen in any CIA scenario.

The recklessness of a policy of destabilizing Russia, a power that controls the world’s second-largest arsenal of nuclear weapons, is staggering. As military forces are set on alert throughout Eastern Europe and the Black Sea region, and Ukrainian and Russian forces exchange artillery fire along their borders, the possibility for a miscalculation is mounting by the day.

Whatever the short-term outcome, the long-term implication of the agenda being pursued by the United States and the European imperialist powers leads inexorably in the direction of war with cataclysmic consequences. The greatest danger facing the working class is that decisions are being taken behind the scenes, with masses of people largely unaware of the risks facing the world’s population.

A hundred years ago this week, World War I was launched by small cabals of ministers, monarchs, and business interests throughout Europe, whose decision to risk everything on victory in war led to deaths numbering in the tens of millions. Today, similar forces are setting into motion a drive to a conflagration that could lead to the destruction of the planet.

There is no means to stop the momentum toward war except through the politically-conscious intervention of the working class. Anyone who believes that a nuclear war is impossible because modern governments, unlike those that were in power in 1914, would not risk catastrophe, is deluding himself. If anything, the regimes that exist today are even more reckless. Beset by mounting economic and social problems for which they have no progressive solution, they are ever-more inclined to see war as a risk worth taking.

The Entire United States Market Has Become One Vast Dark Pool

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In 2012, Wall Street Journal reporter, Scott Patterson, released his 354-page prescient overview of U.S. market structure titled, Dark Pools: High Speed Traders, A.I. Bandits, and the Threat to the Global Financial System. (For those whose computer prowess is limited to turning on a laptop, like millions of fellow Americans, “A.I.” means artificial intelligence – machines teaching themselves to think like humans, but faster.)

Patterson comes to an epiphany on page 339 of his book, writing in the notes section: “The title of this book doesn’t entirely refer to what is technically known in the financial industry as a ‘dark pool.’ Narrowly defined, dark pool refers to a trading venue that masks buy and sell orders from the public market. Rather, I argue in this book that the entire United States stock market has become one vast dark pool. Orders are hidden in every part of the market. And the complex algorithm AI-based trading systems that control the ebb and flow of the market are cloaked in secrecy. Investors – and our esteemed regulators – are entirely in the dark because the market is dark.” (The italics in this excerpt are as they appear in the hardcover book.)

We totally agree with Patterson that U.S. markets are the darkest they have ever been in history – from their early origins in the bright sunlight under the Buttonwood tree at 68 Wall to today’s secretive, unregulated stock exchanges known as dark pools that trade in private across America – the lights have gone out. And as each light has flickered and dimmed, public confidence has drained from the system, leaving it today as the unsafe battlefield of hedge funds, high frequency traders and dark pool operators.

Wall Street and its sycophants began this journey into darkness with their push to run their own private justice system on Wall Street in the 1980s. Called mandatory arbitration, Wall Street was given a green light by the U.S. Supreme Court in its 1987 decision, Shearson/American Express v. McMahon. Since then, cases filed by both customers and employees against Wall Street firms, which could shed critical light and serve as an early warning system on patterns of fraud and abuses, have been removed from the sunlight of open courtrooms into the dark shadows of a private justice system that claimants believe is rigged against them.

Once able to function as its own judge and jury in a justice system designed by its own Wall Street lawyers, the industry was effectively able to keep many of its crimes shielded from the press for years – until they collapsed in massive losses and brought subpoenas.

After its coddlers gave Wall Street its own court system, removed from the prying eyes of the nation’s justice system and the press, Wall Street was ready to begin repealing every other layer of investor protection that had been enacted after Wall Street’s wholesale looting of the country in the late 20s and early 30s. The most dangerous repeal, of course, was the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act which had barred Wall Street firms that gambled in stocks from owning insured deposit banks. Today, the largest trading houses on Wall Street are under the same corporate umbrella as the nation’s largest banks: JPMorgan owns Chase bank; Citigroup owns Citibank; Bank of America owns Merrill Lynch.

In JPMorgan’s London Whale episode, the firm taught us why Wall Street trading houses were so engaged for decades in lobbying to repeal the Glass-Steagall Act. JPMorgan had used hundreds of billions of dollars of its Chase bank depositors’ funds to make high-risk bets in derivatives in London. It lost those bets to the tune of $6.2 billion. In the years when JPMorgan had won those bets with depositor funds, it kept the profits for the house and richly rewarded its executives with outsized compensation and bonuses. Simply stated, the repeal of Glass-Steagall allowed the use of other people’s money to enshrine heads-we-win/tails-you-lose on Wall Street.

That brings us to today’s dark pools functioning as unregulated stock exchanges which JPMorgan, Citigroup, and Bank of America are also allowed to own and operate along with more than three dozen other firms.

Last week, the SEC brought and settled a case against one of Citigroup’s dark pools, LavaFlow, for the improper use of customer information. One sentence of the SEC’s order was a real shocker. The SEC wrote:

“As of December 31, 2013, the LavaFlow ECN was the largest ECN and the largest ATS as measured by dollar volume executed with over $361 billion in total dollar volume of executions for the fourth quarter of 2013.”
ATS stands for Alternative Trading System, synonymous with dark pool most of the time. Few people on Wall Street know that Citigroup is operating the largest dark pool. As recently as July 22, Bloomberg News reported that Credit Suisse “operates Wall Street’s largest dark pool.”

Wall Street On Parade spent weeks digging through government filings to compile this frightening look into Citigroup’s dark pools and the sea of darkness that has swallowed what was once the pride of a nation – U.S. markets.

Citigroup – the bank that was propped up after its crash in 2008 with $45 billion of TARP funds, over $300 billion in asset guarantees and more than $2 trillion in low-cost loans from the New York Fed, is now effectively an unregulated stock exchange operating in the dark and annualizing at over $1 trillion in dollar volume in stock transactions. Simultaneously, it is operating insured deposits banks spread across America – all at a time when it has flunked its stress test with the Federal Reserve, which doesn’t have confidence in it to manage its affairs in a sharp downturn.

Citigroup’s previous dark operations – hiding tens of billions of dollars of debt off its balance sheet – contributed to the bank’s collapse in 2008 and its stock losing 60 percent of its value in just the week of November 17-21, 2008. Its regulators were too busy schmoozing with it to see the disaster that was about to befall the bank and the nation.

Under the current market and regulatory structure and lack of meaningful, transparent probes by the U.S. Department of Justice, the public has a very solid basis for distrusting Wall Street.

The Elite, the ‘Great Game’ and World War III

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The control of the US, and of global politics, by the wealthiest families of the planet is exercised in a powerful, profound and clandestine manner. This control began in Europe and has a continuity that can be traced back to the time when the bankers discovered it was more profitable to give loans to governments than to needy individuals.

These banking families and their subservient beneficiaries have come to own most major businesses over the two centuries during which they have secretly and increasingly organised themselves as controllers of governments worldwide and as arbiters of war and peace.

Unless we understand this we will be unable to understand the real reasons for the two world wars and the impending Third World War, a war that is almost certain to begin as a consequence of the US attempt to seize and control Central Asia. The only way out is for the US to back off – something the people of the US and the world want, but the elite does not.

The US is a country controlled through the privately owned Federal Reserve, which in turn is controlled by the handful of banking families that established it by deception in the first place.

In his interesting book The Secret Team, Col. Fletcher Prouty, briefing officer of the US President from 1955-63, narrates a remarkable incident in which Winston Churchill made a most revealing utterance during World War II:
“On this particular night there had been a heavy raid on Rotterdam. He sat there, meditating, and then, as if to himself, he said, ‘Unrestricted submarine warfare, unrestricted air bombing – this is total war.’ He continued sitting there, gazing at a large map, and then said, ‘Time and the Ocean and some guiding star and High Cabal have made us what we are’.”
Prouty further states:
“This was a most memorable scene and a revelation of reality that is infrequent, at best. If for the great Winston Churchill, there is a ‘High Cabal’ that has made us what we are, our definition is complete. Who could know better than Churchill himself during the darkest days of World War II, that there exists, beyond doubt, an international High Cabal? This was true then. It is true today, especially in these times of the One World Order. This all-powerful group has remained superior because it had learned the value of anonymity.” This “High Cabal” is the “One World Cabal” of today, also called the elite by various writers.
The High Cabal and What They Control

The elite owns the media, banks, defence and oil industry. In his book Who’s Who of the Elite Robert Gaylon Ross Sr. states: “It is my opinion that they own the US military, NATO, the Secret Service, the CIA, the Supreme Court, and many of the lower courts. They appear to control, either directly or indirectly, most of the state, county, and local law enforcement agencies.”

The elite is intent on conquering the world through the use of the abilities of the people of the United States. It was as far back as 1774 that Amschel Mayer Rothschild stated at a gathering of the twelve richest men of Prussia in Frankfurt: “Wars should be directed so that the nations on both sides should be further in our debt.” He further enunciated at the same meeting: “Panics and financial depressions would ultimately result in World Government, a new order of one world government.”

The elite owns numerous “think tanks” that work for expanding, consolidating and perpetuating its hold on the globe. The Royal Institute of International Affairs (RIIA), the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), the Bilderberg Group, the Trilateral Commission, and many other similar organisations are all funded by the elite and work for it. These think tanks publish journals, such as Foreign Affairs, in which these imperialist and anti-mankind ideas are edified as publications, and then, if need be, expanded in the form of books that are given wide publicity.

Zbigniew Brzezinski and Henry Kissinger et al, as well as the neo-con “thinkers,” owe their positions and good living standards to the largesse of the elite. This is an important point that must be kept in full view at all times. These thinkers and writers are on the payroll of the elite and work for them. In case someone has any doubts about such a statement, it might help to read the following quotes from Professor Peter Dale Scott’s comprehensively researched book The Road to 9/11 – Wealth, Empire, and the Future of America (University of California Press, 2007):
…Bundy’s Harvard protégé Kissinger was named to be national security adviser after having chaired an important “study group” at the Council on Foreign Relations. As a former assistant to Nelson Rockefeller, Kissinger had been paid by Rockefeller to write a book on limited warfare for the CFR. He had also campaigned hard in Rockefeller’s losing campaign for the Presidential nomination in 1968. Thus Rockefeller and the CFR might have been excluded from control of the Republican Party, but not from the Republican White House. (Page 22)
The following quote from page 38 of the book is also very revealing:
The Kissinger-Rockefeller relationship was complex and certainly intense. As investigative reporter Jim Hougan wrote: “Kissinger, married to a former Rockefeller aide, owner of a Georgetown mansion whose purchase was enabled only by Rockefeller gifts and loans, was always a protégé of his patron Nelson Rockefeller, even when he wasn’t directly employed by him.”
Professor Scott adds:
Nixon’s and Kissinger’s arrival in the White House in 1969 coincided with David Rockefeller’s becoming CEO of Chase Manhattan Bank. The Nixon-Kissinger foreign policy of detente was highly congruous with Rockefeller’s push to internationalise Chase Manhattan banking operations. Thus in 1973 Chase Manhattan became the first American bank to open an office in Moscow. A few months later, thanks to an invitation arranged by Kissinger, Rockefeller became the first US banker to talk with Chinese Communist leaders in Beijing.
How They Manipulate Public Opinion

In addition to these strategic “think tanks” the elite has set up a chain of research institutes devoted to manipulating public opinion in a manner the elite desires. As pointed out by John Coleman in his eye opening book The Tavistock Institute on Human RelationsShaping the Moral, Spiritual, Cultural, Political and Economic Decline of the United States of America, it was in 1913 that an institute was established at Wellington House, London for manipulation of public opinion. According to Coleman:
The modern science of mass manipulation was born at Wellington House London, the lusty infant being midwifed by Lord Northcliffe and Lord Rothmere. The British monarchy, Lord Rothschild, and the Rockefellers were responsible for funding the venture… the purpose of those at Wellington House was to effect a change in the opinions of British people who were adamantly opposed to war with Germany, a formidable task that was accomplished by “opinion making” through polling. The staff consisted of Arnold Toynbee, a future director of studies at the Royal Institute of International Affairs (RIIA), Lord Northcliffe, and the Americans, Walter Lippmann and Edward Bernays. Lord Northcliffe was related to the Rothschilds through marriage.
Bernays was a nephew of Sigmund Freud, a fact never mentioned, and developed the technique of “engineering consent.” When Sigmund Freud moved to Britain he also, secretly, became associated with this institute through the Tavistock Institute. According to Coleman, Bernays “pioneered the use of psychology and other social sciences to shape and form public opinion so that the public thought such manufactured opinions were their own.”

The Tavistock Institute has a 6 billion dollar fund and 400 subsidiary organisations are under its control along with 3,000 think tanks, mostly in the USA. The Stanford Research Institute, the Hoover Institute, the Aspen Institute of Colorado, and many others, devoted to manipulation of US as well as global public opinion, are Tavistock offshoots. This helps explain why the US public, by and large, is so mesmerised as to be unable to see things clearly and to react.

Bilderberg researcher Daniel Estulin quotes from Mary Scobey’s book To Nurture Humanness a statement attributed to Professor Raymond Houghton, that the CFR has been clear for a very long time that “absolute behaviour control is imminent… without mankind’s self realisation that a crisis is at hand.”

Also keep in mind that currently 80% of US electronic and print media is owned by only six large corporations. This development has taken place in the past two decades. These corporations are elite owned. It is almost impossible for anyone who is acquainted with what is going on at the global level to watch, even for a few minutes, the distortions, lies and fabrications, incessantly pouring out of this media, a propaganda and brainwashing organ of the elite.

Once your picture is clear it is also easy to notice the criminal silence of the media on crimes being perpetrated against humanity at the behest of the elite. How many people know that the cancer rates in Fallujah, Iraq are higher than those in Hiroshima and Nagasaki because of the use of depleted uranium, and maybe other secret nuclear devices, by US forces? Fallujah was punished for its heroic resistance against the American forces.

The Importance of Eurasia

Why is the US in Central Asia? In order to understand this, one has to look at the writings of the stooges of the elite – Brzezinski, Kissinger, Samuel P Huntington, and their likes. It is important to note that members of these elite paid think tanks publish books as part of a strategy to give respectability to subsequent illegal, immoral and predatory actions that are to be taken at the behest of the elite. The views are not necessarily their own – they are the views of the think tanks. These stooges formulate and pronounce policies and plans at the behest of their masters, through bodies like the Council on Foreign Relations, Bilderberg Group, etc.

In his infinitely arrogant book The Grand Chessboard, published in 1997, Brzezinski spelled out the philosophy behind the current US military eruption. He starts by quoting the well-known views of the British geographer Sir Halford J Mackinder (1861–1947), another worker for the elite. Mackinder was a member of the ‘Coefficients Dining Club’ established by members of the Fabian Society in 1902. The continuity of the policies of the elite is indicated by the fact Brzezinski starts from Mackinder’s thesis first propounded in 1904:
“Who rules East Europe commands the Heartland: Who rules the Heartland commands the World-Island: who commands the World-Island commands the world.”
Brzezinski argues that for the first time in human history a non-Eurasian power has become preeminent and it must hold sway over the Eurasian continent if it is to remain the preeminent global power: “For America the chief geopolitical prize is Eurasia… About 75 percent of the world’s people live in Eurasia… Eurasia accounts for about 60 percent of the world’s GNP and about three fourths of the world’s known energy resources.”

It is not just the geostrategic location of this region – it is also its wealth, “both in its enterprises and beneath its soil,” that holds such attraction for the elite whose greed for money, and lust for power, remain insatiable, as if there was a sickness afflicting it.

Brzezinski writes:
“But it is on the globe’s most important playing field – Eurasia – that a potential rival to America might at some point arise. This focusing on the key players and properly assessing the terrain has to be a point of departure for the formulation of American geostrategy for the long-term management of America’s Eurasian geopolitical interests.”
These lines were published in 1997. Millions of people have died in the past two decades and millions have been rendered homeless in this region but it remains a “playing” field for Brzezinski and his likes! In his book Brzezinski has drawn two very interesting maps – one of these has the caption The Global Zone of Percolating Violence (page 53) and the other (page 124) is captioned The Eurasian Balkans. The first of these encircles a region which includes the following countries: Sudan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Syria, Iraq, Iran, all Central Asian states, Afghanistan, Pakistan and parts of Russia as well as India. The second one has two circles, an inner circle and a wider circle – the outer circle encloses the same countries as in the first map but the inner circle covers Iran, Afghanistan, eastern Turkey and the former Soviet Republics in Central Asia.

“This huge region, torn by volatile hatreds and surrounded by competing powerful neighbours, is likely to be a major battlefield…” writes Brzezinski.

He further writes:
“A possible challenge to American primacy from Islamic fundamentalism could be part of the problem of this unstable region.”
These lines were written at a time when this kind of fundamentalism was not a problem – subsequently the US manipulated things and chose to make it one by its provocative and deceptive tactics. According to its strategic thinkers, the US might face a serious challenge from a coalition of China, Russia and Iran and must do whatever it can to prevent such a coalition from forming.

For Brzezinski, “terrorism” – a Tavistock-type concept – is just a well planned and well thought out strategy, a lie and a deception, to provide cover for a military presence in the Central Eurasian region and elsewhere. It is being used to keep the US public in a state of fear, to keep Russia in a state of insecurity about further breakup (the US has trained and supported Chechen fighters, “terrorists,” throughout) and to justify presence of US troops in and around Central Asia.

The Concocted War on Terrorism

Terrorism provides justification for transforming the United States into a police state. According to the Washington Post of 20 & 21 December 2010, the US now has 4,058 anti-terrorism organisations! These are certainly not meant for those so-called terrorists who operate in Central Asia – the number far exceeds the number of so-called terrorists in the entire world. Unbridled domestic spying by US agencies is now a fact of life and the US public, as always, has accepted this because of the collusion of media and Tavistock type institutes owned by the elite.

The US historian Howard Zinn puts it very well: “The so-called war on terrorism is not only a war against innocent people in other countries, but also a war on the people of the United States: a war on our liberties, a war on our standard of living. The wealth of the country is being stolen from the people and handed over to the superrich. The lives of our young are being stolen. And the thieves are in the White House.” Actually the thieves control the White House and have been doing so for a very long time.

In his outstanding book Crossing the Rubicon, Michael Ruppert points out that much of the violence in the Central Asian region as well as in Pakistan, which has been encircled in two maps in Brzezinski’s book, was “initiated by the US proxies.” “Given that these maps were published a full four years before the first plane hit the World Trade Centre, they would fall in a category of evidence I learned about at LAPD [Los Angeles Police Department]. We called them ‘clues’.” This means that the eruption of US militarism after 9/11, and the event itself, were part of a pre-planned and coherent strategy of global domination in which the people of the US were also “conquered” through totalitarian legislation carried out in the wake of 9/11.

As Brzezinski puts it:
America is too democratic at home to be autocratic abroad. This limits the use of America’s power, especially its capacity for military intimidation. Never before has a popular democracy attained international supremacy. But the pursuit of power is not a goal that commands popular passion, except in conditions of a sudden threat or challenge to the public’s sense of domestic well-being… The economic self-denial (that is, defence spending) and the human sacrifice (casualties even among professional soldiers) required in the effort are uncongenial to democratic instincts. Democracy is inimical to imperial mobilisation.
Certainly post 9/11 legislation, the extraordinary expansion of agencies and surveillance of the US public is a cause of great satisfaction for the elite – the US can hardly be called a democracy now. As reported by the Washington Post, the National Security Agency intercepts over 1.7 billion emails, phone calls and other communications every day and stores them. No wonder Bush called 9/11 “a great opportunity” and Rumsfeld saw it analogous to World War II to “refashion the world.”

In order to achieve the objectives of the elite, the US destroyed Yugoslavia while Russia stood by mesmerised and impotent, carried out regime changes in Central Asia, set up military bases in East Europe and Central Asia, and staged highly provocative military exercises testing Russia’s and China’s will. It set up a military base in Kyrgyzstan that has a 500 mile or so border with China. When the Chinese protested recent naval exercises with South Korea were too close to Chinese territory, a US spokesman responded: “Those determinations are made by us, and us alone… Where we exercise, when we exercise, with whom and how, with what assets and so forth are determinations that are made by the United States Navy, by the Department of Defence, by the United States government.” As journalist Rick Rozoff notes: “There is no way such confrontational, arrogant and vulgar language was not understood at its proper value in Beijing.”

The US has acquired bases in Romania, Bulgaria, Poland, and the Czech Republic – and set up the largest military base ever built in the region, Camp Bondsteel, in Kosovo. According to a report in the Russian Kommersant newspaper on 3 March 2011, a four-phase plan for deployment of a US missile system in Europe is to be fully implemented by the end of 2020. The US is also busy setting up bilateral military ties in Russia’s backyard with Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and is pursuing the goal of a “Greater Central Asia” from Afghanistan right up to the Middle East, a great corridor from where the oil, gas, and great mineral wealth of this region will flow to the coffers of the US elite, at bloody expense to the local people.

As remarked by the Indian career diplomat M.K. Bhadrakumar: “The time is not far off before they begin to sense that ‘the war on terror’ is providing a convenient rubric under which the US is incrementally securing for itself a permanent abode in the highlands of Hindu Kush, the Pamirs, Central Asian steppes and the Caucasus that form the strategic hub overlooking Russia, China, India and Iran.” The scene for a great war involving the great powers of the time – US, Russia and China – is now set, by design of the elite. It is just a matter of time.

Time and again the US elite has taken its good people into great wars through documented and proven deceptions – the sinking of the Lusitania during World War I, Pearl Harbour in World War II, and so on. The elite considers us “human garbage” – a term first used by the French in Indo-China. It is also generating a good deal of “human garbage” in the US. A World Bank report points out that in 2005, 28 million Americans were “insecure” – in 2007 the number had risen to 46 million! One in every five Americans is faced with the possibility of becoming “destitute” – 38 million people receive food coupons!

Michael Ruppert laments:
My country is dead. Its people have surrendered to tyranny and in so doing, they have become tyranny’s primary support group; its base; its defender. Every day they offer their endorsement of tyranny by banking in its banks and spending their borrowed money with the corporations that run it. The great Neocon strategy of George H.W. Bush has triumphed. Convince the America people that they can’t live without the ‘good things’, then sit back and watch as they endorse the progressively more outrageous crimes you commit as you throw them bones with ever less meat on them. All the while lock them into debt. Destroy the middle class, the only political base that need be feared. Make them accept, because of their shared guilt, ever-more repressive police state measures. Do whatever you want.
A global economic system erected on inhuman and predatory values, where a few possess more wealth than the billions of hungry put together, will end, but the end will be painful and bloody. It is a system in which the elite thrives on war and widespread human misery, on death and destruction by design. As Einstein said, “I do not know how the Third World War will be fought, but I can tell you what they will use in the Fourth – sticks and stones!”

Citigroup’s Dark Pools: Here’s Why the Public Doesn’t Trust Wall Street

Go To Original

In 2008, the sprawling global bank, Citigroup, created under the controversial repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act, blew itself up with toxic debt hidden in the dark in the Cayman Islands in an exotic framework called Structured Investment Vehicles or SIVs. The unwilling taxpayer was forced into servitude to bail out this hubris that had occurred at the hands of captured regulators, infusing $45 billion in equity, over $300 billion in asset guarantees, and $2.5 trillion in below-market loans.

At the time of its implosion, Citigroup had over 2,000 subsidiaries, affiliates or joint ventures, many of which operated in the dark in foreign locales.

Flash forward to today: in March, the Federal Reserve said Citigroup had flunked its stress test and the Fed prevented it from boosting its dividend. (The so-called stress test is how the Fed measures a mega bank’s ability to withstand a major economic upheaval.) In rejecting Citigroup’s capital plan for 2014, the Fed said that Citigroup “reflected a number of deficiencies in its capital planning practices, including in some areas that had been previously identified by supervisors as requiring attention, but for which there was not sufficient improvement. Practices with specific deficiencies included Citigroup’s ability to project revenue and losses under a stressful scenario for material parts of the firm’s global operations.”

Most Americans, and, sadly, members of Congress, believe that Citigroup is the parent of all those branch banks holding FDIC-insured deposits across America and bearing that angelic red halo over the word “Citi.” But Citigroup is far more than that.

A recent record search by Wall Street On Parade suggests that Citigroup may be operating one of Wall Street’s largest collections of dark pools, trading stocks 24/7 around the globe in de facto unregulated stock exchanges which it operates under a dizzying array of different names.

For the first time ever, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority has started releasing partial trading data for dark pools. For the week of May 26, 2014, FINRA data shows that Liquifi, a dark pool owned by a unit of Citigroup, traded 5,865,427 shares of stock; another dark pool owned by a unit of Citigroup, LavaFlow, traded 98,604,159 shares of stock; and Citi Cross, also owned by a unit of Citigroup, traded 37,547,262 shares of stock.

But there seems to be something wrong in the above report. At the end of the first quarter of this year, Citigroup filed a required SEC Rule 606 report which said it was identifying “the significant market centers” to which it routed its customers’ orders and was also identifying “the material aspects of Citigroup Global Markets’ relationship with those top market centers.”

The SEC Rule 606 report (as shown in part below) indicates that 52.02 percent of Citigroup’s customers’ orders in New York Stock Exchange Euronext listed stocks were routed to a company called Automated Trading Desk Financial Services. According to Citigroup’s disclosure, it owns that company and “potentially stands to profit by trading as principal with its customers’ orders.” Citigroup Global Markets (or ostensibly its dark pools) accounted for another 31.82 percent with LavaFlow receiving 2.30 percent. In short, Citigroup routed 92.23 percent of its customers’ orders in New York Stock Exchange Euronext traded stocks – to itself.

Automated Trading Desk’s web site says that it trades on average, “200 million shares a day.” If you add that 1 billion a week to the 142 million shares Citigroup reported to FINRA for its dark pools, it looks like Citigroup is eclipsing Credit Suisse and Goldman Sachs as a trading juggernaut.

But why isn’t Automated Trading Desk included in FINRA’s data. Citigroup, in its own report, refers to the company as “a significant market center.” And, surely if it’s trading 1 billion shares of stock a week it is indeed “a significant market center,” but unburdened with the pesky regulations of a stock exchange and excused from burdens like trotting up to the Hill yesterday to explain cozy dealings to Senator Carl Levin’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations.

We reached out to the SEC, asking if Automated Trading Desk is not a regulated stock exchange and it’s not an ATS (Alternative Trading System a/k/a “dark pool”), what is it. The SEC promptly advised that Automated Trading Desk is, simply, a broker.

According to FINRA’s files on the firm, various incarnations of the company have been repeatedly sanctioned for bad practices: like trading for its own account ahead of its customers’ limit orders.

FINRA documents show four lines of businesses for Automated Trading Desk Financial Services: “broker or dealer making inter-dealer markets in corporation securities over-the-counter; put and call broker or dealer or option writer; non-exchange member arranging for transactions in listed securities by exchange member; and [wait for it] trading securities for own account.”

Wasn’t the Volcker Rule under the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform legislation supposed to prevent systemically risky financial institutions from trading for their own account? After stalling the implementation of the Volcker Rule for years, when the SEC finally did get around to implementing a weakened version of it, the new pushed-out effective date became the summer of 2015.

Automated Trading Desk gets multiple mentions in Wall Street Journal reporter Scott Patterson’s seminal book on the subject of unregulated stock exchanges running amok in the U.S. In the book, Dark Pools, Patterson tells us that “by the mid 2000s, just four firms – Automated Trading Desk, Renaissance, Tradebot, and Getco – accounted for roughly 25 to 30 percent of all stock trading in the United States.”

Patterson also shares the following about the history of Automated Trading Desk:

“In the 1980s, a finance professor named David Whitcomb and James Hawkes, a computer engineer who taught at the College of Charleston in South Carolina, had devised algorithms to predict the outcomes of horse races. They eventually applied those same algos to the stock market and launched ATD from Hawkes’s Mount Pleasant home.”
Patterson says that ATD “designed an artificial intelligence program” that could predict “where prices would go during a period of roughly thirty seconds to two minutes.” It named its pricing engine “BORG,” “a nod to the race of evil cyborgs from the popular TV show Star Trek: The Next Generation.”

ATD admits on its web site that it’s using artificial intelligence to trade “in milliseconds,” noting that “In the 1980s, when no one on Wall Street believed it could be done, we taught computers how to trade like humans – except, of course, our systems were much, much faster.”

Citigroup bought the company in 2007 for $680 million in cash and stock. Unfortunately, the cash portion was only approximately $102.6 million. As 2008 unfolded, Citigroup’s shares would lose the bulk of their value as its dark toxic debt came into the sunshine. Key ATD shareholders, including Whitcomb, filed a class action lawsuit against Citigroup. Citigroup settled the case for $590 million in 2012.

Automated Trading Desk says on its web site that “From our ever-expanding retail execution to the institutional markets to creating the first-ever automated pinks and bullies execution system, ATD is leveraging our technology to become a single source destination for all U.S. equity order flow.” That certainly sounds like a stock exchange to us – why isn’t it regulated like the New York Stock Exchange?

Automated Trading Desk, LavaFlow, Liquifi and Citi Cross are not the only big trading platforms owned by Citigroup where there is a lack of trading data transparency. According to SEC records, Citigroup also owns Citi Credit Cross. Citigroup also says on its web site that Citi Match is a “leading internal crossing network, available globally” and “consistently ranked in the top two dark pools in Europe. It offers anonymous access to premium liquidity and price improvement.” Where’s the trading data for that one?

FINRA records also show that Citigroup is operating 48 foreign firms trading securities. A sampling of those names shows: Monex Group, Inc. in Tokyo; ZAO Citigroup Global Markets in Moscow; Citivalores S.A. in Panama City.

In addition to all of this darkness, records show that discount brokers are being paid by trading units of Citigroup to send their “dumb money” (a phrase used by New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman to correctly describe retail customers’ order flow) to Citigroup’s trading platforms. The payments are known as PFOF – payment for order flow — a tactic used by Ponzi-schemer Bernie Madoff in his securities trading division — that actually did trade stocks.

While discount brokers argue that they only use trade execution firms that provide fair customer prices, Senator Carl Levin showed yesterday in a Senate hearing that TD Ameritrade was directing its order flow to the firms that paid it the highest rebate per share.

Also discussed at yesterday’s Senate hearing is the fact that while stock markets are setting new highs, stock ownership among U.S. adults is at a 16-year low, trending down from 65 percent participation in 2007 to a reading of 52 percent today, according to a Gallup poll released in May.

The ability to rig markets is always so much easier in the dark. And until Congress brings sunshine into the nether world of Wall Street’s dark pools, public confidence is not coming back any time soon.

Citigroup's SEC Rule 606 Report for First Quarter of 2014 Shows It's Executing the Vast Majority of Its Customers' Orders Itself, Rather Than Routing Them To a Stock Exchange