Authored By: Nikolas Kozloff
I have always been a bit skeptical about some of the more salacious claims made in John Perkins’ Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, the story of one man’s life working for the secretive National Security Agency or NSA. When he was a young man, NSA interrogators interviewed Perkins and explored his “frustration about the lack of women, sex, and money.” Perkins’ fit the NSA’s psychological profile, and after being accepted into the organization’s shadowy ranks, he landed a corporate job working as an economist with a major consulting firm. It was all a cover, however, for Perkins’ real purpose: as a self-described “economic hit man,” the youth was dispatched to poor Latin American countries such as Panama and Ecuador where he was tasked with cheating governments out of money and funneling cash from the coffers of the World Bank into the hands of major corporations and wealthy elites.
No doubt, U.S. intelligence agencies partake in such activities all the time, yet some of Perkins’ stories strained my credibility. For example, the author discusses a mysterious woman “consultant” at his firm named Claudine who came to be the young man’s teacher. “My assignment is to mold you into an economic hit man,” she tells Perkins. “No one can know about your involvement --- not even your wife.”
Later, Perkins remarks of Claudine, “Beautiful and intelligent, she was highly effective; she understood my weaknesses and used them to her greatest advantage.” “Her approach,” Perkins wrote, was a “combination of physical seduction and verbal manipulation.” The author adds, “My time with Claudine already represented the realization of one of my fantasies; it seemed too good to be true.”
From Claudine to Stratfor’s Modest Analyst
(Photo by Real Democracy GR – MultiMedia Team )
Greece’s political establishment trembles as banks and government offices burn amid violent anti-austerity riots. Has the country finally reached a tipping point?
Exactly ten years ago, the crisis-ridden country of Argentina spiraled into a bout of social unrest that would eventually lead to the largest sovereign default in history. After three years of being forced to swallow the bitter pill of IMF-imposed austerity, a tipping point was finally reached: foreign creditors and neoliberal governments had pushed the people too far. They rose up in defiance and ousted five successive Presidents in the space of just three weeks.
With the incredible images of flame-engulfed buildings and policemen emerging out of Athens, it now looks like Greece may be headed down the same path. The country has become ungovernable. Even though a majority of traitors was found to pass yet another deeply unpopular austerity package through Parliament, this weekend’s violent protests indicate that the ‘Argentina moment’ may have arrived. The Greek people simply can’t take any more austerity.
Shortly before Christmas, the abbot of the Vatopedi monastery, an eleventh century foundation on Mount Athos, was arrested on suspicion of inciting fraud. He is accused of being involved in a dubious real estate transaction, which resulted in a profit of 100 million Euros.
The details of this case, including the abbot's involvement, have been in the public domain for years. A high ranking Russian Orthodox church official linked the decision to arrest Abbot Ephraim at this time to Ephraim's recent visit to Russia, where he presented a precious relic to worshippers, the belt of the Holy Mother of God, and met Vladimir Putin twice.
According to a US embassy cable, the Vatopedi scandal is not an isolated case. Moreover, the cable says that the Greek government and Vatopedi colluded in their efforts to "limit damage". 08THESSALONIKI81 states (emphasis by the editor):
"The GoG and Vatopedi have tried to limit damage by proposing measures to reverse the transactions. ... The Church has sought to portray the scandal as isolated to Vatopedi but is concerned the fallout could affect other monasteries and patriarchates with similar ancient land holdings."
"The extent of the scandal is still unknown. It is likely to remain an embarrassment to the government for some time and could claim more political victims as Vatopedi, the GoG, and the courts attempt to unwind the numerous illicit land deals and the parliamentary investigation gets underway."
This article is in lieu of the long delayed fourth part of the Omar Khadr series written on WL Central last May. The original fourth part consisted of hours of interviews regarding the astoundingly corrupt and illegal military process which culminated in a verdict which allows the Canadian press to refer to Omar Khadr as a 'convicted terrorist'. One day the information in those interviews will be widely known, but today we are still prevented from publishing any of it for fear of retribution to those we do not wish to harm.
Today, Omar should be at home in Canada, as promised by the Canadian government as a term of his acceptance of a plea deal. Today, he is still in Guantanamo Bay serving what the US military terms “punitive post-conviction confinement.”. A little known fact regarding the Guantanamo sentences is that time served before sentencing is not considered 'punitive' and therefore does not count as time served towards his sentence. Omar's sentence is to be carried out in a solitary confinement 'enhanced interrogation' environment, and at the end of his sentence he can be placed back in 'Prisoner Of War' status in the Guantanamo cells he has spent his life in since he was 15 years old. Without repatriation to Canada, his eight year plea deal is just an eight year sentence to solitary confinement in the middle of a lifetime sentence in Guantanamo.
Dozens killed and thousands injured as protesters take back Tahrir Square in a bid to reclaim their revolution and overthrow the military regime.
After 9 months of slow-motion “trench warfare”, during which the military transition council hijacked the popular uprising and the world turned its eyes away from the Middle East and towards the protests and crises unfolding in the West, the Egyptian Revolution flared up in mighty intensity this weekend as thousands of protesters fought running street battles with riot police in an attempt to reclaim Tahrir Square and overthrow the military junta.
So far, the brutal military-police crackdown, which has left at least 33 people dead and more than 1,700 injured, has only appeared to strengthen the resolve of the protesters, who flocked into the square in the tens of thousands on Monday night, forcing the civilian government to offer its resignation and the Supreme Council of Armed Forces (SCAF) to call for emergency talks with leaders of all political parties. Egypt’s first post-Mubarak general elections are scheduled for next week, but there are concerns the vote might have to be postponed in the wake of the violence.
The street fighting broke out on Friday, after a massive march by moderate Islamists ended with a police attack on a small protest camp that had been erected in Tahrir Square. Outraged at the assault, thousands of Egyptians of all faiths and backgrounds took back the square on Saturday, demanding an end to the brutal repression of the Supreme Council of Armed Forces (SCAF) and an immediate transfer of power to a genuine civilian transition government. Clashes broke out at the fringes as some protesters sought to make their way to the Interior Ministry to protest again the regime.
(Photo) Wikileak's Julian Assange wearing an Anonymous mask on October 15th at #OccupyLXS camp in London
Now that the grassroots movement that started inadvertently with the Arab Spring has gone global, it is necessary to cast a backwards glance to try and figure out, with some perspective, the dynamics of what has happened, physically and conceptually, over the last year. We propose a simple vision of the process of uprising in 2011, which was consolidated on the past 15th of October as a new culture of popular resistance and creativity. We also aim to point out the recent or enhanced concepts born in the collective consciousness of society during this period.
Submitted by Take the Square
On the 15th there will be protests in almost 1 thousand cities worldwide. The amount of information that will be generated on the Internet is huge, which is why everyone has to contribute in order to create a crowd-sourced database. This will make it easier for investigators to analyze information later. This (http://bit.ly/n4XiJ0 ) is a link to an interactive document where you can post links to news pieces, photos, videos or your own report.
SPREADING AND SOCIAL NETWORKS
Check http://15october.net/spread-it/ for banners, posters and fliers to print and share on the net. Be active in your own social media accounts and blogs, help sharing information: everyone is a journalist, be the media.
Follow on Facebook http://facebook.com/15octobernet
The occupation at Wall Street received good news this morning: after spending the night preparing for eviction, the clean-up order was postponed.
A spectacular piece of news reached the Wall Street occupation on Friday morning: the private owner of Zuccotti Park, which has been the homebase of the movement since the occupation began on September 17, decided to postpone a scheduled cleaning operation of the square. Protesters, who had been bracing for an NYPD-inflicted bloodbath all night, let off an ecstatic cheer upon receiving the news.
Many protesters believe the planned cleaning operation was just a ploy to kick protesters out of the park. If they had left, they would not have been allowed to return with sleeping bags and other camping gear, presumably for feigned reasons of public health and sanitation. In order to counter any claims about the camp’s hygienic situation, the protesters spent most of the night cleaning and tidying up the square.
The private owners of the park, Brookfield Properties, released a statement saying they believed an arrangement could be made with the protesters — and that they were simply too many to be safely removed. Upon hearing the news of the clear-up order, 5,000 protesters had flocked into Zuccotti Park — renamed Liberty Square by the movement — to defend it in case of eviction. All night, debates were held and instructions given on how to peacefully resist eviction.
This Saturday, tens (if not hundreds) of thousands of people will take to the streets in a global day of action against the banks. Here is why we march.
A New Season of Protest
The fall of discontent has begun. This Saturday, September 17th, tens (if not hundreds) of thousands of people will take to the streets and squares of financial districts in dozens of cities around the world in a global day of action against the excessive power of the banking sector -- and for a more just, more stable, and more sustainable global financial system.
On this exciting day, we will march, squat, block and occupy the physical domain of the financial terrorists who got us into this mess in the first place, and who have since kept the world enthralled to their self-interested prescription of brutally anti-social austerity measures. On this day, we will agitate against the giant vampire squid that, as Matt Taibbi so powerfully illustrated, continues to live parasitically off our economy, blatantly undermining the most basic principles of our democracy and social welfare system.
At least 40 injured and Rome left billowing in smoke after anti-austerity protesters clash with riot police in front of Parliament for over two hours tonight.
After weeks of dithering on the precipice of his own downfall, Silvio Berlusconi tonight survived a crucial vote of confidence, by one of the narrowest possible margins, allowing his government it to push through its proposed package of deeply unpopular austerity measures.
The cutbacks and tax hikes had been demanded by the European Central Bank in exchange for its buy-up of Italian bonds on secondary markets, after markets turned their sights on Italy last month, pushing the government’s borrowing costs close to the level where Greece had previously required an EU bailout.
But as Parliament prepared to vote on the austerity measures, violent clashes broke out between protesters and riot police. Downtown Rome was left billowing in smoke and littered with debris as at least 40 protesters were injured by random rounds of police baton charges.
This week edition of Forbes - Bulgaria features Bogomil Manchev on the cover page. Manchev who's presented by Forbes as an "energy innovator" has been exposed in a secret diplomatic cable from Sofia, revealed by WikiLeaks. Bivol reminds the excerpts about Manchev from the cable named DIRTY ENERGY: CORRUPTION AND LACK OF TRANSPARENCY PLAGUE BULGARIAN ENERGY SECTOR [06SOFIA1691], sent 2006-12-20 by the chargé d'affaires in the US Embassy in Sofia - Alex Karagianis
BULGARIA'S ENERGY MAFIA: BOGOMIL MANCHEV ¶7. (C) Three names always mentioned as key players in Bulgaria's so-called "energy mafia" are Bogomil Manchev from Risk Engineering, Krassimir Georgiev from Frontier and Hristo Kovachki. Manchev and Georgiev have been omnipresent in the sector since the early 1990s, while Kovachki is considered a new player. ¶8. (C) Bogomil Manchev's presence in the energy field, particularly the nuclear sector, is pervasive. His engineering and consulting company, Risk Engineering, founded in 1992, got its start working as a subcontractor for Westinghouse for a EU Phare project related to Kozloduy's Units 1-4. From there, Manchev and Risk's influence grew as he won successive Phare projects for improving safety and security measures at Kozloduy Units 3 and 4, preparing documents for the development of Bulgaria's uranium mines in Simitli and Dospat, assessing a potential national storehouse for radioactive waste, etc. ¶9. (C) By the time of Prime Minister Simeon Saxe-Coburg Gotha's
Berlin has its own Outraged camp: a loose network of politically critical people started occupying the city's main square, Alexanderplatz, since Saturday night, following the example of north-African and Spanish revolutions. After the nightly event "aCAMPada Berlin goes aCAMParty" it was decided to camp out in order "to demonstrate against various political events, that aren't compatible with the free democratic basic order of the Federal Republic of Germany anymore", according to a local newspaper. Some of these incidences are "the manifested intention of the Merkel administration to establish a European economic government, the participation of the federal government in theNATO war against Libya and the feared military intervention in Syria. We see in all of these developments of the last days an acute danger for peace and democracy". The motivations of the outraged of Berlin were illustrated in a letter some of them sent to theglobal community last Sunday.
American institutions and government have been captured by oligarchs and kleptocrats, who systematically set about stealing and looting what was once a great nation.
America can once again be a great nation, but we must take it back. NOBODY will do this for us. It will not be handled back to us by bought 'representatives'.
Wall Street is a huge contributor to the political machine, which in turns enables Wall Street's corporate plunder of our nation. Both the Democratic and Republican parties set the bankster agenda because of the MONEY. When we speak of 'taking the MONEY out of politics', we have no choice but to focus on the sources of the MONEY.
As a critical FIRST STEP, we call on Citizens to take the lead. Bring your friends and neighbors together to non-violently protest the tyranny of kleptocrats on Sept 17, 2011 (#Sept17).
We at usdayofrage.org DO NOT tolerate violence of any kind. US Day of Rage NYC, San Francisco, and Los Angeles stand is solidarity with each others' actions and endorse the planned actions of the NYC Assembly to #occupywallstreet on #Sept17.
We will support and endorse the planned action of a NON-VIOLENT occupation of the financial district by the free and independent assembly of people, which is currently being planned by the NYC Assembly. We will post their website and plans as soon as they are live. The next assembly meeting is Saturday, August 27, 2011 at 5pm in Tompkins Square Park. Come down. Everyone is welcome.
Millions of Indians pour out into the streets as arrest of 74-year old anti-corruption activist Anna Hazare and 2,600 supporters backfires.
Attempts by the Indian government to crack down on a budding anti-corruption movement in the country have backfired. After Tuesday’s arrest of some 2,600 protesters, including the high-profile anti-corruption activist Anna Hazare, millions of Indians poured out into the streets to fight for a strong anti-corruption law.
The 74-year old Hazare, whose struggle is deeply inspired by Mahatma Gandhi, had wanted to stage an indefinite hunger strike in a park in New Delhi, vowing to “fast until death” unless the government accepted the movement’s demand to create an independent anti-corruption agency with sweeping powers, a so-called Lokpal, or ombudsman.
Hazare (bio), a decorated former army officer who after a near-death experience at the age of 26 decided to dedicate his life to humanity, has been fighting against the endemic corruption in India’s political establishment for years. Earlier this year, he fasted and managed to force the government into including his movement in the drafting of a new anti-corruption bill. Eventually, the proposed bill ended up being charade, covering less than 0.5% of India’s officials.
***영어 원본은 여기에: http://wlcentral.org/node/2129 있습니다!
해고는 살인이다: 대량 해고와 경찰의 폭력적인 노동권 탄압에 맞서는 단결된 싸움
희망버스에서 날아올린, ‘비정규직 없는 세상’을 향한 희망을 담은 풍등들.
1차 희망버스에는 총 742명이 참여했다. 2차 희망버스에는 1만 명 이상이 모였고, 희망버스의 참가자 수는 올 7월 31일 열렸던 3차에서 1만 5천 명에 달했다.
천천히, 그리고 조심스럽게 야당 정치인들도 희망버스에 동참하기 시작했다. 지상 35미터에서의 투쟁에 연대를 표하기 위해 부당 해고의 피해자들이 연 수많은 집회들이 전국적으로 쉬지 않고 이어졌다. 동참자들의 수는 누구도 예상하지 못했던 정도로 불어났다. 주류 언론들과 몇몇 정치인들은 이제 200일을 넘긴 85호 크레인 위에서의 시위를 계속하는 김진숙 씨와 연대하는 각종 집회 참여자들을 일컫는 ‘폭력적인 제 3자’라는 말을 주조해내기까지 했다.
그러나 그 ‘폭력적인 제 3자’는 사실 전혀 ‘제 3자’가 아니다 – 지상 35미터에서부터의 투쟁은 단지 한진의 노동권 탄압만을 폭로하기 위한 것이 아니며, 6월에 있었던, 조건부로 정리해고를 수락하겠다는 한진 노조의 결정에만 맞서는 싸움인 것도 아니기 때문이다.
해고는 살인이다: 싸움의 시작 –
쌍용자동차 정리해고자들의 투쟁과 공권력이라는 이름의 유혈 진압
1.줄거리: 정리해고에 맞선 77일간의 싸움
2009년 5월, 한국에서 가장 큰 자동차공업회사 중 하나이자 100개 이상의 해외 지부를 둔 쌍용자동차가 2,405명의 직원들을 대상으로 하는 정리해고 신청서를 제출했다. 노조는 ‘경영난’이라는 이름으로 자행된 정리해고에 맞선 총파업을 선언하였다.
사측은 직장 폐쇄와 해고자들을 상대로 희망 퇴직을 신청할 것을 종용하는 협박 편지를 보내는 것으로 맞섰다. 이에 서너 명의 노동자들이 뇌출혈과 심근 경색으로 세상을 떠났다.
노동자들은 쌍용자동차 평택 공장에서 점거농성을 시작했고, 이 농성은 한국 노동사에서 잊혀질 수 없는 77일간의 유혈 투쟁이 되었다.
7월 15일, 사측은 기자들의 현장 촬영을 막기 시작했다.
7월 16일, MBC는 사측과 경찰이 점거 중인 노동자들을 ‘몰아내는’ 데 쓰기 위해 공모한 전략을 폭로했다. 제시된 문건에는 사측과 경찰이 수면 가스 사용, 헬리콥터를 동원한 수면 박탈 등을 논의한 내용이 드러나 있었다.
그후 사측은 음식과 물의 공장 내 반입을 중단하기 시작했고, 이를 20일 열린 기자회견에서 공식적으로 밝혔다. 사측은 또한 당뇨병으로 발이 썩어들어가는 한 노동자와 최루액으로 화상을 입어 다친 노동자들을 치료하기 위해 공장으로 들어가려던 의사들까지 막았다.
8월 5일 새벽 4시, 노동자들의 투쟁은 무장 경찰들과 경찰복을 대여한 사측의 용역회사 직원들이 ‘불법점거 진압’이라는 이름으로 무제한의 폭력을 행사하는, 목숨을 건 사투로 변하기 시작했다.
2. 경찰의 진압: '전쟁'
전경들이 평택 공장 지붕에 도착하고 있다.
Dismissal Is Murder: The united battle for labour rights as mass dismissals and violent police crackdown storm in South Korea
Candles in balloons with the hope for a 'World With No Layoffs' in the festival-demonstration 'The Hope Riders'
A total of 742 people participated in the first Hope Riders. Then the second Hope Riders had above 10,000 people gathering, which ended up being 15,000 people in the third Hope Riders on 31st of July, this year.
Slowly and reluctantly, opposition party politicians started to ride the bus together. Tireless protests have been planned across the country by other victims of unfair mass dismissals to show solidarity with the battle 115ft above the ground. The scale and range of participants grew to a huge movement which no one had previously anticipated. Some mainstream media and politicians coined the term ‘The Violent Third Party’ to collectively refer to the protesters showing solidarity to Kim Jinsuk, who now has stayed over 200 days on top of the 85th crane of Hanjin’s Youngdo shipyard in Busan.
In fact, the ‘Violent Third Party’ was not the third party player at all; the battle 115ft above the ground doesn’t merely expose the persecution of labor rights nor is it solely a fight against the decision of the Hanjin labor union leaders in June, who signed an agreement to accept the mass dismissal with provisions.
Dismissal Is Murder: the Beginning -
The protest of Ssangyong Motors laid-off workers and the bloodshed in the name of public authority
1. Outline : 77 days of fighting against mass dismissal
Largest rally in Israeli history sees four percent of the population out in the streets — that would be 12 million people in the streets of the US! (Photo: ActiveStills)
The Israeli social justice movement has just gone into orbit and exploded into previously unchartered territories. According to police estimates (which tend to be conservative), 300,000 protesters took to the streets across the country in what constitutes the largest-ever protest in the country’s history. And still no coverage in the mainstream media!
The stellar growth of the J14 movement, which was sparked when a young Israeli woman named Daphni Leef pitched a tent in Tel Aviv three weeks ago to protest against the unaffordable cost of housing in the country, has put immense pressure on the right-wing government of Benjamin Netanyahu. In just three weeks, the Prime Minister has seen his approval rating tumble nearly 20 percent, to a dismal 32 percent.
The protests, while feeding on the widespread anger in the middle class about the unbearable cost of living, have since matured to take up a number of other progressive issues — and have now morphed into a full-blown social justice movement, contesting the free-market zealotry of Benjamin Netanyahu and the crony capitalist system that lurks behind the neoliberal edifice his government is trying to keep intact.
Over 800 arrested during running street battles, as student protesters defy official protest ban to demonstrate for equal access to education.
For two months now, young Chileans have been taking to the streets to protest against neoliberal reforms in education spearheaded by the country’s right-wing government. Yesterday, the protracted youth uprising culminated in the public defiance by thousands of high school and university students of an official protest ban. Riot police responded with tear gas, water canons, baton charges and mass arrests.
In just two days, the Spanish police have spoken out against the government and in support of the indignados — while at the same time beating them up. (Photo: Iker Etxarte)
Either the police have lost it, or the government has lost the police. Or both. Whatever way it may be, the predicted summer lull in Spain’s 3-month youth uprising has failed to materialize. So far, the holiday month of august has proven to be sizzling hot in the Spanish capital.
For the past three days, the streets of Madrid have been in the hands of the protesters — while a small army of riot police desperately cling on to Puerta del Sol and Parliament. Instead of subsiding in the wake of Tuesday’s eviction of the info booth at Puerta del Sol, the protests have rapidly and spontaneously intensified (pictures here!).
Late last year, Malaysian Opposition Leader Dr Anwar Ibrahim was being labelled "WikiLeaks' first Malaysian victim" after the Sydney Morning Herald released a US cable suggesting he had knowingly "walked into" a sex trap. But the purported evidence quickly dissolved into hearsay when Singapore's intelligences services could not substantiate their allegations of "technical intelligence". A cable released later showed US officials pressuring the Malaysian government to drop the sex charges against Dr Anwar because they had no credibility, either at home or abroad.
Current Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak accuses Anwar Ibrahim of leading a “small group” of malcontents with the purpose of toppling his government. That "group" is a coalition of non-governmental organisations, The Coalition for Free and Fair Elections, more popularly known as "Bersih" (which means "clean" in Malay). Its stated aim is to clean up the electoral system and ensure fair elections in Malaysia.
“It’s not so much about electoral reform," insists the Malaysian PM. "They want to show us as though we’re like the Arab Spring governments in the Middle East.”
The parallels are worth examining, even though Bersih campaigners insist their sole focus is clean elections, not regime overthrow.