Politics and Legislation
U.S. Pressing Interpol to Deny Egypt’s Request to Arrest NGO Workers
By Sara Sorcher
The Obama administration is petitioning Interpol to deny Egypt’s request for the arrest of American and other nongovernmental workers accused of illegally operating democracy programs and stirring unrest, in a push to prevent further escalation of the planned prosecution that sparked the worst crisis in U.S.-Egypt relations in three decades.
According to people familiar with the case, State Department counsel Harold Koh and Justice Department Deputy Assistant Attorney General Bruce Swartz are trying to convince Interpol to dismiss as “politically motivated” Egypt’s request for worldwide notices seeking the arrest of some personnel from several nongovernmental organizations that receive U.S. funding.
Cairo’s continued plans to prosecute the NGO workers is a sharp rebuke to the U.S., which has been pressing Egypt to drop the criminal charges against 43 nongovernmental workers—17 of them Americans—from the Washington-based National Democratic Institute, International Republican Institute, Freedom House, and International Center for Journalists.
Tensions between Washington and Cairo eased on March 1 when seven American democracy workers were allowed to leave Egypt after their institutions paid some $5 million in “bail” to lift the travel ban against them. These Americans—including IRI’s Sam LaHood, son of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood—still face charges in a trial slated to resume on Tuesday, but are not currently wanted for arrest in Egypt.
Shortly after Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton signed off on military aid to Cairo, Egypt asked Interpol to issue so-called red notices for other nongovernmental workers who were not in Egypt at the time, or in some cases, who never worked there at all. As many as 10 of them are Americans. Among them are prominent figures in Washington, like Freedom House’s Charles Dunne, a former U.S. diplomat who also served on the National Security Council under President George W. Bush.
If convicted, they could face a hefty financial penalty and up to five years in an Egyptian prison.
The State and Justice departments, as well as Interpol headquarters in France and its bureau in Washington, all declined to comment on Egypt’s request for the red notices, which are usually viewed as precursors to filing extradition papers. “The United States is making known in every relevant forum, and before every relevant agency, its objection to these politically motivated trials in Egypt,” State Department spokesman Edgar Vasquez told National Journal.
The surveillance state: growing under a coalition that pledged to reverse it
Proposals for real-time monitoring of email and social media show the government has caved in to the security services
If the government were to suggest monitoring every building that each person in the UK visits, and making a note of every conversation they had, the policy would be seen as electoral suicide. Assurances that the actual content of conversations wouldn’t be recorded would be unlikely to help.
It’s a telling sign of how many real-world freedoms have been sacrificed online, then, that a government that just two years ago pledged to “reverse the rise of the surveillance state” feels able to propose real-time monitoring of all email and social media communications.
The information stored would include the sender and recipient of an email, the time it was sent, and details of the computer it was sent from. This would build a profile of who contacts whom, with what frequency, and from where.
The government says such measures are essential to counter organized crime and terrorism, citing that 95% of organized crime investigations and “every” major counter-terrorism investigation use communications data. However, this statistic does not show if such information was essential or even useful to these investigations – merely that investigators chose to get hold of communications records on almost every occasion, usually via warrant or use of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (Ripa).
Gerald Celente on the decline of Empire America
Uploaded by RTAmerica
According to many economists, the days of the US dollar are numbered. As the currency weakens many countries that use the dollar are searching for alternatives. China is expected to be the top world economy in a matter of years. To add insult to injury, the BRICS countries have decided to lose the dollar and use their own currencies. So what does this mean for the US dollar? Gerald Celente, publisher of The Trends Journal, joins us for more.
IMF chief calls on US for more cash
WASHINGTON: IMF managing director Christine Lagarde implored the United States to help back-stop debt-ridden European countries Tuesday, wading neck-deep into bubbling US political waters.
Speaking in the US capital, Lagarde said the 187-nation International Monetary Fund needed more firepower to tackle financial crises raging around the globe, arguing it was in the US interest to pitch in and help Europe.
“Americans might ask themselves: why should what happens in the rest of the world concern us? Don’t we have our own problems?” she said, according to prepared remarks.
“The answer is simple: In today’s world, we cannot afford the luxury of staying in our own mental backyards.”
“If the European economy falters, the American recovery and American jobs would be in jeopardy. So America has a large stake in how Europe fare — and how the world fares.”
Legarde’s comments came 64 years to the day after president Harry Truman signed the Marshall Plan, an unprecedented loan to rebuild post-war Europe.
But her comments will be anathema to politicians in Washington, as the country hurtles toward elections this November.
US officials, including Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, have for months trod a thin line between supporting the IMF’s efforts to bolster its resources and actually kicking in some more cash.
Washington has yet to ratify 2010 reforms which would see it send $63 billion more to the IMF’s coffers, under a new quota agreement.
“MF Global is worth more to its Creditors Dead than it was Alive” says Fund Manger Mark Melin
Welcome to Capital Account. [Lauren blows a whistle on set] Is this what the too big to fail banks should really be worried about? A new emerging market for whistle blowers! First Greg Smith, now a congressional budget officer, who’s next? Earlier this week, Greg Smith, a Goldman Sachs employee, made his resignation public on the pages of the New York Times in an op-ed, accusing his firm of “toxic” practices that put profit first at the expense of customers and possibly the US economy. And Lan T. Pham, the CBO officer, alleges that she was fired for not accepting the wall street party line…pressured not to be so pessimistic about banking and the housing outlooks. In just one of many hard-hitting excepts from her letter, the CBO officer says “I was repeatedly pressured by the CBO Assistant Director, Deborah Lucas…not to write nor discuss issues in the banking sector and mortgage markets that might suggest weakness in these sectors and their consequences on the economy and households…” She was encouraged to push the policies of a Morgan Stanley VP and provided Goldman Sachs analyses as well. That sounds familiar doesn’t it?
Despite those who are speaking out, is there just no winning against the too big to fail banks? Remember, when judge Jed Rakoff rejected the SEC’s 285 million dollar settlement with citigroup over toxic mortgage debt. It was because citigroup wasn’t forced to admit liability. Well, now a federal appeals court has stopped just short of rejecting his rejection, saying he overstepped his authority. Come on! What’s it going to take to see some admission of guilt for conch? And speaking of the need to admit guilt, what ever happened to Jon “the Don” Corzine? The MF Global brokerage trustee says they know where some more money is — they want to distribute another $685 million dollars to customers, while another trustee has been asked by US lawmakers to abort his mission to pay out bonuses to MF Global executives. But just who are these trustees? We’ll expose this and more.
Wars and Rumors of War
Russia’s FM warns against arming Syrian opposition
BAKU, Azerbaijan (AP) – Russia’s foreign minister warned other nations again Wednesday not to arm the Syrian opposition, saying it would only escalate hostilities.
Speaking on a trip to Azerbaijan, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said the Syrian opposition wouldn’t be able to overwhelm government forces even if it was supplied with weapons from abroad. He warned that a foreign military intervention would lead to even more disastrous consequences for Syria, where President Basher Assay’s forces have violently cracked down on a yearlong uprising in which more than 9,000 people have died.
“Even if they arm the Syrian opposition to the teeth, it won’t be able to defeat the Syrian army,” Lavrov said. “The carnage will go on for many years.”
Israel issues tender for hundreds of new apartments in East Jerusalem
Housing Ministry seeks to expand controversial neighborhood of Har Homa; critics on the left claim expansion of the neighborhood will harm chances of reaching a peace agreement.
By Nir Hasson
Israel’s Housing Ministry published on Tuesday tenders for the construction of hundreds of new housing units in the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Har Homa, located beyond the Green Line.
The five tenders published by the ministry include 827 new housing units, most of which, 632, are to be part of a new section of the neighborhood called Har Homa Gimel, which is slated to be built on an empty hill.
Iran says could hit U.S. if it came under attack
(Reuters) – The United States would not be safe from retaliation if Iran is attacked by Washington, the Iran newspaper quoted a senior Revolutionary Guards commander on Tuesday as saying.
“In the face of any attack, we will have a crushing response. In that case, we will not only act in the boundaries of the Middle East and the Persian Gulf, no place in America will be safe from our attacks,” Massoud Jazayeri was quoted as saying by the daily.
Iran would not strike any country first, he said.
Tehran is locked in a dispute with the West over its nuclear program.
Israel and the United States have threatened military action against Iran unless it abandons activities which the West suspects are intended to develop nuclear weapons…..
Articles of Interest
CNN’s Dana Bash On GSA “American Idle” GSA Video: “This Is Just Really Remarkable”
Uploaded by GOPICYMI
CNN’s Dana Bash reports on the video made by GSA employees bragging about the use of taxpayer money for lavish parties and talent shows
Federal judge refuses to halt separation hearing for ‘tea party Marine’
Despite a coalition of lawyers filing suit to stop the proceedings, a “tea party Marine” facing discharge from the Marine Corps for criticizing President Barack Obama will have to go through with a separation hearing on Thursday.
On Wednesday a federal judge refused to stop the separation hearing for Sgt. Gary Stein, a Camp Pendleton Marine facing an “‘other than honorable’ discharge from the military for posting criticisms of the commander in chief on his ‘Armed Forces Tea Party’ Facebook page,” Fox 5 in San Diego reported.
Russia working on electromagnetic radiation guns
Guns will use electromagnetic radiation
Rays will attack victims’ central nervous system
Have all your Jedi fantasies finally come true?
WHILE many believed it to be an April Fool’s Day joke, Vladimir Putin has confirmed Russia has been testing mind-bending psychotronic guns that can effectively turn people into zombies.
The futuristic weapons – which attack their victims’ central nervous system – are being developed by scientists and could be used against Russia’s enemies and even its own dissidents by the end of the decade.
Mr Putin has described the guns, which use electromagnetic radiation like that found in microwave ovens, as entirely new instruments for achieving political and strategic goals.
Plans to introduce the super-weapons were announced by Russian defence minister Anatoly Serdyukov.
While the technology has been around for some time, MrTsyganok said the guns were recently tested for crowd control purposes.
National Responder Support Camp (NRSC)
Solicitation Number: HSFE70-12-R-0033
Agency: Department of Homeland Security
Office: Federal Emergency Management Agency
Location: Logistics Branch
Goto the bottom and download the pdf of the final draft dated March 2012 (Draft HSFE70-12-R-0033.pdf (1,390.63 Kb) Description: Draft Soliciation)
Here are my issues with this RFP:
1) Page 14 (C.3.5)- Daily logs. I guess you could say this is legit but then added with the rest I don’t like it at all.
2) Page 19 (C.6.0)- This deals with the ID cards that must be issued.
3) Page 22 shows what reports are required and to whom they go to, how often, and what is to be covered.
4) Page 26 (E.3) Starts the performance evaluation and modes of surveillance to ensure reports are accurate.
5) Page 69 Section J- This starts getting into some of the requirements.
6) Page 74 starts the “Scenario’s”.
7) Page 75 has the gender separation and the separate area for security personnel
This is a large file and probably has a lot more than what I covered.
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