AIG bonus fiasco a smokescreen for where the money is really going?

I’d bet that the choreographers of this scam assume that the average person doesn’t know the difference between million and billion. That’s the first bet.

The second bet I’d make is that this entire spectacle has been concocted to shift the focus away from where the really big money is going. (Hint: Goldman Sachs.)

So, while the drama is happening over $165 million in bonuses, another roughly $30 billion goes down the gugrler.

Full Story: Cryptogon

Seymour Hersh describes ‘executive assassination ring’

“Yuh. After 9/11, I haven’t written about this yet, but the Central Intelligence Agency was very deeply involved in domestic activities against people they thought to be enemies of the state. Without any legal authority for it. They haven’t been called on it yet. That does happen.

“Right now, today, there was a story in the New York Times that if you read it carefully mentioned something known as the Joint Special Operations Command — JSOC it’s called. It is a special wing of our special operations community that is set up independently. They do not report to anybody, except in the Bush-Cheney days, they reported directly to the Cheney office. They did not report to the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff or to Mr. [Robert] Gates, the secretary of defense. They reported directly to him. …

“Congress has no oversight of it. It’s an executive assassination ring essentially, and it’s been going on and on and on. Just today in the Times there was a story that its leaders, a three star admiral named [William H.] McRaven, ordered a stop to it because there were so many collateral deaths.

“Under President Bush’s authority, they’ve been going into countries, not talking to the ambassador or the CIA station chief, and finding people on a list and executing them and leaving. That’s been going on, in the name of all of us.

“It’s complicated because the guys doing it are not murderers, and yet they are committing what we would normally call murder. It’s a very complicated issue. Because they are young men that went into the Special Forces. The Delta Forces you’ve heard about. Navy Seal teams. Highly specialized.

“In many cases, they were the best and the brightest. Really, no exaggerations. Really fine guys that went in to do the kind of necessary jobs that they think you need to do to protect America. And then they find themselves torturing people.

“I’ve had people say to me — five years ago, I had one say: ‘What do you call it when you interrogate somebody and you leave them bleeding and they don’t get any medical committee and two days later he dies. Is that murder? What happens if I get before a committee?’

“But they’re not gonna get before a committee.”

Full Story: Minneapolis Post

Food Disinfo: Natural Solutions Foundation

Kicked up a hornet’s nest that connects all my old research with my new food obsession. This is a story that involves food, covert operations, professional disinformation, and aliens.

Remember that sooper-paranoid article about HR 875 that got everyone so spooked in the first place? That was from the Natural Solutions Foundation, written by Linn Cohen-Cole, who may or may not be real.

Natural health advocates have been questioning the NSF for several years now, and the criticism is universally the same: Why does the NSF keep turning out factually inaccurate, hysterically grim articles? Just as important, and even more worrying, Why does the NSF refuse to correct ANY of the hundreds of errors in their record?

The answers start with the NSF founders: husband-wife team Albert Stubblebine and Rima Laibow. Now, when I accuse these people of being disinformation professionals, let me qualify that carefully. I’m not saying that they’re doing sloppy research, and I’m not saying that they’re being overzealous. I’m saying they are working, for pay, to spread false information and make their organization look like a legitimate activist group.

Full Story: Urban Evolution

That super paranoid article by Linn Cohen-Cole is here.

Blackwater Worldwide Changes Its Name to Xe; Same Mercenaries, but Now with More “Aviation Support”

Blackwater Worldwide is still protecting U.S. diplomats in Iraq, but executives at the beleaguered security firm are taking their biggest step yet to put that work and the ugly reputation it earned the company behind them.

Blackwater said Friday it will no longer operate under the name that came to be known worldwide as a caustic moniker for private security, dropping the tarnished brand for a disarming and simple identity: Xe, which is pronounced like the letter “z.”

It’s a rare surrender for a company that cherished a brand name inspired by the dark-water swamps of northeastern North Carolina, one that survived another rebranding effort about a year ago, following a deadly shooting in Baghdad’s Nisoor Square. The decision to give it up underscores how badly the Moyock-based company’s brand was damaged by that incident and other security work in Iraq.

Full Story: Cryptogon

Real life DHARMA Initiative # 5: Global Business Network

Global Business Network (GBN) is a consulting firm that grew out of Shell’s Planning Group, Stanford Research Institute, and Stewart Brand and the community based around his “Whole Earth” businesses. In other words, it’s an unlikely alliance of oil industry insiders, mad scientists, and hippie visionaries. They specialize in “scenario planning.”

Schwartz has also studied Tibetan Buddhism and worked closely with Willis Harman, a key figure in the transpersonal psychology movement in San Francisco. Before accepting a post at Shell’s Planning Group, he worked at SRI International, the famed Menlo Park, California, research outfit that came up with the widely used psychographic measuring system known as VALS (for “values and life styles”). SRI also developed the computer mouse. Schwartz’s is a tame résumé by the standards of GBN.

Full Story: Hatch 23

Real life DHARMA Initiative # 4: Project MKULTRA and other government experiments

“Most of the real life DHARMA initiatives we cover here are, like the DHARMA Initiative, private organizations. But the high weirdness that the CIA’s Project MKULTRA got into is too important to ignore.”

Full Story: Hatch 23.

Cryptome’s web master John Young interview in Radar

John Young Cryptome

The closest Young comes to explaining to me why he created Cryptome is this: “I’m a pretty fucking angry guy.” He describes it as a public education project. But for every hard data point he offers, there’s the ever-present admonishment that secrecy corrupts everything. “We caution people, don’t believe anything we publish,” he says. “We’re totally untrustworthy. We may be a sting operation, we may be working for the Feds. If you trust us, you’re stupid.” It’s like a nihilist art project: Provide your readers with more than 40,000 files of data the government doesn’t want you to have, data that exposes the lies of the powerful, and then remind them that you can never, ever know for sure who is lying.

Reprinted at Cryptome

(via My Heart’s in Accra)

There’s Mercury in High Fructose Corn Syrup, and the FDA Has Known for Years

But as it turns out, the HFCS industry has been hiding some major skeletons in its closet — according to the IATP study (pdf), over 30% of products containing the substance tested positive for mercury.

What makes this news truly shocking is not just that the manufacturers of high fructose corn syrup would put consumers’ health at risk, but that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) knew about the mercury in the syrup, and has been sitting on this information since 2005.

Here’s the connection, according to the IATP press release (pdf): The IATP study comes on the heels of another study, conducted in 2005 but only recently published by the scientific journal, Environmental Health, which revealed that nearly 50 percent of commercial HFCS samples tested positive for the heavy metal. Renee Dufault, who was working for the FDA at the time, was among the 2005 study’s authors. In spite of Dufault’s involvement in the study, the FDA sat silent on this one for three years, and in fact last August, allowed manufacturers to call the sweetener “natural.”

Full Story: Huffington Post

(Thanks Biohabit)

Update: a representative from the corn syrup lobby has weighed in with a response (As far as I can tell the comment from “FT” is real).

The strange story of the “Israeli art student” spies

In January 2001, the security branch of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency began to receive a number of peculiar reports from DEA field offices across the country. According to the reports, young Israelis claiming to be art students and offering artwork for sale had been attempting to penetrate DEA offices for over a year. The Israelis had also attempted to penetrate the offices of other law enforcement and Department of Defense agencies. Strangest of all, the “students” had visited the homes of numerous DEA officers and other senior federal officials.

As a pattern slowly emerged, the DEA appeared to have been targeted in what it called an “organized intelligence gathering activity.” But to what end, and for whom, no one knew.

Full Story: Salon

(via Honky Tonk Dragon)

It’s a long story, but here’s the take-away: no one knows what was going. There’s various speculation, and this sounds most likely to me (for what little my opinion is worth):

Theory No. 3, the Art Student as Agent as Art Student Smoke Screen. It has major problems, but let’s roll with it for a moment. This theory contends that the art student ring was a smoke screen intended to create confusion and allow actual spies — who were also posing as art students — to be lumped together with the rest and escape detection. In other words, the operation is an elaborate double fake-out, a hiding-in-plain-sight scam. Whoever dreamed it up thought ahead to the endgame and knew that the DEA-stakeout aspect was so bizarre that it would throw off American intelligence. According to this theory — Stability’s “Victor/Victoria” scenario — Israeli agents wanted, let’s say, to monitor al-Qaida members in Florida and other states. But they feared detection. So to provide cover, and also to create a dizzyingly Byzantine story that would confuse the situation, Israeli intel flooded areas of real operations with these bumbling “art students” — who were told to deliberately stake out DEA agents.

Here’s another possibility: they were part of some sort of well organized, well funded prank. (Or, like Honky Tonk Dragon said – “Life imitates Illuminatus”)

Tracy Twyman on Coast to Coast

Journalist and occult expert Tracy Twyman discussed the shocking stories from her new book, Mind Controlled Sex Slaves and the CIA. She covered a number of infamous accounts within this realm, such as the story of Cathy O’Brien, the Franklin Cover-Up, and the disappearance of Johnny Gosch. Reflecting on the more credible stories she has researched, Twyman said, “They don’t seem like they’re seeking attention. They don’t even seem like people who have read Internet conspiracy theories. They seem like they’re talking about the experiences they had.”

Full Story: Coast to Coast

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