Something Evil Is Coming This Summer – Episode 95

youtube_evil_economic_collapse2In this report we will discuss the latest news on the economic collapse. Evil is coming and it starts on Friday, the quantum dawn 2 cyber attack drill begins followed by many other events. The damage and shock that the American people will see they will equate to pure evil. All throughout the summer we will see many events occurring to get CISPA, the gun bill and UN Arms treaty passed. Be prepared!!

Please check the Sentinel Alerts for the latest news on the economic collapse. The Sentinel Alerts are updated throughout the day. If you haven’t already, go to “The People” and join the community of people who are helping each through the economic collapse


Current News


Economy

Despite Capital Controls, Cyprus Deposits Slide To Lowest Since Mid-2008

Of course people are removing their money. Who would want more of their money taken. Even with capital controls I am sure people show up at the bank everyday to remove as much as they can.Bail-ins will spread across Europe and then finally into America.

  • Another month, another update on the inefficiency of Cypriot capital controls, where following the latest release by the central bank on the May level of deposits in the banking system, we learn that total cash holdings in Cyprus banks dropped by another EUR 1.4 billion in May to EUR55.9 billion, and 23% lower from the same month last year. And with ongoing and unchecked deposit flight continuing, with EUR 14 billion in cash pulled or confiscated since the start of the year, one can see why the administration and the president are about to throw in the towel and demand, this time for a real a bigger bailout for Cyprus as otherwise all that good money chasing bad will be for nothing. In the meantime, expect deposit flight to continue as anyone with half a brain can finally see the writing on the wall, if only with a slight delay and following much personal losses.
  • Monthly Cyprus deposits:

Europe Make Cyprus “Bail-In” Regime Continental Template

Bail-ins are coming, your money will be taken, frozen and traded for worthless bank stock. Capital controls will be instituted and everyone will not be able to get their money out from the banks.

  • Turns out that for Europe, Cyprus was a “bail-in” template after all, and following an agreement reached early this morning, Europe now has a joint failed-bank resolution mechanism. Several hours ago, EU finance ministers announced that they had reached agreement on the principles governing the imposition of losses on creditors in bank ‘bail ins’. Having already agreed to establish “depositor preference” in the pecking order of creditors at risk, the stumbling block to agreement was the availability of flexibility at the national level to complement the bail in with injections of funds from other sources. Under the compromise achieved overnight, once a bail in equivalent to 8% of total liabilities has been implemented, support from other sources can be used (up to 5% of total liabilities) with approval from Brussels.
  • So investors (i.e. yield chasers) and not taxpayers will foot the cost of bank bailouts going forward for a change? Maybe on paper: “From 2018, the so-called “bail-in” regime can force shareholders, bondholders and some depositors to contribute to the costs of bank failure. Insured deposits under €100,000 are exempt and uninsured deposits of individuals and small companies are given preferential status in the bail-in pecking order.” In reality, last night’s agreement is the usual fluid melange of semi-rigid rules filled with loopholes designed to benefit large banks whose impairment may be detrimental to “systemic stability”.
  • To wit, from the FT: “While a minimum bail-in amounting to 8 per cent of total liabilities is mandatory before resolution funds can be used, countries are given more leeway to shield certain creditors from losses in defined circumstances.” In other words, here is the bail in regime… which we may decide to ignore under “defined circumstances.”
  • Next, since the “package must be agreed with the European parliament, a process that could stretch until the end of 2013” we urge no breath holding, especially since it was in late 2012 that news of a joint European bank regulator was announced, and one year later this concept has crashed and burned. In fact the bail-in deal will “open debate on further stages of financial integration, including on establishing a central authority to shut down eurozone banks” and “Germany is strongly resisting centralising such important powers to shut down banks under existing treaties.”
  • In other words, yet another European agreement that is at best worth the price of the paper it is printed on. In the meantime, if indeed some of the systemic European banks keel over and die – say Credit Lyonnaise, Natexis or Deutsche – the last thing that anyone will think about to avoid a systemic collapse will be impairing even more banks. As a reminder, these are the most undercapitalized banks in Europe as reported by Goldman yesterday:

 Ireland officially back in recession

Prior to 1929 Europe was struggling and in a recession, but the stock market in the US was at all time highs just like today. Europe is now in a deep, deep recession and the unemployment rate is at its all time highs.  Be prepared the collapse is here and moving across the globe.

  • Economic growth in Ireland shrank by 0.6 percent, making its third successive quarter of contraction, and it’s official re-entrance into recession, Central Statistics Office reports.
  • The island nation’s gross domestic product contracted by 0.6 percent on a seasonally adjusted rate for a third successive quarter, meaning the economy is back in recession for the first time since 2009, the data shows.
  • Similarly, the statistics office has revised its GDP contraction in Q3 2012 to 1.0 percent, down from the 0.4 figure delivered three months ago, and five times the number originally forecast last winter.
  • Overall, the economy grew by 0.2 percent in 2012, missing the 0.9 predicted by economists.
  • Ireland lost out big on capital investment, which decreased by 19.8 percent from the previous quarter.
  • Gross national product performed better, as preliminary estimates for first quarter of 2013 increased by 2.9 percent, seasonally adjusted.
  • The recently bailed out euro member’s recovery from the financial crisis has been slow, and today’s data indicates it may be slower than originally anticipated. Ireland has one of the highest budget deficits, and will continue to cut spending and increase taxes in austerity measures.
  • The budget deficit is astronomical largely due to the burden inflicted by the failure of six banks and recapitalization of the main three – Bank of Ireland, Allied Irish Bank and Anglo Irish Bank. The total cost of the bailout is nearing 64 billion euros, of which 40 percent was paid by taxpayer contributions.
  • Prime Minister Enda Kenny is hoping to wrap up her country’s three-year international bailout plan by the end of 2013.
  • Economies across Europe are slipping back into recession. France’s economy shrank by 0.2 percent in Q1, and with the exception of Austria and Germany, all euro member states have been sluggish in their growth due to the general economic slowdown of the continent.
  • Bond market returns in Ireland had some investors optimistic that it was moving towards growth, and not contraction.
  • Bonds dropped Tuesday after European Central Bank President Mario Draghi delivered a negative regional economic outlook, which he said will continue to necessitate monetary policy.
  • Overall the economy grew by just 0.2 percent last year, rather than the 0.9 percent initially thought, and the export-led recovery stalled in the second half of 2012 due to the slowdown in much of the rest of the eurozone.

Real Disposable Income is Falling at 2008 Rates

  • The biggest single most important item in the GDP report yesterday was the collapse in disposable income for Americans.
  • Most investors will focus on the drop in GDP growth for 1Q13 and view it as opening the door for the Fed to continue with QE 3 and QE 4 without any tapering in sight.
  • After all, the markets have believed that bad economic news is good news for the markets for four years based on the belief that a weak economy will mean more money printing from the Fed.
  • However, the real issue in the BEA’s report on GDP growth was the collapse in real per capita disposable income which fell at a annualized rate of 9.21%.
  • That is a truly staggering collapse in incomes. The last time we say anything even close to this was in the third quarter of 2008.
  • That was right after Lehman failed and the entire economy and stock market were melting down. Buckle up, things are getting worse in the US at a truly alarming rate.
  • I’ve been warning subscribers of Private Wealth Advisory that the economy was going to turn sharply weaker this year. It’s already begun.
  • Indeed, while most investors will look at the GDP report as indicating more QE is coming, commodities certainly didn’t get that signal at all. The commodity index continues to plunge diverging wildly from the S&P 500

War

Americans oppose arming Syria militants

Americans don’t understand why we are even in Syria, they don’t care and believe that Syria should take care of themselves and we shouldn’t be involved. Since the government can’t get congress and the American people to beg for war they will need some type of horrific, bloody, shocking false flag to make everyone beg to go to war with Syria.

  • The U.S. government has begun shipping weapons to Jordan for militant groups in neighboring Syria while the majority of American citizens have already expressed their opposition to militarily support anti-government forces in Syria.
  • Following U.S. President Barack Obama’s decision to approve arming the militant groups, 70 percent of Americans, surveyed by the Pew Research Center between June 12 and 16, said they were against such aggressive plans.
  • The survey showed there was a 7 percentage point increase in the number of those who opposed arming the militants, compared to the results of a March 2012 survey.
  • U.S. officials and diplomats told the Wall Street Journal that the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) will send weapons to the Syrian militants within a month.
  • The weapons are being shipped to Jordan from a network of warehouses, according to the Journal.
  • In a separate survey conducted June 13 through June 16, only 15 percent of Americans said they followed U.S. media’s claims that the Syrian government has used chemical weapons against the foreign-backed militants.
  • During a recent speech at the Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan, former U.S. secretary of state Henry Kissinger has said that the U.S. media are not telling the truth about the current situation in Syria.
  • “In the American press it’s described as a conflict between democracy and a dictator- and the dictator is killing his own people, and we’ve got to punish him. But that’s not what’s going on,” said Kissinger.
  • The Los Angeles Time also reported earlier this month that the CIA and U.S. Special Operations Forces have been secretly training the militant groups.
  • The covert trainings have been conducted at bases in Jordan and Turkey, both neighbors of Syria, the Times reported.
  • In a recent video testimony, a former member of al-Qaeda, Sheikh Nabil Naiim who led an al-Qaeda training camp in Egypt, has revealed the leader of al-Nusra Front, the primary terrorist group in Syria fighting against the government of President Bashar al-Assad, is a CIA operative.
  • The unrest in Syria erupted over two years ago. Since then, thousands of people, including large numbers of Syrian soldiers and security personnel, have been killed in the conflict.
  • Damascus says the conflict is being engineered from outside the country, and there are reports that a very large number of the militants fighting in Syria are foreign nationals.

 US to lose access to key military base after Russian ally cancels lease

The base in Kyrgyzstan is strategic because it is smack in the middle of China, Russia,Afghanistan and India. The Russians know that war is coming and they are cleaning house and setting up for war. Even though you see Kerry going over to Iran, Russia and China talking about peace they really don’t want peace because they know that they need to keep the US dollar as the reserve currency and they will do everything and anything to get this done, plus when the collapse comes they will need a war to cover it all up

  • The United States will lose access to a vital military logistics hub in Central Asia in 2014 following the Kyrgyz president’s decision Wednesday to cancel a lease agreement for a military base.
  • President Almazbek Atambayev signed a law Wednesday that repudiates a 2009 lease agreement, with effect from July 2014, the president’s website said in a statement.
  • The Kyrgyz parliament approved the law last week.
  • Officially dubbed “Transit Centre,” the Manas air base has served as a supply hub for US troops in Afghanistan since 2001.
  • It has been the subject of much political bargaining between Washington and the Kyrgyz government in Bishkek.
  • In 2009, the US signed on to a new agreement under significantly higher lease payments of 60 million dollars annually.
  • That agreement expires in 2014 anyway, but the renunciation law prevents it from being renewed.
  • Washington has said that it wishes to continue using the base after 2014, when the majority of NATO troops leave Afghanistan.
  • Experts have linked the cancellation with pressure from Russia, which also has a military base in Kyrgyzstan.
  • The move is likely to please Russia as it vies with the West and China for influence in the resource-rich region, once part of Soviet Central Asia.
  • The Manas Transit Center outside the capital Bishkek, which numbers about 1,000 U.S. servicemen, has been in operation since the end of 2001. The Kyrgyz government said in a note issued prior to a vote in parliament: “Further functioning of this facility is unnecessary”.
  • Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambayev, elected in 2011, has staked heavily on closer ties with Russia and repeatedly assured Moscow that the U.S. air base would be shut in 2014.
  • Ending its agreement on Manas with the United States, Kyrgyzstan will lose annually $60 million paid by Washington for the lease, and maybe more significant sums in indirect revenues from the base.
  • Kyrgyzstan is part of the Collective Security Treaty Organisation (ODKB) of several post-Soviet states, which is led by Moscow. It is also a member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation dominated by Russia and China.

US spooks stockpile arms for Syrian rebels in Jordan for August onslaught

This was planned way before the red line was crossed. Remember they (government | central bankers) need to get this war started. More and more countries are dumping the dollar and not using it for trade while the US is trying to put countries back on the dollar as the reserve currency.  The US thinks if they can get Syria and Iran back trading on the US dollar and implement central banks in these countries everything will be ok.  Russia and China are standing in their way and the American people are not up for another war. So what do they need to do next a false flag to get the American people begging for war

  • The CIA is stockpiling arms in Jordan for US-trained Syrian rebels, which they will use in an offensive against Damascus starting August, according to The Wall Street Journal. Up to hundreds of fighters are to be armed and sent to the battlefield monthly.
  • The intelligence agency had stored Soviet-made arms at a network of secret warehouses in advance of the Obama administration’s decision to provide military assistance to the militants fighting against the government of Bashar Assad, the newspaper reports. The weapons include anti-tank missiles, which may be handed over to the Syrian rebels.
  • The CIA was chosen to deliver arms to the Syrian revels to limit public disclosures and restrict oversight to a small group of lawmakers, who would oversee the clandestine operation, the report explains.
  • Other countries may join the US program for arming the rebels. Washington is in talks with France about pre-positioning European-procured weapons in Jordan. Saudi Arabia is expected to provide some portable anti-aircraft weapons as well, the WSJ says.
  • The weapons are meant for Syrian rebels trained by US instructors, the report says. The CIA says it has an “elaborate” vetting system, which will supposedly prevent the American-trained and armed fighters from joining jihadist forces among the anti-Assad troops. The agency may co-opt aid from the US special operations forces and similar units in other countries like Jordan and the United Arab Emirates to train the rebels, the report says.
  • Up to several hundred troops may be sent into Syrian territory every month under the program, the newspaper says, citing diplomatic sources. The rebel troops will be deployed starting early August and will need four to five months before making “a meaningful difference” in the Syrian civil war, unnamed US officials told WSJ.

 US mulls sending military training teams to Lebanon and Iraq

[stextbox id=”x22report”]Lets break this down, the neighboring countries have central banks and these countries are trading oil to other countries in the US dollar. The troops are needed to protect the puppet government from the people in these countries. The uprising in Iraq, Turkey.Lebanon and Egypt are worrying the central bankers and the US government. So they use the cover up of training teams. [/stextbox]

  • US military commanders are examining ways the US could bolster security in Syria’s neighboring countries, and have recommended sending military trainers to Lebanon and Iraq.
  • Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs, on Wednesday revealed US plans to strengthen military assistance in Lebanon and Iraq as the conflict in Syria begins to spill over its borders. Dempsey noted that Iraq is suffering the re-emergence of al-Qaeda. Terrorist fighters, including members of the al Nusra Front, are crossing from Iraq into Syria, he said.
  • “We’ve made a recommendation that as we look at the challenges faced by the Lebanese armed forces, the Iraqi security forces with a re-emerging al Qaeda in Iraq, and the Jordanians, that we would work with them to help them build additional capability,” Dempsey told reporters at the Pentagon on Wednesday.
  • To strengthen US security assistance in the region, he recommends that the US accelerate arms sales and send military training teams to Lebanon and Iraq. He already asked Gen. Lloyd Austin, the head of the US Central Command, to consider small deployments in upcoming weeks, Dempsey spokesman Col. Edward Thomas told CNN.
  • Thomas said that “it’s in the realm of the possible” that training teams will be sent back into Iraq – a move that would mark the first significant deployment since the US withdrew its troops in 2011. Dempsey emphasized that the US was not sending combat troops into Lebanon or Iraq, but noted that a Patriot missile battery and about a dozen F-16 fighter jets had already been left in Jordan, bringing the total number of American forces in the country to 1,000.
  • “Militarily, what we’re doing is assisting our partners in the region, the neighbors of Syria, to ensure that they’re prepared to account for the potential spillover effects,” Dempsey said during Pentagon briefing. “As you know, we’ve just taken a decision to leave some Patriot missile batteries and some F-16s in Jordan as part of the defense of Jordan. We’re working with our Iraqi counterparts, the Lebanese Armed Forces and Turkey through NATO.”

US-Japan war games off the California coast imitate Chinese invasion

  • The US and Japan are preparing for a possible Chinese invasion of the Senkaku Islands. Using a small island off the coast of California, US and Japanese forces are mimicking an armed invasion and an amphibious assault to prepare for a real-life scenario.
  • The unprecedented drills, code-named Dawn Blitz, are being conducted on San Clemente Island, which is 75 miles northwest of San Diego, the Christian Science Monitor reports. They began with an assault led by 80 US Marines and three MV-22 Osprey aircraft, and were followed by a Japanese counterattack using 1,000 troops and two warships. Although Japanese officials claim they are not preparing to target a third country, the exercises have made Chinese officials uncomfortable.
  • China and Japan have long disputed the Senkaku Islands, which are located in the East China Sea but which the Japanese government purchased from private owners in 2012. The islands are uninhabited, but believed to hold rich oil and gas deposits. The purchase triggered violent protests that tens of thousands of Chinese took part in, and harmed Sino-Japanese relations.
  • In the months after the purchase, the Chinese navy practiced military exercises near the islands, and joint US-Japanese naval drills subsequently occurred in the waters of the island chain. The latest drills off the California coast are only adding to tensions regarding the Senkaku Islands. Chinese officials reportedly objected to the drills, but their concerns were ignored by Washington, the Christian Science Monitor reports.
  • “We’re aware of China’s objections, but from a Japanese and US perspective, the object of the exercise is to build a powerful deterrent and demonstrate that the two forces are seamlessly connected – to show the Chinese that they are battle-ready,” an official source familiar with Dawn Blitz told the Monitor on condition of anonymity. “There is nothing unusual in that.”

Rights

Obama administration pushes new public health research agenda on gun control

The gun control movement only has one purpose, to disarm the American people so they cannot defend themselves during a collapse. A people who cannot fight back are much easier to control than a people who carry arms. This type of law is null and void according to the 2nd Amendment.  They are now pushing the gun control agenda forward, something will occur in the next couple of weeks

  • In the near future, Americans who own or want guns likely will be subject to rafts of new questions from social scientists, medical researchers and law enforcement officials intent to discover just what guns they own, why they own them and what they intend to use them for — not to mention where and how they keep them.
  • They will also likely have more researchers poring over such issues as whether childhood education programs against gun violence actually work; whether there actually is any relationship between violence in the media and in real life; and whether the safety plans that were drawn up by schools, colleges and communities in the wake of highly publicized mass shootings actually are effective.
  • Those and many other gun-related questions are the thrust of a new social science research agenda that the Obama administration hopes will keep the push for gun control alive for years to come.
  • The research agenda is intended to produce mammoth amounts of raw data on American gun owners, users and their circumstances, meaning that violence resulting from firearms use will be studied for “its causes, approaches to interventions that could prevent it, and strategies to minimize its health burden.”
  • This includes, for example, such things as “the potential health risks and benefits (e.g., suicide rates, personal protection) of having a firearm in the home under a variety of circumstances (including storage practices) and settings.”
  • The agenda, which aims to sidestep Second Amendment political and constitutional issues of gun ownership through its public health focus, was released earlier this month in a 124-page report titled, “Priorities for Research to Reduce the Threat of Firearms Related Violence.” It was sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) with financial support from private foundations.

Woops! Obama Ordered Gun Report Reveals Guns Actually Save Lives

  • In a recent study orchestrated by the CDC and carried out by the Institute of Medicine and National Research Council, it was found that individuals involved in violent crimes who defended themselves using techniques other than carrying a gun were more likely to be injured when compared to those who were carrying a concealed firearm.
  • All-in-all, the Obama ordered report ended up finding more pros than cons in regards to the right to an open or concealed weapon. The report also reminds us of the numerous causes of gun deaths, citing that most gun deaths are at the hands of those who used a gun for their suicide — not homicide. The report highlights the poor state of America’s suffering mental health. The report states that suicide by guns outweighs the amount of deaths caused by violent crimes by 61%.
  • Anthony Gucciardi recently conducted an interview with Representative Joe Carr from Tennessee on this very issue:  Report

[stextbox id=”highlight” shadow=”false”]“Defensive use of guns by crime victims is a common occurrence […]. Almost all national survey estimates indicate that defensive gun uses by victims are at least as common as offensive uses by criminals, with estimates of annual uses ranging from about 500,000 to more than 3 million per year, in the context of about 300,000 violent crimes involving firearms in 2008.”[/stextbox]

 

Mayors Leave Bloomberg’s Gun Grab Organization Over Lies & Witch Hunts

  • Lawrence Morrissey of Rockford, Illinois has left MAIG as reported by US News:

[stextbox id=”highlight” shadow=”false”]

“I’ve dropped out of a group called Mayors Against Illegal Guns,” Morrissey said at a June 22 town hall meeting, to loud applause. “The reason why I joined the group in the first place is because I took the name for what it said – against ‘illegal’ guns.”

In Rockford – Illinois’ third-largest city, with more than 150,000 residents – gun crime infrequently involves assault weapons, Morrissey said, but often involves handguns that are “usually in the hands of people who are prohibited from having them,” particularly convicted felons.

Morrissey joined MAIG because “I thought it was about enforcement of [the] existing gun laws” against illegal weapons, the three-term mayor said. “As the original mission swayed, that’s when I decided that it was no longer in line with my beliefs.”

[/stextbox]

  • Morrissey makes a compelling case.
  • A second Mayor has also come forward to tell a similar tale. This is not about enforcing gun laws. It is about changing them. Donnalee Lozeau of Nashua, NH took offense to the personal attacks on Kelly Ayotte as well as coming to the common sense conclusion that this was not about “illegal” guns.
  • The New Hampshire Union Leader reports:

[stextbox id=”highlight” shadow=”false”]

Lozeau told the New Hampshire Union Leader she joined the group after extensively researching it at the suggestion of a neighbor, following the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in Connecticut.

She said she felt, “How could anyone have too much heartburn about joining a group that’s against illegal guns?”

But when she saw the group’s first ad criticizing Ayotte, “I said, ‘Wait a minute, I don’t want to be part of something like that.’ I told them, “You’re mayors against illegal guns, you’re not mayors for gun control.’

“I left the group immediately upon seeing the first ad. I don’t think I even made three weeks,” she said.

“I can’t imagine there is any mayor in the United States who is not against illegal guns,” Lozeau said. “There is no question that I and Nashua’s law enforcement community are interested in keeping firearms from those not legally entitled to bear them.

“Nowhere within the literature of this group was there any indication that there would be campaigns against members of Congress, particularly around issues that were not related to illegal guns,” said Lozeau. “I have known Sen. Ayotte for many years in many capacities, including her time as New Hampshire’s Attorney General. Senator Ayotte is a thoughtful, effective, decisive and hardworking advocate for victims and law enforcement.”

[/stextbox]

  • Kelly Ayotte got some help from Marco Rubio and his PAC to counter Bloomberg’s attack ads. In the end that might have been why Ayotte changed her mind on immigration. But she did stand strong in the heat of battle for a short time. Either way Lozeau also has a very valid argument. I am just not entirely sure how Ayotte might vote the next time. Be warned America. Kelly Ayotte can no longer be trusted.
  • So what is an illegal gun? If you ask someone who understands the intent of the second amendment they would have to think hard to find an answer to that question. I suppose that keeping guns out of the hands of criminals and those with dangerous mental defects is common sense. If you ask Michael Bloomberg what an illegal gun is he would likely say “All of them!”
  • Michael Bloomberg is trying to rewrite the constitution, not enforce it. It’s good to see a couple of Mayors come to their senses and get out. For the record Lozeau is in fact a Republican but Morrissey is an Independent.

Police State

Sen. Dick Durbin: It’s time to say who’s a real reporter

Going back to 1913 the entire plan was to control the press, those who control the money and control the flow of information rules the world. So over the years the central bankers and government needed to control all information, so they consolidated all news agencies into 5 which receive the majority of news stories from the Associated Press. Perfect system.  Then the internet was born and bloggers, alternative media channels were created and they cannot control the flow of information anymore. To control the flow they need to create laws and they will decide who can report on news

  • Is each of Twitter’s 141 million users in the United States a journalist? How about the 164 million Facebook users? What about bloggers, people posting on Instagram, or users of online message boards like Reddit?
  • In 1972 — long before anyone had conceived of tweets or Facebook updates — the Supreme Court, in Branzburg v. Hayes, considered whether journalists have a special privilege under the First Amendment to withhold the identity of their sources. Paul Branzburg, a reporter in Louisville, Ky., had written a series of articles about drug use in Kentucky that included anonymous quotes from drug users and a photograph of a pair of hands holding hashish. A grand jury ordered Branzburg to reveal the names of his sources. He refused and was held in contempt.
  • In Branzburg’s case, the Supreme Court ruled that there was no absolute privilege for journalists to refuse to reveal sources to a grand jury. The ruling did, however, seem to recognize a qualified privilege for journalists. Today, some federal courts recognize a qualified privilege for journalists, while others do not.
  • The vagueness of this decision has led 49 states, including Illinois, to recognize a journalist privilege by statute or common law. These laws state that a protected journalist cannot be compelled to disclose sources or documents unless a judge determines there is an extraordinary circumstance or compelling public interest.
  • But who should be considered to be a journalist?
  • For a few years now, a bill to protect journalists from revealing their sources and documents has been making its way through Congress. With no current federal statute recognizing a privilege for journalists, the so-called “media shield” law attempts to establish one.
  • Everyone, regardless of the mode of expression, has a constitutionally protected right to free speech. But when it comes to freedom of the press, I believe we must define a journalist and the constitutional and statutory protections those journalists should receive.
  • The media informs the public and holds government accountable. Journalists should have reasonable legal protections to do their important work. But not every blogger, tweeter or Facebook user is a “journalist.” While social media allows tens of millions of people to share information publicly, it does not entitle them to special legal protections to ignore requests for documents or information from grand juries, judges or other law enforcement personnel.

Cyber Attacks

 Pentagon Revising Cyber-Attack Responses, Dempsey Says

So basically the government is building (probably already exists) a private network so they can communicate when the internet goes down from a cyber attack.  It will be completely separate and secure and the government will have the ability to use it.  They are continuing the propaganda that the Chinese are responsible for the cyber attacks and that most banks, financial institutions and companies are vulnerable to attacks. As always the mention the attacks on infrastructure, which includes power, water etc….

  • The Defense Department is rewriting the rules of engagement for responding to computer assaults on military networks, Army General Martin Dempsey, the top U.S. military official said today.
  • To ensure that the military “is able to operate at network speed, rather than what I call ‘swivel-chair’ speed, we now have a playbook for cyber,” Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said in prepared remarks for a conference in Washington. Those rules are being updated for the first time in seven years to improve command and control for military forces responsible for defending against cyber-attacks, he said.
  • Under directions issued by President Barack Obama that spell out how different parts of the U.S. government must respond to an attack on networks, the Pentagon “has developed emergency procedures to guide our response to imminent, significant cyberthreats,” Dempsey said at the event organized by the Brookings Institution.
  • Efforts to consolidate the Defense Department’s “sprawling mass” of 15,000 networks include “building a secure 4G wireless network that will get iPads, iPhones and Android devices online by mid-2014,” Dempsey said.
  • “In fact I have a secure mobile phone with me here today,” he said. “This phone would make both Batman and James Bond jealous.”
  • Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel this month cited “the growing threat of cyber-intrusions, some of which appear to be tied to the Chinese government and military.” His predecessor, Leon Panetta, said last year that “a cyber-attack perpetrated by nation states or violent extremist groups could be as destructive as the terrorist attack of 9/11.”
  • Companies Falter
  • While the U.S. military has made significant progress in being able to defend against attacks on its networks, “our nation’s effort to protect civilian critical infrastructure is lagging,” Dempsey said. “Too few companies have invested adequately in cybersecurity,” which may allow adversaries to exploit weaknesses, he said.
  • Since Dempsey became chairman of the Joint Chiefs in October 2011, intrusions into U.S. critical infrastructure, including computer systems that operate chemical, electrical, water and transportation systems,“ have increased 17-fold,” he said.

Other News

Ten Steps To Close Down an Open Society April 24, 2007

1 Invoke a terrifying internal and external enemy

After we were hit on September 11 2001, we were in a state of national shock. Less than six weeks later, on October 26 2001, the USA Patriot Act was passed by a Congress that had little chance to debate it; many said that they scarcely had time to read it. We were told we were now on a “war footing”; we were in a “global war” against a “global caliphate” intending to “wipe out civilisation”. There have been other times of crisis in which the US accepted limits on civil liberties, such as during the civil war, when Lincoln declared martial law, and the second world war, when thousands of Japanese-American citizens were interned. But this situation, as Bruce Fein of the American Freedom Agenda has noted, is unprecedented: all our other wars had an endpoint, so the pendulum was able to swing back toward freedom; this war is defined as open-ended in time and without national boundaries in space – the globe itself is the battlefield. “This time,” Fein says, “there will be no defined end.”

Creating a terrifying threat – hydra-like, secretive, evil – is an old trick. It can, like Hitler’s invocation of a communist threat to the nation’s security, be based on actual events (one Wisconsin academic has faced calls for his dismissal because he noted, among other things, that the alleged communist arson, the Reichstag fire of February 1933, was swiftly followed in Nazi Germany by passage of the Enabling Act, which replaced constitutional law with an open-ended state of emergency). Or the terrifying threat can be based, like the National Socialist evocation of the “global conspiracy of world Jewry”, on myth.

It is not that global Islamist terrorism is not a severe danger; of course it is. I am arguing rather that the language used to convey the nature of the threat is different in a country such as Spain – which has also suffered violent terrorist attacks – than it is in America. Spanish citizens know that they face a grave security threat; what we as American citizens believe is that we are potentially threatened with the end of civilisation as we know it. Of course, this makes us more willing to accept restrictions on our freedoms.

2 Create a gulag

Once you have got everyone scared, the next step is to create a prison system outside the rule of law (as Bush put it, he wanted the American detention centre at Guantánamo Bay to be situated in legal “outer space”) – where torture takes place.

At first, the people who are sent there are seen by citizens as outsiders: troublemakers, spies, “enemies of the people” or “criminals”. Initially, citizens tend to support the secret prison system; it makes them feel safer and they do not identify with the prisoners. But soon enough, civil society leaders – opposition members, labour activists, clergy and journalists – are arrested and sent there as well.

This process took place in fascist shifts or anti-democracy crackdowns ranging from Italy and Germany in the 1920s and 1930s to the Latin American coups of the 1970s and beyond. It is standard practice for closing down an open society or crushing a pro-democracy uprising.

With its jails in Iraq and Afghanistan, and, of course, Guantánamo in Cuba, where detainees are abused, and kept indefinitely without trial and without access to the due process of the law, America certainly has its gulag now. Bush and his allies in Congress recently announced they would issue no information about the secret CIA “black site” prisons throughout the world, which are used to incarcerate people who have been seized off the street.

Gulags in history tend to metastasise, becoming ever larger and more secretive, ever more deadly and formalised. We know from first-hand accounts, photographs, videos and government documents that people, innocent and guilty, have been tortured in the US-run prisons we are aware of and those we can’t investigate adequately.

But Americans still assume this system and detainee abuses involve only scary brown people with whom they don’t generally identify. It was brave of the conservative pundit William Safire to quote the anti-Nazi pastor Martin Niemöller, who had been seized as a political prisoner: “First they came for the Jews.” Most Americans don’t understand yet that the destruction of the rule of law at Guantánamo set a dangerous precedent for them, too.

By the way, the establishment of military tribunals that deny prisoners due process tends to come early on in a fascist shift. Mussolini and Stalin set up such tribunals. On April 24 1934, the Nazis, too, set up the People’s Court, which also bypassed the judicial system: prisoners were held indefinitely, often in isolation, and tortured, without being charged with offences, and were subjected to show trials. Eventually, the Special Courts became a parallel system that put pressure on the regular courts to abandon the rule of law in favour of Nazi ideology when making decisions.

3 Develop a thug caste

When leaders who seek what I call a “fascist shift” want to close down an open society, they send paramilitary groups of scary young men out to terrorise citizens. The Blackshirts roamed the Italian countryside beating up communists; the Brownshirts staged violent rallies throughout Germany. This paramilitary force is especially important in a democracy: you need citizens to fear thug violence and so you need thugs who are free from prosecution.

The years following 9/11 have proved a bonanza for America’s security contractors, with the Bush administration outsourcing areas of work that traditionally fell to the US military. In the process, contracts worth hundreds of millions of dollars have been issued for security work by mercenaries at home and abroad. In Iraq, some of these contract operatives have been accused of involvement in torturing prisoners, harassing journalists and firing on Iraqi civilians. Under Order 17, issued to regulate contractors in Iraq by the one-time US administrator in Baghdad, Paul Bremer, these contractors are immune from prosecution

Yes, but that is in Iraq, you could argue; however, after Hurricane Katrina, the Department of Homeland Security hired and deployed hundreds of armed private security guards in New Orleans. The investigative journalist Jeremy Scahill interviewed one unnamed guard who reported having fired on unarmed civilians in the city. It was a natural disaster that underlay that episode – but the administration’s endless war on terror means ongoing scope for what are in effect privately contracted armies to take on crisis and emergency management at home in US cities.

Thugs in America? Groups of angry young Republican men, dressed in identical shirts and trousers, menaced poll workers counting the votes in Florida in 2000. If you are reading history, you can imagine that there can be a need for “public order” on the next election day. Say there are protests, or a threat, on the day of an election; history would not rule out the presence of a private security firm at a polling station “to restore public order”.

4 Set up an internal surveillance system

In Mussolini’s Italy, in Nazi Germany, in communist East Germany, in communist China – in every closed society – secret police spy on ordinary people and encourage neighbours to spy on neighbours. The Stasi needed to keep only a minority of East Germans under surveillance to convince a majority that they themselves were being watched.

In 2005 and 2006, when James Risen and Eric Lichtblau wrote in the New York Times about a secret state programme to wiretap citizens’ phones, read their emails and follow international financial transactions, it became clear to ordinary Americans that they, too, could be under state scrutiny. NSA spying using internet and phone systems.

In closed societies, this surveillance is cast as being about “national security”; the true function is to keep citizens docile and inhibit their activism and dissent.

5 Harass citizens’ groups

The fifth thing you do is related to step four – you infiltrate and harass citizens’ groups. It can be trivial: a church in Pasadena, whose minister preached that Jesus was in favour of peace, found itself being investigated by the Internal Revenue Service, while churches that got Republicans out to vote, which is equally illegal under US tax law, have been left alone.

Other harassment is more serious: the American Civil Liberties Union reports that thousands of ordinary American anti-war, environmental and other groups have been infiltrated by agents: a secret Pentagon database includes more than four dozen peaceful anti-war meetings, rallies or marches by American citizens in its category of 1,500 “suspicious incidents”. The equally secret Counterintelligence Field Activity (Cifa) agency of the Department of Defense has been gathering information about domestic organisations engaged in peaceful political activities: Cifa is supposed to track “potential terrorist threats” as it watches ordinary US citizen activists. A little-noticed new law has redefined activism such as animal rights protests as “terrorism”. So the definition of “terrorist” slowly expands to include the opposition.

6 Engage in arbitrary detention and release

This scares people. It is a kind of cat-and-mouse game. Nicholas D Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, the investigative reporters who wrote China Wakes: the Struggle for the Soul of a Rising Power, describe pro-democracy activists in China, such as Wei Jingsheng, being arrested and released many times. In a closing or closed society there is a “list” of dissidents and opposition leaders: you are targeted in this way once you are on the list, and it is hard to get off the list.

In 2004, America’s Transportation Security Administration confirmed that it had a list of passengers who were targeted for security searches or worse if they tried to fly. People who have found themselves on the list? Two middle-aged women peace activists in San Francisco; liberal Senator Edward Kennedy; a member of Venezuela’s government – after Venezuela’s president had criticised Bush; and thousands of ordinary US citizens.

Professor Walter F Murphy is emeritus of Princeton University; he is one of the foremost constitutional scholars in the nation and author of the classic Constitutional Democracy. Murphy is also a decorated former marine, and he is not even especially politically liberal. But on March 1 this year, he was denied a boarding pass at Newark, “because I was on the Terrorist Watch list”.

“Have you been in any peace marches? We ban a lot of people from flying because of that,” asked the airline employee.

“I explained,” said Murphy, “that I had not so marched but had, in September 2006, given a lecture at Princeton, televised and put on the web, highly critical of George Bush for his many violations of the constitution.”

“That’ll do it,” the man said.

Anti-war marcher? Potential terrorist. Support the constitution? Potential terrorist. History shows that the categories of “enemy of the people” tend to expand ever deeper into civil life.

James Yee, a US citizen, was the Muslim chaplain at Guantánamo who was accused of mishandling classified documents. He was harassed by the US military before the charges against him were dropped. Yee has been detained and released several times. He is still of interest.

Brandon Mayfield, a US citizen and lawyer in Oregon, was mistakenly identified as a possible terrorist. His house was secretly broken into and his computer seized. Though he is innocent of the accusation against him, he is still on the list.

It is a standard practice of fascist societies that once you are on the list, you can’t get off.

7 Target key individuals

Constitutionalists, Journalist, Bloggers,Religious

Threaten civil servants, artists and academics with job loss if they don’t toe the line. Mussolini went after the rectors of state universities who did not conform to the fascist line; so did Joseph Goebbels, who purged academics who were not pro-Nazi; so did Chile’s Augusto Pinochet; so does the Chinese communist Politburo in punishing pro-democracy students and professors.

Academe is a tinderbox of activism, so those seeking a fascist shift punish academics and students with professional loss if they do not “coordinate”, in Goebbels’ term, ideologically. Since civil servants are the sector of society most vulnerable to being fired by a given regime, they are also a group that fascists typically “coordinate” early on: the Reich Law for the Re-establishment of a Professional Civil Service was passed on April 7 1933.

Bush supporters in state legislatures in several states put pressure on regents at state universities to penalise or fire academics who have been critical of the administration. As for civil servants, the Bush administration has derailed the career of one military lawyer who spoke up for fair trials for detainees, while an administration official publicly intimidated the law firms that represent detainees pro bono by threatening to call for their major corporate clients to boycott them.

Elsewhere, a CIA contract worker who said in a closed blog that “waterboarding is torture” was stripped of the security clearance she needed in order to do her job.

Most recently, the administration purged eight US attorneys for what looks like insufficient political loyalty. When Goebbels purged the civil service in April 1933, attorneys were “coordinated” too, a step that eased the way of the increasingly brutal laws to follow.

8 Control the press

Italy in the 1920s, Germany in the 30s, East Germany in the 50s, Czechoslovakia in the 60s, the Latin American dictatorships in the 70s, China in the 80s and 90s – all dictatorships and would-be dictators target newspapers and journalists. They threaten and harass them in more open societies that they are seeking to close, and they arrest them and worse in societies that have been closed already.

The Committee to Protect Journalists says arrests of US journalists are at an all-time high: Josh Wolf (no relation), a blogger in San Francisco, has been put in jail for a year for refusing to turn over video of an anti-war demonstration; Homeland Security brought a criminal complaint against reporter Greg Palast, claiming he threatened “critical infrastructure” when he and a TV producer were filming victims of Hurricane Katrina in Louisiana. Palast had written a bestseller critical of the Bush administration.

Other reporters and writers have been punished in other ways. Joseph C Wilson accused Bush, in a New York Times op-ed, of leading the country to war on the basis of a false charge that Saddam Hussein had acquired yellowcake uranium in Niger. His wife, Valerie Plame, was outed as a CIA spy – a form of retaliation that ended her career.

Prosecution and job loss are nothing, though, compared with how the US is treating journalists seeking to cover the conflict in Iraq in an unbiased way. The Committee to Protect Journalists has documented multiple accounts of the US military in Iraq firing upon or threatening to fire upon unembedded (meaning independent) reporters and camera operators from organisations ranging from al-Jazeera to the BBC. While westerners may question the accounts by al-Jazeera, they should pay attention to the accounts of reporters such as the BBC’s Kate Adie. In some cases reporters have been wounded or killed, including ITN’s Terry Lloyd in 2003. Both CBS and the Associated Press in Iraq had staff members seized by the US military and taken to violent prisons; the news organisations were unable to see the evidence against their staffers.

Over time in closing societies, real news is supplanted by fake news and false documents. Pinochet showed Chilean citizens falsified documents to back up his claim that terrorists had been about to attack the nation. The yellowcake charge, too, was based on forged papers.

You won’t have a shutdown of news in modern America – it is not possible. But you can have, as Frank Rich and Sidney Blumenthal have pointed out, a steady stream of lies polluting the news well. What you already have is a White House directing a stream of false information that is so relentless that it is increasingly hard to sort out truth from untruth. In a fascist system, it’s not the lies that count but the muddying. When citizens can’t tell real news from fake, they give up their demands for accountability bit by bit.

9 Dissent equals treason

Cast dissent as “treason” and criticism as “espionage’. Every closing society does this, just as it elaborates laws that increasingly criminalise certain kinds of speech and expand the definition of “spy” and “traitor”. When Bill Keller, the publisher of the New York Times, ran the Lichtblau/Risen stories, Bush called the Times’ leaking of classified information “disgraceful”, while Republicans in Congress called for Keller to be charged with treason, and rightwing commentators and news outlets kept up the “treason” drumbeat. Some commentators, as Conason noted, reminded readers smugly that one penalty for violating the Espionage Act is execution.

Conason is right to note how serious a threat that attack represented. It is also important to recall that the 1938 Moscow show trial accused the editor of Izvestia, Nikolai Bukharin, of treason; Bukharin was, in fact, executed. And it is important to remind Americans that when the 1917 Espionage Act was last widely invoked, during the infamous 1919 Palmer Raids, leftist activists were arrested without warrants in sweeping roundups, kept in jail for up to five months, and “beaten, starved, suffocated, tortured and threatened with death”, according to the historian Myra MacPherson. After that, dissent was muted in America for a decade.

In Stalin’s Soviet Union, dissidents were “enemies of the people”. National Socialists called those who supported Weimar democracy “November traitors”.

And here is where the circle closes: most Americans do not realise that since September of last year – when Congress wrongly, foolishly, passed the Military Commissions Act of 2006 – the president has the power to call any US citizen an “enemy combatant”. He has the power to define what “enemy combatant” means. The president can also delegate to anyone he chooses in the executive branch the right to define “enemy combatant” any way he or she wants and then seize Americans accordingly.

Even if you or I are American citizens, even if we turn out to be completely innocent of what he has accused us of doing, he has the power to have us seized as we are changing planes at Newark tomorrow, or have us taken with a knock on the door; ship you or me to a navy brig; and keep you or me in isolation, possibly for months, while awaiting trial. (Prolonged isolation, as psychiatrists know, triggers psychosis in otherwise mentally healthy prisoners. That is why Stalin’s gulag had an isolation cell, like Guantánamo’s, in every satellite prison. Camp 6, the newest, most brutal facility at Guantánamo, is all isolation cells.)

We US citizens will get a trial eventually – for now. But legal rights activists at the Center for Constitutional Rights say that the Bush administration is trying increasingly aggressively to find ways to get around giving even US citizens fair trials. “Enemy combatant” is a status offence – it is not even something you have to have done. “We have absolutely moved over into a preventive detention model – you look like you could do something bad, you might do something bad, so we’re going to hold you,” says a spokeswoman of the CCR.

Most Americans surely do not get this yet. No wonder: it is hard to believe, even though it is true. In every closing society, at a certain point there are some high-profile arrests – usually of opposition leaders, clergy and journalists. Then everything goes quiet. After those arrests, there are still newspapers, courts, TV and radio, and the facades of a civil society. There just isn’t real dissent. There just isn’t freedom. If you look at history, just before those arrests is where we are now.

10 Suspend the rule of law (Martial Law)

The John Warner Defense Authorization Act of 2007 gave the president new powers over the national guard. This means that in a national emergency – which the president now has enhanced powers to declare – he can send Michigan’s militia to enforce a state of emergency that he has declared in Oregon, over the objections of the state’s governor and its citizens.

Even as Americans were focused on Britney Spears’s meltdown and the question of who fathered Anna Nicole’s baby, the New York Times editorialised about this shift: “A disturbing recent phenomenon in Washington is that laws that strike to the heart of American democracy have been passed in the dead of night … Beyond actual insurrection, the president may now use military troops as a domestic police force in response to a natural disaster, a disease outbreak, terrorist attack or any ‘other condition’.”

Critics see this as a clear violation of the Posse Comitatus Act – which was meant to restrain the federal government from using the military for domestic law enforcement. The Democratic senator Patrick Leahy says the bill encourages a president to declare federal martial law. It also violates the very reason the founders set up our system of government as they did: having seen citizens bullied by a monarch’s soldiers, the founders were terrified of exactly this kind of concentration of militias’ power over American people in the hands of an oppressive executive or faction.

Of course, the United States is not vulnerable to the violent, total closing-down of the system that followed Mussolini’s march on Rome or Hitler’s roundup of political prisoners. Our democratic habits are too resilient, and our military and judiciary too independent, for any kind of scenario like that.

Rather, as other critics are noting, our experiment in democracy could be closed down by a process of erosion.

It is a mistake to think that early in a fascist shift you see the profile of barbed wire against the sky. In the early days, things look normal on the surface; peasants were celebrating harvest festivals in Calabria in 1922; people were shopping and going to the movies in Berlin in 1931. Early on, as WH Auden put it, the horror is always elsewhere – while someone is being tortured, children are skating, ships are sailing: “dogs go on with their doggy life … How everything turns away/ Quite leisurely from the disaster.”

As Americans turn away quite leisurely, keeping tuned to internet shopping and American Idol, the foundations of democracy are being fatally corroded. Something has changed profoundly that weakens us unprecedentedly: our democratic traditions, independent judiciary and free press do their work today in a context in which we are “at war” in a “long war” – a war without end, on a battlefield described as the globe, in a context that gives the president – without US citizens realising it yet – the power over US citizens of freedom or long solitary incarceration, on his say-so alone.

That means a hollowness has been expanding under the foundation of all these still- free-looking institutions – and this foundation can give way under certain kinds of pressure. To prevent such an outcome, we have to think about the “what ifs”.

What if, in a year and a half, there is another attack – say, God forbid, a dirty bomb? The executive can declare a state of emergency. History shows that any leader, of any party, will be tempted to maintain emergency powers after the crisis has passed. With the gutting of traditional checks and balances, we are no less endangered by a President Hillary than by a President Giuliani – because any executive will be tempted to enforce his or her will through edict rather than the arduous, uncertain process of democratic negotiation and compromise.

What if the publisher of a major US newspaper were charged with treason or espionage, as a rightwing effort seemed to threaten Keller with last year? What if he or she got 10 years in jail? What would the newspapers look like the next day? Judging from history, they would not cease publishing; but they would suddenly be very polite.

Right now, only a handful of patriots are trying to hold back the tide of tyranny for the rest of us – staff at the Center for Constitutional Rights, who faced death threats for representing the detainees yet persisted all the way to the Supreme Court; activists at the American Civil Liberties Union; and prominent conservatives trying to roll back the corrosive new laws, under the banner of a new group called the American Freedom Agenda. This small, disparate collection of people needs everybody’s help, including that of Europeans and others internationally who are willing to put pressure on the administration because they can see what a US unrestrained by real democracy at home can mean for the rest of the world.

We need to look at history and face the “what ifs”. For if we keep going down this road, the “end of America” could come for each of us in a different way, at a different moment; each of us might have a different moment when we feel forced to look back and think: that is how it was before – and this is the way it is now.

“The accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands … is the definition of tyranny,” wrote James Madison. We still have the choice to stop going down this road; we can stand our ground and fight for our nation, and take up the banner the founders asked us to carry.


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