Tuesday, May 31, 2016




Global Research Editor’s Note: This article was first published by The Huffington Post. The author of the article is distinguished film producer Frank Huguenard


Since its posting on the Huffington Post,  the article has been removed.  The above link leads to an error message.The text below is the original post, which appears  on Frank Huguenard’s Facebook page.
This is an important article,  please forward. (M. Ch. GR Ed.)
*       *       *
The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) is a United States Federal Law passed in 1970 that was designed to provide a tool for law enforcement agencies to fight organized crime.  RICO allows prosecution and punishment for alleged racketeering activity that has been executed as part of an ongoing criminal enterprise.

Activity considered to be racketeering may include bribery, counterfeiting, money laundering, embezzlement, illegal gambling, kidnapping, murder, drug trafficking, slavery, and a host of other nefarious business practices.

James Comey and The FBI will present a recommendation to Loretta Lynch, Attorney General of the Department of Justice, that includes a cogent argument that the Clinton Foundation is an ongoing criminal enterprise engaged in money laundering and soliciting bribes in exchange for political, policy and legislative favors to individuals, corporations and even governments both foreign and domestic.


“The New York Times examined Bill Clinton’s relationship with a Canadian mining financier, Frank Giustra, who has donated millions of dollars to the Clinton Foundation and sits on its board. Clinton, the story suggests, helped Giustra’s company secure a lucrative uranium-mining deal in Kazakhstan and in return received “a flow of cash” to the Clinton Foundation, including previously undisclosed donations from the company’s chairman totaling $2.35 million.” ( Bloomberg)

Initially, Comey had indicated that the investigation into Hillary’s home brewed email server was to be concluded by October of 2015.  However, as more and more evidence in the case has come to light, this initial date kept being pushed back as the criminal investigation has expanded well beyond violating State Department regulations to include questions about espionage, perjury and influence peddling.

Here’s what we do know.   Tens of millions of dollars donated to the Clinton Foundation was funneled to the organization through a Canadian shell company which has made tracing the donors nearly impossible.  Less than 10% of donations to the Foundation has actually been released to charitable organizations and $2M that has been traced back to long time Bill Clinton friend Julie McMahon (aka The Energizer).   When the official investigation into Hillary’s email server began, she instructed her IT professional to delete over 30,000 emails and cloud backups of her emails older than 30 days at both Platte River Networks and  Datto, Inc.  The FBI has subsequently recovered the majority, if not all, of Hillary’s deleted emails and are putting together a strong case against her for attempting to cover up her illegal and illicit activities.

A conviction under RICO comes when the Department of Justice proves that the defendant has engaged in two or more examples of racketeering and that the defendant maintained an interest in, participated in or invested in a criminal enterprise affecting interstate or foreign commerce.  There is ample evidence already in the public record that the Clinton Foundation qualifies as a criminal enterprise and there’s no doubt that the FBI is privy to significantly more evidence than has already been made public.

Under RICO, the sections most relevant in this case will be section 1503 (obstruction of justice), section 1510 (obstruction of criminal investigations) and section 1511 (obstruction of State or local law enforcement).  As in the case with Richard Nixon after the Watergate Break-in, it’s the cover-up of a crime that will be the Clintons’ downfall.  Furthermore, under provisions of title 18, United States Code: Section 201, the Clinton Foundation can be held accountable for improprieties relating to bribery.  The FBI will be able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that through the Clinton Foundation, international entities were able to commit bribery in exchange for help in securing business deals, such as the uranium-mining deal in Kazakhstan.

It is a Federal Crime to negligently handle classified information under United States Code (USC) 18 section 1924.  It is a Federal Class A Felony under USC 18 section 798.  Hillary certified under oath to a federal judge that she had handed over to the state department all of her emails, which she clearly did not.  In spite of her repeated statements to the effect that everything that she did with her home brewed email server as Secretary of State was above-board and approved by the State Department,  the Inspector General Report vehemently refutes this claim.  Hillary refused to be interview by the Inspector General’s office in their investigation, claiming that her upcoming FBI interview took precedent but it seems more likely that Hillary is more concerned about committing perjury or admitting to anything that can be used against her in a court of law.
“Secretary Clinton should have preserved any Federal records she created and received on her personal account by printing and filing those records with the related files in the Office of the Secretary.  At a minimum, Secretary Clinton should have surrendered all emails dealing with Department business before leaving government service and, because she did not do so, she did not comply with the Department’s policies that were implemented in accordance with the Federal Records Act.”
Inspector General Report
Hillary Clinton is guilty of exposing classified documents to foreign governments by placing them illegally on her server, of sending and receiving classified documents and conspiring with her staff to circumvent the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) by avoiding the use of the State Department run servers.  Some of the documents were so highly classified the the investigators on the case weren’t even able to examine the material themselves until they got their own clearances raised to the highest levels.

While there is an excellent cast to be made the Hillary committed treasonous actions, the strongest case the FBI has is charging both Bill and Hillary Clinton as well as the Clinton Foundation of Racketeering.  There’s no wonder why it’s taken this long for the FBI to bring forward a recommendation.

The rabbit hole is so deep on this one that it has taking dozens of investigators to determine the full extent of the crimes that have been committed.   Perhaps the most interesting question here is whether or not the FBI’s investigation will be able to directly link The Clinton Foundation with The Hillary Victory Fund.  If this happens, the DNC itself may be in jeopardy of accusations of either being an accomplice or of being complicit in racketeering.

Friday, May 27, 2016




Inspector General Report Further Undermines New York Times Endorsement of Hillary Clinton


By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: May 26, 2016

The release of the State Department’s Inspector General report unequivocally shreds Hillary Clinton’s repeated public pronouncements that she had approval from the State Department to use a private email server in her home for all of her government work while she served as Secretary of State. In [...]

‘Confidential’ Memo in the Hedge Fund Battle for Freddie and Fannie Comes Out of Hiding


By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: May 25, 2016

There’s a lurking memo among government documents concerning the government takeover of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac during the 2008 financial collapse on Wall Street that undermines the raging media propaganda wars now taking place.  But first some necessary background.

Similar to Judith Miller’s shilling for the Iraq [...]

Socio Economic Inequality And Neoliberalism Notes  >>https://www.oxbridgenotes.co.uk/revision_notes/geography-university-of-oxford-human-geography/samples/socio-economic_inequality_and_neoliberalism<<

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

WAR GLOBAL HOLOCAUST 2018?! | The petroyuan is the big bet of Russia and China

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After the economic sanctions that the United States and the European Union imposed against Russia, Moscow and Beijing put together an imposing energetic team that has radically transformed the world oil market. In addition to increasing their interchange of hydrocarbons exponentially, both oriental powers have decided to put an end to the domination of the dollar in fixing the prices of the black gold. The petroyuan is the instrument of payment of strategic character that promises to facilitate the transition to a multipolar monetary system, a system that takes various currencies into account and reflects the correlation of forces in the current world order.

In place of humiliating Russia, the “economic war” that Washington and Brussels had promoted was counterproductive, since it only contributed to fortify the energy team between Moscow and Beijing. We recall that in May of 2014 the Russian company Gazprom agreed to supply gas to China up to 38 billion cubic meters annually during three decades (starting in 2018) through the signing of a contract for 400 billion US dollars with the China National Petroleum Corporation (CNCP) [1].

At the present time both powers coordinate the work of an ambitious plan of strategic projects that include the construction of gas and oil pipelines as well as the combined operation of refineries and large petrochemical complexes. Without proposing to do so, the coming together of Moscow and Beijing has produced deep changes in the world oil market in favor of the Orient, dramatically undermining the influence of Western petroleum companies.

Even Saudi Arabia, that until recently was the principal supplier of petroleum to the Asian giant, has been undermined by Kremlin diplomacy. While from 2011 the petroleum exports of Saudi Arabia to China were growing at a rhythm of 120 thousand barrels per day, those of Russia grew at a velocity of 550 thousand barrels per day, that is to say, almost five times more rapidly. In fact, in 2015 the Russian companies managed to overcome the sales of petroleum from the Saudis four times: Riyadh had to conform with being the second provider of crude to Beijing in May, September, November and December [2].

It is worth noting that the countries that make up the European core have also seen their share of the market diminished in the face of the Asian region: Germany, for example, was supplanted by China at the end of 2015 as the greater buyer of Russian petroleum [3]. In this way, the great investors operating in the world oil market can hardly believe how, in a few months, the principal purchaser (China) became the favorite client of the third major producer (Russia). In accord with the Vice-President of Transneft (the Russian company charged with the implementation of national oil pipelines), Serge Andronov, China is disposed to import a total volume of 27 million tones of Russian petroleum during 2016 [4].

The Russian-Chinese energy alliance is proposed to go longer. Moscow and Beijing have made their interchanges of petroleum a channel of transition towards a multipolar monetary system, that is to say, a system that is no longer based on the dollar alone, but takes into account various currencies and above all, that reflects the correlation of forces in the current world order. The economic sanctions imposed by Washington and Brussels drove the Russians to eliminate the dollar and the euro from their commercial and financial transactions, since otherwise, they would be too exposed to suffer sabotage in the moment of realizing buying and selling operations with their principal trading partners.

For this reason, from mid-2015, the hydrocarbons that China buys from Russia are paid in yuans, not in dollars, information that has been confirmed by high executives of Gazprom Neft, the petroleum branch of Gazprom [5]. This has lead to the use of the “people’s currency” (‘renminbi’) in the world oil market and at the same time allows Russia to neutralize the economic offensive launched by the United States and the European Union. The underpinnings of a new financial order supported by the petroyuan is emerging: the Chinese money is preparing to become the axis of commercial exchanges of the Asian-Pacific region with the principal petroleum powers.

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© David Manrique
Toda Russia realizes its interchanges of petroleum with China in yuans, in the future the Organization of the Petroleum Exporters Countries (OPEC) will do the same if China demands it. Or will the cult of Saudi Arabia for the dollar make them lose one of their principal clients? [6] Other geoeonomic powers have already followed the path of Russia and China, since they have understood that in order to establish a more balanced monetary system, the “de-dollarization” of the world economy is a priority.

No less important is that after the fall of oil prices, more than 60% (from mid-2014), the Chinese banks have become a decisive financial support for the joint energy infrastructure works. For example, to establish as soon as possible the Russian-Chinese gas pipeline “Force of Siberia”, Gazprom requested from the Bank of China a five-year loan for an amount equivalent to 2 billion euros this past month of March [7]. This is the greatest bilateral credit that Gazprom has contracted with a financial institution to date. Another example is the loan that China gave Russia some weeks ago for a total of 12 billion US dollars for the Yamal LNG project (for liquefied natural gas) in the Arctic region [8]. Obviously, the foreign policy of Russia in energy have not lost any strength due to isolation, on the contrary, it is now enjoying its best moments, thanks to China.

In conclusion, the hostility of the leaders of the United States and the European Union against the government of Vladimir Putin has precipitated the strengthening of the Russian-Chinese team that at the same time has only increased the weight of the Orient in the world market of hydrocarbons. The great bet of Moscow and Beijing is the petroyuan, the strategic instrument of payment that brings with it a challenge to the dominion of the dollar in the fixing of prices for black gold.

>> http://www.voltairenet.org/article191837.html<<

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Russia and Global Geopolitics with the Saker | Solari | Catherine Austin Fitts

These are some of the most essential articles written by the Saker on his blog. Even though they cover topics ranging from history, to politics, to religion, to military affairs, to social issues, they are all linked by one common thread: the full-spectrum clash between the Western world and what the Saker calls the "Russian civilizational realm". Most Russians, especially when addressing a western audience, feel compelled to use a diplomatic and non-confrontational language. In contrast, Saker's style is informal, almost conversational, but also direct, even blunt. He is fully aware that his views might offend many of his readers, but he believes that there is also a bigger audience out there which will appreciate an honest and, above all, sincere criticism of what the Saker calls the "AngloZionist Empire". The careful reader, however, will notice that the Saker's criticisms are always aimed at a political system and its constituent institutions and supporting ideologies, but never at the people, nations or ethnicities. In fact, the Saker forcefully argues for a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic and multi-religious Russia which would be fully integrated in a multi-polar world inspired by the fraternal diversity of the BRICS countries. Underlying the Saker's entire worldview is a categorical rejection of all ideologies and a profound belief that the root of all evil as well as the key to defeating it is always in the realm of spirituality.

Gilad Atzmon, jazz musician and philosopher:
As telling the truth is becoming a nostalgic endeavour, its seeking is becoming an heroic adventure. The Saker will guide you through the mist of concealment and disinformation."
Paul Craig Roberts, former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy in the Reagan administration and author of 12 books on contemporary politics:
"The Saker provides facts and analysis that are antidotes to the anti-Russian propaganda that prevails in the West."
Peter Lavelle,host of Russia Today's flagship program "CrossTalk" offered this:
"Reading the “Saker” is essential – it is at this media space where one can discern the real trenches and battle lines in today’s super-charged information wars. I read the “Saker” not only for the facts (that are verified and applied in context), but also for a moral and discipled attitude toward geopolitics. The “Saker” is not only a good read; it is also a way of looking at the world. Simply put: the “Saker” is information that is weaponized and hits all the right targets!"
The Saker community of blogs is the only such international and multi-lingual community of blogs. We collaborate with all the main English language blogs about Russia and the Ukraine. Our articles are often picked up by Russia Insider, the Asia Times, Information Clearing House and many others news sources and our work has been quoted by Paul Craig Roberts, Sheikh Imran Hosein, Pepe Escobar and many others.

The Saker was born in a military family of "White" Russian refugees in western Europe where he lived most of his life. After completing two college degrees in the USA, he returned to Europe were he worked as a military analyst until he lost his career due to his vocal opposition to the western-sponsored wars in Chechnia, Croatia, Bosnia and Kosovo. After re-training as a software engineer, he moved to the Florida where he now lives with his wife, a veterinarian, and their three children. When he does not blog or help his wife at work, the likes to explore the Florida wilderness on foot, mountain bike and kayak or play acoustic jazz guitar.

Thursday, May 19, 2016


American Aggression Against China: A World Crisis Looms

The American aggression against China continued Tuesday May 10th with the invasion of Chinese waters just off the Spratly Islands by an American destroyer as China’s limited stock of patience continues to run out.

By sending their ships into Chinese territorial waters on the bizarre claim that they are exercising “their right of innocent passage” and that, the “United States will fly, sail, and operate wherever international law allows,” they are in fact claiming the right to go anywhere they want, anytime they want. They might as well claim the right to once again send gunboats up the Yangtze River bristling with guns and marines, for their passage through Chinese waters was not only illegal, because without permission; it was also certainly not “innocent” since the passage was meant to be a display of power and control, which is prohibited by the Law of the Sea Convention.

The American claim of following international law is absurd because international law requires that a naval vessel of one county wishing to enter the 12 nautical mile limit of another country must have the permission of the country whose waters they wish to cross. They have to ask permission and they have to fly that country’s flag when they make the passage. All foreign ships entering another nation’s waters fly their own flag and that of the host nation. The Americans refuse to ask permission and they certainly do not honour the custom of flying the Chinese flag. They might as well send their ambassador to a meeting with President Xi and, in front of everyone, spit in his face. For that is what they intend, to insult China, and to dare it.

“Try to stop us,” they are saying, as they watch the tempers rise, the angry words, the flurry of ships around theirs. But no shots were fired. Their passage was unimpeded. They are the power. They are the right. They are the overlords of us all. That is the message.

The Chinese government has once again reacted angrily, calling this new violation of Chinese sovereignty, a “provocation” which indeed it is. But nothing more was done except to scramble some jets and ships to put on a show of the flag. But to what end? The Americans could not care less about dramatics. They only understand force. Logic requires that, unless these provocations stop there will be a shooting incident in the near future because there will be nothing else China can do. The thought of what could happen next can only make you shudder. But unless the world thinks hard about that and reacts with the necessary response, this renegade nation, the one nation that roams around the world with a big club, threatening, bullying and destroying, without regard for law, morality, or humanity, will push us all to the eve of destruction..

But what is the necessary response? The Chinese have made it clear that continued aggression against China will be very costly to the United States. They’ve also said that China will not permit these provocations to continue and have the capacity to oppose these actions if necessary. But do they have the will? It would appear that they do since they have increased and modernised their armed forces to prepare for such an eventuality and, as we know, a month ago China put its nuclear missile forces on constant high alert. But the Chinese are very patient as they seek a peaceful future, so it is difficult to say when they will directly confront an American vessel and stop it, but that time has to come. So what are the Chines doing? Perhaps some clues lie in their military doctrine.

The Chinese basic principles of war are famously set down by Sun Tzu in the Art of War;
“Warfare is the art of deceit. Therefore, when able, seem to be unable; when ready, seem unready; when nearby, seem far away; and when far away, near. If the enemy seeks some advantage, entice him with it, if he is in disorder, attack him and take him. If he is formidable, prepare against him. If he is strong, evade him. If he is incensed, provoke him…attack where he is not prepared; go by way of places where it would never occur to him you would go. These are the …calculations for victory-they cannot be settled in advance.”
So, we can expect the unexpected. But it will not be what the Chinese prefer, a win-win solution, it will be a lose-lose result, for war harms everyone. The American bullying attitude rests in an innate chauvinism and arrogance and a complete confidence in their superiority of arms. But it is this very confidence that will be there downfall.

In their important 1999 paper on military theory, “Unrestricted Warfare,” two Chinese Army Colonels, Qiao Liang and Wang Xiansiu, now both generals, I believe, advanced the idea that the first rule of unrestricted warfare is that there are no rules, with nothing forbidden. They then examined the use of full spectrum warfare and why it is the only strategy to adopt in order to resist a powerful aggressor who does not obey international rules but makes up its own, such as the United States which, as they point out, cannot even be trusted to obey its own rules. How can anyone trust a nation that seems to have the same motto as the Mediterranean pirate chief in the middle ages who said, “Law? I make up my own laws and I take what I want.”

In a section of the paper asking what the Americans want, and answering “world domination” they say something interesting;
“In discussing the talented American inventor, Thomas Edison, poet Jeffers writes, “We… … are skilled in machinery and are infatuated with luxuries.” Americans have a strong inborn penchant for these two things as well as a tendency to turn their pursuit of the highest technology and its perfection into a luxury, even including weapons and machinery. General Patton, who liked to carry ivory handled pistols, is typical of this. This inclination makes them rigidly infatuated with and therefore have blind faith in technology and weapons, always thinking that the road to getting the upper hand with war can be found with technology and weapons. This inclination also makes them anxious at any given time that their own leading position in the realm of weaponry is wavering, and they continually alleviate these concerns by manufacturing more, newer, and more complex weapons. As a result of this attitude, when the weapons systems which are daily becoming heavier and more complicated come into conflict with the terse principles required of actual combat, they always stand on the side of the weapons. They would rather treat war as the opponent in the marathon race of military technology and are not willing to look at it more as a test of morale and courage, wisdom and strategy. They believe that as long as the Edisons of today do not sink into sleep, the gate to victory will always be open to Americans. Self-confidence such as this has made them forget one simple fact – it is not so much that war follows the fixed racecourse of rivalry of technology and weaponry, as it is a game field with continually changing direction and many irregular factors. Whether you wear Adidas or Nike cannot guarantee you will become the winner.”
In other words, the United States, that is, the military- industrial complex that has the real power in the country, is pushing both China and its own people to the brink of something whose consequences will be unexpected and which can only lead to a common disaster. They are pushing everywhere, from North Korea, to Syria, from Ukraine to the Baltic, from Afghanistan to South America, but especially Russia and China. President Putin has called for the creation of a new “non-aligned” international security structure. What form that would take is unclear but unless some attempt is made to restore the rule of international law to the world and to contain this renegade nation, the clock to Armageddon will keep counting down as a world crisis looms.

Christopher Black is an international criminal lawyer based in Toronto, he is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada and he is known for a number of high-profile cases involving human rights and war crimes, especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.


Tuesday, May 17, 2016



We Cry with Palestinians as They Mark the Nakba, By Imraan Buccus, Global Research, May 16, 2016, Sunday Independent 15 May 2016

































Friday, May 13, 2016




Bad ‘Behaviour’

You might note, in the above paragraph, that the Constitution does not specifically state that a Supreme Court justice is appointed for life. Rather, it says the justices “shall hold their Offices during good Behaviour,” which has always been understood to mean until he or she died, retired or was impeached for bad “Behaviour.”

Unlike the president, who can be removed only if convicted of “high crimes and misdemeanors,” a justice can theoretically be removed for anything short of “good Behaviour,” which is not defined at all in the document and would seem to leave room for any amount of mischief.

But this hasn’t occurred. Only one justice in history, Associate Justice Samuel Chase in 1805, has ever been impeached, which is the first step in the removal process, the one that occurs in the House. But he was not convicted at his Senate trial and was not removed.

CONTINUE READING:  >>https://www.minnpost.com/eric-black-ink/2016/02/what-does-constitution-say-about-picking-supreme-court-justices-not-much<<

U.S. TREASURY IN ALL THE PUBLIC EMPLOYEES RETIREMENTS [PERS] & SAUDI ARABIA 9-11 CA$H COW TOO! Saudi Arabia Threatens To Liquidate Its Treasury Holdings If Congress Probes Its Role In Sept 11 Attacks

King Salman of Saudi Arabia

King Salman~Saudi Arabia~Back in January, when the market was watching in shocked silence as oil prices were crashing to decade lows and as concerns emerged that Saudi Arabia may need to commence selling its vast, if unquantified, USD reserves, we wrote a post titled

Attention Finally Turns To Saudi Arabia’s “Secret” US Treasury Holdings

where we noted something very surprising: whereas we do know that Saudi Arabia is the owner of the world’s third largest USD reserves… their actual composition remains as a secret, because while the US discloses the explicit Treasury holdings of all other nations, Saudi Arabia’s holdings, for some unknown reason, are not officially disclosed.

“It’s a secret of the vast U.S. Treasury market, a holdover from an age of oil shortages and mighty petrodollars,“ Bloomberg wrote of Saudi Arabia’s US Treasury holdings.
As a matter of policy, the Treasury has never disclosed the holdings of Saudi Arabia, long a key ally in the volatile Middle East, and instead groups it with 14 other mostly OPEC nations including Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates and Nigeria,” 
Bloomberg goes on to note, adding that the rules are different for almost everyone else. Although Saudi Arabia’s “secret” is protected by “an unusual blackout by the U.S. Treasury Department,” for more than a hundred other countries, from China to the Vatican, the Treasury provides a detailed breakdown of how much U.S. debt each holds.”
So who does know how much US paper the Saudis are sitting on? Well, the Saudis of course,”a handful of Treasury officials,” and some bureaucrats at the Fed, Bloomberg says, noting that “for everyone else, it’s a guessing game.

Yes, a “guessing game,” but one that will very soon have profound consequences for markets and for geopolitics.

We closed with a simple, if suddenly very prophetic question:
“who would be the new patron saint of the US Treasury Department in the event the Saudis drawdown all of their reserves and decide to diversify away from USD assets… Put differently, who will monetize the US deficit if relations between Washington and Riyadh hit the skids over Iran?”
It is this question that has suddenly reemerged with a bang, and could rock the US administration to its core as what until recently was a “fringe conspiracy theory” is suddenly exposed as an all too unpleasant fact, and becomes the biggest political scandal to rock the U.S. in years, in the process maybe even crushing the friendly diplomatic relations the U.S. has held for years with its biggest Mid-East ally, Saudi Arabia.

* * *

First, a quick tangent: we have been greatly surprised by the reemergence of the topic of September 11 in recent weeks, and specifically the taboo – in official circles – issue whether there was a “Saudi connection” in the biggest terrorist attack on US soil. Just last weekend, out of the blue, 60 Minutes held  segment on the “28 pages” that were classified in the Congressional investigative report into 9/11 – pages that allegedly confirm the Saudi connection.

To be sure, Saudi officials have long denied that the kingdom had any role in the Sept. 11 plot, and the 9/11 Commission found “no evidence that the Saudi government as an institution or senior Saudi officials individually funded the organization.” But critics have noted that the commission’s narrow wording left open the possibility that less senior officials or parts of the Saudi government could have played a role. Suspicions have lingered, partly because of the conclusions of a 2002 congressional inquiry into the attacks that cited some evidence that Saudi officials living in the United States at the time had a hand in the plot.

Those conclusions, contained in 28 pages of the report, still have not been released publicly. It was the surprising rekindled focus on these 28 pages in recent days that suggested that something may have been afoot.

Something was.

* * *

In a stunning report by the NYT,  Saudi Arabia has told the Obama administration and members of Congress that it will sell off hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of American assets held by the kingdom if Congress passes a bill that would allow the Saudi government to be held responsible in American courts for any role in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

Or mostly Congress, because Obama has remained steadfast in his support of his Wahhabi petrodollar overlords, and has been busy lobbying Congress to block the bill’s passage, according to administration officials and congressional aides from both parties, and the Saudi threats have been the subject of intense discussions in recent weeks between lawmakers and officials from the State Department and the Pentagon. The officials have warned senators of diplomatic and economic fallout from the legislation.

Deceased Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz al-Saud presents Barack Obama with the King Abdul Aziz Order of Merit

By way of background, the Senate bill is intended to make clear that the immunity given to foreign nations under the law should not apply in cases where nations are found culpable for terrorist attacks that kill Americans on United States soil. If the bill were to pass both houses of Congress and be signed by the president, it could clear a path for the role of the Saudi government to be examined in the Sept. 11 lawsuits.

Suddenly Saudi Arabia is panicking: its response – if the US does pass this bill it would liquidate hundreds of billion in U.S. denominated assets, and perhaps as much as $750 billion in US Treasurys (the NYT’s estimate of Saudi Treasury holdings).

The NYT rports that none other than Adel al-Jubeir, the Saudi foreign minister, delivered the kingdom’s message personally last month during a trip to Washington, “telling lawmakers that Saudi Arabia would be forced to sell up to $750 billion in treasury securities and other assets in the United States before they could be in danger of being frozen by American courts.”

* * *

This stunning threat has caught America off guard, because until now it had largely been speculated that not the Saudis but China would use the “liquidation of Treasurys” as a bargaining chip. As it turns out, Saudi Arabia was the first.

To be sure, the Saudis whose budget deficit has soared in the past year as a result of collapsing oil prices, would stand to benefit from monetizing their US reserves. According to many, it is only a matter of time anyway. However, a dramatic, immediate liquidation would likely spark a market panic. Outside economists are skeptical that the Saudis will follow through, saying that such a sell-off would be difficult to execute and would end up crippling the kingdom’s economy. But the threat is another sign of the escalating tensions between Saudi Arabia and the United States.

The Obama administration, meanwhile, is far less concerned about the market impact of a Saudi liquidation, and far more worried what a real inquiry into the Saudi role of Sept.11 would reveal (and who it would implicate) and as a result is building strawman arguments that the legislation would put Americans at legal risk overseas. In fact, as the NYT reports, “Obama has been lobbying so intently against the bill that some lawmakers and families of Sept. 11 victims are infuriated. In their view, the Obama administration has consistently sided with the kingdom and has thwarted their efforts to learn what they believe to be the truth about the role some Saudi officials played in the terrorist plot.”

“It’s stunning to think that our government would back the Saudis over its own citizens,” said Mindy Kleinberg, whose husband died in the World Trade Center on Sept. 11 and who is part of a group of victims’ family members pushing for the legislation.
Stunning indeed, and yet that’s precisely who the “U.S.” president sides with when attempting to get to the bottom of the 2001 terrorist attacks.

Incidentally, Obama will arrive in Riyadh on Wednesday for meetings with King Salman and other Saudi officials. It is unclear whether the dispute over the Sept. 11 legislation will be on the agenda for the talks.

President Obama at a Sept. 11 ceremony in 2015. The Obama administration argues that the bill would put Americans at legal risk overseas.

* * *

The Saudi threat comes as the dispute comes as bipartisan criticism is growing in Congress about Washington’s alliance with Saudi Arabia, for decades a crucial American ally in the Middle East and half of a partnership that once received little scrutiny from lawmakers. Last week, two senators introduced a resolution that would put restrictions on American arms sales to Saudi Arabia, which have expanded during the Obama administration.

Meanwhile, families of the Sept. 11 victims have used the U.S. court system to try to hold members of the Saudi royal family, Saudi banks and charities liable because of what the plaintiffs charged was Saudi financial support for terrorism. These efforts have largely been stymied, in part because of a 1976 law that gives foreign nations some immunity from lawsuits in American courts.

It is this law that the proposed Senate Bill intends to overturn; it is this Bill that Saudi Arabia is suddenly in arms over.

And it is the Saudis that Obama is siding over instead of his own people.

But of course, Obama can’t openly come out and say he would rather keep the truth of Saudi involvement buried than push for a probe, so Obama administration officials counter that “weakening the sovereign immunity provisions would put the American government, along with its citizens and corporations, in legal risk abroad because other nations might retaliate with their own legislation. Secretary of State John Kerry told a Senate panel in February that the bill, in its current form, would “expose the United States of America to lawsuits and take away our sovereign immunity and create a terrible precedent.”
In a closed-door briefing on Capitol Hill on March 4, Anne W. Patterson, an assistant secretary of state, and Andrew Exum, a top Pentagon official on Middle East policy, told staff members of the Senate Armed Services Committee that American troops and civilians could be in legal jeopardy if other nations decide to retaliate and strip Americans of immunity abroad. They also discussed the Saudi threats specifically, laying out the impacts if Saudi Arabia made good on its economic threats.
In other words, the logic is that if the US pursues a full-blown inquiry into the Saudi role behind 9/11, the US itself would be subject to a comparable stripping of immunity – with respect to alleged U.S. terrorist attacks – and “create a terrible precedent.” In effect, the US government is defending its position by saying that if one can get to the bottom of Saudi terrorism in the U.S., the world may next learn about U.S. terrorism across the globe. 

And that just can’t be allowed to happen.

Meanwhile, even as Obama fights tooth and nail to protect the Saudi’s dirty laundry, the administration pretends to side with US citizens: “John Kirby, a State Department spokesman, said in a statement that the administration stands by the victims of terrorism, “especially those who suffered and sacrificed so much on 9/11.” It just refuses to reveal those who are truly responsible for their death. 

* * *

But back to the Saudi (mostly hollow) threat of dumping US Treasuries should the proposed Bill be passed, which indeed is nothing more than just that, especially since the Fed or BOJ would be delighted to have found a willing seller who has as much as three quarter of a trillion in US paper lying around.

Edwin M. Truman, a fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, said he thought the Saudis were most likely making an “empty threat.” Selling hundreds of billions of dollars in American assets would not only be technically difficult to pull off, he said, but would also very likely cause global market turmoil for which the Saudis would be blamed.

Moreover, he said, it could destabilize the American dollar — the currency to which the Saudi riyal is pegged.

“The only way they could punish us is by punishing themselves,” Mr. Truman said.

Well, they would also punish the Fed, because suddenly the Petrodollar would re-emerge as the main driving force behind the value of the greenback.

* * *

And yet, perhaps the Saudis have reason to panic: the Senate bill is an anomaly in a Congress fractured by bitter partisanship, especially during an election year. It is sponsored by Senator John Cornyn, Republican of Texas, and Senator Chuck Schumer, Democrat of New York. It has the support of an unlikely coalition of liberal and conservative senators, including Al Franken, Democrat of Minnesota, and Ted Cruz, Republican of Texas. It passed through the Judiciary Committee in January without dissent.

“As our nation confronts new and expanding terror networks that are targeting our citizens, stopping the funding source for terrorists becomes even more important,” Mr. Cornyn said last month.

It is almost as if Congress has decided to end the long-running alliance the U.S. has had with Saudi Arabia, despite the bitter protests of the administration; it has decided to use the Sept.11 disclosure as its own bargaining chip.

To be sure, as the NYT notes, the alliance with Saudi Arabia has frayed in recent years as the White House has tried to thaw ties with Iran — Saudi Arabia’s bitter enemy— in the midst of recriminations between American and Saudi officials about the role that both countries should play in the stability of the Middle East. But the administration has supported Saudi Arabia on other fronts, including providing the country with targeting intelligence and logistical support for its war in Yemen. The Saudi military is flying jets and dropping bombs it bought from the United States — part of the billions of dollars in arms deals that have been negotiated with Saudi Arabia and other Persian Gulf nations during the Obama administration.
The war has been a humanitarian disaster and fueled a resurgence of Al Qaeda in Yemen, leading to the resolution in Congress to put new restrictions on arms deals to the kingdom. Senator Christopher S. Murphy, Democrat of Connecticut, one of the resolution’s sponsors and a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said that Congress has been “feckless” in conducting oversight of arms sales, especially those destined for Saudi Arabia.
“My first desire is for our relationship with Saudi Arabia to come with a greater degree of conditionality than it currently does,” he said.

That also appears to be Obama’s last desire; while the only desire Saudi Arabia has is to maintain the status quo, one where nobody looks at who pulled the strings behind Sept. 11 and in exchange for which the Saudis would continue dutifully recycling petrodollars, or if they don’t get their way, they will simply proceed to launch the biggest liquidation of US Treasurys in history. Or such is their stunning threat..

Which brings us to the original question: why the Saudi panic, and why immediately threaten with the “nuclear option”, namely liquidating US Treasurys, if the Saudis have nothing to hide?
The question is, of course, rhetorical.

Thursday, May 5, 2016


Clarks Pie | by Capt' Gorgeous

Pies in the sky

On the one hand, Judge Molloy regales his readers with how much money he made as a trial lawyer after leaving the bench, even admitting “We were infatuated with the flow of delightful cash.” And to make certain you’re suitably impressed, he goes as far as helpfully calculating the present value of his old law firm earnings.

A while back, someone recommended John Molloy’s 2004 book, The Fraternity: Judges and Lawyers in Collusion. Molloy? I wondered. Wasn’t that the guy who wrote the now dog-tired advice book on sartorial corporate success?

Wrong guy I discovered. The Fraternity was written by the late John F. Molloy — not John T. Molloy. That’s a world of difference. The former was a lawyer-turned-judge-turned-lawyer and the other was a researcher and consultant who first made his bones advising New York City law firms on how clothes could enhance the credibility and authority of young lawyers before judges and juries.
Nevertheless, I finally read The Fraternity. But as it turns out, the old Dress for Success guru’s book, which I read two lifetimes ago was eminently more useful by comparison.

Instead, I was disappointed by the self-proclaimed “confessional diatribe” by the late Tucson, Arizona jurist John Fitzgerald Molloy. Long on confession and short on redemption, it was also empty of promise. With so much discussion about the Fraternity’s self-serving, profit-seeking grip on the legal system, where were the practical prescriptions?
Among Judge Molloy’s pie-in-the-sky suggestions: Eliminate the exclusionary rule. Reduce peremptory challenges. Keep lawyers out of juvenile courts in favor of trained social workers. Take away the plaintiff’s first and last argument in a civil trial. Stop random selection of juries in favor of jurors selected by public officials. Limit the bench to only those with trial experience. Ban judges from working as lawyers after serving on the bench.

In whose lifetime will those sky pies be eaten?

To be fair, there’s enough in Judge Molloy’s wisp of a 244-page memoir sans index to justify the book’s subtitle, “Lawyers and Judges in Collusion.” But the problem is that it mostly reeks of cognitive dissonance, i.e., the conflict that results from simultaneously holding inconsistent beliefs and attitudes. It’s like the chow hound who complains about his meal while asking for a third helping.
Out of both sides.

But then on the other hand and only at the end of his career, does the 74-year old former trial and appellate judge belatedly call for incremental reform of a legal system that’s been “massaged” by “a Fraternity composed of lawyers and judges . . . into something quite different from what was intended — one that derives powers from claiming to have come from our Forefathers, but which in fact is a system that has been restructured, almost beyond recognition, by the Fraternity, for the benefit of the Fraternity.”
NYC: New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division | by wallyg
Indeed, concluding his recollections of his service on Arizona’s appellate bench, he writes, “In reviewing this chapter, I realize that I may have given the impression that as an appellate judge I was a brave dissenter, always leaning against the tornadic winds of the Fraternity’s movement toward more litigation and more lawyer-profit. The written record gives lie to such a claim.”
Sort of undercuts the argument for reform, that it’s made — only after you’ve gotten yours. Better I think what Edna St. Vincent Millay said long ago about penance, “But if I can’t be sorry, why I might as well be glad.”
Photo Credits: “Big Finish” by Chris Wetherell at Flickr Creative Commons Attribution; other photos via Morguefile.com;”Clark’s Pie,” by Ben Salter at Flickr Creative Commons Attribution; “NYC: New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division,” by Wally Gobetz at Flickr Creative Commons Attribution. https://lawmrh.wordpress.com/tag/lawyers-and-judges-in-collusion/

Wednesday, May 4, 2016


Eric T. Schneiderman, New York State’s attorney general, is investigating Caliber Home Loans, a mortgage lender owned by Lone Star Funds. Caliber Home has grown fast but also has drawn many complaints. Credit John Minchillo/Associated Press 
The rapid growth of Caliber Home Loans, a mortgage company owned by the private equity giant Lone Star Funds, has led to a surge in consumer complaints. Now it has led to regulatory scrutiny of Caliber’s business practices.  Eric T. Schneiderman, the New York attorney general, has opened an investigation into the mortgage company, a person in Mr. Schneiderman’s office confirmed.

Image result for lone star owner of caliber home loans
Caliber’s massive growth has been fueled in part by Lone Star Funds’ acquisitions of nonperforming loans from government-supported entities like HUD, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
However, Lone Star Funds’ decision to tap former executives of disgraced lender Countrywide Financial raises questions about the firm’s ability to manage its explosive growth. The New York Times recently called Lone Star a “lightning rod, criticized by housing advocates and lawyers for borrowers.”  http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20150929005648/en/UNITE-Lone-Star-Funds-building-Countrywide-Financial