Archive for September, 2008


McCain, keep digging?  Not much chance of that since he went over to the “dark side.”  He is lost, I believe.  Wanting to become President overcame all sense in this matter and others.  -GFS

—————————————————————————————————————————————-

Military-Industrial Complex—updated

By Robert D. Novak

Monday, February 21, 2005

 

Link to original:  http://townhall.com/columnists/RobertDNovak/2005/02/21/military-industrial_complex_–_updated

 

 

 

WASHINGTON — “I’m off to speak again with my Little Darlings at the Academy,” said then Air Force Secretary James Roche’s April 28, 2002, e-mail to Robin Cleveland, assistant director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Roche trusted Cleveland sufficiently to put in writing his dismissive description of female Air Force Academy cadets who had been raped. Indeed, 11 days later on May 9, Cleveland was asking Roche for help in getting her brother a job with a big defense contractor.

 

 Roche complied, though Peter Cleveland ultimately did not get the job with Northrop Grumman. In responding to Robin Cleveland, Roche put in a plug for the attempted $23.5 billion sweetheart deal for the Boeing Co. to build tankers for the Air Force: “Be well. Smile. Give tankers now. (Oops, did I say that?)” On May 15, Robin Cleveland sent her brother an e-mail about his upcoming interview at Northrop Grumman: “Great. Hope it works before the tanker leasing deal gets fouled up.” But Cleveland reversed OMB opposition to the tankers.

 A multi-billion dollar bailout for a troubled aircraft manufacturer entangled with a senior government official trying to place her brother in the defense industry confirms President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s warning of the military-industrial complex. The reluctant, partial release of documents uncovers more evidence of how the complex works.

 Boeing’s tanker deal appeared set until 2002 when protests were heard from two Republican senators, John McCain of Arizona and Phil Gramm of Texas. Since then, the deal has been killed and reputations destroyed. Former Boeing executive Michael Sears Friday was sentenced to four months in prison for negotiating to hire Defense procurement official Darleen Druyun, who is serving a nine-month sentence.

 

 Nevertheless, the Pentagon still resists McCain’s quest for information. In a Jan. 27 letter to Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, McCain protested that “the Department’s production of documents has been riddled by disruption, obfuscation and delay. Some documents were doctored; others that should have been produced were improperly withheld.”

 McCain and his staff are not handed documents but are forced to copy them by hand. Even the recent ruling by the Pentagon’s inspector general that Roche violated military ethics laws was labeled “FOUO (For Official Use Only).” It is not supposed to be publicly distributed, and a Feb. 10 report in the Washington Post constitutes its only publication, with Inspector General Joseph Schmitz paraphrased rather than quoted.

 

 The actual language by Schmitz, in a Jan. 31 letter to senators, is harsh: “We substantiated the allegation that Secretary Roche’s e-mail constituted a use of public office for private gain in violation of the applicable DOD [Department of Defense] ethics regulations. Because the e-mail implied Air Force sanction for employment recommended in behalf of Ms. Cleveland’s brother, Secretary Roche’s e-mail also violated DOD standards that govern personal use of the government communications system.”

 The inspector general noted that he has provided superiors with the results of the investigation but made no recommendations for penalties. The reason: Roche has finally left his Air Force office after a long lame-duck period.

 

 Roche tried to keep secret his e-mails with Cleveland on grounds they had nothing do with the Boeing tanker deal. Atty. Gen. Alberto Gonzales, then White House counsel, told McCain in the senator’s office that correspondence about Cleveland’s brother “was just a joke.” In fact, it was deadly serious, and Ms. Cleveland herself raised the tanker deal in connection with her brother’s job.

 One message July 24, 2002, to Roche from now retired Maj. Gen. LeRoy Barnidge admits outright that the Air Force was stalling McCain’s efforts to get to the bottom of the case. Barnidge contended McCain aide Chris Paul “has been playing a pretty heavy game with us,” and the general revealed “I have been stalling” Paul’s requests, and referred to “this game with Chris.”

 Boeing’s survivors sound penitent of the way they played “this game,” but the Air Force is still covering up. Roche left his office unrepentant and continues to be excused and celebrated at the highest levels of the Pentagon. That’s why it is important for John McCain to keeping digging into the foundations of the military-industrial complex.

 

O.K. now, what is different about this from all of the other whistleblower situations where the whistleblowers have been left buffeted about in the wind?  Whistleblower protection should be for all whistleblowers and federal government and defense employees who find themselves dealing with corruption while trying to do their jobs too!  -GFS

—————————————-

 

Groups Seek Whistle-Blower Protection in Bailout Legislation

Link to original:  http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/09/23/AR2008092303098.html?referrer=emailarticle

 

By Joe Davidson
Wednesday, September 24, 2008; D04

Amid the swirl of activity on Capitol Hill surrounding legislation for a $700 billion bailout of financial giants is a little-noticed effort to protect Frank and Flo Fed if they reveal things their agencies are doing wrong.

Good-government groups have long wanted to strengthen protection for whistle-blowers and they had a good chance to get such legislation passed before the financial markets took a dive. Now that all the attention is on rushing the bailout through Congress, those groups are trying to get on board.

Yesterday, 40 organizations sent a letter to the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee and the House Financial Services Committee urging members to include whistle-blower protection in the bailout legislation.

“At a minimum, any credible solution must address one of the current crisis’ fundamental causes — corruption and other abuses of power sustained by secrecy,” the letter said. “Otherwise, the taxpayers could end up giving $700 billion more to repeat the same disasters. Congress must prove it has learned this lesson. Any genuine solution must be grounded in transparency, with all relevant records publicly available and best practice whistleblower protection for all employees connected with the new law.”

The letter was signed by a variety of organizations from across the political spectrum. They include the American Library Association, the Union of Concerned Scientists, the Liberty Coalition, the Society of Professional Journalists, the Government Accountability Project and the Project on Government Oversight.

Whistle-blower coalition leaders say they already had more than enough support to secure amendments to the Whistleblower Protection Act that was passed in 1989. The House and Senate overwhelmingly approved separate versions last year, but efforts to reconcile them have languished until recently.

“We are working with other sponsors and supporters of the bill to try to get it enacted before adjournment,” said Leslie Phillips, communications director for the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

But whether that’s as part of the bailout remains to be seen.

One factor Congress has to consider is the White House veto warning against the House version. “It could compromise national security, is unconstitutional, and is overly burdensome and unnecessary,” says the threat.

But if the House language is included in the bailout legislation, it would be very tough for the president to follow through on that threat.

One way or another, the coalition hopes the amendments become law soon. They are designed to close looming loopholes that are the result of court decisions.

While the law sought to protect whistle-blowers for “any” lawful disclosures of government wrongdoing, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has turned the definition around so much that it’s reminiscent of President Bill Clinton saying: “It depends on what the meaning of the word ‘is’ is.”

Now, “any” no longer applies “if the disclosure is made to co-workers, supervisors or others in the chain of command, or those suspected of wrongdoing; if the disclosures are made during the course of doing one’s job duties; if the disclosure challenges illegal or similarly improper policies; and if the whistleblower is not the first to make a disclosure,” said Tom Devine, legal director of the Government Accountability Project.

The amendments would make “any” mean “any.”

Another sore point with the coalition is a 1999 court decision that Devine says makes it almost impossible for whistle-blowers to qualify for protection, regardless of context. While Congress said employees must reasonably believe a disclosure is about misconduct, the court said workers must prove the bad deeds with “irrefragable” evidence.

Merriam-Webster says irrefragable means “impossible to refute,” and that’s an almost impossible standard to meet. The amendments would restore the reasonable-belief standard.

The court’s interpretation leaves whistleblowers frustrated and angry. Many put their careers on the line to make government honorable, with nothing but scars to show for it.

Ask David Ross, who was a Food and Drug Administration doctor two years ago when he warned managers about evidence of fraud involving an antibiotic drug the agency had approved. The drug, Ketek, was linked to liver failure and death.

“I did everything right,” Ross said. “I tried to work through the system.”

But he found himself marginalized and forced out of the agency. The court’s rulings left him cold. “Because of the court’s impossibly high standard, I was left with fewer rights than a criminal — all because I was trying to prevent more deaths,” he said. “I did not even bother asking for whistle-blower status, because it would have been like painting a target on my back.”

A lot can go wrong when a massive bailout is rushed through the legislative process. Whatever that process produces, federal workers shouldn’t be afraid to speak up, and they should be protected when they do.

Contact Joe Davidson atfederaldiary@washpost.com

 

McCain:  Me First, NOT Country First?  McCain’s Tacit Accord With Boeing

 

If you’ve kept up with all the posts about the original Druyan/Sears Tanker Deal matters and the settlement, and all the instances of reported corruption since then, you will find this curious also. 

 

John McCain’s recent Presidential Candidate Debate, featured McCain painting himself as a champion of cleaning up corruption, reforming contracting, and standing up for doing right in the contracting world.  Well rehearsed drama, but to this writer, far from the truth. 

McCain and his aides (notably I’m told,  Chris Paul, McCain’s Defense Aide),  have been reportedly doing overtime duty trying to stop whistleblowers and government employees from successfully getting help in bringing Boeing to Justice in a number of instances.  This includes attacking the credibility of those who’ve contacted his office with specific legitimate complaints, as well as trying to deep-six investigations concerning Boeing and possibly other involved and/or incriminated upper level entities in industry and government. 

The general consensus among people who’ve contacted me, frustrated with the shabby treatment they’ve received from McCain’s office, is that McCain wants to be elected President more than he wants to protect the citizens and economic and security welfare of this country.  It appears he sold out to those with money and manipulation ability.  

As far as Boeing goes, I am advised that there is yet more trouble coming down the pike, not public yet.  This is a case of “Me First” not “Country First.”  Sorry Senator McCain, we’re just not buying your double-speak anymore!  -GFS

————————————————————-

 

From Boeing Frontiers, September 2006

 

 

 

What Boeing did here

                                                   conveys to me how

seriously the company is committed to truly

reforming.”

 

—Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), in an Aug. 1

Senate Armed Services Committee hearing,

about Boeing’s decision to forgo claiming

a tax deduction on payments related to

settlement of investigations by the

U.S. Justice Dept

More on Boeing’s Wedgetail Project, and the Transfer of Cutting Edge U.S. Technology Out Of The United States

 

So, how did Turkey get state-of-the-art static multi-phased array sensor technology such as that on the Wedgetail plane, which in many ways is superior and more capable than current U.S. Air Force 707 airframe rotor-dome AWACS platforms?  The Australian government and the United States government authorized the transfer through yet another Direct Commercial Sale by Boeing to a foreign government, this timeTurkey.  In the future, planned sales and transfers to Republic of Korea, Italy,  and United Arab Emirates (UAE). 

 

Called Project Peace Eagle, Boeing has been authorized to sell the ‘Turkish variant’ of Wedgetail to Turkey with approval of the Australian government and the U.S. government; with a buy-in blessing from the U.S. Air Force.

 

And, while Australia now owns elements of the Wedgetail technology, other elements of that technology remain owned and controlled by the United States and the U.S. Air Force.  Export and control of the U.S. owned information and technology is through the U.S. State Department and the Directorate of Defense Trade Controls through export licenses.  These export licenses provide paper security restrictions on further distribution of U.S. cutting edge technology.

 

Link to Wikipedia article on Project Peace Eagle:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boeing_737_AEW&C

 

 

 

 

Link to Original:  http://ohmygov.com/blogs/general_news/archive/2008/09/04/boeing-in-trouble-again-for-contract-fraud.aspx?postcat=4568&miid=28&pid=2899

 

Boeing in trouble for $7.5 million contract fraud

Earlier this week, the United States Department of Justice filed a civil lawsuit against The Boeing Company for alleged price gouging. According to the Justice Department, Boeing unlawfully inflated the price tag by $7.5 million for manufacturing a missile decoy system designed for the Air Force’s B-1 bomber.

The lawsuit states that Boeing failed to disclose it would outsource the manufacturing of the majority of parts needed to create the Towed Decoy System – a tool for intercepting missiles fired at the B-1 – during contract negotiations. The company claimed, according to the suit, that it would instead build the parts in-house at a greater cost than required for outsourcing. Consequently, Boeing charged more for something they outsourced for less, and in effect, defrauded the government for the price difference.

The lawsuit alleges that the Air Force would have renegotiated a substantially lower price tag for the Towed Decoy System had Boeing informed them they intended to purchase most components at a lower cost.

“It’s a significant amount and, of course, it’s all taxpayer money,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Lisa Palombo told The Associated Press. “We make it a priority to collect all taxpayer funds that are obtained through fraud. We don’t make exceptions for anyone, individuals or large companies.”

Evidence of Boeing’s actions originally came from whistle-blowers inside the organization that complained to their managers that the company was overcharging. The managers allegedly ignored the complaints and failed to tell their client, the Air Force.

Boeing spokesman Forrest Gossett told Business Week that the company disputes the allegations and believes it properly negotiated and fulfilled its contract with the Air Force.

But investigators from the Air Force’s Office of Special Investigations, the Defense Criminal Investigative Service, and auditors from the Defense Contract Audit Agency claim to have evidence of 140 incidents of over billing by Boeing, equating to $7.5 million in fraudulent charges. Under the False Claims Act, the government may recover up to three times the amount of the loss and enforce criminal penalties for each of the 140 incidents of fraud

 

This is most interesting.  Revolving Door examples include people who worked for Defense Contractors, such as Boeing and Lockheed-Martin and then inexplicably decided to apply for jobs in government, (most likely at lower salaries), including oversight agencies that have alleged “oversight” of government defense contracting matters in companies such as Boeing and Lockheed.  Agencies such as Defense Security Service currently have hired people directly from industry, which places doubt on the integrity of the accomplishment of their oversight responsibilities.  This is an area that should be investigated, and prosecuted if found improper by the appropriate authorities. 

 

There are things that have been happening that at first look have made no sense, but may be becoming more clear now.  One wonders if the mysterious Boeing DoD Direct Commercial Sale of a Boeing Wedgetail plane, with it’s state of the art static multi-phased array sensor suite capabilities, to Turkey was due to the strong arming of Cohen and his group.  Cohen used to be the Secretary of Defense under President William Clinton.  In many respects, the Wedgetail is more capable than the U.S. Air Force’s AWACS surveillance platform.  So, thanks to powerful lobbyists, foreign countries have superior technology to what the United States currently is using. 

 

Cohen denies being paid directly by Turkey, but one could wonder what other types of “in the dark” transactions might be possible.  Please see a previous post from this blog regarding the use of a Hidden Treuhand.   Could this or a similar way of hiding true beneficiaries of profits from manipulated contracts and sales have been used?    See article included after El Gato’s comments in this post. 

 

-GFS

 

—————————————————————————————————————-

El Gato – Reflections on the World  (Link to original:  http://elgato2000.blogspot.com/2008/09/revolving-door.html)

 

Essays on contemporary politics and history and sometimes other miscellaneous topics

Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Revolving Door

The term “revolving door” describes a cunning device whereby government employees elected or appointed move from their jobs to private jobs for much higher salaries in industries or lobbying firms that are receiving favors from the very same Congressional representatives. It can be plainly a conflict of interest but is usually ignored. The cycling of jobs is a very important asset of the lobbying industry.

 

Before getting into the dizzying complexities of lobbying in Washington, let’s look as an example at the case of Dennis Hastert, the former Republican Speaker of the House. It is by now a well known fact revealed by the whistleblower, Sibel Edmonds, a former FBI Turkish-American translator, that Dennis Hastert while Speaker had received tens of thousands of dollars in bribes for favors to the lobbying firm representing Turkey. He received the money in payment for his support of a Turkish oil and gas pipeline that was to run from Baku to the Mediterranean. He did other favors for Turkey and eventually when he left Congress, he joined in June 2008 the lobbying firm of Dickstein and Shapiro that represented Turkey in Congress. Salaries usually jump from 150,000 annually to 100,000 monthly for those who go through the revolving door. Quite an incentive, eh? It’s somewhat mindful of Alice in Wonderland. Except unlike Matrix it is real.

 

A word about Turkey. Most of us know very little about the role of Turkey. There are many lobbying machines that are on the Turkish payroll and they manage to keep the Turkey influence invisible. However, Turkey plays a central role in areas of terrorism, money laundering, black marketing of arms sales, nuclear secrets and manufacturing and sale of narcotics. It operates inside criminal networks with ostensible legitimate fronts and has links to our military and political machines. Turkey is a major customer of the US for military hardware, technology and weapons. It is very active in criminal networks that transport narcotics from Afghanistan through Central Asia to Turkey. The poppies are processed in Turkey then transported through the Balkans to Europe and America. Money laundering is done through its own banks or banks in Cyprus. High ranking US government employees sell nuclear secrets to Turkey and Pakistan which are then passed on to A.Q. Khan, the Pakistani black marketeer of nuclear secrets. He in turn with the approval of Pakistan government officials helps Iran and North Korea to start their nuclear programs. Pakistan, of course, gets its cut.

 

There is a link between terrorism and organized crime. Narcotics trafficking and black marketing of arms sales supports terrorism financially. Funds are used to buy arms and train terrorists.

 

Public service and influence peddling have crossed to such a degree that the revolving door is wide open and proliferating. Political and federal employees leave office for the “insider game” of lobbying and advising private interests how to gain advantage from federal officers. Influence peddling has become a multi-billion dollar industry annually. Today 32 former US Senators and 250 ex-Congressmen now lobby Congress for private interests. Unelected individuals who work for powerful committees in Congress go through the revolving door multiple times to work for lobbying firms. It’s a dizzying merry-go-round in that many cycle back and forth. As a result, House and Senate appropriations committees dole out billions in pork (earmarks).

 

Let’s look at one other example. William Cohen, former Secty of Defense under Clinton, after leaving the US government, set up his own lobbying company, called the Cohen Group. It represents the largest defense companies in the business, e.g. Lockheed Martin and Boeing. Cohen’s company is an active member of the American Turkish Council (ATC). Lockheed Martin is on the board of ATC and its biggest paying client. The Cohen Group also is very active in India and has just opened in China.

 

Laws to control lobbyists are full of loopholes so that the Cohen Group is not registered and is able to say that Turkey is not a “direct client”. Cohen claims he is not getting paid directly by the government of Turkey, according to his spin machine. But somehow money does pass between them. Money laundering is very useful. And the corrupt Turks are experts.

 

Lewis Black, the standup comic, once said: I wake up everyday thinking that it can’t get any worse and it does.

 

 

References:

 

Edmonds, Sibel. justacitizen.com

Wikipedia

Zwicker,Barrie. Towers of Deception. 2006.

Posted by El Gato at 9/25/2008 03:46:00 PM

 

Halliburton’s Hidden Treuhand

by: Shelley Stark, t r u t h o u t | Report


Vanity Fair reported shipments of over $12 billion in cash to Iraq. $9 billion of the cash is gone and unaccounted for. (Photo: The Village Voice)

 

Halliburton takes advantage of a European loophole that lets corporations hide beneficiaries and assets.

 

    Little is known of a customary European legal practice that offers corporations and individuals an opportunity to profit from assets while maintaining complete anonymity of the beneficiary’s identity. This practice is referred to as “Hidden Treuhand” in the English language. The practice of Hidden Treuhand submits to legal local customs in Austria, Germany, Liechtenstein, Luxemburg and Switzerland, but due to globalization, has moved beyond European borders via corporations and individuals, who put it to personal use.

 

    The practice of Hidden Treuhand is relevant and unregulated. More and more, the relevant practice of Treuhand is used in hiding an asset owner’s identity from the outside world. Assets, whether they are corporate shares or fixed assets, can be owned in secret. The personal income derived from these assets can also be kept secret from tax authorities. An example of how Hidden Treuhand facilitates tax evasion is part of the latest scandal where thousands of Germans evaded tax through the services of the LGT Treuhand Bank in Liechtenstein, using a combination of Treuhand and foundations to hide true owner identity of bank accounts.

 

    Hidden Treuhands in Europe impact the lives of American citizens. Hidden Treuhands enable even American corporations to hide the identity of beneficiaries, assets and income. Halliburton has a Hidden Treuhand embedded in its Austrian subsidiary. It prevents transparency regarding corporate activities.

 

    The lack of transparency creates special advantages for some, and consequences for others such as governments, competitors, stockholders and citizens. For example, a beneficiary can evade personal income tax, because the income derived from a hidden asset is not linked to the beneficiary. There is another advantage to Hidden Treuhands that borrows from the concept of a “trust.” The “trust” concept allows for dividends to be removed. Money transferred to a subsidiary may be considered a dividend. By using a network of subsidiaries, favorable tax laws and banking secrecy, CEOs and insiders can profit without transparency. The Hidden Treuhand is an important aspect of what makes globalization so attractive to American and European corporations.

 

    Given these attributes, it is alarming when a Hidden Treuhand is discovered in a subsidiary that is fully owned by Halliburton USA. Halliburton’s Hidden Treuhand is evident in the firm’s corporate records. Halliburton International GmbH was created in Austria in June of 1992, although another subsidiary, at the same address, was in existence in Austria since 1958. The new subsidiary, Halliburton International GmbH, has no apparent reasons for existing other than to house a Hidden Treuhand in its corporate structure, receive dividends from other subsidiaries and acquire other subsidiaries. This firm has no employees. It creates no income. Another company, Halliburton Company Austria GmbH, at the same address, could have equally performed whatever function this subsidiary has, but it has no Hidden Treuhand. The obvious conclusion is Halliburton USA needed a subsidiary with a Hidden Treuhand.

 

    The Hidden Treuhand easily accomplishes tax evasion because dividends transferred to a subsidiary with a Hidden Treuhand can be anonymously distributed or used to purchase other holdings. For example, Halliburton International GmbH has acquired acquisitions in Russia and Kazakhstan that later disappear from the corporate records.

 

    Halliburton attracts a certain limelight in connection with any Treuhand activities because of its link to a highly controversial war and Vice President Dick Cheney’s earlier association with Halliburton. We would have expected all ties to his former employer to be have been severed when he took office to avoid a conflict of interest. The impenetrability of the Hidden Treuhand makes it impossible to know who else is involved beyond the CEOs listed on Halliburton International GmbH historic corporate data.

 

    Dick Cheney claims to no longer own stock in Halliburton, but he was its chairman and CEO for five years, and either hired or promoted many of the executives now running Halliburton, or formerly involved with the subsidiary with the Hidden Treuhand in Austria. It is highly unlikely the chief executive officer, Dick Cheney, would be unaware of the Austrian subsidiary’s existence, originally headed by the executive vice president and chief legal officer, Lester L. Coleman, of Halliburton International USA. But it is an absolute certainty Lester L. Coleman and all the other CEOs listed on Halliburton International GmbH corporate historic records do know of the subsidiaries existence and its Hidden Treuhand. It was the intention of these CEOs to set up a secret subsidiary in 1992 with a Hidden Treuhand embedded.

 

    Perhaps more importantly, Halliburton’s CEOs, listed in the corporate historic records of Halliburton International GmbH in Austria, should know Hidden Treuhands could be used to undermine American security by providing a means for financing terrorists. Currently, one of the strongest arguments the US and the OECD are using against banks, lawyers and Treuhand activities in Europe to combat tax evasion and money laundering is how these activities can be used to fund terrorism. The Iraq War is one portion of the overall strategy of the ‘War on Terror’ that also includes preventing any funding for terrorism. It takes little imagination to see the huge potential Treuhands facilitate: creating a means for terrorists and criminal organizations to conceal their true identities and motives and yet work openly in the capitalist system.

 

    Halliburton’s CEOs must be aware of the potential misuse of Hidden Treuhands, as they have not been particularly open about their own use of Hidden Treuhands to date. Halliburton simultaneously contracts to fight a “war on terror,” while utilizing the same nontransparent mechanisms concerned authorities seek to prevent access to by terrorists. Faced with a conflict of interest, Halliburton CEOs demonstrate with their silence a willingness to protect their own interests, and doing so while we are at war with an enemy that works in the shadows.

 

    The noncompetitive contract awarded Halliburton was orchestrated by Vice President Dick Cheney and backed by the Bush administration. This contract has afforded an estimated US$1.4 trillion to US$3 trillion of US taxpayer money to flow through the coffers of Halliburton, virtually unmonitored and fraught with accounting irregularities. The receiver of much of this US taxpayer money is Halliburton USA, its affiliates and subsidiaries. One of the subsidiaries, the Austrian subsidiary, is capable of dispersing any money sent to it to unknown persons, without a hint of transparency.

 

    The Hidden Treuhand is more than just a means of profiting without transparency; it is a national security threat, whether wielded by al-Qaeda or Halliburton. If Americans were brought into a war based on a profit motive while we were supposed to be focused on alleviating the threat of terrorism, it could amount to treason. This risk should be given some credence and investigated. For this reason, Halliburton’s corporate records were given to the US Internal Revenue Service. Maybe they will find something illegal, tax evasion for example, or maybe they will come back and say they found nothing illegal: The Hidden Treuhand is just a little bit naughty.

 

    There is no transparency to a Hidden Treuhand, and, therefore, no means to identify the real benefactors. But the most important factor concerning a Treuhand contract is this: If a Treuhand contract is embedded in the corporate structure, then its sole purpose is to prevent the public from knowing the identity of the real stockholders. Who is calling the shots and who is benefiting is kept secret.

 

    The “True Hands,” the true benefactors’ identity, is hidden from public knowledge; they remain anonymous and nameless in transactions, and that is the sole incentive for creating a Hidden Treuhand.

    ——–

    Shelley Stark is the author of a forthcoming book, “The Hidden Treuhand: How Europe Offers US Corporations and Individuals an Opportunity to Hide Assets, Identity, and Income.”

 

 

Subject: Citizens’ Whistleblower Petition
Date: Tue, 16 Sep 2008 17:36:57 -0400
X-MS-Has-Attach: yes
X-MS-TNEF-Correlator:
Thread-Topic: Citizens’ Whistleblower Petition
Thread-Index: AckYQrv14MYyLBTlQcakWFkGgs1BUAAAEREg
From: “Tom Devine” <TomD@…>
To: “Tom Devine” <TomD@…>

As many of you know, the House and Senate passed bills to restore protections for government employees who blow the whistle on waste, fraud, and abuse by veto-proof margins last year, but the houses have yet to agree on a final bill.  Now is the time to show negotiators, leadership, and other interested Members of Congress that it is a priority to pass a strong final bill before recess. Thank you to all the 200+ groups that have signed the Whistleblower Protection Act (WPA) sign-on letter! Now this action can be extended to you and your members, even if you did not join the group letter. Public Citizen, on behalf of the Make it SAFE Coalition and other whistleblower supporters, has launched an online Citizen’s Whistleblower Petition (and posted additional resources) at www.WhistleblowerAction.org.
 
If possible, please help us spread the word about the campaign- and add signatures to the petition- by posting it on you site and blog, and distributing it out to your listserv.  Public Citizen’s Action Alert is below.
 
Appreciatively,
 
Tom Devine,
 
Government Accountability Project
 
 
 
 

September 16, 2008

Dear Friends,

 


The Citizens’ Whistleblower Petition
Tell Congress to end the partisan politics and protect government employees who risk their livelihoods to protect us.

Sign Today!


In recent years we have experienced unprecedented secrecy and abuse of power in the federal government. Scientific research has been altered or suppressed, government contractors have wasted millions of taxpayer dollars, and national security documents have been falsified.  Witnesses to these breaches of the public trust cannot blow the whistle without fear of reprisals endangering their careers and their lives.

But we are close to ending the intimidation and retaliation against those who speak up on our behalf. 

You can help!  Add your name to our growing list of citizens standing up for those who stand up for us.  Tell Congress: make the government work for us!

Last year, both houses of Congress passed strong whistleblower protection bills.  But because they didn’t negotiate and pass a compromise between the two bills, the legislation still isn’t final.  Now there is renewed support for members of Congress to put aside partisan politics and finish the job for the American people by passing a strong compromise bill.

Government employees and federal contractors who blow the whistle on waste, fraud and abuse play a critical role in protecting us.  Yet, unbelievably, they have less protection than many corporate employees enjoy.  For this reason, too few government employees are willing to take the risk of blowing the whistle on wrongdoing.  Those who come forward often suffer as a result — and so do we as our tax dollars are wasted and our government is hijacked.

So far more than 200 public interest organizations have signed on to urge Congress to change the status quo – and now you can too.  Show your support for honesty and accountability! 

Go to www.WhistleblowerAction.org and Sign the Citizens’ Whistleblower Petition Today!

Thank you,

The Action Team

Public Citizen
action@…


Learn more about whistleblowers: http://action.citizen.org/t/5489/content.jsp?content_KEY=4147

Support Public Citizen and help protect whistleblowers and taxpayers: https://secure.citizen.org/shop/custom.jsp?donate_page_KEY=761&t=DIA_Secure.dwt&track=W8CWEmai
If this message was forwarded to you, sign up to receive action alerts from Public Citizen: http://action.citizen.org/signUp.jsp?key=3568 

 

From Whistleblower Alert”

 

U.S. Legislation ‘Fails to Protect’ Corporate Whistleblowers

 

The U.S. federal law protecting corporate whistleblowers is failing to shield employees in the way that was intended, according to a non-profit group that is lobbying legislators for tougher rules.

The 2002 Sarbanes-Oxley Act, which contained new pro-whistleblower provisions when it was passed in the wake of the Enron and WorldCom scandals, “has helped few whistleblowers actually achieve justice,” according to the Government Accountability Project, an advocacy group that provides legal advice to whistleblowers.

“Access to jury trials has proved elusive, and other institutions . . . have engaged in systematic, hostile activism against the congressional mandate,” it says in a report.

Many cases against defendant companies have been dismissed on the grounds that employees who worked for a corporate subsidiary are not necessarily covered by the whistleblower provision, according to Richard Moberly, a University of Nebraska law professor. “The provision is supposed to be interpreted broadly but it is being interpreted very narrowly,” he says.

Tom Devine, legal director of the GAP, said this could have the effect of letting some foreign companies operating in the U.S. “off the hook”. “For any whistleblowers who want to challenge misconduct of foreign companies, the law is not even a paper tiger unless the specific retaliation can be traced to a parent corporation,” he said.

According to data from the Department of Labor, it has ruled in favor of whistleblowers 17 times in the 1,273 complaints filed from 2002 to the start of this month. Meanwhile, 841 cases were dismissed, 162 were withdrawn and 107 are pending. The data did not specify reasons for dismissals.

The claims come as the department, which enforces the law, prepares to rule on a complaint brought by a former UBS employee. Timothy Flynn claimed he was suspended in June as a financial adviser for the Swiss bank for co-operating with a Massachusetts investigation of UBS’s sales of auction-rate securities.

His attorney, Jason Archinaco, said that the department wanted him to show that the UBS subsidiary that employed Flynn was covered under the SarbanesOxley provision. He has submitted the brief and is awaiting a ruling.

“UBS did not raise the defense, and the agency’s request to have us address that issue appears to be highly unusual,” he said.

UBS declined to comment on the issue raised by the Department of Labor. But it said: “UBS has taken no improper actions against Flynn. He made the decision to resign of his own volition. UBS denies the allegations in his claim and plans to defend itself vigorously.”

The department said: “In our view, employees of a subsidiary of a publicly traded company are covered under Sarbox if the subsidiary and the publicly traded parent company are ‘integrated employers’, as that term has been applied in labor and employment cases.”

 

I have been watching very curiously the scrambling of people in the press lately due to attempts to intimidate and control what reporters are writing, and even their ability to protect their sources.  I have observed in one market, newspapers under siege from a particular defense contractor, when reporters from those papers have tried to do investigative reporting into the business practices and alleged criminal activities of said company.  Duck and cover appears to be the watchword of our media.  Much very disturbing is going on in our country now.  Stop and tally up the kinds of problems for a moment; it will amaze you.  Here is a thought-provoking article from Brasscheck TV. 

————————————————————————————————————————————————————–

Gfs,

 

The Nazis were ruthless and power mad.

 

The Nazis had a war machine loaded with

high tech weapons.

 

The Nazis had a highly effective internal propaganda

system.

 

No one talks about this last item because they imported

it directly from the United States.

 

===============================

 

Brasscheck TV: The war for your mind

 

Here’s a little history that few are aware of…

but if you know it, it explains much about

how we got to where we are today.

 

When the Rockefeller group was under

widespread popular attack in the early part

of the 20th century, they hired a man named

Ivy Lee to help them rehabilitate their public

image. He was very successful at his task.

 

The Rockefellers loaned Lee to the Nazis

to help them with their 1930s PR problems

in the US. While, it may be hard to believe

now, US press accounts of Hitler’s rise to

power in Germany were mostly positive.

 

Edward Bernays, a close colleague of Lee’s,

was another master of public manipulation.

 

One of Bernays’ biggest fans was none other

than Joseph Goebbels, the director of

internal propaganda for the Nazi government.

 

Goebbels was the man who “sold” the Germans

on the Nazis (much the way Roger Ailes has

sold the US on Bush-style (i.e. criminal)

Republicanism.

 

I recommend you read more, but if you want

to go straight to the video, it’s here:

 

http://clicks.aweber.com/y/ct/?l=DMIXC&m=1fnRWYvqUnEpNr&b=tozVV3Z_Sah7ukpDIFb48A

 

*** You can’t have a dictatorship with controlling

the news media, overly or covertly

 

It’s important to know that even as

Berlin was literally going up in

flames, the Nazis retained the support of

large portions of Germany society as

a result of Goebbels’ “genius.”

 

This feat, as one book title describes it,

was “the war that Hitler won.”

 

Edward Bernays bragged that his book

“The Crystalization of Public Opinion”

was prominently displayed in Goebbels

private office.

 

You may have heard of “Kristallnacht”

a multi-day orgy of street terror against

Jews in Germany that “crystalized”

public opinion that it had become socially

acceptable to target Jews in the streets,

in their stores and even in their homes.

 

Most historians state that the

“kristall” in “kristallnacht” refers

to the broken windows of Jewish owned

stores.

 

There is one problem with this universally

accepted version of events.

 

“Kristall” does not mean “glass” or

“store window” in German. It means

crystal.

 

What crystals were broken during “kristallnacht?”

 

Answer: None to speak of.

 

It is my contention that in fact

“Kristallnacht,” one of the notorious

acts of state terrorism in modern history,

was coined by Goebbels for the strategy

of “crystalizing” public opinion he learned from

his American mentor’s book by the same name.

 

Meet Edward Bernays, US PR man,

tutor to the Nazi propaganda machine,

and inspiration to Roger Ailes, creator

of Fox News, America’s modern day version

of Joseph Goebbels:

 

http://clicks.aweber.com/y/ct/?l=DMIXC&m=1fnRWYvqUnEpNr&b=tozVV3Z_Sah7ukpDIFb48A

 

– Brasscheck

 

P.S. You know you’re not going to learn this

stuff on TV or even at a fancy university.

 

If you think this kind of commentary is helpful

in understanding today’s world, please share

Brasscheck TV e-mails and videos with your

friends and colleagues.

 

That’s how we grow.

 

Thanks.

– Brasscheck

 

P.S. Please share Brasscheck TV e-mails and

videos with friends and colleagues.

 

That’s how we grow. Thanks.

 

==============================

 

 

 

Brasscheck TV

2380 California St.

San Francisco, CA 94115

 

This was sent to me recently.  Please visit link to this organizations report on Secrecy.  They contend that in spite of everything that’s been in the news Government Control and Secrecy had continued to increase.  -GFS

 

REPORT FINDS EXPANDED GOVERNMENT SECRECY

We thought you may be interested in seeing our recent report, the 2008 Secrecy Report Card, since it seems to be in line with many of the issues you cover.  This is our fifth annual report tracking trends in public access to information.  This year’s expanded report is expanded to cover Mandatory Declassification Review numbers and progress under the Automatic Declassification Review process, and covers legislation in the 110th Congress that would increase openness and accountability.  The report also contains updated numbers on requests for National Security Letters, competitiveness of federal contracting, and use of the “state secrets” privilege.

 

Please take a look at our attached press release and the AP story about the report.  If you have any questions, contact either me or Patrice McDermott, Director of OpenTheGovernment.org (pmcdermott@openthegovernment.org).

 

Thanks,

 

Amy Fuller

OpenTheGovernment.org

www.openthegovernment.org

202-336-OPEN (6736)