Monthly Archives: May 2009

Communist Party of Nepal in favour of having a “baby king”

UML in favour of reinstating monarchy, say Maoists

The Hindu | May 29, 2009

by Prerana Marasini

KATHMANDU: The Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoists) has said the Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist Leninist) is in favour of having a“baby king”.

The remark came after the first Cabinet meeting of the CPN (UML)-led government decided to erect a republican monument in one of the parks of Kathmandu. Maoist’s spokesperson Dina Nath Sharma said the decision was nothing but a conspiracy to bring back monarchy through former king Gyanendra’s grandson. “The decision which was taken by a Cabinet meeting, when the Cabinet has not taken a full shape, indicates that UML is in favour of reinstating monarchy,” he told The Hindu, adding the CPN(UML) had disregarded the agreement between political parties to build the monument on the premises of the former Royal Palace.

But General Secretary of CPN-UML Ishwar Pokharel rubbished the claims. He said: “They’re making a non-issue, an issue.” “What is going to be builtinside the palace premises is different from what is going to be built in Ratnapark.”

The Maoist’s spokesperson also said the new Prime Minister’s appreciation of President Ram Baran Yadav’s move to reinstate the Nepal Army Chief,favouring military supremacy, was also suggestive of conspiracy to revive monarchy. When the Nepali Congress president went to New Delhi, when theformer king Gyanendra was still there in India, the Maoist leaders here claimed that there was a plot to reinstate monarchy.

Constituent Assembly Chairman Subash Nembang on Thursday met with Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal, Maoist Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’and Nepali Congress President Girija Prasad Koirala and urged them to end their bitterness so that the process of Constitution-writing was notaffected.

Meanwhile, the Nepali Congress and CPN(UML) have agreed to expand the Cabinet by Sunday. The portfolios will be decided as per the representationof the parties in the Constituent Assembly. But the Maoists have maintained that they would obstruct the House until their resolution against thePresident’s decision on the Army chief was discussed.

U.S. military: Heavily medicated and armed

Prescription pill dependency among American troops is on the rise

MSNBC | May 19, 2009

U.S. military: Heavily armed and medicated

By Melody Petersen

Marine Corporal Michael Cataldi woke as he heard the truck rumble past.

He opened his eyes, but saw nothing. It was the middle of the night, and he was facedown in the sands of western Iraq. His loaded M16 was pinned beneath him.

Cataldi had no idea how he’d gotten to where he now lay, some 200 meters from the dilapidated building where his buddies slept. But he suspected what had caused this nightmare: His Klonopin prescription had run out.

His ordeal was not all that remarkable for a person on that anti-anxiety medication. In the lengthy labeling that accompanies each prescription, Klonopin users are warned against abruptly stopping the medicine, since doing so can cause psychosis, hallucinations, and other symptoms. What makes Cataldi’s story extraordinary is that he was a U. S. Marine at war, and that the drug’s adverse effects endangered lives — his own, his fellow Marines’, and the lives of any civilians unfortunate enough to cross his path.

“It put everyone within rifle distance at risk,” he says.

In deploying an all-volunteer army to fight two ongoing wars, in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Pentagon has increasingly relied on prescription drugs to keep its warriors on the front lines. In recent years, the number of military prescriptions for antidepressants, sleeping pills, and painkillers has risen as soldiers come home with battered bodies and troubled minds. And many of those service members are then sent back to war theaters in distant lands with bottles of medication to fortify them.

According to data from a U. S. Army mental-health survey released last year, about 12 percent of soldiers in Iraq and 15 percent of those in Afghanistan reported taking antidepressants, anti-anxiety medications, or sleeping pills. Prescriptions for painkillers have also skyrocketed. Data from the Department of Defense last fall showed that as of September 2007, prescriptions for narcotics for active-duty troops had risen to almost 50,000 a month, compared with about 33,000 a month in October 2003, not long after the Iraq war began.

In other words, thousands of American fighters armed with the latest killing technology are taking prescription drugs that the Federal Aviation Administration considers too dangerous for commercial pilots.

Military officials say they believe many medications can be safely used on the battlefield. They say they have policies to ensure that drugs they consider inappropriate for soldiers on the front lines are rarely used. And they say they are not using the drugs in order to send unstable warriors back to war.

Yet the experience of soldiers and Marines like Cataldi show the dangers of drugging our warriors. It also worries some physicians and veterans’ advocates. “There are risks in putting people back to battle with medicines in their bodies,” says psychiatrist Judith Broder, M. D., founder of the Soldiers Project, a group that helps service members suffering from mental illness.

Prescription drugs can help patients, Dr. Broder says, but they can also cause drowsiness and impair judgment. Those side effects can be dealt with by patients who are at home, she says, but they can put active-duty soldiers in great danger. She worries that some soldiers are being medicated and then sent back to fight before they’re ready.

“The military is under great pressure to have enough people ready for combat,” she says. “I don’t think they’re as cautious as they would be if they weren’t under this kind of pressure.”

Brought more than memories back

When Cataldi talks about what happened to him in Iraq, he begins with an in incident that took place on a cold January night in 2005, when he and five other Marines received a radio call informing them that a helicopter had disappeared. The men roared across the desert of western Iraq and found what was left of the chopper. Flames roared from the pile of metal. Cataldi, 20, was ordered to do a body count.

The pilot’s body was still on fire, so he shoveled dirt on it to douse the acrid flames. He picked up a man’s left boot in order to find the dog tag every Marine keeps there. A foot fell to the ground. “People were missing heads,” Cataldi remembers. “They were wearing the same uniform I was wearing.”

The final death toll from that crash of a CH-53E Super Stallion was 30 Marines and one sailor.

For days, Cataldi couldn’t escape the odor of burning flesh. “I had the smell all over my equipment,” he says. “I couldn’t get it off .”

When he returned to his stateside base at Twentynine Palms, California, he knew he’d brought more than memories back from Iraq. He would cry for no reason. He flew into fits of rage. One night he woke up with his hands around the throat of his wife, Monica, choking her.

“It scared the crap out of me,” he says.

He went to see a psychiatrist on base. “He said, ‘Here’s some medication,’ ” Cataldi recalls. The prescribed drugs were Klonopin, for anxiety; Zoloft, for depression; and Ambien, to help him sleep.

Later, other military doctors added narcotic painkillers for the excruciating pain in his leg, which he’d injured during a training exercise. He was also self-medicating with heavy doses of alcohol.
Those prescriptions didn’t stop the Marine Corps from sending Cataldi back to Iraq. In 2006, he returned to the same part of the Iraqi desert to do the same job: performing maintenance on armored personnel carriers known as LAVs. He also took his turn driving the 14-ton tanklike vehicles, one of which was armed with a 25 mm cannon and two machine guns and loaded with more than 1,000 rounds of ammunition.

Marine Major Carl B. Redding says he can’t talk about the medical history of any Marine because of privacy laws. He says the Corps has procedures to ensure that service members taking medications for psychiatric conditions are deployed only if their symptoms are in remission. Those Marines, he says, must be able to meet the demands of a mission.

But it’s difficult to square those regulations with Cataldi’s experience. His medications came with written warnings about the dangers of driving and operating heavy machinery. The labels don’t lie.

One night, Cataldi took his pills after his commander told him he was done for the day. Five minutes later, however, plans changed, and he was told to drive the LAV. He asked the Marine sitting behind him to help keep him awake. “I said, ‘Kick the back of my seat every 5 minutes,’ and that’s what he did.”

Cataldi says he managed on the medications — until his Klonopin ran out. The medical officer told him there was no Klonopin anywhere in Iraq. So the officer gave him a drug called Seroquel. That’s when Cataldi says he started to become “loopy.”

“I’d go to pick up a wrench and come back with a hammer,” he says. “I wasn’t able to do my job. I wasn’t able to fight.”

Soldiers on medication

Soldiers have doped up in order to sustain combat since ancient times. Often their chosen drug was alcohol. And Iraq isn’t the first place U. S. military doctors have prescribed medications to troops on the front. During the Vietnam war, military psychiatrists spoke enthusiastically about some newly psychiatric medicines, including Thorazine, an anti-psychotic, and Valium, for anxiety. According to an army textbook, doctors frequently prescribed those drugs to soldiers with psychiatric symptoms. Anxiety-ridden soldiers with upset bowels were sometimes given the antidiarrheal Compazine, a potent tranquilizer.

But the use of those drugs in Vietnam became controversial. Critics said it was dangerous to give soldiers medications that slowed their reflexes, a side effect that could raise their risk of being injured, captured, or killed. That risk was real. In a report supported by the U. S. Navy 14 years after the United States withdrew from Vietnam, researchers looked at the records of all Marines wounded there between 1965 and 1972. Marines who’d been hospitalized for psychiatric reasons before being sent back to battle were more likely to have been injured in combat than those who hadn’t been hospitalized.

Critics of medication use in Vietnam also said that a soldier traumatized by battle may not be coherent enough to give his consent to take the drugs in the first place. Plus, a soldier would risk court-martial if he refused to follow orders, they said, making it unlikely he could make a reasoned decision about taking the medications.

After the war, the practice of liberally giving psychiatric drugs to warriors fell out of favor. In War Psychiatry, a 1995 military medical textbook, a U. S. Air Force flight surgeon warned about the use of psychiatric drugs, saying they should be used sparingly.

“Sending a person back to combat duty still under the influence of psychoactive drugs may be dangerous,” he wrote. “Even in peacetime, people in the many combat-support positions… would not be allowed to take such medications and continue to work in their sensitive, demanding jobs.”

Colonel Elspeth Cameron Ritchie, M. D., M. P. H., a psychiatrist and the medical director of the strategic communication directorate in the Office of the Army Surgeon General, acknowledges that writing more prescriptions for frontline troops was a change in direction for the Pentagon. “Twenty years ago,” she says, “we weren’t deploying soldiers on medications.”

Today it’s not uncommon for a soldier to arrive in Iraq while taking a host of prescription drugs. The Pentagon explained its new practice in late 2006, stating that there are “few medications that are inherently disqualifying for deployment.”

According to Colonel Ritchie, military officials have concluded that many medicines introduced since the Vietnam War can be used safely on the front lines. Military physicians consider antidepressants and sleeping pills to be especially helpful, she says. Doctors have also found that small doses of Seroquel, an anti-psychotic, can help treat nightmares, she says, even though the drug is not approved for that use.

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Government Experiments on U.S. Soldiers: Shocking Claims Come to Light in New Court Case

manchurian-candidate

They say government scientists messed with their minds. Now, veterans who were the subject of top-secret experiments want answers.

Mother Jones | May 23, 2009

By Bruce Falconer

Their stories are a staple of conspiracy culture: broken men, suffering hallucinations and near-total amnesia, who say they are victims of secret government mind-control experiments. Think Liev Schreiber in The Manchurian Candidate or Mel Gibson in Conspiracy Theory. Journalists are a favorite target for the paranoid delusions of this population. So is Gordon Erspamer—and the San Francisco lawyer’s latest case isn’t helping him to fend off the tinfoil-hat crowd. He has filed suit against the CIA and the US Army on behalf of the Vietnam Veterans of America and six former American soldiers who claim they are the real thing: survivors of classified government tests conducted at the Army’s Edgewood Arsenal in Maryland between 1950 and 1975. “I get a lot of calls,” he says. “There are a lot of crazy people out there who think that somebody from Mars is controlling their behavior via radio waves.” But when it comes to Edgewood, “I’m finding that more and more of those stories are true!”

That government scientists conducted human experiments at Edgewood is not in question. “The program involved testing of nerve agents, nerve agent antidotes, psychochemicals, and irritants,” according to a 1994 General Accounting Office (now the Government Accountability Office) report (PDF). At least 7,800 US servicemen served “as laboratory rats or guinea pigs” at Edgewood, alleges Erspamer’s complaint, filed in January in a federal district court in California. The Department of Veterans Affairs has reported that military scientists tested hundreds of chemical and biological substances on them, including VX, tabun, soman, sarin, cyanide, LSD, PCP, and World War I-era blister agents like phosgene and mustard. The full scope of the tests, however, may never be known. As a CIA official explained to the GAO, referring to the agency’s infamous MKULTRA mind-control experiments, “The names of those involved in the tests are not available because names were not recorded or the records were subsequently destroyed.” Besides, said the official, some of the tests involving LSD and other psychochemical drugs “were administered to an undetermined number of people without their knowledge.”

Erspamer’s plaintiffs claim that, although they volunteered for the Edgewood program, they were never adequately informed of the potential risks and continue to suffer debilitating health effects as a result of the experiments. They hope to force the CIA and the Army to admit wrongdoing, inform them of the specific substances they were exposed to, and provide access to subsidized health care to treat their Edgewood-related ailments. Despite what they describe as decades of suffering resulting from their Edgewood experiences, the former soldiers are not seeking monetary damages; a 1950 Supreme Court decision, the Feres case, precludes military personnel from suing the federal government for personal injuries sustained in the line of duty. The CIA’s decision to use military personnel as test subjects followed the court’s decision and is an issue Erspamer plans to raise at trial. “Suddenly, they stopped using civilian subjects and said, ‘Oh, we can get these military guys for free,'” he says. “The government could do whatever it wanted to them without liability. We want to bring that to the attention of the public, because I don’t think most people understand that.” (Asked about Erspamer’s suit, CIA spokeswoman Marie Harf would say only that the agency’s human testing program has “been thoroughly investigated, and the CIA fully cooperated with each of the investigations.”)

Erspamer’s involvement in the case is deeply personal. His father was a government scientist during Operation Crossroads, a series of nuclear tests conducted at Bikini Atoll in the Pacific in the summer of 1946; he was present aboard a research vessel for the “Baker” test, during which a 21-kiloton thermonuclear bomb was detonated 90 feet below water. The blast resulted in massive radioactive contamination. Erspamer’s father and the rest of the ship’s crew, he says, all died in middle age from radiogenic diseases. Erspamer makes his living in the field of energy litigation, but has twice before argued class action suits for veterans—one for soldiers who, like his father, were exposed to radiation during nuclear tests (a case he ultimately lost in a 1992 appellate decision) and more recently one on behalf of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans denied treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder. The case is on appeal in California’s 9th Circuit. “Nobody out there is doing these types of cases,” he says. “It’s really sad because the veterans are left holding the bag, and it’s not a very pretty bag.”

One of those vets is Frank Rochelle. Unlike those of other test veterans, portions of his heavily redacted medical records have survived, providing a rare, if incomplete, account of his experiences. In 1968, while posted at Virginia’s Fort Lee as a 20-year-old Army draftee, he saw a notice calling for volunteers for the Edgewood program. Among the promised incentives were relief from guard duty, the freedom to wear civilian clothes, three-day weekends, and, upon completion, a medal of commendation—all for participation in experiments that, according to the notice, would help the military test a new generation of equipment, clothing, and gas masks. Upon his arrival at the testing facility in Maryland, he says he was asked to sign a series of documents, including a release form and a secrecy agreement. The tests would be risk free, he says he was told, and any drugs given would not exceed normal dosage. Over the next two months, however, he was subjected to three rounds of experiments that, Rochelle says, left him permanently damaged. His medical records indicate that he was exposed to nonlethal incapacitating agents like DHMP and glycolate, both of which act as sedatives that produce hallucinations. In the latter case, Rochelle says he was taken into a gas chamber and strapped to a chair by two men in white lab coats, who affixed a mask to his face and told him to breathe normally. He quickly lost consciousness. According to Erspamer’s complaint, “Over the next two to three days, Frank was hallucinating and high: he thought he was three feet tall, saw animals on the walls, thought he was being pursued by a 6-foot-tall white rabbit, heard people calling his name, thought that all his freckles were bugs under his skin, and used a razor to try to cut these bugs out. No one from the clinical staff intervened on his behalf…”

Medical records indicate that Rochelle went through a third round of testing, but he has no memory of it. For years he’s been having nightmares about the Edgewood tests and now suffers from anxiety, memory loss, sleep apnea, tinnitus, and loss of vision, all of which he claims are direct results of the experiments. Still, he didn’t inform his doctor of the tests until 2006, believing that he was still bound by the oath of secrecy he swore in 1968. (The government finally released human test subjects to speak to their physicians about the tests in June 2006, under the condition that they not “discuss anything that relates to operational information that might reveal chemical or biological warfare vulnerabilities or capabilities.”)

Rochelle’s story is similar to those of Erspamer’s other plaintiffs, all of whom claim to be suffering debilitating health effects stemming from the experiments. Of course, substantiating these claims is a challenge, given that most of the medical records were destroyed upon completion of the program. Rochelle’s records remain intact, but for “others we have less information,” says Erspamer. “We spent a great deal of time on that topic, and we are confident that the plaintiffs are who they say they are, were where they said they were, and got what they said they got,” in terms of exposure to experimental chemicals. “Who bears the burden on that issue when the defendants destroyed the evidence?” Erspamer asks. “They’ve put all that stuff through the shredder.”

Compensation for injuries sustained during human testing of chemical and biological agents is not unprecedented. Last year, more than 350 servicemen who served as test subjects at Porton Down, a secret military research facility where the British government conducted its own series of mind-control experiments, were granted nearly $6 million in compensation in an out-of-court settlement with the UK’s Ministry of Defence. Likewise, in 2004, the Canadian government began offering $18,000 payments to eligible veterans of experiments at its testing facilities. Nevertheless, says Erspamer, “No American soldiers have ever been compensated.” The CIA and the Army “just hope they’re all gonna die off, and they will unless somebody does something.”

After suicide of 7-year-old, agency finds serious shortcomings in monitoring of foster children on psychotropic drugs

Review finds shortfalls in monitoring of foster children on psychiatric drugs

13.19 percent, are taking one or more psychotropic medications

St. Petersburg Times | May 29, 2009

By Kris Hundley

Spurred by the shocking suicide of a 7-year-old on psychiatric drugs, the agency in charge of Florida’s foster children has discovered serious shortcomings in its monitoring of kids on such powerful prescriptions.

After reviewing its files, the Department of Children and Families determined it had undercounted the number of foster kids on such medications as Risperdal and Adderall, overlooking hundreds of cases.

It also has failed to meet its legal requirement that such prescriptions be given only after parental consent or court order.

On Thursday, DCF said a review of the files of more than 20,000 children currently in the state’s foster care showed 2,669, or 13.19 percent, are taking one or more psychotropic medications.

That compares with about 4 or 5 percent of children in the general population who are on such prescriptions.

Of those foster children taking drugs, DCF discovered 16 percent had no proof either a parent or judge had signed off on the prescription, as required by a 2005 Florida law.

“That is unacceptable,” said DCF Secretary George Sheldon. “We’re going to bring every single case of a foster child on drugs into compliance with the law.”

Concerns about pediatric use of antipsychotic and antidepressants such as Adderall and Risperdal have been growing along with increased warnings of such side effects as suicide, diabetes and weight gain. Few of the drugs have been tested or approved by the FDA for children, though physicians can prescribe them for this age group.

Robin Rosenberg, a Tampa lawyer and deputy director of Florida’s Children First, said advocacy groups like hers have been fighting for oversight of psychotropic drugs for years. “We’re not as far along as we should have been if the state had followed up on serious concerns starting in the late 1990s,” she said. “It’s a shame we’re in this place today.”

Sheldon, who was named to the top job at DCF in October, left no doubt that he had been deeply affected by Gabriel Myers, the 7-year-old who hanged himself on a shower hose in South Florida in mid April. The boy was in his third foster home and on Vyvanse, a medication for ADHD, as well as Symbyax, a combination antipsychotic and antidepressant.

Though his caseworker repeatedly said Gabriel’s mother had agreed to the medications, that was not true. The boy’s psychotropic medications also had not been entered in the state’s tracking system.

To correct ongoing problems, Sheldon set a deadline of June 5 for action on cases without consent. This could include scheduling new doctors’ appointments, gaining informed consent from parents or expediting a judge’s review of the prescription.

Sheldon said he also was going to focus on the cases of 73 children under age 6 found to be on psychotropic drugs.

“I want a sense of urgency, but I also want to get it right,” he said. “I want to move forward, but I think it’s important for the agency to apologize for misinformation it may have put out in the past.”

Flaws in DCF’s record-keeping became clear in the immediate aftermath of Gabriel’s death. An initial review of the state’s database showed only 1,950 kids on psychotropic prescriptions. After a thorough review of individual records, however, that number grew by more than 700.

Preliminary data released in mid May also showed some questionable dates on judicial consent. Though it’s not inconceivable a judge might sign an order on a Saturday or Sunday, early returns showed weekend consent orders on 129 occasions.

The final database, including information on types of drugs and diagnoses, was not available Thursday. Sheldon said a summary of the drug data would be posted on the DCF Web site and updated weekly.

“I’ve got a lot more confidence in these numbers than I had two weeks ago,” he said. “But any database is only as good as the quality of the information being put into it.”

One ongoing area of concern, Sheldon said, is the validity of any consent given by parents whose kids are in the state’s custody.

“A parent whose child is taken into our care is going to sign virtually anything and that’s not informed consent,” he said. “My preference is that the biological parent have a dialogue with the psychiatrist.”

Now that DCF has a handle on the number of foster children on psychotropic drugs, Sheldon said the department can begin to address the bigger issue of the efficacy of such drugs.

He has asked an independent panel investigating Gabriel Myers’ death to make recommendations on improving DCF’s oversight of these medications. Sheldon said a second-party review of all such prescriptions might be necessary; currently, only prescriptions for kids under age 6 require such review.

DCF has set up a page on its Web site that tracks the progress of the panel investigation into the boy’s suicide. The page includes a photo of the smiling boy.

“We have his face on the screen watching us to see how well we learned from his life and death,” Sheldon said. “We cannot let him down.”

Secret Bilderberg Agenda to Restructure Global Political Economy

Bilderberg Plan For Remaking the Global Political Economy 2009

Market Oracle | May 26, 2009

By Global Research

Best Financial Markets Analysis ArticleAndrew G. Marshall writes: From May 14-17, the global elite met in secret in Greece for the yearly Bilderberg conference, amid scattered and limited global media attention. Roughly 130 of the world’s most powerful individuals came together to discuss the pressing issues of today, and to chart a course for the next year. The main topic of discussion at this years meeting was the global financial crisis, which is no surprise, considering the list of conference attendees includes many of the primary architects of the crisis, as well as those poised to “solve” it.

The Agenda: The Restructuring of the Global Political Economy

Before the meeting began, Bilderberg investigative journalist Daniel Estulin reported on the main item of the agenda, which was leaked to him by his sources inside. Though such reports cannot be verified, his sources, along with those of veteran Bilderberg tracker, Jim Tucker, have proven to be shockingly accurate in the past. Apparently, the main topic of discussion at this years meeting was to address the economic crisis, in terms of undertaking, “Either a prolonged, agonizing depression that dooms the world to decades of stagnation, decline and poverty … or an intense-but-shorter depression that paves the way for a new sustainable economic world order, with less sovereignty but more efficiency.” Other items on the agenda included a plan to “continue to deceive millions of savers and investors who believe the hype about the supposed up-turn in the economy. They are about to be set up for massive losses and searing financial pain in the months ahead,” and “There will be a final push for the enactment of Lisbon Treaty, pending on Irish voting YES on the treaty in Sept or October,”[1] which would give the European Union massive powers over its member nations, essentially making it a supranational regional government, with each country relegated to more of a provincial status.

Shortly after the meetings began, Bilderberg tracker Jim Tucker reported that his inside sources revealed that the group has on its agenda, “the plan for a global department of health, a global treasury and a shortened depression rather than a longer economic downturn.” Tucker reported that Swedish Foreign Minister and former Prime Minister, Carl Bildt, “Made a speech advocating turning the World Health Organization into a world department of health, advocating turning the IMF into a world department of treasury, both of course under the auspices of the United Nations.” Further, Tucker reported that, “Treasury Secretary Geithner and Carl Bildt touted a shorter recession not a 10-year recession … partly because a 10 year recession would damage Bilderberg industrialists themselves, as much as they want to have a global department of labor and a global department of treasury, they still like making money and such a long recession would cost them big bucks industrially because nobody is buying their toys…..the tilt is towards keeping it short.”[2]

After the meetings finished, Daniel Estulin reported that, “One of Bilderberg’s primary concerns according to Estulin is the danger that their zeal to reshape the world by engineering chaos in order to implement their long term agenda could cause the situation to spiral out of control and eventually lead to a scenario where Bilderberg and the global elite in general are overwhelmed by events and end up losing their control over the planet.”[3]

On May 21, the Macedonian International News Agency reported that, “A new Kremlin report on the shadowy Bilderberg Group, who this past week held their annual meeting in Greece, states that the West’s financial, political and corporate elite emerged from their conclave after coming to an agreement that in order to continue their drive towards a New World Order dominated by the Western Powers, the US Dollar has to be ‘totally’ destroyed.” Further, the same Kremlin report apparently stated that, “most of the West’s wealthiest elite convened at an unprecedented secret meeting in New York called for and led by” David Rockefeller, “to plot the demise of the US Dollar.”[4]

The Secret Meeting of Billionaires

The meeting being referred to was a secret meeting where, “A dozen of the richest people in the world met for an unprecedented private gathering at the invitation of Bill Gates and Warren Buffett to talk about giving away money,” held at Rockefeller University, and included notable philanthropists such as Gates, Buffett, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, George Soros, Eli Broad, Oprah Winfrey, David Rockefeller Sr. and Ted Turner. One attendee stated that, “It wasn’t secret,” but that, “It was meant to be a gathering among friends and colleagues. It was something folks have been discussing for a long time. Bill and Warren hoped to do this occasionally. They sent out an invite and people came.” Chronicle of Philanthropy editor Stacy Palmer said, “Given how serious these economic times are, I don’t think it’s surprising these philanthropists came together,” and that, “They don’t typically get together and ask each other for advice.” The three hosts of the meeting were Buffet, Gates and David Rockefeller.[5] [See: Appendix 2: Bilderberg Connections to the Billionaire’s Meeting].

Bilderberg founding member David Rockefeller, Honourary Chairman of the Council on Foreign Relations, Honourary Chairman and Founder of the Trilateral Commission, Chairman of the Council of the Americas and the Americas Society, former Chairman and CEO of Chase Manhattan.

At the meeting, “participants steadfastly refused to reveal the content of the discussion. Some cited an agreement to keep the meeting confidential. Spokesmen for Mr. Buffett, Mr. Bloomberg, Mr. Gates, Mr. Rockefeller, Mr. Soros and Ms. Winfrey and others dutifully declined comment, though some confirmed attendance.”[6] Reports indicate that, “They discussed how to address the global slump and expand their charitable activities in the downturn.”[7]

The UK newspaper The Times reported that these “leading billionaires have met secretly to consider how their wealth could be used to slow the growth of the world’s population,” and that they “discussed joining forces to overcome political and religious obstacles to change.” Interestingly, “The informal afternoon session was so discreet that some of the billionaires’ aides were told they were at ‘security briefings’.” Further, “The billionaires were each given 15 minutes to present their favourite cause. Over dinner they discussed how they might settle on an ‘umbrella cause’ that could harness their interests,” and what was decided upon was that, “they agreed that overpopulation was a priority.” Ultimately, “a consensus emerged that they would back a strategy in which population growth would be tackled as a potentially disastrous environmental, social and industrial threat,” and that, “They need to be independent of government agencies, which are unable to head off the disaster we all see looming.” One guest at the meeting said that, “They wanted to speak rich to rich without worrying anything they said would end up in the newspapers, painting them as an alternative world government.”[8]

The Leaked Report

Bilderberg investigative reporter Daniel Estulin reportedly received from his inside sources a 73-page Bilderberg Group meeting wrap-up for participants, which revealed that there were some serious disagreements among the participants. “The hardliners are for dramatic decline and a severe, short-term depression, but there are those who think that things have gone too far and that the fallout from the global economic cataclysm cannot be accurately calculated if Henry Kissinger’s model is chosen. Among them is Richard Holbrooke. What is unknown at this point: if Holbrooke’s point of view is, in fact, Obama’s.” The consensus view was that the recession would get worse, and that recovery would be “relatively slow and protracted,” and to look for these terms in the press over the next weeks and months.

Estulin reported, “that some leading European bankers faced with the specter of their own financial mortality are extremely concerned, calling this high wire act “unsustainable,” and saying that US budget and trade deficits could result in the demise of the dollar.” One Bilderberger said that, “the banks themselves don’t know the answer to when (the bottom will be hit).” Everyone appeared to agree, “that the level of capital needed for the American banks may be considerably higher than the US government suggested through their recent stress tests.” Further, “someone from the IMF pointed out that its own study on historical recessions suggests that the US is only a third of the way through this current one; therefore economies expecting to recover with resurgence in demand from the US will have a long wait.” One attendee stated that, “Equity losses in 2008 were worse than those of 1929,” and that, “The next phase of the economic decline will also be worse than the ’30s, mostly because the US economy carries about $20 trillion of excess debt. Until that debt is eliminated, the idea of a healthy boom is a mirage.”[9]

According to Jim Tucker, Bilderberg is working on setting up a summit in Israel from June 8-11, where “the world’s leading regulatory experts” can “address the current economic situation in one forum.” In regards to the proposals put forward by Carl Bildt to create a world treasury department and world department of health under the United Nations, the IMF is said to become the World Treasury, while the World Health Organization is to become the world department of health. Bildt also reaffirmed using “climate change” as a key challenge to pursue Bilderberg goals, referring to the economic crisis as a “once-in-a-generation crisis while global warming is a once-in-a-millennium challenge.” Bildt also advocated expanding NAFTA through the Western hemisphere to create an American Union, using the EU as a “model of integration.”

The IMF reportedly sent a report to Bilderberg advocating its rise to becoming the World Treasury Department, and “U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner enthusiastically endorsed the plan for a World Treasury Department, although he received no assurance that he would become its leader.” Geithner further said, “Our hope is that we can work with Europe on a global framework, a global infrastructure which has appropriate global oversight.”[10]

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Abu Ghraib photos ‘show torture, abuse, rape and every indecency.’

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Photographs of alleged prisoner abuse which Barack Obama is attempting to censor include images of apparent rape and sexual abuse, it has emerged.

Telegraph | May 28, 2009

By Duncan Gardham, Security Correspondent and Paul Cruickshank

At least one picture shows an American soldier apparently raping a female prisoner while another is said to show a male translator raping a male detainee.

Further photographs are said to depict sexual assaults on prisoners with objects including a truncheon, wire and a phosphorescent tube.

Another apparently shows a female prisoner having her clothing forcibly removed to expose her breasts.

Detail of the content emerged from Major General Antonio Taguba, the former army officer who conducted an inquiry into the Abu Ghraib jail in Iraq.

Allegations of rape and abuse were included in his 2004 report but the fact there were photographs was never revealed. He has now confirmed their existence in an interview with the Daily Telegraph.

The graphic nature of some of the images may explain the US President’s attempts to block the release of an estimated 2,000 photographs from prisons in Iraq and Afghanistan despite an earlier promise to allow them to be published.

Maj Gen Taguba, who retired in January 2007, said he supported the President’s decision, adding: “These pictures show torture, abuse, rape and every indecency.

“I am not sure what purpose their release would serve other than a legal one and the consequence would be to imperil our troops, the only protectors of our foreign policy, when we most need them, and British troops who are trying to build security in Afghanistan.

“The mere description of these pictures is horrendous enough, take my word for it.”

In April, Mr Obama’s administration said the photographs would be released and it would be “pointless to appeal” against a court judgment in favour of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).

But after lobbying from senior military figures, Mr Obama changed his mind saying they could put the safety of troops at risk.

Earlier this month, he said: “The most direct consequence of releasing them, I believe, would be to inflame anti-American public opinion and to put our troops in greater danger.”

It was thought the images were similar to those leaked five years ago, which showed naked and bloody prisoners being intimidated by dogs, dragged around on a leash, piled into a human pyramid and hooded and attached to wires.

Mr Obama seemed to reinforce that view by adding: “I want to emphasise that these photos that were requested in this case are not particularly sensational, especially when compared to the painful images that we remember from Abu Ghraib.”

The latest photographs relate to 400 cases of alleged abuse between 2001 and 2005 in Abu Ghraib and six other prisons. Mr Obama said the individuals involved had been “identified, and appropriate actions” taken.

Maj Gen Taguba’s internal inquiry into the abuse at Abu Ghraib, included sworn statements by 13 detainees, which, he said in the report, he found “credible based on the clarity of their statements and supporting evidence provided by other witnesses.”

Among the graphic statements, which were later released under US freedom of information laws, is that of Kasim Mehaddi Hilas in which he says: “I saw [name of a translator] ******* a kid, his age would be about 15 to 18 years. The kid was hurting very bad and they covered all the doors with sheets. Then when I heard screaming I climbed the door because on top it wasn’t covered and I saw [name] who was wearing the military uniform, putting his **** in the little kid’s ***…. and the female soldier was taking pictures.”

The translator was an American Egyptian who is now the subject of a civil court case in the US.

Three detainees, including the alleged victim, refer to the use of a phosphorescent tube in the sexual abuse and another to the use of wire, while the victim also refers to part of a policeman’s “stick” all of which were apparently photographed.

Billionaires Try to Shrink World’s Population

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Bill Gates with Warren Buffett. Associated Press

Some are raising the specter of eugenics.

Wall Street Journal | May 26, 2009

By Robert Frank

Last week’s meeting of the Great and the Good (or the Richest and Richer) was bound to draw criticism.

The New York meeting of billionaires Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, David Rockefeller, Eli Broad, George Soros, Ted Turner, Oprah, Michael Bloomberg and others was described by the Chronicle of Philanthropy as an informal gathering aimed at encouraging philanthropy. Just a few billionaires getting together for drinks and dinner and a friendly chat about how to promote charitable giving.

There was no agenda, we were told. And no plan for a follow-up meeting.

But in an age of fallen wealth idols, it was inevitable that a meeting of billionaire minds would draw scrutiny. Surely all that money and power in one room had to spell trouble for the rest of us.

An article in the Times of London, headlined “Billionaire Club in Bid to Curb World Population,” said the issues discussed in the top-secret meeting included health care, education and–by far the most controversial–slowing the global population growth.

“Taking their cue from Gates they agreed that overpopulation was a priority,” the article said, adding that “this could result in a challenge to some Third World politicians who believe contraception and female education weaken traditional values.”

Such a stand wouldn’t be surprising. Mssrs. Gates, Buffett and Turner have been quietly worrying about Malthusian population problems for years. Mr. Gates in February outlined a plan to try to cap the world’s population at 8.3 billion people, rather than the projected 9.3 billion at which the population is expected to peak.

But some right-leaning blogs have started attacking the billionaires as forming a kind of secret sterilization society or giant ATM to fund abortions. It fed into time-honored fears of the rich using their wealth to reshape mankind in its preferred image. Some are raising the specter of eugenics.

I am not taking a stand on population control. But from what I was personally told about the meeting–and what the Times spells out further down in its story–population control was just one of many items raised during the meeting, as each philanthropist talked about what they were working on. It wasn’t the reason for meeting and there are no real plans for a follow-up confab.

The notion that this secret gathering was aimed mostly at shrinking the world’s population just doesn’t ring true.

That said, almost all of the attendees are politically liberal. Do you think this Star Chamber of Philanthropists is something to worry about or something to be grateful for?

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