Daily Archives: August 17, 2009

L.A. Police Chief to Lead Unit Seeking Big U.S. Contracts

LAPD ChiefWilliam J. Bratton, right, announces that he is resigning as chief of the Los Angeles Police Department during a news conference with Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa in Los Angeles, Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2009. Bratton is leaving to become head of a private security firm in New York City. Photo AP

Dyncorp, SAIC, Lockheed Martin and Kroll all overlap to some extent with Altegrity. The Carlyle Group invested in USIS in October 1999 as a financial and strategic partner.

Washington Post | Aug 17, 2009

New Hire Highlights Altegrity’s Growing Ambition

By Thomas Heath

For more than 12 years, Falls Church-based USIS went about its business quietly scrutinizing the backgrounds of thousands of individuals who needed security clearance to work in the U.S. government or in the private sector.

Not anymore.

USIS, which renamed itself Altegrity last month, has ambitions of becoming much more than an investigation and data-collection company.

Altegrity announced two weeks ago that Los Angeles Police Chief William J. Bratton, best known for reducing crime in New York City under Mayor Rudolph Giuliani in the 1990s, would become chief executive of its new Altegrity Security Consulting. The new unit is part of the privately held company’s plan to increase revenue well beyond its current $1 billion.

“We have aspirations to be substantially larger, so we are hiring Bill Bratton and bringing in a series of experts in different specific areas that can specifically target how you use information and to give great advice,” said Altegrity chief executive Michael G. Cherkasky, who was hired a year ago from Marsh & McLennan, the giant security consulting and risk management firm.

The firm will have lots of competition. Dyncorp, SAIC, Lockheed Martin and Kroll all overlap to some extent with Altegrity.

Bratton and Cherkasky know each other well. They worked together when Bratton served as a consultant to Kroll, the Marsh & McLennan company that competes in the same security sector as USIS.

Bratton plans to leave his position in Los Angeles this October and lead the company from New York City.

Altegrity’s mission is to train and consult U.S. and foreign police departments, as well as to advise foreign governments on how to build a criminal justice system. Most of the foreign programs will be carried out through the U.S. State Department.

Specifically, Altegrity has its eye on about a dozen State Department contracts expected to be awarded in the coming months. The contracts are aimed at helping post-conflict democracies rebuild their public safety infrastructures.

“It’s a multibillion-dollar market opportunity,” said David Baron, who has been a financial adviser to USIS for the past nine years and is currently head of the U.S. financial sponsors advisory group for Macquarie Capital.

Bratton brings to the job extensive experience in public safety as well as a list of seasoned subordinates on which he can draw. Many members of his brain trust from Los Angeles and elsewhere are likely to join his management team at Altegrity.

“One of my great strengths is I surround myself with very smart people,” Bratton said.

He headed the Bratton Group for six years after leaving the New York City job, and said he has experience and contacts throughout Central and South America, which could bring business to Altegrity.

“That’s a part of the world where I could proactively reach out and indicate that I and this newly formed company are available,” Bratton said.

Altegrity was launched when the federal government privatized the investigative branch of the Office of Personnel Management in July 1996. The company, which began with 600 employees, started with a five-year contract to provide security clearance background investigations. Its original name was U.S. Investigations Services Inc., and it was an employee-owned company.

The firm has grown to more than 8,000 employees worldwide, with 2,000 based in Northern Virginia and the District. USIS performed more than 2 million investigations for 95 federal agencies and organizations last year, according to an Altegrity spokesman.

The Carlyle Group invested in USIS in October 1999 as a financial and strategic partner. USIS employees cashed out in November 2003 when another investment firm, Welsh, Carson, Anderson and Stowe, acquired a majority stake in the company. Providence Equity Partners, a large, Rhode Island-based private-equity firm, bought USIS in August 2007.

Separate business units operate under the Altegrity umbrella brand.

Its core USIS background-check business, which employs 3,000 investigators in North America alone, also provides training and consulting to foreign governments on how to build a military.

USIS has trained more than 10,000 people around the world in police, anti-terrorism and counterinsurgency techniques. The firm currently has teams in Afghanistan, Colombia, Iraq, Indonesia and Pakistan, according to a spokesman.

The company’s HireRight unit supplies background and drug screening for companies, including more than a quarter of the U.S. Fortune 500.

The firm’s Explore Information Services unit monitors the driving records of more than 30 million drivers for U.S. auto insurers.

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LAPD chief’s exit opens the door to questions of conflict of interest

An independent probe is needed into the relationship between the departing police chief and LAPD monitor Michael Cherkasky, who will soon be Bratton’s boss.

Bratton’s exit opens the door to questions of conflict of interest

LA Times | Aug 13, 2009

By Tom Hayden

123837_memorial_RCG_Now that Los Angeles Police Chief William Bratton has announced that he is leaving his job in October, the popular law enforcer has become practically untouchable. But for the future of policing in Los Angeles, an independent inquiry is needed into whether his departure involved a conflict of interest that has compromised the latest chapter of police reform.

In May 2001, the Los Angeles City Council selected a former New York prosecutor, Michael Cherkasky, and the firm he then ran, Kroll Associates, to be the independent monitor overseeing police reforms mandated by a federal consent decree in the wake of the Rampart scandal. A leading member of Cherkasky’s monitoring team under the five-year, $11-million contract was William Bratton, former New York City police chief and a senior consultant at Kroll.

For a period of months before applying for the LAPD chief’s job, Bratton worked for Cherkasky on the consent decree, contributing to reports the monitor prepared for the city. On Oct. 2, 2002, Bratton became LAPD chief. There were obvious red flags even then: The man monitoring the city’s compliance with a federal decree was the friend and former employer of the man he was supposed to be monitoring. Was this really the sort of independent, conflict-free relationship required of a monitor?

It is not clear whether Bratton and Cherkasky interacted professionally outside the framework of the consent decree, but we now know, according to what Cherkasky recently told this newspaper, that the two men had always hoped to work together again. In July, Cherkasky told the federal judge overseeing the consent decree that the LAPD had sufficiently reformed itself and recommended the consent decree be lifted. In the same month, Cherkasky created Altegrity, a new holding company for his expanding security business. On Aug. 5, the former monitor hired Bratton to run a subsidiary, Altegrity Security Consulting. It all raises questions that should have a public airing.

If Cherkasky knew it was unlikely Bratton would leave his job before the decree was lifted, and if Cherkasky wanted to hire Bratton, then didn’t the monitor have a business interest in lifting the consent decree?

Bratton has done a lot of good in Los Angeles. But what will happen now that the chief is departing and the decree has been lifted?

The question is why the decree was lifted now, before a number of critical reforms were achieved.

In a 2009 Harvard University study of the department’s reforms, the authors found much to praise, concluding that “the LAPD of today is a changed organization” and lauding the department for achieving unprecedented public approval, greater responsiveness to minority communities, and reductions in the use of excessive force.

But it also noted some potentially disturbing findings, including:

* A 17% increase in the use of nonlethal force (stun guns, bean bags, etc.) in the LAPD’s Central Bureau during the last three years.

* “A troubling pattern” in which African Americans are “subjects of the use of such force out of proportion to their share of involuntary contacts with the LAPD.”

* A doubling of total pedestrian stops in six years and a 40% rise in vehicle stops, overwhelmingly in the inner city.

* “Steep increases” in arrests for minor offenses because of “police management decisions to use arrest powers more aggressively for less serious crimes.” There were an average of 298 arrests a day last year for what the Harvard report describes as minor crimes.

* A complete rejection by the department of citizen complaints of racial profiling. Internal investigators upheld none of 1,200 reports from citizens made between 2003 and 2008.

* A near-complete rejection of complaints of “officer discourtesy.” Of 2,368 complaints filed, the LAPD concurred in only 1.6% of the cases. Moreover, a survey revealed that 85% of LAPD officers consider citizen complaints frivolous.

This evidence suggests a work in progress, not a fully reformed police department. Worse, the Harvard analysts cast serious doubt on the capability of local authorities to hold the LAPD accountable in the absence of federal oversight. The office of LAPD inspector general, created in 1996 as a result of earlier controversies, was commended by the report, but it also noted that the office has only “modest” powers and that the Police Department is free to ignore its recommendations. The report noted that if the Police Commission had been performing its oversight role well, a monitor would have been unnecessary. But as the report notes, police commissioners are unpaid and the inspector general’s office cannot conduct independent or parallel investigations of its own.

As the city-funded “Rampart Reconsidered” report concluded in 2007, “The federal court is the only entity with the independence, power and sustained focus capable of ensuring that the city and the LAPD maintain current reform efforts.” Now that watchdog is gone, thanks to Cherkasky’s endorsement that his once and future partner, Chief Bratton, has improved the department to the point it no longer needs an outside eye.

We have to hope he was right.

Tom Hayden is a former California state senator. His most recent book, “The Long Sixties,” comes out in December.

The CNP, “alternative” media and controlled opposition

CNP_members

CNP members from L to R: (Top) Jack McLamb, Dr. Stanley Monteith, Cliff Kincaid, Paul Craig Roberts (Bottom) Dr. Jerome Corsi, Larry Pratt, Dr. Michael Coffman, Bob Barr

Several of the CNP’s highest-ranking members also belong to the Masonic Knights of Malta and are associated with Fabian socialism and the eugenics movement. Oil baron and CNP member Nelson Bunker Hunt was a former member of the racist pro-eugenics group called the International Association for the Advancement of Ethology and Eugenics. The group was heavily involved in the promotion of eugenics and segregation.

Dissecting the New Age | Jul 20, 2009

By Matthew D. Jarvie

Pictured above is just a few of the more popular names — especially among followers of the “alternative” media — who are members of the ultra-secret Council for National Policy (CNP). If you have never heard of this organization before, don’t be surprised because it’s almost never mentioned by the media, and especially not by those “big names” in the alternative media who regularly feature CNP members as guests on their show.

Established in 1981 by Tim LaHaye, an evangelical minister, author and speaker, the CNP was founded as a forum for “conservative” politicians, business leaders, members of the media, and evangelical leaders seeking to “strengthen the political right” in the United States. The group’s initial funding was provided by Rockefeller associate Nelson Bunker Hunt. Hunt and the Rockefeller family also played a leading role in the financing of the John Birch Society.

Since 1981, the CNP has been meeting in secret three times a year to set the agenda for the conservative and evangelical movement in the U.S. Its meetings are held in undisclosed locations and are off-limits to the general public and apparently the media as well. The reason for this, as claimed by the CNP, is to “allow for a free-flowing exchange of ideas,” a reason often used by other powerful and secretive elite non-governmental organizations that work to set policy from behind the scenes and outside of the so-called “democratic process.”

Because of the CNP’s secretive nature, some, including members of the CNP itself, have compared it to the slightly less secretive but more powerful Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). The CNP is often viewed as the right wing’s version of the Eastern Liberal Establishment’s CFR, though when looking through the group’s roster, it doesn’t take long to find many names which are/were also members of the CFR. Surely anyone who has done their homework knows that the Left vs. Right argument is a ruse, and that whether somebody in a position of power claims to be “liberal” or “conservative” they are still — knowingly or unknowingly — working toward the furtherance of the globalist, one world agenda.

Some have said that the CNP is even more powerful than the CFR. I find this hard to believe because the CFR is part of a global network and simply the American branch of the British-based Royal Institute for International Affairs (RIIA), which has satellites in all commonwealth countries — ie. Canadian Institute for International Affairs, Australian Institute for International Affairs, etc. (In the US it’s called the Council on Foreign Relations because we are supposedly free from British rule… or so we think.) While there are no doubt some very powerful names involved with the CNP, and it receives its funding from some very dubious sources, it more than likely works under the auspices of the CFR and serves more of a dialectical role in the left/right paradigm, formulating propaganda for the “Christian” right, versus serving as globalist policy makers which truly do control both sides of the political game and have a global influence (like the CFR, Trilateral Commission, Bilderberg, etc.) The group may be able to get away with their secrecy because they do, in fact, exercise less power and influence than the more widely known groups which wield global power.

With that said, it’s important not to discount the CNP’s role in the agenda. While the CNP may not be as powerful as other globalist NGOs, they are powerful in their control over the so-called conservative movement in this country, which ties in closely with the “patriot” movement and alternative media, which many people rely on to deliver them what they believe is “the truth.”

The elite control and administer every side of every issue and debate, and the more people wake up and realize how this control is exercised, the less likely they will be duped by the controlled opposition that’s put out there to lead them in circles, while keeping them neutralized with endless fear-mongering and disinformation.

People also need to begin asking themselves why those they have depended on to bring them the truth will not talk about the CNP on their radio programs. These people need to be repeatedly confronted about this on air and questioned about what they know about the CNP.

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Karzai ‘has revived Taleban’s barbarism to women’

karzai-pointing

Hamid Karzai approved a hard-line law, which critics fear could legalise rape

Scotsman | Aug 15,  2009

By Jonathon Burch in Kabul

HUMAN rights campaigners have accused president Hamid Karzai of “selling out” Afghan women by ratifying a Shiite law – which critics fear will legalise rape – ahead of next week’s election.

The New York-based group Human Rights Watch (HRW) yesterday discovered that an amended version of the controversial Personal Status Law quietly came into effect on 27 July, when it was published in the official gazette.

The legislation is meant to govern family law for minority Muslim Shiites, who make up about 15 per cent of Afghanistan’s 30 million population, and is different to rules for the majority Sunni population.

It requires Shia women to satisfy their husband’s sexual appetites, an article which critics have said could be used to justify marital rape.

Mr Karzai, who approved the legislation earlier this year, was forced to review the decision after western leaders said the “abhorrent” laws harked back to Taleban-era restrictions and Afghan women’s rights groups protested on the streets.

Mr Karzai has previously said western concerns about the law were “inappropriate” and may have been based on “misinterpretations” but promised last April to make changes if it was found to violate the constitution.

However, HRW says the amended law still contains some of its “most repressive” articles that directly contravene the Afghan constitution, which bans any kind of discrimination and distinction between citizens.

A copy of the final law seen by HRW enshrines a husband’s right to withdraw basic maintenance from his wife, including food, if she refuses to obey his sexual demands, and requires women to get permission from their husbands to work.

It also grants guardianship of children exclusively to their fathers and grandfathers and effectively allows a rapist to avoid prosecution by paying “blood money” to a girl who was injured when he raped her.

Brad Adams, Asia director for HRW, said: “Karzai has made an unthinkable deal to sell Afghan women out in return for the support of fundamentalists in the 20 August election. So much for any credentials he claimed as a moderate on women’s issues.

“These kinds of barbaric laws were supposed to have been relegated to the past with the overthrow of the Taleban in 2001, yet Karzai has revived them and given them his official stamp of approval.”

Fatemeh Hosseini, an Afghan women’s rights activist, said Karzai had been pressured by both sides but in the end had given in to conservative Muslim clerics.

“Karzai promised he would make changes and he has brought changes. But the changes are only in the wording, the context is the same,” she said.

“Karzai is trying to please both sides but for them, the mullahs are more important than women,” she said.

HRW has demanded the Afghan parliament overturns the law and has called on presidential candidates to amend or repeal it.

“Afghanistan’s parliament should overturn this law, and its constitutional court should throw out provisions that violate the constitution and its international legal obligations,” said Mr Adams.

Mr Karzai signed the Shia Personal Status Law in March, prompting a national and international storm of protest. The law also regulates divorce, separation, inheritance, and the minimum age for marriage.

The law was designed in secret by a powerful and hard-line Shia leader, Ayatollah Asif Mohseni, and supported by conservative Shia leaders in parliament.

In a rare move, Afghan women took to the streets in April to protest, braving threats and violence.

After many world leaders condemned the legislation, Mr Karzai submitted the law to a consultation process with civil society groups in May.

Dan Brown’s new book suggests Freemason Washington was a traitor

Washington_freemason

Washington laid the cornerstone of the Capitol while apparently dressed in his Masonic apron. Source: Library of Congress. Scanned from Richard Cavendish (ed.), Man, Myth, & Magic, Vol. 4, Marshall Cavendish, NY (1983), “Freemasonry” (pp. 1034-1040)

Interview: Robert Cooper – Breaking the code

Scotsman | Aug 7, 2009

By Kath Gourlay

‘I CANNOT tell a lie.” The famous quote from America’s first president, George Washington, is about to be called into question, according to leaked information on the plot of Dan Brown’s new book.

The Lost Symbol looks set to create a huge uproar across the USA, with its allegations that far from being the country’s ‘founding father,’ Washington was actually a traitor who had been secretly negotiating with the British during the American War of Independence.

His treachery – revealed in a deathbed confession – was apparently concealed by his fellow Freemasons.

Worse still, assertions that the original confession was concealed in George Washington’s coffin is creating panic around the grounds of Mount Vernon where Washington is buried.

Historian Robert Cooper, curator of the Grand Lodge of Scotland and a world authority on Freemasonry says, “It seems they’re planning security precautions to safeguard against what has become known as the ‘Rosslyn effect,'” referring to the way that, after the publication of Brown’s bestseller The Da Vinci Code, Rosslyn Chapel in Midlothian was deluged by grail seekers and treasure hunters.

According to The Da Vinci Code, descendants of a union between Christ and Mary Magdalene still lived near Rosslyn Chapel, safeguarding secrets hidden there about the true origins of the Christian church. Not surprisingly, the furore – particularly in Catholic quarters – was off the scale. This time, it seems Freemasons are being hauled over the coals. But Cooper doesn’t seem overly concerned.

“Brown’s novels are renowned for introducing sensational claims. These involve ‘facts’ suggesting that something which generations of people have taken for granted, is actually untrue. He weaves some real facts among the highly controversial stuff and has a good guys and bad guys race against the clock to decipher the clues. At the end of the day, it’s simply a piece of formulaic fiction.”

Maybe so, but with six weeks to go and millions of copies of The Lost Symbol already printed in anticipation of another blockbuster, Freemasons in the US have been accusing Doubleday, Brown’s publishers, of cranking up the controversy and deliberately leaking details of the plot. Masons are worried enough to be setting up a website recruiting teams of “experts” to carry out a page by page analysis as soon as the book hits the shelves.

Cooper, who has recently returned from lecturing on Freemasonry in the USA, appears to have undertaken a pretty comprehensive analysis already, and if he knows where the plot leaks are coming from, he’s not saying. “Of course I could be the victim of a double bluff but I don’t believe so. My knowledge of the source convinces me of its reliability, and of course there is some conjecture on my own part, based on the comprehensive knowledge I have of the background to the story.”

He claims his recent book Cracking the Freemason’s Code – The Truth about Solomon’s Key caused Dan Brown to change the title of his new novel from The Solomon Key to The Lost Symbol. “I don’t know what other changes my book caused, but as a Masonic historian, I deal in facts, not fiction.”

george_washington_freemason

One fact about George Washington shows he became a Freemason in 1752, aged 20. Almost without exception the other founding fathers of the United States – including Benjamin Franklin and James Madison – were Freemasons, and the American constitution itself is said to be based on Masonic principles.

According to Cooper, Scottish Masons took the principles of Freemasonry over to America in the first place. “Scotland is different from the rest of the world in that we go back before Freemasonry as an 18th century organisation. We were ordinary working guys – craft guilds – with our own ancient knowledge and rituals. It was the original egalitarian society, and that’s what we took to America.”

He says the first known Freemasons in North America were Scotsmen from Aberdeen and Melrose. “That was in 1648, a hundred years before George Washington. A hundred years after George Washington, during a Masonic ceremony, a Scotsman laid the foundation stone for the Statue of Liberty. Not a bad bit of continuity…”

Scottish Masons took the spark of revolution across the Atlantic, too. The Lodge of St Andrew met in the Green Dragon Tavern in Boston, and on St Andrew’s night 30th November, 1773. it was recorded that the Lodge meeting was adjourned as ‘consignees of tea took up the Brethrens’ time.’ The men dressed as Mohawks who tipped the British tea into Boston harbour (the act that started the revolution) were Lodge members. One of the brothers was the famous revolutionary Paul Revere. After the revolution the new nation used skilled stonemasons from Scotland (personally recruited by Washington) to work on the prestigious buildings around Washington DC. These included the capitol building and the White House (where the Scottish masons wouldn’t use slaves because they were not free men.)

All very stirring stuff, and not surprisingly, the present-day Freemasonic fraternity in Washington is incensed at the thought of a spanner being thrown into the works by Dan Brown. But could there be any basis behind the story?

The facts about the American Revolution show that in the early days, in the mid 1770’s, the colonialists suffered a series of defeats. Strategic secrets were being passed to the British. The facts also show that an American army general, Benedict Arnold, was a traitor who plotted to surrender the fort at West Point to the British and turn the tide of war against his own side. The facts link Washington with Arnold when it comes to Freemasonry and the facts show that the day the plot was discovered, Washington was due to meet Arnold at West Point. “The hard facts stop there.” says Cooper

It seems that in The Lost Symbol Washington has been working with Arnold and passing secrets to the British. But why on earth would Washington want to subvert the cause of American freedom?

“Ah, that I’m not clear about,” admits Cooper. “I don’t know what Brown has up his sleeve there, but I’ve been led to believe he’s suggesting George Washington could be bought like anyone else, and the English Tories had made him an offer he couldn’t refuse.

When Arnold was rumbled, Washington did a huge about-turn, covered his tracks and wholeheartedly embraced the cause of American independence.”

The rest, as they say, is history – except that in the novel, it appears Washington has a crisis of conscience on his deathbed and writes a detailed confession to be published after his death. His personal physician and friend, Dr James Craik – also a Freemason – is known to have attended the dying president, whose sealed coffin is buried at Mount Vernon. In true Dan Brown tradition, details of the confession and the events surrounding it have been hidden somewhere, and veiled references to it are found a couple of centuries later by a researcher working at Mount Vernon.

He seems to think something highly secret and important has been buried in Washington’s coffin. This secret – and the details surrounding it – have been concealed within Freemasonic codes of reference and the researcher can’t make sense of the symbolism disguising what he knows is a significant find.

He contacts symbologist Robert Langdon but is murdered before he can explain his findings.

Langdon, the CIA and the FBI are now in a race to find the confession, which the secret services must destroy to safeguard the integrity of the country’s founding father and the creation of the world’s first democracy.

Langdon is the front runner since he’s been contacted by a high ranking Freemason with knowledge of the symbolism of the Order. Apparently there’s a surprise twist when it comes to the identity of this Freemason – a twist which has more orthodox members of the craft siding with the CIA and FBI in suppressing the truth.

“If this plotline is anywhere near accurate,” says Cooper, who insists again that he has no reason to doubt his source, “then it’s going to create a huge uproar across the USA.”

LIFTING THE VEIL

THE Lost Symbol is set to lift the veil on the mysterious Masonic symbols carved into the historic streets and buildings around the American capital

Dan Brown has located his hero, Robert Langdon, right in the heart of Washington, which could reveal some interesting details for history buffs. “For the first time, Langdon will find himself embroiled in a mystery on US soil. This new novel explores the hidden history of our nation’s capital,” Brown has written in a posting on his official website.

George Washington is said to have demanded the city be laid out in a symbolic square, and for those of esoteric bent, it seems the shape of a square and compass can be formed by drawing a line on a map between two of the city’s major landmarks, the Capitol and the Lincoln Memorial, and following through along the walls of the White House and the Jefferson Memorial.

The square and compasses is one of the best-known Masonic symbols, where the measurements of a square showed that something previously imperfect had been perfected.

Masons apply the square metaphorically to themselves and their brethren.

Inside the Capitol, which sits at the dead centre of the square, lies the cornerstone laid by George Washington. In a Masonic ritual of 1793, a visual representation of the ceremony shows him dressed in his Masonic apron.

Jury established to consider murder of Jesuit priests in Moscow

“…due to personal hostile relations when the victim tried to persuade him to commit a sexual act with him…”

The jury is established to consider the murder case of Jesuit priests in Moscow

Interfax | Aug 3, 2009

Moscow – The Moscow City Court established the jury to examine the murder case of two Jesuit priests in Moscow in October last year.

The trial on the merits of case is scheduled for August 17. The case will be considered in closed proceedings.

Mikhail Orekhov is charged with murder of two members of the Society of Jesus Otto Messmer and Viktor Betancourt.

“The investigation established that Orekhov’s intent to kill Viktor Betancourt arose in a state of intoxication due to personal hostile relations when the victim tried to persuade him to commit a sexual act with him,” press service of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Prosecutor’s Office reported earlier to Interfax.

According to the investigation results, Orekhov hit the priest on the head with a dumb-bell no less than 11 times.

The investigation holds that Orekhov committed the second murder to conceal the first one: pastor Messmer returned from Germany to the apartment where Betancourt had been killed. “Orekhov referred himself to Messmer as the victim’s friend, followed him to the room and then killed him in the same way,” the report of Investigative Committee reads.

Australian government ‘hush-hushing’ genetically modified crops review

watoday.com.au | Aug 12, 2009

As West Australia prepares to give the tick to genetically modified crops, the government has been accused of “hush-hushing” a review of its GM policy.

Greenpeace said on Wednesday the WA public had been kept in the dark about a review into the Genetically Modified Crops Free Areas Act and called for an extension of the deadline for public submissions.

Members of the public have until Friday to comment on the legislation review, after the period for submissions began on July 17.

Greenpeace campaigner Louise Sales said it was obvious the government was trying to keep its policy hush-hush.

“The introduction of GM crops would dramatically change the face of agriculture in Western Australia,” Ms Sales said.

“Yet the government has barely publicised its current review of its Genetically Modified Crops Free Areas Act and has given the public just four weeks to lodge submissions.”

Ms Sales said the introduction of GM crops in WA could cause a dramatic drop in exports, similar to what had happened in Canada.

She said a Newspoll conducted last year showed a majority of Australians were less likely to eat GM food.

Greenpeace said similar attitudes exist in Europe and Japan, which are major export markets for WA farmers.

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The World According to Monsanto