Daily Archives: June 11, 2012

Google and Apple using planes with military cameras to film you sunbathing in your back yard


The issue of Street View-style maps is already controversial thanks to Google’s alleged data harvesting tactics

Software giants will use military-grade cameras to take powerful satellite images

Beware the spy in the sky: After those Street View snoopers, Google and Apple use planes that can film you sunbathing in your back garden

Daily Mail | Jun 10, 2012

By Vanessa Allen

Spy planes able to photograph sunbathers in their back gardens are being deployed by Google and Apple.

The U.S. technology giants are racing to produce aerial maps so detailed they can show up objects just four inches wide.

But campaigners say the technology is a sinister development that brings the surveillance society a step closer.

Google admits it has already sent planes over cities while Apple has acquired a firm using spy-in-the-sky technology that has been tested on at least 20 locations, including London.

Apple’s military-grade cameras are understood to be so powerful they could potentially see into homes through skylights and windows. The technology is similar to that used by intelligence agencies in identifying terrorist targets in Afghanistan.

Google will use its spy planes to help create 3D maps with much more detail than its satellite-derived Google Earth images.

Nick Pickles, director of Big Brother Watch, warned that privacy risked being sacrificed in a commercial ‘race to the bottom’.

‘The next generation of maps is taking us over the garden fence,’ he warned. ‘You won’t be able to sunbathe in your garden without worrying about an Apple or Google plane buzzing overhead taking pictures.’

He said householders should be asked for their consent before images of their homes go online. Apple is expected to unveil its new mapping applications for its iPhone and other devices today – along with privacy safeguards. Its 3D maps will reportedly show for the first time the sides of tall buildings, such as the Big Ben clock tower.

Google expects by the end of the year to have 3D coverage of towns and cities with a combined population of 300million. It has not revealed any locations so far.

Current 3D mapping technology relies on aerial images taken at a much lower resolution than the technology Apple is thought to be using. This means that when users ‘zoom in’, details tend to be lost because of the poor image quality.

Google ran into trouble when it emerged that its Street View cars, which gathered ground-level panoramic photographs for Google Maps, had also harvested personal data from household wifi networks.

Emails, text messages, photographs and documents were taken from unsecured wifi networks all around Britain.

Google claimed it was a mistake even though a senior manager was warned as early as 2007 that the extra information was being captured. Around one in four home networks is thought to be unsecured because they lack password protection.

Little has been revealed about the technology involved in the spy planes used to capture the aerial images.

But they are thought to be able to photograph around 40 square miles every hour, suggesting they would be flying too quickly and at too great a height to access domestic wifi networks.
Like Google Maps, the resulting images would not be streamed live to computers but would provide a snapshot image of the moment the camera passed by.

Google pixellates faces and car number plates but faced criticism after its service showed one recognisable man leaving a sex shop and another being sick in the street.

Amie Stepanovich, of the Electronic Privacy Information Centre in America, said she believed Apple and Google would be forced to blur out homes in the same way Street View pixellates faces.

She said: ‘With satellite images, privacy is built in because you can’t zoom down into a garden. Homeowners need to be asked to opt in to show their property in high definition – otherwise it should be blurred out.’

Apple has previously used Google for its mapping services but last year it emerged it had bought C3 Technologies, a 3D mapping company that uses technology developed by Saab AB, the aerospace and defence company.

At the time C3 had already mapped 20 cities and it is believed to have added more with Apple’s backing. Its photographs have been shot from 1,600ft and one C3 executive described it as ‘Google on steroids’.

There are already 3D maps available online for most big city centres, but the images are often low resolution, meaning they are of little use for navigation and users cannot zoom in on detail.
Critics have argued that Apple and Google will face a backlash if they offer detailed 3D mapping of residential areas in suburbs and rural locations.

Son of ‘God’s banker’ Roberto Calvi: Mafiosi who hanged father from Blackfriars Bridge still at large in London


Family moment: Italian financier Roberto Calvi (right) and his son Carlo in a picture taken by Carlo’s sister Anna in 1982, the year Roberto was found hanging under Blackfriars Bridge in London

Son of ‘God’s banker’ Roberto Calvi talks 30 years after father’s death

Carlo Calvi, 58, has spent £15million conducting his own investigation

Daily Mail | May 26, 2012

By Claudia Joseph

It was a very public death.

In the grey light of dawn, the body of a man was found hanging from scaffolding underneath Blackfriars Bridge in Central London, his feet dangling in the water.

Roberto Calvi was found hanging from scaffolding on Blackfriars Bridge, his pockets loaded with bricks. Both the Calvi and Sindona cases remain unsolved.

He was wearing an expensive Italian suit and his pockets  were weighted with bricks and stuffed with cash.

Initially police believed that Italian financier Roberto Calvi, known as ‘God’s banker’ because of his close financial ties with the Vatican, had committed suicide.

But the dead man’s son, Carlo Calvi, commissioned an independent forensic report, which concluded in October 2002 that he had been murdered.

In 2005, Italian prosecutors brought murder charges against five suspects but all were acquitted after the subsequent trial in Rome.

Now, 30 years after his father was found dead, Carlo remains convinced that he was murdered and wants police to reopen the case.

Carlo believes that up to a dozen men from the Italian underworld were involved in the murder – and claims many are still at large in London.

‘A long time has passed since my father’s murder on June 18, 1982,’ he said. ‘It is not unrealistic to believe that there are individuals involved in his death still alive. I want the City of London Police to pursue these individuals and put them where they belong. It is a matter of public interest. These people are still operating in London. We should all know who they are and what they are doing.’

Carlo, aged 58 and himself a former banker, has dedicated his life to seeking justice for his father, who was the chairman of Italy’s second-largest bank, Banco Ambrosiano. The bank subsequently collapsed with debts  of half a billion pounds amid dark rumours of laundered Mafia drug money, a link with the clandestine ‘P2’ Masonic lodge and secret political slush funds.

Now living in Montreal, Canada, Carlo spends his time travelling between his home and London, New York and Milan – sifting through  evidence, meeting secretive contacts willing to talk about Italian organised crime and poring over the transcripts of Mafia trials.

His obsession with finding the men involved in his father’s murder has come at a price – both financial and personal. He has spent £15 million on fees for lawyers, private detectives and other experts in an attempt to identify the guilty.

And his marriage to Marie Josee, mother of his two sons, Roberto, 18, and Nicola, 16, broke up in 2000. He has also not seen his sister Anna, 55, a lecturer at Warwick University, since their mother’s death from Parkinson’s disease in 2006.

‘There’s no doubt I have fixated on the case,’ he said. ‘I’m sure that played a part in my divorce and it has affected my relationship with my sister. She doesn’t necessarily agree with the things I have done.’

Carlo was a 28-year-old post-graduate student at Washington’s Georgetown University when he recieved the telephone call that would change his life. His mother Clara, then 60, and sister Anna, 25, were staying with him in Washington, having been warned by his father that their lives were in danger.

‘My mother had been living with me in America for about six weeks because my father feared for her safety,’ he recalled. ‘My sister arrived the day before he died. We were awoken by the telephone in the middle of the night when my uncle Luciano, my mother’s brother, called from Bologna to say that he had heard the news on the radio.

‘He spoke to my mother who had a complete breakdown. She was devastated. We had to call a doctor. I remember telling my uncle that he could have been more careful with his words. I think he was a little too direct.’

Within hours the family had been escorted by American police to a secret apartment in the Watergate complex, famous for the break-in that brought about the fall of President Richard Nixon. They spent the next few weeks under police guard before returning to Carlo’s home.

‘My mother never recovered from my father’s death,’ said Carlo. ‘She and my father had always dreamed  of living near Lake Como. They were very close and she remained very attached to her dreams.

‘The following year, she suffered  the first symptoms of Parkinson’s. I don’t think she got it as a direct result of my father’s murder – but surely it doesn’t help if you have lived through such a shock?’

Carlo’s quest for the truth began a month after his father’s death when  a London inquest recorded a verdict of suicide. It was hardly a likely explanation. Six days before his death, Calvi had shaved off his moustache and skipped bail in Italy pending an appeal against a four-year suspended prison sentence for illegally transferring £18 million out of the country.

Fearing for his life, the 62-year-old banker chartered a private plane and fled to Britain on a false passport with Sardinian business tycoon Silvano  Vittor, a long-term associate who assumed the role of bodyguard. He was taken to a safe house in Chelsea Cloisters, West London – believed to have been organised by another Sardinian businessman, Flavio Carboni.

Calvi had already written to Pope John Paul II  warning him of the imminent collapse of Banco Ambrosiano, saying that it would ‘provoke a catastrophe of unimaginable proportions in which the Church will suffer the gravest damage’.

Calvi also had close links to the Mafia, the Neapolitan Camorra – a Mafia-like criminal organisation based in Naples – and the Masonic lodge P2. The latter was described by Calvi’s former Banco Ambrosiano mentor, Sicilian Michele  Sindona, as a ‘state within a state’ because of its powerful members, including former Italian Prime  Minister Silvio Berlusconi.

Carlo refused to accept the 1982 inquest’s suicide verdict. He hired one of Britain’s best-known barristers, George Carman QC, to represent the family at a second hearing, which recorded an open verdict. Still not satisfied, he demanded that his father’s body was exhumed.

Carlo then commissioned the  independent forensic report, which concluded in October 2002 that his father had been murdered as the injuries to his neck were inconsistent with hanging, there was no trace of rust and paint on his shoes from the scaffolding and he had not touched the bricks in his pockets.

In 2005, Vittor and Carboni were accused of killing Calvi. But the duo and three others – Mafia financier Pippo Calò, businessman Ernesto Diotallevi and Carboni’s girlfriend Manuela  Kleinszig – were acquitted 20 months later.

Another name linked to Calvi’s murder was Mafia ‘supergrass’ Francesco Di Carlo, known as ‘Frankie the Strangler’.

According to Di Carlo, the killers were Vincenzo Casillo and Sergio Vaccari of the Naples Camorra.

‘Calvi was naming names,’ said Di Carlo. ‘No one had any trust in him any more. He owed a lot of money. His friends had all distanced themselves. Everyone wanted to get rid of him. I was in Rome and received a phone call from a friend in Sicily telling me that a certain high- ranking Mafia member had just been killed.

‘I will never forget the date because of this: it was June 16, 1982 – two days before Calvi was murdered. The friend told me that Pippo Calò was trying to get hold of me because he needed me to do something for him,’ Di Carlo claims.

‘When I finally spoke to Pippo, he told me not to worry, that the problem had been taken care of.

‘That’s a code we use in the Cosa Nostra. We never talk about killing someone. We say they have been taken care of.’


Determined: Carlo Calvi (pictured) has dedicated his life to seeking justice for his father

Carlo Calvi believes that the supergrass is telling the truth. He agrees with Di Carlo that his father’s killers were Casillo – the second-in-command of the Camorra, who was  murdered by a car bomb in Rome in 1983 – and his sidekick Vaccari, who was stabbed to death three months after Calvi’s murder.

Vaccari was also a former tenant of Calvi’s last known home, the rented flat at Chelsea Cloisters.

Carlo points out that both his father and Casillo had business cards belonging to Alvaro Giardili, a Camorra associate, in their possession when they died.

‘I’m not suggesting Alvaro Giardili was involved, but he definitely  connects to some of the individuals involved in the case,’ Carlo said. ‘When my father died, he had Giardili’s business card in his wallet.

‘One of the first people to ring us when we returned to the house after my father died was Giardili. In general, I consider Di Carlo a reliable witness. But I am more interested in what he has to say about the social network of the Italian underground in London during the Eighties.’

It is that underground movement that Carlo is now hoping will be exposed – even if his own safety  is jeopardised.

Calling for a third inquest, he said: ‘The police have already admitted it was murder but I would like to see the case reviewed in open court and the remaining defendants in their jurisdiction pursued.

‘When I lived in Italy I had bodyguards but now I have to rely on my own judgment and instinct.

‘There have been instances when I have been concerned for my safety but I try not to be confrontational and protect myself.

‘If the worst happens, I am not the only person who has this information. I will not rest until I find out the truth about my father’s death.’

Mafia boss breaks silence over Roberto Calvi killing


Financier Roberto Calvi was found hanging beneath Blackfriars Bridge in London in 1982. Photograph: -/AFP/Getty Images

Godfather turned supergrass accused of murder of ‘God’s banker’ claims case will never be solved

guardian.co.uk | May 12, 2012

by Tony Thompson

One month before the 30th anniversary of one of London’s most enduring murder mysteries, the mafia godfather at the heart of the case has spoken for the first time about why he believes the real killers of Italian financier Roberto Calvi will never be brought to justice.

Calvi, dubbed “God’s banker” because of his work with the Vatican, was found hanging from scaffolding beneath Blackfriars bridge in London on 18 June 1982. Bricks had been stuffed in his pockets and he had more than £10,000 in cash on him. In the months before his death he had been accused of stealing millions being laundered on behalf of the mafia.

His death was originally ruled a suicide but later judged to be murder. In July 1991, Francesco “Frankie the Strangler” Di Carlo, a mafia godfather who had lived in England since the late 1970s, was named as Calvi’s killer by a supergrass. Di Carlo has since become a supergrass himself.

Speaking from the small town in central Italy where he now lives, Di Carlo related how he first came to hear that he had been accused of Calvi’s murder.

“I was in university – that’s what I called the prisons in England. We were all in the association room watching television when the news came on that the killer of Calvi was Francesco Di Carlo. All the prisoners and guards looked over and stared. I just shrugged my shoulders and said that they must be talking about someone else with the same name as me.”

Di Carlo seemed a likely suspect. He had arrived in the UK in the 1970s, relocating shortly after being linked to the murders of two Sicilian police officers.

He bought businesses and a palatial home but soon came under the watchful eye of British customs, who believed he had moved in order to oversee the Cosa Nostra’s operations in the UK. Between 1980 and 1985 customs officers allegedly linked him to at least a dozen multimillion pound drug hauls, only a handful of which were intercepted.

In 1985 Palermo’s flying squad attempted to extradite Di Carlo to Italy in connection with an earlier case. Within weeks of the request, the deputy head of the squad and a commissioner in charge of tracking down fugitives had both been shot dead.

Di Carlo was eventually linked to an attempt to smuggle £60m worth of heroin to Canada through London and was found guilty at a five-month trial at the Old Bailey, although he claims to have been the victim of a conspiracy.

The police officers escorting him to court each morning told how, as they were led from the cells, Di Carlo’s co-defendants would bow and kiss his hand as they passed him, standard protocol for greeting a senior godfather figure.

Although Di Carlo denies killing Calvi, he admits that he and his mafia colleagues wanted him dead and that his boss had attempted to contact him to carry out the hit.

“I was in Rome and received a phone call from a friend in Sicily telling me that a certain high-ranking mafia member had just been killed. I will never forget the date because of this: it was 16 June 1982 – two days before Calvi was murdered. The friend told me that Pippo Calò [known as the “mafia’s cashier”] was trying to get hold of me because he needed me to do something for him. In the hierarchy of Cosa Nostra, he was a general, I was a colonel, so he was a little higher up, my superior.

“While I finally spoke to Pippo, he told me not to worry, that the problem had been taken care of. That’s a code we use in the Cosa Nostra. We never talk about killing someone. We say they have been taken care of.

“Calvi was naming names. No one had any trust in him any more. He owed a lot of money. His friends had all distanced themselves. Everyone wanted to get rid of him. He had been arrested and he had started to talk. Then he had tried to kill himself by cutting his wrists. He was released, but knew he could be rearrested at any time. He was weak, he was a broken man.

“I was not the one who hanged Calvi. One day I may write the full story, but the real killers will never be brought to justice because they are being protected by the Italian state, by members of the P2 masonic lodge. They have massive power. They are made up of a mixture of politicians, bank presidents, the military, top security and so on. This is a case that they continue to open and close again and again but it will never be resolved. The higher you go, the less evidence you will find.”

Di Carlo became disillusioned with the direction the organisation was taking, deciding to become a supergrass.

“My grandfather was the first to be in the Cosa Nostra and the rest of my family followed. Back then the system was different. We were a guarantee for people who had no justice, we were there for the defence of the weak.

“We were not against the state, we were a state within the state. We had solicitors, doctors, ministers. We would get the politicians elected and we would command them. And we made a comfortable living. There were rules. You could not kill women or children or innocents. You could not kill journalists because they were just doing their job.

“If you wanted to kill someone, there had to be a reason. They had to be harming the organisation. You could kill a policeman because he was lying about you, but not for doing his job. You kill one, another comes along, so what have you achieved? Nothing.

“But then things started to change. Drug trafficking came in and made people very rich. People had too much money and power. The scruples were lost. Magistrates were being bombed along with women and children. It wasn’t Cosa Nostra any more, it was Cosa Monster. I didn’t want to be a part of that so I decided to turn. My life now is very different, very quiet, but I am happy.”

11 June 1982 Roberto Calvi goes missing from his apartment in Rome.

18 June 1982 Calvi is found hanging from scaffolding under London’s Blackfriars bridge, weighed down with bricks and £10,000 cash in currencies on him.

July 1982 An inquest finds that Calvi had killed himself.

July 1983 A second inquest returns an open verdict on his death.

December 1998 Calvi’s body is exhumed as his family press for answers, insisting he was murdered.

October 2002 An independent forensic report confirms Calvi was murdered.

5 October 2005 Five defendants are put on trial in Rome for the banker’s murder.

6 June 2007 All five defendants are acquitted of the charge.

18 November 2011 Italy’s court of last resort upholds the acquittals.

Prosecutors investigate Vatican Bank mafia link


Father Treppiedi, 36, was serving as a priest in Alcamo, near Trapani, said to be the richest parish on the Mafia’s island stronghold of Sicily

Anti Mafia prosecutors have asked the secretive Vatican Bank to disclose details of an account held by a priest in connection with a money laundering and fraud investigation, it emerged on Sunday.

Telegraph | Jun 10, 2012

By Nick Pisa in Rome

The official request was made more than a month ago but so far the Vatican Bank, known as the Institute for Religious Works, has refused to disclose any records of the account held by father Ninni Treppiedi – who is currently suspended from serving as a priest.

Investigators want to know more about vast sums of money that are said to have passed through his account to establish if they were money laundering operations by on the run Mafia Godfather, Matteo Messina Denaro.

The reports emerged in the Italian media and came just two weeks after the head of the Vatican Bank, Ettore Gotti Tedeschi, was sacked amid claims of power struggles and corruption within the Holy See which have been linked to the leaking of sensitive documents belonging to Pope Benedict XVI.

More in line with a Dan Brown thriller, it is not the first time that the Vatican Bank has been embroiled in claims of Mafia money laundering. Thirty years ago this month financier Roberto Calvi was found hanging under London’s Blackfriars Bridge with cash and bricks stuffed into his pockets.

Initially City of London police recorded the death as suicide but Italian authorities believe it was murder after it emerged Calvi, known as God’s Banker because of his links to the Vatican Bank, had been trying to launder millions of pounds of mob money via its accounts and through his own Banco Ambrosiano which had collapsed spectacularly.

Father Treppiedi, 36, was serving as a priest in Alcamo, near Trapani, said to be the richest parish on the Mafia’s island stronghold of Sicily, and he was suspended after a series of questionable transactions of church funds and which has also led to his local bishop Francesco Micciche being sacked.

Trapani prosecutor Marcello Viola made the request six weeks ago for details of the account held by Father Treppiedi at the Institute of Religious Works to be disclosed but according to reports in Italian media, as yet the go ahead has still not been given by the Vatican.

In particular prosecutors are said to be looking at financial transactions made through Father Treppiedi’s account at the Vatican Bank between 2007 and 2009 and which came to almost one million euros but paperwork explaining the source of the money is said to be missing.

Attention is also focusing on several land and property deals made by the parish which is in Messina Denaro’s heartland in the area around Trapani and where he still commands fear and respect.

There is speculation that Gotti Tedeschi was aware of the possible Mafia link and was about to name names and police seized paperwork from his home which is said to detail his suspicions and which he had prepared for a handful of trusted sources as he feared his life was possible in danger.

In a statement prosecutor Viola said:”We have made a request for information to the Vatican City State in the spirit of collaboration with regard to an investigation into sums of money in financial transactions undertaken by the Diocese of Trapani.”

Transactions by the Vatican Bank are already under the spotlight with leading Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera saying Gotti Tedeschi was aware of accounts held by “politicians, shady intermediaries, contractors and senior (Italian) officials, as well as people believed to be fronts for Mafia bosses.”

Of particular interest are said to be property investments and property sales that could potentially have been used to disguise money transfers and launder money – all this in the light of report earlier this year that the Vatican Bank was not completely transparent in its dealings despite efforts to be so.

The latest development comes as prosecutors in the Vatican continue to question the Pope’s butler Paolo Gabriele, 46, in connection with the leaking of documents which then ended up in a whistle blowing book published by an Italian journalist called His Holiness.

No-one from the Vatican was immediately available to comment.

Vatican Banker Fears for His Life: Gotti Tedeschi Could Turn Whistle-Blower


Ettore Gotti Tedeschi feared for his life when he was ousted as head of the Vatican bank after a vote of no confidence May 24. Three decades ago, another of “God’s bankers” was found hanging from a noose under Blackfriars Bridge in London. Tony Gentile, Reuters / Landov

The recently ousted head of the Vatican bank may have evidence that the organization is involved in money laundering—and now he’s afraid for his life.

He spent the last two years struggling endlessly against the Vatican’s powerful Vatican forces, whom he says blocked his every attempt at transparency.

Daily Beast | Jun 10, 2012

By Barbie Latza Nadeau

Ettore Gotti Tedeschi feared for his life when he was ousted as head of the Vatican bank after a vote of no confidence May 24.

The 67-year-old Italian was brought in by the pope’s secretary of state, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, in 2009 with a mandate to turn the troubled bank around and help “facilitate transparency” with an eye toward quashing rumors that the bank was a den of iniquity. The Vatican had hoped that through Gotti Tedeschi’s guidance, the tiny city-state could finally earn a coveted spot on the global Financial Action Task Force “white list” of states whose financial practices can be trusted.

In reality, Gotti Tedeschi says he found the bank’s record much worse than he could have imagined, and that he spent the last two years struggling endlessly against the Vatican’s powerful Vatican forces, whom he says blocked his every attempt at transparency. He stormed out of his final meeting of the board of the Vatican bank, known as the Institute for Religious Works (IOR), even before they cast their no-confidence vote against him. The bank says it dismissed him due to lack of management skills and “progressively erratic personal behavior.” But Gotti Tedeschi says he was ousted because he got too close to the truth about the bank’s alleged shady dealings. He told a Reuters journalist moments after he was sacked, “I have paid the price for transparency.”

A week after his ouster, Gotti Tedeschi was in trouble again. His home in Piacenza and his offices in Milan were searched by Italian police, who say they were combing for evidence that he was an “informed witness” with regard to questionable business dealings of Italy’s state-run defense and aerospace firm Finmeccanica, whose president is his close pal. He has not been arrested, nor is he officially under investigation, and the police say the Finmeccanica inquiry is a separate affair not at all related to his problems with the Vatican bank. But in searching his property, investigators reportedly found a treasure trove that could link the Vatican to all sorts of shady dealings and underworld characters. And the Vatican top brass desperately want to get their hands on it, sternly warning Italian police that because the Vatican is a “sovereign nation” their documents are protected under immunity, even if they are found during a criminal probe outside its borders. “The Holy See is surprised and concerned at the recent events that Professor Gotti Tedeschi is involved with,” said a Vatican statement issued Friday. “We have faith that the prosecutors and Italian judicial system will respect our sovereignty—recognized internationally—with regard to these documents.”

What they are reportedly worried about is a secret dossier that Gotti Tedeschi told friends he compiled “just in case something happens to me.” Local press reports say the dossier includes 47 different binders with emails from the pope, letters from cardinals, and notes and reports from various meetings tied to Vatican bank business. He had reportedly planned to deliver the dossier directly to Pope Benedict XVI, presumably as a counterargument to his May 24 firing. The cache reportedly contains irrefutable evidence that could substantiate claims that the IOR is involved in money laundering and tax-evasive practices. There were documents that allegedly show financial transactions between the Vatican and a number of surprising characters, including politicians and known middlemen for mafia bosses. If true, it would give Italian authorities a rare opening to investigate the Vatican’s banking practices with names, account numbers, and transaction dates of dealings with financial entities outside the Vatican’s historically secretive jurisdiction.

In 2010, Gotti Tedeschi and IOR general manager Paolo Cipriani were placed under criminal investigation by authorities in Rome on suspicion of alleged money laundering for shady transactions between the Vatican’s bank accounts. More than €23 million was frozen and later released after the Vatican allegedly cleansed itself by passing anti-fraud legislation. Gotti Tedeschi’s dossier reportedly also included a list of enemies who might want to harm him, including Cipriani, who is still under criminal investigation in the Italian judicial system from the 2010 affair. The Italian police are taking the banker’s enemy list seriously and are considering providing him with police protection.

There is little doubt that Tedeschi has reason to be worried for his safety. Three decades ago, another of “God’s bankers,” Roberto Calvi, was found hanging from a noose under Blackfriars Bridge in London. His pockets were weighted down with bricks and cash. Calvi was not the head of the IOR like Gotti Tedeschi, but he was closely tied to the Vatican’s secret banking structure as head of Banco Ambrosiano, which went bankrupt at the time amid allegations of money laundering, mafia collusion, and generally questionable banking practices. The Vatican owned a small stake in the bank, but wielded great influence over Calvi, who knew the Vatican’s deepest financial secrets. The mystery into Calvi’s death has never been solved. First thought to be a suicide, evidence later pointed to murder. “There are some similarities between the situation of Gotti Tedeschi and what my family lived through during the trial of currency violations of 1981,” Roberto Calvi’s son Carlo told The Daily Beast. He says his father could not have defended himself without exposing the whole structure, and that’s what led to his demise. “While it is difficult for the public to appreciate this, there has always been an attitude of intolerance, isolation, and stubborness with those who set up this type of fiduciary relationship to evade regulations, and this makes them take risks that would be unimaginable to most.”

But neither the Vatican nor Gotti Tedeschi seemed to have learned anything from the scandal surrounding Calvi’s death. “I do not know Gotti Tedeschi,” he says. “But I do know that the very same account structure that existed at the time of my father has continued to be used by IOR in a similar fashion and has even increased disproportionally in size.”

For now, Gotti Tedeschi is cooperating with Italian authorities. According to prosecutor Giuseppe Pignatone, Tedeschi told prosecutors he was “held hostage because he wanted transparency, especially with regard to certain Vatican accounts. It all started when I asked to have information about accounts that were not in the church’s name.” Where it goes from here is anyone’s guess.

Government wants children microchipped like pets to make them go to school

May 29, 2012 by Hawkkey davis

On May 29 2012 the news in Utah aired this segment on the RFID chip. The government wants chip kids to get them to go to school. They say that it’s to bring revenue to the school district. People in Mexico are already using it on their kids beause of kidnappers. Meny people think that the technology is not a good idea. Proof that kids that are in school means more money for district.

Guantánamo Bay: Inside the empty, rotting torture blocks of Camp X-Ray


Camp X-Ray has now been lying untouched for more than ten years Photo: JULIAN SIMMONDS

The abandoned Camp X-ray has been left to rot after it was closed following pictures of detainees in orange jump suits imprisoned there caught the world’s attention. Sean Rayment goes to see what has become of this notorious prison.

telegraph.co.uk | Jun 10, 2012

By Sean Rayment, in Camp X-Ray

I am standing inside one of the dilapidated interrogation huts in Camp X-Ray, one of the most notorious prisons in history.

It’s hot, dark, airless and smells of rotting wood. The floor is uneven and my guide, a US soldier, warns me that there may be snakes.

I walk gingerly to the centre of the room where a wooden table is bolted to the floor. The hut is divided into two rooms, each the mirror image of the other.

There are no windows, just space for an air-conditioning unit; the ceilings and walls have been soundproofed.

It is in these rooms that men picked up on the battlefield in Afghanistan were allegedly tortured: threatened with snarling dogs and, some detainees claim, subjected to simulated drowning – a process now, notoriously, known as water boarding.

Camp X-Ray has now been lying untouched for more than ten years, since it was closed in April 2002, and is now overgrown with weeds and vines. It is now bizarrely, almost a nature reserve, home to snakes, wasps and a peculiar rodent, similar to a giant guinea pig called a hutai, known locally as banana rats.

“Why is it still here, why not pull it down?”, I ask my guide.

“Crime scene”, he responds. “Allegations of torture, apparently”.

Ten years ago, however, this sinister place was at the centre of the world’s attention.

After the United States and Britain invaded Afghanistan in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, suspected al-Qaeda operatives began to be captured.

At first they were held in special CIA detention camps such as the one in the Bagram Air Base, a few miles outside of Kabul.

But in early 2002 the US Department of Justice advised the Bush administration that Camp X-Ray in Cuba could be considered outside the country’s legal jurisdiction and be used to hold terrorist suspects without trial or as prisoners of war.

The innocent and the guilty arrived on transport aircraft deprived of all their senses: blindfolded, wearing ear protectors, chained at the hands and feet, and wearing the notorious orange boiler suits.

There were alternatives to Camp X-Ray. Detainees could have simply been shot dead but that tactic would have delivered no intelligence. Another alternative was prison ships which would endlessly circle the globe in international waters. But such an undertaking would have just as controversial, and a logistical nightmare.

Brigadier General James Lettko, the deputy commander of Joint Force Guantánamo, shifts uncomfortably in his seat when I ask if the use of Camp X-Ray ultimately served as a recruiting tool for al-Qaeda?

“Think about what was going on just after 9/11. We went into Afghanistan in October and then started to capture detainees at terrorist training camps around the winter of 2001/2002,” he says.

“Think about the state of emotions within the US government. There was a determination to bring those suspects to justice and I think it was necessary.

The US government had to find a place where they could take these detainees and process them, and keep them out of the fight. That meant they had to be detained in a camp some place and for what ever reason they

decided not to keep the detainees in Afghanistan and Camp X-ray was a result of that decision, that urgency to bring the detainees out of theatre.”

My guides lead me to the centre of Camp X-Ray. They ask me for my impression and I explain that it is reminiscent of a Second World War prisoner of war camp.

I do not speak the thought of “concentration camp” because I know they will be offended, and, as I remind myself, that thought is just an emotional response.

They look at me and shrug – I think they feel the same but they refuse to say. Instead they warn me about the wasps: “Everything is big in Cuba,” one jokes.

Camp X-Ray is divided into five compounds, four of which contain six cell blocks and one containing four, all enclosed by wire fences topped with barbed wire.

Each block contains 10 cells, effectively cages, roughly seven feet by seven feet with a concrete floor and a large corrugated iron roof.

The camp is completely deprived of privacy and wholly open to the elements. Several 20 foot wire fences topped with more rolls of razor wire ring the perimeter.

Time and again throughout my visit, senior officers tell me how much conditions have improved since the time when Camp X-Ray was in operation, adding that it was “only” open for 90 days and “just” 82 detainees were held there.

After an hour or so I walk, relieved, through the main gates of Camp X-Ray. On a perimeter fence is a sign: “Honor Bound To Defend Freedom.”