Iceland Sentences 29th Banker To Prison, US Bankers Still Collecting Bonuses

While the world economy struggles to recover from the 2008 financial crisis, most of the bankers who caused the collapse are still collecting massive salaries and have faced few, if any, consequences.

Except in Iceland.

In one of the countries hit hardest by the collapse, 29 bankers have now been sentenced to prison for their roles in the crash. According to, Stefan Simanowitz, writing for The Huffington Post on Jan. 5, “Just before Christmas, the former CEO of Iceland’s Glitnir bank and two other senior bankers were sentenced to jail terms of up to five years for market manipulation and breach of fiduciary duties.”

Simanowitz questioned why the United States and the United Kingdom, for example, have been far more lenient on their banks.

“[N]ot a single senior banking executive in the US or the UK has been jailed for their role in the financial crisis. Whilst banks — such as the five found to be rigging the Libor rate — have been hit with substantial fines, the individual bankers behind the fraud, market rigging and irresponsible lending that led to the economic meltdown have all avoided time behind bars.”

In October, Alan Pyke, the deputy economic policy editor for ThinkProgress, outlined some of the ways Iceland’s approach differed from that of other countries:

“Like other countries with a large financial industry presence, Iceland spent a lot of money on bailouts after the crisis. But it bailed out workaday citizens instead of bankers, forgiving mortgage debts that exceeded 110 percent of the actual value of the home linked to the loan. The banks, which had swarmed to the north Atlantic island after aggressive deregulation of Icelandic finance law around the turn of the century, were allowed to fail and go bankrupt.”

(keep reading at mintpressnews.com)

City cops in Disneyland’s backyard have had “stingray on steroids” for years

(from arstechnica.com)

New documents released (PDF) on Wednesday by the American Civil Liberties Union of California show that for the last several years, police in the city of Anaheim, California—home of Disneyland—have been using an invasive cell phone surveillance device, known as a “dirtbox.” The ACLU obtained the 464 pages of documents after it sued the Anaheim Police Department last year over the agency’s failure to respond to its public records request concerning such surveillance-related documents.

The DRTBox has been described by one Chicago privacy activist as a “stingray on steroids,” referring to the controversial cell-site simulator that spoofs cell towers to locate phones and intercept calls and texts.

Last year, both the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice (which oversees the FBI) said that they would require a warrant during stingray deployments. A new law that took effect in California on January 1, 2016 would also require use of a warrant for a cell-site simulator.

“If a city of a few hundred thousand can have this kind of arsenal, it raises questions as to what similar cities across America might have it as well,” Matt Cagle, an ACLU lawyer, told Ars.

(keep reading at arstechnica.com)

Read The TPP

You may have heard of the TPP…

…but do you know what’s in it? Right now, the Obama administration and giant corporations are spreading misinformation about the Trans-Pacific Partnership and how it will affect Americans. But if you read it, you’ll see that the TPP threatens to corrupt our democracy by giving corporations control over the government.

This site is a public resource created by Fight for the Future, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and Communications Workers of America. We are publishing the full TPP text along with expert annotations explaining how it could actually affect you. This site is a work in progress, and everyone is welcome to contribute.

Read it HERE (readthetpp.com)

FBI Agents Caught Posing As Militia Members To Harass Locals In Oregon

(from copblock.org)

In what appears to be a coordinated effort to turn the local community against the Ammon Bundy led “Citizens for Constitutional Freedom” militia group currently occupying the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge headquarters near Burns, Oregon, a local Fire Chief claims to have caught undercover FBI agents posing as militia members in order to harass residents.

For the full back story that details the federal corruption and other issues surrounding why a group of armed men would choose to take a stand against their government, you can click HERE – but its important to understand that the FBI has a rich history of abuses.

Among these include the Bureau running various sting operations across the country that target vulnerable and even mentally ill people by luring them into participating in fake terror plots concocted by agents themselves in order to make “busts” and pat themselves on the back.

In other words, the possibility of the FBI running a psychological operation aimed at fomenting local sentiment against the militia members in Oregon is certainly plausible and is not without historical precedent. The Bureau has infiltrated militia groups many times before, but perhaps some of the most notable similar tactics that have been documented include a series of covert, and at times illegal projects conducted to “expose, disrupt, misdirect, discredit, neutralize or otherwise eliminate” the activities of domestic political organizations.

Called COINTELPRO, the counter intelligence measures targeted movements and leading Americans who criticized the Vietnam War including Senators, civil rights leaders like Martin Luther King, journalists, athletes, and others between 1956 and 1971. Its hard to imagine these operations ever stopped or didn’t continue under a different name but one thing appears to be clear: the FBI is up to its old tricks again.

(keep reading at copblock.org)

Top10 indications of a #FalseFlag event:

  1. Evidence against the accused is usually composed of hearsay claims or dubious documents that originate with military or law enforcement sources.
  2. The hearsay evidence typically includes vague accusations that the suspects were in contact with, had “links” to, or made recent pledges of allegiance to, terrorist leaders.
  3. The documentary evidence includes things like passports conveniently left at the scene or social media postings that imply a commitment to terrorism.
  4. There is an overly obvious attempt to associate the terrorists with Islam.
  5. The suspects are usually dead by the time the first reports come out.
  6. People who knew the accused often say they had absolutely no idea that their friend/neighbor/family member was involved or interested in terrorism in any way.
  7. The testimony of eyewitnesses is ignored as authorities provide contradictory stories that quickly become the official, media-driven accounts.
  8. Eyewitnesses often describe the attackers as armed and outfitted like highly trained, and well-supported, special operations soldiers.
  9. The attacks usually coincide with military or law enforcement exercises that mimic what happens.
  10. The incidents are used to justify rapid military attacks against countries of strategic interest before any investigation is conducted.

(from washingtonsblog.com)

Overwhelming irrefutable video and documentary evidence: Sandy Hook another false flag

As I wrote in 2014 (and here), Wolfgang Halbig has the perfect combination of expertise to evaluate what happened at Sandy Hook Elementary School:

▪ law enforcement: Florida State Trooper, US Customs Agent.

▪ education: teacher, assistant principal, principal.

▪ current school safety expert: trained key personnel at over 4,000 US school districts, and over 3,500 school safety officers.

His conclusion after almost three years of motivated investigation:

“In my professional opinion, [Sandy Hook was] a scripted event… in planning for maybe two, two and a half years.”

Mr. Halbig’s response is demand for criminal arrests of “leaders” involved in Sandy Hook based on rational embrace of the public evidence. Among ~30 areas of game-changing objective facts:

  • The most-recognized photo of the event, alleged FBI escorting students away from the school, was staged. We know this as absolute fact because there are two photos of the same scene with children rearranged and evidence of “photoshop” errors. In addition, the temperature at the alleged time of the photo (10:30 AM) was ~25 degrees Fahrenheit; no evidence of frost or fogged-breath is present. This means the photo is a lie: it was not of students being evacuated in an emergency at Sandy Hook Elementary School. At least two takes with photoshop evidence means that whatever happened was NOT AN EMERGENCY. This demands arrests for criminal investigation, obviously.
  • Four hours of police dashcam film showing the school’s parking lot outside the school shows zero students being evacuated as claimed by official reports (20 minutes to 25 minutes). The film should have showed ~600 students and adults being evacuated from the school and going past the parked police car to their alleged destination of the firehouse up the access road. The absence of students proves the official report is a lie, which again demands arrests for criminal investigation why our best evidence shows zero students were involved in this event.
  • The Lanza home’s alleged police photographs were staged because the same rooms were photographed in up to four different arrangements of furniture and items (pgs. 117 to 138). These differences are major and obvious, as the photos show. This evidence means that this is NOT a crime scene, but a criminal hoax. It is not possible to have different and obvious versions of what the rooms look like.
  • The Social Security Death Index and FBI show zero deaths of alleged victims (pgs. 161 to 167). This means that these alleged people either did not have Social Security numbers or did not exist; the FBI report confirms that they did not exist. This also demands criminal investigation.
  • The one and only released death certificate of an alleged victim, Noah Pozner, is a crude forgery (pgs. 181 to 183). This is yet another crime, of course.
  • All of the 20 alleged victims’ families moved to Newtown between 2007 and 2011, and almost all from 2009 to 2011 (pgs. 239 to 244), with 14 receiving their ~$500,000 homes for a recorded sales price of $0. (ten on Christmas Day, 2009), according to official government records. This means someone paid a likely illegally-large gift to these families, which given all other evidence demands criminal investigation.
  • A manual for Sandy Hook being a FEMA exercise was delivered to researchers (pgs. 219 to 238). This should be investigated whether it’s authentic, of course, by sworn depositions.
  • The fire station up the road as the alleged destination of children shows damning evidence of staging and being a drill. The 26 Christmas trees placed there the day after the alleged shooting are all present in film behind the firehouse on the day of the alleged shooting. This means criminal foreknowledge if the killings were real, or a hoax.

(keep reading at washingtonsblog.com)

The War Against the Cowboys

As our old republic fades into history, replaced by a voracious global Empire, the division between foreign policy and domestic policy is erased. A conquistador treats his helots on the home front with the same contempt he has for his subjects abroad. In both cases, conquest and subjugation is the goal – and rebellion is the inevitable result.

Just as the people of Iraq rose up and finally threw out the American occupiers, so the people in the American West are rising up against their federal overlords. This is the reason for the occupation of a federal facility in Burns, Oregon, where hundreds of protesters rallied against the jailing of ranchers Dwight Hammond and his son Steve.

The Hammond case has become a cause celebre West of the Mississippi, where federal control of huge swathes of real estate has become a life and death issue for ranchers and others who make their living off the land. As the feds encroach on their livelihood, they are pushing back, and nothing illustrates this better than the Hammond case.

In 2001, the Hammonds started a controlled burn on their own land to eliminate invasive junipers from ruining grazing for cattle: the fire spread to neighboring federal lands. As the Tri-State Livestock News reports:

“The first fire, in 2001, was a planned burn on Hammonds’ own property to reduce juniper trees that have become invasive in that part of the country. That fire burned outside the Hammonds’ private property line and took in 138 acres of unfenced BLM land before the Hammonds got it put out. No BLM firefighters were needed to help extinguish the fire and no fences were damaged.

“’They called and got permission to light the fire,’ Dwight’s wife, Susan, said, adding that was customary for ranchers conducting range management burns – a common practice in the area.

“’We usually called the interagency fire outfit – a main dispatch – to be sure someone wasn’t in the way or that weather wouldn’t be a problem.’ Susan said her son Steven was told that the BLM was conducting a burn of their own somewhere in the region the same day, and that they believed there would be no problem with the Hammonds going ahead with their planned fire. The court transcript includes a recording from that phone conversation.”

There was a second fire in 2006, started by Steven Hammond to counteract the lightning fires that threatened to envelope their land and their home. The Bureau of Land Management says that a single acre of federal land was affected by the fire – and they pressed charges, even though lightning fires were raging all over the area and there was no way to determine which fires were burning what land.

The Hammonds were originally charged under the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 with nine counts – including starting several other fires — but the jury saw otherwise and acquitted them of all but two counts: starting the fires they admitted to in the first place. The judge sentenced them to less than the federal mandatory, stating that what the government was asking – five years – was “disproportionate” and if imposed would’ve “shocked my conscience.”

(keep reading at antiwar.com)

Armed militia, incl. Bundy bros, occupy forest reserve HQ in Oregon, call ‘US patriots’ to arms

Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy’s three sons and “about 150” militiamen have occupied the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge HQ to protest the pending imprisonment of two Oregon ranchers accused of arson, arguing the federal government has no authority in local cases.

“We’re going to be freeing these lands up, and getting ranchers back to ranching, getting the loggers back to logging, getting the miners back to mining where they could do it under the protection of the people and not be afraid of this tyranny that’s been set upon them,” Ammon Bundy, who appears to be the leader of the group, said in a Facebook video posted by Sarah Dee Spurlock on Saturday.

Bundy appears to be standing at the scene of the takeover, surrounded by several men in military-style uniforms with rifles and hand-held radios.

The rancher points out that Harney County used to be the richest in state, and is now the poorest. His radical proposal to solve the situation is to have armed “patriots” come and live in a de-facto self-rule zone independent of the federal authorities.

The second speaker in the video, identified as Blane Cooper, equates the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to bullies at school that used to beat one up and who eventually had to be put in their place.

“Until that line is drawn and say ‘we’ve had enough of this tyranny, you are going to leave us alone’ it will not change,” the military-clad man says.

According to Cooper, they hope their occupation will spell the beginning of a US-wide movement.

“It doesn’t have to stop here. This could be a hope that spreads through the whole country, the whole United States. Everybody’s looking for this hope because the government has beat us, and oppressed us, and took everything from us; they will not stop until we tell them no,” he claims.

(keep reading at RT.com)

How the Government Spies on Your Cell Phone

The release of a secret U.S. government catalog of cell phone surveillance devices has revealed the names and abilities of dozens of surveillance tools previously unknown to the public. The catalog shines a light on well-known devices like the Stingray and DRT box, as well as new names like Cellbrite, Yellowstone, Blackfin, Maximus, Stargrazer, and Cyberhawk.

The Intercept reports:

Within the catalogue, the NSA is listed as the vendor of one device, while another was developed for use by the CIA, and another was developed for a special forces requirement. Nearly a third of the entries focus on equipment that seems to have never been described in public before.

Anti Media has reported extensively on the Stingray, the brand name of a popular cell-site simulator manufactured by the Harris Corporation. The Electronic Frontier Foundation describes Stingrays as “a brand name of an IMSI (International Mobile Subscriber Identity) Catcher targeted and sold to law enforcement. A Stingray works by masquerading as a cell phone tower – to which your mobile phone sends signals to every 7 to 15 seconds whether you are on a call or not – and tricks your phone into connecting to it.”

As a result, whoever is in possession of the Stingray can figure out who, when, and to where you are calling, the precise location of every device within the range, and with some devices, even capture the content of your conversations.

(keep reading at activistpost.com)