Puppet MastersS


Best of the Web: Gangster Bankers: World-scale money laundering for drugs and terrorism but too big to jail

© Illustration by Victor Juhasz
How HSBC hooked up with drug traffickers and terrorists. And got away with it

The deal was announced quietly, just before the holidays, almost like the government was hoping people were too busy hanging stockings by the fireplace to notice. Flooring politicians, lawyers and investigators all over the world, the U.S. Justice Department granted a total walk to executives of the British-based bank HSBC for the largest drug-and-terrorism money-laundering case ever. Yes, they issued a fine - $1.9 billion, or about five weeks' profit - but they didn't extract so much as one dollar or one day in jail from any individual, despite a decade of stupefying abuses.

People may have outrage fatigue about Wall Street, and more stories about billionaire greedheads getting away with more stealing often cease to amaze. But the HSBC case went miles beyond the usual paper-pushing, keypad-punching­ sort-of crime, committed by geeks in ties, normally associated­ with Wall Street. In this case, the bank literally got away with murder - well, aiding and abetting it, anyway.

For at least half a decade, the storied British colonial banking power helped to wash hundreds of millions of dollars for drug mobs, including Mexico's Sinaloa drug cartel, suspected in tens of thousands of murders just in the past 10 years - people so totally evil, jokes former New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, that "they make the guys on Wall Street look good." The bank also moved money for organizations linked to Al Qaeda and Hezbollah, and for Russian gangsters; helped countries like Iran, the Sudan and North Korea evade sanctions; and, in between helping murderers and terrorists and rogue states, aided countless common tax cheats in hiding their cash.

"They violated every goddamn law in the book," says Jack Blum, an attorney and former Senate investigator who headed a major bribery investigation against Lockheed in the 1970s that led to the passage of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. "They took every imaginable form of illegal and illicit business."

That nobody from the bank went to jail or paid a dollar in individual fines is nothing new in this era of financial crisis. What is different about this settlement is that the Justice Department, for the first time, admitted why it decided to go soft on this particular kind of criminal. It was worried that anything more than a wrist slap for HSBC might undermine the world economy. "Had the U.S. authorities decided to press criminal charges," said Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer at a press conference to announce the settlement, "HSBC would almost certainly have lost its banking license in the U.S., the future of the institution would have been under threat and the entire banking system would have been destabilized."

It was the dawn of a new era. In the years just after 9/11, even being breathed on by a suspected terrorist could land you in extralegal detention for the rest of your life. But now, when you're Too Big to Jail, you can cop to laundering terrorist cash and violating the Trading With the Enemy Act, and not only will you not be prosecuted for it, but the government will go out of its way to make sure you won't lose your license. Some on the Hill put it to me this way: OK, fine, no jail time, but they can't even pull their charter? Are you kidding?


Belgian Foreign Minister: Over 20 young armed Belgian militants killed in Syria, among at least 200 Belgian terrorists massacring civilians

Belgian Minister for Foreign Affairs Didier Reynders said that over 20 of around 200 Belgian terrorists who went to fight in Syria were killed there.

Reynders told La Libre newspaper that the identities of over 200 Belgians people, who are fighting with the most extremist groups in Syria including the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISI), have been established or being established, and that over 20 of these people have been killed in Syria.

He said that the most pressing concern is keeping track of these individuals to assess the threat they pose after they return to Belgium or go to other countries, noting that these individuals aren't just extremist in their mentality, but they would return possessing experience and knowledge that would allow them to do anything.

Reynders cited the case of two young women, ages 17 and 19, who went to Syria and were involved in relations with members of very extremist armed groups, but they disappeared and may have been abducted by a rival extremist group.

News reports have been revealing that European countries are growing concerned over the potential ramifications of supporting terrorism in Syria, as they are worried about what terrorists from these countries who went to Syria could do should they return to Europe.

Comment: See also:

Belgian government: Up to 5,000 European teenagers have been groomed to fight West's phony 'civil war' in Syria


Young Europeans are massacring Christians in Syria: Who is funding and sanctioning this bloody mayhem?

German citizens have participated in the bloody expulsion of Christian villages in Syria, according to the German news magazine Focus. The incident is part of a larger problem involving German and other citizens from Western countries joining jihadist groups in Syria's brutal, multiparty civil war, raising Muslim terrorism concerns in Syria and beyond.

A radical Muslim militia conducted an "ethnic cleansing" of Syrian Christian villagers near the border with Turkey on Aug. 6. According to the Focus report, two unnamed Western intelligence services identified German Muslim converts and other Germans with an "immigration background" as militia members.

A recent propaganda video shows jihadists speaking in German praising the expulsions, during which several murders occurred. The video also shows jihadists desecrating the bodies of Syrian soldiers with kicks to the head.

Comment: And so it turns out that Al-Assad wasn't being a "conspiracy theorist" after all when he said - THREE YEARS AGO - that Western governments were sending fighters into his country...

...and now, 200,000 dead people later, those terrorists are beginning to return home...


Belgian government: Up to 5,000 European teenagers have been groomed to fight West's phony 'civil war' in Syria

These two French teenagers were led to believe it would be 'cool' to become islamo-jihadi-fascists
Up to 4-5 thousand European jihadist militants with EU passports are fighting on the side of al-Qaeda in Syria, according to Belgium's state security structures. Meanwhile, battle-hardened jihadists are returning to Europe in increasing numbers, posing a real threat to EU security. Syrian rebels are often seen as heroes to a small section of youths upon return, making them ideal to further foster recruitment.

According to Belgian state security structures, 4-5 thousand jihadist militants with EU passports were fighting against the Assad regime in Syria, mass media of Belgium reported Friday.

There are up to twenty Chechens in the ranks of the Syrian radical Islamists; they went there from different regions of Belgium, a source in the state security agency says.

The counter-intelligence service and the police of Belgium believe that about 200 owners of Belgian passports are fighting in Syria on the side of the Islamists, and about 20 of them were killed.

It is also reported that a group of Belgian Dutch-speaking jihadists, trained in Syria, participated in at least one of the last acts of terrorism on the territory of Iraq. There is information that Belgian Islamic terrorists migrate from Syria into Turkey and Lebanon. The security services possess information about the plans of recruiters to take jihadists trained in Syria to Morocco and Tunisia. Somalia is not excluded either.


Ohio National Guard Training to counter 'Second Amendment supporters with "anti-government" opinions'

© Ohio National GuardOhio National Guard 52nd Civil Support Team
Documents from an Ohio National Guard (ONG) training drill conducted last January reveal the details of a mock disaster where Second Amendment supporters with "anti-government" opinions were portrayed as domestic terrorists.

The ONG 52nd Civil Support Team training scenario involved a plot from local school district employees to use biological weapons in order to advance their beliefs about "protecting Gun Rights and Second Amendment rights."

Portsmouth Fire Chief Bill Raison told NBC 3 WSAZ-TV in Huntington, West Virginia that the drill accurately represented "the reality of the world we live in," adding that such training "helps us all be prepared."

Internal ONG documents provided to Media Trackers after repeated delays provide further context to what WSAZ-TV reported last winter.

In the disaster-preparedness scenario, two Portsmouth Junior High School employees poisoned school lunches with mustard gas, acting on orders from white-nationalist leader William Pierce.

The ONG team discovered biological weapons being produced in the school, requiring activation of containment and decontamination procedures.

Eye 2

The mask slips - Obama: 'I Can Do Whatever I Want'

President Obama "quipped" today during a visit to Monticello with the French president, "That's the good thing about being president, I can do whatever I want."

Via the pool report:

At 4:45 POTUS and president Hollande walked out from a portico and strolled in front of your pool with Leslie Bowman, president of the Monticello Foundation. Looking at a terrace she said that Jefferson loved to admire the landscape from there. POTUS said that he'd like to take a look and seemed delighted to "break the protocol".

"That's the good thing as a President, I can do whatever I want" he quipped, walking to the terrace with his guest and Ms. Bowman. Pool now in the mansion as the leaders will come and visit Jefferson's study.
The comment came around the time the White House announced it would be delaying the Obamacare mandate for some businesses unilaterally.

The French president is here in the U.S. on a state visit.

More notes from the pool:
POTUS and pres Hollande paid a short visit to the study as your pool was looking through an alcove over president Jefferson's bed. They admired contraptions invented by Jefferson to read and write more efficiently such as a lectern and a "polygraph". Hollande noticed that one of the books was written in French.


Paranoia, surveillance and military tactics: Have we become enemies of the government?

"Totalitarian paranoia runs deep in American society, and it now inhabits the highest levels of government... Since the terrorist attacks of 9/11, America has succumbed to a form of historical amnesia fed by a culture of fear, militarization and precarity. Relegated to the dustbin of organized forgetting were the long-standing abuses carried out by America's intelligence agencies and the public's long-standing distrust of the FBI, government wiretaps and police actions that threatened privacy rights, civil liberties and those freedoms fundamental to a democracy." - Professor Henry Giroux
Surveillance Cameras

Relationships are fragile things, none more so than the relationship between a citizen and his government. Unfortunately for the American people, the contract entered into more than 200 years ago has been reduced to little more than a marriage of convenience and fiscal duty, marked by distrust, lying, infidelity, hostility, disillusion, paranoia and domestic abuse on the part of the government officials entrusted with ensuring the citizenry's safety and happiness.

Don't believe me? Just take a stroll through your city's downtown. Spend an afternoon in your local mall. Get in your car and drive to your parents' house. Catch the next flight to that business conference.

While you're doing so, pay careful attention to how you and your fellow citizens are treated by government officials - the ones whose salaries you are paying.

You might walk past a police officer outfitted in tactical gear, holding an assault rifle, or drive past a police cruiser scanning license plates. There might be a surveillance camera on the street corner tracking your movements. At the airport, you may be put through your paces by government agents who will want to either pat you down or run scans of your body. And each time you make a call or send a text message, your communications will most likely be logged and filed. When you return home, you might find that government agents have been questioning your neighbors about you, as part of a "census" questionnaire. After you retire to sleep, you might find yourself awakened by a SWAT team crashing through your door (you'll later discover they were at the wrong address), and if you make the mistake of reaching for your eyeglasses, you might find yourself shot by a cop who felt threatened.

Is this the behavior of a government that respects you? One that looks upon you as having inviolate rights? One that regards you as its employer, its master, its purpose for being?


Turns out France's 1960 Sahara nuclear bomb tests poisoned the whole of Northern Africa and Southern Europe

Way back on February 13, 1960, France tested its first atomic bomb, "Gerboise Bleue" (Blue Jerboa). Declassified documents released recently show that radiation from the test in the Algerian Sahara desert reached much further than they said at the time.

In fact, the radiation fallout is likely to have reached as far as the southern coast of Spain as well as Sicily and Sardinia in Italy, within just 13 days of the blast.

The French daily newspaper Le Parisien published the military papers on February 14.

Originally the affected zone was said to be restricted to within the Sahara desert in Algeria, but it can be seen from the image below that in reality, it affected northern, eastern and central Africa plus southern Europe.


Abusing the language - EU changing 'bankruptcy' to 'debt adjusted'

European Central Bank
© James ShiellThe European Central Bank in Frankfurt, Germany.

Brussels - You're not broke, you're adjusted. You're not miserable, you're emotionally fluxed. You're not using meaningful language, you're finding excuses. The politically obsessive EU has decided that the word "bankruptcy" has too much of a stigma.

It would be nice to think that this is just another case of vacuous people producing verbal vacuums, but it's more complex than that, as The Daily Mail explains:
The EU is trying to erase 'bankruptcy' from the English language and replace it with the term 'debt adjustment'.

The idea is being considered as part of wider reforms to harmonise financial arrangements across the EU, including making it less troublesome to open bank accounts in different countries and easier to escape from debt and be 'given a second chance'.
Ah, er, um, hang on... "Making it less troublesome to open bank accounts in different countries and easier to escape from debt...?"

Less troublesome for whom?

Easier for whom?

Dollar Gold

Exposing what lies beneath the bodies of dead bankers and what lies ahead for us


I feel that this is one of the most important investigations I've ever done. If my findings are correct, each of us might soon experience a severe, if not crippling blow to our personal finances, the confiscation of any wealth some of us have been able to accumulate over our lifetimes, and the end of the financial world as we once knew it. The evidence to support my findings exists in the trail of dead bodies of financial executives across the globe and a missing Wall Street Journal Reporter who was working at the Dow Jones news room at the time of his disappearance.

If the bodies were dots on a piece of paper, connecting them results in a sinister picture being drawn that involves global criminal activity in the financial world the likes of which is almost without precedent. It should serve as a warning that we are at the precipice of something so big, it will shake the financial world as we know it to its core. It seems to illustrate the complicity of big banks and governments, the intelligence community, and the media.

Although the trail of mysterious and bizarre deaths detailed below begin in late January, 2014, there are others. Not only that, there will be more, according to sources within the financial world. Based on my findings, these are not mere random, tragic cases of suicide, but of the methodical silencing of individuals who had the ability to expose financial fraud at the highest levels, and the complicity of certain governmental agencies and individuals who are engaged in the greatest theft of wealth the world has ever seen.