Wall Street Bailout to Rise by $2 Trillion, CIA Renditions to Continue, Foreclosure Defense
Revealing News Articles
February 6, 2009
Below are excerpts of important news articles you may have missed. These news articles include revealing information on the Obama administration's plans to increase the Wall Street bank bailout by another $2 trillion, its plans to continue the use of "extraordinary rendition" by the CIA, a foreclosure defense strategy promoted by a senior Congress member, and more. Each excerpt is taken verbatim from the major media website listed at the link provided. If any link fails to function, click here. Key sentences are highlighted for those with limited time. By choosing to educate ourselves and to spread the word, we can and will build a brighter future.
Note: We depend on your support to continue this empowering work. Please consider making a contribution by visiting www.WantToKnow.info/donationswtk. The 2008 annual report for PEERS has now been posted and is available at www.peerservice.org/annual_report/2008_peers_annual_report. We invite you to take a look and see all of the exciting developments going on with WantToKnow.info and PEERS.
New Bank Bailout Could Cost $2 Trillion
January 29, 2009, Wall Street Journal
Government officials seeking to revamp the U.S. financial bailout have discussed spending another $1 trillion to $2 trillion to help restore banks to health, according to people familiar with the matter. President Barack Obama's new administration is wrestling with how to stem the continuing loss of confidence in the financial system, as it divides up the remaining $350 billion from the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program launched last fall. The potential size of rescue efforts being discussed suggests the administration may need to ask Congress for more funds. The administration is expected to take a series of steps, including relieving banks of bad loans and distressed securities. The so-called "bad bank" that would buy these assets could be seeded with $100 billion to $200 billion from the TARP funds, with the rest of the money -- as much as $1 trillion to $2 trillion -- raised by selling government-backed debt or borrowing from the Federal Reserve. The administration is also seeking more effective ways to pump money into banks, and is considering buying common shares in the banks. Government purchases so far have been of preferred shares, in an effort to both protect taxpayers and avoid diluting existing shareholders' stakes. Given the weakened state of the banking industry, with bank share prices low and their capital needs high, economists say the government probably can't avoid owning at least some banks for a temporary period.
Note: Note that the U.S. government has to borrow from the Federal Reserve, which most people don't realize is privately owned by the richest banks. For more on this, click here. The $2 trillion of taxpayer money for Wall Street's toxic assets revealed here is in addition to over $7 trillion already committed according to CNN and others. Wouldn't government debt of this magnitude threaten a broad range of government services and risk seriously weakening of the dollar? For many other revealing reports on the Wall Street bailout, click here.
Obama preserves renditions as counter-terrorism tool
February 1, 2009, Los Angeles Times
The CIA's secret prisons are being shuttered. Harsh interrogation techniques are off-limits. And Guantanamo Bay will eventually go back to being a wind-swept naval base on the southeastern corner of Cuba. But even while dismantling these programs, President Obama left intact an equally controversial counter-terrorism tool. Under executive orders issued by Obama recently, the CIA still has authority to carry out what are known as renditions, secret abductions and transfers of prisoners to countries that cooperate with the United States. Current and former U.S. intelligence officials said that the rendition program might be poised to play an expanded role going forward because it was the main remaining mechanism -- aside from Predator missile strikes -- for taking suspected terrorists off the street. The rendition program became a source of embarrassment for the CIA, and a target of international scorn, as details emerged in recent years of botched captures, mistaken identities and allegations that prisoners were turned over to countries where they were tortured. The European Parliament condemned renditions as "an illegal instrument used by the United States." Prisoners swept up in the program have sued the CIA as well as a Boeing Co. subsidiary accused of working with the agency on dozens of rendition flights. But the Obama administration appears to have determined that the rendition program was one component of the Bush administration's war on terrorism that it could not afford to discard. The decision underscores the fact that the [War on Terror] is far from over.
Note: For key reports from reliable sources on the hidden realities of the War on Terror, click here.
Facing foreclosure? Don't leave. Squat
February 4, 2009, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
Marcy Kaptur of Ohio is the longest-serving Democratic congresswoman in U.S. history. Her district, stretching along the shore of Lake Erie from west of Cleveland to Toledo, faces an epidemic of home foreclosures and 11.5 percent unemployment. Now, she is recommending a radical foreclosure solution from the floor of the U.S. Congress: "So I say to the American people, you be squatters in your own homes. Don't you leave." She criticizes the bailout's failure to protect homeowners facing foreclosure. These mortgages were made, then bundled into securities and sold and resold repeatedly, by the very Wall Street banks that are now benefiting from [a government bailout]. The banks foreclosing on families very often can't locate the actual loan note that binds the homeowner to the bad loan. "Produce the note," Kaptur recommends [to] those facing foreclosure demands of the banks. "[P]ossession is nine-tenths of the law," Rep. Kaptur [said]. "Therefore, stay in your property. Get proper legal representation ... [if] Wall Street cannot produce the deed nor the mortgage audit trail ... you should stay in your home. It is your castle. It's more than a piece of property. ... If you look at the bad paper, if you look at where there's trouble, 95 to 98 percent of the paper really has moved to five institutions: JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Wachovia, Citigroup and HSBC. They have this country held by the neck."
Note: Why is it that with the trillions of dollars given by the U.S. government to prop up banks who used shady loan practices, so few homeowners facing foreclosure have received any assistance? For many revealing reports on the realities of the Wall Street bailout, click here.
House Arrest for Madoff in $7 Million Apartment
December 17, 2008, abcnews.com
Bernard Madoff, accused of the largest fraud in U.S. history, will be allowed to remain in his $7 million Park Avenue apartment instead of being sent to jail, under terms of an agreement announced today by federal prosecutors. Madoff was unable to meet the bond conditions set last week by a federal magistrate which required him to get four people to sign his personal recognizance bond. According to the U.S. Attorney's office, only Madoff's wife and brothers were willing to sign the document. But instead of ordering him held in jail, prosecutors agreed to home detention with electronic monitoring. Madoff and his luxury apartment on Manhattan's upper east side will be fitted with an electronic monitoring device by the court's pre-trial services and Madoff will be under a curfew of between 7 p.m. through 9 a.m. Madoff's wife agreed to post the mansions in her name in Palm Beach, Florida and in Montauk on New York's Long Island. The Securities and Exchange Commission chairman said today the agency has found "no evidence of wrongdoing by any SEC personnel" in connection with Madoff's alleged $50 billion Ponzi scheme and that the SEC intends to get to the bottom of where it may have gone wrong. "I was very concerned to learn this week that credible allegations about Mr. Madoff had been made over nearly a decade and yet never referred to the commission for action," Commissioner Christopher Cox said at a press conference. Yesterday, Cox acknowledged what amounted to a generational failure on the part of the SEC to discover any hint of Madoff's scheme, despite allegations dating back to 1999.
Note: Why is the criminal responsible for the largest single banking scandal in history is given house arrest rather than jail before his trial? Isn't it remarkable that the hands-off treatment Madoff received over the years from the SEC seems to be continuing from the Federal prosecutors? For more on Wall Street corruption, click here.
Bad bank + toxic debts = moral hazard x10
February 2, 2009, MarketWatch.com
BusinessWeek says Paulson/Bush & Co. wasted $350 billion in TARP money ... the Congressional Budget Office and GOP say Obama & Co. will waste another $800 billion on "non-stimulus" programs ... Nobel economist [Joseph Stiglitz] calls [the Bad Bank] plan "cash for trash" ... Warning, you are entering a bizarre space-time continuum ... where Wall Street makes random quantum leaps between metaphoric realities. In the "Lost" television series we're transported into a parallel reality, a perfect metaphor for today's global economic meltdown, which is misunderstood and grossly mismanaged. Wall Street crashed ... on the "Lost Island ... of Manhattan," the former center of world banking. The collateral damage has been enormous: Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, Lehman Brothers, Bear Stearns, global trade, Iceland. [Wall Street's] clueless leaders ... are "Lost" with no bottom, no recovery, no strategy in sight. A new president, a secretive Fed and an old Congress are throwing around taxpayer trillions like free candy ... on top of Bush's "$10 Trillion Hangover" ...after a clueless Wall Street wrote off trillions in toxic debt, then wasted $350 billion in TARP bailout money, buying $50 million private jets, attending golf outings at exclusive resorts, spending millions on CEO's office renovations and paying $18 billion in year-end bonuses. Hope masks denial: Even President Obama's consultant Buffett acknowledges that the proposed stimulus plan "might not work." The stimulus might not work? What if this last bullet is a blank? Should you prepare for the worst-case scenario?
Note: For many revealing reports on the realities of the Wall Street bailout, click here.
The Political Suspicions of 9/11
February 2, 2009, New York Times
A coming episode of the acclaimed FX drama "Rescue Me" will tackle what may sound like a far-fetched plot line: that the attacks of Sept. 11 were an "inside job." The actor who espouses the theories on camera, it turns out, also subscribes to them in real life. The second episode of "Rescue Me's" fifth season, starting in April, may represent the first fictional presentation of 9/11 conspiracy theories by a mainstream media company (FX is operated by the News Corporation). "They're not discussed a lot in the press," Daniel Sunjata, the actor who plays Franco Rivera on "Rescue Me," told reporters at a television press tour last month. In the episode, Mr. Sunjata's character [describes] a "neoconservative government effort" to control the world's oil, drastically increase military spending and "change the definition of pre-emptive attack." To put it into action, he continues, "what you need is a new Pearl Harbor. That's what they said they needed." Mr. Sunjata surprised some of the TV reporters when he said that he "absolutely, 100 percent" supports the assertion that "9/11 was an inside job." The alternative theories "seem to me to make a lot more sense than the ones that are popularly espoused," he said, calling it admirable that the conversation was allowed within "Rescue Me." Peter Tolan, an executive producer, said Mr. Sunjata is "well read" and has "done a lot of research." "Look, obviously not all of us buy in," he told reporters. "But we went: 'Wow, that's interesting, and he's passionate about it. Let's use that.' "
Note: For a powerful two-page summary of key unanswered questions from major media sources about what really happened on 9/11, click here. To read charges by hundreds of professors and top politicians claiming that the U.S. government is lying about 9/11, click here.
Exxon Mobil sets record with $45.2 billion profit
January 30, 2009, Miami Herald/Associated Press
Exxon Mobil Corp. ... reported a profit of $45.2 billion for 2008, breaking its own record for a U.S. company. The previous record for annual profit was $40.6 billion, which the world's largest publicly traded oil company set in 2007. The extraordinary full-year profit wasn't a surprise given crude's triple-digit price for much of 2008, peaking near an unheard of $150 a barrel in July. Since then, however, prices have fallen roughly 70 percent amid a deepening global economic crisis. In the fourth quarter alone crude tumbled 60 percent, prompting spending and job cuts in an industry that was reporting robust, often record, profits as recently as last summer. Irving, Texas-based Exxon said net income slid sharply to $7.8 billion, or $1.55 a share, in the October-December period. That compared with $11.7 billion, or $2.13 a share, in the same period a year ago, when Exxon set a U.S. record for quarterly profit. It has since topped that mark twice, first in last year's second quarter and then with earnings of $14.83 billion in the third quarter. Revenue in the most-recent quarter fell 27 percent to $84.7 billion. The industry went into retrenchment toward the end of the year with demand falling. The company, which produces about 3 percent of the world's oil, said overall output fell 3 percent in the most-recent period. For the full year, Exxon Mobil's massive profit amounted to $8.69 a share, versus $7.28 a share a year ago.
Note: How can it be said that this record-breaking profit "wasn't a surprise," when ethically we would all expect the oil companies not to gouge consumers world-wide at the time when oil prices were artificially driven to record highs? Why should the oil companies be allowed to rake in huge profits causing the vast majority of us suffer even greater losses at the gas pump? This is generally called gross profiteering.
Intelligence Agencies' Databases Set to Be Linked
January 22, 2009, Wall Street Journal
U.S. spy agencies' sensitive data should soon be linked by Google-like search systems. Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell has launched a sweeping technology program to knit together the thousands of databases across all 16 spy agencies. After years of bureaucratic snafus, intelligence analysts will be able to search through secret intelligence files the same way they can search public data on the Internet. Linking up the 16 agencies is the challenge at the heart of the job of director of national intelligence, created after 9/11. The new information program also is designed to include Facebook-like social-networking programs and classified news feeds. It includes enhanced security measures to ensure that only appropriately cleared people can access the network. The price tag is expected to be in the billions of dollars. The impact for analysts, Mr. McConnell says, "will be staggering." Not only will analysts have vastly more data to examine, potentially inaccurate intelligence will stand out more clearly, he said. Today, an analyst's query might scan only 5% of the total intelligence data in the U.S. government, said a senior intelligence official. Even when analysts find documents, they sometimes can't read them without protracted negotiations to gain access. Under the new system, an analyst would likely search about 95% of the data, the official said.
Note: For key reports from reliable sources on the hidden realities of the War on Terror, click here.
Letter from the Grave
January 12, 2009, The New Yorker magazine
[On January 8] Lasantha Wickramatunga, who was fifty-two years old and the editor of a Sri Lankan newspaper called The Sunday Leader, was assassinated on his way to work by two gunmen riding motorcycles. The Leader's investigative reporting had been fiercely critical of the government and of the conduct of its war against Tamil separatists; Wickramatunga had been attacked before. He knew that he was likely to be murdered and so he wrote an essay with instructions that it be published only after his own death. Read it in full below: "No other profession calls on its practitioners to lay down their lives for their art save the armed forces and, in Sri Lanka, journalism. In the course of the past few years, the independent media have increasingly come under attack. Electronic and print-media institutions have been burnt, bombed, sealed and coerced. Countless journalists have been harassed, threatened and killed. It has been my honor to belong to all those categories and now especially the last. We find ourselves in the midst of a civil war ruthlessly prosecuted by protagonists whose bloodlust knows no bounds. Terror, whether perpetrated by terrorists or the state, has become the order of the day. Indeed, murder has become the primary tool whereby the state seeks to control the organs of liberty. Today it is the journalists, tomorrow it will be the judges. For neither group have the risks ever been higher or the stakes lower.
Note: Click on the link above to read this deeply moving letter from a martyr for truth in its entirety.
Key Articles From Years Past
US airman Milton Torres told to shoot down UFO when based at RAF Manston
October 20, 2008, Times of London
The order came straight out of the Cold War manual: "Arm all weapons and fire on sight." For Lieutenant Milton Torres, an American jet fighter pilot based in Britain, it was the first and last time that he had received such a chilling instruction. As soon as he scrambled his Sabre jet from RAF Manston in Kent and headed eastwards, he saw the blip on his radar, indicating the presence of an aircraft the size of a B52 about 15 miles away, and he prepared to close in for the kill with a salvo of rockets. But the "aircraft", judged to be hostile and probably Russian, simply vanished. The blip on the radar disappeared. The 24-year-old American pilot's extraordinary experience on the night of May 20, 1957, which he was officially ordered never to reveal to anyone, has come to light after the declassification of another batch of Ministry of Defence files relating to reported incidents of unidentified flying objects appearing in British airspace – in this case the only known example of a jet fighter pilot being ordered to shoot down a UFO. Mr Torres, now 77 and a retired professor of civil engineering living in Miami, told The Times that the day after he was scrambled from RAF Manston he received a visit from an American in a trenchcoat who waved a National Security Agency identity card at him and warned him that, if he ever revealed what had happened, he would never fly again. He took the warning to heart and said nothing until 1988 when, through a solicitor with an interest in ufology, he sent the Ministry of Defence a report giving a full account of the incident. Today his narrative is released by the National Archives.
Note: For a highly revealing summary of key evidence for UFOs presented by respected military and government officials, click here.
Zenn and the art of small, electric vehicles
August 15, 2008, MSNBC/Forbes Autos
It might sound surprising, but all-electric vehicles are already on American roads. They just haven't quite made it to the highway yet. A growing cottage industry of Neighborhood Electric Vehicle [NEV] manufacturers is spurring the development of cars like the Zenn, which has reached a state of vehicular enlightenment so advanced it doesn't even need a tail pipe. "We saw this car in May of '06, and all of us were just freaking out: 'Finally, a car!'" said Steve Mayeda, sales manager at Seattle-based MC Electric Vehicles, which sells 30 percent of Zenn's U.S. inventory, in addition to electric vehicles made by Columbia, Canadian EV, E-Ride and Miles. "Zenn was the first neighborhood electric car that actually looked and felt and drove like a real car. Everything else before that was either a converted golf cart or a car that was built from the ground up." NEVs are silent, have no tailpipe emissions (or tailpipes, for that matter) and plug into electrical outlets like vacuum cleaners. They come in two varieties: Low-Speed Electric Vehicles, which have a top speed of about 25 miles per hour and are restricted to roads where the speed limit is 35 miles per hour or less; and Medium-Speed Electric Vehicles, which reach 35 mph and are allowed on roads with a posted speed of up to 45 mph. They're exempt from federal safety regulations that mandate impact-absorbing bumpers and airbags. But to be street legal, NEVs must have three-point seat belts, windshields with wipers, headlights, brake lights, rearview mirrors and turn signals.
Note: Note: For a fun, six-minute video demonstration of the Zenn, click here.
Of Two Minds
May 8, 2005, New York Times
Scientists are able to get some idea of what's going on in the mind by using brain scanners. Now it is possible to infer what tiny groups of neurons are up to, not just larger areas of the brain. A technology called functional magnetic resonance imaging can reveal which part of your brain is most active when you're solving a mathematical puzzle, say, or memorizing a list of words. A couple of weeks ago, two scientists revealed that they had found a way to peer directly into your brain and tell what you are looking at, even when you yourself are not yet aware of what you have seen. Last year, Tibetan Buddhist monks ... submitted to functional magnetic resonance imaging as they practiced "compassion meditation," which is aimed at achieving a mental state of pure loving kindness toward all beings. The brain scans showed only a slight effect in novice meditators. But for monks who had spent more than 10,000 hours in meditation, the differences in brain function were striking. Activity in the left prefrontal cortex, the locus of joy, overwhelmed activity in the right prefrontal cortex, the locus of anxiety. Activity was also heightened in the areas of the brain that direct planned motion, as if the monks' brains were itching to go to the aid of those in distress. All of which suggests, say the scientists who carried out the scans, that "the resting state of the brain may be altered by long-term meditative practice."
Special note: To understand the mindset of many U.S. soldiers in Iraq, take a look at the rather disturbing seven-minute video available here. And for an excellent essay showing the viability of using alcohol as fuel for cars, as is done widely in Brazil, click here. Why are the facts presented being covered up? And for some entertainment, if you want to enjoy some fun babies laughing in a one-minute video, click here.
Finding Balance: WantToKnow.info Inspiration Center
WantToKnow.info believes it is important to balance disturbing cover-up information with inspirational writings which call us to be all that we can be and to work together for positive change. For an abundance of uplifting material, please visit our Inspiration Center.
See our exceptional archive of revealing news articles.
www.momentoflove.org - Every person in the world has a heart
www.personalgrowthcourses.net - Dynamic online courses powerfully expand your horizons
www.WantToKnow.info - Reliable, verifiable information on major cover-ups
www.weboflove.org - Strengthening the Web of Love that interconnects us all
Subscribe here to the WantToKnow.info email list (two messages a week)
Wall Street Bailout to Rise by $2 Trillion, CIA Renditions to Continue, Foreclosure Defense