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Drones Killing Americans Legal, Obama's Death Squads, Cops Use Identities of Dead Children
Revealing News Articles
February 12, 2013

Dear friends,

Below are key excerpts of important news articles on a leaked Justice Department memo making a 'legal' case for drone strikes on American citizens, the death squad operations of Obama's JSOC (Joint Special Operations Command), use of stolen identities of dead children by UK police for over forty years, and more. On this birthday of President Abraham Lincoln, what would he say about these matters?

Each excerpt is taken verbatim from the major media website listed at the link provided. If any link fails, see this page. The most important sentences are highlighted. And don't miss the "What you can do" section below the summaries. By educating ourselves and to spreading the word, we can and will build a brighter future.

With best wishes,
Tod Fletcher and Fred Burks for PEERS and WantToKnow.info

Special note: For a five-minute clip of the largest glacier split ever caught on film, click here. For a richly inspiring 2 1/2 minute video on love, fear, and the meaning of life, click here. To sign a meaningful petition to stop the sonic bombardment of whales and dolphins, click here. For inspiring news about the Feb. 14th mass flash mob in support of women around the world, click here. For a wonderfully inspiring 10-minute clip of Venezuelan street kids whose lives are transformed through playing orchestral music together, click here. If you have a problem with your weight, this link could change your life.


Justice Department memo reveals legal case for drone strikes on Americans
February 4, 2013, NBC News
http://openchannel.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/02/04/16843014-exclusive-justice-department-memo...

A confidential Justice Department memo concludes that the U.S. government can order the killing of American citizens if they are believed to be "senior operational leaders" of al-Qaida or "an associated force" -- even if there is no intelligence indicating they are engaged in an active plot to attack the U.S. The 16-page memo ... provides new details about the legal reasoning behind one of the Obama administration's most secretive and controversial polices: its dramatically increased use of drone strikes against al-Qaida suspects abroad, including those aimed at American citizens. In March, Attorney General Eric Holder specifically endorsed the constitutionality of targeted killings of Americans, saying they could be justified if government officials determine the target poses "an imminent threat of violent attack." But the confidential Justice Department "white paper" introduces a ... "broader concept of imminence" than actual intelligence about any ongoing plot against the U.S. homeland. "The condition that an operational leader present an 'imminent' threat of violent attack against the United States does not require the United States to have clear evidence that a specific attack on U.S. persons and interests will take place in the immediate future," the memo states. Instead, it says, an "informed, high-level" official of the U.S. government may determine that the targeted American has been "recently" involved in "activities" posing a threat of a violent attack and "there is no evidence suggesting that he has renounced or abandoned such activities." The memo does not define "recently" or "activities."

Note: To read the entire 'white paper' on drone strikes on Americans, click here. For detailed analysis by a distinguished lawyer, click here.


JSOC: Obama's secret assassins
February 3, 2013, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/feb/03/jsoc-obama-secret-assassins

The president has a clandestine network targeting a 'kill list' justified by secret laws. How is that different than a death squad? The film Dirty Wars, which premiered at Sundance ... tracks the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), a network of highly-trained, completely unaccountable US assassins, armed with ever-expanding "kill lists". [Narrator Jeremy] Scahill and [director Rick] Rowley track this new model of US warfare that strikes at civilians and insurgents alike – in 70 countries. They interview former JSoc assassins, who are shell-shocked at how the "kill lists" they are given keep expanding, even as they eliminate more and more people. Our conventional forces are subject to international laws of war: they are accountable for crimes in courts martial; and they run according to a clear chain of command. As much as the US military may fall short of these standards at times, it is a model of lawfulness compared with JSOC, which has far greater scope to undertake the commission of extra-legal operations – and unimaginable crimes. JSOC morphs the secretive, unaccountable mercenary model of private military contracting, which Scahill identified in Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army, into a hybrid with the firepower and intelligence backup of our full state resources. JSOC operates outside the traditional chain of command; it reports directly to the president of the United States. What does it means for the president to have an unaccountable paramilitary force, which can assassinate anyone anywhere in the world?

Note: For more on JSOC, click here.


To Kill an American
February 6, 2013, New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/06/opinion/to-kill-an-american.html

The newly disclosed "white paper" offering a legal reasoning behind the claim that President Obama has the power to order the killing of American citizens ... coyly describes another, classified document ... that actually provided the legal justification for ordering the killing of American citizens. That document still has not been provided to Congress, despite repeated demands from lawmakers. According to the white paper, the Constitution and the Congressional authorization for the use of force after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, gave Mr. Obama the right to kill any American citizen that an "informed, high-level official" decides is a "senior operational leader of Al Qaeda or an associated force" and presents an "imminent threat of violent attack." It never tries to define what an "informed, high-level official" might be, and the authors of the memo seem to have redefined the word "imminent" in a way that diverges sharply from its customary meaning. It takes the position that the only "oversight" needed for such a decision resides within the executive branch, and there is no need to explain the judgment to Congress, the courts or the public – or, indeed, to even acknowledge that the killing took place. The paper argues that judges and Congress don't have the right to rule on or interfere with decisions made in the heat of combat. The white paper "is a confusing blend of self-defense and law of war concepts" said Kate Martin, director of the Center for National Security Studies. "Its due process analysis is especially weak."

Note: To read the entire 'white paper' on drone strikes on Americans, click here. For a more detailed analysis by a distinguished lawyer, click here. What this means is that if the president doesn't like someone and deems him an imminent threat, he can have that person killed and legally keep it all a secret. Is America drifting towards a police state?


Police spies stole identities of dead children
February 3, 2013, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2013/feb/03/police-spies-identities-dead-children?INTCMP=SRCH

Britain's largest police force stole the identities of an estimated 80 dead children and issued fake passports in their names for use by undercover police officers. The Metropolitan police secretly authorised the practice for covert officers infiltrating protest groups without consulting or informing the children's parents. Over three decades generations of police officers trawled through national birth and death records in search of suitable matches. Undercover officers created aliases based on the details of the dead children and were issued with accompanying identity records such as driving licences and national insurance numbers. Some of the police officers spent up to 10 years pretending to be people who had died. The technique of using dead children as aliases has remained classified intelligence for several decades, although it was fictionalised in Frederick Forsyth's novel The Day of the Jackal. As a result, police have internally nicknamed the process of searching for suitable identities as the "jackal run". One former undercover agent compared an operation on which he was deployed to the methods used by the Stasi. The practice was introduced 40 years ago by police to lend credibility to the backstory of covert operatives spying on protesters, and to guard against the possibility that campaigners would discover their true identities. Since then dozens of SDS [Special Demonstration Squad] officers, including those who posed as anti-capitalists, animal rights activists and violent far-right campaigners, have used the identities of dead children.

Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on police corruption, click here.


US newspapers accused of complicity as drone report reopens security debate
February 6, 2013, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2013/feb/06/us-newspapers-accused-complicity-drone

[The] New York Times and Washington Post ... are facing accusations of complicity after it emerged that they bowed to pressure from the Obama administration not to disclose the existence of a secret drone base in Saudi Arabia despite knowing about it for a year. Amid renewed scrutiny over the Obama administration's secrecy over its targeted killing programme, media analysts and national security experts said the revelation that some newspapers had co-operated over the drone base had reopened the debate over the balance between freedom of information and national security. One expert described the initial decision not to publish the base's location as "shameful and craven". Dr Jack Lule, a professor of journalism and communication at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania, said that the national security implications did not merit holding on to the story. "The decision not to publish is a shameful one. The national security standard has to be very high, perhaps imminent danger," he said. The Obama administration has resisted any effort to open up its targeted killing programme to public scrutiny. The White House legal advice on the assassinations program, including the killing of a US citizen, Anwar al-Awlaki, has been withheld from the public and Congress, despite repeated requests to make it public. Lule said that in not publishing the location of the base when it had the information, the newspaper had failed in its responsibility to the public. "It happened at the top ranks of the media, too. They should have been leading the pack in calling for less secrecy. For them to give up that post is terrible."

Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on major media coverups, click here.


CIA rendition: more than a quarter of countries 'offered covert support'
February 5, 2013, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/feb/05/cia-rendition-countries-covert-support

The full extent of the CIA's extraordinary rendition programme has been laid bare with the publication of a report showing there is evidence that more than a quarter of the world's governments covertly offered support. A 213-page report compiled by the Open Society Justice Initiative (OSJI), a New York-based human rights organisation, says that at least 54 countries co-operated with the global kidnap, detention and torture operation that was mounted after 9/11, many of them in Europe. So widespread and extensive was the participation of governments across the world that it is now clear the CIA could not have operated its programme without their support, according to the OSJI. "Responsibility for these violations does not end with the United States. Secret detention and extraordinary rendition operations, designed to be conducted outside the United States under cover of secrecy, could not have been implemented without the active participation of foreign governments. These governments too must be held accountable." The states identified by the OSJI include those such as Pakistan, Afghanistan, Egypt and Jordan where the existence of secret prisons and the use of torture has been well documented for many years. But the OSJI's rendition list also includes states such as Ireland, Iceland and Cyprus, which are accused of granting covert support for the programme by permitting the use of airspace and airports by aircraft involved in rendition flights. Iran and Syria are identified by the OSJI as having participated in the rendition programme.

Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on the illegal operations that comprise the 'global war on terror', click here.


Justice Department sues S&P over mortgage bond ratings
February 4, 2013, Los Angeles Times
http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-sandp-justice-20130205,0,1104883.story

The federal government is ... going after Wall Street's biggest credit rating firm for its role in pumping up the housing bubble. The Justice Department filed a lawsuit [on Feb. 4] against Standard & Poor's Corp. The suit accuses the company's analysts of issuing glowing reviews on troubled mortgage securities whose subsequent failure helped cause the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. The action marks the first federal crackdown against a major credit rater, and it signals an untested legal tack after limited success in holding the nation's banks accountable for the part they played in the crisis. The government selected Los Angeles as the venue to file the lawsuit in part because it was one of the regions hardest hit when the bottom fell out of the housing market. Hundreds of thousands of California residents lost their homes to foreclosure, and others saw their wealth evaporate as properties plummeted in value. In addition to the Justice Department, several state attorneys general are investigating the ratings agency. States such as California and New York are expected to pursue their own investigations and legal action, people familiar with the matter said. The federal action does not involve any criminal allegations. Critics have complained that the government has yet to send any senior bankers or Wall Street executives to jail for potential illegal behavior that led to the crisis. But civil actions typically require a much lower burden of proof.

Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on the criminal practices of the financial industry, click here.


'Who knew' mortgage defense falling apart
February 7, 2013, San Francisco Chronicle (SF's leading newspaper)
http://www.sfgate.com/business/bottomline/article/Who-knew-mortgage-defense-falling-apart-4261827.php

The "who knew?" defense [was] thrown down by financial institutions and their senior executives to ward off accusations that they were somehow responsible for the disaster that befell the country. That defense is now crumbling by the day, thanks in part to their own employees' admissions. Citing internal e-mails, California joined the federal government and 15 other states this week in filing multibillion-dollar civil fraud lawsuits against the nation's leading credit ratings agency, Standard & Poor's, for allegedly deliberately "downplaying and disregarding the true extent of the credit risks" of the financial instruments it had rated as rock-solid. S&P says the charges are "without factual or legal merit," while adding that it, "like everyone else, did not predict the speed and severity of the coming crisis and how credit quality would ultimately be affected." Stack that up against an S&P executive who warned in an internal memo in December 2006, "This market is a wildly spinning top which is going to end badly." Or the 2007 e-mail from an analyst that read, "Job's going great, aside from the fact that the MBS (residential mortgage-backed securities) is crashing." Foreknowledge seemed to be apparent at JPMorgan Chase and Morgan Stanley as well. Internal documents in a lawsuit filed by Dexia SA, a French-Belgian bank, alleging "egregious fraud" by JPMorgan in the sale of $1.7 billion of mortgage-backed bonds, suggested executives at JPMorgan, Bear Stearns and Washington Mutual ... intentionally covered up the unworthiness of the securities they were selling.

Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on the criminal practices of the financial industry, click here.


Rate-Rigging Investigation Rolls On
February 7, 2013, New York Times
http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2013/02/07/rate-rigging-investigation-rolls-on/

The global investigation into interest-rate manipulation has emboldened prosecutors to crack down on banks, and the settlement with the Royal Bank of Scotland on [Feb. 6] underscored that strategy. As part of the $612 million deal that American and British authorities reached with R.B.S., the bank's Japanese unit was required to plead guilty to criminal wrongdoing, echoing an earlier action taken against a subsidiary of UBS. The cases announced so far give other banks some idea of what to expect. Three questions come into play: how much it will cost, whether a guilty plea will be required and whether embarrassing e-mails will be released. The winners in all this may be the lawyers and other advisers. The trove of internal e-mails and employee interviews, filed as part of a lawsuit by one of the investors in the securities, offers a fresh glimpse into Wall Street's mortgage machine, which churned out billions of dollars of securities that later imploded. The documents reveal that JPMorgan, as well as two firms the bank acquired during the credit crisis, Washington Mutual and Bear Stearns, flouted quality controls and ignored problems, sometimes hiding them entirely, in a quest for profit.

Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on the criminal practices of the financial industry, click here.


Doubt Is Cast on Firms Hired to Help Banks
January 31, 2013, New York Times
http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2013/01/31/doubt-is-cast-on-firms-hired-to-help-banks/

Federal authorities are scrutinizing private consultants hired to clean up financial misdeeds like money laundering and foreclosure abuses, taking aim at an industry that is paid billions of dollars by the same banks it is expected to police. The consultants operate with scant supervision and produce mixed results, according to government documents and interviews with prosecutors and regulators. In one case, the consulting firms enabled the wrongdoing. The deficiencies, officials say, can leave consumers vulnerable and allow tainted money to flow through the financial system. The pitfalls were exposed last month when federal regulators halted a broad effort to help millions of homeowners in foreclosure. The regulators reached an $8.5 billion settlement with banks, scuttling a flawed foreclosure review run by eight consulting firms. In the end, borrowers hurt by shoddy practices are likely to receive less money than they deserve, regulators said. Critics concede that regulators have little choice but to hire outsiders for certain responsibilities after they find problems at the banks. The government does not have the resources to ensure that banks follow the rules. Some banks that work with consultants continue to run afoul of the law. At other times, consultants underestimate the extent of the misdeeds or facilitate them, preventing regulators from holding institutions accountable.

Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on the criminal practices of the financial industry, click here.


Sucker Alert? Insider Selling Surges After Dow 14,000
February 5, 2013, CNBC
http://www.cnbc.com/id/100435847

Insiders have been pulling out of stocks just as small investors are getting in. Selling by corporate executives has surged recently as the Dow Jones Industrial Average hit 14,000 and retail investors flooded into stocks. The amount of insider selling has usually preceded market selloffs. "In almost perfect coordination with an equity market that was rushing toward new all-time highs, insider sentiment has weakened sharply – falling to its lowest level since late March 2012," wrote David Coleman of the Vickers Weekly Insider report, one of the longest researchers of executive buying and selling on Wall Street. "Insiders are waving the cautionary flag in an increasingly aggressive manner." There have been more than nine insider sales for every one buy over the past week among NYSE stocks, according to Vickers. The last time executives sold their company's stock this aggressively was in early 2012, just before the S&P 500 went on to correct by 10 percent to its low for the year. "Insiders know more than the vast majority of market participants," said Enis Taner, global macro editor for RiskReversal.com. "And they're usually right over a long period of time." "Insiders (are) showing a remarkable ability of late to identify both market peaks and troughs," states the Vickers report. For selling to be big enough that firms like Vickers raise a bearish flag, the bulls may want to take heed.

Note: For more on this, click here.


Former airline pilot and conspiracy theorist 'shot dead his two teenage children and his dog before turning the gun on himself'
February 7, 2013, Daily Mirror
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2275258/Phillip-Marshall-Former-airline-pilot-conspiracy-theorist...

A pilot who wrote a conspiracy theory book about 9/11 is dead after he shot his two teenage children and family dog before turning the gun on himself. Relatives and friends of Phillip Marshall were stunned by the violent crime which took place in Calaveras County on [Feb. 2]. The tragedy came as a shock for those living in the small town. The former airline pilot's controversial conspiracy book The Big Bamboozle: 9/11 and the War on Terror was released last year. While he was writing it, Marshall believed that his life was in danger because of the allegations involved. According to [the] Santa Barbara View, during the editing and pre-marketing process of Marshall's book, he expressed some degree of paranoia because the nonfiction work accused the George W. Bush administration of being in cahoots with the Saudi intelligence community in training the hijackers who died in the planes used in the attacks. Amazon says about Philip Marshall: 'A veteran airline captain and former government "special activities" contract pilot, he has authored three books on "Top Secret America," a group presently conducting business as the United States Intelligence Community. Marshall has studied and written [about] covert government special activities and the revolving door of Wall Street tricksters, media moguls, and their well funded politicians. He is the leading aviation expert on the September 11th attack.'

Note: Does something smell fishy here? Don't miss the even more revealing article written in a local newspaper at this link which questions whether Marshall might have been killed because of his 9/11 conspiracy views.


Saudi Arabia's Child-Rape Case: Female Activists Fight to Prevent Abuse
February 8, 2013, The Daily Beast/Newsweek
http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/02/08/saudi-arabia-s-child-rape-case-female-activists-fight...

The torture and murder of 5-year-old Lama Al Ghamdi could hardly have been more horrific. But the fact that this story of one little girl's death and one father's monstrosity went public is also a sign of just how hard women in Saudi Arabia are working to fight the cruel misogyny embedded in the kingdom's version of Islamic law. Fayhan Al Ghamdi ... was arrested last year and charged with murder. He told authorities that he had suspected his 5-year old daughter was not a virgin. He had even taken her to a doctor to check. But apparently that had not satisfied him. He admitted he'd used a cane and electrical cables on the child. Saudi law claims to follow a clear path (sharia) laid out in the Quran, but in practice it's based on a maze of sayings and traditions (hadith) with as many baffling contradictions as the codes used by lawyers anywhere. According to one reading, a father cannot be held fully accountable for the death of his children; their loss is a punishment for him. So the question arose in the proceedings whether Al Ghamdi could simply pay the mother "blood money" for the loss of her daughter and walk free. The mother has said she will not accept payment. Before the middle of the last decade, domestic violence and child abuse in Saudi Arabia were treated mainly as family affairs. Nobody wanted to talk about them, and if police did bother to investigate suspected crimes, which was rare, they found proof very hard to come by.

Note: As a strong ally of the U.S., the monarchy of Saudi Arabia is very rarely criticized by politicians or the media for it's highly oppressive government and practices. For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on child abuse, click here.


Los Angeles Archdiocese Is Accused of Failing to Release All Abuse Records
February 5, 2013, New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/05/us/los-angeles-archdiocese-is-accused-of-failing-to-release...

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles released 12,000 pages of internal files [on Jan. 31] on priests accused of sexually abusing children, saying that it was finally abiding by a settlement it signed with victims six years ago to make the painful history public. But it now appears that the files the church released with much fanfare are incomplete and many are unaccounted for, according to the abuse victims' lawyers. In addition, on many documents the names of church supervisors informed of abuse allegations were redacted by the archdiocese, in apparent violation of a judge's order. Abuse victims had insisted that the Archdiocese of Los Angeles release the records as part of a settlement in 2007, which provided $660 million to more than 500 victims. "We know we have not gotten a complete disclosure," said Jeff Anderson, who is among the lawyers representing the victims. "It's more deception, deceit and secrecy." The Archdiocese of Los Angeles fought for six years all the way to the State Supreme Court to block the release of the documents. Early in January, Judge Emilie H. Elias overturned a previous decision, and ordered the archdiocese to lift the redactions of the names of certain kinds of officials: archbishops and bishops, vicars for clergy members and directors of treatment facilities, as well as pastors, "church agents" or employees who had supervisory responsibility over an accused priest and were made aware of complaints or suspicions about him. But on many pages it appears that the names of supervisors, like pastors in parishes or the supervisors of religious orders, are missing.

Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on sexual abuse scandals, click here.


Files Show Church Missteps, Evasions With Priests
February 2, 2013, New York Times/Associated Press
http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2013/02/02/us/ap-us-california-church-abuse-glance.html

The Archdiocese of Los Angeles released 12,000 pages of personnel files on sexually abusive priests that Archbishop Jose Gomez described as "brutal and painful reading." While many of the names of the abusers and accusations against them were known, the files reveal previously undisclosed details of how the church transferred priests out of state, sent them to therapists who wouldn't report crimes and suppressed information from reaching the public. As far back as March 1988, then-Archbishop Roger Mahony was warned in a confidential memo that the [Rev. Richard Henry's] behavior around young boys – long embraces, rubbing noses, leading them to the privacy of his room – was unsettling to those who witnessed it. In October that year, Henry was ordered in a letter from a superior, then-Monsignor Thomas Curry, to "not be alone with minors." Henry served prison time for abusing several boys. The church records show the archdiocese maneuvered behind the scenes to avoid a possible lawsuit against a priest over abuse allegations in Los Angeles. In 2007, five former altar boys from Tucson, Ariz., were awarded $1.5 million each as part of the archdiocese's $660 million clergy-abuse settlement. The five said they were abused by the Rev. Kevin Barmasse, who was sent to Arizona during the 1980s after he'd been accused of child molestation in Los Angeles.

Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on sexual abuse scandals, click here.


'Bank of Bob' finances $25 startups
February 7, 2013, San Francisco Chronicle (SF's leading newspaper)
http://www.sfgate.com/business/article/Bank-of-Bob-finances-25-startups-4261013.php

For years, writer Bob Harris enjoyed a unique opportunity - traveling to some of the most luxurious hotels in the world on behalf of ForbesTraveler.com. But, as he bounced from one five-star palace to another, he felt uneasy about the inequality of the industry: The people who build these places don't get to see or experience them. He decided he would somehow give back his salary from the decadent escapes he'd had. That's when he discovered Kiva, the San Francisco crowdfunding site that enables individuals to offer $25 loans to entrepreneurs in the developing world. Harris began lending via Kiva.org. Then, some friends joined in, building a community of lenders they called, aptly, Friends of Bob Harris. Over the last three years, they've collectively lent more than $3 million. In 2011, Harris decided to go meet some of the entrepreneurs and write about his travels, microfinance and Kiva's impact. That took him to a dozen countries - Bosnia, Nepal, Cambodia, Kenya and more - and resulted in a book: The International Bank of Bob: Connecting Our Worlds One $25 Loan at a Time. Recently, he spoke with The Chronicle about his travels and what he learned. Q: Did you ask the entrepreneurs point blank about ... what did they think of the lending criteria? A: I did get feedback on what ... changes they wanted. They wanted longer grace periods; a longer length of time between getting the loan and their first payment so that they could think more about long-term investments; they wanted a version of "revolving credit." I never once heard [complaints] about the interest rate.


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