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Monthly Archives: February 2012

(democracynow.org) The whistleblowing website WikiLeaks has published an internal email from the private intelligence firm Stratfor that suggests the U.S. Justice Department has obtained a sealed indictment against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. The email is one of around five million obtained from Stratfor’s servers by the hacker group, Anonymous. “Somehow you have a private intelligence company, Stratfor, ‘shadow CIA’ as people have called it, having information about this sealed indictment, secret again, that Julian Assange does not have, that Wikileaks does not have, that his lawyers do not have,” says Michael Ratner of the Center for Constitutional Rights, who is a legal advisor to both Assange and to WikiLeaks. “What you see is secrecy, secrecy, secrecy.” News of the indictment comes less than a week after Army Private Bradley Manning was arraigned for allegedly leaking classified U.S. military and State Department documents to WikiLeaks.

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(endthelie.com) According to a Japanese news outlet, Iza, on July 1st, 2011 63-year-old Mr. Takashi Kabayama was found dead with a plastic bag over his head in his home office.

Kabayama was a member of the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly for the Liberal Democratic Party and had been measuring radiation in an assortment of locations throughout Tokyo.

He would then upload his findings to his blog for the world to read and on the day before he died (June 30, 2011) he measured 0.25 microSv/h in Mizumoto Park in the Katsushika ward located in Tokyo.

Fukushima Diary reported on February 22, 2012 via Gendai that ludicrously high levels of cesium contamination were discovered, also in Mizumoto Park.

These levels were so high that they “turned out to be the same level of [the] ‘off-limits zone’ in Chernobyl.”

It is strange that this hasn’t been brought to the public’s attention sooner, because the fact that he was found at 3 AM July 1, 2011, meaning just a short while after he posted his update, is quite unusual.

Why would someone be taking radiation readings and updating their website the day that they were planning to kill themselves?

According to Fukushima Diary, none of his blog posts suggested that he might be suicidal and “he sounded motivated to measure around Tokyo,” something which hardly seems befitting of someone on the verge of taking their own life.

This is not the only anti-nuclear official who has died in recent history. In fact, it was reported on January 3, 2012 that 64-year-old Uemura Yasuhiro, town councilor of Kowaura Minamiise Machi Mie was found dead in his car with a shotgun wound to the chest.

Yasuhiro was reportedly taking his shotgun to his farm to keep away crows. Police thought it was suicide or a gun accident, even though the shotgun was reportedly placed outside of the car.

He was an outspoken opponent of the construction of the Ashihama nuclear plant of Chubu Electric Power and after the Fukushima incident he began traveling around Japan lecturing about the dangers of nuclear power.

If only one official who came out against the horrors of Fukushima had perished in mysterious circumstances I would be more ready to discount the possibility of foul play.

However, when multiple bodies start piling up, all of which are connected to bringing the dangers of nuclear power into the sphere of public debate, I have to start wondering.

I don’t know how it is in Japan, but here in the United States we have what I call a “dual justice system” which treats certain sectors of society completely differently than others.

On one side there is the ludicrously wealthy along with police, most politicians, most so-called officials, etc. and on the other side is the rest of us.

This allows for police to literally get away with murdering innocent tourists and brutally assault elderly people (with dementia no less) for no apparent reason only to get a written reprimand among other horrors.

Hopefully Japan is a little different and proper investigations into these mysterious incidents can be launched.

Source: http://endthelie.com/2012/02/24/official-found-dead-head-covered-with-plastic-bag-after-measuring-radiation-in-tokyo-park/#axzz1nFhpVvnr

(thinkprogress.orgAs we’ve been noting, corporate profits have made it back to their pre-recession heights (even if corporate tax revenue hasn’t followed suit). In fact, in 2011, corporate profits hit their highest level since 1950. But as Bloomberg News noted today, this hasn’t translated into wage growthor more purchasing power for workers:

Companies are improving margins and generating profits as wage growth for the American worker lags behind the prices of goods and services…While benefiting the bottom line for businesses, the decline in inflation-adjusted wages bodes ill for the sustainability of economic growth as consumers may eventually be forced to cut back. […]

Of the 394 companies in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index that have reported since Jan. 9, earnings for the quarter ended Dec. 31 increased 5.1 percent on average and beat analyst estimates by 3.2 percent. Some 70 percent of the companies have posted better-than-projected results.

This pattern has become all too familiar during the slow economic recovery. In fact, real wages fell in 2011, despite record corporate profits. “There’s never been a postwar era in which unemployment has been this high for this long,” explained labor economist Gary Burtless. “Workers are in a very weak bargaining position.”

Between 2009 and 2011, 88 percent of national income growth went to corporate profits, while just 1 percent went to wages, a stat that is “historically unprecedented.”

by Pat Garofalo

Source:
http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2012/02/22/430190/corporate-profits-wages-2012/?mobile=nc

Pat Garofalo is Economic Policy Editor for ThinkProgress.org at the Center for American Progress Action Fund. Pat’s work has also appeared in The Nation, U.S. News & World Report, The Guardian, the Washington Examiner, and In These Times. He has been a guest on MSNBC and Al-Jazeera television, as well as many radio shows. Pat graduated from Brandeis University, where he was the editor-in-chief of The Brandeis Hoot, Brandeis’ community newspaper, and worked for the International Center for Ethics, Justice, and Public Life. src: truth-out.org

(Wikileaks) LONDON—Today, Monday 27 February, WikiLeaks began publishing The Global Intelligence Files – more than five million emails from the Texas-headquartered “global intelligence” company Stratfor. The emails date from between July 2004 and late December 2011. They reveal the inner workings of a company that fronts as an intelligence publisher, but provides confidential intelligence services to large corporations, such as Bhopal’s Dow Chemical Co., Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon and government agencies, including the US Department of Homeland Security, the US Marines and the US Defense Intelligence Agency. The emails show Stratfor’s web of informers, pay-off structure, payment-laundering techniques and psychological methods, for example :

“[Y]ou have to take control of him. Control means financial, sexual or psychological control… This is intended to start our conversation on your next phase” – CEO George Friedman to Stratfor analyst Reva Bhalla on 6 December 2011, on how to exploit an Israeli intelligence informant providing information on the medical condition of the President of Venezuala, Hugo Chavez.

The material contains privileged information about the US government’s attacks against Julian Assange and WikiLeaks and Stratfor’s own attempts to subvert WikiLeaks. There are more than 4,000 emails mentioning WikiLeaks or Julian Assange. The emails also expose the revolving door that operates in private intelligence companies in the United States. Government and diplomatic sources from around the world give Stratfor advance knowledge of global politics and events in exchange for money. The Global Intelligence Files exposes how Stratfor has recruited a global network of informants who are paid via Swiss banks accounts and pre-paid credit cards. Stratfor has a mix of covert and overt informants, which includes government employees, embassy staff and journalists around the world.

The material shows how a private intelligence agency works, and how they target individuals for their corporate and government clients. For example, Stratfor monitored and analysed the online activities of Bhopal activists, including the “Yes Men”, for the US chemical giant Dow Chemical. The activists seek redress for the 1984 Dow Chemical/Union Carbide gas disaster in Bhopal, India. The disaster led to thousands of deaths, injuries in more than half a million people, and lasting environmental damage.

Read more: http://www.wikileaks.org/the-gifiles.html?nocache

(rt.com) The prison industrial complex is the latest victim of Anonymous’ #FuckFBIFriday campaign. Hacktivists have compromised data from a massive correctional facility management firm and have defaced their website.

The website for The GEO Group, Inc., a Florida-based management firm with clients worldwide, has been targeted by operatives with the online collective Anonymous. Friday’s hack from the group is the most recent release related to the #FFF campaign that has in past weeks targeted and successfully taken down the sites of the CIA, FBI and US Department of Justice.

Various Twitter accounts affiliated with the loose-knit group confirmed the hack at around 12:30 pm EST on Friday. A statement made by the group has replaced the traditional homepage of TheGEOGroupInc.com and other sites associated with the prison management firm have been “wiped off the net,” says the group.

Additionally, the group has added an image of prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal and the audio of a song about him and the prison system to the company’s homepage.

The attack, reads a statement from Anonymous, is retaliation for a corrupt system that immensely profits off of the detainment of Americans across the country. As the prison industrial complex booms, management companies such as GEO have been tied to controversies. As RT reported last week, Corrections Corporation of America, the largest operator of for-profit prisons in the US, has spent millions of dollars lobbying Washington for stricter laws that would ensure that their facilities are regularly close to total capacity. As these companies spend money to make new laws and expand on others that target non-violent criminals, the companies responsible generate mass income from operating the facilities.

Read more: http://rt.com/usa/news/anonymous-prison-group-geo-169/

( on Feb 21, 2012 It’s been a tough night in Brussels where Eurozone ministers have reached a deal on a second bailout for Greece. It took them several hours to agree on the one-hundred-and-thirty-billion euro cash injection, expected to save the country from default. Earlier the Greek Parliament went through a storm of public outrage and several internal conflicts to approve the austerity measures demanded by international creditors.