Archive for October 31st, 2014

by lizard

Here’s a spooky story: Obama’s pick to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Richard Cordray, thinks a wolf should help protect the sheep:

A fairness-in-lending advocacy group is targeting Advance America CEO J. Patrick O’Shaughnessy as part of a name-and-shame campaign directed at top financial industry executives. Of the six executives profiled by Americans for Payday Lending Reform so far, their latest target has a unique credential: He’s also a member of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s consumer advisory board.

The CFPB is considering whether to draw up new regulations for an industry that advocates say traps consumers in debt by charging exorbitant interest rates.

“It’s hard to imagine how a someone who has made a career benefitting from high-interest lending will help usher in needed reforms if he thinks it will undercut his profit margin,” wrote Liz Ryan Murray, policy director of the left-leaning National People’s Action, which is producing the “Preyday Lenders” campaign. “And yet that seems to be exactly what the CFPB has asked him to do.”

Agency chief Richard Cordray earlier this year appointed O’Shaughnessy to a three-year term on the 31-member advisory board –which includes a mix of public interest attorneys, consumer advocates, academics, and executives representing non-profits, and the financial services industry, among others.

O’Shaughnessy, a former investment banker, heads one of the largest payday lending operations in the U.S., and is the board chair for Community Financial Services Association of America, an industry trade group.

After hearing about Mel Watt, this lovely Patrick O’Shaughnessy is just par for the course.

Maybe next week the Obama administration can create an Anger Management Czar and appoint Ray Rice.

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by lizard

The second season of American Horror Story featured James Cromwell as a Nazi scientist allowed to continue his human experimentation in an American asylum. The show is fiction, but its storyline borrows from a very dark part of our history that usually only the “conspiracy theorists” seem to want to acknowledge. On October 26th, it was the New York Times acknowledging what’s long been know by some—In Cold War, U.S. Spy Agencies Used 1,000 Nazis. From the link:

In the decades after World War II, the C.I.A. and other United States agencies employed at least a thousand Nazis as Cold War spies and informants and, as recently as the 1990s, concealed the government’s ties to some still living in America, newly disclosed records and interviews show.

At the height of the Cold War in the 1950s, law enforcement and intelligence leaders like J. Edgar Hoover at the F.B.I. and Allen Dulles at the C.I.A. aggressively recruited onetime Nazis of all ranks as secret, anti-Soviet “assets,” declassified records show. They believed the ex-Nazis’ intelligence value against the Russians outweighed what one official called “moral lapses” in their service to the Third Reich.

Mickey Z at Counterpunch names names and describes some of those “moral lapses” committed by monsters turned intelligence assets:

*Hermann Lauterbacher, former deputy leader of the Hitler Youth.

*Franz Buensch, a propagandist who worked for Goebbels and authored the pornographic book, The Sexual Habits of Jews.

*SS Obersturmführer Hans Sommer, widely known for setting fire to seven Paris synagogues in October 1941.

*Adolf Eichmann’s chief aide, Alois Brunner (a.k.a. “Georg Fischer”). Said to be responsible for 128,500 murders, Brunner was sentenced to death (in absentia) by the French government for crimes against humanity. He was known for his lack of compassion for Jewish children, labeling them “future terrorists” who must be murdered.

*SS officer Baron Otto von Bolschwing, a senior aide to the notorious Adolf Eichmann, who assisted in drawing up the SS’s “first comprehensive program for the systematic robbery of Europe’s Jews.” Under orders from von Bolschwing, some of the many Jewish victims in a 1941 Bucharest pogrom were butchered in a meat packing plant, hung on hooks, and literally branded as “kosher meat,” while others — including a five-year-old girl — were skinned alive and left hanging by their feet like slaughtered livestock. Von Bolschwing himself stated that in 1945, “he volunteered his services to the Army CIC, which used him for interrogation and recruitment of other former Nazi intelligence officers” — an offer the U.S. readily accepted.

*SS Obersturmführer Robert Verbelen, who had once been sentenced to death in absentia for war crimes, including the torture of two U.S. Air Force pilots. After the war, he served in Vienna as a contract spy for the U.S. Army, which was completely aware of his background.

*Dr. Kurt Blome, who admitted in 1945 that he had been a leader of Nazi biological warfare research, a program known to have included experimentation on prisoners in concentration camps. In 1947, he was acquitted of crimes against humanity and then hired by the U.S. Army Chemical Corps to conduct a new round of biological weapons research.

*Blome’s colleague, Dr. Arthur Rudolph, who was accused in sworn testimony at Nuremberg of committing atrocities at the Nazis’ underground rocket works near Nordhausen but was later given U.S. citizenship and a major role in the U.S. missile program.

America assimilated Nazis into the fabric of its intelligence community. This seems outlandish, but it’s true; it’s historical fact. It’s not a huge leap, then, to wonder how responsible America might be for the Ebola outbreak. Here’s Dave Lindorff with a piece today titled With a Government this Vile and Secretive We Need to Ask Questions:

A few days ago, I published a short story linking to a PRN.fm radio interview I did with noted international law attorney Francis Boyle, whom I pointed out was a drafter of the US Biological Weapons and Anti-Terrorism Act passed into law in 1981, which act supposedly barred the United States from continuing to keep or to develop new germ warfare weapons.

Boyle told me, on last Wednesday’s radio program “This Can’t Be Happening!,” that he believes the Zaire Ebola strain that is wracking Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea in west Africa, originally came from one of several BSL4-level bio-research labs operated in those countries and funded by a combination of the Center for Disease Control, the National Institutes of Health and the US Defense Department, perhaps because of testing of Ebola being conducted there, or because of some containment breach.

Boyle pointed out the oddity that the epidemic is the Zaire strain, which has in the past been limited to Zaire in central Africa, and not a local strain found in fruit bats in west Africa — the alleged vector that news reports have claimed is being suspected of initiating the outbreak of the disease. As he noted, fruit bats don’t migrate, and certainly didn’t fly 2200 miles from central Africa to Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone.

For running this alarming interview with Boyle, I have received some criticism from readers who suggest that Boyle’s facts are weak.

Since then I have been checking out some of his claims and suspicions.

One particularly interesting one is his claim that a BSL4 lab handling Zaire Ebola in Kenema, Sierra Leone, was shut down in July by order of the Sierra Leone government.

I have confirmed that, and attach a screen shot (see below) from the Sierra Leone Ministry of Health and Sanitation’s Facebook Page. This press release declares that the ministry was setting up a new operations center in Freetown for responding to the Ebola crisis, and that in the interim before that center was up and running, all Ebola cases would be brought to a treatment center operated by the government in Kailahun.

Significantly, the announcement also said that the move of operations away from Kenema came in response to concerns expressed by “health workers and the people of Kenema.” Even more significantly, it said that Tulane University, which had been operating the lab under US government contract, was being ordered “to stop Ebola testing during the current Ebola outbreak.”

Now just what kind of “testing” of Ebola might that be, it seems fair to ask. I did try, leaving messages with several people in the public relations office at Tulane University, but got no return calls.

UPDATE:: On Thursday, a reader who is an MD contacted someone he knew at Tulane, Vice President for Research Laura Levy, asking her to explain what Tulane was doing in Kenema. He later sent me her response, which was a link to a web page on Tulane’s website. It seeks to debunk “myths” about Tulane’s work in West Africa. In that article, it states that it is a “myth” that Tulane has been ordered to leave Sierra Leone. But no one is saying that. Tulane was ordered to shut down it’s Ebola lab in the town of Kenema, not to leave Sierra Leone altogether. The article also states that it is a “myth” that the University and its researchers are “collaborating” with the military in Sierra Leone. It goes on to say that “Tulane is working with Harvard University and others in the Viral Hemorrhagic Fever Consortium to develop diagnostics, vaccines and therapeutics for Lassa fever and Ebola. Support for the consortium has come principally from the National Institutes of Health.”

But actually the consortium’s own website says that Tulane is the leader of the consortium. It lists a number of partners, including Harvard University, Scripps Research Institute, and a company called Corgenix. No government “partners” are listed. Yet Corgenix, on its company site, lists USAMRIID, the Pentagon’s bioweapons research unit, as a “member of the consortium.”

Curious indeed that Tulane Research VP Levy omitted that important bit of information.

Here’s what Coregenix had to say about USAMRIID:

USAMRIID (U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases), located at Fort Detrick, Maryland, is the lead medical research laboratory for the U.S. Biological Defense Research Program, and plays a leading role in national defense and in infectious disease research. The Institute’s mission is to conduct basic and applied research on biological threats resulting in medical solutions (such as vaccines, drugs and diagnostics) to protect the warfighter. USAMRIID is a subordinate laboratory of the U.S. Army Medical Research and Material Command.

Corgenix and USAMRIID are members of the Viral Hemorrhagic fever Consortium, working to develop state of the art diagnostic products for biothreat agents and emerging pathogens.

Not concerned yet? There’s more at the link.

Happy Halloween!




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