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(Photos) Seen across street after blasts talking with FBI bomb squad. Who were they? What were they and the FBI doing?
What appear to be private contractors, wearing unmarked, matching uniforms and operating an unmarked SUV affixed with communication equipment near the finish line of the Boston Marathon shortly after the bomb blasts – can be seen beforehand, standing and waiting just meters away from where the first bomb was detonated.
The contractor-types had moved away from the bomb’s location before it detonated, and could be seen just across the street using communication equipment and waiting for similar dressed and equipped individuals to show up after the blasts.
Image: An already widely distributed photo showing the contractor-types on the bottom left, just left of where the bomb was placed and detonated. The men are wearing matching, unmarked uniforms, large black bags, and appear to be waiting, separately, and “behind” the rest of the crowd. In the upper left corner, a wooden structure forming one half of a temporary photography “bridge” over the finish line can be seen and serves as a useful reference when establishing the contractor-types’ position in other photos.
Image: After the explosion, two of the contractors seen by the wall next to the bomb, appear across the street, both using communication equipment. This photo too has been distributed and enlarged many times across the Internet. (click to enlarge)
Image: Event staff and contractors both above and below the bleachers begin tearing up the skirting and appear to be looking for something or retrieving something while casualties are still being treated and evacuated across the street. (click to enlarge)
The men, numbering between 6-8 then begin tearing up the skirting around temporary bleachers erected for the event, opposite the explosion, before taping it off. Then, what appears to be an FBI bomb squad truck pulls up directly behind the contractor-types’ SUV, with a woman clearly wearing the letters F.B.I. on her tactical vest emerging and speaking with the contractor-types. Together they disappear from the scene, leaving their vehicles behind.
Image: What appears to be an FBI bomb squad truck pulls in, with a woman wearing what is clearly the letters F.B.I. on her vest. She talks with two contractors while it appears a third is partially in the truck’s right-hand side. Also note that the area contractors and event staff tore up, is now taped off. (click to enlarge)
Image: The FBI truck and contractor SUV sit seemingly abandoned – neither the FBI agent, nor the contractors can be seen. What they did, or where they went remains so far, unknown. (click to enlarge)
It should be noted, that with the exception of the contractor-types, all other responders at the scene, including the FBI agent, can be clearly identified, from police to the fire department, to medics and even individuals wearing vests with “B.A.A. Physician” written on them. It should also be noted that no other uniformed individuals can be seen standing near the bomb site aside from the contractor-types.
These men were unidentified, professional contractors apparently augmenting public servants at the Boston Marathon, present before and after the bomb blasts in the direct vicinity of the incident. After the blasts, whether it was their intended function or not, they appeared to be searching for something under the bleachers before being joined by what appears to be the FBI bomb squad. The FBI and the city of Boston has so far categorically failed to provide any information on these highly suspicious individuals.
Questions That Must be Answered
Several questions must be answered by the FBI, leading the investigation on behalf of we, the American people. The first question is who these men were, with large, black bags in the direct vicinity of where a bomb would detonate, moving away before the blast, and appearing directly across the road afterward. Who hired them and what was their function? Why were they moving amongst the crowd in a semi-covert fashion when all other public servants present were wearing proper uniforms and clearly identified? Did police, firefighters, event organizers, and medics know these men were present and what they were doing?
Why did it appear that the FBI was fully aware of their presence, and in fact working with them, specifically with what looks like a bomb squad unit? Were these contractors specialists in explosives, and if so, what is the significance that at least two of them were spotted just meters from where the blast occurred?
Why These Questions Demand Answers
The checkered, frightening history (see: FBI’s History of Handing “Terror Suspects” Live Explosives) of the FBI’s involvement in fomenting false terror attacks, and even presiding over attacks that succeeded in maiming and killing innocent people, should call into question their presence or involvement at any public event, especially when seen associating with unidentified, semi-clandestine organizations that appear to be private contractors.
Private contractors as well, do not answer or work for the public, but rather the highest bidder. Private contractors, most notably Blackwater and its various incarnations have operated both domestically and abroad, committing obscene crimes and atrocities with seemingly absolute impunity. The term “defense contractor” is in fact a euphemism for mercenary, and has no place in a civilized, democratic world, no matter what their alleged mission statement may claim.
That both of these nefarious entities were present and cooperating in the direct vicinity of the Boston bombings, with at least two contractors standing just meters away from where the bomb actually went off, raises a number of possibilities and concerns. A drill may have been being conducted, though the FBI and city officials have denied this. Or, a threat may have been communicated to event organizers ahead of time, which prompted the inclusion of “auxiliary” security, though again, both the FBI and the city of Boston deny receiving any information prior to the bombings. Whichever contracting firm this may have been, may just have wanted to swindle Boston’s taxpayers for an easy payday, and coincidentally found itself in the middle of extraordinary circumstances.
However, alarming suspicion is raised when the FBI makes no mention of an organization it was clearly coordinating with, particularly in terms of bombs and explosives before and after the incident, considering the nature of the attack. When an already dubious organization attempts to obfuscate the facts of any given event, it is the right and responsibility of legitimate law enforcement, public representatives and the citizenry itself to demand and get answers. If we are not persistent, with the FBI’s bizarre behavior over the past few days, including inexplicably cancelled and suspiciously rushed press conferences, and now what appears to be a Hollywood ending for the case, we may never get those answers.
Note: Most images were taken from Flickr user HahaTango, the entire collection of 150 images from the Boston Marathon can be found here.
Cyprus’s banks have been tamed – are Malta and Luxembourg next? Tiny Malta’s banking sector is even bigger relative to GDP – and secretive Luxembourg’s banks exceed GDP by a factor of 23 … For the architects of the Cyprus bailout – the German government and the International Monetary Fund – there was no doubt that the central aim of the shock therapy was to bring down an oversized banking sector that was failing. That applied especially to the Bank of Cyprus, the island’s biggest and Laiki, the number two. The latter was essentially insolvent, surviving on a liquidity lifeline from the European Central Bank. − Guardian
Dominant Social Theme: Cyprus was an accident waiting to happen. Thank goodness Brussels took action.
Free-Market Analysis: We’ve written numerous articles on Cyprus now explaining that its takedown was a deliberate if misguided attempt to further consolidate EU power. Emerging information regarding an intent to crush Russian money power makes a lot of sense.
The Guardian’s analysis adds a good deal to this rationale and this indeed fits in with our paradigm. What globalists want is control. The idea that the Cyprus takedown was aimed at those taking advantage of Cyprus’ lack of monetary control makes sense. Let us see if Malta and Luxembourg are indeed “next” as suggested by the Guardian (above).
Here’s more from the article:
Malta, Luxembourg and Cyprus are the three smallest countries in the EU and the eurozone. Cyprus’s days as an offshore tax and banking haven are now numbered. Relative to GDP, tiny Malta’s banking sector is even bigger. Its finance minister sat next to his German and Cypriot counterparts at the first Cyprus bailout meeting in Brussels 10 days ago and was extremely chastened by what he witnessed. After experiencing Wolfgang Schäuble, the German finance minister, up close, he wrote an article in the Malta Times saying God help his country if it encounters similar problems in the eurozone.
Then there is Luxembourg, which along with Austria, is the eurozone’s biggest champion of banking secrecy. The wealthiest country in the EU and second smallest, Luxembourg’s banking sector exceeds its GDP by a whopping factor of 23. The big difference, of course, is that these are not Luxembourg banks, but subsidiaries of the European and US banking giants, with Germany and France to the fore. Nonetheless Jean Asselborn, the Luxembourg foreign minister, warned Berlin on the eve of the Cyprus bailout that it needed to watch its words, that no one was complaining that the German car or arms industries were too big.
It is fashionable as always to attribute other reasons to Western actions than the reality, which is extending globalist control. This is happening in Africa as well, where the immediate justification for Western involvement is the war on terror while the underlying involvement is supposed to be a mad dash for mineral wealth.
Of course, we don’t see it that way. We regularly try to explain that the larger goal of Western leadership today is globalist in nature. Exploitation of minerals, a global struggle against terrorism and other such justifications do not explain the reality of the globalist impulse.
In hindsight, the Cyprus incident will be seen as yet another attempt to consolidate power on behalf of Brussels and the European experiment. It was also, tangentially, a rescue of Cyprus’s financial system on the backs of large bank clients. One could argue, these large savers were the main target from the beginning and that the idea that everyone doing business with these banks would take a haircut was merely a kind of false flag.
We’ve also argued that these manipulations are ill advised and that those involved with them are underestimating their control over the increasingly fractious tribes of Europe and of the larger financial economy.
The arrogance that is being revealed now is no doubt deliberate and apparently intended to inject further chaos into an already chaotic situation. The result of such chaos is inevitably to be the further weakening of Western financial institutions in order to pave the way for increasingly centralized and globalized currencies.
You may wish to consider the strategies presented in the following Daily Bell Special Report as this chaos increases and you contemplate ways to protect your family and your wealth: All of Your Wealth and Assets Are At Risk in the United States … Meet the Maestro of Asset Protection and Estate Planning Solutions for Americans.
Conclusion: Our assumption in the Internet era is that such machinations shall prove less effective than in the past. Time will tell.
Press Release: Green Party
National planning Cyprus-style solution for New Zealand
The National Government are pushing a Cyprus-style solution to bank failure in New Zealand which will see small depositors lose some of their savings to fund big bank bailouts, the Green Party said today.
Open Bank Resolution (OBR) is Finance Minister Bill English’s favoured option dealing with a major bank failure. If a bank fails under OBR, all depositors will have their savings reduced overnight to fund the bank’s bail out.
“Bill English is proposing a Cyprus-style solution for managing bank failure here in New Zealand – a solution that will see small depositors lose some of their savings to fund big bank bailouts,” said Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman.
“The Reserve Bank is in the final stages of implementing a system of managing bank failure called Open Bank Resolution. The scheme will put all bank depositors on the hook for bailing out their bank.
“Depositors will overnight have their savings shaved by the amount needed to keep the bank afloat.
“While the details are still to be finalised, nearly all depositors will see their savings reduced by the same proportions.
“Bill English is wrong to assume everyday people are able to judge the soundness of their bank. Not even sophisticated investors like Merrill Lynch saw the global financial crisis coming.
“If he insists on pushing through this unfair scheme, small depositors can be protected ahead of time with a notified savings threshold below which their savings will be safe from any interference.”
Dr Norman questioned the Government’s insistence on pursuing Open Bank Resolution when virtually no other OECD country uses it.
“Open Bank Resolution is unprecedented in the world. Most OECD countries run deposit insurance schemes which protect people’s deposits up to a maximum ranging from $100,000 – $250,000,” Dr Norman said.
“OBR is not in line with Australia, which protects bank deposits up to $250,000.
“A deposit insurance scheme is a much simpler, well-tested alternative to Open Bank Resolution. It rewards safe banks with lower premiums and limits the cost to taxpayers of a bank failure.
“Deposit insurance will, however, require the Reserve Bank to oversee and regulate our banks more closely – a measure which is ultimately the best protection against bank failure.”
Welcome to the new model of retirement. No retirement. In 1983 over 60 percent of American workers had some kind of defined-benefit plan. Today less than 20 percent have access to a plan and the majority of retired Americans largely rely on Social Security as their de facto retirement plan. As many Americans enter into retirement they are realizing one unfortunate thing. The new retirement plan is no retirement at all. – MyBudget360.com
Dominant Social Theme: Retirement is a Western right.
Free-Market Analysis: A theme that is little explored in the Western mainstream press is that retirement has all but collapsed for many in the middle classes.
We have in the past called this condition “dreamtime” – for it was built on central banking initiatives and fostered by central banking super-money printing. The idea was that the stock market was going to go up and up – and people would be able to take retirement based on their own investment initiatives.
In Europe, state-fostered retirement provided a slightly different model. But the main issue in both the US and Europe was that an entity larger than the individual was going to manage the realities of retirement.
The results have been far different than predicted, however. In the US, the collapse of the stock market drove millions out of various investments while low interest rates have made fixed income holdings virtually worthless from an income standpoint.
In Europe, “austerity” has blighted the hopes of tens of millions who put their faith in government benefits that probably never will be delivered as promised. Here’s more from the article as regards the US situation:
Over the last few decades Americans were promised the idea of a comfortable retirement yet none of this has materialized because of financial swindling and a real estate bubble that will go down in the record books. On the flip side, many Americans went into massive debt and consumed their future nest egg today with big purchases outside of their budgets.
So what are we left with today? We are left with over 75,000,000 baby boomers entering into retirement with very little saved. One out of three Americans has absolutely no money saved to their name. In 1983 over 60 percent of working Americans had some sort of defined-benefit pension plan. Today that number is below 20 percent. With the average worker making $25,000 a year the media designed idea of retirement is largely just another fantasy.
Many large pension funds had models built on absurdly optimistic stock and bond market returns. These accounts did well in an era where the stock market roared ferociously because of the prime position the U.S. had after World War II. Those pension accounts are becoming a relic of the past …
The bottom line when it comes to retirement is that the old methods probably worked better than the new ones. The old method of retirement – only a century or so away – involved generations of families living together and taking care of each other within the context of a shared homestead.
But that family has been atomized and its earning power severely affected by injurious monetary and fiscal policies. Price inflation, low rates and high taxes make it very difficult for the average family to save. Additionally, as people have moved away from trades and farming, the jobs they work have become increasingly tenuous and based on business cycle booms and busts.
It is central bank-sponsored monetary inflation and the downturns it causes that affect employment as much as low interest rates and market volatility affect savings. People are often afraid to create a savings or investment plan because they have no idea of the sustainability of employment.
There are better ways to organize Western economies, but they start with the idea that money itself cannot be managed and that the price and value of money should not be left up to the decisions of a few men. More than that, people must begin to realize that those who make promises on behalf of the state are probably not in a position to keep them.
In 1983 62 percent of working Americans had some sort of defined benefit plan. In 2004 it was down to 20 percent and today it is lower. Americans have been forced to play the stock market game through their 401ks. This has actually turned out worse for average Americans as they try to compete with high frequency swindlers and investment banking crooks. Clearly someone is making profits as investment bankers pull down million dollar bonuses all the while the stock market has gone into reverse over a decade.
This article makes a big deal about swindles and Wall Street crookedness, but the really big problem is money itself and how it is controlled by just a few on behalf of many.
The retirement people were “promised” is not going to materialize. A certain class of people demanded control of the economy in Europe and the US in return for creating a safe lifestyle and retirement for citizens. They received the control and have sustained it, but the citizens whom they served have received nothing in return.
When it comes to life-sustaining decisions, family matters and personal retirement, it is much wiser to trust yourself, your loved ones and your friends and local community than it is to put faith in any big-government program or solution.
Conclusion: Educate yourself about finance and the way the world really works. Try to live independently. Don’t believe the promises made to you – for there is always an ulterior motive and those making them may not be around to keep them.
by A.C. Johnson
The EU is demanding that Cypriots dip into their own cash to save the economy of Cypress. Citizens will be called on to pay for this next bailout by forking over a portion of the money in their bank accounts. Those citizens with 100,000 euros will pay a 10% tax, those will less will pay between 6-7% tax sucked directly out of their private accounts.
In response to Cypress’s 2012 emergency bailout request, Shepard Ambellas at Intellihub writes: “the International Monetary Fund (IMF), European Central Bank, and the European Commission have now imposed a new surprise tax that will take monies directly from the bank accounts of savers, in what some would say is a mafia style strong-arm maneuver against the best interests of Greek citizens.
“In fact people are flocking to banking institutions and ATM’s like madmen to withdraw as much loot as they can from their accounts as the decision has been made from above.
“The president President, Nicos Anastasiades calls the decision ‘painful’.”
The tax will be imposed tomorrow and people are desperate to withdraw money — only to find cash points empty and withdrawals halted.
This is unprecedented. Those who can invest in hard assets or precious metals, or anything other than fiat money should do so now. If Cypress can’t nip this despicable trend in the bud, it will spread like a cancer throughout the EU and inevitably to the US.
Embarrassment for Obama administration after revelations that CIA is secretly using Saudi air base to conduct drone strikes
The pressure on John Brennan, Barack Obama‘s nominee for CIA director and the architect of the White House strategy on drones, intensified on Wednesday amid revelations of a secret CIA drone base in Saudi Arabia and anger in Congress at the administration’s refusal to reveal the legal basis for killing US citizens.
The Obama administration and Saudi Arabia were silent over reports on Wednesday that the CIA is secretly using an air base in Saudi Arabia to conduct its controversial drone assassination campaign in neighbouring Yemen. The reports revealed that the drones that killed the US-born cleric Anwar al-Awlaki and his son in September 2011, and Said al-Shehri, a senior al-Qaida commander who died from his injuries last month, were launched from the unnamed base.
The revelation is an embarrassment to the White House, which pressured the Washington Post and some other news organisations to suppress the information for 12 months on national security grounds. The timing is also unfortunate for Obama because the killings of Awlaki and his son have contributed to demands in Congress for greater transparency by the White House over the legal basis for drone attacks on US citizens.
Senators who are expected to quiz Brennan at his confirmation hearing on Thursday about the drones policy are pressing the White House to release the detailed legal opinion justifying the targeting of Americans, as well as the broader policy that permits Obama and some other officials to sign off on a “kill list” of named targets.
On Tuesday, NBC made public an administration document dating from 2011 justifying the killing of US citizens who hold senior positions in al-Qaida and who pose an “imminent threat of violent attack” against America. But some members of Congress said the document left many questions unanswered, and are requesting to see a more detailed 50-page memorandum from the White House Office of Legal Counsel.
“The committee continues to seek the actual legal opinions by the Department of Justice that provide details not outlined in this particular white paper,” said Dianne Feinstein, the top Democrat on the Senate intelligence committee.
Eleven Senators have written to the White House hinting at a prolonged fight over the appointment of Brennan, pictured, if the administration does not co-operate with its request.
“The executive branch’s co-operation on this matter will help avoid an unnecessary confrontation that could affect the Senate’s consideration of nominees for national security positions,” the letter said.
Some Senators have also raised questions about civilian casualties and whether the drone attacks are a recruiting tool for the US’s enemies.
The confirmation hearing is also expected to throw some light on the future use of drones, which Obama has rapidly expanded in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yemen and Somalia. Brennan had helped forge the policy from his White House basement office, and persuaded the president of its value.
Senators are likely to want to know where Brennan will take the strategy as head of the CIA, which carries out drone attacks in parallel with the US military. The CIA’s use of drones has come under challenge as a breach of international law because the agency is not a recognised military force.
Letting the Internet be rewired by bureaucrats would be like handing a Stradivarius to a gorilla.
Wall Street Journal
Who runs the Internet? For now, the answer remains no one, or at least no government, which explains the Web’s success as a new technology. But as of next week, unless the U.S. gets serious, the answer could be the United Nations.
Many of the U.N.’s 193 member states oppose the open, uncontrolled nature of the Internet. Its interconnected global networks ignore national boundaries, making it hard for governments to censor or tax. And so, to send the freewheeling digital world back to the state control of the analog era, China, Russia, Iran and Arab countries are trying to hijack a U.N. agency that has nothing to do with the Internet.
For more than a year, these countries have lobbied an agency called the International Telecommunications Union to take over the rules and workings of the Internet. Created in 1865 as the International Telegraph Union, the ITU last drafted a treaty on communications in 1988, before the commercial Internet, when telecommunications meant voice telephone calls via national telephone monopolies.
Next week the ITU holds a negotiating conference in Dubai, and past months have brought many leaks of proposals for a new treaty. U.S. congressional resolutions and much of the commentary, including in this column, have focused on proposals by authoritarian governments to censor the Internet. Just as objectionable are proposals that ignore how the Internet works, threatening its smooth and open operations.
Having the Internet rewired by bureaucrats would be like handing a Stradivarius to a gorilla. The Internet is made up of 40,000 networks that interconnect among 425,000 global routes, cheaply and efficiently delivering messages and other digital content among more than two billion people around the world, with some 500,000 new users a day.
Many of the engineers and developers who built and operate these networks belong to virtual committees and task forces coordinated by an international nonprofit called the Internet Society. The society is home to the Internet Engineering Task Force (the main provider of global technical standards) and other volunteer groups such as the Internet Architecture Board and the Internet Research Task Force. Another key nongovernmental group is Icann, which assigns Internet addresses and domain names.
The self-regulating Internet means no one has to ask for permission to launch a website, and no government can tell network operators how to do their jobs. The arrangement has made the Internet a rare place of permissionless innovation. As former Federal Communications Commission Chairman William Kennard recently pointed out, 90% of cooperative “peering” agreements among networks are “made on a handshake,” adjusting informally as needs change.
Proposals for the new ITU treaty run to more than 200 pages. One idea is to apply the ITU’s long-distance telephone rules to the Internet by creating a “sender-party-pays” rule. International phone calls include a fee from the originating country to the local phone company at the receiving end. Under a sender-pays approach, U.S.-based websites would pay a local network for each visitor from overseas, effectively taxing firms such as Google and Facebook . The idea is technically impractical because unlike phone networks, the Internet doesn’t recognize national borders. But authoritarians are pushing the tax, hoping their citizens will be cut off from U.S. websites that decide foreign visitors are too expensive to serve.
Regimes such as Russia and Iran also want an ITU rule letting them monitor Internet traffic routed through or to their countries, allowing them to eavesdrop or block access.
“The Internet is highly complex and highly technical,” Sally Wentworth of the Internet Society told me recently, “yet governments are the only ones making decisions at the ITU, putting the Internet at their mercy.” She says the developers and engineers who actually run the Internet find it “mind boggling” that governments would claim control. As the Internet Society warns, “Technology moves faster than any treaty process ever can.”
Google has started an online petition for a “free and open Internet” saying: “Governments alone, working behind closed doors, should not direct its future.” The State Department’s top delegate to the Dubai conference, Terry Kramer, has pledged that the U.S. won’t let the ITU expand its authority to the Internet. But he hedged his warning in a recent presentation in Washington: “We don’t want to come across like we’re preaching to others.”
To the contrary, the top job for the U.S. delegation at the ITU conference is to preach the virtues of the open Internet as forcefully as possible. Billions of online users are counting on America to make sure that their Internet is never handed over to authoritarian governments or to the U.N.
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