How to Steal Money from the Stock Markets

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Revealed: the dirty tricks of rogue traders
By Robert Winnett, The Daily Telegraph 3/21/08

A hedge fund based in London set up a “dirty-tricks unit” to manipulate share prices and get illicit information on companies in an attempt to make millions on the stock market, an insider has revealed.

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  • As the official hunt began for the rogue traders who tried to bring down Britain’s biggest mortgage lender, HBOS, The Daily Telegraph can reveal a whistle-blower’s account of how a multi-billion pound fund allegedly used illegal tactics to drive down stock prices.

    the dirty tricks of rogue traders

    Wanted: the trader who allegedly made £100m from the 17 per cent slump in HBOS shares
    Private detectives were allegedly employed to hack into executives’ emails and telephone records.

    Front companies were set up to allow the hedge fund traders to pose as independent researchers or journalists.

    Negative information on companies was then distributed to leading investment banks in the hope that rumours would spread and some share prices would fall.

    The hedge fund, which cannot be named for legal reasons, stood to make millions from “short-selling” the shares as they fell in value.

    The allegations – made in a sworn statement seen by The Daily Telegraph and which has been sent to financial regulators – will add to growing concern over the activities of rogue traders in the City.

    The Financial Services Authority, the City regulator, has begun a criminal investigation to find the trader who allegedly made £100 million from the 17 per cent slump in HBOS shares on Wednesday.

    white collar crimes pays big

    The shares fell after “malicious” rumours were spread in the City about the bank, sparking fears that the price had been illegally manipulated – a move described as “the modern day version of bank robbery”.

    FSA investigators are seeking emails sent to traders that are thought to have prompted widespread selling of HBOS shares. They claimed the bank was experiencing difficulties.

    advertisementIt has emerged that the rumours are thought to have originated in the Far East, with Singapore named as the most likely source. Nick Leeson, the notorious rogue trader responsible for the collapse of Barings Bank, also operated in Singapore.

    In a separate development, Credit Suisse, the investment bank, admitted that it had uncovered a separate £1.4 billion share-dealing scam by rogue traders – many of whom were based in London – who were trying to protect their bonuses.

    The Credit Suisse traders are understood to have sought to cover up their trading losses at the end of last year.

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  • The revelations follow a week of turmoil in the global markets after the near collapse of the American investment bank Bear Stearns.

    Following a meeting with the major banks, it emerged that the Bank of England was considering helping to alleviate the financial crisis by easing the restrictions on banks seeking to borrow money from it.

    The accusations about the hedge fund form the most detailed account yet of the illicit activity carried out by the London office of a major international hedge fund. Such tactics are also thought to be used by other hedge funds.

    The sworn statement containing the allegations is understood to have been sent to the FSA last year although it is not known what action the regulator took.

    The document alleges that:

    – Employees of the hedge fund ordered an American-based private detective to hack into the corporate email systems of two firms in which the hedge fund had an interest

    – A bogus firm — with a phoney internet address — was established to allow employees to pose as independent researchers and approach company executives to garner information on their firms’ future financial prospects. The firm was also used to gain access to industry conferences.

    – A false website — with a bogus address — was also registered to allow hedge fund traders to pose as journalists. The offices of American politicians were approached by people claiming to be journalists to obtain information about potential new laws banning internet gambling that would hit British firms.

    – Jurors and their families in a sensitive legal case into whether a firm had exclusive patent rights in which the hedge fund had invested were “tapped up”. Money was allegedly paid to jurors’ families for information about jury-room deliberations.
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    ? – Hedge fund staff gathered “sensitive” negative information on firms in which they had an interest in the share price falling. This information was distributed to leading investment banks whose experts were encouraged to take a dim view of the prospects of the company’s shares. A German “media consultant” was also used to disseminate information.

    – A safe containing large amounts of cash was installed in the hedge fund’s office. Money was paid to “sources” providing valuable inside information. On one occasion, an anonymous informant was paid $50,000.

    The hedge fund at the centre of the allegations has offices in London’s West End and traders spent their staff Christmas party on a luxury cruise.

    It was set up by former senior executives from a blue-chip investment firm. However, from 2005, the “dirty-tricks unit” was staffed by former corporate investigators and investigative journalists hired from newspapers.

    Pressure is growing on the FSA to clamp down on the worst excesses of the hedge fund industry after a series of scandals culminating in the attempt this week to start a run on HBOS.

    The hedge fund “dirty tricks unit” exposed today was set up in London but operated around the world. It is alleged that this was to avoid tougher regulatory controls in New York.

    On Thursday, Britain’s biggest banks met with the Bank of England to urge them to loan more money to help alleviate the impact of the global credit crunch.

    The Bank, which agreed to some of the demands, released another £5?billion for the money markets. The stock market, which dropped slightly, is now closed until Tuesday.

    HBOS shares recovered on Thursday, closing up more than six per cent.

    the audacity of hope

    Dog Fur Jumpers (Sweaters)

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    Hair of the dog: The animal lovers who turned their dead pets’ coats into woolly jumpers

    Their beloved dogs may have gone to the great kennel in the sky, but for Beth and Brian Willis they will always be close. Because the couple have had his and hers jumpers knitted out of the hair moulted by the pedigree pets and spun into yarn.

    And they insist the bizarre garments keep them warm and dry no matter how bad the winter weather gets.

    Here is the before photo;

    dog fur jumpers sweaters clothing

    Beth and Brian Willis’ much loved pets: Swedish Lapphund Penny and white Samoyed Kara

    And now here is the after photo;

    dog fur jumpers sweaters clothing
    Hair of the dog: Beth and Brian Willis in their his’n’hers jumpers made from their dead dogs’ hair

    The idea to use the hair, which would otherwise have been vacuumed up and thrown out with the rubbish, came after dog breeders told the couple of the unusual use it could have.

    The first jumper was knitted by 71-year-old Mrs Willis from hair from Kara, the couple’s white Samoyed, a Russian breed.

    Mrs Willis said: “It is not actually a hair but a wool, which is why it is so good for clothes.

    “It would just fall off the dogs and I would run a wet hand over the carpet and pick it up.

    “We found out from the breeders we got the pups from that it was possible to use their coat for clothes.

    “Apparently it is quite popular with lots of the people who breed long-haired dogs.”

    That first jumper was made in 1990, while Kara was still alive.

    Although she died 12 years ago, the jumper made from her hair is still going strong.

    The Samoyed breed is native to northern Russia, where they were used to keep children warm. Its fur is almost waterproof and softer than alpaca.

    By the time the Newcastle couple’s next dog, a Swedish Lapphund called Penny, died six years ago, Mrs Willis was already working on a new garment.

    And the retired St John ambulance telephonist says that she even has enough left over to make another sweater.Mr Willis, 73, who worked for a removals firm for 27 years, wears his doggy jumper every Saturday into town to do the weekly shop.

    He said: “They are extremely warm and pretty much waterproof. Unless it is banging it down, it is fine.

    “I’ve always got a sweat on by the time I get from the bus to the shops.”

    Mr and Mrs Willis send the hair to be spun by Malise Mcguire at her home in Derby.

    Mrs Mcguire, 60, has been spinning dog wool since 1977.

    She said: “It takes about 30oz to make a jumper, but you would need 40oz at the start as you lose some in the spinning.

    “Brian and Beth have had more than 5lb spun, wrapped, pre-shrunk and ready to be knitted.”

    Mr and Mrs Willis celebrated their golden wedding anniversary last year and have three children, six grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

    But Mrs Willis said her next dog fur creation will have to wait.

    She is too busy knitting jumpers for the youngsters – using wool.

    Cheney Makes makes his War Plans

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    It’s The ‘Oh Shit!’ Moment On Iran
    By Dave Lindorff, 3-15-8

    (This Can’t Be Happening) — Every horror movie has that “Oh Shit!” moment, when the hero or heroes are huddled in some creepy hideout, and suddenly something happens that tells you that the monster is just around the corner, or just about to attack. In “Jurassic Park” it was the pulsing ripples in a cup of water, heralding the arrival of a T-Rex. In “Jaws” it was the deep base music, letting you know that a monstrous shark was about to attack.

    Well, we just got our “Oh Shit!” moment with the just-announced resignation of Admiral William J. Fallon, the military commander of US Middle East operations.

    Adm. Fallon, 63, famously said that an attack on Iran would not happen “on my watch,” and is widely believed to have already threatened, along with a number of other top generals and admirals, to quit the service if the Bush administration were to launch an air attack on Iran.

    Put the pieces together. We know that the vice president is obsessed with a desire to attack Iran, and has been since before he even took office. Bush has repeatedly stressed that Iran cannot be permitted to continue with its nuclear processing (he calls it their “nukular” bomb program, though there is no evidence that the country has a nuclear bomb development program, and in fact the last National Intelligence Estimate on Iran said there was not and hadn’t been since 2003). And Fallon has now quit.

    The Eisenhower nuclear aircraft carrier strike force has departed for stationing off Iran, joining forces already in place there, and loaded to the brim with strike aircraft, Tomahawk missiles, and even nuclear weapons. It was long ago reported that stealth bombers had been put in place in come of the countries of the old Soviet Union north of Iran, as well as on the island of Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean.

    All the elements, that is to say, are in place for a massive air assault on Iranian targets, designed to destroy its nuclear program, cripple its military command and control, and–at least this is a stated Cheney goal–to lead to the overthrow of the Iranian government by its own people.

    It is, of course, the strategy of madmen.

    The US has no forces to send into Iran. All they can do is bomb it. And bombing a country doesn’t lead its people to rise up. It leads them to rally ’round the flag. Especially when the civilian casualties of our not-so-“smart” bombs start to soar.

    If such an attack were to happen, we can kiss goodbye to six years of domestic peace, such as we’ve had. The Iranians have considerable capability to inflict damage on US targets of interest, both overseas and here in the domestic US using assymetrical warfare techniques. The worse part is, they’d be completely justified in doing so, since any attack on them would be a crime against peace–the gravest of all international crimes.

    American troops already mired and pinned down in a war in Iraq, would find themselves suddenly under attack by Shia forces there, who for several years now have been largely leaving them alone.

    And oil, which just bumped up against $110 a barrel, an all-time record, will double in price overnight, as the whole Persian Gulf becomes a war zone.

    We can expect massive launches of small boats armed with missiles and torpedoes, as well as sophisticated anti-ship missiles from shore batteries, all fired at US ships in the Gulf, and it would be astounding if some or even many vessels of the US fleet weren’t sunk.

    Meanwhile, tanker traffic in the Gulf, which accounts for 20% or more of the world’s oil, will cease as insurance rates for those vessels goes through the roof.

    The monster of war will be unleashed, and will not easily be defeated. That’s why Adm. Fallon was so opposed to the whole idea. He knows that it will be a disaster for the US militarily, economically and politically.

    The worst part is that Cheney knows this, too. He just doesn’t care. This is the man’s parting shot as he leaves office–to put the country into the throes of a war so vicious that no one will think of pursuing him for his long list of crimes against the nation and the Constitution.

    He is guessing–and he may be right–that the American public will, sheep-like as always, rally to the cause, with a new round of yellow magnet “ribbons” on their cars. He is hoping–and he may be right– that war will be a boon for the candidacy of Republican John McCain and for embattled Republicans running for Congress.

    It’s a kind of political Hail Mary.

    Oh Shit! Here it comes…

    middle east map of war theatre of upcoming iran invasion

    US Veterans Speak Against War

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    Iraq and Afghanistan Winter Soldiers

    Why we’re against the war

    Q: Why are veterans, active duty, and National Guard men and women opposed to the war in Iraq?

    A: Here are 10 reasons we oppose this war:

    1. The Iraq war is based on lies and deception.
      The Bush Administration planned for an attack against Iraq before September 11th, 2001. They used the false pretense of an imminent nuclear, chemical and biological weapons threat to deceive Congress into rationalizing this unnecessary conflict. They hide our casualties of war by banning the filming of our fallen’s caskets when they arrive home, and when they refuse to allow the media into Walter Reed Hospital and other Veterans Administration facilities which are overflowing with maimed and traumatized veterans.
      For further reading: www.motherjones.com/bush_war_timeline/index.html
    2. The Iraq war violates international law.
      The United States assaulted and occupied Iraq without the consent of the UN Security Council. In doing so they violated the same body of laws they accused Iraq of breaching.
      For further reading:
      http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/imt/proc/imtconst.htm
      http://www.westpointgradsagainstthewar.org/
    3. Corporate profiteering is driving the war in Iraq.
      From privately contracted soldiers and linguists to no-bid reconstruction contracts and multinational oil negotiations, those who benefit the most in this conflict are those who suffer the least. The United States has chosen a path that directly contradicts President Eisenhower’s farewell warning regarding the military industrial complex. As long as those in power are not held accountable, they will continue…
      For further reading:
      http://www.commondreams.org/headlines04/0714-01.htm
      http://www.publicintegrity.org/wow/
    4. Overwhelming civilian casualties are a daily occurrence in Iraq.
      Despite attempts in training and technological sophistication, large-scale civilian death is both a direct and indirect result of United States aggression in Iraq. Even the most conservative estimates of Iraqi civilian deaths number over 100,000. Currently over 100 civilians die every day in Baghdad alone.For further reading:
      http://www.nomorevictims.org/
      http://www.guardian.co.uk/Iraq/Story/0,2763,1338749,00.html
      http://select.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F70A1EF73C
    5. Soldiers have the right to refuse illegal war.
      All in service to this country swear an oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, both foreign and domestic. However, they are prosecuted if they object to serve in a war they see as illegal under our Constitution. As such, our brothers and sisters are paying the price for political incompetence, forced to fight in a war instead of having been sufficiently trained to carry out the task of nation-building.
      For further reading:
      http://thankyoult.live.radicaldesigns.org/content/view/172/
      http://youtube.com/watch?v=Qa6ZHYcG_EM
      http://youtube.com/watch?v=1dAXQeH7y9g&mode=related&search=
      http://girights.objector.org
    6. Service members are facing serious health consequences due to our Government’s negligence.
      Many of our troops have already been deployed to Iraq for two, three, and even four tours of duty averaging eleven months each. Combat stress, exhaustion, and bearing witness to the horrors of war contribute to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), a serious set of symptoms that can lead to depression, illness, violent behavior, and even suicide. Additionally, depleted uranium, Lariam, insufficient body armor and infectious diseases are just a few of the health risks which accompany an immorally planned and incompetently executed war. Finally, upon a soldier’s release, the Veterans Administration is far too under-funded to fully deal with the magnitude of veterans in need.
      For further reading:
      http://www.ncptsd.va.gov/
      http://www.vets4vets.us/
    7. The war in Iraq is tearing our families apart.
      The use of stop-loss on active duty troops and the unnecessarily lengthy and repeat active tours by Guard and Reserve troops place enough strain on our military families, even without being forced to sacrifice their loved ones for this ongoing political experiment in the Middle East.
      For further reading: http://www.military.com/NewsContent/0,13319,FL
    8. The Iraq war is robbing us of funding sorely needed here at home.
      $5.8 billion per month is spent on a war which could have aided the victims of Hurricane Katrina, gone to impoverished schools, the construction of hospitals and health care systems, tax cut initiatives, and a host of domestic programs that have all been gutted in the wake of the war in Iraq.
      For further reading:
      http://www.costofwar.com
    9. The war dehumanizes Iraqis and denies them their right to self-determination.
      Iraqis are subjected to humiliating and violent checkpoints, searches and home raids on a daily basis. The current Iraqi government is in place solely because of the U.S. military occupation. The Iraqi government doesn’t have the popular support of the Iraqi people, nor does it have power or authority. For many Iraqis the current government is seen as a puppet regime for the U.S. occupation. It is undemocratic and in violation of Iraq’s own right to self-governance.
      For further reading:
      http://riverbendblog.blogspot.com/
    10. Our military is being exhausted by repeated deployments, involuntary extensions, and activations of the Reserve and National Guard.
      The majority of troops in Iraq right now are there for at least their second tour. Deployments to Iraq are becoming longer and many of our service members are facing involuntary extensions and recalls to active duty. Longstanding policies to limit the duration and frequency of deployments for our part-time National Guard troops are now being overturned to allow for repeated, back-to-back tours in Iraq. These repeated, extended combat tours are taking a huge toll on our troops, their families, and their communities.
      For further reading:
      http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-military12jan12,0,7

    Planned US-Israeli Attack on Iran in June 2008

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    Centre for Research on Globalisation

    Planned US-Israeli Attack on Iran

    by Michel Chossudovsky
    http://www.globalresearch.ca 1 May 2005

    The URL of this article is: http://globalresearch.ca/articles/CHO505A.html

    At the outset of Bush’s second term, Vice President Dick Cheney dropped a bombshell. He hinted, in no uncertain terms, that Iran was “right at the top of the list” of the rogue enemies of America, and that Israel would, so to speak, “be doing the bombing for us”, without US military involvement and without us putting pressure on them “to do it”:

    “One of the concerns people have is that Israel might do it without being asked… Given the fact that Iran has a stated policy that their objective is the destruction of Israel, the Israelis might well decide to act first, and let the rest of the world worry about cleaning up the diplomatic mess afterwards,” (quoted from an MSNBC Interview Jan 2005)

    Israel is a Rottweiler on a leash: The US wants to “set Israel loose” to attack Iran. Commenting the Vice President’s assertion, former National Security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski in an interview on PBS, confirmed with some apprehension, yes: Cheney wants Prime Ariel Sharon to act on America’s behalf and “do it” for us:

    “Iran I think is more ambiguous. And there the issue is certainly not tyranny; it’s nuclear weapons. And the vice president today in a kind of a strange parallel statement to this declaration of freedom hinted that the Israelis may do it and in fact used language which sounds like a justification or even an encouragement for the Israelis to do it.”

    attack on iran war with persia bush cheney

    The foregoing statements are misleading. The US is not “encouraging Israel”. What we are dealing with is a joint US-Israeli military operation to bomb Iran, which has been in the active planning stage for more than a year. The Neocons in the Defense Department, under Douglas Feith, have been working assiduously with their Israeli military and intelligence counterparts, carefully identifying targets inside Iran ( Seymour Hersh, http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/HER501A.html )

    Under this working arrangement, Israel will not act unilaterally, without a green light from Washington. In other words, Israel will not implement an attack without the participation of the US.

    Covert Intelligence Operations: Stirring Ethnic Tensions in Iran

    Meanwhile, for the last two years, Washington has been involved in covert intelligence operations inside Iran. American and British intelligence and special forces (working with their Israeli counterparts) are involved in this operation.

    “A British intelligence official said that any campaign against Iran would not be a ground war like the one in Iraq. The Americans will use different tactics, said the intelligence officer. ‘It is getting quite scary.'” (Evening Standard, 17 June 2003, http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/FOX306A.html )

    The expectation is that a US-Israeli bombing raid of Iran’s nuclear facilities will stir up ethnic tensions and trigger “regime change” in favor of the US. (See Arab Monitor, http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/ARA502A.html ).

    Bush advisers believe that the “Iranian opposition movement” will unseat the Mullahs. This assessment constitutes a gross misjudgment of social forces inside Iran. What is more likely to occur is that Iranians will consistently rally behind a wartime government against foreign aggression. In fact, the entire Middle East and beyond would rise up against US interventionism.

    Retaliation in the Case of a US-Israeli Aerial Attack

    Tehran has confirmed that it will retaliate if attacked, in the form of ballistic missile strikes directed against Israel (CNN, 8 Feb 2005). These attacks, could also target US military facilities in the Persian Gulf, which would immediately lead us into a scenario of military escalation and all out war.

    In other words, the air strikes against Iran could contribute to unleashing a war in the broader Middle East Central Asian region.

    Moreover, the planned attack on Iran should also be understood in relation to the timely withdrawal of Syrian troops from Lebanon, which has opened up a new space, for the deployment of Israeli forces. The participation of Turkey in the US-Israeli military operation is also a factor, following an agreement reached between Ankara and Tel Aviv.

    In other words, US and Israeli military planners must carefully weigh the far-reaching implications of their actions.

    Israel Builds up its Stockpile of Deadly Military Hardware

    A massive buildup in military hardware has occurred in preparation for a possible attack on Iran.

    Israel has recently taken delivery from the US of some 5,000 “smart air launched weapons” including some 500 BLU 109 ‘bunker-buster bombs. The (uranium coated) munitions are said to be more than “adequate to address the full range of Iranian targets, with the possible exception of the buried facility at Natanz, which may require the [more powerful] BLU-113 bunker buster “:

    “Given Israel’s already substantial holdings of such weapons, this increase in its inventory would allow a sustained assault with or without further US involvement.” (See Richard Bennett, http://globalresearch.ca/articles/BEN501A.html )

    Gbu 28 Guided Bomb Unit-28 (GBU-28)

    The Israeli Air Force would attack Iran’s nuclear facility at Bushehr using US as well Israeli produced bunker buster bombs. The attack would be carried out in three separate waves “with the radar and communications jamming protection being provided by U.S. Air Force AWACS and other U.S. aircraft in the area”. (See W Madsen, http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/MAD410A.html

    Bear in mind that the bunker buster bombs can also be used to deliver tactical nuclear bombs. The B61-11 is the “nuclear version” of the “conventional” BLU 113. It can be delivered in much same way as the conventional bunker buster bomb. (See Michel Chossudovsky, http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/CHO112C.html , see also http://www.thebulletin.org/article_nn.php?art_ofn=jf03norris ) .

    According to the Pentagon, tactical nuclear weapons are “safe for civilians”. Their use has been authorized by the US Senate. (See Michel Chossudovsky, http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/CHO405A.html )

    Moreover, reported in late 2003, Israeli Dolphin-class submarines equipped with US Harpoon missiles armed with nuclear warheads are now aimed at Iran. (See Gordon Thomas, http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/THO311A.html

    Even if tactical nuclear weapons are not used by Israel, an attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities not only raises the specter of a broader war, but also of nuclear radiation over a wide area:

    “To attack Iran’s nuclear facilities will not only provoke war, but it could also unleash clouds of radiation far beyond the targets and the borders of Iran.” (Statement of Prof Elias Tuma, Arab Internet Network, Federal News Service, 1 March 2005)

    Moreover, while most reports have centered on the issue of punitive air strikes on Iran’s nuclear facilities, the strikes would most probably extend to other targets.

    While a ground war is contemplated as a possible “scenario” at the level of military planning, the US military would not be able to wage a an effective ground war, given the situation in Iraq. In the words of former National Security Adviser Lawrence Eagelberger:

    “We are not going to get in a ground war in Iran, I hope. If we get into that, we are in serious trouble. I don’t think anyone in Washington is seriously considering that.” ( quoted in the National Journal, 4 December 2004).

    Iran’s Military Capabilities

    Despite its overall weaknesses in relation to Israel and the US, Iran has an advanced air defense system, deployed to protect its nuclear sites; “they are dispersed and underground making potential air strikes difficult and without any guarantees of success.” (Jerusalem Post, 20 April 2005). It has upgraded its Shahab-3 missile, which can reach targets in Israel. Iran’s armed forces have recently conducted high-profile military exercises in anticipation of a US led attack. Iran also possesses some 12 X-55 strategic cruise missiles, produced by the Ukraine. Iran’s air defense systems is said to feature Russian SA-2, SA-5, SA-6 as well as shoulder-launched SA-7 missiles (Jaffa Center for Strategic Studies).

    The US “Military Road Map”

    The Bush administration has officially identified Iran and Syria as the next stage of “the road map to war”.

    Targeting Iran is a bipartisan project, which broadly serves the interests of the Anglo-American oil conglomerates, the Wall Street financial establishment and the military-industrial complex.

    The broader Middle East-Central Asian region encompasses more than 70% of the World’s reserves of oil and natural gas. Iran possesses 10% of the world’s oil and ranks third after Saudi Arabia (25 %) and Iraq (11 %) in the size of its reserves. In comparison, the US possesses less than 2.8 % of global oil reserves. (See Eric Waddell, The Battle for Oil, http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/WAD412A.html )

    The announcement to target Iran should come as no surprise. It is part of the battle for oil. Already during the Clinton administration, US Central Command (USCENTCOM) had formulated “in war theater plans” to invade both Iraq and Iran:

    “The broad national security interests and objectives expressed in the President’s National Security Strategy (NSS) and the Chairman’s National Military Strategy (NMS) form the foundation of the United States Central Command’s theater strategy. The NSS directs implementation of a strategy of dual containment of the rogue states of Iraq and Iran as long as those states pose a threat to U.S. interests, to other states in the region, and to their own citizens. Dual containment is designed to maintain the balance of power in the region without depending on either Iraq or Iran. USCENTCOM’s theater strategy is interest-based and threat-focused. The purpose of U.S. engagement, as espoused in the NSS, is to protect the United States’ vital interest in the region – uninterrupted, secure U.S./Allied access to Gulf oil.

    (USCENTCOM, http://www.milnet.com/milnet/pentagon/centcom/chap1/stratgic.htm#USPolicy)

    Main Military Actors

    While the US, Israel, as well as Turkey (with borders with both Iran and Syria) are the main actors in this process, a number of other countries, in the region, allies of the US, including several Central Asian former Soviet republics have been enlisted. Britain is closely involved despite its official denials at the diplomatic level. Turkey occupies a central role in the Iran operation. It has an extensive military cooperation agreement with Israel. There are indications that NATO is also formally involved in the context of an Israel-NATO agreement reached in November 2004.

    Planning The Aerial Attack on Iran

    According to former weapons inspector Scott Ritter, George W. Bush has already signed off on orders for an aerial attack on Iran, scheduled for June.(See http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/JEN502A.html )

    The June cut-off date should be understood. It does not signify that the attack will occur in June. What it suggests is that the US and Israel are “in a state of readiness” and are prepared to launch an attack by June or at a later date. In other words, the decision to launch the attack has not been made.

    Ritter’s observation concerning an impending military operation should nonetheless be taken seriously. In recent months, there is ample evidence that a major military operation is in preparation:

    1) several high profile military exercises have been conducted in recent months, involving military deployment and the testing of weapons systems.

    2) military planning meetings have been held between the various parties involved. There has been a shuttle of military and government officials between Washington, Tel Aviv and Ankara.

    3) A significant change in the military command structure in Israel has occurred, with the appointment of a new Chief of Staff.

    4) Intense diplomatic exchanges have been carried out at the international level with a view to securing areas of military cooperation and/or support for a US-Israeli led military operation directed against Iran.

    5) Ongoing intelligence operations inside Iran have been stepped up.

    6) Consensus Building: Media propaganda on the need to intervene in Iran has been stepped up, with daily reports on how Iran constitutes a threat to peace and global security.

    Timeline of Key Initiatives

    In the last few months, various key initiatives have been taken, which are broadly indicative that an aerial bombing of Iran is in the military pipeline:

    November 2004 in Brussels: NATO-Israel protocol: Israel’s IDF delegation to the NATO conference to met with military brass of six members of the Mediterranean basin nations, including Egypt, Jordan, Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco, Algeria and Mauritania. “NATO seeks to revive the framework, known as the Mediterranean Dialogue program, which would include Israel. The Israeli delegation accepted to participate in military exercises and “anti-terror maneuvers” together with several Arab countries.

    January 2005: the US, Israel and Turkey held military exercises in the Eastern Mediterranean , off the coast of Syria. These exercises, which have been held in previous years were described as routine.

    February 2005. Following the decision reached in Brussels in November 2004, Israel was involved for the first time in military exercises with NATO, which also included several Arab countries.

    February 2005: Assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. The assassination, which was blamed on Syria, serves Israeli and US interests and was used as a pretext to demand the withdrawal of Syrian troops from Lebanon.

    February 2005: Sharon fires his Chief-of-Staff, Moshe Ya’alon and appoints Air Force General Dan Halutz. This is the first time in Israeli history that an Air Force General is appointed Chief of Staff (See Uri Avnery, http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/AVN502A.html )

    The appointment of Major General Dan Halutz as IDF Chief of Staff is considered in Israeli political circles as “the appointment of the right man at the right time.” The central issue is that a major aerial operation against Iran is in the planning stage, and Maj General Halutz is slated to coordinate the aerial bombing raids on Iran. Halutz’s appointment was specifically linked to Israel’s Iran agenda: “As chief of staff, he will in the best position to prepare the military for such a scenario.”

    March 2005: NATO’s Secretary General was in Jerusalem for follow-up talks with Ariel Sharon and Israel’s military brass, following the joint NATO-Israel military exercise in February. These military cooperation ties are viewed by the Israeli military as a means to “enhance Israel’s deterrence capability regarding potential enemies threatening it, mainly Iran and Syria.” The premise underlying NATO-Israel military cooperation is that Israel is under attack:

    “The more Israel’s image is strengthened as a country facing enemies who attempt to attack it for no justified reason, the greater will be the possibility that aid will be extended to Israel by NATO. Furthermore, Iran and Syria will have to take into account the possibility that the increasing cooperation between Israel and NATO will strengthen Israel’s links with Turkey, also a member of NATO. Given Turkey’s impressive military potential and its geographic proximity to both Iran and Syria, Israel’s operational options against them, if and when it sees the need, could gain considerable strength. ” (Jaffa Center for Strategic Studies, http://www.tau.ac.il/jcss/sa/v7n4p4Shalom.html )

    The Israel-NATO protocol is all the more important because it obligates NATO to align itself with the US-Israeli plan to bomb Iran, as an act of self defense on the part of Israel. It also means that NATO is also involved in the process of military consultations relating to the planned aerial bombing of Iran. It is of course related to the bilateral military cooperation agreement between Israel and Turkey and the likelihood that part of the military operation will be launched from Turkey, which is a member of NATO.

    Late March 2005: News leaks in Israel indicated an “initial authorization” by Prime Minster Ariel Sharon of an Israeli attack on Iran’s Natanz uranium enrichment plant “if diplomacy failed to stop Iran’s nuclear program”. (The Hindu, 28 March 2005)

    March-April 2005: The Holding in Israel of Joint US-Israeli military exercises specifically pertaining to the launching of Patriot missiles.

    US Patriot missile crews stationed in Germany were sent to Israel to participate in the joint Juniper Cobra exercise with the Israeli military. The exercise was described as routine and “unconnected to events in the Middle East”: “As always, we are interested in implementing lessons learned from training exercises.” (UPI, 9 March 2005).

    April 2005: Donald Rumsfeld was on an official visits to Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Kyrgyzstan and Azerbaijan. His diplomatic endeavors were described by the Russian media as “literally circling Iran in an attempt to find the best bridgehead for a possible military operation against that country.”

    In Baku, Azerbaijan Rumsfeld was busy discussing the date for deployment of US troops in Azerbaijan on Iran’s North-Western border. US military bases described as “mobile groups” in Azerbaijan are slated to play a role in a military operation directed against Iran.

    Azerbaijan is a member of GUUAM, a military cooperation agreement with the US and NATO, which allows for the stationing of US troops in several of the member countries, including Georgia, Uzbekistan and Azerbaijan. The stated short term objective is to “neutralize Iran”. The longer term objective under the Pentagon’s “Caspian Plan” is to exert military and economic control over the entire Caspian sea basin, with a view to ensuring US authority over oil reserves and pipeline corridors.

    During his visit in April, Rumsfeld was pushing the US initiative of establishing “American special task forces and military bases to secure US influence in the Caspian region:

    “Called Caspian Watch, the project stipulates a network of special task forces and police units in the countries of the regions to be used in emergencies including threats to objects of the oil complex and pipelines. Project Caspian Watch will be financed by the United States ($100 million). It will become an advance guard of the US European Command whose zone of responsibility includes the Caspian region. Command center of the project with a powerful radar is to be located in Baku.” ( Defense and Security Russia, April 27, 2005)

    Rumsfeld’s visit followed shortly after that of Iranian President Mohammad Khatami’s to Baku.

    April 2005: Iran signs a military cooperation with Tajikistan, which occupies a strategic position bordering Afghanistan’s Northern frontier. Tajikistan is a member of “The Shanghai Five” military cooperation group, which also includes Kazakhstan, China, Kyrgyzstan, and Russia. Iran also has economic cooperation agreements with Turkmenistan.

    Mid April 2005: Israel Prime Minister Ariel Sharon meets George W Bush at his Texas Ranch. Iran is on the agenda of bilateral talks. More significantly, the visit of Ariel Sharon was used to carry out high level talks between US and Israeli military planners pertaining to Iran.

    Late April 2005. President Vladmir Putin is in Israel on an official visit. He announces Russia’s decision to sell short-range anti-aircraft missiles to Syria and to continue supporting Iran’s nuclear industry. Beneath the gilded surface of international diplomacy, Putin’s timely visit to Israel must be interpreted as “a signal to Israel” regarding its planned aerial attack on Iran.

    Late April 2005: US pressure in the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has been exerted with a view to blocking the re-appointment of Mohammed Al Baradei, who according to US officials “is not being tough enough on Iran…” Following US pressures, the vote on the appointment of a new IAEA chief was put off until June. These developments suggest that Washington wants to put forth their own hand-picked nominee prior to launching US-Israeli aerial attacks on Iran’s nuclear facilities. (See VOA, http://www.voanews.com/english/2005-04-27-voa51.cfm ). (In February 2003, Al Baradei along with UN chief weapons inspector Hans Blix challenged the (phony) intelligence on WMD presented by the US to the UN Security Council, with a view to justifying the war on Iraq.)

    Late April 2005. Sale of deadly military hardware to Israel. GBU-28 Buster Bunker Bombs: Coinciding with Putin’s visit to Israel, the US Defence Security Cooperation Agency (Department of Defense) announced the sale of an additional 100 bunker-buster bombs produced by Lockheed Martin to Israel. This decision was viewed by the US media as “a warning to Iran about its nuclear ambitions.”

    The sale pertains to the larger and more sophisticated “Guided Bomb Unit-28 (GBU-28) BLU-113 Penetrator” (including the WGU-36A/B guidance control unit and support equipment). The GBU-28 is described as “a special weapon for penetrating hardened command centers located deep underground. The fact of the matter is that the GBU-28 is among the World’s most deadly “conventional” weapons used in the 2003 invasion of Iraq, capable of causing thousands of civilian deaths through massive explosions.

    The Israeli Air Force are slated to use the GBU-28s on their F-15 aircraft. (See text of DSCA news release at http://www.dsca.osd.mil/PressReleases/36-b/2005/Israel_05-10_corrected.pdf

    Late April 2005- early May: Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Israel for follow-up talks with Ariel Sharon. He was accompanied by his Defense Minister Vecdi Gonul, who met with senior Israeli military officials. On the official agenda of these talks: joint defense projects, including the joint production of Arrow II Theater Missile Defense and Popeye II missiles. The latter also known as the Have Lite, are advanced small missiles, designed for deployment on fighter planes. Tel Aviv and Ankara decide to establish a hotline to share intelligence.

    May 2005: Syrian troops scheduled to withdraw from Lebanon, leading to a major shift in the Middle East security situation, in favor of Israel and the US.

    Iran Surrounded

    The US has troops and military bases in Turkey, Pakistan, Azerbaijan, Afghanistan, and of course Iraq.

    In other words, Iran is virtually surrounded by US military bases. (see Map below). These countries as well as Turkmenistan, are members of NATO`s partnership for Peace Program. and have military cooperation agreements with NATO.

    Copyright Eric Waddell, Global Research, 2003 (Click Map to enlarge)

    middle east map of war theatre of upcoming iran invasion

    In other words, we are dealing with a potentially explosive scenario in which a number of countries, including several former Soviet republics, could be brought into a US led war with Iran. IranAtom.ru, a Russian based news and military analysis group has suggested, in this regard:

    “since Iranian nuclear objects are scattered all over the country, Israel will need a mass strike with different fly-in and fly-out approaches – Jordan, Iraq, Turkey, Azerbaijan, and other countries… Azerbaijan seriously fears Tehran’s reaction should Baku issue a permit to Israeli aircraft to overfly its territory.” (Defense and Security Russia, 12 April 2005).

    Concluding remarks:

    The World is at an important crossroads.

    The Bush Administration has embarked upon a military adventure which threatens the future of humanity.

    Iran is the next military target. The planned military operation, which is by no means limited to punitive strikes against Iran’s nuclear facilities, is part of a project of World domination, a military roadmap, launched at the end of the Cold War.

    Military action against Iran would directly involve Israel’s participation, which in turn is likely to trigger a broader war throughout the Middle East, not to mention an implosion in the Palestinian occupied territories. Turkey is closely associated with the proposed aerial attacks.

    Israel is a nuclear power with a sophisticated nuclear arsenal. (See text box below). The use of nuclear weapons by Israel or the US cannot be excluded, particularly in view of the fact that tactical nuclear weapons have now been reclassified as a variant of the conventional bunker buster bombs and are authorized by the US Senate for use in conventional war theaters. (“they are harmless to civilians because the explosion is underground”)

    In this regard, Israel and the US rather than Iran constitute a nuclear threat.

    The planned attack on Iran must be understood in relation to the existing active war theaters in the Middle East, namely Afghanistan, Iraq and Palestine.

    The conflict could easily spread from the Middle East to the Caspian sea basin. It could also involve the participation of Azerbaijan and Georgia, where US troops are stationed.

    An attack on Iran would have a direct impact on the resistance movement inside Iraq. It would also put pressure on America’s overstretched military capabilities and resources in both the Iraqi and Afghan war theaters. (The 150,000 US troops in Iraq are already fully engaged and could not be redeployed in the case of a war with Iran.)

    In other words, the shaky geopolitics of the Central Asia- Middle East region, the three existing war theaters in which America is currently, involved, the direct participation of Israel and Turkey, the structure of US sponsored military alliances, etc. raises the specter of a broader conflict.

    Moreover, US military action on Iran not only threatens Russian and Chinese interests, which have geopolitical interests in the Caspian sea basin and which have bilateral agreements with Iran. It also backlashes on European oil interests in Iran and is likely to produce major divisions between Western allies, between the US and its European partners as well as within the European Union.

    Through its participation in NATO, Europe, despite its reluctance, would be brought into the Iran operation. The participation of NATO largely hinges on a military cooperation agreement reached between NATO and Israel. This agreement would bind NATO to defend Israel against Syria and Iran. NATO would therefore support a preemptive attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities, and could take on a more active role if Iran were to retaliate following US-Israeli air strikes.

    Needless to say, the war against Iran is part of a longer term US military agenda which seeks to militarize the entire Caspian sea basin, eventually leading to the destabilization and conquest of the Russian Federation.

    The Antiwar Movement

    The antiwar movement must act, consistently, to prevent the next phase of this war from happening.

    This is no easy matter. The holding of large antiwar rallies will not in itself reverse the tide of war.

    High ranking officials of the Bush administration, members of the military and the US Congress have been granted the authority to uphold an illegal war agenda.

    What is required is a grass roots network, a mass movement at national and international levels, which challenges the legitimacy of the military and political actors, and which is ultimately instrumental in unseating those who rule in our name.

    War criminals occupy positions of authority. The citizenry is galvanized into supporting the rulers, who are “committed to their safety and well-being”. Through media disinformation, war is given a humanitarian mandate.

    To reverse the tide of war, military bases must be closed down, the war machine (namely the production of advanced weapons systems) must be stopped and the burgeoning police state must be dismantled.

    The corporate backers and sponsors of war and war crimes must also be targeted including the oil companies, the defense contractors, the financial institutions and the corporate media, which has become an integral part of the war propaganda machine.

    Antiwar sentiment does not dismantle a war agenda. The war criminals in the US, Israel and Britain must be removed from high office.

    What is needed is to reveal the true face of the American Empire and the underlying criminalization of US foreign policy, which uses the “war on terrorism” and the threat of Al Qaeda to galvanize public opinion in support of a global war agenda.

    TEXT BOX: Israel’s Nuclear Capabilities

    With between 200 and 500 thermonuclear weapons and a sophisticated delivery system, Israel has quietly supplanted Britain as the World’s 5th Largest nuclear power, and may currently rival France and China in the size and sophistication of its nuclear arsenal. Although dwarfed by the nuclear arsenals of the U.S. and Russia, each possessing over 10,000 nuclear weapons, Israel nonetheless is a major nuclear power, and should be publicly recognized as such.

    Today, estimates of the Israeli nuclear arsenal range from a minimum of 200 to a maximum of about 500. Whatever the number, there is little doubt that Israeli nukes are among the world’s most sophisticated, largely designed for “war fighting” in the Middle East. A staple of the Israeli nuclear arsenal are “neutron bombs,” miniaturized thermonuclear bombs designed to maximize deadly gamma radiation while minimizing blast effects and long term radiation- in essence designed to kill people while leaving property intact.(16) Weapons include ballistic missiles and bombers capable of reaching Moscow…

    The bombs themselves range in size from “city busters” larger than the Hiroshima Bomb to tactical mini nukes. The Israeli arsenal of weapons of mass destruction clearly dwarfs the actual or potential arsenals of all other Middle Eastern states combined, and is vastly greater than any conceivable need for “deterrence.”

    Many Middle East Peace activists have been reluctant to discuss, let alone challenge, the Israeli monopoly on nuclear weapons in the region, often leading to incomplete and uninformed analyses and flawed action strategies. Placing the issue of Israeli weapons of mass destruction directly and honestly on the table and action agenda would have several salutary effects. First, it would expose a primary destabilizing dynamic driving the Middle East arms race and compelling the region’s states to each seek their own “deterrent.”

    Second, it would expose the grotesque double standard which sees the U.S. and Europe on the one hand condemning Iraq, Iran and Syria for developing weapons of mass destruction, while simultaneously protecting and enabling the principal culprit. Third, exposing Israel’s nuclear strategy would focus international public attention, resulting in increased pressure to dismantle its weapons of mass destruction and negotiate a just peace in good faith. Finally, a nuclear free Israel would make a Nuclear Free Middle East and a comprehensive regional peace agreement much more likely. Unless and until the world community confronts Israel over its covert nuclear program it is unlikely that there will be any meaningful resolution of the Israeli/Arab conflict, a fact that Israel may be counting on as the Sharon era dawns.

    From John Steinbach, Israel’s Nuclear Arsenal, http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/STE203A.html
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    Hillary the Movie – Banned in Theaters and on TV

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    NOW, MORE THAN EVER, YOU NEED TO KNOW THE FACTS ABOUT HILLARY CLINTON:

    • What is her program. What would she do as President?
    • How did she avoid indictment for her past scandals?
    • What did her brothers get in return for Bill’s pardons?
    • What did she really do to make $100,000 in the futures market?
    • How did she use campaign finance fraud to win election to the Senate?
    • What has she really done as Senator?

    HILLARY CLINTON WANTS TO KEEP THIS MOVIE OUT OF THE THEATERS.

    THE FEDERAL ELECTIONS COMMISSION HAS BANNED SHOWING IT OR ADVERTISING FOR IT ON TELEVISION

    THE ONLY WAY TO GET THE MESSAGE OUT IS TO BUY THE DVD AND SHARE IT WITH YOUR FAMILY AND FRIENDS.

    dotted line 425

    Hillary Unmasked

    Published on FOXNews.com on February 28, 2008.

    The real Hillary Clinton stood up at the Democratic presidential debate this week: angry, sarcastic, stubborn, secretive, arrogant, mired in the past, victim of the media, and still firmly convinced that she is uniquely entitled to the Democratic Party nomination and the presidency.

    That Hillary hasn’t really been on display much since the debacle of her disastrous health care plan and the end of Bill Clinton’s impeachment trial, when she haughtily flaunted her combative personality.

    But make no mistake about it – that’s the Hillary Clinton that we’ll see if she somehow manages to steal the Democratic nomination.

    She’s found her voice. The one that so alienated everyone she came into contact with over her health care plan that her own party destroyed it. The one that publicly and loudly defended Bill and arranged for attacks on Monica Lewinsky when she knew the complete and sordid truth.

    She’s always had a chip on her shoulder and a strange paranoia, but it’s definitely gotten worse. Now it’s not just the vast right wing conspiracy that is out to get her. Now it’s the mainstream media. How are they doing that? By asking her the first questions at the debates!

    Hillary’s snide comment about whether Barack needed a pillow to be made more comfortable was downright embarrassing. The anticipated applause line on her script never happened. The audience was silent. The press was amazed. And Barack seemed genuinely startled by her nuttiness – he looked over at her as if he was viewing a dotty old aunt at a family dinner, the one that everyone politely humors.

    Her lifelong pattern of secrecy was once again evident. While publicly promoting transparency in government, she steadfastly refuses to release her personal income tax returns. That’s a clear tip-off that there’s something to hide. Recall that the Clintons selectively released tax returns in Arkansas, but refused to go back to 1980, when Hillary had her windfall in cattle futures.

    During the debate, Hillary suggested that she’d release the returns “soon,” but her staff quickly backtracked. She implied that she’s been too busy to deal with releasing the returns. Does she really think anyone believes that it will take more than simply making a copy of the return? She’s stalling and there’s a reason for that.

    Most likely, the return will show how much Bill has been making from his partnership with the Sheik of Dubai and his other business ventures. Should the spouse of a presidential candidate be in business with a foreign leader who needs favors from the U.S. government? Definitely not. That’s why we’ll never see those returns.

    And then there are the Clinton Library records that document her schedule as first lady. She doesn’t want them released either because they will definitively show that she was never the co-president. The Library has been stalling on the release of those documents for years. During the debate, she said that she wanted them released as quickly as possible and seemed to blame the Bush administration for the delay. But today, the White House indicated that she had made no requests for any expedited release.

    The old Hillary, the real Hillary, is back.

    And there’s apparently been no one to stop her from acting on her own worse instincts.

    Underneath the veneer of the practiced smile and the strategically used giggle, there is a rage that is always close to the surface. It was on display in the debate.

    Hillary Clinton is furious that America has not agreed to her coronation. She doesn’t understand why voters are rejecting her and embracing Barack Obama. She just doesn’t get it.

    Never one to engage in self reflection, she can’t blame herself or even her incompetent strategists and advisers. They’re too close to her. She can’t accept the sorry fact that her campaign has been a disaster because it was based on the past and not the future, because it was premised on her phony experience and maintaining the status quo, and because her negative outlook is completely out of step with the mood of America. And finally, because in the positive message of Barack Obama, Americans see a stark contrast with her doom and gloom view of the world.

    So, she’ll blame the media. It’s their fault.

    And she’ll keep screaming about what a fighter she is.

    More like a bully.

    hillary clinton campaign shakeup mismanagement

    Iran, China and Russia vs. America, Israel – Who will Win?

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    A Three Step Plan to Usher in the Amero

    1. Create a Financial Problemsub-prime mortgage fiasco, housing market collapse, recession, trillions of dollars in debt, uncontrolled military spending, federal reserve private banking monopoly engineered economics, Iran and Russia to form an OPEC like cartel to sell gas to China and India with trading done and prices pegged to the Russian Ruble, Neo-Cons boosting of impending financial crisis, keep dumping Chinese made goods in the usa and further erode the manufacturing base

    2. Predictable Reactionpeople go nuts, economy tanks, stock markets lose confidence, everyone starts to dump the dollar, governments intervene to prevent the run on the dollar and the banks, china iran and russia come out stronger and portrayed as the cause of the problem and the enemy

    3. Offer the Solution – American government offers the solution to solve the problem, The North American Union is formally introduced to the half asleep Americans, Amero replaces the dollar as the single north American wide currency, American economy now to fully exploit the cheap Mexican labor plus the cheap Canadian natural resources this solution offered as the perfect new troika, everything going according to plan, neo-cons further their agenda to eventually replace the Amero with the cashless micro-chip based society where rights and freedoms are things of the past

    It’s the classic Problem, Reaction, Solution – the Hegelian model for a new world order and new one world government run out of Jerusalem.

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