Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Europe Declares War on American Ratings Agencies

Europe Declares War on American Ratings Agencies

European leaders hope they can sweep Europe’s financial problems under the rug by shooting the (American) messengers of bad news.
Soeren Kern
July 30, 2011 - 9:05 pm
Page 1 of 2  Next ->   View as Single Page
As the financial crisis that began on Europe’s periphery — Greece, Ireland and Portugal — moves closer to the major economies of the center – Italy and Spain – and now threatens the continued viability of the euro currency, European leaders are scrambling to find a containment strategy. Their preferred course of action: shift responsibility by blaming the Americans.
European officials struggling to prevent the collapse of what has been described as “a giant Ponzi scheme” are angry — very angry — at American credit ratings agencies for downgrading the creditworthiness of several European countries and thus publicly exposing the true extent of Europe’s debt crisis.
Far from acknowledging the self-inflicted nature of Europe’s financial problems, European officials are pointing fingers across the Atlantic, portraying the ratings agencies as part of an “Anglo-Saxon” (i.e., neoconservative free market capitalist American) conspiracy to destroy the euro currency and, by extension, Europe’s broader pretensions to superpower status.
The three leading ratings agencies criticized for being American – Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s Investors Service, and Fitch Ratings, which actually is majority owned by a French company — rate the creditworthiness of companies and countries, as well as the quality of funds and stocks. Their assessment determines the conditions under which firms, banks, or countries may borrow money on the capital markets.
The agencies, which collectively hold a global market share of roughly 95 percent, exert considerable influence over Europe because European companies active on U.S. markets are required by securities laws to have ratings that are issued from these firms.
But European politicians are now accusing these companies of outside meddling, as if American ratings agencies are responsible for the bankruptcy of countries like Greece, Ireland, and Portugal. In a frantic effort to regain control over the narrative that was carefully crafted over many years that Europe is a global model of socialist utopia, European elites (as always in denial), are, once again, reaching for the tried and true fall-back position of anti-Americanism.
The latest bout of anti-American rhetoric was triggered by the July 5 decision by the New York-based Moody’s to downgrade Portugal’s credit rating to “junk” status. The downgrade was made just as Portugal was to implement austerity measures in return for a €78 billion ($110 billion) EU-IMF bailout, and as the eurozone was struggling to craft yet another rescue package for Greece.
Consider, for example, the reaction of Viviane Reding, the European commissioner for justice. Reding told Germany’s Die Welt newspaper: “Europe cannot let itself be destroyed by three American private companies.” She added: “I see two possible solutions: either the G-20 states agree together to smash the cartel of American rating agencies. Or independent European and Asian rating agencies are established.”
European Commission President José Manuel Barroso accused the agencies of “mistakes,” “exaggerations,” “conflicts of interest,” and of having an anti-European “bias.” Barroso asked: “Is it normal to have only three relevant actors on such sensitive issues where there is a great possibility of conflict of interest? Is it normal that all of them come from the same country?”
Attacking the domination of the ratings sector by the Americans, Barroso continued: “It seems strange that there is not a single rating agency coming from Europe. It shows there may be some bias in the markets when it comes to the evaluation of the specific issues of Europe. It is important that we do not allow others to take away our ability to make judgments.”
The unelected Barroso also said it was time for a European ratings agency to emerge as a counterweight to the U.S.-dominated groups: “We know that when there are oligopolies there are sometimes attempts to abuse the dominant position or market manipulation, so the more competition the better — this is our credo.”
German President Christian Wulff said it was shocking that the rating agencies continue to exercise so much power, and warned of the need for policymakers to “re-conquer the primacy of politics.” German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said he “cannot decipher” the recent ratings downgrades of Portugal. “We need to examine the possibilities of smashing the rating agency oligopoly,” he added.
European Commissioner for Internal Market and Services Michel Barnier said something must be done to cut the “power and influence” of the American agencies. In true Eurocrat fashion, Barnier also issued a veiled threat: “I invite the agencies, which are under the control of national supervisors, to be extremely careful to fully respect EU rules. They should learn the lessons from the past.”
Greek Foreign Minister Stavros Lambrinidis criticized the behaviour of the agencies as “the wonderful madness of self-fulfilling prophecy” because it made it harder for insolvent countries like Greece and Portugal to borrow to keep afloat. Never mind the “madness” that European leaders have allowed themselves to believe they can borrow forever without ever having to pay back the debt they have accrued.
European Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs Olli Rehn accused Moody’s of “so-called clairvoyance.” Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou said the ratings agencies were “seeking to shape our destiny and determine the future of our children.” As if the rating agencies accumulated the mountains of Greek debt.
Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker said the influence of American credit rating agencies was “disastrous.” The Italian chief economist of the OECD, Pier Carlo Padoan, said of the ratings agencies: “It’s like pushing someone who is on the edge of a cliff. It aggravates the crisis.”
German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle called for the creation of a European rival to the three agencies. “It is necessary to establish an independent European rating agency. This must be a goal that we all work on intensively,” he said.

Bring Out Your Dead - UBS Quantifies Costs Of Euro Break Up, Warns Of Collapse Of Banking System And Civil War

Bring Out Your Dead - UBS Quantifies Costs Of Euro Break Up, Warns Of Collapse Of Banking System And Civil War

Tyler Durden's picture

Any time a major bank releases a report saying a given course of action is too costly, too prohibitive, too blonde, or simply too impossible, it is nearly guaranteed that that is precisely the course of action about to be undertaken. Which is why all non-euro skeptics are advised to shield their eyes and look away from the just released report by UBS (of surging 3 Month USD Libor rate fame) titled "Euro Break Up - The Consequences." UBS conveniently sets up the straw man as follows: "Under the current structure and with the current membership, the Euro does not work. Either the current structure will have to change, or the current membership will have to change." So far so good. Yet where it gets scary is when UBS quantifies the actual opportunity cost to one or more countries leaving the Euro. Notably Germany. "Were a stronger country such as Germany to leave the Euro, the consequences would include corporate default, recapitalisation of the banking system and collapse of international trade. If Germany were to leave, we believe the cost to be around EUR6,000 to EUR8,000 for every German adult and child in the first year, and a range of EUR3,500 to EUR4,500 per person per year thereafter. That is the equivalent of 20% to 25% of GDP in the first year. " It also would mean the end of UBS, but we digress. Where it gets even more scary is when UBS, like many other banks to come, succumbs to the Mutual Assured Destruction trope made so popular by ole' Hank Paulson : "The economic cost is, in many ways, the least of the concerns investors should have about a break-up. Fragmentation of the Euro would incur political costs. Europe’s “soft power” influence internationally would cease (as the concept of “Europe” as an integrated polity becomes meaningless). It is also worth observing that almost no modern fiat currency monetary unions have broken up without some form of authoritarian or military government, or civil war." So you see: save the euro for the children, so we can avoid all out war (and UBS can continue to exist). The scariest thing, however, by far, is that for this report to have been issued, it means that Germany is now actively considering dumping the euro.
Executive summary:
Fiscal confederation, not break-up

Our base case with an overwhelming probability is that the Euro moves slowly (and painfully) towards some kind of fiscal integration. The risk case, of break-up, is considerably more costly and close to zero probability. Countries can not be expelled, but sovereign states could choose to secede. However, popular discussion of the break-up option considerably underestimates the consequences of such a move. 

The economic cost (part 1)

The cost of a weak country leaving the Euro is significant. Consequences include sovereign default, corporate default, collapse of the banking system and collapse of international trade. There is little prospect of devaluation offering much assistance. We estimate that a weak Euro country leaving the Euro would incur a cost of around EUR9,500 to EUR11,500 per person in the exiting country during the first year. That cost would then probably amount to EUR3,000 to EUR4,000 per person per year over subsequent years. That equates to a range of 40% to 50% of GDP in the first year. 

The economic cost (part 2)

Were a stronger country such as Germany to leave the Euro, the consequences would include corporate default, recapitalisation of the banking system and collapse of international trade. If Germany were to leave, we believe the cost to be around EUR6,000 to EUR8,000 for every German adult and child in the first year, and a range of EUR3,500 to EUR4,500 per person per year thereafter. That is the equivalent of 20% to 25% of GDP in the first year. In comparison, the cost of bailing out Greece, Ireland and Portugal entirely in the wake of the default of those countries would be a little over EUR1,000 per person, in a single hit. 

The political cost

The economic cost is, in many ways, the least of the concerns investors should have about a break-up. Fragmentation of the Euro would incur political costs. Europe’s “soft power” influence internationally would cease (as the concept of “Europe” as an integrated polity becomes meaningless). It is also worth observing that almost no modern fiat currency monetary unions have broken up without some form of authoritarian or military government, or civil war.
A little more on that particularly troubling last point:
Do monetary unions break up without civil wars?

The break-up of a monetary union is a very rare event. Moreover the break-up of a monetary union with a fiat currency system (ie, paper currency) is extremely unusual. Fixed exchange rate schemes break up all the time. Monetary unions that relied on specie payments did fragment – the Latin Monetary Union of the 19th century fragmented several times – but should be thought of as more of a fixed exchange rate adjustment. Countries went on and off the gold or silver or bimetal standards, and in doing so made or broke ties with other countries’ currencies.

If we consider fiat currency monetary union fragmentation, it is fair to say that the economic circumstances that create a climate for a break-up and the economic consequences that follow from a break-up are very severe indeed. It takes enormous stress for a government to get to the point where it considers abandoning the lex monetae of a country. The disruption that would follow such a move is also going to be extreme. The costs are high – whether it is a strong or a weak country leaving – in purely monetary terms. When the unemployment consequences are factored in, it is virtually impossible to consider a break-up scenario without some serious social consequences.

With this degree of social dislocation, the historical parallels are unappealing. Past instances of monetary union break-ups have tended to produce one of two results. Either there was a more authoritarian government response to contain or repress the social disorder (a scenario that tended to require a change from democratic to authoritarian or military government), or alternatively, the social disorder worked with existing fault lines in society to divide the country, spilling over into civil war. These are not inevitable conclusions, but indicate that monetary union break-up is not something that can be treated as a casual issue of exchange rate policy.

Even with a paucity of case studies, what evidence we have does lend credence to the political cost argument. Clearly, not all parts of a fracturing monetary union necessarily collapse into chaos. The point is not that everyone suffers, but that some part of the former monetary union is highly likely to suffer.

The fracturing of the Czech and Slovak monetary union in 1993 led to an immediate sealing of the border, capital controls and limits on bank withdrawals. This was not so much secession as destruction and substitution (the Czechoslovak currency ceased to exist entirely). Although the Czech Republic that emerged from the crisis was considered to be a free country (using the Freedom House definition), with political rights improving relative to Czechoslovakia (also considered to be a free country), Slovakia saw a deterioration in the assessment of its political rights and civil liberties, and was designated “partially free” (again, using Freedom House criteria).

Similarly the break-up of the Soviet Union saw authoritarian regimes in the resulting states. Of course, this was not a change from the previous status quo, but that is not the point. The question is not how a liberal democracy develops, but whether a liberal democracy could withstand the social turmoil that surrounds a monetary union fracturing. We lack evidence to support the idea that it could.

Even the US monetary union break-up in 1932-33 was accompanied by something close to authoritarianism. Roosevelt’s inauguration was described by a contemporary journalist as being conducted in “a beleaguered capital in wartime”, with machine guns covering the Mall. State militia were called out to deal with the reactions of local populations, unhappy at what had happened to the monetary union (and specifically their access to their banks).

Older examples are less helpful, as they tend to be more akin to fixed exchange rate regimes under a gold standard or some other international monetary arrangement. Nevertheless, the Irish separation from the UK, or the convulsions of the Latin Monetary Union in Europe (particularly around the Franco-Prussian war in 1870 and its aftermath) saw monetary unions fragment with varying degrees of violence in some parts of the union.

Writing in 1997, the Harvard economist Martin Feldstein offered a view that seems to be somewhat chillingly precognitive. He said “Uniform monetary policy and inflexible exchange rates will create conflicts whenever cyclical conditions differ among the member countries... Although a sovereign country... could in principle withdraw from the EMU, the potential trade sanctions and other pressures on such a country are likely to make membership in the EMU irreversible unless there is widespread economic dislocation in Europe or, more generally, a collapse of the peaceful coexistence within Europe.” (emphasis added).
As for what happens if UBS, and the Euro Unionists lose the fight for the euro:
Our base case for the Euro is that the monetary union will hold together, with some kind of fiscal confederation (providing automatic stabilisers to economies, not transfers to governments). This is how the US monetary union was resurrected in the 1930s. It is how the UK monetary union, and indeed the German monetary union, have held together.

But what if the disaster scenario happens? How can investors invest if they believe in a break-up, however low the probability? The simple answer is that they cannot. Investing for a break-up scenario has not guaranteed winners within the Euro area. The growth consequences are awful in any break-up scenario. The risk of civil disorder questions the rule of law, and as such basic issues such as property rights. Even those countries that avoid internal strife and divisions will likely have to use administrative controls to avoid extreme positions in their markets.

The only way to hedge against a Euro break-up scenario is to own no Euro assets at all.
Alas, this will be the final outcome. Unfortunately trillions more in taxpayer capital will be lost before we get there.
In the meantime, enjoy as UBS just unwittingly announced the final countdown for the EUR.



Exclusive: U.S. lets China bypass Wall Street for Treasury orders

Exclusive: U.S. lets China bypass Wall Street for Treasury orders

The nine countries in the world's nuclear club.  Slideshow 
A bank clerk counts U.S. dollar banknotes on bundles of 100 Chinese yuan banknotes at a branch of a bank in Huaibei, Anhui province April 26, 2012. REUTERS/Stringer

NEW YORK | Mon May 21, 2012 3:35pm EDT
(Reuters) - China can now bypass Wall Street when buying U.S. government debt and go straight to the U.S. Treasury, in what is the Treasury's first-ever direct relationship with a foreign government, according to documents viewed by Reuters.
The relationship means the People's Bank of China buys U.S. debt using a different method than any other central bank in the world.
The other central banks, including the Bank of Japan, which has a large appetite for Treasuries, place orders for U.S. debt with major Wall Street banks designated by the government as primary dealers. Those dealers then bid on their behalf at Treasury auctions.
China, which holds $1.17 trillion in U.S. Treasuries, still buys some Treasuries through primary dealers, but since June 2011, that route hasn't been necessary.
The documents viewed by Reuters show the U.S. Treasury Department has given the People's Bank of China a direct computer link to its auction system, which the Chinese first used to buy two-year notes in late June 2011.
China can now participate in auctions without placing bids through primary dealers. If it wants to sell, however, it still has to go through the market.
The change was not announced publicly or in any message to primary dealers.
"Direct bidding is open to a wide range of investors, but as a matter of general policy we do not comment on individual bidders," said Matt Anderson, a Treasury Department spokesman.
While there is been no prohibition on foreign government entities bidding directly, the Treasury's accommodation of China is unique.
The Treasury's sales of U.S. debt to China have become part of a politically charged public debate about China's role as the largest exporter to the United States and also the country's largest creditor.
The privilege may help China obtain U.S. debt for a better price by keeping Wall Street's knowledge of its orders to a minimum.
Primary dealers are not allowed to charge customers money to bid on their behalf at Treasury auctions, so China isn't saving money by cutting out commission fees.
Instead, China is preserving the value of specific information about its bidding habits. By bidding directly, China prevents Wall Street banks from trying to exploit its huge presence in a given auction by driving up the price.
It is one of several courtesies provided to a buyer in a class by itself in terms of purchasing power. Although the Japanese, for example, own about $1.1 trillion of Treasuries, their purchasing has been less centralized. Buying by Japan is scattered among institutions, including pension funds, large Japanese banks and the Bank of Japan, without a single entity dominating.
Granting China a direct bidding link is not the first time Treasury has gone to great lengths to keep its largest client happy.
In 2009, when Treasury officials found China was using special deals with primary dealers to conceal its U.S. debt purchases, the Treasury changed a rule to outlaw those deals, Reuters reported last June. But at the same time it relaxed a reporting requirement to make the Chinese more comfortable with the amended rule.
Another feature of the U.S.-China business relationship is discretion: The Treasury tried to keep its motivation for the 2009 rule change under wraps, Reuters reported.
Documents dealing with China's new status as a direct bidder again demonstrate the Treasury's desire for secrecy -- in terms of Wall Street and its new direct bidding customer.
To safeguard against hackers, Treasury officials upgraded the system that allows China to access the bidding process.
Then they discussed ways to deflect questions from Wall Street traders that would arise once the auction results began revealing the undeniable presence of a foreign direct bidder.
"Most hold the view that foreign accounts only submit 'indirect bids' through primary dealers. This will likely cause significant chatter on the street and many questions will likely come our way," wrote one government official in an email viewed by Reuters.
In the email, the official suggested providing basic, general answers to questions about who can bid in Treasury actions.
"For questions more extensive or probing in nature, I think it prudent to direct them to the or Treasury public relations area," the official wrote.
The granting to China of direct bidder status may be controversial because some government officials are concerned that China has gained too much leverage over the United States through its large Treasury holdings.
For example, economist Brad Setser, who is a member of the National Economic Council and has also served on the National Security Council, has argued China's large Treasury holdings pose a national security threat.
Writing for the Council on Foreign Relations in 2009, Setser posited that China's massive U.S. debt holdings gave it power over U.S. policy via the threat of a swift, large sale of U.S. debt that could send the market into turmoil and drive up interest rates.
But Treasury officials have long maintained that U.S. debt sales to China are kept separate from politics in a business relationship that benefits both countries. The Chinese use Treasuries to house the dollars they receive from selling goods to the United States, while the U.S. government is happy to see such strong demand for its debt because it keeps interest rates low.
A spokesman for the Chinese embassy in Washington did not respond to calls and emails seeking comment.
The United States has, however, displayed increasing anxiety about China as a cybersecurity threat. The change Treasury officials made to their direct bidding system before allowing access to China was to limit access to the system to a specially designed private network connection controlled by the Treasury.
China is among the most sensitive topics for bankers and government officials who court the country as a financial client because of its size and importance, and none would agree to comment on the record for this story.
A former debt management official at the Treasury who did not want to be identified said that as China's experience in the U.S. Treasury market has deepened over time, Chinese officials may have felt more comfortable taking the reins in the management of their holdings.
Their request to bid directly, in his view, came from a confidence that their money managers could buy U.S. debt more efficiently on their own than through Wall Street banks, which can often drive up the price of Treasuries at an auction if they know how much large clients are willing to pay. Such a practice that is not specifically illegal, though most traders would deem it unethical.
Evidence of China's growing sophistication as a money manager in the U.S. markets is clear in its expansion of operations in New York. Its money management arm, the State Administration for Foreign Exchange (commonly called SAFE), has an office in Midtown Manhattan and a seasoned chief investment officer -- former Pacific Investment Management Co derivatives head Changhong Zhu -- in Beijing.
A woman who answered the phone at SAFE's New York office said no one in the office was authorized to talk to the media.
(Editing by Martin Howell and Steve Orlofsky)

OH OBAMA SAYS MADE IN USA TO MEAN SOME THING THEN WHAT DO YOU CALL THIS China firm buys AMC to form world's largest cinema chain

China firm buys AMC to form world's largest cinema chain

By Kevin Voigt, CNN
updated 12:25 AM EDT, Mon May 21, 2012
Under the new U.S.-China deal, more IMAX or 3D films are being allowed into China.
Under the new U.S.-China deal, more IMAX or 3D films are being allowed into China.
  • Dalian Wanda Group buys AMC in a $2.6 billion deal for the U.S. theater group
  • Creates the world's largest theater chain, according to the companies
  • Comes after a raft of cross-Pacific deals between Hollywood and Chinese firms
(CNN) -- China's Dalian Wanda Group and AMC Entertainment announced Monday a $2.6 billion deal to take over the U.S. theater group, forming the world's largest cinema chain, according to a new release on the deal.
The move is the latest in a raft of deals between U.S. entertainment companies and Chinese firms, linking the world's largest theater market with the world's fastest growing.
"This acquisition will help make Wanda a truly global cinema owner, with theatres and technology that enhance the movie-going experience for audiences in the world's two largest movie markets," said Wang Jianlin, chairman and president of Wanda.
Wanda, a private company that previously operated solely in China, generates $16.7 billion in annual revenue from its commercial development and entertainment businesses, the company said. The group owns 86 theaters with 730 screens in China.
"As the film and exhibition business continues its global expansion, the time has never been more opportune to welcome the enthusiastic support of our new owners," said Gerry Lopez, chief executive officer and president of AMC.
AMC operates 346 multiplex theaters, largely in North America, with a total of 5,034 screens. Headquarters of AMC, a privately held company, will remain in the Kansas City area and day-to-day operations, including the process for film programming, will remain unchanged, the release said.
In a deal last February, China agreed to increase the quota of 20 foreign films per year -- most of them from the U.S. -- to add an additional 14 IMAX or 3D films each year, and nearly doubled the cut foreign film companies can take from Chinese box office to 25%.
In April, The Walt Disney Company China, Marvel Studios and DMG Entertainment of Beijing announced a production deal in which "Iron Man 3" will be co-produced in China. That follows the February announced that a $330 million joint venture between DreamWorks Animation, China Media Capital (CMC) and two other Chinese companies to establish a China-focused family entertainment company, Oriental DreamWorks.
Last month came revelations, first reported by Reuters, that the Securities and Exchange Commission sent inquiries to 20th Century Fox, Disney and DreamWorks about whether Hollywood studios were paying bribes to get a foothold in the China theater market.

Iran In Brief No Obama Letter to Iran?


Iran In Brief

No Obama Letter to Iran?

No Obama Letter to Iran? photo

On January 18, conservative Iranian lawmaker Ali Motahari announced and Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast confirmed that President Barack Obama had sent a letter to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei warning Iran against closing the Straits of Hormuz and requesting direct talks.  Mehmanparast said that Iran was considering an official response.  Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Committee deputy chairman Hojjatoleslam Hossein Ebrahimi also went on to describe the details of the letter at length.  U.S. officials meanwhile have denied the existence of such a letter, and ISIS has also learned from a European source who has proven reliable in the past that President Obama did not send the letter, which Iranian officials claim was passed through three different diplomatic channels.  ISIS is interested in confirming whether anyone has learned otherwise.
It is interesting to speculate on the motive for such a rumor if it was started by Iran.  Perhaps some in the regime seek to start a national conversation about direct Iran-U.S. talks, or wanted to test the official U.S. reaction in the media to the notion of conducting direct talks amidst an atmosphere of growing tension.  In an even more convoluted theory, Iran may have sought to embarrass President Obama for seeking talks with Iran while he faces increased criticism over his Iran policy by hawkish U.S. lawmakers and presidential candidates. 
On the other hand, rumors are sometimes only rumors with no clear intent.

PDF Print
Font Size Larger Font Smaller Font
c_330_235_16777215_0___images_stories_jan02_19_02_ep3.jpgTEHRAN - A number of Iranian officials have released the details of the letter that U.S. President Barack Obama recently sent to Tehran. 

The New York Times, citing U.S. government officials, wrote on January 12 that the Obama administration had sent a message to Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei warning that closing the Strait of Hormuz is a “red line” that would provoke a response by the United States.

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Ramin Mehmanparast said on January 15 that U.S. officials had sent a message on the Strait of Hormuz to the Islamic Republic through three officials, noting, “Susan Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, delivered a letter to Mohammad Khazaii, the Islamic Republic of Iran’s ambassador (to the UN). The Swiss ambassador to Tehran (Livia Leu Agosti) also conveyed the message, and Jalal Talabani, the Iraqi president, conveyed the message to officials of the Islamic Republic of Iran as well.” 

Obama has called for negotiations 

MP Ali Motahhari said on Wednesday, “In the letter, it has been stated that ‘closing the Strait of Hormuz is our red line’ and they have requested direct negotiations.” 

“In the letter, Obama has announced readiness for negotiation and the resolution of mutual disagreements,” he added. 

He went on to say that Obama uttered threats in the first part of the letter and talked about friendship and negotiation in the second part.  

Obama says U.S. will not take hostile action against Iran 

MP Hojjatoleslam Hossein Ebrahimi said on Wednesday, “Obama’s letter has several parts. Part of it is about this, (namely) that using international waterways is the right of all countries and all should benefit from them. And in this letter, he has described it as the United States’ red line.” 

“In the letter, Obama has mentioned cooperation and negotiation based on the interests of the two countries,” Ebrahimi, who is the deputy chairman of the Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Committee, told the Nasimonline news website. 

“He has stated in the letter that they will not take any hostile action against the Islamic Republic of Iran,” he added. 

Ebrahimi also said, “This is not the first time that Obama has sent a message and letter to the Islamic Republic of Iran. He has repeatedly spoken in a soft tone about the Islamic Republic of Iran, but, in practice, he has not acted accordingly.” 

“Obama’s letter indicates that the United States has become afraid of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s might and has realized the point that an arrogant spirit is of no use, and therefore, he has softened his tone when speaking about the Islamic Republic of Iran,” he stated.  

He added, “The important issue is that without the Islamic Republic of Iran’s permission, no country can benefit from the Persian Gulf.” 

Iran responsible for maintaining security of Persian Gulf 

Expediency Council Secretary Mohsen Rezaii also commented on the letter on Wednesday, saying, “Mr. Obama has written a cunning letter and intended to claim that the U.S. is responsible for maintaining the security of the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz, while Iran itself is responsible for maintaining the security of this region.”  

“We maintain the security of the region with the help of regional countries,” he said, adding, “There is no need for the presence of extra-regional forces to maintain the security of this region, and we believe that the presence of the United States and Britain mostly creates insecurity.” 

If they “feel compassion” for regional countries and want to help them enhance security in the region, “I advise them to leave the region,” Rezaii stated. 

ISIS Statement on North Korean Nuclear Test

ISIS Reports

ISIS Statement on North Korean Nuclear Test

by David Albright and Andrea Stricker
February 12, 2013
Download PDF
On Tuesday, February 12 at 2:57 GMT/UTC, North Korea claims that it tested its third nuclear device.  The official KCNA news agency stated: “It was confirmed that the nuclear test, that was carried out at a high level in a safe and perfect manner using a miniaturized and lighter nuclear device with greater explosive force than previously, did not pose any negative impact on the surrounding ecological environment.”  The Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organization recorded a seismic event 5.0 in magnitude and the U.S. Geological Survey recorded a shallow earthquake of 5.1 in magnitude.  The test occurred at Punggye-ri, site of its 2006 and 2009 tests, which recorded magnitudes of 4.1 and 4.52, respectively.  ISIS assessed on February 3 that North Korea was likely preparing for a third nuclear test based on preparations at the site visible in overhead satellite imagery. 
While much information is still unknown about the nature of North Korea’s nuclear test, several key points should be made:
North Korea’s stated miniaturization capability, if true, should not be a surprise.  It should not come as a surprise to the international community that North Korea may now have the capability to explode a miniaturized nuclear device.  ISIS (and key members of the U.S. intelligence community) have assessed for some time that North Korea likely has the capability to miniaturize a nuclear weapon for its 800 mile range Nodong missile.  Although more information is needed to make a sound assessment, this test could, as North Korea has stated, demonstrate this capability. ISIS has also assessed that North Korea still lacks the ability to deploy a warhead on an ICBM, although it shows progress at this effort. North Korea would need to conduct missile flight tests with a re-entry vehicle and mock warhead, increase the explosive yield of the warhead, possibly requiring its further miniaturization, and improve the operational reliability of the warhead and missile.
North Korea does not appear to have detonated a more sophisticated nuclear device, such as a thermonuclear device. Before the test, concern was expressed by some analysts that North Korea could test a more advanced nuclear weapon. The data from this test so far indicate that this is not the case. One important question is whether the nuclear test used only plutonium or involved highly enriched uranium either alone or in combination with plutonium.
It is time to accelerate efforts to stop North Korea’s foreign procurements for its nuclear programs and increase efforts to halt its proliferation financing efforts.  North Korea’s efforts to procure nuclear and dual-use goods and raw materials for its nuclear programs must be addressed by targeted countries through improved United Nations sanctions resolutions and domestic trade control laws and the enforcement of those measures.  North Korea continues to improve its nuclear programs through its access to such goods and materials, particularly through trading companies and citizens located in neighboring China.
The United Nations Security Council should incrementally increase proliferation financing sanctions on North Korea as a result of this test. 

The international response to the test should be measured and should circle back to engagement.  Despite the likely demonstration of an improved North Korean nuclear capability, the international response to the test should be carefully constructed.  Ironically, North Korea’s previous nuclear tests, despite being followed by sanctions and international condemnation, eventually paved the way for engagement.  North Korea’s historical use of brinkmanship to gain concessions is well documented.  A new formulation is necessary to break this cycle of provocation/engagement that has too often ended with a more advanced North Korean nuclear weapons program.  A strategy of engagement that does not reward the test but seeks to moderate the regime’s behavior through sustained dialogue may be most productive going forward.  A key element is for the United States to deepen cooperation with China and resist seeking renewed bilateral U.S./North Korean dialogue.  There are signs that China is listening more to U.S. concerns about North Korea’s nuclear provocations.  A goal must be the United States developing common positions with China, along with South Korea and Japan, making it harder for North Korea to play China against the United States.
A response must not provoke even worse behavior.  Faced with a draconian response to this third nuclear test, it is possible that North Korea could retaliate by causing minor military skirmishes with its neighbors, conducting another test, or even deploying nuclear-tipped Nodong missiles.  Remaining cognizant of the need to prevent and mitigate worse behavior by North Korea should be the goal of any international or regional response. This again argues for seeking solidarity among China, Japan, South Korea, and the United States.



Obama’s second-term plan: Let the UN tax Americans

Obama’s second-term plan: Let the UN tax Americans

By Dick Morris - 10/08/12 11:09 AM ET
It should come as no surprise that President Obama will raise taxes if he is reelected. But here’s the shocker: he will invite the United Nations to tax Americans directly. And the proceeds would go directly to the Third World. In this way, Barack Hussein Obama will, indeed, realize the dreams of his father.

In our new book, Here come the black helicopters!: UN global governance and the loss of freedom, Eileen and I describe how there is now pending in the U.N. all kinds of plans to tax Americans and redistribute their wealth — not to other Americans, but to other countries. These taxes will not be like our U.N. dues paid by a vote of our Congress, nor will it be akin to foreign aid that we choose to give. They would be mandatory levies imposed by treaty on American citizens. And because they would be enumerated in a treaty, not an act of Congress, only the president and the Democratic Senate need be on board. The Republican House has no role in the treaty-making process.

Of course, we do not believe that actual black UN helicopters will land in our midst to take over our country. But we use the symbolism to warn that the liberal, bureaucratic elites in the U.N., enabled by Obama and Hillary Clinton, mean to create global governance to override American self-rule and independence.

Here is what we say in Black helicopters that Obama, Hillary and the U.N. are planning for us:
• A “Robin Hood” tax on financial transactions. Every time you buy or sell a stock or bond or exchange money while traveling, you’d be hit with a financial transactions tax, a percentage of your transaction, that would go to the U.N.
• A global tobacco tax with the funds to flow to the World Health Organization (WHO).
• A U.N.-imposed tax on billionaires all over the world. And don’t delude yourself for a moment that it is only the 1,600 current billionaires who will be hit. Once the precedent of a U.N. tax on U.S. citizens is approved, it will gradually grow downwards to cover more and more Americans. Again, the funds will go to the U.N.
• Under the Law of the Sea Treaty, up for Senate ratification in December of the lame-duck session, offshore oil-and-gas wells would have to pay a proportion of their revenues to the International Seabed Authority, a U.N.-sponsored organization, which would distribute the loot to the Third World.
• A carbon tax on all U.S. or other foreign commercial or passenger aircraft flying to Europe. Nominally to fight climate change, these revenues would also go to the Third World.
• A mandatory assessment to be imposed on the U.S. to compensate Third World nations for the costs of reducing their carbon output.
These taxes are, of course, only the first steps. Once the principle is established of U.N. taxation of American citizens, the sky is the limit.

Is there any organizations less worthy of our trust to spend our money wisely than the United Nations? Beset by almost constant scandal, bereft of any in-house oversight or even audit, the U.N. is one of the most corrupt of all international organizations. In Black helicopters, we document how pervasive this corruption really is.

And where would the money go? To so-called less developed countries. The taxes are part of a global plan of redistribution of wealth from the Northern Hemisphere (the U.S., Europe and Japan) to the Southern Hemisphere (Latin America, Africa and South Asia).

But don’t think that this flow of wealth will reduce poverty. Foreign aid doesn’t work. We explain in Black helicopters that it really just puts a pot of money on the table in Third World countries that automatically goes to whoever controls the presidential palace. Coups, civil wars, revolutions and all sorts of violence usually ensue as various factions, tribes or ethnic groups try to get their hands on the money. Real reduction in poverty can come only through foreign direct investment and trade, not via massive exports of Northern Hemisphere wealth to countries controlled by corrupt oligarchs.

Even a victory in the election of 2012 could avert the threat of rampant globalism. Obama and his lame-duck Senate will sign and try to ratify a broad range of global treaties to give away our sovereignty and expose us to U.N. taxation.

Here come the black helicopters!: UN global governance and the loss of freedom is a clarion warning call and a guide to saving our freedom while we still can! Read the book and join the battle for our liberty!

Morris, a former adviser to Sen. Trent Lott (R-Miss.) and former President Clinton, is the author of 2010: Take Back America — A Battle Plan and Outrage, Fleeced and Catastrophe. To get all of his and Eileen McGann’s columns for free by email or to order a signed, advanced copy of his latest book Revolt!, go to dickmorris.com.

Read more: http://thehill.com/opinion/columnists/dick-morris/260769-obamas-second-term-plan-let-the-un-tax-americans#ixzz2Kj5F68BD
Follow us: @thehill on Twitter | TheHill on Facebook

FBI Manufactured Muslim Terror Plots Breed Fear of Radical Islam

FBI Manufactured Muslim Terror Plots Breed Fear of Radical Islam

4505842946_6ff8cc2a8b_oSusanne Posel
Occupy Corporatism
February 12, 2013

The Federal Bureau of Investigations has created fake terrorist plots for decades. Referred to as “entrapment” cases, there is a growing concern within expert’s circles that the FBI never really has “actual terrorists” involved in their schemes.

Part of the entrapment motive is a central informant network that the FBI will delve into to extract their patsies. Paying 6 figure sums to the targeted individual, or promising the wipe their criminal history clean, these fishing expeditions lead to the eventuality of securing a “radical” to enact a plot devised by the assigned FBI recruiting agent.

A few years ago, the FBI incited a group of protesters to become violent by suggesting how to make improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and places they could “blow up”. Undercover FBI agents suggested “a big bridge” and so a terrorist plot, created by the FBI was eventually foiled with an arrest of all the protesters involved in the plot.

While mainstream media claimed that the FBI had stopped members of the Occupy movement from destroying a bridge and preventing potential deaths, it was an FBI informant that had come up with the plan, coerced the members into participating and swopped in to save the day.

quazi_nafis--300x300Last year, a young man from India named Quazi Mohammad Rezwanul Ahsan Nafis was recruited by the FBI who assigned an agent to him and who invented a manufactured bomb plot involving the Federal Reserve Bank in New York.

After Nafis was given 1,000-pounds of ammonium nitrate and other materials to build an IED. Under watch of the FBI, Nafis assembled the IED at an undisclosed warehouse in New York. The FBI claim that Nafis attempted to detonate the “fake” bomb at a hotel, where he was taken into custody.

The “infiltrating” FBI agent brought Nafis to the warehouse in a van. Nafis allegedly told the agent that his first plan was to blow up the NY Fed. If he was unable to do so, he had a “Plan B”. After coercing from the FBI agent, Nafis also produced a written statement of his intentions where he said that Osama bin Laden was the justification for his impending actions.

The FBI agent made sure to create a video where Nafis admitted to his plans. This recorded statement was to be shown to the American public after the attack. Nafis was recorded on tape saying he wanted to “destroy America.” The FBI was careful to set up the necessary evidence to not only incriminate Nafis as a pasty, but also use the evidence to create a link between al-Qaeda and the nation of India.

Karen Greenberg, professor of law at Fordham University said that it is becoming apparent that “the target, the motive, the ideology and the plot were all led by the FBI” in these alleged foiled terroristic bomb plots. Where there was once a clear distinction between sting operations and the perpetrators, it has now because a common occurrence that the FBI will target the Muslim community with informants, engage in conversations of a radical Islamic nature and engage those identified as “targets” with the purpose of manufacturing a terrorist scheme they can stop right in the nick of time.

David Bukai, professor of political science at the University of Haifa in Israel asserts that the problem is mainly the Muslim Brotherhood “who took advantage of Egypt and Tunisia.”

Bukai explains that by using manufactured non-violent resistance to topple governments, there is a lack or order and out of this chaos comes al-Qaeda.

In conjunction with the US State Department, the Obama administration has been recruiting Muslims to work for the federal government “as Foreign Service officers representing the United States in one of 265 American embassies, consulates and diplomatic missions worldwide.”

The excuse of this development is to improve relations between the US government and other nations throughout the world.

muslim-american-society-logoAt a Muslim American Society (MAS) and the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) sponsored seminar, Mark Ward, deputy special coordinator in the State Department’s Office of Middle East Transition, spoke to members of groups that have “known ties to radical Islam”.

MAS are a non-profit organization founded in 1993 to reform the Islamic revival. They define jihad as a “divine legal right” of Muslims and are closely tied to the Muslim Brotherhood.

ICNA and MAS have been involved with the Muslim Brotherhood with the MAS having a chapter headquarters in Egypt, as stated by the Investigative Project.

During the manufactured protests over the anti-Muslim film, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), under their National Terror Alert Response Center (NTARC) had issued a threat warning entitled, “Egyptian-Iranian Intelligence Meeting Prompts Fears of a New Middle East Terror Axis.” The DHS have declared the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) as working with Iranian spies. Being a deniable asset, the MB have become what al-Qaeda were 11 years ago – the latest US-created terrorist group who will be the catalyst that propels America into Fascist control.

Obama had members of the MB over for dinner and drinks back in June of this year; as well as sent $1.5 billion in “foreign aid” as a celebratory gift to Morsi’s newly elected government.

Despite much ridicule, Congresswoman Michele Bachmann accused Huma Abedin, aide to Hillary Clinton US Secretary of State, as being an infiltrated spy for the MB. Bachmann says that the US government has been compromised by the MB and Abedin is working for “America’s demise”.

Bachmann, believing that there is an influential Islamic element in the US government, has written requests for information in the MB. This “deep penetration” into the US government was addressed in Bachmann’s speech at the Washington summit of Christians United for Israel, a pro-Zionist group masquerading as an evangelical support for Israel. Bachmann spoke to the audience about the ties between Obama and the Muslim Brotherhood.

Bachmann pointed out that Abedin has “routine access to [Clinton] and policymaking.”

The MB, established in 1928, has had the recent uprisings (such as the Arab Spring) attributed to its movement. These uprisings have set the perfect circumstances for previously unrealized political opportunities.

Through the agendas of the MB, Egyptian politics could more easily be controlled. The MB has only now sent representatives out across the world with the intention of gaining international support.

The MB has also focused their attempts to usurp the political arena in Libya, where they are an important political influence as a vigilant oppositional force to the current regime.

This new alliance between Obama’s foreign policy including the MB, is obviously propaganda to cover the purpose of their presence in Arab nations that just happen to experience uprisings and revolutions that topple their government or force a regime change.

Ken Clarke: Compensation payments fund terrorist groups Compensation paid to terror suspects by the British government has ended up in the hands of terrorist groups, Kenneth Clarke has said.

Ken Clarke: Compensation payments fund terrorist groups

Compensation paid to terror suspects by the British government has ended up in the hands of terrorist groups, Kenneth Clarke has said.

secret, inquests, civil, courts, national security, Clarke
Ken Clarke, the former Justice Secretary Photo: PA
The minister told a Parliamentary committee that it would be “naïve” to think that money given to people who claim to have been mistreated by British security forces has not helped fund extremist causes.
Mr Clarke was explaining Government plans to change the law to allow some terrorist cases to be held in secret.
Mr Clarke told the Joint Committee on Human Rights the government’s changes are needed to allow judges to hear sensitive the evidence against some of the suspects who allege mistreatment by the State.
MI6, the Secret Intelligence Service, has been successfully sued for damages by several people it considers to be terrorists, but who have never been convicted.
Mr Clarke said that such cases only arise because the intelligence against suspects cannot be disclosed in open court without jeopardising confidential sources.
Disclosure of intelligence material could also risk intelligence-sharing deals with allies like the US, the Coalition has said.
Some Conservative and Liberal Democrat backbenchers have said they object to the very principle of secret hearings, which they say are contrary to basic civil liberties.
Mr Clarke insisted that holding so-called “closed material proceedings” would ensure that terror cases are properly handled and mean compensation payments are not needed.
“At the moment, we pay out millions of pounds. It is arguable that quite a lot of these people would not have got those damages if the defence had been called against them,” he said.
He added: “We don’t know where the money goes. You are completely naïve if you don’t think that some of that money has possibly made its way to a terrorist organisation.”
Mr Clarke, the minister without portfolio, insisted that criticism that his secret courts would be unfair were misguided because the current system itself is unfair.
“You can’t say it has been fair justice because there hasn’t been any justice” because judges have not heard all the evidence against suspects, he said. “That’s why we are moving in this difficult area.”
Mr Clarke also mounted a strong attack on the critics of his plans, accusing them of “legalistic hair-splitting” and preferring silence to justice.
The only alternative to secret hearings is the current system of Public Interest Immunity (PII) certificates, under which a judge is asked to exclude from a case altogether evidence which might damage national security.
If a PII is refused, it can result in the authorities conceding defeat and paying out compensation rather than revealing secrets, he said.
“Those who oppose my Bill prefer silence - that the evidence is never taken into consideration. You just pay out and the plaintiff gets his money,” said Mr Clarke.

FEMA's Ugly Superstorm Sandy Policy: No Churches Allowed

FEMA's Ugly Superstorm Sandy Policy: No Churches Allowed

  • paul de vries

It is stunning how policies in a country so blessed by God can turn into programs that severely undermine the good work done in God's name. This latest federal case is so insidious that it takes your breath away. 

The first people to reach out to benefit the communities in a crisis are the local churches and other houses of worship (hereafter: "churches") that are already in those communities. After Superstorm Sandy hit New York City and the metro area, hundreds of local churches came to people's aid. Christian groups from other locations came, too, and added to the ministries of the local churches. When Convoy of Hope from Missouri showed up with 18-wheeler trucks full of food and other aid, our New York Governor Andrew Cuomo also showed up for a photo opportunity, helping unload the treasures of care and hope from generous people in the Midwest. Also, at least 75 chaplaincy students of our New York Divinity School and its affiliate New York State Chaplaincy Task Force devoted thousands of hours, pouring out physical and spiritual help. Many of these student chaplains live in or near the neighborhoods most affected – and were present and ministering long before other helpers showed up. This is a splendid trait of the vibrant local churches.
Our Staten Island chaplaincy supervisor Rev. Daniel Delgado explained it this way: "The church is always here and committed to serve all of humanity. These trained Christian chaplains were able to respond before anyone else, because they were there already, and as Christians in ministry they are committed to help people in need every day. The current Hurricane Sandy aid to victims is a reminder that God often chooses to love people through our ministry. We don't get paid for this; we do this because we love people." Amen, Rev. Delgado. And thank you for all that you and thousands of other divinely inspired men and women do!
The storied FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) has a policy to discriminate only against the local churches – the ones that do the most and were there first – while it benefits everyone else, at our taxpayer largess.
This is an ugly wrinkle in the evolution of our American society that needs to be addressed: the Federal policy that absolutely anyone suffering the effects of a natural disaster may receive grants from FEMA –with the single absurd exception of churches, synagogues, mosques and other houses of worship. This is in spite of the fact that churches do tremendous work benefitting their communities, 365 days every year, as do other non-profit agencies and charities. The tutoring, feeding of the poor, after-school programs, senior-citizen care, emergency preparedness, and other good works are done by both churches and charities, except that the churches also point people to God. And for this positive, divine contribution to society, they are asked to shoulder their own repairs for $100,000s of damages to their buildings, while charities receive generous FEMA grants.
This FEMA anti-church policy is both selective and ugly:
Follow us
  • For decades FEMA has honored the needs of churches, although perhaps on a selective basis. The Stafford Disaster Assistance Law (1988) that guides FEMA prohibited grants to churches, but exceptions are often made. After Hurricane Katrina, churches received (1) grants for repairs and rebuilding as well as (2) grants for the food they distributed and the shelter they provided for all the other victims. I personally helped lead in hurricane relief twice before, and federal assistance for churches was generous then. Now after Superstorm Sandy, both kinds of grants are cut off from churches only.
  • This policy is ugly in four ways, as I will now show, and we ask you to join with us to try to fix FEMA's ugliness.
First, FEMA's policy is ugly because it treats churches as outsiders individuals, families, retail stores, family businesses, manufacturing companies, government agencies, schools, clubs, restaurants, charities – everyone but churches! If the only difference is the churches' devotion to God – that should not make any difference in public policy. After all, it is their God-orientation that empowers the churches in service to all the people in all the communities. And besides, many of those families, stores, schools, companies, clubs and charities are sincerely devoted to God, too. Let FEMA be forewarned: vibrant worship often occurs in homes, offices, factories and restaurants, too.
With the same good reasoning, we believe that churches should be able to rent parts of school facilities on equal basis with all other groups, too – a right still under contention in New York City, my town.
Second, this discrimination against local churches seems to open the door to other risky discrimination. If our devotion to God should keep churches from FEMA grants, what about fire department aid, police protection, and other long-established government services? If these fine benefits to churches continue with tax-payer support, so should FEMA grants. If we deny FEMA protection to churches now, are we starting down a sinister slippery slope?
Third, cutting off the resources of FEMA grants ignores the immensely positive roles the churches have already played after Superstorm Sandy – including the generous giving of tens of millions of dollars ($10,000,000s) of food, shelter and clothing to all who needed help, without discrimination – much of it donated also through church affiliates. Thousands of churches were the trusted conduits of tons of generous gifts from all over America and the world. To not help the churches with damaged buildings in their present need, is literally to say that we do not care if those churches are fully operational for the next emergency. And yet, all lives would be unimaginably worse in the next emergency if the presently damaged church buildings are not there and open, and with good people offering generous help the next time, in the next crisis.
Fourth, blocking FEMA grants to churches is to pretend to be ignorant of the continuing soul care needed by the many and various victims of Superstorm Sandy. The churches are not the building but the people – the men and women, boys and girls, in the damaged areas, who are suffering in so many other ways already. Instead of the additional substantial and even debilitating sacrifice and burden of rebuilding their church buildings, these struggling victims will continue to need the safe sanctuary of repaired churches to seek and find the enduring soul-strength they desire and deserve.
Continuing this FEMA policy is ugly – because it is (1) a senseless discrimination, (2) a step down an insane and sinister slope, (3) a severe penalty for great and generous deeds, present and future, and (4) a mindless undermining of the priceless soul-care needed by a huge variety of Superstorm Sandy victims.
For God's sake, for New York's sake, and for all the people's sake, please join in urging our leaders – in the White House and in Congress – to fix the present vicious ugliness of the FEMA policy – an ugliness so damaging to our New York communities.
Read more at http://www.christianpost.com/news/femas-ugly-superstorm-sandy-policy-no-churches-allowed-89755/#kZlBaAmuRBYpJdes.99







Impeach Obama: A National Imperative

Impeach Obama: A National Imperative

 2  0
Do it now before it’s too late!
America’s Declaration of Independence states:
“(W)hen a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, (it’s the right of the people, it’s) their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”
Straightaway as president, Obama violated his sacred trust. He betrayed his constituents. He’s a serial liar. He broke every major promise made. He serves illegitimately.
He institutionalized tyranny. He’s a war criminal multiple times over. He’s guilty of high crimes and misdemeanors.
He menaces humanity. He’s heading America for WW III. He wants America’s social contract destroyed. He wants millions impoverished, unemployed, left hungry and homeless. He’s beholden to powerful monied interests that own him.
He spurns fundamental civil and human rights. He mocks democratic values. He’s contemptuous of essential needs.
Law Professor Francis Boyle is unequivocal. He told Progressive Radio News Hour listeners he should be impeached. He urged House Republicans to do so.
He’s offering his services pro bono. On December 9, Boyle spoke at the Puerto Rican Summit Conference on Human Rights.
US militarism threatens WW III, he said. A century after earlier imperial aggressions, “neoconservative Republican Bush Junior administration and the neoliberal Democratic Obama administration are now threatening” global war.
He cited his teacher, mentor and friend, Professor Hans Morgenthau. Earlier he warned about “unlimited imperialism.” His seminal book “Politics Among Nations: The Struggle for Power and Peace” discussed it.
His cardinal tenet was darkly Hobbesian. He said international law and world organizations are “irrelevant” in conflicts of national interest between nations. Ignore “reality” and perish, he stressed.
Imperial priorities are disastrous. They destroy societies and human life. They make it “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short.”
No law or justice exists, no sense of right or wrong, no morality. Imperial madness prioritizes war. Absolute power is sought no holds barred.
Boyle cited the US Army Field Manual (FM) 27-10 – The Law of Land Warfare. Paragraph 498 says any person, military or civilian, who commits a crime under international law is responsible for it and may be punished.
Paragraph 499 defines a war crime. Paragraph 500 refers to a conspiracy, attempts to commit it, and complicity with respect to international crimes.
Paragraph 501 says all high level civilian and military officials in any way involved in crimes against peace are personally responsible for war crimes.
Paragraph 509 denies the defense of superior orders in the commission of a crime. Paragraph 510 denies the defense of an “act of state” to absolve them.
Obama, other high administration officials, and their subordinates “are responsible for the commission of crimes against peace,” said Boyle.
The Nuremberg Charter, Judgment, and Principles, other international laws, and FM 27-10 define them.
In “international legal terms,” said Boyle, “the United States government” is guilty of “serial wars of aggression, crimes against peace, crimes against humanity, and war crimes that are legally akin to those perpetrated by the former Nazi regime in Germany.”
US citizens are constitutionally empowered to resist, says Boyle. They’re entitled to challenge their own government. They should “prevent, impede, thwart, or terminate (its) ongoing criminal activities….”
“Today’s civil resisters are the sheriffs! The US government officials are the outlaws!”
They “disobeyed fundamental principles of international law as well as US criminal law, and thus committed international crimes and US domestic crimes as well as impeachable violations of the United States Constitution.”
“The American people must insist upon the impeachment, dismissal, resignation, indictment, conviction, and long-term incarceration of all US government officials guilty of such heinous international and domestic crimes.”
Fundamental rule of law principles apply to all US military and civilian personnel. They include top commanders, the Secretary of Defense, his subordinates, CIA and other intelligence officials, as well as the president and vice president of the United States.
No one is exempt. Rule of law principles are inviolable. Imperial aggression is lawless. So is extrajudicial killing, torture, and other high crimes.
No president should be allowed to get away with them, says Boyle. Lawbreaking demands accountability. Doing so invites intolerable consequences. Disaster awaits.
We the People must act. Institutionalized tyranny approaches. It’s a hair’s breath away. Freedom’s on the chopping block for elimination. Humanity may not survive Obama’s second term.
Articles of impeachment are essential. Growing calls say so. In August 2011, Veterans for Peace (VFP) urged it. Waging illegal direct and proxy wars were cited.
“Therefore Be It Resolved,” said VFP, “that Veterans For Peace call on the US House of Representatives to immediately begin impeachment proceedings against President Barack H. Obama for failure to uphold his sworn oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States of America from all enemies foreign and domestic, and for his commission of war crimes, crimes against humanity, obstruction of justice and the violation of numerous national and international laws, treaties and conventions.
Impeach Obama Campaign.com has a White House Watch page. It urges readers to support impeachment.
Another page headlines “NEW ARTICLES OF IMPEACHMENT.” It states:
RESOLVED, That Barack Hussein Obama, President of the United States, is impeached for high crimes and misdemeanors, and that the following article of impeachment to be exhibited to the Senate:
Other detailed information followed. Obama violated his oath of office. It mandates he “preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States.”
He “mock(s) the rule of law.” He “unilaterally” commits aggression. He “endanger(s) the very existence of the Republic” and freedom. He’s guilty of “impeachable high crime(s) and misdemeanor(s).”
The UN Charter explains conditions under which waging war is justified.
Article 2(3) and Article 33(1) require peaceful settlement of international disputes. Article 2(4) prohibits force or its threatened use.
Article 51 allows the “right of individual or collective self-defense if an armed attack occurs against a Member….until the Security Council has taken measures to maintain international peace and security.”
Justifiable self-defense is permissible. Articles 2(3), 2(4), and 33 prohibit unilaterally threatening use of force not:
specifically allowed under Article 51;
authorized by the Security Council; and
permitted by constitutional and US statute law provisions.
Three General Assembly resolutions prohibit non-consensual belligerence:
the 1965 Declaration on the Inadmissibility of Intervention in the Domestic Affairs of States and the Protection of Their Independence and Sovereignty;
the 1970 Declaration on Principles of International Law Concerning Friendly Relations and Cooperation among States in Accordance with the Charter of the United Nations; and
the 1974 Definition of Aggression.
Nuremberg Tribunal’s Justice Robert Jackson called aggressive war “the supreme international crime against peace.” Guilty Nazi war criminals were hanged.
The Constitution’s Article 1, Section 8 lets Congress alone declare war. December 8, 1941 was the last time. Subsequent wars were illegal. Responsible officials were and are war criminals.
The 1973 War Powers Resolution (WPR) limits presidential warmaking powers. It requires consulting with Congress before authorizing troop deployments for extended periods.
Section 4(a)(1) requires presidents to inform Congress within 48 hours about deploying troops to areas of ongoing or imminent hostilities.
He must explain why they’re sent, constitutional or legislative authority for doing so, estimated duration of involvement, and whatever other information Congress requests.
Section 5(b) mandates withdrawal within 60 days plus an additional 30 exit period unless Congress extends the time frame for another 30 days, declares war, or unavoidable circumstances require more time. Unlimited amounts are prohibited.
One exception applies. As commander-in-chief, presidents may introduce US forces unilaterally into conflict areas in case of a national emergency if America, its territories, possessions, or military is attacked.
Under all circumstances, Congress must be kept fully informed. It has final say. Since passage, presidents exceeded their constitutional and WPR authority.
All US wars are illegal. Congress violates its own mandate. Accountability is null and void.
The Constitution’s Article 2, Section 4 states:
“The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.”
In 1793, George Washington said:
“The Constitution vests the power of declaring war with Congress, therefore no offensive expedition of importance can be undertaken until after they have deliberated upon the subject, and authorized such a measure.”
In 1805, Thomas Jefferson said:
“Congress alone is constitutionally invested with the power of changing our condition from peace to war.” Warmaking is “exclusively (for Congress) to yield or deny.”
Thomas Paine said:
“In America, the law is king. For as in absolute governments the king is law, so in free countries the law ought to be king, and there ought to be no others.”
John Jay was America’s first Supreme Court chief justice. He said:
“(A)bsolute monarchs will often make war when their nations are to get nothing by it, but for the purposes and objects merely personal, such as thirst for military glory, revenge for personal affronts, ambition, or private compacts to aggrandize or support their particular families or partisans.”
“These and a variety of other motives, which affect only the mind of the sovereign, often lead him to engage in wars not sanctified by justice or the voice and interests of his people.”
Alexander Hamilton called impeachable offenses those “which proceed from the misconduct of public men, or in other words, from the violation or abuse of some public trust. They are of a nature which with peculiar propriety may be denominated political, as they relate chiefly to injuries done to society itself.”
James Madison said:
“Of all the enemies of public liberty, war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded, because it comprises and develops the germ of every other.”
“War is the true nurse of executive aggrandizement. No nation (can) preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare.”
“In no part of the Constitution is more wisdom to be found, than in the clause which confides the question of war or peace to the legislature, and not to the executive department.”
In 1974, the House Judiciary Committee voted three articles of impeachment against Richard Nixon. They charged actions “subversive of constitutional government.”
Obama exceeds the worst of all previous presidents. He’s guilty of multiple high crimes and misdemeanors. Holding him accountable is essential. Do it now before it’s too late. Humanity may not get a second chance.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.
His new book is titled “Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity.”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.