Is a New American Reichstag in the Works?

By Luis R. Miranda
The Real Agenda
August 17, 2011

That is what chatter coming from the United States government seems to suggest. A few weeks ago, we reported on how a video from the Department of Homeland Security(DHS) incited fear of ‘white Al-Qaeda’ terrorists and just a day after publication, Anders Breivik blew up a government building in Oslo, Norway.

The U.S. government is preaching the idea that a new Oklahoma City style attack is coming.

Since Oslo, the very same Department of Homeland Security has put out a new Public Service Announcement where they go at it again. The white American is the threat. Somehow the U.S. Government found a way to move the threat from Islamic fundamentalists to Americans who support Constitutionalism.

In the new ad, DHS presents new ‘white faces’ while calling for a high state of vigilance from the part of the citizenry to report any ‘suspicious’ or ‘out of the ordinary’ activity. As in previous occasions, no clear definition of ‘suspicious’ or ‘out of the ordinary’ is given. This technique, as we reported before, is a psychological operation to instigate fear and distrust on the public so that they not only accept the government’s message of fear, but also turn against their neighbors and family members and tattle tale about their questioning of government policies.

Back in the days of the infamous Nazi party, Adolf Hitler used the false threat of a foreign force planning to attack Germany in order to push the public to accept his insane power grab, that ended in the death of Jews, Christians, and any other members of groups that opposed his policies. Hitler only failed on his attempt to take over Europe and the world, because his handlers had already achieved their goal to ramp up the war movement by playing Hitler against other military forces.

The threat of a ‘lone wolf’ style terror attack in the United States then is the solution to save the drastically faded Obama presidency. If you think this is insane, take a look at this article on the Financial Times of London, where Robert Shapiro, a former White House aide to Bill Clinton suggested that barring a terror attack, the Obama administration was doomed. We must add to this Barack Obama’s own assessment which included his thought that the United States could absorb another terror attack of the size of 9/11.

Yesterday, Barack Obama came out to reinforce even more the supposed threat of homegrown terrorism during an interview on CNN. While responding to a comment from Wolf Blitzer, Obama identified the possibility that a single person could cause a major terror attack. “We are vigilant and constantly monitoring the threat of a terrorist attack… The risk is always there… The risk we are concerned now is the ‘lone wolf’ threat, a single person with a weapon, someone being able to carry out the type of massacre we saw in Norway recently.” Of course, it has been proven that Anders Breivik did not act alone. In fact, even main stream media reports confirm that Breivik called police several times to turn himself in before the attacks.

A couple of days ago, New York Times writer Paul Krugman came out and suggested the United States would benefit greatly if a new threat such as the invasion of aliens happened because it would allow the government to launch wars and therefore revive the economy. This train of thought would be funny if it wasn’t because what Krugman suggested was exactly the agenda carried out in World Wars I and II. Upon the evident economic crisis, the Globalists decided to play nations against nations in order to spur manufacturing of war machinery, create jobs within the military industrial complex and start fresh again after the wars were over. But at what human cost?

What does the new DHS Ad say?

Picking up where they left off a few weeks ago, the Department of Homeland Security headed by Secretary Janet Napolitano, continues its fear mongering campaign to get people to accept the next big terrorist attack and the Police State measures that will stem from it.

In the video, DHS shows a white young man driving a cab. He stops by what seems to be a bus or train station, opens the trunk of the cab and activates what appears to be an explosive device. At the same time, two passengers inside the station see a suspicious looking woman walking inside the station as she flies by them. And guess what, she’s white, too. A white man who observes the white taxi driver walking away from the cab is then shown talking to a police officer in a supposed attempt to denounce the suspicious activity.

What can we get from this? When looked at it in more than one dimension, it is clear that once again the DHS intends to portray whites as dangerous, especially white middle class people. In order to understand this trick, one needs to connect the ad to the current financial situation, where mostly middle class and the poor (taxi drivers and public transportation users) are being robbed of their future. Everywhere in the world, it is the middle and poor class the ones rising up against the Globalist attempt to further consolidate economic and military power. After Anders Breivik allegedly attacked the federal building in Oslo, authorities beefed up security in the capital and other cities in Norway. After the last riots in London, in another Problem, Reaction, Solution scheme, a crowd of criminals attacked local businesses and homes. The British government decided to use face recognition technology on the streets to scan and store imagery from anyone who “may be or act suspicious”. Previous to the attacks, police stood down and let the looters do whatever they wanted and now they want to scan everyone’s faces.

Back in the United States the corporate prostitute media continues to eco Obama’s speech about the threat of a ‘lone wolf’ attack. On Tuesday, CBS News said the next attack would not come from Islamic terrorists, but from a member of the “Sovereign Citizen” movement in the United States, that is everyone calling for the end of the Federal Reserve, the end of the wars, the reactivation of the economy, the adoption of sound fiscal and monetary policies and the end of interventionism and empire building. Going by the recent polls, this group of people now labeled as “dangerous” by the federal government, includes a powerful minority who is armed and ready to defend their rights to speak freely, own and carry weapons to protect themselves and their families from rising crime, public protest against insane government policies and anyone who supports Ron Paul and anyone and anything that smells like Constitutionalism.

Naturally, the government knows that it does not take a majority to get the government back to the people, but a really well-educated and armed minority to eject the current invaders who occupy the United States of America, or for that matter every other country in the western world. That is why the government continues to move initiatives to discretely ban the second amendment carrying out stings in gun shows and invading private property to look for legally held fire arms. Obama himself is an “in the closet” gun grabber. So are Rick Perry and Mitt Romney. In April, the newspaper the Star-Tribune reported that the Federal Bureau of Investigation is spying on citizens in Wyoming to keep tabs on their use of fire arms. FBI agent Kathy Wright said that “the bureau has kept an eye on the movement because some sovereigns have taken the logical step from belief in the illegitimacy of the current system to acting violently against it.”

What could come from a situation where a disarmed society is unable to protect itself from crime and the abuses of government? Ask relatives of people who survived the Nazi atrocities, ask the people of Oklahoma City, the people from Virginia Tech, from New York, and more recently from Norway. What could stem from an educated society that freely carries fire arms to defend itself? Ask the citizens of Switzerland and Texas.

The Year Bilderberg was Exposed Worldwide

Detractors of the secretive roundtable group saw one of their biggest wishes come true in St. Moritz, Switzerland

by Alex Newman
The New American
June 13, 2011

The amount of publicity garnered by the secretive Bilderberg conference this year in St. Moritz, Switzerland, far surpassed the coverage afforded to past gatherings of the elite cabal, with major media outlets and international news wires finally reporting on the yearly event after refusing to do so for over five decades. Protests, the alternative media, and anti-Bilderberg politicians played an important role in spreading the news.

Bilderberg, named after the Dutch hotel where members first met in 1954, brings together some of the most influential figures on Earth. More than 120 top-level officials in government, banking, media, finance, business, think-tanks, armed forces, and even European royalty attend the confab every year.

Among the confirmed 2011 European and Canadian attendees were the British Chancellor of the Exchequer (“in his official capacity,” according to the Treasury), the President of the European Central Bank, the head of Canada’s central bank, the queens of the Netherlands and Spain, the Crown Prince of Norway, a representative of the unimaginably vast Rothschild banking empire, finance ministers, heads of state, and many more.

A reporter on the scene for the U.K. Guardian said there were also individuals in attendance who were not on the official list — a regular occurrence discovered almost every year. Among them were German Chancellor Angela Merkel, NATO Secretary-General Anders Rasmussen, and Socialist Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero of Spain. Microsoft founder and multi-billionaire Bill Gates was reportedly spotted as well.

A handful of non-Westerners also attended, including Turkish business moguls and members of the political class in Turkey. A senior representative of the brutal Communist dictatorship ruling mainland China was there as well. So was a Russian oligarch.

More than two dozen prominent members of the American elite attended, too. An especially interesting cadre at the 2011 event included some of the masters of the internet world: The co-founder of Facebook; the executive chairman of Google; the co-founder and executive chairman of LinkedIn; the founder and CEO of Amazon.com; the commander of the American military’s “cyber command” (or USCYBERCOM); Microsoft’s Chief Research and Strategy Officer; and others.

Representatives of the non-digital American elite were out in force as well. Among them were former Ghaddafi adviser and Bush-era neo-con extraordinaire Richard Perle; billionaire David Rockefeller, who openly boasted in his autobiography of conspiring to erect a global political and economic system; Robert Rubin, former Treasury Secretary and current co-chairman of the immensely powerful, world-government-promoting Council on Foreign Relations; the vice-chairman of Citigroup; TV personality Charlie Rose; former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, who frequently and publicly calls for what he refers to as a “New World Order”; the president of the World Bank; and others.

Top officials in the Obama administration were also there including — quite ironically — the Assistant Attorney General for Antitrust. Deputy Secretary of State James Steinberg and Director of the National Security Agency (NSA) Keith Alexander were also on the official list, as were former Federal Reserve and military chiefs. Not on the public list but spotted at the conference, according to unconfirmed reports from correspondents in St. Moritz, was Secretary of Defense Robert Gates.

By any objective standard, a meeting of over 120 of the world’s most powerful individuals would seem to be extraordinarily newsworthy. But until recently, the confab rarely attracted even a passing mention in the establishment press. The eerie silence fueled deep suspicion and innumerable theories about what the group may be plotting in secret. This year, however, was different,  at least in terms of media coverage.

In a story picked up by numerous large-circulation U.S. newspapers including the Washington Post, for example, the Associated Press wire service described the June 9-12 event as a “secretive gathering of senior government officials and business executives … that some liken to a shadow world government.” CNBC, Forbes, Fox News, the Baltimore Sun, Time magazine and others also ran stories about Bilderberg.

In China, the media were buzzing with news of the conference, too. One Chinese-language report by the French wire service AFP referred to the group as the “mysterious world shadow government” in a headline, according to Google Translate. Chinese media behemoth United Daily News ran a similar headline for another Bilderberg article.

European and Russian news outlets offered unprecedented levels of coverage as well, with the Guardian newspaper and the TV network Russia Today both sending correspondents to the scene. Several alternative-media outlets including the American Free Press and InfoWars sent reporters, too. And the Swiss press in particular has been overflowing with reports on Bilderberg for over a week.

Analysts speculated that the so-called “mainstream media” establishment — which is rapidly losing its market share as news consumers increasingly turn to alternative sources — was essentially forced to cover the conference in an attempt to salvage what remains of its credibility. But despite the increased attention, in one segment of the establishment press, news of the event was conspicuously missing.

Among the confirmed 2011 Bilderberg attendees were representatives of more than a few major media firms: the editor-in-chief and two correspondents of the Economist magazine; the chief international correspondent of Germany’s Die Zeit newspaper; the editor-in-chief of Helsingin Sanomat, Scandinavia’s largest daily subscription publication; a political columnist for the Dutch paper NRC Handelsblad; the CEO of Portuguese media giant Impresa; and more. None of those “news” outlets had covered the Bilderberg conference by press time on June 12.

There was, however, at least one notable exception. The CEO and publisher of Standard Medien AG, an Austrian media conglomerate, was also among those present at the Bilderberg summit. And one of his firm’s online portals, derstandard.at, reported the fact that Austria’s head of government, Federal Chancellor Werner Faymann, was in attendance.

A rival political party was apparently upset about the nation‘s Chancellor attending the meeting, even demanding an “intelligence” report about the conference from Faymann upon his return. So, not covering the growing scandal might have been raised serious questions about the integrity of Standard Medien among Austrian news consumers.

But even with the burgeoning Bilderberg coverage, critics still complained that the amount of media surrounding the conference was insufficient — especially considering the magnitude of the news. Other analysts noted that much of the “mainstream” coverage focused on downplaying the significance of the event or attempting to demonize critics.

But progress is certainly being made. While it would be impossible to calculate exactly how many people around the globe learned of Bilderberg’s existence over the past week, it’s safe to assume the number is in the millions — possibly tens or even hundreds of millions.

In recent years, authors, researchers, and the so-called “alternative media” have increasingly been spreading information and news about the cabal through the Internet. And not even including the new-found press coverage, the online exposure appears to have dramatically increased awareness about the confab.

Hundreds of protesters and critics from all across the political spectrum descended on St. Moritz to lambaste the elite attendees. They held up anti-Bilderberg signs and blasted their opposition through bull horns around the perimeter of the luxury Suvretta House hotel throughout the whole four-day gathering.

On the first day of the conference, along with a bogus “bomb” scare, a giant wall of curtains was erected around the edge of the Bilderberg compound. Presumably it was designed to keep protesters from looking in and conference attendees from being forced to see the growing crowd outside.

But at one point, angry protesters did get a chance to shout at some heavily guarded members of the elite in a face-to-face confrontation. During a “nature walk” outside the hotel, one activist even had a brief exchange with Thomas Enders, the CEO of Airbus. “We are just making our agendas,” Enders responded to a question about what was being discussed behind closed doors with politicians. “I don’t have to tell you, and you don’t need to know,” he arrogantly explained with a smile on his face.

Several lower-ranking members of the political class made a fuss about the event as well. Italian member of the European Parliament Mario Borghezio, for example, attempted to force his way into the conference on the first day. He was reportedly detained and roughed up by police, prompting the Italian embassy in Switzerland to demand answers.

Prominent Swiss politicians were furious about the gathering, too. Center-right Parliamentarian Dominique Baettig of the nation’s largest political party, for example, asked prosecutors to consider arresting attendees such as former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger for war crimes, suggesting that Swiss officials at the event should be charged with treason. Baettig, too, tried unsuccessfully to barge in on the conference in what the Guardian‘s Charlie Skelton called a “historic moment.”

Some Bilderberg opponents have also suggested arresting U.S. attendees, citing the Logan Act. That law prohibits Americans from negotiating policy with foreign officials.

Regular Bilderberg attendee and former International Monetary Fund (IMF) boss Dominique Strauss-Kahn, another socialist, was recently arrested in New York on unrelated sex charges. But calls to prosecute various Bilderbergers for a wide range of criminal offenses are only growing louder.

Critics of the confab are, of course, routinely derided as conspiracy “theorists” or worse by establishment apologists. The government-funded BBC recently ran a vicious smear piece against people suspicious of Bilderberg, trying to link opposition to secret meetings of global policy makers with anti-Semitism and other unsavory associations.

But leaks and public statements by attendees over the years — reported on by the BBC, ironically — reveal that the cabal was instrumental in more than a few world-changing occurrences. The continental super-state known as the European Union and the failing regional “euro” currency, for example, are just a few of the developments in recent decades attributed to Bilderberg.

Anecdotal evidence also suggests the group plays an important part in the seemingly unexplainable rise to power of national leaders. Bill Clinton, for example, attended the conference in 1991 as a virtually unknown state governor. The following year he became President. Then-presidential candidate Barack Obama was reportedly there in 2008. British Prime Minster David Cameron and former PM Tony Blair both went to Bilderberg before rising to the top as well. So did a multitude of global power brokers too long to list.

Due to the tight secrecy, speculation about what may have been on the 2011 agenda is, as always, running rampant. But a press release posted on the relatively new “official” Bilderberg website cited by the AP and others offered some generalities about the topics of discussion: the euro, challenges for the EU, social networking, “security issues,” the Middle East, “demographic challenges,” China, and more. In 2007, “The New World Order” was the top item on the agenda.

“What is unique about Bilderberg as a forum is the broad cross-section of leading citizens that are assembled for nearly three days of informal and off-the-record discussion,” the group’s public statement notes, claiming that the “privacy of the meetings … has no purpose other than to allow  participants to speak their minds openly and freely.” Critics of the shadowy cabal, however, still aren’t buying it.

Swiss Parliamentarians to Force Way Into Bilderberg

By Kurt Nimmo
Infowars.com
June 10, 2011

Dominic Schreiber of We Are Change in Switzerland appeared on the Alex Jones Show today and said a number of Swiss MPS are moving forward with an effort to have Bilderberg member and war criminal Henry Kissinger and others arrested.

On June 6, Paul Joseph Watson reported on Dominique Baettig’s call on Swiss federal authorities to apprehend the former U.S. Secretary of State.

Schreiber said a Jura representative Dominique Baettig and members of Swiss National Council are calling for the arrest of conference participants who are internationally wanted for war crimes, including George W. Bush, Henry Kissinger, Dick Cheney, and Richard Perle.

In February, Bush cancelled a trip to Switzerland due demands for his arrest over the treatment of prisoners at Guantánamo Bay and other war crimes.

Baettig and Canton leaders are demanding access to the Bilderberg meeting and plan to confront the globalist group within the hour.

Kissinger and Perle are regular Bilderberg attendees. The Infowars team now present in St. Moritz spotted the infamous neocon Perle earlier this week.

Swiss politician Lukas Reimann went on Alex’s show and said the Swiss People’s Party opposes the IMF, the World Bank, and the Bilderberg Group. Reimann plans to march to the gates of Bilderberg with Baettig and other Canton leaders.

Dominique Baettig’s letter in Swiss German follows:

Thanks to the fantastic work of Bilderberg activists, journalists and the Swiss media, we have now been able to obtain the full official list of 2011 Bilderberg attendees. Routinely, some members request that their names be kept off the roster so there will be additional Bilderbergers in attendance.

Infowars will be on the scene identifying other attendees not on the list.

Belgium

Coene, Luc, Governor, National Bank of Belgium
Davignon, Etienne, Minister of State
Leysen, Thomas, Chairman, Umicore

China

Fu, Ying, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs
Huang, Yiping, Professor of Economics, China Center for Economic Research, Peking University

Denmark

  • Eldrup, Anders, CEO, DONG Energy
  • Federspiel, Ulrik, Vice President, Global Affairs, Haldor Topsøe A/S
  • Schütze, Peter, Member of the Executive Management, Nordea Bank ABGermany
    Ackermann, Josef, Chairman of the Management Board and the Group Executive Committee, Deutsche Bank
    Enders, Thomas, CEO, Airbus SAS
    Löscher, Peter, President and CEO, Siemens AG
    Nass, Matthias, Chief International Correspondent, Die Zeit
    Steinbrück, Peer, Member of the Bundestag; Former Minister of Finance
  • Finland
    Apunen, Matti, Director, Finnish Business and Policy Forum EVA
    Johansson, Ole, Chairman, Confederation of the Finnish Industries EK
    Ollila, Jorma, Chairman, Royal Dutch Shell
    Pentikäinen, Mikael, Publisher and Senior Editor-in-Chief, Helsingin Sanomat

    France
    Baverez, Nicolas, Partner, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP
    Bazire, Nicolas, Managing Director, Groupe Arnault /LVMH
    Castries, Henri de, Chairman and CEO, AXA
    Lévy, Maurice, Chairman and CEO, Publicis Groupe S.A.
    Montbrial, Thierry de, President, French Institute for International Relations
    Roy, Olivier, Professor of Social and Political Theory, European University Institute

    Great Britain
    Agius, Marcus, Chairman, Barclays PLC
    Flint, Douglas J., Group Chairman, HSBC Holdings
    Kerr, John, Member, House of Lords; Deputy Chairman, Royal Dutch Shell
    Lambert, Richard, Independent Non-Executive Director, Ernst & Young
    Mandelson, Peter, Member, House of Lords; Chairman, Global Counsel
    Micklethwait, John, Editor-in-Chief, The Economist
    Osborne, George, Chancellor of the Exchequer
    Stewart, Rory, Member of Parliament
    Taylor, J. Martin, Chairman, Syngenta International AG

  • Greece
    David, George A., Chairman, Coca-Cola H.B.C. S.A.
    Hardouvelis, Gikas A., Chief Economist and Head of Research, Eurobank EFG
    Papaconstantinou, George, Minister of Finance
    Tsoukalis, Loukas, President, ELIAMEP Grisons

    International Organizations
    Almunia, Joaquín, Vice President, European Commission
    Daele, Frans van, Chief of Staff to the President of the European Council
    Kroes, Neelie, Vice President, European Commission; Commissioner for Digital Agenda
    Lamy, Pascal, Director General, World Trade Organization
    Rompuy, Herman van, President, European Council
    Sheeran, Josette, Executive Director, United Nations World Food Programme
    Solana Madariaga, Javier, President, ESADEgeo Center for Global Economy and Geopolitics
    Trichet, Jean-Claude, President, European Central Bank
    Zoellick, Robert B., President, The World Bank Group

    Ireland

  • Gallagher, Paul, Senior Counsel; Former Attorney General
    McDowell, Michael, Senior Counsel, Law Library; Former Deputy Prime Minister
    Sutherland, Peter D., Chairman, Goldman Sachs International

    Italy
    Bernabè, Franco, CEO, Telecom Italia SpA
    Elkann, John, Chairman, Fiat S.p.A.
    Monti, Mario, President, Univers Commerciale Luigi Bocconi
    Scaroni, Paolo, CEO, Eni S.p.A.
    Tremonti, Giulio, Minister of Economy and Finance

  • Canada
    Carney, Mark J., Governor, Bank of Canada
    Clark, Edmund, President and CEO, TD Bank Financial Group
    McKenna, Frank, Deputy Chair, TD Bank Financial Group
  • Orbinksi, James, Professor of Medicine and Political Science, University of Toronto
    Prichard, J. Robert S., Chair, Torys LLP
    Reisman, Heather, Chair and CEO, Indigo Books & Music Inc. Center, Brookings Institution
  • Netherlands
    Bolland, Marc J., Chief Executive, Marks and Spencer Group plc
    Chavannes, Marc E., Political Columnist, NRC Handelsblad; Professor of Journalism
    Halberstadt, Victor, Professor of Economics, Leiden University; Former Honorary Secretary General of Bilderberg Meetings
    H.M. the Queen of the Netherlands
    Rosenthal, Uri, Minister of Foreign Affairs
    Winter, Jaap W., Partner, De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek

    Norway
    Myklebust, Egil, Former Chairman of the Board of Directors SAS, sk Hydro ASA
    H.R.H. Crown Prince Haakon of Norway
    Ottersen, Ole Petter, Rector, University of Oslo
    Solberg, Erna, Leader of the Conservative Party

  • Austria
    Bronner, Oscar, CEO and Publisher, Standard Medien AG
    Faymann, Werner, Federal Chancellor
    Rothensteiner, Walter, Chairman of the Board, Raiffeisen Zentralbank Österreich AG
    Scholten, Rudolf, Member of the Board of Executive Directors, Oesterreichische Kontrollbank AG

    Portugal
    Balsemão, Francisco Pinto, Chairman and CEO, IMPRESA, S.G.P.S.; Former Prime Minister
    Ferreira Alves, Clara, CEO, Claref LDA; writer
    Nogueira Leite, António, Member of the Board, José de Mello Investimentos, SGPS, SA

    Sweden
    Mordashov, Alexey A., CEO, Severstal

  • Schweden
    Bildt, Carl, Minister of Foreign Affairs
    Björling, Ewa, Minister for Trade
    Wallenberg, Jacob, Chairman, Investor AB
  • Switzerland
    Brabeck-Letmathe, Peter, Chairman, Nestlé S.A.
    Groth, Hans, Senior Director, Healthcare Policy & Market Access, Oncology Business Unit, Pfizer Europe
    Janom Steiner, Barbara, Head of the Department of Justice, Security and Health, Canton
    Kudelski, André, Chairman and CEO, Kudelski Group SA
    Leuthard, Doris, Federal Councillor
    Schmid, Martin, President, Government of the Canton Grisons
    Schweiger, Rolf, Ständerat
    Soiron, Rolf, Chairman of the Board, Holcim Ltd., Lonza Ltd.
    Vasella, Daniel L., Chairman, Novartis AG
    Witmer, Jürg, Chairman, Givaudan SA and Clariant AG
  • Spain
    Cebrián, Juan Luis, CEO, PRISA
    Cospedal, María Dolores de, Secretary General, Partido Popular
    León Gross, Bernardino, Secretary General of the Spanish Presidency
    Nin Génova, Juan María, President and CEO, La Caixa
    H.M. Queen Sofia of Spain
  • Turkey
    Ciliv, Süreyya, CEO, Turkcell Iletisim Hizmetleri A.S.
    Gülek Domac, Tayyibe, Former Minister of State
    Koç, Mustafa V., Chairman, Koç Holding A.S.
    Pekin, Sefika, Founding Partner, Pekin & Bayar Law Firm

    USA
    Alexander, Keith B., Commander, USCYBERCOM; Director, National Security Agency
    Altman, Roger C., Chairman, Evercore Partners Inc.
    Bezos, Jeff, Founder and CEO, Amazon.com
    Collins, Timothy C., CEO, Ripplewood Holdings, LLC
    Feldstein, Martin S., George F. Baker Professor of Economics, Harvard University
    Hoffman, Reid, Co-founder and Executive Chairman, LinkedIn
    Hughes, Chris R., Co-founder, Facebook
    Jacobs, Kenneth M., Chairman & CEO, Lazard
    Johnson, James A., Vice Chairman, Perseus, LLC
    Jordan, Jr., Vernon E., Senior Managing Director, Lazard Frères & Co. LLC
    Keane, John M., Senior Partner, SCP Partners; General, US Army, Retired
    Kissinger, Henry A., Chairman, Kissinger Associates, Inc.
    Kleinfeld, Klaus, Chairman and CEO, Alcoa
    Kravis, Henry R., Co-Chairman and co-CEO, Kohlberg Kravis, Roberts & Co.
    Kravis, Marie-Josée, Senior Fellow, Hudson Institute, Inc.
    Li, Cheng, Senior Fellow and Director of Research, John L. Thornton China Center, Brookings Institution
    Mundie, Craig J., Chief Research and Strategy Officer, Microsoft Corporation
    Orszag, Peter R., Vice Chairman, Citigroup Global Markets, Inc.
    Perle, Richard N., Resident Fellow, American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
    Rockefeller, David, Former Chairman, Chase Manhattan Bank
    Rose, Charlie, Executive Editor and Anchor, Charlie Rose
    Rubin, Robert E., Co-Chairman, Council on Foreign Relations; Former Secretary of the Treasury
    Schmidt, Eric, Executive Chairman, Google Inc.
    Steinberg, James B., Deputy Secretary of State
    Thiel, Peter A., President, Clarium Capital Management, LLC
    Varney, Christine A., Assistant Attorney General for Antitrust
    Vaupel, James W., Founding Director, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research
    Warsh, Kevin, Former Governor, Federal Reserve Board
    Wolfensohn, James D., Chairman, Wolfensohn & Company, LLC

Internet Police: The ACTA Copyright Treaty

GIGAOM

After years of secrecy, the eighth round of talks aimed at drafting an international treaty called the Anti-Counterfeiting Tradeinternet policeAgreement (ACTA) recently concluded in New Zealand — and in the face of public pressure, a version of the text was subsequently made available to the public. The ACTA is neither a trade agreement nor one focused primarily on counterfeiting, but a copyright deal featuring provisions on Internet service provider and Internet company liability, DMCA-style notice and takedown requirements, legal protection for digital locks, and requirements for statutory damages that could result in millions in liability for non-commercial infringement — even heightened searches at border crossings.

Ever since the ACTA partners — among them the U.S., E.U., Canada, Japan, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, Morocco and Singapore — announced negotiations plans in October 2007, ACTA has been dogged by controversy over a near-total lack of transparency. Early talks were held in secret locations with each participating country offering virtually identical, cryptic press releases that did little more than fuel public concern. Now that the ACTA text is public, some might wonder whether there’s still cause for concern. Indeed, given widespread support for measures that target genuine commercial counterfeiting, some might believe it’s time to actively support ACTA.

It’s not — at least not this version.

Still secret

From a transparency perspective, the text release still feels like the exception to the general secrecy rule. The ACTA governments have revealed that the next round of negotiations will take place in Switzerland in June, but currently refuse to provide a specific location or dates. Moreover, the official release scrubbed all references to country positions (such information was available in a previously leaked version), so as to U.S. government claims that ACTA is fully consistent with current U.S. law, at this point we have to take their word for it.

Different region, different rules

Of even greater concern are the provisions themselves. Because of the large number of substantive rules and the differences in domestic law among the ACTA countries, fears about specific provisions vary from region to region. In the U.S., ACTA might means the rules for obtaining injunctions would have to be changed, removing some of the balancing safeguards that currently exist. In Europe, ACTA’s privacy implications have generated concern from data protection authorities and the prospect of mandatory statutory damages, which has led to the multimillion-dollar file-sharing lawsuits in the U.S., would represent a major change in the law there.

Virtually every member country would have to amend its own rules and regulations: Japan would have to change its laws to require ISP policies on allegations of subscriber infringement, Australia would need anti-camcording rules, New Zealand would have to change its anti-circumvention rules and Canada would be forced to adopt a notice-and-takedown system similar to the one found in the U.S. Of course, the many countries excluded from the ACTA talks — including China, Brazil and India — would likely face pressure to conform to ACTA standards and if they complied, even more dramatic changes.

Behind closed doors

Beyond the fundamental reshaping of intellectual property law on a global scale, ACTA is also reframing how those laws are made. The alphabet soup of international organizations typically responsible for such issues — WTO, WIPO, WHO, UNCITRAL, UNIDROIT, UNCTAD, OECD –- are all far more open, transparent and inclusive than ACTA.

More…

Illegal drug money saved banks during global finance disaster

NaturalNews.com

Billions of dollars from the illegal drug business was the only thing that kept the global financial system from collapsing at the height of the banking crisis just over a year ago, according to the head of the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime.

“In many instances, the money from drugs was the only liquid investment capital,” Antonio Maria Costa said. “In the second half of 2008, liquidity was the banking system’s main problem and hence liquid capital became an important factor.”

“That was the moment when the system was basically paralyzed because of the unwillingness of banks to lend money to one another.”

According to the International Monetary Fund, banks in the United States and Europe lost more than $1 trillion between January 2007 and September 2009 due to bad loans and “toxic assets,” or investments whose value fell so drastically that they could no longer be sold for a satisfactory price. This led to the failure, government takeover or forced acquisition of many financial institutions.

Costa said his office has seen evidence that $352 billion from the illegal drug trade was funneled to banks at this time, keeping them afloat.

“Inter-bank loans were funded by money that originated from the drugs trade and other illegal activities,” Costa said.

“There were signs that some banks were rescued that way.”

Drug traffickers have typically kept their earnings in cash or offshore accounts in order to conceal their profits from law enforcement. The flow of this money into the banking system has now “laundered” it, however, making it functionally impossible to track.

Costa’s office received its information from the governments of Italy, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States. It chose not to publicly identify any of the banks involved, saying its role is to identify problems, not lay blame.

“The progressive liquidation to the system and the progressive improvement by some banks of their share values [has meant that] the problem [of illegal money] has become much less serious than it was,” he said.