Sunday, May 30, 2010

US Constitution May Be Suspended: War, National Emergency and "Continuity of Government"

In July 1987, during the Iran-Contra Hearings grilling of Oliver North, the American public got a glimpse of “highly sensitive” emergency planning North had been involved in. Ostensibly these were emergency plans to suspend the American constitution in the event of a nuclear attack (a legitimate concern). But press accounts alleged that the planning was for a more generalized suspension of the constitution.

As part of its routine Iran-contra coverage, the following exchange was printed in the New York Times, but without journalistic comment or follow-up:
[Congressman Jack] Brooks: Colonel North, in your work at the N.S.C. were you not assigned, at one time, to work on plans for the continuity of government in the event of a major disaster?
Both North’s attorney and Sen. Daniel Inouye, the Democratic Chair of the Committee, responded in a way that showed they were aware of the issue:
Brendan Sullivan [North's counsel, agitatedly]: Mr. Chairman?

[Senator Daniel] Inouye: I believe that question touches upon a highly sensitive and classified area so may I request that you not touch upon that?

Brooks: I was particularly concerned, Mr. Chairman, because I read in Miami papers, and several others, that there had been a plan developed, by that same agency, a contingency plan in the event of emergency, that would suspend the American constitution. And I was deeply concerned about it and wondered if that was an area in which he had worked. I believe that it was and I wanted to get his confirmation.

Inouye: May I most respectfully request that that matter not be touched upon at this stage. If we wish to get into this, I'm certain arrangements can be made for an executive session.[1]

But we have never heard if there was or was not an executive session, or if the rest of Congress was ever aware of the matter. According to James Bamford, “The existence of the secret government was so closely held that Congress was completely bypassed.”[2] (Key individuals in Congress were almost certainly aware.)

Brooks was responding to a story by Alfonzo Chardy in the Miami Herald. Chardy’s story alleged that Oliver North was involved with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in plans to take over federal, state and local functions during a national emergency. This planning for “Continuity of Government” (COG) called for “suspension of the Constitution, turning control of the government over to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, emergency appointment of military commanders to run state and local governments and declaration of martial law.”[3]

To my knowledge no one in the public (including myself) attached enough importance to the Chardy story. Chardy himself suggested that Reagan’s Attorney General, William French Smith, had intervened to stop the COG plan from being presented to the President. Seven years later, in 1994, Tim Weiner reported in the New York Times that what he called “The Doomsday Project” – the search for “ways to keep the Government running after a sustained nuclear attack on Washington” –had “less than six months to live.”[4]

To say that nuclear attack planning was over was correct, But this statement was also very misleading. On the basis of Weiner’s report, the first two books on COG planning, by James Bamford and James Mann, books otherwise excellent and well-informed, reported that COG planning had been abandoned.[5] They were wrong.

Mann and Bamford did report that, from the beginning, two of the key COG planners on the secret committee were Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld, the two men who implemented COG under 9/11.[6] What they and Weiner did not report was that under Reagan the purpose of COG planning had officially changed: it was no longer for arrangements “after a nuclear war,” but for any "national security emergency." This was defined in Executive Order 12656 of 1988 as: “any occurrence, including natural disaster, military attack, technological emergency, or other emergency, that seriously degrades or seriously threatens the national security of the United States.”[7]

In other words extraordinary emergency measures, originally designed for an America devastated in a nuclear attack, were now to be applied to anything the White House considered an emergency. Thus Cheney and Rumsfeld continued their secret planning when Clinton was president; both men, both Republicans, were heads of major corporations and not even in the government at that time. Moreover, Andrew Cockburn claims that the Clinton administration, according to a Pentagon source, had “no idea what was going on.”[8] (As I shall explain later, this sweeping claim needs some qualification.)

The expanded application of COG to any emergency was envisaged as early as 1984, when, according to Boston Globe reporter Ross Gelbspan,
Lt. Col. Oliver North was working with officials of the Federal Emergency Management Agency . . . to draw up a secret contingency plan to surveil political dissenters and to arrange for the detention of hundreds of thousands of undocumented aliens in case of an unspecified national emergency. The plan, part of which was codenamed Rex 84, called for the suspension of the Constitution under a number of scenarios, including a U.S. invasion of Nicaragua.[9]
Clearly 9/11 met the conditions for the imposition of COG measures, and we know for certain that COG planning was instituted on that day in 2001, before the last plane had crashed in Pennsylvania. The 9/11 Report confirms this twice, on pages 38 and 326.[10] It was under the auspices of COG that Bush stayed out of Washington on that day, and other government leaders like Paul Wolfowitz were swiftly evacuated to Site R, inside a hollowed out mountain near Camp David.[11]

What few have recognized is that, nearly a decade later, some aspects of COG remain in effect. COG plans are still authorized by a proclamation of emergency that has been extended each year by presidential authority, most recently by President Obama in September 2009. COG plans are also the probable source for the 1000-page Patriot Act presented to Congress five days after 9/11, and also for the Department of Homeland Security’s Project Endgame -- a ten-year plan, initiated in September 2001, to expand detention camps, at a cost of $400 million in Fiscal Year 2007 alone.[12]

At the same time we have seen the implementation of the plans outlined by Chardy in 1987: the warrantless detentions that Oliver North had planned for in Rex 1984, the warrantless eavesdropping that is their logical counterpart, and the militarization of the domestic United States under a new military command, NORTHCOM.[13] Through NORTHCOM the U.S. Army now is engaged with local enforcement to control America, in the same way that through CENTCOM it is engaged with local enforcement to control Afghanistan and Iraq.

We learned that COG planning was still active in 2007, when President Bush issued National Security Presidential Directive 51 (NSPD 51). This, for the sixth time, extended for one year the emergency proclaimed on September 14, 2001. It empowered the President to personally ensure "continuity of government" in the event of any "catastrophic emergency." He announced that NSPD 51 contains "classified Continuity Annexes" which shall "be protected from unauthorized disclosure." Under pressure from his 911truth constituents, Congressman Peter DeFazio of the Homeland Security Committee twice requested to see these Annexes, the second time in a letter signed by the Chair of his committee. His request was denied.

The National Emergencies Act, one of the post-Watergate reforms that Vice-President Cheney so abhorred, specifies that: “Not later than six months after a national emergency is declared, and not later than the end of each six-month period thereafter that such emergency continues, each House of Congress shall meet to consider a vote on a joint resolution to determine whether that emergency shall be terminated” (50 U.S.C. 1622, 2002). Yet in nine years Congress has not once met to discuss the State of Emergency declared by George W. Bush in response to 9/11, a State of Emergency that remains in effect today. Appeals to the Congress to meet its responsibilities to review COG have fallen on deaf ears.[14]

Former Congressman Dan Hamburg and I appealed publicly last year, both to Obama to terminate the emergency, and to Congress to hold the hearings required of them by statute.[15] But Obama, without discussion, extended the 9/11 Emergency again on September 10, 2009;[16] and Congress has continued to ignore its statutory obligations. One Congressman explained to a constituent that the provisions of the National Emergencies Act have now been rendered inoperative by COG. If true, this would seem to justify Chardy’s description of COG as suspension of the Constitution. Are there other parts of the Constitution that have been suspended? We do not know, and the Chair of the Homeland Security Committee has been told he cannot find out.

Plans drafted by a secret committee, including corporation heads not in the government, have provided rules that allegedly override public law and the separation of powers that is at the heart of the Constitution. Congress is derelict in addressing this situation. Even Congressman Kucinich, the one Congressman I have met, will not answer my communications on this subject.

Yet as I see it, the only authorization for the COG planning was a secret decision by President Reagan (NSDD 55 of September 14, 1982) which in effect federalized the counterinsurgency planning (called Cable Splicer), which he had authorized in California when governor there.

It is clear that the planning by Cheney, Rumsfeld and others in the last two decades was not confined to an immediate response to 9/11. The 1000-page Patriot Act, dropped on Congress as promptly as the Tonkin Gulf Resolution had been back in 1964, is still with us; Congress has never seriously challenged it, and Obama quietly extended it on February 27 of this year.

We should not forget that the Patriot Act was only passed after lethal anthrax letters were mailed to two crucial Democratic Senators – Senators Daschle and Leahy – who had initially questioned the bill. After the anthrax letters, however, they withdrew their initial opposition.[17] Someone -- we still do not know who – must have planned those anthrax letters well in advance. This is a fact most Americans do not want to think about.

Someone also must have planned the unusual number of war games taking place on 9/11. COG planners and FEMA had been involved in war games planning over the previous two decades; and on 9/11 FEMA was again involved with other agencies in preparing for Operation Tripod, a bioterrorism exercise in New York City. [18]

Someone also must have planned the new more restrictive instructions, on June 1, 2001, determining that military interceptions of hijacked aircraft had to be approved “at the highest levels of government” (i.e. the President, Vice-President, or Secretary of Defense).[19] The Report attributes this order to a JCS Memo of June 1, 2001, entitled “Aircraft Piracy (Hijacking) and Destruction of Derelict Airborne Objects.” But the written requirements had been less restrictive before June 1, 2001, and I am informed that the change was quietly revoked the following December.

In The Road to 9/11 I suggest the change in the JCS memo came from the National Preparedness Review in which President Bush authorized Vice-President Cheney, together with FEMA, “to tackle the… task of dealing with terrorist attacks.”[20] Not noticed by the press was the fact that Cheney and FEMA had already been working on COG planning as a team throughout the 1980s and 1990s.[21]

As I wrote above, it is necessary to qualify a Pentagon official’s claim (to author Andrew Cockburn) that the Clinton administration had “no idea what was going on” in COG. Let me quote from my response to Cockburn’s book in my own, The Road to 9/11:

[Weiner’s] article persuaded authors James Mann and James Bamford that Reagan’s COG plans had now been abandoned, because “there was, it seemed, no longer any enemy in the world capable of . . . decapitating America’s leadership.” [22] In fact, however, only one phase of COG planning had been terminated, a Pentagon program for response to a nuclear attack. Instead, according to author Andrew Cockburn, a new target was found:

Although the exercises continued, still budgeted at over $200 million a year in the Clinton era, the vanished Soviets were now replaced by terrorists. . . . There were other changes, too. In earlier times the specialists selected to run the “shadow government” had been drawn from across the political spectrum, Democrats and Republicans alike. But now, down in the bunkers, Rumsfeld found himself in politically congenial company, the players’ roster being filled almost exclusively with Republican hawks. . . .“You could say this was a secret government-in-waiting. The Clinton administration was extraordinarily inattentive, [they had] no idea what was going on.”

Cockburn’s account requires some qualification. Richard Clarke, a Clinton Democrat, makes it clear that he participated in the COG games in the 1990s and indeed drafted Clinton ’s Presidential Decision Directive (PDD) 67 on “Enduring Constitutional Government and Continuity of Government.” But COG planning involved different teams for different purposes. It is quite possible that the Pentagon official was describing the Department of Defense team dealing with retaliation.

The Pentagon official’s description of a “secret government-in-waiting” (which still included both Cheney and Rumsfeld) is very close to the standard definition of a cabal, as a group of persons secretly united to bring about a change or overthrow of government. In the same era Cheney and Rumsfeld projected change also by their public lobbying, through the Project for the New American Century, for a more militant Middle East policy. In light of how COG was actually implemented in 2001, one can legitimately suspect that, however interested this group had been in continuity of government under Reagan, under Clinton the focus of Cheney’s and Rumsfeld’s COG planning was now a change of government.[23]

Understandably there is great psychological resistance to the extraordinary claim that Cheney and Rumsfeld, even when not in government, were able to help plan successfully for constitutional modifications, which they themselves implemented when back in power. Most people cannot bring themselves even to believe the second, known half of this claim: that on September 11, 2001, COG plans overriding the constitution were indeed implemented. This is why the first two print reviews of The Road to 9/11, both favorable and intelligently written, both reported that I speculated that COG had been imposed on 9/11. No, it was not a speculation: the 9/11 Commission Report twice confirms that COG was instituted on the authority of a phone call between Bush and Cheney of which they could find no record. No record, I did speculate, because it took place on a secure COG phone outside the presidential bunker – with such a high classification that the 9/11 Commission was never supplied the phone records.

A footnote in the 9/11 Report says
“The 9/11 crisis tested the U.S. government’s plans and capabilities to ensure the continuity of constitutional government and the continuity of government operations. We did not investigate this topic, except as needed to understand the activities and communications of key officials on 9/11. The Chair, Vice Chair, and senior staff were briefed on the general nature and implementation of these continuity plans.[24]
The other footnotes confirm that no information from COG files was used to document the 9/11 report. At a minimum these files might resolve the mystery of the missing phone call which simultaneously authorized COG, and (in consequence) determined that Bush should continue to stay out of Washington . I suspect that they might tell us a great deal more.

What is the first step out of this current state of affairs, in which the constitution has in effect been superseded by a higher, if less legitimate authority? I submit that it is to get Congress to do what the law requires, and determine whether our present proclamation of emergency “shall be terminated” (50 U.S.C. 1622, 2002).

An earlier polite, judiciously worded appeal to this effect failed. It may be necessary to raise the issue in a larger, albeit more controversial context: the scandal that a small cabal was able to supersede the Constitution, and Congress has failed, despite repeated requests, to do anything about it. I would hope that Americans concerned about this matter would raise it with all the congressional candidates in the forthcoming elections. At a minimum, candidates should promise to call for a full discussion of the proclaimed national emergency, as the law requires.

Peter Dale Scott, a former Canadian diplomat and English Professor at the University of California, Berkeley, is the author of Drugs Oil and War, The Road to 9/11, andThe War Conspiracy: JFK, 9/11, and the Deep Politics of War. His book, Fueling America's War Machine: Deep Politics and the CIA’s Global Drug Connection is in press, due Fall 2010 from Rowman & Littlefield.

[1] New York Times, July 14, 1987.
[2] James Bamford, A Pretext for War: 9/11, Iraq, and the Abuse of America’s Intelligence Agencies (New York: Doubleday, 2004), 74: “The existence of the secret government was so closely held that Congress was completely bypassed. Rather than through legislation, it was created by Top Secret presidential fiat. In fact, Congress would have no role in the new wartime administration. ‘One of the awkward questions we faced,’ said one of the participants, ‘was whether to reconstitute Congress after a nuclear attack. It was decided that no, it would be easier to operate without them.’” Cf. James Mann, The Rise of the Vulcans: The History of Bush’s War Cabinet (New York: Viking, 2004), 145.
[3] Miami Herald, July 5, 1987. In October 1984 Jack Anderson reported that FEMA’s plans would “suspend the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, effectively eliminate private property, abolish free enterprise, and generally clamp Americans in a totalitarian vise.”
[4] Tim Weiner, New York Times, April 17, 1994.
[5] Bamford, A Pretext for War, 74; cf. James Mann, The Rise of the Vulcans: The History of Bush’s War Cabinet (New York: Viking, 2004), 138-45.
[6] Scott, The Road to 9/11: Wealth, Empire, and the Future of America (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 2007), 183-87.
[7] The provisions of Executive Order 12656 of Nov. 18, 1988, appear at 53 FR 47491, 3 CFR, 1988 Comp., p. 585, The Washington Post (March 1, 2002) later claimed, falsely, that Executive Order 12656 dealt only with “a nuclear attack.” Earlier there was a similar misrepresentation in the New York Times (November 18, 1991).
[8] Andrew Cockburn, Rumsfeld: His Rise, Fall, and Catastrophic Legacy ( New York : Scribner, 2007), 88.
[9] Ross Gelbspan, Break-ins, Death Threats, and the FBI (Boston: South End Press, 1991), 184; cf. New York Times, November 18, 1991.
[10] 9/11 Commission Report, 38, 326; Scott, Road to 9/11, 228-29.
[11] Alfred Goldberg et al., Pentagon 9/11 (Washington: Department of Defense, 2007), 132.
[12] Scott, Road to 9/11, 238, 240-41.
[13] U.S. Department of Defense, “U.S. Northern Command,” Cf. John R. Brinkerhoff, PBS, Online Newshour, 9/27/02: “The United States itself is now for the first time since the War of 1812 a theater of war. That means that we should apply, in my view, the same kind of command structure in the United States that we apply in other theaters of war.” Brinkerhoff had earlier developed the martial law provisions of REX 84 in the Reagan era.
[14] Cf. Peter Dale Scott and Dam Hamburg , “To All Readers: Help Force Congress To Observe the Law on National Emergencies!!!,”, March 24, 2009,
[15] Peter Dale Scott, "To All Readers: Help Force Congress To Observe the Law on National Emergencies!!!" (with Dan Hamburg), http.//, March 24, 2009,
[16] White House Press Release, September 10, 2009, A press briefing by Obama’s spokesman Robert Gibbs the same day did not mention the extension.
[17] Cf. Time, Nov. 26, 2001: "While Daschle, the Senate majority leader, could have been chosen as a representative of all Democrats or of the entire Senate, Leahy is a less obvious choice, most likely targeted for a specific reason. He is head of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which is involved in issues ranging from antitrust action to antiterror legislation” [emphasis added]. See also Anthony York, “Why Daschle and Leahy?” Salon, November 21, 2001,
[18] Brian Michael Jenkins and Frances Edwards-Winslow, “Saving City Lifelines: Lessons Learned in the 9-11 Terrorist Attacks” (San Jose, CA: Mineta Transportation Institute, San José State University, 2003).
[19] 9/11 Report, 17; cf. fn. 101, 458.
[20] Houston Chronicle, May 9, 2001; Road to 9/11, 209.
[21] James Mann, The Rise of the Vulcans: The History of Bush’s War Cabinet (New York: Viking, 2004), 139; James Bamford, A Pretext for War: 9/11, Iraq, and the Abuse ofAmerica’s Intelligence Agencies (New York: Doublesday, 2004).
[22] Mann, Rise of the Vulcans, 144.
[23] Scott, The Road to 9/11, 186-87.
[24] 9/11 Commission Report, 555.

Peter Dale Scott is a frequent contributor to Global Research. Global Research Articles by Peter Dale Scott

“Attack against South Korean ship looks like false flag operation”

While international investigators have accused North Korea of sinking a South Korean patrol corvette in March, China has taken a more cautious position.

Investigative journalist and RT contributor Wayne Madsen says it is because Beijing suspects there was greater deception at work.

“The Cheonan [navy corvette] was sunk by this torpedo that was later to be discovered to have been of German manufacture. Germany said it sells no military weapons to North Korea. This thing is starting to look like a classic false flag operation,” Wayne Madsen says.

“Kim Jong-Il who very rarely travels – and when he does, he only travels by train – went to Beijing. My sources in Beijing say that he went to Beijing, that Chinese authorities said that North Korea did this, he denied it. They were satisfied with his response,” Madsen adds. “Now the Chinese are very suspicious of the US’ intentions in richening things up in the Korean peninsula.”

Beijing suspects false flag attack on South Korean corvette

(WMR) -- WMR's intelligence sources in Asia suspect that the March attack on the South Korean Navy anti-submarine warfare (ASW) corvette, the Cheonan, was a false flag attack designed to appear as coming from North Korea.

One of the main purposes for increasing tensions on the Korean peninsula was to apply pressure on Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama to reverse course on moving the U.S. Marine Corps base off Okinawa. Hatoyama has admitted that the tensions over the sinking of the Cheonan played a large part in his decision to allow the U.S. Marines to remain on Okinawa. Hatoyama's decision has resulted in a split in the ruling center-left coalition government, a development welcome in Washington, with Mizuho Fukushima, the Social Democratic Party leader threatening to bolt the coalition over the Okinawa reversal.

The Cheonan was sunk near Baengnyeong Island, a westernmost spot that is far from the South Korean coast, but opposite the North Korean coast. The island is heavily militarized and within artillery fire range of North Korean coastal defenses, which lie across a narrow channel.

The Cheonan, an ASW corvette, was decked out with state-of-the-art sonar, plus it was operating in waters with extensive hydrophone sonar arrays and acoustic underwater sensors. There is no South Korean sonar or audio evidence of a torpedo, submarine or mini-sub in the area. Since there is next to no shipping in the channel, the sea was silent at the time of the sinking.

However, Baengnyeong Island hosts a joint US-South Korea military intelligence base and the US Navy SEALS operate out of the base. In addition, four U.S. Navy ships were in the area, part of the joint U.S-South Korean Exercise Foal Eagle, during the sinking of the Cheonan. An investigation of the suspect torpedo's metallic and chemical fingerprints show it to be of German manufacture. There are suspicions that the US Navy SEALS maintains a sampling of European torpedoes for sake of plausible deniability for false flag attacks. Also, Berlin does not sell torpedoes to North Korea, however, Germany does maintain a close joint submarine and submarine weapons development program with Israel.

The presence of the USNS Salvor, one of the participants in Foal Eagle, so close to Baengnyeong Island during the sinking of the South Korean corvette also raises questions.

The Salvor, a civilian Navy salvage ship, which participated in mine laying activities for the Thai Marines in the Gulf of Thailand in 2006, was present near the time of the blast with a complement of 12 deep sea divers.

Beijing, satisfied with North Korea's Kim Jong Il's claim of innocence after a hurried train trip from Pyongyang to Beijing, suspects the U.S. Navy's role in the Cheonan's sinking, with particular suspicion on the role of the Salvor. The suspicions are as follows:

1. The Salvor engaged in a seabed mine-installation operation, in other words, attaching horizontally fired anti-submarine mines on the sea floor in the channel.

2. The Salvor was doing routine inspection and maintenance on seabed mines, and put them into an electronic active mode (hair trigger release) as part of the inspection program.

3. A SEALS diver attached a magnetic mine to the Cheonan, as part of a covert program aimed at influencing public opinion in South Korea, Japan and China.

The Korean peninsula tensions have conveniently overshadowed all other agenda items on Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's visits to Beijing and Seoul.

Previously published in the Wayne Madsen Report.

Copyright © 2010

Freedom Watch - Surveillance State with Daniel Hannan - 5-26-2010

Click this link .....

Toronto police prepare for G20 urban warfare

Click this link .....

The Killings at Les Cayes Prison of Unarmed Inmates

LES CAYES, Haiti — When the earth shook violently on Jan. 12, the inmates in this southern city’s squalid prison clamored to be released, screaming: “Help! We’re going to die in here.”

Elsewhere in Haiti, inmates were fleeing largely undeterred. But here, where the prison itself sustained little damage, there was no exit. Instead, conditions worsened for the inmates, three-quarters of them pretrial detainees, arrested on charges as petty as loitering and locked up indefinitely alongside convicted felons.

After the earthquake, guards roughed up the noisiest inmates and consolidated them into cells so crowded their limbs tangled, former prisoners said. With aftershocks jangling nerves, the inmates slept in shifts on the ground, used buckets for toilets and plotted their escape.

The escape plan, set in motion on Jan. 19 by an attack on a guard, proved disastrous. With Haitian and United Nationspolice officers encircling the prison, the detainees could not get out. For hours, they rampaged, hacking up doors and burning records, until tear gas finally overwhelmed them.

In the end, after the Haitian police stormed the compound, dozens of inmates lay dead and wounded, their bodies strewn through the courtyard and crumpled inside cells. The prison smoldered, a blood-splattered mess.

Haitian officials here say they did not use lethal force but rather found lifeless bodies when they entered the prison. They attribute the killings to a prison ringleader who, they say, slaughtered his fellow inmates before hopping over the wall and disappearing.

But an investigation by The New York Times casts doubt on the official version of events and instead indicates that Haitian authorities shot unarmed prisoners and then sought to cover it up. Many of the bodies were buried in an unmarked grave.

Kesnel Jeudi, a recently released inmate, said in an interview that nobody was dead when the police rushed the prison. “They shouted: ‘Prisoners, lie down. Lie down. Lie down,’ ” he said. “When the prisoners lay down — while the prisoners were lying down — they began firing.”

Mr. Jeudi, 28, said the police shootings involved some settling of scores: “There were people they selected to kill.”

Four months later, the death toll remains unknown. But most accounts place it between 12 and 19, with up to 40 wounded. The local morgue attendant, Georges Raymond, said that he initially registered 11 dead detainees, with several more arriving later after they died of bullet wounds at the adjacent hospital.

Prison officials would not allow The Times to enter the walled prison compound, which sits directly behind the police station in the heart of town. But reporters interviewed six witnesses to the disturbance as well as five others who visited the prison either immediately after the shootings or the next day. None saw inmates firing weapons or any evidence that inmates killed inmates. Instead, witnesses said the police shot unarmed prisoners, some in the prison yard, others in their cells. Afterward, the authorities failed to notify inmates’ relatives of the deaths, buried bodies without conducting autopsies and burned the surviving prisoners’ bloodstained clothing and shoes.

Myrtil Yonel, a human rights leader here, said, “For us, we consider this to be a massacre.”

Under a bare bulb in his office beside the prison, Olritch Beaubrun, the superintendent of the antiriot police unit, scoffed at this accusation. He said that a detainee nicknamed Ti Mousson had slaughtered inmates who resisted his escape plan.

“Ti Mousson put down the 12 detainees,” Superintendent Beaubrun said. “We did not. We never fired our guns.”

This assertion is at odds with what The Times found after reviewing confidential Haitian and United Nations reports and conducting interviews with former detainees, guards, prison cooks, wardens, police officials, judicial officials and relatives of dead prisoners.

Among other things, United Nations police officers noted that day in an internal incident report that the Haitian police had used firearms. The cooks, three women trapped inside during the riot, said that the detainees did no shooting. No weapons were recovered. Ti Mousson — whose real name is Luguens Cazeau — escaped. And the authorities did not treat the prison as the crime scene of what they portrayed as a mass murder by Mr. Cazeau, who was awaiting trial on charges of stealing a satellite dish.

The Haitian government said that it was conducting three separate investigations into the episode. But witnesses and others interviewed by The Times during two visits here last month said that they had never spoken to investigators. The inmates’ bodies had not been exhumed, and there was no indication that basic forensic evidence had ever been collected.

The detainees’ relatives say they feel not only bereft but also abandoned. During an interview, the widow of Abner Lisius — arrested on suspicions of stealing a cellphone, now dead at 45 — wiped away tears. “My husband was murdered by the authorities,” said Marie Michel Laurencin, the widow.

For four months, American and United Nations officials have made no public comments about the killings at Les Cayes, saying they were urging the Haitians to handle the matter themselves. But after The Times repeatedly raised questions about the case with American officials, the United States Embassy sent a human rights officer to Les Cayes.

The United Nations mission chief in Haiti, Edmond Mulet, has now ordered the United Nations police commissioner here to begin an independent inquiry.

Last week, the United Nations spokesman in Haiti, David Wimhurst, expressed frustration with the Haitian investigations to date, saying that “incomplete and inaccurate” official statements about what happened in Les Cayes suggested a possible cover-up.

“We’ve waited and waited for the government to do its thing and now we’re going to do our thing,” Mr. Wimhurst said. “It’s a delicate political business being in Haiti and supporting the government. We’re not here to undermine them, but nor are we here to turn a blind eye to gross human rights violations.”

A Fragile Justice System

How Haiti now deals with the killings in Les Cayes offers a test case for this country’s commitment to human rights at a time when the world is poised to help rebuild its troubled justice system after the earthquake. The State Department and the Agency for International Development have requested $141.3 million for that purpose.

For 15 years, on and off, the international community has invested in Haiti’s police, courts and prisons as a way to shore up its fragile democracy. The effort began in late 1994 when the Haitian Army, long an instrument of political terror, was disbanded.

“After many years of dictatorship, there was no independent police force and no independent judiciary, and the prisons were hellholes,” said William G. O’Neill, director of the Conflict Prevention and Peace Forum at the Social Science Research Council. “The goal was to create institutions that would respect human rights and allow the rule of law to flourish.”

But to date the international investment, focused on police and judicial training in an official culture rife with corruption and cronyism, has netted modest returns. Haiti’s corrections system has made few gains.

Before the earthquake, the country’s 17 prisons “fell far short of international standards,” the Haitian government acknowledged in a post-disaster needs assessment. Prisons were dilapidated and severely overcrowded; guards, far fewer than needed, were poorly equipped. And — the persistent core problem — most detainees were held in prolonged pretrial detention, often for minor crimes or for things like commercial debt, witchcraft and werewolfery.

“Understand, you can be arrested in Haiti for practically nothing,” said Maurice D. Geiger, an American contractor working on justice reform in Haiti. “And once you are arrested and go to prison, it is not only possible but likely that you will stay there for an extended period of time without seeing a judge.”

Prisons were widely viewed as “powder kegs awaiting a spark,” as a 2007 report by the International Crisis Group put it. And the earthquake provided it.

On Jan. 12, the largest prison in the country, the national penitentiary in Port-au-Prince, emptied completely not long after a section of its surrounding wall collapsed. Guards fled along with inmates, including a few hundred prisoners considered a serious risk to the country’s security.

Looking back, police officials said they should have anticipated a “contagion” of escape attempts at other prisons after that.

Panic After a Quake

In Les Cayes, Haiti’s third largest city, the earthquake was far less destructive than in Port-au-Prince. But the earth did shake, violently and laterally. And, although children at an orphanage in the city marveled at how the trees danced, adults panicked, dashing into the streets, screaming, crying.

Inside the prison complex, where corroding concrete cellblocks frame a desolate courtyard, inmates hollered, trying to wrench open the doors to their cells.

Built in the 19th century, the prison held 467 detainees in 14 cells that day, more than four times its intended capacity. The ruckus was ear-splitting. When the inmates did not quiet down, Pierre Eddy Charlot, the supervisor, called in reinforcements from the adjacent police station and the United Nations police unit stationed in town.

“Measures were taken to prevent the worst,” Mr. Charlot scribbled in a memo that night.

According to prisoners released after the disturbance, those measures included an effort to silence forcibly the troublemakers. Mr. Jeudi said he watched the guards remove the noisiest detainees from their cells, beat them with batons and then cram them into a few particularly crowded units. Twice-a-day bathroom privileges were eliminated.

Tensions escalated. “The prisoners were riled up,” said one former detainee, recently released. The young man spoke on the condition of anonymity, fearing reprisals. “When they beat us, we said, ‘Damn,’ ” he said. “Now, you know prisoners. We tried to make a plan to get out.”

Cell 3 was planning central, home to Mr. Cazeau, or Ti Mousson, who had been roughed up by a guard after the quake, according to former detainees. The inmates in that cell got busy, digging holes in the walls, sharpening a toothbrush to a fine point.

Their plotting was no secret. “There was a guy in Cell 3, a former police officer,” Mr. Jeudi said. “Two days before the prison fell apart, he was in the cell when Ti Mousson counted who was with him and who was not. So that guy asked for the warden and informed on what the prisoners were planning. And the warden did nothing.”

After the earthquake, the warden, Inspector Sylvestre Larack, put out a “maximum alert” calling his 29 guards back to duty. But on Jan. 19, with much of Les Cayes still in a post-quake state of emergency, only five guards showed up to work inside the prison.

In the early afternoon, when the cells were to be opened for the dumping of the waste buckets, Inspector Larack left to put gas in his car, said Mr. Yonel, the southern regional director of Haiti’s Network for the Defense of Human Rights. Given the long lines at the service stations, this was bound to take time.

For the escape planners, “the stars had aligned,” Mr. Yonel said.

A Cell Erupts

Thélèmaque Guerson, the guard with the keys, found nothing out of the ordinary when he unlocked Cell 1 and then Cell 2.

When he opened Cell 3, however, dozens of detainees “formed a coalition and pushed out together at the same time,” he said in an interview. They threw a bucket of urine at him and pounced, fists first. Mr. Cazeau grabbed him by the chest, saying, “Give me the prison keys.” Mr. Guerson, 28, said he threw the keys in the hopes that the other guards would retrieve them.

The other guards, however, “must have been distracted,” said an internal United Nations report. That report said it was a United Nations police officer patrolling the prison roof who first spied the detainees attacking Mr. Guerson.

Mr. Guerson said he struggled, but, outnumbered, could not stand his ground. He was stabbed in the head and neck with the sharpened toothbrush. Finally, he managed to extricate himself and ran out the front gate. All the other guards fled, too, and they did not lock the door after themselves.

The inmates controlled the prison.

Key ring in hand, Mr. Cazeau opened cell after cell. Inmates poured into the yard. Some rushed the front door. But by this point, United Nations officers and soldiers, who had formed a perimeter around the compound, blocked the entrance, pointing their guns. Detainees withdrew back inside, where they easily found the tools to vent their frustrations, like propane tanks to set fires and pickaxes to chop up the doors.

Although prisons are not supposed to keep firearms, and especially not unsecured firearms, the inmates also found a couple of old guns in the clerk’s office, according to some accounts. Mr. Guerson and the former detainees said they thought the guns either did not work or did not have ammunition.

The police station stands directly in front of the prison. Superintendent Beaubrun, who runs the Departmental Unit for the Maintenance of Order, said that he was sitting out front under a tamarind tree when he heard a blast — “Boom!” Running toward the noise — its origin unclear — he saw Mr. Guerson dash out, his head bleeding.

Still, Superintendent Beaubrun said, the police could not intervene without orders from his superior, whom he said he had difficulty reaching by cellphone.

So while the inmates ransacked the prison, the guards were outside, the police were outside and the United Nations officers were outside, too. “We spent three hours discussing what to do,” Superintendent Beaubrun said.

Handling a riot is a delicate affair for prison officials. International standards encourage the use of mediation and nonlethal restraint; law enforcement officers are supposed to use lethal force only after all other means have been exhausted. Haitian officials ordered the United Nations officers, who were better equipped, to enter the prison and open fire on the prisoners, according to the United Nations report. The United Nations officers, most from a Senegalese police unit, vehemently refused.

“It was not right!” Abdou Mbengue, the reporting officer for the Senegalese, said at his office here last month. His commander, Lt. Col. Ababacar Sadikh Niang, said that they were not authorized to discuss the matter but added, emphatically, “It must be said that the Senegalese did not fire a single shot.”

Haitian officials blamed the United Nations officers’ “indifference” for allowing the situation to escalate.

Officer Mbengue, in turn, in a report that he wrote the night of the shootings, deplored “the amateurism, the lack of seriousness and the irresponsibility of the Haitian National Police officers.” The senior police official in the region — Superintendent Beaubrun’s boss — did not arrive on the scene for more than an hour, he wrote.

With night falling, Superintendent Beaubrun said, the police grew concerned about three female prison cooks who they believed had been taken hostage inside the prison. “They were screaming: ‘Don’t kill me. Don’t kill me. Don’t kill me,’ ” he said.

The three women, interviewed while cooking outside the prison last month, said they never feared that the detainees would kill them. They said that some detainees considered using them “as a shield” if the police came in but that others did not permit that. Generally, the detainees were protective of them and did not threaten or harm them, the cooks said.

“Because we used to take good care of the detainees, maybe that’s why they did not try to hurt us,” said one, Marie Florence Degan, as she tended a huge metal kettle of rice and beans over a wood fire.

Around 5 p.m., Haitian police officials decided to enter the prison compound. They used tear gas first, hurling 30 grenades that had been given to them by the Senegalese officers.

“A lot of gas,” Mr. Jeudi said. “Myself, personally, I took a T-shirt, wrapped it around my nose and put toothpaste around my mouth” to combat the effects. “I was crying.”

Detainees ran into the infirmary and hid in cells. Some escaped, climbing up and over the walls or through holes they had dug. Mr. Cazeau, the ringleader, fled in plain view, using a prison ladder, according to a report by Mr. Yonel’s human rights group.

The Police Take Over

By the time the police penetrated the northern wall to enter the prison, the detainees had been overcome by the gas and were breathing hard, former detainees said.

The prison warden’s report said the police, accompanied by guards, were greeted by “a hailstorm of rocks and ammunition coming from the detainees.”

The cooks said the detainees never fired a shot. “No detainees did any shooting,” one of the cooks, Charita Milien, said. No officers were killed, and none were wounded by gunfire, according to police reports.

On entering, the warden’s report said, officers found on the ground “detainees who had been executed by the leaders of the movement for refusing to cooperate.”

But two cooks said that they saw no dead detainees on the ground at the moment the police arrived. And, like other detainees interviewed, Mr. Jeudi said, “No one was killed before the police entered the prison.”

Superintendent Beaubrun said that the detainees’ account could not be trusted. “The detainees were arrested by us,” he said. “They will never say good things about us. Escape is good for them. If you prevent them from escaping, they won’t like you.”

Mr. Jeudi and other former detainees said the police entered firing. “When they started to shoot, people were screaming and crying,” Mr. Jeudi said. Many detainees dropped facedown on the ground and laced their fingers behind their heads.

One middle-aged former prisoner said he was standing on the sidelines trying to calm Fredely Percy, a 27-year-old inmate serving time for marijuana possession. “My friend, Fredely, was standing next to me and we were discussing what to do,” the former prisoner said in an interview. “At that moment, I heard ‘Pow,’ and he got hit and fell down.”

Another former detainee, a scrappy man in his 20s, said, in broken English: “They shoot a lot of people. There was a lot of blood on me. Blood, blood. Everybody in the prison have blood on them.”

He said the police shot indiscriminately. “All them people they killed, it’s not even like they were going to escape,” he said. “They just shoot them. Like they nervous, they shoot people.”

Mr. Yonel said he believed that some of the victims were singled out. A former prisoner said that the police executed one of the ringleaders, a man serving a life sentence for murder, after the situation had calmed. The officers found the man in his cell, took him into the infirmary, beat him and shot him, the former inmate said.

“They decided because he had escaped death earlier to kill him,” the former inmate said. He added, “They never liked him.”

A Priest’s Witness

The next day, the Rev. Marc Boisvert, an American priest who runs a large orphanage on the outskirts of town, heard about the prison violence from a radio report. Father Boisvert, a former United States Navy chaplain, has operated a vocational program at the prison for years, training convicts to be tailors. He immediately got in his car and drove to the prison.

“It was a real mess,” he said. “The place was still smoldering.”

The warden, Inspector Larack, welcomed him, he said. “They brought me in to see the damage that had been caused by the prisoners,” Father Boisvert said. “Especially they wanted to show me the bad side: ‘The prisoners did this. Imagine that. Look at the holes in the walls. Look at the ceilings. They burnt the kitchen out.’ ”

Well before the riot, conditions at the prison were “subhuman,” Father Boisvert said. After the riot, with more than 400 prisoners locked down in five or six small cells, the conditions became “seriously inhumane,” he said.

Father Boisvert found several wounded detainees languishing without medical treatment.

One detainee showed him the pellets in his back from a shotgun blast; he said he had been shot at close range, through the bars of his cell. Another detainee, shot by a small-caliber handgun, was writhing in pain, a bullet lodged in his chest. A third had a bloody eye that appeared to be from a bullet casing being ejected, Father Boisvert said.

In the prison yard, one inmate lay catatonic on a bare mattress, apparently in shock from what he had witnessed, Father Boisvert said.

“It was crazy,” he said. “People just lost it. People with guns lost it, and other people lost their lives.”

After Father Boisvert volunteered to provide food to the detainees, he gained relatively free access to the prison, and prisoners began telling him what had happened.

“They all claim that when the shooting started, they had their hands up and were surrendering,” he said. “That the shooting seemed to be at close range, through bars into cells where the people inside had nowhere to go.

“Essentially, when the authorities finally got their act together, they came in full force and shot people indiscriminately in their cells,” he said.

Like Father Boisvert, Ms. Laurencin, 42, also heard about the disturbance at the prison on the radio. She said she was not worried about her husband, Mr. Lisius, the father of her three daughters and a cabinetmaker by trade. In prison since November without having seen a judge, he was too timid to have taken part in an uprising, she said.

Ms. Laurencin said she prepared his favorite dish — fish and plantains — and took it to the prison. But the guards would not let her in. The next day, she returned twice, and the second time she made her way into the yard where she saw prisoners on their knees. They called to her: “Your husband is dead.”

Stunned, Ms. Laurencin went to the morgue to look for her husband’s body. What she saw then haunts her now, she said: a bullet hole in his caved-in head, and his rotted entrails spilling out. He was too damaged for a proper funeral, she said, so she and a couple of friends buried him themselves in the town cemetery.

Since his death, the authorities have never contacted her, she said last month.

Gruesome Photographs

On Jan. 19, after the prison was calmed, a United Nations officer took pictures inside the compound. Those photographs, closely guarded by the United Nations, appear to be the only documentary evidence of the killings.

They show bodies in the prison yard and bodies in cells, according to three people who have viewed them. Several bodies bear multiple gunshot wounds. The images are gruesome, said Mr. Geiger, the American contractor working in Haiti on a justice reform project.

Mr. Geiger, a former Justice Department official, said that a picture of two bodies slumped inside one cell, and a third, half in, half out, most disturbed him. “Unarmed prisoners in a cell are not a danger to anybody,” he said. “Any competent and responsible prison authority knows how to take care of a situation where people in a cell are disturbing, hollering or whatever.”

After the episode was over, prison officials summoned the local justice of the peace, Michel Seide, “to certify the damage incurred in the course of the riot,” according to the warden’s incident report.

When Mr. Seide stepped inside, he immediately saw two bodies on the ground, “one with a big hole in his head, next to his neck,” he said in an interview. The other bodies lay scattered through the main yard, he said. He counted a total of 10, none inside cells, he said. He said he did not know if bodies had been moved before his arrival.

While he was writing a report, a truck arrived to collect the bodies, he said, and the authorities asked a couple of prisoners in good standing to help move them.

One was Mr. Jeudi, who was just completing a five-year sentence for armed robbery. He said that he transported a dozen dead detainees to the hospital, including one found outside the compound, apparently shot while escaping.

“I carried 12 cadavers,” Mr. Jeudi said. “I was sick about it.”

Mr. Jeudi said he also ferried eight wounded detainees to the hospital.

After the bodies had been removed, Alix Civil, the local prosecutor, arrived at the scene, which he described in an interview as “a catastrophic situation.” He said he saw damaged walls, broken cell doors and blood everywhere — details not included in the report he received from the justice of the peace.

“A lot of things were missing from that report,” Mr. Civil said. “It was written only to please the chief of the prison.”

He ordered Mr. Seide to redo his report. Mr. Seide said that he interviewed hospitalized detainees who told him the police shot them, but he would not divulge the conclusion of his second report, which could form the basis for a local prosecution of the officers.

A few days after the shootings, Antoinetta Dorcinat arrived at the morgue just in time to retrieve the body of Mr. Percy, her boyfriend. Ms. Dorcinat said she gave the morgue attendant a bribe of $6.50 “so they wouldn’t throw Fredely away with the others.”

Mr. Yonel, the human rights leader, said the morgue sent 11 bodies to the local cemetery. He said that the cemetery caretaker showed him the muddy clearing where the bodies had been buried.

Detainees’ relatives were not notified before the burial. Lisette Charles said she still did not know where her 21-year-old son, Jacklyn Charles, was buried.

“I didn’t know about what happened until about five days afterward,” Ms. Charles said. “I was told several of them were put in large zippered body bags and piled up at the cemetery. I don’t know what hole they buried him in.”

After word spread, Mr. Yonel said, detainees’ relatives kept showing up at his office, a cubbyhole with books and files piled high, asking: “Why? Why? Why?” Over 26 days, his staff investigated, concluding that the police killed the detainees without justification, and he delivered his findings to the local authorities. “I went before the court and said: ‘You have to have an investigation. You can’t just let this pass,’ ” he said.

But many months did pass, during which the only thing that happened was that Inspector Larack was transferred to the top warden job in the country at the national penitentiary in Port-au-Prince, which is slowly filling back up with prisoners.

At the penitentiary, Inspector Larack declined to discuss the violence under his watch. He welcomed reporters into the prison’s rubble-strewn courtyard, “my new office.” But he turned rigid when the episode in Les Cayes was raised. He blocked a video camera with his hand — “Stop!” he said — and demanded the videotape.

A Police Report

A couple of weeks later, the Haitian National Police inspector general’s office completed its investigation of the disturbance in Les Cayes and recommended Inspector Larack’s demotion. The investigation focused on only prison officials. The police were not questioned, judging by a confidential inspector general’s report. The catalyst for the inquiry appeared to be growing concern about the prison escapes across the country — and not concern about the deaths at Les Cayes.

The inspector general, Fritz Jean, blamed Inspector Larack for failing to take steps to prevent the disturbance. He also accused him of lying to investigators about who shot the detainees by accusing Mr. Cazeau of mass murder.

The detainees were actually killed, the inspector general’s report said, after Mr. Cazeau, the ringleader, escaped and the police entered the prison.

The inspector general’s report does not raise any questions about the police shootings and whether they were justified. It concludes that the police and prison officials did “estimable work” and should be commended for preventing a majority of the prisoners from fleeing.

Shown a copy of the inspector general’s report, Mr. O’Neill, who served as an adviser to Haiti’s justice reform effort for many years, said it looked like “a whitewash.”

A crucial component of the justice reform effort in Haiti has been to wipe out a culture of impunity, “where government officials literally could get away with murder,” Mr. O’Neill said.

“If things like this can happen in a state-run institution, and it’s not handled properly, that’s a very bad precedent for the future,” he said. “If whoever killed these people are not brought to justice, it sets a bad tone for post-earthquake reconstruction.”

Senator Patrick J. Leahy, the Vermont Democrat who is chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee and the Appropriations subcommittee that finances foreign aid programs, said that how Haiti ultimately handled the case in Les Cayes would show if it was serious about justice.

“Absent the will to see justice done,” Mr. Leahy said, “we should not waste our money.”

Are US TV Crews Killing Haitians?

I went to a food and water distribution today for 50,000 in Cite Soleil, Haiti's poorest and most infamous neighborhood. For all that the United Nations and the U.S. are always claiming how safe the neighborhood has become in recent years, they brought an eye-popping number of heavily armed soldiers along. Better to be safe than sorry, one Brazilian blue helmeted soldier told me, since more than 4,000 prisoners escaped during the earthquake and many, they suspect, came back to Cite Soleil, though there has been no overt resurgence of gang activity in the area.

So, it's striking when the U.S. and Brazilian militaries need so much protection to help the denizens of this poor neighborhood that U.S. camera crews would go in with little or no security. Haitians are a naturally egalitarian society: what one person gets the other wants. Just be fair about it. If you want to give water to someone, better be prepared to give water to every person in sight. I found this out the hard way when I began to give out my business card and started a mini-rush. Even though I kept explaining to them the cards couldn't help them they all wanted what the other person had.

It's been frustrating then, to watch foreign, especially U.S., news crews pull up to Cite Soleil and start walking down the street with cameras and lights and audio booms. Of course, they would cause a stir. And then all it takes is one card handed out, one bottle of water given to a child in sympathy and it provokes a stampede of folks all under the misapprehension that there's some form of aid to be had. Jostling begins and suddenly, BREAKING NEWS THERE'S RIOTING IN HAITI!!! Personally, I have seen no real riots: after the tv crews sprint back to the vehicles the crowd disbands and everyone goes home. But the longer the tv crew remains the more violent the crowd gets: people are desperate especially when they think they're vying for a few pieces of food or water that they may not get if they're not out in front. The UN, for example, hired Haitians with megaphones to walk up and down the line assuring people this morning that everyone on line would receive food and water – this calms down the ones behind and stops them from pushing to the front. TV crews obviously don't do this and, I was told by some U.S. military sources, are potentially leaving behind hurt, injured or dead from the mini-riots they incite.

There have been some violent clashes with looters, but that again goes to the egalitarian nature of this people: one of the cardinal rules is you do not take what is not yours. That's not fair. Mobs, like the one I saw two days ago beating a looter to death, are quick and efficient. They disbursed the minute the man was dead and paid absolutely no attention to me or my fixer on the side of the road.

Time for law abiding American citizens to stop paying taxes, start a new government? 3 of 13

David Degraw has written an outstanding comprehensive explanation of what’s really happening in the US economy. He’s given me permission to reprint it here. I also recommend his site "For Our Economy" for citizen grass-roots activism for economic justice.

Regarding the title of Americans starting a new government, I remind readers of the Declaration of Independence; our core American principles of government. The below links document that US political “leadership” is not even close to following our constitutional limitations and therefore are “leading” unlawfully. Americans with an oath to defend the US Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic, should choose to either honor their oath or admit allegiance to the current fascist imposter of the greatness this nation is on paper and in our ideals.
Another excellent summary is economist James Galbraith’s recent expert testimony to the US Senate Judiciary Committee of what will become “emperor has no clothes” obvious: the US economy is a rigged casino. Here is my best pitch to explain and document the fraud. Here is my best explanation of the obvious solutions. Here are my comprehensive resources to understand the US oligarchy in all its unlawful infamy in unlawful wars, war lies, torture and indefinite detention (including against Americans), and our controlled economic demolition.
I’ll present David’s documentation and analysis in 13 segments; each with his introduction. Use the “previous” and “next” buttons under the title to navigate to the different segments. Please share broadly with the understanding that all our economic problems really exist on paper only. They are propagandized and managed frauds; solved almost instantly by an economic structure designed for the public good rather than designed for an oligarchy. I stake my professional reputation on the factual reality of these statements and prove their objective existence in the data in the above links.
I appreciate David Degraw’s leadership to research and communicate the facts, and help us all embrace the terrible truth of US fascism that We the People must expose and end in order to unleash humanity and build a brighter future for all of us.
Look and verify for yourself. Res ipsa loquitur.
Is It Time for Law Abiding American Citizens to Stop Paying Their Taxes and Start a New Government?
By David DeGraw, AmpedStatus Report
The evidence is now overwhelming. The United States government has facilitated the theft of trillions of dollars of national wealth and 99% of the US population no longer has political representation.
Now that I have your attention, I want to make it clear to you that I am being rational and serious when I ask this question: Is it time for law abiding American citizens to stop paying their taxes and start a new government?
Before you roll your eyes and dismiss me as some “extremist,” let me explain the situation to those who are unfamiliar with my past reports. In my report on the Economic Elite Vs. The People of the United States, I lay out the case proving that our economy and tax system has become an organized criminal operation. I defy anyone who spends time researching and analyzing the facts and overwhelming evidence to support this claim to prove otherwise. I invite anyone who thinks I’m wrong to a debate on national television. I’m talking to you, Tim Geithner, Ben Bernanke, Larry Summers, Lloyd Blankfein, Jamie Dimon and President Obama!
I torturously spend 60 plus hours a week researching this and the torrent of devastating news and evidence is mounting by the minute. The staggering level of theft continues unabated. As I am watching this unfold, I am horrified thinking about the severe consequences that have only just begun to reap their toll. Our nation is being raped and pillaged. Our future is going up in flames and our government isn’t even making the slightest effort to put out the fire. In fact, they are purposely pouring gasoline all over it.
“There’s a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious—makes you so sick at heart—that you can’t take part. You can’t even passively take part. And you’ve got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels, upon the levers, upon all the apparatus, and you’ve got to make it stop. And you’ve got to indicate to the people who run it, to the people who own it that… the machine will be prevented from working at all.” – Mario Savio
So let me take a deep breath and back up for a minute… and explain the urgent gravity of our current crisis.
III: Osama bin Bank of America
Let’s also not forget that Bank of America kept pumping money into the terrorist financing bank, Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI), as I detailed in a report I put together back in 2004. Bank of America single-handedly kept BCCI alive by secretly funneling them a BILLION dollars a DAY, even after BCCI was caught funding Pakistan’s nuclear weapon’s project, Saddam Hussein’s chemical weapons, Osama bin Laden’s al Queada network, the Palestinian Liberation Organization, Manuel Noriega’s drug trade, the drug war in Nicaragua, the Iran-Contra Affair, along with the vast majority of the world’s largest drug dealers and terrorists. BCCI also pioneered most of the tricks used on Wall Street that led to the economic crisis. They were a significant player in the Savings and Loan scandal as well, and were the financing arm for the largest covert operations in the CIA’s history.
The harsh truth is that most of today’s biggest terrorist networks wouldn’t even exist if it wasn’t for Bank of America’s support of BCCI. In “The Outlaw Bank,” investigative reporters Jonathan Beaty & S.C. Gwynne revealed the significant role Bank of America played:
“Five of Bank of America’s senior officers were either on BCCI’s board of directors or helped to manage Abedi’s bank. For the next decade the two banks would move billions of dollars a week through each other’s international offices, and the Bank of America would be an invaluable, if hidden, ally, since it would continue to accept BCCI’s letter-of-credit business after virtually no other Western bank would touch it. Indeed, it could be argued that Bank of America became the single most important financial institution helping BCCI stay afloat.
In the United States alone, Bank of America transferred more than $1 billion a day for BCCI until the moment of BCCI’s global seizure in July 1991.
Thus Bank of America acted as a sort of global vacuum cleaner, sucking up many BCCI branch deposits and thereby providing the fuel Abedi needed to keep his Ponzi scheme alive….”
Most everyone on the planet, thanks to a “news” system that has no memory of these issues, seems to have conveniently forgotten that BCCI was, literally, al Queada. How is it that our multi-million dollar “news” operations can’t seem to connect these dots and don’t have any memory of this highly significant chapter in US history? This proves that these media companies are in the business of propaganda, not informing the public as they are legally obligated to do. Bank of America surrogate, Khalid bin Mahfouz, who is a Saudi and was known as the most powerful banker in the Middle East, also was business partners with Dick Cheney, George Bush, Enron’s Ken Lay and 9/11 Commission Chairman Thomas Kean - so it’s not surprising that this was all left out of the 9/11 commissions report.
Here’s some more significant information that seems to have been redacted from the history book…
Mahfouz was BCCI’s Chief Operating Officer and also Bin Laden’s main money man. He was intimately involved with James Baker and Dick Cheney’s “Strategy of the Silk Route” plan to build an oil pipeline through Afghanistan in a joint venture called CentGas. Hamid Karzai, Afghanistan’s current Prime Minister, was a lobbyists for the CentGas venture with close ties to the Pakistani ISI and was a key CIA asset at the time. When the US-funded Taliban was unable to gain control of the region by force, which is what Ken Lay’s feasibility study demanded, the CentGas pipeline deal fell through. Cheney knew control of the Caspian oil basin was of the highest geo-strategic value in securing control of the earth’s remaining oil supply, so he drew up plans for an invasion of Afghanistan. Then, of course, 9/11 happened, and all of this significant history was buried in the rubble of the World Trade Center.
I don’t want to get side-tracked into Bank of America’s scandalous past involvement in US intelligence, so I’ll get back to the current Wall Street accounting racket.
As Max Keiser’s report makes clear, the accounting scam works by keeping massive losses off-the-books. This way, they can report huge profits, which of course leads to them being able to give themselves huge bonuses. There is still well over a trillion more in hidden off-the-books losses, “toxic” debt yet to fall and be made public. The first debt bomb went off in 2008, the second BIGGER one is ticking away right now, and it will be a much more devastating blast when it goes off. This global Ponzi scam has gone on for years with no one regulating or enforcing the law to stop them. It’s going to blow and take us all down with it. That’s why they are dishing out record bonuses now, they know we are on the Titanic and they are stepping on us and jumping into the lifeboats.

Click here to find out more!