Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Take Action - Julian Assange’s father warns WikiLeaks’ publisher’s health is “declining rapidly” in Belmarsh Prison

We are dedicating today to speaking out for Julian Assange on our blog and elsewhere so let me share our statement with you.   

- The UK at the behest of the US government pursued and incarcerated Julian Assange on trumped up charges.  Julian was targeted because he believed all of us have a right to know the truth. 

Last Sunday Price Andrew was left to vegetate and consider his criminal behavior because of his sexual abuse of at least one girl held as a sex slave by his friend, Jeff Epstein, the Deep State functionary who supplied those in power with sexual victims.   This was a statement made through action which was widely understood as disapproval of Prince Andrew’s actions.

As we need to denounce predators and hold them liable for their wrongs, so do we need to remember those who spent their lives in the pursuit of freedom.  Julian Assange is such an individual and today he is dying, wrongly incarcerated in the UK in collusion with America’s government. 

Her Majesty Elizabeth, Queen of England, understands what cannot and must not be tolerated by her government or her people.  She acknowledges this for her own family and as the conscience of the nation, she rules we turn to her for justice.  This treatment of Julian Assange cannot be tolerated by any decent person.  

Assange was seized because he released information to which we have a right, information we need if we are to correct the criminal direction of the US government as a tool of the corporate interests in control who use it to force our children to die in their wars for profits and have drained us of our honestly earned wealth. This is a blatant act of cooperation between the governments of the US and the UK.

Therefore, we need to direct our demands for justice to Elizabeth, who understands the need to preserve the moral integrity of her rule. If this is permitted to continue England will have lost the respect of people around the world and cause people of goodwill to question the continued existence of the monarchy.

Ask Elizabeth, Queen of England, to release Assange to his family so his life might be preserved. Life and honor are precious so speak your wish in flowers piled up at Buckingham Palace as the anniversary of the death of Diana, Princess of the People approaches, August 31, 1997.


- American Vision, the voice of Freedom Interactive TV Networks Association (FiTNA).  Our first Network is Women Leading and our first Interactive TV Show with 2-Way Mass Audience Participation through all platforms and for all devices is debatetourney.com/


FiTNA is dedicated to giving everyone a voice and the freedom of individual choice in all parts of life.  

By Oscar Grenfell 
20 August 2019
In an interview on August 16 with 3CR, a Melbourne community radio station, Julian Assange’s father John Shipton stated that the WikiLeaks founder’s health is continuing to deteriorate in Britain’s maximum-security Belmarsh Prison.
Shipton revealed that Assange had received a visit from his brother Gabriel several days earlier. “Julian is emaciated and not in tip-top order or health,” Shipton said. “He is suffering anxiety. He is still in fighting spirits, but his well-being is declining rapidly.”
Julian Assange
Shipton said there was a danger that “we will lose Julian” if action is not taken to end his incarceration. His warning followed a statement by world-renowned investigative journalist John Pilger on Twitter earlier this month, who wrote: “Do not forget Julian Assange. Or you will lose him. I saw him in Belmarsh prison and his health has deteriorated…”
Assange’s father outlined the draconian conditions in Belmarsh Prison, where Assange has been held since he was dragged from Ecuador’s London embassy by British police on April 11.
“Can you believe that Julian, who is a gentle, intellectual sort of fellow gets locked up in a maximum security prison?” he asked the interviewer, WikiLeaks supporter Jacob Grech.
Assange was dispatched to the facility despite being convicted only of a minor British bail offense, which stemmed from his successful claim for political asylum at the Ecuadorian embassy in 2012.
Shipton explained that Assange was “in a cell 20 hours a day and has two social visits a month. Lawyers are allowed there other times. These social visits can be arbitrarily cancelled or reduced in time.”
He related that when he travelled from Australia to London two-and-a-half months ago, “we waited and were told that we couldn’t come” into the prison for a pre-arranged visit with Assange.
“No reason was given,” Shipton said, except that “there were conflicting appointments made with prison doctors to come and see him. So, they use the visiting times to have his medical examiners examine him, which means that a social visit needs to be cancelled.”
Shipton, along with a WikiLeaks staff member and Chinese artist Ai Weiwei, returned the following week for another arranged visit. “We waited 46 minutes for Julian to arrive,” he said. The prison authorities claimed that they had “forgotten” to notify Assange of the visit, “so they had to go and find him and bring him down.”
This resulted in the two-hour visit, which Assange is entitled to, being reduced to just one hour. “To travel all the way from Australia to see Julian and to get only an hour, it seems cruel to me,” Shipton said.
Asked by Grech whether he thought this was the result of incompetence, or a deliberate attack on Assange’s rights, Shipton answered: “I’m told that often that is done with a well-known prisoner to assert authority over him and over his visitors.”  MORE

Monday, August 12, 2019

Epstein's Death: A Predictable 'Surprise'

August 12, 2019

by Andrew Kreig

The death of the wealthy pedophile sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein, right, on Aug. 10 in a New York prison has been expected in investigative circles.
jeffrey epstein new mug cropped july 2019His death became almost foreordained by recent revelations publicly linking him ever more closely to powerful foreign intelligence assets, financial moguls and mob figures — and not simply to underage girls and the celebrities who socialized in his circle.
Although there are many people and institutions that bear some responsibility for Epstein's death and the trafficking cover up that existed for years, prime responsibility for the death falls squarely on U.S. Attorney General William Barr, a master of covering up deadly and otherwise sinister crimes of massive historical importance, as we reported this May in Trump Found His Roy Cohn In Deep State Fixer Bill Barr.
The column documented Barr's work first as a CIA operative working with CIA Director George H.W. Bush in 1976 and then as a cover-up maestro in the Reagan-Bush Justice Department.
There, Barr rose to the post of Bush U.S. Attorney General after he helped thwart massive investigations of government-enabled narcotics and arms smuggling and hundreds of billions of dollars in financial frauds that helped fill Republican Party coffers around the nation, as we reported. We noted also that the crimes Barr was helping to hide implicated members of both major U.S. political parties, who were thus deterred from investigating aggressively via congressional hearings.
Then Bush and Barr orchestrated in late 1992 Bush pardons of six high-level Iran-Contra U.S. government officials, thereby ensuring that Independent Counsel Lawrence Walsh's investigation would fail.
william barr new oBarr, left, is implicated in Epstein's death even if Barr's role was merely of the "let it happen" method whereby Barr's subordinates in the U.S. Bureau of Prisons created the conditions enabling either Epstein's suicide or murder in the high-security, federally run Manhattan Correctional Center (MCC) in lower Manhattan.
That prison has been entrusted with housing some of the nation's leading criminals in recent decades, including New York Mafia leader John Gotti. Based on a tip from a former Gotti accomplice, the Murdoch-owned New York Post reported this weekend that Barr made a secret visit to the prison two weeks ago, a report unconfirmed elsewhere.
The paragraphs above summarize this editor's opinions after reviewing closely the news reports and commentaries this weekend about Epstein's death. Previously, I reported in depth on the careers of Epstein, Barr, Donald Trump and a number of other figures involved with them. Barr's late father Donald Barr had worked at the CIA-forerunner Office of Strategic Services (OSS) during World War II and later served as headmaster of the Dalton School, which hired Epstein as a teacher in 1974 even though Epstein had no college degree.
The opinions here are derived also from daily conversations and emails from a circle of fellow investigative reporters who for years have researched Epstein as well as other mob and intelligence-affiliated sex traffickers who specialize in providing underage sex victims to important government, business and media leaders, in part for the purpose of political blackmail.
nicholas tartaglione facebook CustomOne of those experts is investigative reporter and former Navy intelligence officer Wayne Madsen, who predicted Epstein's death in two columns published last month in The Wayne Madsen Report, "WMR," a daily subscription investigative report whose first post-Epstein death analysis is scheduled for Aug. 12. Madsen's reports on July 25 and 26 came after Epstein was found with bruises on his neck in his MCC cell. Authorities, providing few details, ascribed the bruises either to an attempt at hanging or strangling the prisoner.
Madsen's reports noted the odd presence in Epstein's company of a particularly muscular former New York City policeman, Nicholas Tartaglione, who reportedly said that he helped rescue Epstein after a suicide attempt.
Tartaglione, shown on his Facebook photo and a former policeman in Otisville, New York among other Hudson Valley locales, is facing trial on charges of murdering four Columbian drug-runners in an alleged contract killing.
maria wmr jip waterbury graphic 1 8 18 Custom
In early 2018,  this editor collaborated with Madsen on a multipart series Welcome To Waterbury: The City That Holds Secrets That Could Bring Trump Down.
We reported in depth on allegations that Epstein and Trump had raped a 13-year-old "Katie" and a 12-year-old "Maria" belonging to Epstein's friend Leslie Wexner, founder of the L Brands retaile empire. "Katie" dropped her 2016 lawsuit with the allegations after receiving death threats. We reported also that "Maria" had been kidnapped from her home in Waterbury, Connecticut with apparent mob involvement, and that several news organizations suppressed their reporting on the case at the time of the 2016 presidential elections, with the result that the complainants would understandably remain fearful that no one with clout would protect them if they continued to tell their stories.
michael cohen ap file croppedNew York federal judge Ronnie Abrams had shown a keen interest in the case before it was dropped shortly after the election. But Justice Department prosecutors have so far shown no public sign of bringing forward witnesses like former Trump counsel Michael Cohen, right, who presumably could shed light on such situations.
Cohen, right, has admitted involvement in threatening and bribing women and news organizations during that period regarding their aborted investigations into Trump sex scandals. Cohen's admitted bribery and intimidation of news organizations focused heavily on tabloids, which are most likely to dig deeply into sex scandals involving celebrities. Madsen also is close to that world. The National Enquirer, controlled until recently by Trump ally David Pecker, has repeatedly cited Madsen as a knowledgeable expert on political sex scandals, particularly on those targeting Trump's opponents.  
Not just complaining girls but Cohen himself, now serving a three-year sentence in the federal correctional center in Otisville, New York, surely must have observed with dread the federal malfeasance leading to Epstein's death.
Citing a number of specific clues, Madsen predicted Epstein's death last month in his WMR column: Is Epstein the target for a mob hit,, as follows:
What is apparent with Epstein’s so-called “attempted suicide” in the Park Row jail is that some very powerful interests do not want to see Epstein come to trial in New York.
These individuals, who include Donald Trump, would rest much easier if Epstein died either by suicide, murder, or murder made to look like suicide. It matters very little if Epstein died while ensconced under tight restrictions at his Upper East Side mansion or in the MCC with access to him by other inmates.
bernard kerik portraitAmong others who have voiced astonishment that the Bureau of Prisons would allow Epstein to die in federal custody are law professor and former federal prosecutor Harry Litman (Jeffrey Epstein’s apparent suicide is unfathomable) and longtime Republican Bernard B. Kerik, right.
Kerik supervised New York City's corrections system from 1995 to 2000 before becoming city's police chief under Mayor Rudy Giuliani. Kerik then became President Bush's first nominee (later withdrawn) to become Secretary of then-new Department of Homeland Security.
Kerik, writing Jeffrey Epstein's suicide makes no sense for the Capitol Hill tabloid The Hill, commented over the weekend:
Accused pedophile Jeffrey Epstein’s death this morning — reportedly a suicide, according to federal officials — is an inexplicable end to a bizarre, tragic case that only got more disturbing the more we learned about it.
The fact that one of the country’s highest-profile federal prisoners could even commit suicide defies all logic and belief.
His death raises doubts about officials’ actions. The FBI says it will investigate; Attorney General William Barr says he is “appalled” by what happened; members of Congress such as Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) are demanding answers. Indeed we all need answers, before we lose all faith in our justice system.
Trump has responded to Epstein's death by retweeting an allegation by a right-wing propagandist that the Clintons are somehow responsible for Epstein's death. Vanity Fair reported: Trump’s Epstein Response: The Clintons Are Definitely Pedophile Murderers, "The president plumbed new depths by retweeting conspiracy theories about Epstein’s suicide, in lieu of making a public statement."
Meanwhile, the Washington Post has reported the disappearance of Epstein's former girlfriend and fellow trafficker Ghislaine Maxwell, heir to newspaper magnate and purported Mossad asset Robert Maxwell. The Post article Epstein’s death leaves prosecutors with prime target: Ghislaine Maxwell by Marc Fisher said: 
Prince Andrew, Virginia Roberts and Ghislaine Maxwell, 2001It was through a 2015 defamation lawsuit filed against Maxwell by one of Epstein’s alleged victims, Virginia Roberts Giuffre, that thousands of pages of documents containing detailed accounts of Epstein’s alleged abuses became public last week.
Johanna Sjoberg, a student at Palm Beach Atlantic University when she said Maxwell hired her as an assistant, said in a 2015 deposition that was released Friday that it was Maxwell’s job to ensure that three girls a day were made available to Epstein for his sexual pleasure.
Giuffre, who says she was recruited by Maxwell after being a towel-girl at Trump's Mar-a-Lago club, is shown at center in a 2001 photo with Maxwell at right and Prince Andrew, Duke of York, at left. The thousands of pages released last Friday by a federal judge, possibly triggering Epstein's death, are available at the Blackstone Vault: Epstein files.
With so many new developments each day, our Justice Integrity Project coverage includes multiple subsites that we update daily. They focus on overlapping dimensions of the scandals as follows: #MeToo News(including sex trafficking and major sexual harassment scandals); Media News (including allegations of cover-up and propaganda); Deep State; and Trump Watch.
The latter includes major developments last week as U.S. House of Representatives leaders move towards court challenges of the president as part of an impeachment process. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) told reporters that an impeachment inquiry is formally underway, with the first step demands via courts for documents and witnesses withheld by Trump.
 jeffrey epstein trumps cropped ghislaine maxwell Photo by Davidoff Studios Getty Images vanity fair
Jeffrey Epstein (highlighted) with the Trumps and Ghislaine Maxwell, right, at Mar-a-Lago (Photo by Davidoff Studios/Getty Images)
Commentaries on Epstein Death
Below are links to notable expert commentaries about the death of Epstein and its implications for the Justice system and the Trump presidency:
What About the Clintons?
Republican partisans, including their well-funded propagandists, have developed the meme "WhatAboutism" during the recent two decades or so to deflect specific evidence or allegations against their leaders by changing the topic, often with the political battle cries "What about Bill Clinton?" and "What about Hillary?"
There is some relevance the case of Epstein because the former president is listed as having travelled on Epstein's airplane. Also, Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell did interact socially at times with the Clintons and Epstein did contribute to the Clinton Foundation. The Daily Beast documented number of those interactions in a July 25 column, Jeffrey Epstein Visited Clinton White House Multiple Times in Early ’90s by Emily Shugerman and Suzi Parker:
Days after Jeffrey Epstein’s arrest on sex-trafficking charges in New York, Bill Clinton distanced himself from the high-flying financier and convicted sex offender. The former president owned up to just six encounters with Epstein, starting in 2002: four flights on the billionaire’s private jet, a single trip to his Harlem office, and one “brief visit” to his New York apartment, all with staff and security detail in tow.
Now, a Daily Beast investigation has uncovered ties between Epstein and the Clinton administration that date bill clinton wback to the president’s earliest days in the White House, casting doubt on the oft-circulated narrative that the two only began associating after Clinton (shown in a White House photo) left office.
As early as 1993, records show, Epstein donated $10,000 to the White House Historical Association and attended a donors’ reception hosted by Bill and Hillary Clinton. Around the same time, according to a source familiar with the connection, Epstein visited presidential aide Mark Middleton several times at the White House. Two years later, businesswoman Lynn Forester de Rothschild wrote a personal letter to Clinton thanking him for their talk about the financier.
DJT jeffrey epstein cheerleaders party cropped mar a logo screenshotHowever, those interactions with the Clintons in no way compare in scope with the those of Trump (shown with Epstein at a wild Mar-a-Lago party ogling cheerleaders in a locale about a mile from Epstein's Palm Beach mansion).
For one thing, no reasonably credible allegation has yet surfaced that the former president engaged in sexual activities in Epstein's circle. If Epstein were part of an intelligence operation, as appears likely, any involvement with a former president would be useful for control purposes, much likely any involvement with Epstein's scientific, charitable, financial or other prestigious organizations would have been useful for cover and guilt-by-association blackmail purposes.
Democrats — including former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson and former U.S. Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell — were named by Giuffre as her partners when she served as what she called a "sex slave" for Epstein and Maxwell. Those officials have denied culpability.
Importantly, the former president, Richardson and Mitchell and most of the other alleged abusers did not hold relevant government power over criminal proceedings when Epstein was being criminally investigated by federal and Florida authorities on sex trafficking charges during the Bush Presidency in 2007-2008 or more currently.
The Acosta Sweetheart Plea Bargain
alexander acosta o cropped CustomIn 2007-2008, Bush-appointed U.S. Attorney for Miami Alexander Acosta, shown at left as Trump's Secretary of Labor, arranged a highly unusual plea deal whereby Epstein served just 13 months part-time in a Palm Beach jail.
Authorities promised not to investigate his fellow traffickers or others (including his celebrity friends) involved with his network, despite evidence that more than hundred junior high and high school girls were victimized from Florida alone. Epstein had homes in Manhattan, New Mexico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, and travelled widely around the world.
This editor is among those who call for vigorous prosecution of all abusers, whatever their political affiliation and whatever their other status. Yet it is only Trump who appointed Acosta as Secretary of Labor, which carries primary federal responsibility for investigating sex trafficking, and Barr, whose control over federal prisons and prosecutions makes his promise to investigate Barr's death a travesty given Barr's own sordid history, including his zeal in protecting Trump from investigation.
One of many signs that Barr puts loyalty to Trump and party above rule of law is Barr's obvious conflicts of interest in Epstein matters. Barr was a partner at the elite law firm Kirkland & Ellis, where Epstein was a valued client. Other top members of the firm early this century included Acosta and two of the prominent Epstein attorneys and Republican partisans who would negotiate the sweetheart plea deal with Acosta, Jay Lefkowitz and former Independent Counsel and Clinton sleuth Kenneth Starr.
The latter, serving as counsel to Kirkland & Ellis while holding top leadership posts at Baylor University before his ouster over a sex scandal involving student hostesses "recruiting" athletes to attend Baylor, told this reporter in an interview that he had represented Epstein out of loyalty to the financier's support for the law firm.
Barr has asked for Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horwitz to lead an investigation into Epstein's death but that is surely too little too late for Barr, who of course retains ultimate authority over all federal prosecutions and the largely opaque operations of the U.S. Bureau of Prisons.
What Spies? What Intelligence Connections?
Some readers here might also question references in this column to potential intelligence connections to the Epstein scandal, particularly because the mainstream media have ignored those story leads almost entirely.
True, such ties are inherently covert and controversial. Nonetheless, several expert reporters have made compelling cases that Epstein was not simply a self-indulgent pedophile but also a "Deep State" operative who followed a tradition dating back more than half a century whereby intelligence agencies worked with corrupt operatives like Epstein to obtain blackmail material on U.S. leaders for later use in influencing policy.
whitney webb twitterInvestigative reporter Whitney Webb, right, published a compelling three-part series on this history in MintPress News on July 18, July 25 and Aug. 7. She tied Epstein, Wexner and a number of their associates to support for Israel via its foreign intelligence agency, the Mossad, and otherwise.
The picture painted by the evidence is not a direct Epstein tie to a single intelligence agency but a web linking key members of the Mega Group, politicians, and officials in both the U.S. and Israel, and an organized-crime network with deep business and intelligence ties in both nations.
As billionaire pedophile and alleged sex-trafficker, Jeffrey Epstein sits in prison, reports have continued to surface about his reported links to intelligence, his financial ties to several companies and “charitable” foundations, and his friendships with the rich and powerful as well as top politicians.
While Part I and Part II of this series, “The Jeffrey Epstein Scandal: Too Big to Fail,” have focused on the widespread nature of sexual blackmail operations in recent American history and their ties to the heights of American political power and the U.S. intelligence community, one key aspect of Epstein’s own sex-trafficking and blackmail operation that warrants examination is Epstein’s ties to Israeli intelligence and his ties to the “informal” pro-Israel philanthropist faction known as “the Mega Group.”
leslie wexner youtube cropped screenshot american academy of achievementThe Mega Group’s role in the Epstein case has garnered some attention, as Epstein’s main financial patron for decades, billionaire Leslie Wexner (right), was a co-founder of the group that unites several well-known businessmen with a penchant for pro-Israel and ethno-philanthropy (i.e., philanthropy benefiting a single ethnic or ethno-religious group).
However, as this report will show, another uniting factor among Mega Group members is deep ties to organized crime, specifically the organized crime network discussed in Part I of this series, which was largely led by notorious American mobster Meyer Lansky.
Dr. Philip Girardi, a think tank leader and former former CIA and military intelligence officer, is among those who have written similar reports in recent days. His column, Jeffrey Epstein RIP: But Many More Questions Remain to be Answered, appeared in the Unz Review, among other locales.
Giraldi wrote that in his experience a foreign intelligence service would not be able to operate assets like Epstein quite so brazenly as it appears without approval by at least some well-connected U.S. government officials.
In that vein, Girardi wrote:
My belief that Jeffrey Epstein was an intelligence agent is based principally on Acosta’s comments when being cleared by the Trump transition team. He was asked “Is the Epstein case going to cause a problem [for confirmation hearings]?” … “Acosta testified that he’d had just one meeting on the Epstein case. He’d cut the non-prosecution deal with one of Epstein’s attorneys because he had ‘been told’ to back off, that Epstein was above his pay grade. ‘I was told Epstein belonged to intelligence and to leave it alone.’”
The questions about Epstein remain even though he is gone, but one fears that the authorities will be disinclined to further investigate a dead man. It appears that no one in the various investigative agencies or the mainstream media has been interested in what Acosta meant, even though it would be simple enough to ask him.
Who told him to back off? And how did they explain it? And then there is Epstein’s Austrian passport. Was it fake or real, with a real name and photo substitution or alternation of both picture and name? How did he get it? Austrian passports are highly desirable in intelligence circles because the country is neutral and its holders can travel just about everywhere without a visa.
Girardi continued:
And there’s more. As a former intelligence officer myself, there is little doubt in my mind that what Epstein did and how he did it was an intelligence operation. There is no other viable explanation for his filming of prominent politicians and celebrities having sex with young mossad seal Customgirls.
And as for the question of whom Epstein might have been working for, the most likely answer is Mossad. The CIA would have had no interest in compiling dossiers on prominent Americans, but American movers and shakers like Bill Clinton, with his 26 trips on the 'Lolita Express,' former Governor Bill Richardson, or former Senator George Mitchell are precisely the types of “agents of influence” that the Mossad would seek to coerce or even blackmail into cooperation.
Other compelling evidence for a Mossad connection came from Epstein’s relationship with Ghislaine Maxwell, who reportedly served as his key procurer of young girls. Ghislaine is the daughter of Robert Maxwell, who died or possibly was assassinated in mysterious circumstances in 1991. Maxwell was an Anglo-Jewish businessman, very cosmopolitan in profile, like Epstein, a multi-millionaire who was very controversial with what were regarded as ongoing ties to Mossad. After his death, he was given a state funeral by Israel in which six serving and former heads of Israeli intelligence listened while Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir eulogized: “He has done more for Israel than can today be said.”
Israel and high-profile Jewish players also have continued to turn up like bad pennies in the Epstein case, but no one seems to be interested in pursuing that angle. Epstein clearly had contact with former Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres and Ehud Barak and Wexner also had close ties to the Jewish state and its government.
In a similar column alleging that Epstein had sinister and deep ties to the financial world, British entertainer Johnny Vedmore last month published The Epstein Associate Nobody's Talking About: The IDF-Linked Bond Girl Infiltrating the UK NHS. As in most such stories, those named denied any culpability.
Treatment in the mainstream media of these topics is virtually non-existent despite the scores of supposedly in-depth treatments of the Epstein case that have been appearing recently.
Part of the reluctance, undoubtedly, is the difficulty of documentation and fear of reprisal from powerful figures, some of whom (like Wexner) lead giant retailing companies and thus spend heavily on media advertising as well as on philanthropy for causes that some media decision-makers doubtless find attractive.
Despite those obstacles, independent researchers have undertaken much of spadework on Epstein for years. They include Vicky Ward (whose pioneering report for Vanity Fair was gutted in significant part before publication in 2003), Nick Bryant (author of The Franklin Scandal on child sex trafficking, co-author of Confessions of a DC Madam about the 1980s "call boy" scandal involving GOP lobbyist Craig Spence and also the reporter who first broke the story of Epstein's "black book" of celebrity addresses). Among others are the accomplished tabloid reporter/editor and author Sharon Churcher, Filthy Rich author James Patterson, and sex trafficking opponent and Trafficking author Conchita Sarnoff.
A number of victims' lawyers and citizen sleuths are also involved providing essential documentation, pressure on lawmakers and social media coverage that mainstream media -- claiming that they avoid "conspiracy theory" -- are often reluctant to provide on the most sensitive issues, including evidence of flaws in the 1964 Warren Report ascribing all blame on Lee Harvey Oswald for the President John Kennedy's assassination.
perversion of justice miami herald logoThe Miami Herald's investigative series on Epstein last fall, "Perversion of Justice," raised scandal's profile immensely with interviews of Epstein's victims that were primarily by lead reporter Julie K. Brown and video producer Emily Michot.
wayne madsen may 29 2015 croppedWayne Madsen (shown in a 2015 photo), the former Navy intelligence officer and NSA analyst who has authored 16 books, also has provided cutting-edge reporting through the years. He and this editor interviewed experts on organized crime three years ago on a trip to Columbus, Ohio, where we learned of Wexner and Epstein's relationships datin back decades with prominent mob interests in the region.
And when Trump nominated Acosta in February 2017 to join his cabinet Madsen responded the next day by publishing the first part of a series documenting Acosta's nefarious work as a cover-up mastermind in the Epstein case.
Meanwhile, the U. S. Senate largely ignored Acosta's multiple scandals as U.S. attorney during confirmation hearings, much as the Senate did with Barr's decades of cover scandals during this confirmation hearing in January. The Senate confirmed Acosta narrowly in March 2017 with a vote largely along party lines.
'A Lawless, Criminal Nation?'
There's much more to say. But since something new seems to be reported every few minutes we point readers to the above-mentioned special sites updated each day, particularly the #MeToo site on trafficking.
david talbot facebookWe conclude for now with words from David Talbot, the best-selling author of The Devil's ChessboardSeason of the Witch and Brothers. Talbot, shown at right and also founder of the Salon Media Group, wrote on his Facebook page over the weekend a powerful denunciation of the U.S. legal system that allowed Epstein's corruption and demise.
"Well, it's official," he wrote. "We now live in a criminal, lawless nation where people who know too much about the sleazy lives of the rich and powerful can be 'suicided' to death — even when they're on suicide watch in a New York City jail cell!"
He continued:
The "suicide" of Jeffrey Epstein — oh what the hell, let's call it what it really was, a politically necessary execution — reeks of the "suicide" of Craig Spence back in 1989.
Spence (below), a Republican lobbyist with deep ties to the Reagan presidency, ran a Washington call-boy service and, like Epstein, had the craig spencegoods on many of America's decadent elite. After his sex racket exploded in the headlines, Spence told friends he would probably be murdered — a termination that would be called a suicide. And guess what? In November 1989, Spence was indeed found "suicided" in a Ritz Carlton hotel room in Boston....
A final note on this flaming conspiracy to silence the latest man who knew too much.
For decades, the corporate media have been ridiculing and condemning those who believe that power in the U.S. often operates in darkly clandestine ways. The New York Times, Washington Post, TV networks et al have worked feverishly to marginalize the deep investigative work done by citizen researchers and independent journalists (including me) to shed light on the national security assassination of President Kennedy.
Eye-opening investigations into 9/11 — and the undeniable web of connections between Saudi royalty and the hijackers, U.S. agencies' foreknowledge of the hijacker plots, and the Bush-Cheney administration's coverup of inconvenient 9/11 truths — also are routinely blacked out by the mainstream media.
But in the wake of this Epstein bombshell, now, the C-word (as in 'conspiracy') is even creeping into the prose of NY Times columnists like Paul Krugman. Sometimes the criminality at the top of America becomes so brazen, so obvious that even our press watchdogs are stirred from their slumber.
Gloom, Doom & 'Strange Bedfellows' Fighting For Country
Amid legitmate fears of a fascist, unconstitutional takever by essentially lawless elements holding power, there exist (for those who dig deep) encouraging signs that the current threats to the United States justice system are persuading at least some experts to transcend put institutional reform ahead of their longstanding political loyalties. 
Former New York Police Commissioner Kerik's oped this weekend blasting federal law enforcement authorities over Epstein's death surely falls into that category. Kerik, a fervant Republican and law enforcement supporter throughout his career, is now a consultant (doubtless dependent on political goodwill). But he is also a prison reform advocate after being ruthlessly and in many ways unfairly prosecuted and imprisoned in a case that the Justice Integrity Project covered closely, with clear sympathy to his position. Kerik knows many things about many people and institutions, and in this instance chose to speak up for the powerless, who are in no position to help him or his beloved family.
Somewhat similarly, but from a different political perspective, reporter Wayne Madsen has published oped columns in several major newspapers this year advocating for former Vice President Joe Biden presidential candidacy. Madsen argues that mainstream Democrat Biden, despite flaws that Madsen underscored as a prominent muckraker of the Obama-Biden administration that Madsen was smeared falsely as a "conspiracy theorist," is best-positioned to fight the threat of lawless fascism represented by Trump.
Madsen also has reported that Southern District of New York U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman, a Trump appointee who is widely suspect in Democratic circles because he is former law partner of Trump advisor Rudy Giuliani, is credited with being a major backer of "Megan's Law," which is instrumental in fighting teen kidnappers and other traffickers.
The gist is that crime and cover-ups may not be forever, especially if authorities and the public are sufficiently revulsed by the crimes and inspired by reform impulses.
"Politics makes strange bedfellows" wrote Hartford Courant and Atlantic Magazine publisher / editor Charles Dudley Warner (1829-1900) in an oft-quoted saying often misattributed to his Hartford neighbor Mark Twain.
We may be seeing that verity again now, but with the replacement of the term "politics" with the higher patriotism revolving around adherence to justice as a unifying goal.

Sunday, August 4, 2019

Media silent on dismissal of DNC suit against Julian Assange


August 2, 2019

A Crashing Silence Rings Out 

A federal court ruling last Tuesday dismissing a Democratic National Committee (DNC) civil suit against Julian Assange “with prejudice” was a devastating indictment of the US ruling elite’s campaign to destroy the WikiLeaks founder. It exposed as a fraud the entire “Russiagate” conspiracy theory peddled by the Democratic Party, the corporate media and the intelligence agencies for the past three years.
The decision, by Judge John Koeltl of the US District Court for the Southern District of New York, rejected the smears that Assange “colluded” with Russia. It upheld his status as a journalist and publisher and dismissed claims that WikiLeaks’ 2016 publication of leaked emails from the DNC was “illegal.”
Despite the significance of the ruling, and its clear newsworthiness, it has been subjected to an almost complete blackout by the entire media in the US and internationally.
Click on the link for the rest.
https://www.greanvillepost.com/2019/08/02/media-silent-on-dismissal-of-dnc-suit-against-julian-assange/

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Amazon Natives in Ecuador Get Dumped On Again



September 9, 2018

by David Lincoln

It is practically impossible to discuss oil industry impacts in Ecuador without first dealing with the lawsuits by the native peoples against the oil companies.

As a result of exploration and production activities in Ecuador between 1972 and 1992, TEXACO/TEXPET [now CHEVRON] has faced several lawsuits stemming from alleged environmental damages. During that period, Texaco produced an average of more than 8 million gallons per day of oil from the Oriente region of the Amazon in Northeastern Ecuador.

 Reportedly, the first lawsuit against Texaco was filed on behalf of a half-million Ecuadorians soon after Texaco disposed of its oil interests in Ecuador in 1992. The suit was apparently dismissed in January 1994. In November 1993, a $1-billion lawsuit was filed against Texaco for about 30,000 Quechua Indians, who claimed that the oil company had caused irreparable damage to the Oriente rain forest. This suit was reportedly dismissed in November 1996 by the New York federal court. In July 1994, the municipality of Lago Agrio, a small town in the Amazon oil-producing region of northeastern Ecuador filed a $2 billion lawsuit for alleged environmental damages. Texaco is said to have settled this suit in September 1996 for far less money -- about $1 million -- without any admission of liability.

There is also an Ecuador lawsuit, originally filed in 1993 in New York, which alleges that Chevron dumped 18 billion gallons of toxic waste in Ecuador's rainforest from 1964 to 1992. According to the suit, this threatened multiple indigenous groups with extinction and caused skyrocketing rates of cancer.

The EIA states that in May 1995, Texaco signed an agreement with Ecuador's government to undertake cleanup activities in northeastern Ecuador in return for releasing the company from future responsibility related to its former oil operations. Under the deal, Texaco was to treat polluted water, clean and reforest production sites, build schools and medical centers at three sites, and provide riverboats and an airplane to local communities. Texaco also agreed to negotiate with several regional municipalities, including Lago Agrio, which had raised its own claims against the company. In late 1996, Ecuador's Attorney General Leonidas Plaza reportedly attempted to annul this deal, but this attempt failed after President Buckram’s government was removed from power.

This lawsuit which was just dismissed on September 8, 2018, by the International Tribunal at the Hague in the Netherlands. According to the BBC, Chevron wins Ecuador rainforest 'oil dumping' case, “the oil giant now stands to be awarded hundreds of millions of dollars in costs by the Hague's Permanent Court of Arbitration.” (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-45455984)

It is possible that had the courts allowed testimony of oil field experts (not working with TEXACO/CHEVRON), the Native Tribes (who were the victims in this case) might have been more successful in their claim.

The ruling this month states that Texaco had hired a contractor to clean-up the contaminated area. In truth, the consulting companies sampled less than half of the pits. Many that were partially remediated were completed in only a few weeks.


The chart above shows the Produced Water (millions of bbls/month)
from the TexPet concession between 1972 and 1992.

This shows that TexPet alone discharged over 375 million bbls (more than 15 billion gallons) of Produced Water during the period they operated. Note the shutdown in 1987 was due to the major earthquake in 1987.
When I worked for Texaco in 1974, they paraded their successes in Ecuador for all the employees and stockholders and they were particularly pleased with the contracts they negotiated with the Corporacion Estatal Petrolera Ecuatoriana (CEPE), a predecessor of PetroEcuador. At the time, it was one of their most profitable ventures.

The full impacts on the Oriente people and the environment from oil and Produced Water discharged at these fields have never fully been revealed. This understanding is made even more difficult because of Chevron/Texaco defers to consultant reports rather than releasing its own original data. Simultaneously, they challenge the integrity of every lawyer who dares to attach his reputation to the case and they challenge every piece of evidence even it was produced by their own company.

Despite these obstacles, a few details have emerged which can shed some light on these controversies. Texaco certainly constructed more than 600 pits for the separation and disposal of oily Produced Water. The area receives between 2000 mm and 4000 mm (6.5 feet to 13 feet) of rainfall per year, so when these pits flood or overflow, the hydrocarbons are released directly into the river and streams. The geography and ecology of the Lago Agrio region also contribute primarily to the intensity of the environmental damage. The water table in the Amazonian basin is very high, this means that the average depth at which drinking water is found underground is significantly less than that of other nations and ecological regions. As a result, seepage of wastewaters and discharged oil results in the direct contamination of regional drinking water, rivers, and wells. Contaminated water and oil can permeate the aquifers through fractures or through the underground beds of sand, gravel, or porous rock that store water.

Court documents have claimed that the risk of excess cancers for people who chronically drank from and bathed in oil-contaminated waters ranged from 12-1000 cases per million persons.

A Texaco Audit of Practices between 1964-1990 produced by the consultant Fugro-McClelland in 1992 (which examined only half of the wells and about 30 miles of the pipeline) found that approximately half of the well pits contained crude oil in them. Various degrees of crude oil contamination existed on many of the sites audited. Hydrocarbon contamination was also observed at the production facilities of the two largest fields Sacha and Shushufindi.

Another Environmental Audit and Assessment produced by consultants HGT AGRA in 1993 found wellsite spills had occurred at more than 150 of the 163 assessed sites. Thirty-nine of produced fluid spills originated along a flowline. Thirteen of these spills had migrated off-site. In addition, more than 125 open or closed well site pits contained oily waste. The oily waste was apparently confined within about 50 of the pits, while evidence of seepage was noted at nearly 70 of the pits. Four facilities at Sacha Field (Sacha Central, Sacha Sur, Sacha Norte 1 and Sacha Norte 2) all but Sacha Norte 2 had large accumulations of crude oil (Greater than 95%) in their final stage pits [Pits that discharge directly to a surface water feature]. 


Gas is burned off at a separation station outside the town of Shushufindi.
Photo by Lou Dematteis, courtesy of Amazon Watch

   

At Shushufindi, the largest pit measured over 10,000 sq. ft and even after passing through two separation pits the final stage pit still had over half-covered with oil. Produced water flow diagrams show that of the 15 pits used at the four production facilities, 13 had 100% oil covering the surface when audited.

Undoubtedly, hydrocarbons in soils represent a potentially long-term exposure to hydrocarbons. During the original audits, contamination of soil and water was seen throughout the concession. It was observed at well sites, production stations, flowlines, and secondary pipelines and along roadways.

So, the evidence is clear that Chevron/Texaco polluted the Amazon rainforest with obsolete equipment and methods. It doesn’t matter if the government oil company continued to pollute using the poorly designed system that Chevron/Texaco left behind.

Their best defense then proved to be the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) designed to punish racketeering. This may be the first time that a multi-national corporation sued a country for racketeering and go away with it.

Full Disclosure: I was employed as a Geologist by Texaco in New Orleans from 1974 to 1976. I was also deposed as a witness for the plaintiffs by Chevron in 2007. My testimony related to this litigation, but it was determined that the statute of limitations had expired.