WhoReallyRunsTheWorld?





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Who Runs The World? Solid Proof That A Core Group Of Wealthy Elitists Is Pulling The Strings
Michael Snyder
Economic Collapse
Jan 30, 2013

Does a shadowy group of obscenely wealthy elitists control the world?  Do men and women with enormous amounts of money really run the world from behind the scenes?  The answer might surprise you.  Most of us tend to think of money as a convenient way to conduct transactions, but the truth is that it also represents power and control.  And today we live in a neo-fuedalist system in which the super rich pull all the strings.  When I am talking about the ultra-wealthy, I am not just talking about people that have a few million dollars.  As you will see later in this article, the ultra-wealthy have enough money sitting in offshore banks to buy all of the goods and services produced in the United States during the course of an entire year and still be able to pay off the entire U.S. national debt.  That is an amount of money so large that it is almost incomprehensible.  Under this ne0-feudalist system, all the rest of us are debt slaves, including our own governments.  Just look around – everyone is drowning in debt, and all of that debt is making the ultra-wealthy even wealthier.  But the ultra-wealthy don’t just sit on all of that wealth.  They use some of it to dominate the affairs of the nations.  The ultra-wealthy own virtually every major bank and every major corporation on the planet.  They use a vast network of secret societies, think tanks and charitable organizations to advance their agendas and to keep their members in line.  They control how we view the world through their ownership of the media and their dominance over our education system.  They fund the campaigns of most of our politicians and they exert a tremendous amount of influence over international organizations such as the United Nations, the IMF, the World Bank and the WTO.  When you step back and take a look at the big picture, there is little doubt about who runs the world.  It is just that most people don’t want to admit the truth.
The ultra-wealthy don’t run down and put their money in the local bank like you and I do.  Instead, they tend to stash their assets in places where they won’t be taxed such as the Cayman Islands.  According to a report that was released last summer, the global elite have up to 32 TRILLION dollars stashed in offshore banks around the globe.
U.S. GDP for 2011 was about 15 trillion dollars, and the U.S. national debt is sitting at about 16 trillion dollars, so you could add them both together and you still wouldn’t hit 32 trillion dollars.
And of course that does not even count the money that is stashed in other locations that the study did not account for, and it does not count all of the wealth that the global elite have in hard assets such as real estate, precious metals, art, yachts, etc.
The global elite have really hoarded an incredible amount of wealth in these troubled times.  The following is from an article on the Huffington Post website
Rich individuals and their families have as much as $32 trillion of hidden financial assets in offshore tax havens, representing up to $280 billion in lost income tax revenues, according to research published on Sunday.
The study estimating the extent of global private financial wealth held in offshore accounts – excluding non-financial assets such as real estate, gold, yachts and racehorses – puts the sum at between $21 and $32 trillion.
The research was carried out for pressure group Tax Justice Network, which campaigns against tax havens, by James Henry, former chief economist at consultants McKinsey & Co.
He used data from the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, United Nations and central banks.
But as I mentioned previously, the global elite just don’t have a lot of money.  They also basically own just about every major bank and every major corporation on the entire planet.

                         Please read the full story on Who Really Runs the World further down this INLNews.com web page... 
                                      thank you for taking the time for reading this important information....



         The History of the “Money Changers”

http://www.iamthewitness.com/DarylBradfordSmith_Bankers.htm

By Andrew Hitchcock, 26 Feb 2006. He also wrote the Rothschild timeline. 
Here is an illustrated version of this timeline.

Economists continually try and sell the public the idea that recessions or depressions are a natural part of what they call the “business cycle”.

This timeline below will prove that is simply not the case.  Recessions and depressions only occur because the Central Bankers manipulate the money supply, to ensure more and more is in their hands and less and less is in the hands of the people.

Central Bankers developed out of money changers and it is with these people we pick the story up in 48 B.C. below.

48 B.C.

Julius Caesar took back from the money changers the power to coin money and then minted coins for the benefit of all. With this new, plentiful supply of money, he established many massive construction projects and built great public works. By making money plentiful, Caesar won the love of the common people.

But the money changers hated him for it and this is why Caesar was assassinated.  Immediately after his assassination came the demise of plentiful money in Rome, taxes increased, as did corruption.

Eventually the Roman money supply was reduced by 90 per cent, which resulted in the common people losing their lands and homes.

30 A.D.

Jesus Christ in the last year of his life uses physical force to throw the money changers out of the temple.  This was the only time during the the life of his ministry in which he used physical force against anyone.

When Jews came to Jerusalem to pay their Temple tax, they could only pay it with a special coin, the half-shekel. This was a half-ounce of pure silver, about the size of a quarter. It was the only coin at that time which was pure silver and of assured weight, without the image of a pagan Emperor, and therefore to the Jews it was the only coin acceptable to God.

Unfortunately these coins were not plentiful, the money changers had cornered the market on them, and so they raised the price of them to whatever the market could bear.  They used their monopoly they had on these coins to make exorbitant profits, forcing the Jews to pay whatever these money changers demanded.

Jesus threw the money changers out as their monopoly on these coins totally violated the sanctity of God's house.  These money changers called for his death days later.

1024

The money changers had control of Medieval England's money supply and at this time were generally known as goldsmiths.  Paper money started out and this was simply a receipt you would get after depositing gold with a goldsmith, in their safe rooms or vaults.  This paper started being traded as it was far more convenient than carrying round a lot of heavy gold and silver coins.

Over time, to simplify the process, the receipts were made to the bearer, rather than to the individual depositor, making it readily transferable without the need for a signature. This, also, broke the tie to any identifiable deposit of gold.

Eventually the goldsmiths recognized that only a fraction of depositors ever came in and demanded their gold at any one time, so they found out how they could cheat on the system.  They started to issue more receipts than they had gold to back those receipts and no one would be any the wiser.  They would loan out these receipts which were not backed by the gold they had in their depositories and collect interest on them.

This was the birth of the system we know today as Fractional Reserve Banking, and like this system of today this meant the goldsmiths were able to make astronomical amounts of money by loaning out, what was essentially fraudulent receipts, as they were for gold the goldsmiths didn't even possess.  As they gradually got more confident they would loan out up to 10 times the amount they had in their deposits.

To simplify how they made money on this, let's give an example in which a goldsmith charges the same rate of interest to creditors and debtors.  In this example a goldsmith would pay interest of 6% on gold you had deposited with them, and then charge 6% interest on money, I mean fraudulent receipts, you borrowed from them.  As they would lend out ten times what you had deposited with them, whilst they're paying you 6% interest, they are making 60% interest.  This is on your gold.

The goldsmiths also discovered that their control of this fraudulent money supply gave them control over the economy and the assets of the people.  They exacted their control by rowing the economy between easy money and tight money.

The way they did this was to make money easy to borrow and therefore increase the amount of money in circulation, then suddenly tighten the money supply, taking it out of circulation by making loans more difficult to get or stopping offering them altogether.

Why did they do this?  Simple, because the result would be a certain percentage of the people being unable to repay their previous loans, and not having the facility to take out new ones, so they would go bankrupt and be forced to sell their assets to the goldsmiths for literally pennies on the dollar.

This is exactly what happens in the world economy of today, but is referred to with words like, "the business cycle," "boom and bust," "recession," and "depression," in order to confuse the population of the money changers scam.

1100

King Henry I succeeds King William II to the throne of England.  During his reign he decided to take the power the money changers had over the people, and he did this by creating a completely new form of money that took the form of a stick!  This stick was called, a "talley stick," and ended up being the longest lasting form of currency, lasting 726 years until 1826 (even though other currencies came and went in that same period and ran alongside the talley sticks).

The talley stick was a stick of polished wood into which notches were cut along one side, to indicate the denomination of money the stick represented.  The stick was then split lengthwise through the notches, so that both pieces had a record of the notches.  The King kept one half to protect against counterfeiting and the other half was spent into the economy and circulated as money.

It was also one of the most successful money systems in history, as the King demanded that all the King's taxes had to be paid in, "talley sticks," so this increased their circulation and acceptance as a legitimate form of money.  This system would work well in keeping the power away from the money changers in England.

1225

St. Thomas Aquinas is born, the leading theologian of the Catholic Church who argued that the charging of interest is wrong because it applies to "double charging," charging for both the money and the use of the money.

This concept followed the teachings of Aristotle that taught the purpose of money was to serve the members of society and to facilitate the exchange of goods needed to lead a virtuous life.  Interest was contrary to reason and justice because it put an unnecessary burden on the use of money.

Thus, Church law in Middle Ages Europe forbade the charging of interest on loans and even made it a crime called, "usury."

1509

King Henry VIII succeeds King Henry VII to the throne in England.  During his reign he relaxed the laws regarding usury, and and the money changers did not waste any time in re-asserting themselves over the population.  They quickly made their gold and silver coin system plentiful again.  It is interesting to note that under King Henry VIII  the Church of England separated from Roman Catholicism, whose Church law prevented the charging of interest on money.

1553

Queen Mary I succeeds Lady Jane Grey's nine day reign to the throne in England.  During her reign, Queen Mary I, a staunch Catholic, tightened the usury laws again.  The money changers were not amused and in revenge they tightened the money supply by hoarding gold and silver coins and causing the economy to plummet.

1558

Queen Elizabeth I succeeds Queen Mary I, her half sister, to the throne in England.  During her reign, Queen Elizabeth I decided that in order to wrest control of the money supply she would have to issue her own gold and silver coins.  She did this through the public treasury and successfully took control of the money supply from the money changers.

1609

The money changers in the Netherlands establish the the first central bank in history, in Amsterdam.

1642

Oliver Cromwell is financed by the money changers for the purposes of fomenting a revolution in England, and allowing them to take control of the money system again.  After much bloodshed, Cromwell finally purges the parliament, overthrows King Charles I and puts him to death in 1649.

The money changers immediately consolidate their power and for the next few decades plunge Great Britain into a costly series of wars.  They also take over a square mile of property in the center of London which becomes known as the City of London.

1688

The money changers in England following a series of squabbles with the Stuart Kings, Charles II (1660 - 1685) and James II (1685 - 1688), conspire with their far more successful money changing counterparts in the Netherlands, who had already set up a central bank there.

They decide to finance an invasion by William of Orange of Netherlands who they sound out and establish will be more favorable to them.  The invasion is successful and William of Orange ascends to the throne in England as King William III in 1689.

1694

Following a costly series of wars over the last 50 years, English Government officials go, cap in hand, to the money changers for loans necessary to pursue their political purposes.  The money changers agree to solve this problem in exchange for a government sanctioned privately owned bank which could issue money created out of nothing.

This was deceptively named the, "Bank of England," for the sole purpose of duping the general public into believing it was part of the government, which it was not.

Like any other private corporation the Bank of England sold shares to get started.  The private investors, whose names were never revealed, were supposed to put up £1,250,000 in gold coins to buy their shares in the bank, but only £750,000 was ever received.  Despite that the bank was duly chartered and began loaning out several times the money it supposedly had in reserves, all at interest.

Although the Bank of England's private investors were never revealed, one of the Directors, William Paterson, stated,

"The Bank hath benefit of interest on all monies which it creates out of nothing.”

Furthermore the Bank of England would loan government officials as much of the new currency as they wanted, as long as they secured the debt by direct taxation of the British people.  The Bank of England amounted to nothing less than the legal counterfeiting of a national currency for private gain, and thus any country that would fall under the control of a private bank would amount to nothing more than a plutocracy.

Soon after the Bank of England was formed it attacked the talley stick system, as it was money outside of the power of the money changers, just as King Henry I had intended it to be.

1698

Following four years of the Bank of England, their plan to control the money supply had come on in leaps and bounds.  They had flooded the country with so much money that the Government debt to the Bank had grown from the initial £1,250,000, to £16,000,000, in only four years.  That's an increase of 1,280%.

Why do they do it?  Simple, if the money in circulation in a country is £5,000,000, and a central bank is set up and prints another £15,000,000, stage one of the plan, sends it out into the economy through loans etc, than this will reduce the value of the initial £5,000,000 in circulation before the bank was formed. This is because the initial £5,000,000 is now only 25% of the economy.  It will also give the bank control of 75% of the money in circulation with the £15,000,000 they sent out into the economy.

This also causes inflation which is the reduction in worth of money borne by the common person, due to the economy being flooded with too much money, an economy which the Central Bank are responsible for. As the common person's money is worth less, he has to go to the bank to get a loan to help run his business etc, and when the Central Bank are satisfied there are enough people with debt out there, the bank will tighten the supply of money by not offering loans.  This is stage two of the plan.

Stage three, is sitting back and waiting for the debtors to them to go bankrupt, allowing the bank to then seize from them real wealth, businesses and property etc, for pennies on the dollar.  Inflation never effects a central bank in fact they are the only group who can benefit from it, as if they are ever short of money they can simply print more.

1757

Benjamin Franklin travels to England and would spend the next 18 years of his life there until just before the start of the American Revolution.

1760

Mayer Amschel Bauer changes him name to Mayer Amschel Rothschild and sets up the, House Of Rothschild, and soon learns that if he loans out money to Governments and Royalty then this is far more profitable than loaning to individuals.  This is because the loans made are bigger and backed by their nations' taxes.  He trains his five sons in the art of money creation.

1764

Benjamin Franklin is asked by officials of the Bank of England to explain the prosperity of the colonies in America.  He replies,

"That is simple.  In the Colonies we issue our own money.  It is called Colonial Scrip.  We issue it in proper proportion to the demands of trade and industry to make the products pass easily from the producers to the consumers.  In this manner creating for ourselves our own paper money, we control its purchasing power, and we have no interest to pay no one."

As a result of Franklin's statement, the British Parliament hurriedly passed the Currency Act of 1764.  This prohibited colonial officials from issuing their own money and ordered them to pay all future taxes in gold or silver coins.  Referring to after this act was passed, Franklin would state the following in his autobiography,

"In one year, the conditions were so reversed that the era of prosperity ended, and a depression set in, to such an extent that the streets of the colonies were filled with the unemployed...The colonies would gladly have borne the little tax on tea and other matters had it not been that England took away from the colonies their money which created unemployment and dissatisfaction.

The viability of the colonists to get power to issue their own money permanently out of the hands of King George III and the international bankers was the prime reason for the revolutionary war."

Control of America's money system will change hands 8 times since 1764.

1775

April 19th, start of the revolutionary war in Lexington, Massachusetts.  By this time the colonies had been drained of silver and gold coins as a result of British taxation.  As a result of this, the continental government had no choice but to print money to finance the war.

At the start of the revolution the American money supply stood at $12,000,000.  By the end of the war it was nearly $500,000,000 and as a result the currency was virtually worthless.  An example of this is that a pair of shoes now sold for $5,000 dollars.  This also shows the danger of printing too much money.  The reason Colonial Scrip had worked was because just enough was used to facilitate trade.

1781

Towards the end of the American Revolution the Continental Congress were desperate for money, so they allowed Robert Morris, their Financial Superintendent, to open a privately owned central bank, in the hope this would sort out the money problem.

Morris was a wealthy man who had  grown wealthier during the revolution by trading in war materials.  This first central bank in America was called the Bank of North America, which was set up with a four year charter, and was closely modeled after the Bank of England.  It was allowed to practice the fraudulent system of fractional reserve banking, so it could create money it didn't have, then charge interest on it.

The bank's charter called for private investors to put up $400,000 of initial capital, which Morris found himself unable to raise.  Nevertheless he unashamedly used his political influence to have gold deposited in the bank, which had been loaned to America by France.  Morris then loaned the money he needed to buy this bank from this deposit of gold that belonged to the government, or rather the American people.

This Bank of North America, again deceptively named so the common people would believe it was under the control of the government, was given a monopoly over the national currency.

1785

Despite the promises of Robert Morris that his privately owned Bank of North America would solve the problem with the money supply, of course the economy continued to plummet, forcing the Continental Congress not to renew the bank's charter.  The leader of the effort to kill this bank was William Findlay of Pennsylvania, who stated,

"This institution, having no principle but that of avarice, will never be varied in its objective...to engross all the wealth, power and influence of the state."

Mayer Amschel Rothschild moves his family home to a five storey home in Frankfurt, Germany, which he shares with the Schiff family, (a descendant of both Rothschild and Schiff, Jacob Schiff, who would be born in this house, would, some 128 years later, be instrumental in the setting up of the Federal Reserve).

1787

Colonial leaders assemble in Philadelphia to replace the Articles of Confederation with the Constitution.  Governor Morris headed the final draft of the Constitution and he knew the motivation of the bankers well as he had once worked for them.  Governor Morris along with his former boss Robert Morris, and Alexander Hamilton had presented the original plan for the Bank of North America to the Continental Congress, in the final year of the Revolution.

Fortunately Governor Morris by this time had discovered his conscience, defected from Robert Morris, and in a letter to James Madison dated July 2nd of this year he stated,

"The rich will strive to establish their dominion and enslave the rest.  They always did.  They always will...They will have the same effect here as elsewhere, if we do not, by the power of government, keep them in their proper spheres."

James Madison was opposed to a privately owned central bank after seeing the exploitation of the people by the Bank of England.  Thomas Jefferson was also against it, and Jefferson later made the following statement,

"If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and the corporations which grow up around them will deprive the people of all property until their children wake up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered."

Sadly the words of wisdom of Governor Morris and Thomas Jefferson fell on deaf ears.  Alexander Hamilton, Robert Morris and Thomas Wyling, convinced the the bulk of the delegates to this Constitutional convention, not to give Congress the power to issue paper money.

They were aware that most of these delegates were still reeling from the wild inflation of the paper money during the revolution.  These delegates also had short memories and didn't remember how well Colonial Scrip had worked before the war, or Benjamin Franklin's words of wisdom in 1764.

As a result the Constitution was silent on the issue of paper money by the Government for the citizens, leaving a wide open door for money changers in the future.

1790

Less than 3 years after the Constitution had been signed, the newly appointed First Secretary of the Treasury, Alexander Hamilton, proposed a bill to the Congress calling for a new privately owned central bank.  Interestingly, Alexander Hamilton's first job after graduating from law school in 1782 was as an aide to Robert Morris, a man who he had written to in 1781 stating, "a national debt if it is not excessive will be to us a national blessing."

1791

The three main players behind the Bank Of North America were:  Robert Morris; Alexander Hamilton; and the Bank's President, Thomas Willing.  These men did not give up and Alexander Hamilton, now Secretary of the Treasury, a man who described Robert Morris as his, "mentor," managed to get a new privately owned central bank through the new Congress.

This new bank was called the, "First Bank of the United States," and was exactly the same as the Bank of North America.  Robert Morris controlled it, Thomas Willing was the Bank's President, only the name had changed.

This bank came into being after a year of intense debate and was given a 20 year charter.  It was given a monopoly on printing United States currency even though 80% of it's stock was held by private investors.  The other 20% was purchased by the United States government, but this was not to give it a piece if the action, but to provide the capital for the private investors to purchase the other 80%.

As with the Bank of England and the old Bank of North America, these private investors never paid the full agreed amount for their shares.  What happened was through the fraudulent system of fractional reserve banking, the government's 20% stake which was $2,000,000 in cash, was used to make loans to its private investors to purchase the other 80% stake, £8,000,000,  for this risk free investment.

Again like the Bank of England and the old Bank of North America, the name, "First Bank of the United States," was deliberately chosen to hide from the common people the fact that it was privately owned.  The names of the investors in this bank were never revealed, although it is now widely believed that the Rothschilds were behind it.

Interestingly in 1790 when Alexander Hamilton proposed this bank in Congress, Mayer Amschel Rothschild made the following statement from his bank in Frankfurt, Germany, "Let me issue and control a nation's money and I care not who writes the laws."

1796

The First Bank of the United States has been controlling the American money supply for 5 years.  During this time the American Government has borrowed $8,200,000 from this Central Bank, and prices in the country have increased by 72%.  In relation to this, Thomas Jefferson, then Secretary of State stated,

"I wish it were possible to obtain a single amendment to our constitution taking from the Federal Government their power of borrowing."

1798

Mayer Amschel Rothschild sends his son, Nathan, at the age of 21, to England with a sum of money equivalent to £20,000, to set up a money changers there.

1800

In France, the Bank of France was set up.  However Napoleon decided France had to break free of the debt and he therefore never trusted this bank.  He declared that when a government is dependent on bankers for money, it is the bankers and not the government leaders that are in control.  He stated,

"The hand that gives is among the hand that takes.  Money has no motherland, financiers are without patriotism and without decency, their sole object is gain."

1803

Now President Thomas Jefferson, President Jefferson struck a deal with Napoleon in France.  The United States would give Napoleon $3,000,000 of gold in exchange for a huge chunk of territory west of the Mississippi River.  This was called the Louisiana purchase.

Napoleon used this gold to put together an army.  He then used this army to set off across Europe where he began to conquer everything in his path.  The Bank of England quickly rose to oppose Napoleon and financed every nation in his path, as usual profiteering from war.  Prussia, Austria, and then finally Russia all went heavily into debt in a futile attempt to stop Napoleon.

1807

30 year old Nathan Rothschild, head of the English branch of the family in London, personally takes charge of a plan to smuggle a much needed shipment of gold through France to Spain to finance an attack by the Duke Of Wellington on Napoleon, from there.

1811

A bill was put before Congress to renew the charter of the First Bank of the United States.  The legislatures of both Pennsylvania and Virginia pass resolutions asking Congress to kill the bank.  The national press openly attack the bank calling it:  a great swindle; a vulture; a viper; and a cobra.

Nathan Rothschild gets in on the act and makes the following revealing statement as to who was really behind the First Bank of the United States,

“Either the application for renewal of the charter is granted, or the United States will find itself involved in a most disastrous war.”

When the smoke had cleared the renewal bill was cleared by a single vote in the house and was deadlocked in the Senate.  At this point America's fourth President, President James Madison was in the White House.  He was a staunch opponent of the bank and he sent his Vice-President, George Clinton, to break a tie in the Senate which killed the bank.

1812

As promised by Nathan Rothschild, because the charter for the First Bank of the United States is not renewed, thousands have to die and the British attack America.  However, as the British are still busy fighting Napoleon, they are unable to mount much of an assault and the war ends in 1814 with America undefeated.

1814

Wellington's attacks from the South and other defeats eventually forced Napoleon to abdicate and Louis XVIII is crowned King.  Napoleon is exiled to the tiny island of Elba, off the coast of Italy.

1815

Napoleon escapes his exile and returns to Paris.  French troops were sent to capture him, but he uses his charisma to convince these soldiers to rally round him, and they subsequently hail him as their emperor once again.  In March, Napoleon assembles an army which England's Duke of Wellington defeated less than 90 days later at Waterloo.

Even though the outcome is predetermined, these bankers don't like to take any sort of risk, they're too used to a monopoly.  Therefore Nathan Rothschild sent a trusted courier named Rothworth to Waterloo where he stayed on the edge of the battlefield.  Once the battle was decided, Rothworth took off for the Channel, and delivered the news of Wellington's victory to Nathan Rothschild a full 24 hours before Wellington's own courier.

Nathan Rothschild hurried to the London Stock market and stood in his usual position.  All eyes were on him as Rothschild had a legendary communications network.  Rothschild stood there looking forlorn and suddenly started selling.  The other traders believed that this meant he had heard that Napoleon had won so they all started selling frantically.

The market subsequently plummeted, soon everyone was selling their consuls (British Government Bonds), but then Rothschild secretly started buying them all up through his agents on the floor, for a fraction of what they were worth only hours before.  A lot of these consuls were able to be converted to Bank of England stock, which is how Rothschild took over the control of the Bank of England and therefore the British money supply.

Interestingly, 100 years later, the New York Times ran a story stating that Nathan Rothschild's grandson had attempted to secure a court order to suppress a book with this, what we would call today, "insider trading," story in it.  The Rothschild family claimed the story was untrue and libelous, but the court denied the Rothschilds request and ordered the family to pay all court costs.

Nathan Rothschild openly brags that in his 17 years in England he had increased his initial £20,000 stake given to him by his father, 2500 times to £50,000,000.

Some people ask, why do bankers want war?  Simple, bankers finance both sides in a war.  They do this because war is the biggest debt generator of them all.  A nation will borrow any amount for victory, even though the banks have already predetermined the outcome.  The ultimate loser is loaned just enough money to hold out a vain hope of victory and the ultimate winner is given enough to ensure that he does win.

How do the banks ensure they will get all their money back?  Easy, such loans are given on the guarantee that the victor will honor the debts of the vanquished.  Never mind the thousands of troops that give their lives on the pretext it is for the honor of their respective nations, when it is actually for the profits of bankers.

In fact, during the period between the founding of the Bank of England in 1694 and Napoleon's defeat at Waterloo this year, England had been at war for 56 years, with much of the remaining time spent preparing for war.  If it's a good business for bankers' profits, then why change it.

1816

The American Congress passes a bill permitting yet another privately owned central bank.  This bank was called the, "Second Bank of the United States," and it's charter was a carbon copy of that of its predecessor, the First Bank of the United States.  The United States government would once again supposedly own 20% of the shares of the bank.

Their share was again paid up front into the bank and thanks to fraudulent fractional reserve lending, this was transformed into loans to the private investors who once again purchased the remaining 80% of the shares.  Just as before the names of these investors was kept a secret.

1826

The talley stick is taken out of circulation in England.

1828

After 12 years during which the Second Bank of the United States, ruthlessly manipulated the American economy to the detriment of the people but to the benefit of their own money grabbing ends, the American people had unsurprisingly had enough.  Opponents of this bank nominated Senator Andrew Jackson of Tennessee to run for President.

To the dismay of the money changers, Jackson won the Presidency and made it quite clear he intended to kill this bank at his first opportunity.  He started out during his first term in office, to root out the banks many minions from government service.  To illustrate how deep this cancer was rooted in government, he fired 2,000 of the 11,000 employees of the Federal Government.

1832

The Second Bank of the United States, ask Congress to pass a renewal of the bank's charter, four years early.  Congress complied and sent the bill to President Jackson for signing.  President Jackson vetoed this bill and in his veto message he stated the following,

"It is not our own citizens only who are to receive the bounty of our Government.  More than eight millions of the stock of the Bank are held by foreigners...Is there no danger to out liberty and independence in a bank that in its nature has so little to bind it to our country?

Controlling our currency, receiving our public moneys, and holding thousands of our citizens in dependence ...would be more formidable and dangerous than a military power of the enemy.  If government would confine itself to equal protection, and, as Heaven does its rains, shower the favor alike on the high and the low, the rich and the poor, it would be an unqualified blessing.

In the act before me there seems to be wide and unnecessary departure from these just principles."

In July, Congress was unable to override President Jackson's veto.  President Jackson then stood for re-election and for the first time in American history he took his argument directly to the people by taking his re-election campaign on the road.  His campaign slogan was, "Jackson And No Bank!"

Even though the bankers poured over $3,000,000 into President Jackson's opponent, the Republican, Senator Henry Clays' campaign, President Jackson was re-elected by a landslide in November.  President Jackson knew the battle was only beginning however, and following his victory he stated,

"The hydra of corruption is only scotched, not dead!"

1833

President Jackson appoints Roger B. Taney as Secretary of State for the Treasury, with instructions to start removing the government's deposits from the Second Bank of the United States.  President Jackson's previous two Secretaries of State for the Treasury, William J. Duane and Louis McLane had both refused to comply with President Jackson's request and were fired as a result.

However the head of the, Second Bank of the United States, Nicholas Biddle, used his influence to get the Senate to reject Roger B. Taney's nomination and even threatened to cause a depression if the Bank was not re-chartered.  Biddle stated,

"This worthy President thinks that because he has scalped Indians and imprisoned judges, he is to have his way with the Bank.  He is mistaken."

Biddle then went on to brazenly admit that the bank was intending to make money scarce in order to force the hand of Congress into re-chartering the bank.  He stated,

"Nothing but widespread suffering will produce any effect on Congress...Our only safety is pursuing a steady course of firm restriction - and I have no doubt that such a course will ultimately lead to restoration of the currency and re-charter of the Bank."

What Biddle has done with that statement is prove to the world what central banks were really about.  He made good on his word, and the Second Bank of the United States, sharply contracted the money supply by calling in old loans and refusing to issue new ones.  Naturally a financial panic ensued, followed by America being plunged into a deep depression.

Biddle then unashamedly blamed President Jackson for the crash, claiming that it was Jackson's withdrawal of federal funds that had caused it.  This crash plunged wages and prices, unemployment soared along with business bankruptcies.  The United States was in uproar and newspaper editors blasted the President in editorials.

1835

Congress assembled what was called the, "Panic Session," and on 27 March President Jackson was officially censured by Congress for withdrawing funds from the Second Bank of the United States, in a vote which passed the Senate by 26 to 20.  It was the first time a President had ever been censured by Congress and Jackson stated of the Bank,

"You are a den of thieves vipers, and I intend to rout you out, and by the Eternal God, I will rout you out."

However, Pennsylvania Governor, George Wolf, came out in support of President Jackson and strongly criticized the Bank.  This, coupled with the fact that Nicholas Biddle had been caught boasting in public about the bank's plan to crash the American economy, caused a shift in opinion of President Jackson's action.

In a complete about turn on April 4, the House of Representatives voted 134 to 82 against re-chartering the bank.  This was followed by another strong vote which established a special committee to investigate whether the Bank had caused the crash.

However, when the investigating committee arrived at the bank's door in Philadelphia with a subpoena authorizing them to inspect the books, Nicholas Biddle refused to give them up, or allow inspection of correspondence with Congressmen relating to their personal loans and advancements he had made to them.  He also refused to testify before the committee back in Washington.

1836

The Charter for the Second Bank of the United States expires, and the Bank ceases functioning as America's central bank.  Nicholas Biddle was later arrested and charged with fraud.  He was tried and acquitted but died in 1844 still battling civil suits.

1838

On January 8th President Jackson pays off the final installment of the national debt, which had been necessitated by allowing the banks to issue currency for government bonds, rather than simply issuing treasury notes without such debt.  He was the only President to ever pay off the debt.

On January 30th an assassin called Richard Lawrence tried to shoot President Jackson, but both pistols misfired.  Lawrence was later found not guilty by reason of insanity.  However, after his release he openly bragged that powerful people in Europe had put him up to the task and promised to protect him if he were caught.

When asked what his most important accomplishment had been in life, President Jackson stated without hesitation,

"I killed the Bank!"

It would take the money changers 75 years to establish the next central bank, the Federal Reserve.  This time they would take no chances and use one of their own, Jacob Schiff, from the Rothschild bloodline, to undertake this.

1850

Jacob (James) Rothschild in France is said to be worth 600 million francs, which at the time was 150 million francs more than all the other bankers in France put together.

1852

Future British Prime Minister, William Gladstone, stated the following about when he became Chancellor of the Exchequer this year,

"From the time I took office as Chancellor of the Exchequer, I began to learn that the State held, in the face of the Bank and the City, an essentially false position as to finance. The Government itself was not to be a substantive power, but was to leave the Money Power supreme and unquestioned."

1861

One month after the inauguration of President Abraham Lincoln, the American Civil War got underway at Fort Sumter, South Carolina, after South Carolina left the Union.  Slavery has always been cited as the cause of the war but this was simply not the case, as President Lincoln himself stated,

"I have no purpose directly or indirectly to interfere with the institution of slavery in the state where it now exists.  I believe I have no lawful right to do so, and I have no inclination to do so...My paramount objective is to save the Union and it is not either to save or destroy slavery.  If I could save the Union without freeing any slave, I would do it."

The real reason for the war is that the Southern States were in an a dire economic situation due to the actions of the Northern States.  Northern industrialists had used trade tariffs to prevent the Southern States from buying cheaper European goods.  Europe subsequently retaliated by stopping cotton imports from the South.  Thus the South were being forced to pay more for goods whilst having their income slashed.

This is when the money changers saw the opportunity to divide and conquer America by plunging it into Civil War.  This is confirmed by Otto Von Bismarck when he was Chancellor of Germany (1871 - 1890), who stated,

"The division of the United States into federations of equal force was decided long before the Civil War by the high financial powers of Europe, these bankers were afraid that the United States if they remained as one block and as one nation, would attain economic and financial independence which would upset their financial domination over the world."

Only months after these first shots in South Carolina, the Central bankers loaned, Napoleon III of France (the Napoleon of the battle of Waterloo's nephew), 210 million francs to seize Mexico and then station troops along the Southern border of the United States, by taking advantage of the American Civil War to return Mexico to colonial rule.

This was in violation of the, "Monroe Doctrine," which was issued by President James Monroe during his seventh annual State of the Union address to Congress, in 1823.  This doctrine proclaimed the United States' opinion that European powers should no longer colonize the Americas or interfere with the affairs of sovereign nations located in the Americas, such as the United States, Mexico, and others.

In return, the United States planned to stay neutral in wars between European powers and in wars between a European power and its colonies. However, if these latter type of wars were to occur in the Americas, the U.S. would view such action as hostile toward itself.

Whilst the French were breaching the, Monroe Doctrine in Mexico, the British followed suit by moving 11,000 troops into Canada and positioning them along America's Northern border.  President Lincoln knew he was in trouble, so he went with his Secretary To The Treasury, Salomon P. Chase, to New York to apply for the loans necessary to fund America's defense.

The money changers had engineered the war to make the Union fail, and were not about to save it now, so they offered loans at 24% to 36% interest.  President Lincoln declined this as they knew he would and returned to Washington, where he sent for Colonel Dick Taylor of Chicago, who he put in charge of the problem of how he should finance the war.

During one meeting President Lincoln asked Colonel Taylor what proposals he had come up with to finance the war.  Colonel Taylor stated,

"Why Lincoln, that is easy, just get Congress to pass a bill authorizing the printing of full legal tender treasury notes...and pay your soldiers with them and go ahead and win your war with them also."

President Lincoln asked Colonel Taylor if the people of the United States would accept the notes, Colonel Taylor said,

"The people or anyone else will not have any choice in the matter, if you make them full legal tender.  They will have the full sanction of the government and be just as good as any money, as Congress is given that express right by the Constitution."

1862

President Lincoln began the printing of $450,000,000 worth of new bills.  These bills were printed in green ink on the reverse side, in order to distinguish them from other bills in circulation, and were called, "Greenbacks."  These were printed at no interest to the Federal Government and were used to pay the troops and purchase their supplies.  President Lincoln would be the last President to issue debt free United States notes, and on this subject he stated,

"The Government should create, issue and circulate all the currency and credit needed to satisfy the spending power of the Government and the buying power of consumers.  The privilege of creating and issuing money is not only the supreme prerogative of Government, but it is in the Government's greatest creative opportunity.  By the adoption of these principles...the taxpayers will be saved immense sums of interest.  Money will cease to be master and become the servant of humanity."

In response to this statement, The Times of London publishes a propaganda piece obviously put out by the bankers, containing the following statement,

"If that mischievous financial policy, which had its origin in the North American Republic, should become indurated down to a fixture, then that government will furnish its own money without cost. It will pay off debts and be without a debt. It will have all the money necessary to carry on its commerce.

It will become prosperous beyond precedent in the history of civilized governments of the world. The brains and the wealth of all countries will go to North America. That government must be destroyed or it will destroy every monarchy on the globe."

1863

The bankers struck back.  With President Lincoln needing further congressional authority to issue more Greenbacks, Lincoln was forced into allowing the bankers to push their, "National Banking Act," through Congress.

The most important part of this Act was that from now on, the entire United States money supply would be created out of debt by the National Banks buying United States Government Bonds and issuing them for reserves for banknotes.  On top of this monopoly, the National Banks were allowed to operate under a virtual tax free status.  This banking scam is best explained by historian, John Kenneth Galbraith, who stated,

"In numerous years following the war, the Federal Government ran a heavy surplus.  It could not however pay off its debt, retire its securities, because to do so meant there would be no bonds to back the national bank notes.  To pay off the debt was to destroy the money supply."

Later this year, Tsar Alexander II gave President Lincoln some unexpected help.  The Tsar issued orders that if either England or France actively intervened in the American Civil War, and help the South, Russia would consider such action a declaration of war.  To show that he wasn't messing about, he sent part of his Pacific Fleet to port in San Francisco.

This wasn't because the Tsar was benevolent towards America, instead he was very clever.  He, like Otto Von Bismarck in Germany, could clearly see what the money changers were up to, indeed he had already refused to let them set up a Central Bank in Russia.  He understood if America was to come under the control of Britain or France, then America would be under the control of Central Bankers once again, and such an expansion of the bankers empire, would mean they would eventually threaten Russia.

1864

President Lincoln is re-elected on November 8th and on November 21 he wrote a friend the following,

"The money power preys upon the nations in times of peace and conspires against it in times of adversity.  It is more despotic than monarchy, more insolent than autocracy, more selfish than bureaucracy."

Salomon P Chase, now President Lincoln's Former Secretary To The Treasury, stated,

"My agency in promoting the passage of the National Banking Act was the greatest financial mistake in my life.  It has built up a monopoly which affects every interest in the country."

1865

On April 14th, 41 days after his second inauguration, and just 5 days after General Lee surrendered to General Grant at Appomattox, President Lincoln is shot by John Wilkes Booth, at Ford's Theater.  He would later die of his injuries.  Subsequent allegations that international bankers were responsible for President Lincoln's assassination, would be made in the Canadian House of Commons, nearly 70 years later in 1934.

The person who revealed this was a Canadian Attorney, Gerald G. McGeer.  He had obtained evidence deleted from the public record provided to him by Secret Service Agents at the trial of John Wilkes Booth, after Booth's death.  McGeer stated that it showed that John Wilkes Booth was a mercenary working for the international bankers.  His speech would be reported in an article in the Vancouver Sun, dated, 2nd May 1934, which stated,

"Abraham Lincoln, the murdered emancipator of the slaves, was assassinated through the machinations of a group representative of the International Bankers, who feared the United States President's National Credit ambitions.  There was only one group in the world at that time who had any reason to desire the death of Lincoln. They were the men opposed to his national currency program and who had fought him throughout the whole Civil War on his policy of Greenback currency."

Gerald G. McGeer also stated that Lincoln's assassination was not purely because the International Bankers wanted to re-establish a central bank in America, but also because they wanted to base America's currency on gold, which they of course controlled.  They wanted to put America on a Gold Standard.  This was in direct opposition to President Lincoln's policy of issuing Greenbacks, based solely on the good faith and credit of the United States.

The Vancouver Sun article also quoted Gerald G. McGeer with the following statement,

"They were the men interested in the establishment of the Gold Standard and the right of the bankers to manage the currency and credit of every nation in the world.  With Lincoln out of the way they were able to proceed with that plan and did proceed with it in the United States.  Within 8 years after Lincoln's assassination, silver was demonetized and the Gold Standard system set up in the United States."

1866

The European central bankers wanted the re-institution of a central bank under their control and an American currency backed by gold.  They chose gold as gold has always been relatively scarce and therefore a lot easier to monopolize, than, for example, silver, which was plentiful in the United States, and had been found in huge quantities with the opening of the American West.

So, on April 12th, Congress went back to work at the bidding of the European central bankers.  It passed the, "Contraction Act," which authorized the Secretary of the Treasury to contract the money supply by retiring some of the Greenbacks in circulation.

This money contraction and it's disastrous results is explained by Theodore R. Thoren and Richard F. Walker, in their book, "The Truth In Money Book," in which they state the following,

"The hard times which occurred after the Civil War could have been avoided if the Greenback legislation had continued as President Lincoln had intended.  Instead there were a series of money panics, what we call recessions, which put pressure on Congress to enact legislation to place the banking system under centralized control.  Eventually the Federal Reserve Act was passed on December 23rd 1913."

This is how the, "Contraction Act," passed by Congress affected America (the money supply goes down purely because currency in circulation is being withdrawn):

Year

In circulation

Approximately per capita

1866

$1,800,000,000

$50.46

1867

$1,300,000,000

$44.00

1876

$600,000,000

$14.60

1886

$400,000,000

$6.67

Therefore in the twenty years since 1866 two thirds of the American money supply had been called in by the bankers, representing a 760% loss in buying power over this twenty years.  The money became scarce simply because bank loans were called in and no new ones were given.

1872

Ernest Seyd is sent to America on a mission from the Rothschild owned Bank of England.  He is given $100,000 which he is to use to bribe as many Congressmen as necessary, for the purposes of getting silver demonetized, as it had been found in huge quantities in the American West, which would eat into Rothschild's profits.

1873

Ernest Seyd obviously spent his money wisely, as Congress pass the, "Coinage Act," which results in the minting of silver dollars being abruptly stopped.  Furthermore, Representative Samuel Hooper, who introduced the bill in the house, even admitted that Ernest Seyd had actually drafted the legislation.

1874

Ernest Seyd himself admitted who was behind the demonetizing of silver in America, when he makes the following statement,

"I went to America in the winter of 1872 - 1873, authorized to secure, if I could, the passage of a bill demonetizing silver.  It was in the interests of those I represented, the governors of the Bank Of England, to have it done.  By 1873, gold coins were the only form of coin money."

1876

Due to the manipulation of the money supply in America, one third of the workforce is unemployed and unrest is growing.  There are even calls for a return to Greenback money or silver money.  As a result, Congress creates the, "United States Silver Commission," to investigate the problem.

This commission clearly understood that the national bankers were the cause of the problem, with their deliberate contraction of the money supply.  An excerpt of their report reads as follows,

"The disaster of the Dark Ages was caused by decreasing money and falling prices ...Without money, civilization could not have had a beginning, and with a diminishing supply, it must languish, and unless relieved, finally perish.  At the Christian era the metallic money of the Roman Empire amounted to $1,800,000,000.  By the end of the 15th century it had shrunk to less than $200,000,000...History records no other such disastrous transition as that from the Roman Empire to the Dark Ages..."

Despite this damning report from the commission, Congress took no action.

1877

Rioting breaks out from Pittsburgh to Chicago.  The bankers get together to decide what to do and they decided to hang on, as they knew that despite the violence, they were now firmly back in control.  At the meeting of the American Bankers Association, they urged their membership to do everything in their power, to put down any notion of a return to Greenbacks.

The American Bankers Association secretary, James Buel, even wrote a letter to the members in which he blatantly called on the banks to subvert both Congress and the press.  In this letter he stated,

"It is advisable to do all in your power to sustain such prominent daily and weekly newspapers, especially the Agricultural and Religious Press, as well as oppose the Greenback issue of paper money and that you will also withhold patronage from all applicants who are not willing to oppose the government issue of money....

...To repeal the Act creating bank notes, or to restore to circulation issue of money will be to provide the people with money and will therefore seriously affect our individual profits as bankers and lenders.  See your Congressman at once and engage him to support our interests that we may control legislation."

1878

James Buel's letter clearly had some effect, as although pressure mounted in Congress for change, the press tried to turn the general public away from the truth.  An example of this is from the New York Tribune in their 10th January edition in which is stated in a bankers propaganda piece,

"The capital of the country is organized at last and we will see whether Congress will dare to fly in its face."

This early control of the media didn't work entirely nevertheless, as on February 28th Congress passed the, "Sherman Law."  This law allowed the minting of a limited number of silver dollars, ending the 5 year hiatus.  However this did not mean that anyone who brought silver to the United States Mint could have it struck into silver dollars, free of charge, as in the period prior to Ernest Seyd's Coinage Act, in 1873.  Gold backing of the American currency also remained.

However, this Sherman Law did ensure that some money began to flow into the economy again, and coupled with the fact that the bankers now realized that they were still firmly in control, they started issuing loans again and the post Civil War depression was finally over.

1881

The American people elect the Republican, James Garfield as the 20th President of the United States.  This was a worry to the money changers, because as a Congressman, he had been Chairman of the Appropriations Committee, and was a member of Banking and Currency.  The money changers were therefore aware that President Garfield was in full knowledge of their scam on the American people.  Indeed following his inauguration, President Garfield stated,

"Whosoever controls the volume of money in any country is absolute master of all industry and commerce...And when you realize that the entire system is very easily controlled, one way or another, by a few powerful men at the top, you will not have to be told how periods of inflation and depression originate."

Strangely enough within a few weeks of making that statement, President Garfield was assassinated on 2nd July.

1891

The money changers spent the last decade creating economic booms followed by depressions, so that they could buy up thousands of homes and farms for pennies on the dollar.  They were preparing to take the economy down again in the near future, and in a shocking memo sent out by the American Bankers Association, which would come out in the Congressional Record more than twenty years later, the following is stated,

"On September 1st 1894 we will not renew our loans under any consideration.  On September 1st we will demand our money.

We will foreclose and become mortgages in possession.  We can take two-thirds of the farms west of the Mississippi, and thousands of them east of the Mississippi as well, at our own price...Then the farmers will become tenants as in England...,"

1891 American Bankers Association, as printed in the Congressional Record of April 29, 1913.

1896

The central issue in the Presidential campaign is the issue of more silver money.  Senator William Jennings Bryan from Nebraska, a Democrat aged only 36, makes an emotional speech at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago, entitled, "Crown Of Thorns And Cross Of Gold."  Senator Bryan stated,

"We will answer their demand for a gold standard by saying to them, you shall not press down upon the brow of labor this crown of thorns, you shall not crucify mankind upon a cross of gold."

The bankers naturally supported the Republican candidate, William McKinley who in return favored the gold standard.  Furthermore those in the McKinley campaign, got manufacturers and industrialists to inform their employees that if Bryan were elected, all factories and plants would close and there would be no work.

This tactic succeeded, McKinley beat Bryan, albeit by a small margin.

1898

Pope Leo XIII stated the following on the subject of usury,

"On the one hand there is the party which holds the power because it holds the wealth, which has in its grasp all labor and all trade, which manipulates for its own benefit and its own purposes all the sources of supply, and which is powerfully represented in the councils of State itself.  On the other side there is the needy and powerless multitude, sore and suffering.

Rapacious usury, which, although more than once condemned by the Church, is nevertheless under a different form but with the same guilt, still practiced by avaricious and grasping men...so that a small number of very rich men have been able to lay upon the masses of the poor a yoke little better than slavery itself."

1907

During the early 1900's, the money changers were anxious to advance their business of setting up another private Central Bank for America.  Rothschild, Jacob Schiff, the head of Kuhn, Loeb and Co., in a speech to the New York Chamber of Commerce, stated, or rather threatened,

“Unless we have a Central Bank with adequate control of credit resources, this country is going to undergo the most severe and far reaching money panic in its history.”

They put Rothschild agent, J. P. Morgan at the forefront of their charge.  Interestingly J. P. Morgan's father, Julius Morgan, had been America's financial agent to the British, and after Julius' death, J. P. Morgan took on a British partner, Edward Grenville, who was a long time director of the Bank Of England.

This year was the year of the money changers attack.  J. P. Morgan and his cohorts secretly crashed the stock market.  They were aware that thousands of small banks were so vastly over extended, some only had reserves of 1% under the fraudulent fractional reserve principle.  Within only a few days, bank runs became commonplace across the nation.

Morgan then stepped up and publicly announced that he would support these failing banks.  What he failed to mention is that he would do this by manufacturing money out of nothing.  And then what happened, surprise, surprise, Congress let him do it!  So, Morgan manufactured $200,000,000 of this completely reserveless private money, purchased goods and services with it, and sent some of it to his branch banks to lend out at interest.

As a result, the general public regained confidence in money, but most importantly it meant the banking power was now further consolidated into the hands of a few large banks.

1908

With the widespread financial panic over, J. P. Morgan was hailed as a hero by the then President of Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson, who even crassly or arrogantly stated,

"All this trouble could be averted if we appointed a committee of six or seven public spirited men like J. P. Morgan, to handle the affairs of our country."

President Theodore Roosevelt had also signed into law, following the financial panic, a bill creating the, "National Monetary Commission."

This commission was supposed to study the banking problem and make recommendations to Congress.  Naturally, the commission was packed with J. P. Morgan's friends and cronies.

The chairman was Senator Nelson Aldrich from Rhode Island, and he represented the Newport Rhode Island homes of America's richest banking families.  His daughter married John D. Rockefeller Jr., and together they had five sons (including Nelson who would become Vice President in 1974 and David who would become Head of the Council on Foreign Relations).

Following the setting up of this National Monetary Commission, Senator Aldrich immediately embarked on a 2 year fact finding tour of Europe, where he consulted at length with the private central bankers in England, France, and Germany, or rather Rothschild, Rothschild, and Rothschild.

The total cost of this 2 year trip to the American taxpayer?  $300,000.  Yes, three hundred thousand dollars, that is not a misprint!

1910

Senator Aldrich returns from his two year European fact finding mission on 22nd November.  Shortly afterwards some of America's most wealthy and powerful men boarded Senator Aldrich's private railcar in the strictest secrecy.  They journeyed to Jekyll Island off the coast of Georgia.

In this group were Paul Warburg, who was earning a $500,000 a year salary from Rothschild owned firm, Kuhn, Loeb & Company.  This salary was for him to lobby for a privately owned central bank in America.  Also present was Jacob Schiff, a Rothschild who had purchased Kuhn, Loeb and Company shortly after he arrived in America from England.

The Rothschilds, Warburgs and Schiffs, interconnected by marriage, were essentially the same family.

Secrecy at this meeting was so tight that all the participants were cautioned to use only first names, to prevent servants from learning their identities.  Years later, one participant, Frank Vanderlip, President of National Citibank and a representative of the Rockefeller family, confirmed the Jekyll Island trip in a 9th February 1935 edition of the Saturday Evening Post in which he stated,

"I was as secretive indeed, as furtive as any conspirator ...Discovery we knew, simply must not happen, or else all our time and effort would be wasted.  If it were to be exposed that our particular group had got together and written a banking bill, that bill would have no chance whatever of passage by Congress."

It was not just the setting up of a Central Bank that was on the agenda.  Other problems for these bankers were that the market share of these big national banks was shrinking fast.  In the first ten years of the century the number of United States banks had more than doubled to over 20,000.  By 1913 only 29% of all banks were national banks and they held only 57% of all deposits.  As John D. Rockefeller put it,

"Competition is Sin!"

Senator Aldrich later admitted in a magazine article,

"Before passage of this Act, the New York Bankers could only dominate the reserves of New York.  Now we are able to dominate bank reserves of the entire country."

So one of the aims of these conspirators was to bring these new banks under their control.  Secondly the nations economy was so strong that corporations were starting to finance their own expansions out of profits instead of taking out huge loans from large banks.  Indeed, in the first ten years of the century, 70% of corporate funding came from profits.

Basically, American Industry was becoming independent of the money changers, and the money changers were not about to let that happen.

There was also much discussion regarding the name of the new bank, which took place in a conference room in the Jekyll Island Club Hotel.  Aldrich believed the word, "bank," should not even appear in the name.  Warburg wanted to call the legislation, the, "National Reserve Bill," or the, "Federal Reserve Bill."  The idea was not only to give the impression that the purpose of the new central bank was to stop bank runs, but also to conceal its monopoly character.

However it was Senator Aldrich, the egomaniac, who insisted it be called the, "Aldrich Bill."  So, after nine days at Jekyll Island, the group dispersed.  This group of conspirators immediately set up an educational fund of $5,000,000 to finance Professors at top universities to endorse the new bank.

The new central bank would be very similar to the old Bank Of The United States, in that it would be given a monopoly over United States currency and create that money out of nothing.  Also in order to make the public think it was under control of the Government, the plan called for the central bank to be run by a board of governors appointed by the President and approved by the Senate.

This would not cause any undue problems for the bankers, as they knew they could use their money to buy influence over the politicians, in order to ensure the men they wanted got appointed to the board of governors.

1912

The Aldrich bill is presented to Congress for debate.  This was very quickly identified as a bill to benefit the bankers, or an expression for them which was coined at the time, "The Money Trust."  During the debate, the Republican, Charles A. Lindbergh stated,

"The Aldrich plan is the Wall Street Plan.  It means another panic, if necessary, to intimidate the people.  Aldrich, paid by the government to represent the people, proposes a plan for the trusts instead."

As this debate continued on, the bankers realized they didn't have enough support, so the Republican leadership never brought the Aldrich bill to a vote.  Instead the bankers decided to switch their attention to the Democrats and started heavily financing Woodrow Wilson, the Democratic Presidential nominee.  The Wall Street banker, Bernard Baruch, was put in charge of the Wilson project, and as historian, James Perloff, stated,

"Baruch brought Wilson to the Democratic Party headquarters in New York in 1912, 'leading him like one wood a poodle on a string.' Wilson received an, 'indoctrination course,' from the leaders convened there...."

During the Democratic Presidential campaign, Wilson and the rulers of the Democratic Party pretended to oppose the Aldrich bill.  As Republican representative, Louis T. McFadden, explained twenty years later, when he was was Chairman Of The House Banking And Currency Committee,

"The Aldrich Bill was condemned in the platform...when Woodrow Wilson was nominated...The men who ruled the Democratic Party promised the people that if they were returned to power there would be no central bank established here while they held the reins of government.

Thirteen months later that promise was broken, and the Wilson administration, under the tutelage of those sinister Wall Street figures who stood behind Colonel House, established here in our free country the worm-eaten monarchical institution of the, 'King's Bank,' to control us from the top downward, and to shackle us from the cradle to the grave."

On November 5th, Woodrow Wilson was elected, and J. P. Morgan, Paul Warburg, Bernard Baruch et al, advanced a new plan which Warburg called the Federal Reserve System.  The leadership of the Democratic Party hailed this new bill called the, "Glass-Owen Bill," as totally different to the Aldrich bill, when in fact it was virtually identical.

Funnily enough the Democrats were so vehement in their denial of the similarity of the, "Glass-Owen Bill," to the, "Aldrich Bill," that Paul Warburg, the creator of both bill, had to inform his paid friends in Congress, that the two bills were virtually identical and therefore they must vote to pass it.  Warburg stated,

"Brushing aside the external differences affecting the, 'shells,' we find the, 'kernels,' of the two systems very closely resembling and related to one another."

However this admission by Warburg was not made public.  Instead, Senator Aldrich, and Frank Vanderlip, the President of Rockefeller's National Citibank of New York, were to publicly state their opposition to the bill in order to make people think that the bill proposed was radically different to the Aldrich bill.  Indeed, Frank Vanderlip stated years later in the Saturday Evening Post,

"Although the Aldrich Federal Reserve Plan was defeated when it bore the name Aldrich, nevertheless its essential points were all contained in the plan that finally was adopted."

1913

With Congress nearing a vote on the Glass-Owen Bill, they called Ohio Attorney, Alfred Crozier, to testify.  However, Crozier noticed the similarities between the Aldrich Bill and the Glass-Owen Bill, and subsequently stated,

"The...bill grants just what Wall Street and the big banks for twenty-five years have been striving for - private instead of public control of currency.  It (the Glass-Owen bill) does this as completely as the Aldrich bill.  Both measures rob the government and the people of all effective control over the public's money, and vest in the banks exclusively the dangerous power to make money among the people scarce or plenty."

The debate on this bill was not going well for the banks, with many Senators intimating the bill was corrupt and deceitful, however the bill was approved through the Senate on December 22nd.  How did this happen? Because most of the Senators had left town to return home for the Christmas holidays. Furthermore, these Senators had been assured by the leadership, that nothing would be done regarding this bill until long after the Christmas recess.

Representative Charles A Lindbergh Sr. stated,

"This Act establishes the most gigantic trust on earth.  When the President signs this bill, the invisible government of the monetary power will be legalized.  The people may not know it immediately, but the day of reckoning is only a few years removed...The worst legislative crime of the ages is perpetrated by this banking and currency bill."

Interestingly, only a few weeks earlier, in October, Congress finally passed a bill legalizing direct income tax of the people.  This was in the form of a bill pushed through by Senator Aldrich, which is now commonly known as the 16th amendment.  The income tax law was fundamental to the Federal Reserve.  This is because the Federal Reserve was a system which would run up, essentially, an unlimited Federal debt.

The only way to guarantee the payment of interest on this debt was to directly tax the people, as they had done with the Bank Of England.  If the Federal Reserve had to rely on contributions from the States, they would be dealing with bigger entities, who could revolt and refuse to pay the interest on their own money, or at least bring political pressure to bear in order to keep the debt small.

Actually, this 16th amendment was never ratified, and therefore many American citizens do not pay their income tax and there is nothing the United States Government can do about it.  For further information on this go to thelawthatneverwas.com .  Also, back in 1895, the Supreme Court had also found an income tax law similar to the 16th amendment, as unconstitutional.  The Supreme Court also found a Corporate Tax Law unconstitutional in 1909.

Another important amendment that was put through this year is the 17th amendment.  This provided for the direct election by the people of two Senators from each state as oppose to the original system of having state legislatures elect United States Senators.  More democratic, you would think, until you realize these bankers could now provide the funds for their hand picked people to run for the Senate, and thus avoid future problems like getting the Federal Reserve through the Senate.

Anyway, back to the Federal Reserve, if you are in any doubt as to whether the Federal Reserve is a private company, a basic check the public can carry out is in their phone book.  Look under the government pages and it is not listed, but you will find it listed within the business pages.

Actually some recent evidence has come forward as to who really owns the Federal Reserve, and they are the following banks:

  • Rothschild Bank of London
  • Warburg Bank of Hamburg
  • Rothschild Bank of Berlin
  • Lehman Brothers of New York
  • Lazard Brothers of Paris
  • Kuhn Loeb Bank of New York
  • Israel Moses Seif Banks of Italy
  • Goldman, Sachs of New York
  • Warburg Bank of Amsterdam
  • Chase Manhattan Bank of New York

Also some argue that the Federal Reserve is a quasi-governmental agency, yet the President appoints only 2 of the 7 members of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, every four years, and he appoints them to 14 year terms, which is far longer than any term he could possibly serve as President.  The Senate confirms these appointments, but as we have seen, that is the idea, because these are the very people hand picked by the bankers who also finance their campaigns, ensuring loyalty to them, not the people.

Let's summarize how the Federal Reserve creates money out of nothing.  It is a four step process:

  1. The Federal Open Market Committee approves the purchase of United States Bonds*.
  2. The bonds are purchased by the Federal Reserve.
  3. The Federal Reserve pays for these bonds with electronic credits to the seller's bank, these credits are based on nothing.
  4. The banks use these deposits as reserves.  They can loan out over ten times the amount of their reserves to new borrowers, all at interest.

* Bonds are simply promises to pay or Government IOU's.  People purchase bonds in order to get a secure rate of interest.  At the end of the term of the bond, the government repays the bond, plus interest and the bond is destroyed.

Let's look at an example of how this works with a Federal Reserve purchase of $1,000,000 of bonds.  This then gets turned into over $10,000,000 in bank accounts.  The Federal Reserve in effect creates 10% of this totally new $10,000,000 and the banks create the other 90%.

To reduce the amount of money in circulation this process is simply reversed.  The Federal Reserve sells these bonds to the public and the money flows out of the purchaser's local bank.  Loans must be reduced by ten times the amount of the sale, so a Federal Reserve sale of $1,000,000 in bonds, results in $10,000,000 less money in the economy.  How does this benefit the bankers, whose representatives met at Jekyll Island?

  1. It prevented any future banking reform efforts, as the Federal Reserve was to be the only producer of money.
  2. This in turn prevented a proper debt free system of government finance, like President Lincoln's Greenbacks, from making a comeback.  Instead, the bond based system of government finance, forced on Lincoln after he created Greenbacks, was now cast in stone.
  3. It delegated to the bankers the right to create 90% of our money supply based on a fraudulent system of fractional reserve banking and allowed them to loan out that 90% at interest.
  4. It centralized overall control of our nations money supply in the hands of and for the profits of a few men.
  5. It established a private central bank with a high degree of independence from effective political control.

1914

The start of World War I.  In this war, the German Rothschilds loaned money to the Germans, the British Rothschilds loaned money to the British, and the French Rothschilds loaned money to the French.

One year after the passage of the Federal Reserve Bill, Representative Charles A Lindbergh Sr., outlined how The Federal Reserve created the, "business cycle," and how they manipulated that to their own advantage.  He stated,

"To cause high prices, all the Federal Reserve Board will do will be to lower the rediscount rate..., producing an expansion of credit and a rising stock market, then when ...business men are adjusted to these conditions, it can check... prosperity in mid-career by arbitrarily raising the rate of interest.

It can cause the pendulum of a rising and falling market to swing gently back and forth by slight changes in the discount rate, or cause violent fluctuations by a greater rate variation, and in either case it will possess inside information as to financial conditions and advance knowledge of the coming change, either up or down.  This is the strongest, most dangerous advantage ever placed in the hands of a special privilege class by any Government that ever existed.

The system is private, conducted for the sole purpose of obtaining the greatest possible profits from the use of other people's money.  They know in advance when to create panics to their advantage.  They also know when to stop panic.  Inflation and deflation work equally well for them when they control finance."

1915

J. P. Morgan became the sales agent for the, "War Materials Board," to both the British and the French engaged in World War I, and becomes the biggest consumer on the planet, spending 10 million dollars a day.  Furthermore, President Woodrow Wilson appointed banker, Bernard Baruch, to head the, "War Industries Board."

According to historian, James Perloff, both Bernard Baruch and the Rockefellers profited by approximately 200 million dollars during World War I.

A lot of people believe the key to an effective money supply is to ensure it is backed by something of worth such as gold.  However, who do you think would control that gold?  As Republican, Charles A. Lindbergh stated this year,

"Already the Federal Reserve Banks have cornered the gold and gold certificates."

1916

President Wilson began to realize the gravity of the damage he had done to America, by unleashing the Federal Reserve on the American people.  He stated,

"We have come to be one of the worst ruled, one of the most completely controlled governments in the civilized world - no longer a government of free opinion, no longer a government by ...a vote of the majority, but a government by the opinion and  duress of a small group of dominant men.

Some of the biggest men in the United States, in the field of commerce and manufacture, are afraid of something.  They know there is a power somewhere so organized, so subtle, so watchful, so interlocked, so complete, so pervasive, that they had better not speak above their breath when they speak in condemnation of it."

1917

The money changers never forgave the Tsars of Russia for both continually opposing their request to set up a central bank in Russia, as well as their support of President Lincoln during the Civil War.  Therefore, Jacob Schiff, a Rothschild, spent 20 million dollars through his firm, Kuhn, Loeb & Co., in financing the Russian Revolution.

It is commonly believed that Communism is the opposite of Capitalism, so why would these capitalists support it?  Respected researcher, Gary Allen, explains it as follows,

"If one understands that socialism is not a share-the-wealth program, but it is in reality a method to consolidate and control the wealth, then the seeming paradox of super-rich men promoting socialism becomes no paradox at all.  Instead it becomes logical, even the perfect tool of power seeking megalomaniacs.  Communism, or more accurately socialism, is not a movement of the downtrodden masses, but of the economic elite."

1919

In January the Paris Peace Conference takes place following the end of World War I.  The bankers put World Government at the top of their agenda, and Paul Warburg and Bernard Baruch attend this conference with President Wilson.  To the bankers dismay, the world was not yet ready to dissolve national boundaries and accept World Government, so that part of their plan had failed.

The plan for World Government was called the, "League Of Nations," and although many nations accepted this proposal, the United States Congress would not support it, and thus without the support of money from the United States Treasury, the bankers had failed and the League Of Nations died.

1920

Warren G. Harding is elected President of the United States, and succeeds Woodrow Wilson in 1921.  This will be the start of a period which became known as the, "roaring twenties."  Despite the fact that World War I had saddled America with a debt that was ten times larger than its civil war debt, the United States economy grew in abundance.  Also, gold had poured into America during the war and continued during the 1920's.

The reason for this growth is that President Harding reduced taxes domestically, and increased tariffs on imports to record levels.

1921

The Inventor of the electric light, Thomas Edison, said in an article published in the New York Times, on December 6,

"If our nation can issue a dollar bond, it can issue a dollar bill.  The element that makes the bond good, makes the bill good, also...It is absurd to say that our country can issue 30 million dollars in bonds and not 30 million dollars in currency.  Both are promises to pay, but one promise fattens the usurers and the other helps the people."

1922

President Theodore Roosevelt who died in 1919 was quoted in the March 27th edition of the New York Times with the following statement,

"These International bankers and Rockefeller-Standard Oil interests control the majority of newspapers and the columns of these newspapers to club into submission or drive out of public office officials who refuse to do the bidding of the powerful corrupt cliques which compose the invisible government."

The reason the New York Times ran this article, was due to the Mayor of New York, John Hylan, who had been reported in the same paper the previous day, March 26th, with the following statement,

"The warning of Theodore Roosevelt has much timeliness today, for the real menace of our republic is this invisible government which like a giant octopus sprawls its slimy length over city, state, and nation...It seizes in its long and powerful tentacles our executive officers, our legislative bodies, our schools, our courts, our newspapers, and every agency created for the public protection...

To depart from mere generalizations, let me say that at the head of this octopus are the Rockefeller-Standard Oil interest and a small group of powerful banking houses generally referred to as international bankers.  This little coterie of powerful international bankers virtually run the United States Government for their own selfish purposes.

They practically control both parties, write political platforms, make cats paws of party leaders, use the leading men of private organizations, and resort to every device to place in nomination for high public office only such candidates as will be amenable to the dictates of corrupt big business ...these International Bankers and Rockefeller-Standard Oil interests control the majority of newspapers and magazines in this country."

1923

On August 2nd, President Warren Harding died on a train in mysterious circumstances.  The cause was given as either food poisoning or a stroke although no autopsy was performed.  He was succeeded by his Vice-President Calvin Coolidge.  President Coolidge continued Harding's tax cutting and tariff raising policies.

This policy was so successful that the economy still continued to grow, and the huge Federal Debt built up during World War I, under Harding and Coolidge was reduced by 38% down to 16 billion dollars.  This was when the Federal Reserve started flooding the country with money, increasing the money supply by 62%.

Representative Charles A Lindbergh Sr. stated,

"The financial system...has been turned over to...the Federal Reserve Board.  That board administers the finance system by authority of ...a purely profiteering group.  The system is private, conducted for the sole purpose of obtaining the greatest possible profits, from the use of other people's money."

1924

Shortly before his death this year, President Woodrow Wilson made the following statement in relation to his support for the Federal Reserve,

"I have unwittingly ruined my country."

1927

In July, in Europe, Bank of England Governor Montagu Norman, Benjamin Strong of the Federal Reserve Bank, and Dr. Hjalmar Schacht of the Reichsbank, met in conference. No public reports were ever made of these conferences, which happened on numerous occasions and were wholly informal, but which covered many important questions of gold movements, the stability of world trade, and world economy.

Montagu Norman was obsessed with getting back the gold that England had lost to America during World War I and returning the Bank of England to its former position of dominance in world finance.  Republican Congressman, Louis T. McFadden, Chairman of the House Banking & Currency Committee, from 1920 to 1931, would comment on this Bank of England plan in the midst of the Great Depression in February 1931 when he stated,

"I think it can hardly be disputed that the statesmen and financiers of Europe are ready to take almost any means to reacquire rapidly the gold stock which Europe lost to America as a result of World War I."

1929

In April, Paul Warburg sent out a secret warning to his friends that a collapse and nationwide depression had been planned for later that year.  It is certainly no coincidence that the biographies of all the Wall Street giants of that era:  John D. Rockefeller; J. P. Morgan; Joseph Kennedy; Bernard Baruch; et al, all marveled at the fact these people got out of the stock market completely just before the crash and put their assets into cash or gold.

So, as all the bankers and their friends already knew, in August the Federal Reserve began to tighten the money supply.  Then on 24th October the big New York bankers called in their 24 hour broker call loans.  This meant that both the stockbrokers and their customers had to dump their stocks on the stock market to cover their loans, irrespective of what price they had to sell them for.

As a result of this the stock market crashed on a day that would go down in history as, "Black Thursday."  In his book, The Great Crash 1929, John Kenneth Gailbraith makes the following shocking statement,

"At the height of the selling frenzy Bernard Baruch brought Winston Churchill into the visitors gallery of the New York Stock Exchange to witness the panic and impress him with his power over the wild events on the floor."

Republican Congressman, Louis T McFadden, Chairman of the House Banking & Currency Committee, from 1920 to 1931, was as usual quite candid as to who was responsible.  He stated of this crash,

"It was not accidental.  It was a carefully contrived occurrence...The international bankers sought to bring about a condition of despair here so that they might emerge as rulers of us all."

Curtis B. Dall, the son-in-law of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who was working for Lehmann Brothers as a broker, on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, on the day of the crash, stated in his 1967 book, F. D. R. My Exploited Father-In-Law,

"Actually, it was the calculated 'shearing' of the public by the World-Money powers triggered by the planned sudden shortage of call money in the New York Money Market."

Despite the claims of how the Federal Reserve would protect the country against depressions and inflation, they continued to further contract the money supply.  Between 1929 and 1933, they reduced the money supply by an additional 33%.  Even, Milton Friedman, the Nobel Peace Prize winning economist stated the following in a radio interview in January 1996,

"The Federal Reserve definitely caused the Great Depression by contracting the amount of currency in circulation by one-third from 1929 to 1933."

In only a few weeks from the day of the crash, 3 billion dollars of wealth vanished.  Within a year, 40 billion dollars of wealth vanished.  However, it did not simply disappear, it just ended up consolidated in fewer and fewer hands, as was planned.  An example of this is Joseph P. Kennedy, John F. Kennedy's father.  In 1929 he was worth 4 million dollars, in 1935 that had increased to over 100 million dollars.

This is why depressions are caused.  As stated previously the top bankers and their friends got out of the stock market and purchased gold just before the crash, which they shipped over to London.  This meant that the money lost by most Americans during the crash didn't just vanish, it just ended up in these people's hands.

It also was spent overseas, as whilst the Great Depression was occurring, millions of American dollars was being spent on rebuilding Germany from damage sustained during World War I, in preparation for the bankers World War II. Republican Louis T. McFadden, Chairman of the House Banking & Currency Committee from 1920 to 1931, stated the following in relation to this,

"After World War I, Germany fell into the hands of the German International Bankers.  Those bankers bought her and now they own her, lock, stock, and barrel.  They have purchased her industries, they have mortgages on her soil, they control her production, they control all her public utilities.

The international German bankers have subsidized the present Government of Germany and they have also supplied every dollar of the money Adolph Hitler has used in his lavish campaign to build up a threat to the government of Bruening.  When Bruening fails to obey the orders of the German International Bankers, Hitler is brought forth to scare the Germans into submission...

Through the Federal Reserve Board over 30 billion of dollars of American money...has been pumped into Germany...You have all heard of the spending that has taken place in Germany ...modernistic dwellings, her great planetariums, her gymnasiums, her swimming pools, her fine public highways, her perfect factories.

All this was done on our money.  All this was given to Germany through the Federal Reserve Board.  The Federal Reserve Board...has pumped so many billions of dollars into Germany that they dare not name the total."

The money pumped in to Germany to build her up in preparation for World War II, was into the German Thyssen banks which were affiliated with the Harriman interest in New York.

1930

The Bank for International Settlements (BIS) was established by Charles G. Dawes (Rothschild agent and Vice President under President Calvin Coolidge from 1925-1929), Owen D. Young (Rothschild agent, founder of RCA and Chairman of General Electric from 1922 until 1939), and Hjalmar Schacht of Germany (President of the Reichsbank).

The BIS is referred to the bankers as the, "Central bank for the central banks."  Whereas the IMF and the World Bank deal with governments, the BIS deals only with other central banks.  All its meetings are held in secret and involve the top central bankers from around the world.  For example the former head of the Federal Reserve, Alan Greenspan, would go to the BIS headquarters in Basel, Switzerland, ten times a year for these private meetings.

The BIS also has the status of a sovereign power and is immune from governmental control.  A summary of this immunity is listed below:

  1. Diplomatic immunity for persons and what they carry with them (i.e., diplomatic pouches).
  2. No taxation on any transactions, including salaries paid to employees.
  3. Embassy-type immunity for all buildings and/or offices operated by the BIS worldwide including China and Mexico.
  4. No oversight or knowledge of operations by any government authority, they are not audited.
  5. Freedom from immigration restrictions.
  6. Freedom to encrypt any and all communications of any sort.
  7. Freedom from any legal jurisdiction, they even have their own police force.

BIS' current board of directors, only five of which are elected and the rest of which are permanent, are:

  • Nout H E M Wellink, Amsterdam (Chairman of the Board of Directors)
  • Hans Tietmeyer, Frankfurt am Main (Vice-Chairman)
  • Axel Weber, Frankfurt am Main
  • Vincenzo Desario, Rome
  • Antonio Fazio, Rome
  • David Dodge, Ottawa
  • Toshihiko Fukui, Tokyo
  • Timothy F Geithner, New York
  • Alan Greenspan, Washington
  • Lord George, London
  • Hervé Hannoun, Paris
  • Christian Noyer, Paris
  • Lars Heikensten, Stockholm
  • Mervyn  King, London
  • Guy Quaden, Brussels
  • Jean-Pierre Roth, Zürich
  • Alfons Vicomte Verplaetse, Brussels

Georgetown Professor and historian, Carroll Quigley, commented on the creation of this central bank in his 1975 book, Tragedy And Hope, as follows,

"The powers of financial capitalism had (a) far reaching (plan), nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole.  This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent meetings and conferences.

The apex of the system was to be the Bank For International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland (*), a private bank owned and controlled by the world's central banks which were themselves private corporations.

Each central bank ...sought to dominate its government by its ability to control treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the Country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world."

* Home of first World Zionist Congress, chaired by Theodor Herzl in 1897

A handful of United States Senators led by Henry Cabot Lodge, fought to keep the United States out of the Bank for International Settlements.  However, even thought the United States rejected this World Central Bank, the Federal Reserve still sent members to participate in its meetings in Switzerland, right up until 1994 when the United States was, "officially," dragged into it.

1932

Republican Representative Louis T. McFadden of Pennsylvania, the Former Chairman of the House Banking & Currency Commission during the great depression, states,

"We have in this country one of the most corrupt institutions the world has ever known.  I refer to the Federal Reserve Board...This evil institution has impoverished...the people of the United States...and has practically bankrupted our government.  It has done this through...the corrupt practices of the moneyed vultures who control it."

In his final year in office, President Herbert Hoover puts forward a plan to bail out the failing banks, he seemed to feel that they took priority over millions of starving Americans, however this plan did not receive support from the Democratic Congress.  Hoover's Presidency failing, Franklin D. Roosevelt is elected President later this year.

1933

On March 4th, during his inaugural address, President Roosevelt made the following statement,

"Practices of the unscrupulous money changers stand indicted in the court of public opinion, rejected by the hearts and minds of men...The money changers have fled from their high seats in the temple of our civilization."

However, later that year, President Roosevelt outlawed private ownership of all gold bullion and all gold coins with the exception of rare coins.  Most of the gold in the hands of the average American was in the form of gold coins and this decree by Roosevelt was effectively a confiscation.

In small town America, the people did not trust Roosevelt.  However, the people were given a simple choice.  Either turn in your gold and be paid the official price for it of, $20-66 an ounce, or you will be liable for a $10,000 fine and a ten year prison sentence.

This confiscation order was so unpopular, it's author has never been discovered.  No Congressman ever claimed having written it, President Roosevelt stated he had not written it, nor had he even read it.  Roosevelt's Secretary of the Treasury, William H. Woodin, claimed he'd never read it either, but that it was, he stated,

"What the experts wanted."

I wonder to what, "experts," he refers!

1934

In its 20th June issue, New Britain magazine of London published a statement made by former British Prime Minister David Lloyd George that,

"Britain is the slave of an international financial bloc."

Also in the article was the following words written by Lord Bryce,

"Democracy has no more persistent and insidious foe than money power ...questions regarding Bank of England, its conduct and its objects, are not allowed by the Speaker (of the House of Commons)."

Louis T. McFadden, Republican Congressman and Chairman of the House Banking & Currency Committee from 1920 to 1931 stated,

"Through the Fed the people are losing their rights guaranteed to them by the Constitution ...common decency requires us to examine the public accounts of the government and see what kind of crimes against the public welfare have been committed...the people of these United States are being greatly wronged...

Every effort has been made by the Fed to conceal its powers-but truth is-the Fed has usurped the Government...the sack of these United States by the Fed is the greatest crime in history...what King ever robbed his subject to such an extent as the Fed has robbed us...it is a monstrous thing for this great nation of people to have its destinies presided over by a traitorous government board acting in secret concert with international usurer.

When the Fed was passed, the people of these United States did not perceive that a world system was being set up here ...a super state controlled by international bankers, and international industrialists acting together to enslave the world for their own pleasure."

1935

All the gold held by American citizens had finally been turned in under President Roosevelt's 1933 confiscation order at the price of $20-66 an ounce.  Without explanation the official price of gold was then raised to $35 per ounce.  The only catch was that only foreigners could sell their gold at the new higher price.  Where is the world price of gold set?  Since 1919, in the same room of private bank N. M. Rothschild & Sons in London, at 11:00 a.m., on a daily basis.

Therefore Warburg and his banking friends who put their money into gold at $20-66 before the stock market crash and shipped it to London, could now ship it back and sell it to the United States Government for the new higher price.  The money changers have a golden rule,

"He who has the gold, makes the rules."

President Roosevelt orders the building of a new gold bullion depository to hold the vast amount of gold the United States government had illegally confiscated. That depository was Fort Knox.

1936

On October 3, Republican Congressman, Louis T McFadden, Chairman of the House Banking & Currency Committee, from 1920 to 1931, is poisoned to death.  This was the third assassination attempt on his life, he had suffered an earlier poisoning and had had shots fired at him.

He had been trying for years to get the Federal Reserve, and as you will have read thus far, had made very revealing statements about the Federal Reserve.  He had been warned to back off, but this great American Patriot, put the people he represented before himself, as all elected officials are supposed to do, and was killed by the bankers as a result.

1937

With Fort Knox having been completed only the previous year, the gold now began to flow into it.

1938

With the Federal Reserve having been in control of the United States economy for 25 years under the pretext of promoting monetary stability, it has caused three major economic downturns including the Great Depression.  As Nobel Prize winning economist Milton Friedman put it,

"The stock of money, prices and output was decidedly more unstable after the establishment of the Reserve System than before.  The most dramatic period of instability in output was, of course, the period between the two wars, which includes the severe (monetary) contractions of 1920-21, 1929-33, and 1937-38.  No other 20 year period in American history contains as many as three such severe contractions.

This evidence persuades me that at least a third of the price rise during and just after World War I is attributable to the establishment of the Federal Reserve System...and that the severity of each of the major contractions - 1920-21, 1929-33, and 1937-38 - is directly attributable to acts of commission and omission by the Reserve authorities...

Any system which gives so much power and so much discretion to a few men, (so) that mistakes - excusable or not - can have such far reaching effects is a bad system.  It is a bad system to believers in freedom just because it gives a few men such power without any effective check by the body politic - this is the key political argument against an independent central bank...To paraphrase Clemenceau money is much too serious a matter to be left to the central bankers."

Milton Friedman would also state,

"I know of no severe depression, in any country or any time that was not accompanied by a sharp decline in the stock of money, and equally of no sharp decline in the stock of money that was not accompanied by a severe depression."

1941

Sir Josiah Stamp, director of the Bank of England during the years 1928-1941, made the following statement with regard to banking,

"The modern banking system manufactures money out of nothing.  The process is perhaps the most astounding piece of sleight of hand that was ever invented.  Banking was conceived in iniquity and born in sin.  Bankers own the Earth.  Take it away from them, but leave them the power to create money, and with the flick of the pen they will create enough money to buy it back again...

Take this great power away from them and all great fortunes like mine will disappear, and they ought to disappear, for then this would be a better and happier world to live in. But if you want to continue to be slaves of the banks and pay the cost of your own slavery, then let bankers continue to create money and control credit."

1944

The United States income is running at 183 billion dollars, yet 103 billion dollars is being spent on World War II.  This was thirty times the spending rate during World War I.  Actually, it was the American taxpayer that picked up 55% of the total allied cost of the war.

In Bretton Woods, New Hampshire, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and the World Bank (initially called the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development or IBRD - the name, "World Bank," was not actually adopted until 1975), were approved with full United States participation.

The principal architects of the Bretton Woods system, and hence the IMF, were Harry Dexter White and John Maynard Keynes.  Interestingly Harry Dexter White who died in 1946, was identified as a Soviet spy whose code name was, "Jurist," on October 16, 1950, in an FBI memo.  Also, John Maynard Keynes was a British citizen.

What these two bodies essentially did, was repeat on a world scale what the National Banking Act of 1864, and the Federal Reserve Act of 1913 had established in the United States.  They created a banking cartel comprising the world's privately owned central banks, which gradually assumed the power to dictate credit policies to the banks of all nations.

In the same way the Federal Reserve Act authorized the creation of a new national fiat currency called, Federal Reserve Notes, the IMF has been given the authority to issue a world fiat money called, "Special Drawing Rights," or SDR's.  Member nations were subsequently pressured into making their currencies fully exchangeable for SDR's.

The IMF is controlled by its board of governors, which are either the heads of different central banks, or the heads of the various national treasury departments who are dominated by their central banks.  Also, the voting power in the IMF gives the United States and the United Kingdom (the Federal Reserve and the Bank of England), effective control of it.

1945

The second, "League Of Nations," now renamed the, "United Nations," was approved.  The bankers, World War II, had been a success this time as a result of the physical, emotional, and mental exhaustion the world had felt after yet another World War.  This blueprint for world government would soon have its own international court system as well.

1946

The Bank of England was nationalized, which might seem at first sight to be a far reaching measure, but actually made little difference in practice.  Yes, the state did acquire all the shares in the Bank of England, they now belong to the Treasury and are held in trust by the Treasury Solicitor.

However, the government had no money to pay for the shares, so instead of receiving money for their shares, the shareholders were issued with government stocks.  Although the state now received the operating profits of the bank, this was offset by the fact that the government now had to pay interest on the new stocks it had issued to pay for the shares.

So, although the Bank of England is now state-owned, the fact is that the British money supply is once again almost entirely in private hands, with 97% of it being in the form of interest bearing loans of one sort or another, created by private commercial banks.

As a result of this, the bank is largely controlled and run by those from the world of commercial banking and conventional economics. The members of the Court of Directors, who set policy and oversee its functions, are drawn almost entirely from the world of banks, insurance, economists and big business.

Although the Bank of England is called a central bank it is now essentially a regulatory body that supports and oversees the existing system.  It is sometimes referred to as "the lender of last resort," in so far as one of its functions as the bankers' bank is to support any bank or financial institution that gets into difficulties and suffers a run on its liquid assets.

Interestingly, in these circumstances, it is not obliged to disclose details of any such measures, the reason being so as to avoid a crisis in confidence.

1950

Every nation involved in World War II greatly multiplied their debt.  Between 1940 and 1950, United States Federal Debt went from 43 billion dollars to 257 billion dollars, a 598% increase.  During that same period Japanese debt increased by 1,348%, French debt increased by 583%, and Canadian debt increased by 417%.

James Paul Warburg appearing before the Senate on 7th February states,

"We shall have World Government, whether or not we like it. The only question is whether World Government will be achieved by conquest or consent."

This is when the central bankers got to work on their plan for global government which started with a three step plan to centralize the economic systems of the entire world.  These steps were:

  1. Central Bank domination of national economies worldwide.
  2. Centralized regional economies through super states such as the European Union, and regional trade unions such as NAFTA.
  3. Centralize the World Economy through a World Central Bank, a world money, and ending national independence through the abolition of all tariffs by treaties like GATT.

1953

President Eisenhower orders an audit of Fort Knox.  Fort Knox is found to contain over 700 million ounces of gold, 70% of all the gold in the world.  Although Federal Law requires an annual physical audit of Fort Knox's gold, it is under Eisenhower's presidency that the last audit is carried out, for reasons that will soon become clear.

1963

President Kennedy issues dollar bills carrying a red seal, and called United States Note.  A lot of people believe he was already printing his own debt free money and that is why he was killed, in much the same way as President Lincoln.  However, these United States Notes carrying the red seal were merely a reissue of the Greenbacks introduced by President Lincoln.

What could have been motive though, is that on June 4, President Kennedy signed Executive Order No. 11110 that returned to the United States government the power to issue currency, without going through the Federal Reserve. This order gave the Treasury the power to issue silver certificates against any silver bullion, silver, or standard silver dollars in the Treasury.  This meant that for every ounce of silver in the United States Treasury's vault, the government could introduce new debt free money into circulation.

1967

Congressman Wright Patman, then the Chairman Of The House Banking And Currency Committee, stated in Congress,

"In the United States today, we have in effect two governments...We have the duly constituted government...Then we have an independent, uncontrolled and uncoordinated government in the Federal Reserve System, operating the money powers which are reserved to Congress by the Constitution."

1969

Congress approves laws authorizing the Federal Reserve to accept the IMF's, "SDR's," as reserves in the United States and to issue Federal Reserve Notes in exchange for SDR's.

1971

All the pure gold had been secretly moved from Fort Knox, sold to international money changers for the $35 per ounce price, and is believed to now be kept in London.  This is also when President Nixon repeals Roosevelt's Gold Reserve Act of 1934, allowing Americans to once again buy gold.  As a result of this gold prices began to soar.  In fact, 9 years later, in 1980, gold sold for $880 per ounce, a staggering 25 times what the gold in Fort Knox was sold to the international bankers for.

1974

A New York periodical publishes an article claiming that the Rockefeller family were manipulating the Federal Reserve for the purpose of selling off Fort Knox gold at bargain basement prices to anonymous European speculators.  3 days after the publication of this story, its anonymous source, long time secretary to Nelson Rockefeller, Louise Auchincloss Boyer, mysteriously fell to her death from the window of her ten storey apartment block in New York.

1975

Edith Roosevelt, the grand-daughter of President Theodore Roosevelt questioned the actions of the government in a March 1975 edition of the New Hampshire Sunday News, in which she stated,

"Allegations of missing gold from our Fort Knox vaults are being widely discussed in European financial circles.  But what is puzzling is that the Administration is not hastening to demonstrate conclusively that there is no cause for concern over our gold treasure, if indeed it is in a position to do so."

The United States government still did not undertake an audit of the gold in Fort Knox to quell this speculation.

1981

When President Ronald Reagan took office, his conservative friends suggested to him that he return to a gold standard, as a means to curbing government spending.  President Reagan was on board with this idea and so he appointed a group of men called the, "Gold Commission," to undertake a feasibility study and report their findings back to Congress.

1982

President Reagan's, "Gold Commission," reports back to Congress and makes the following shocking statement concerning gold,

"The U. S. Treasury owned no gold at all.  All the gold that was left in Fort Knox was now owned by the Federal Reserve, a group of private bankers, as collateral against the National Debt."

1983

In order that Ecuador's government be allowed a loan of 1.5 billion dollars from the IMF, they were forced to take over the unpaid private debts Ecuador's elite owed to private banks.  Furthermore in order to ensure Ecuador could pay back this loan, the IMF dictated price hikes in electricity and other utilities.  When that didn't give the IMF enough cash they ordered Ecuador to sack 120,000 workers.

Ecuador were required to do a variety of things under a timetable imposed by the IMF.  These included:  raising the price of cooking gas by 80% by November 1 2000; transferring the ownership of its biggest water system to foreign operators; granting British Petroleum the rights to build and own an oil pipeline over the Andes; and eliminating the jobs of more workers and reducing the wages of those remaining by 50%.

1985

In order to illustrate that the great majority of money is not even printed these days, please see the following speech by the late Lord Beswick which appeared in HANSARD, 27th November 1985, vol. 468, columns 935-939, under the title,  "Money Supply and the Private Banking System," which states,

"Lord Beswick rose to call attention to the statement made by the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster on 23rd July 1985 that the 96.9 per cent increase in money supply over a five-year period has been created by the private banking system and without Government authority….

The noble Lord said, 'My Lords, on 10th June this year I asked Her Majesty’s Government by what amount the money supply had increased in the five-year period to mid-April 1985.  Interestingly, they gave me the answer in percentages and not in pounds. Having given him prior notice, perhaps the Minister would be good enough later to give me the answer in money terms.

The Government reply on 10th June was that the increase had been by 101.9 per cent, and that of that very large amount only 5 per cent was accounted for by the state minting of more coins and the printing of more notes. That 96.9 per cent increase represented not only an enormous sum of money but also a crucially important factor in our economy.

I wanted to know by whom it had been created, and on 23rd July I again asked Her Majesty’s Government to what extent this increase had Government approval. I was told by the Chancellor of the Duchy, speaking for the Government, 'The 96.9 per cent represented new bank deposits created in the normal course of banking business and no Government authority is necessary for this.'

Had he said that some counterfeiter of coins or forger of notes had been at work there would of course have been an immediate and indignant outcry, yet here we have a government statement that private institutions have created this enormous amount of extra purchasing power and we are expected to accept that it is normal practice and that the government authority does not come into it.

When I asked whether we ought not to consider more deeply who was benefiting from this money-creating power, the Minister said that the implications, though interesting, were maybe too far reaching for Question Time, and so I raise the matter again in debate and hope to get more enlightenment.

The issues are important, they are certainly under-discussed, perhaps not adequately understood, and I hope that I am not being unduly unfair if I say that those who understand the mechanisms often do very well out of them. I make no party point; it is all much bigger and wider than that."

Notice how the Chancellor of the Duchy gave the game away when he said that no government authority was needed for this present system of credit creating.

1987

Edmond de Rothschild creates the World Conservation Bank which is designed to transfer debts from third world countries to this bank and in return those countries would give land to this bank. This is designed so the Rothschilds can gain control of the third world which represents 30% of the land surface of the Earth.

1988: 

The three arms of the World Central Bank, the World Bank, the BIS and the IMF, now generally referred to as the World Central Bank, through their BIS arm, require the world's bankers to raise their capital and reserves to 8% of their liabilities by 1992.  This increased capital requirement put an upper limit on fractional reserve lending.

To raise the money, the world's bankers had to sell stocks which depressed their individual stock markets and began depressions in those countries.  For example in Japan, one of the countries with the lowest capital in reserve, the value of its stock market crashed by 50%, and its commercial real estate crashed by 60%, within two years.

The idea is for the IMF to create more and more SDR's backed by nothing, in order for struggling nations to borrow them.  These nations will then gradually come under the control of the IMF as they struggle to pay the interest, and have to borrow more and more.  The IMF will then decide which nations can borrow more and which will starve.  They can also use this as leverage to take state owned assets like utilities as payment against the debt until they eventually own the nation states.

1991

At the Bilderberg Conference on June 6 to 9, in Baden-Baden, Germany, David Rockefeller made the following statement,

"We are grateful to the Washington Post, the New York Times, Time Magazine, and other great publications whose directors have attended our meetings and respected their promises of discretion for almost 40 years.  It would have been impossible for us to develop our plan for the world, if we had been subjected to the lights of publicity during those years.

But the world is now more sophisticated and prepared to march towards a world government.  The super-national sovereignty of an intellectual elite and world bankers is surely preferable to the national auto-determination practiced in past centuries."

Note: Click here for a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet with a list of people at the Bilderberg Conferences.

1992

The third world debtor nations who had borrowed from the World Bank, pay 198 million dollars more to the central banks of the developed nations for World Bank funded purposes than they receive from the World Bank.  This only goes to increase their permanent debt in exchange for temporary relief from poverty which is caused by the payments on prior loans, the repayments of which already exceed the amount of the new loans.

This year Africa's external debt had reached 290 billion dollars, which is two and a half times greater than its level in 1980, which has resulted in deterioration of schools, deterioration of housing, sky-rocketing infant mortality rates, a drastic downturn in the general health of the people, and mass unemployment.

The Washington Times reports that Russian President, Boris Yeltsin, was upset that most of the incoming foreign aid was being siphoned off, and he stated,

"Straight back into the coffers of Western Banks in debt service."

This year American taxpayers pay the Federal Reserve 286 billion dollars in interest on debt the Federal Reserve purchased by printing money virtually cost free.

1994

The Regal Act is introduced in the United States to authorize the replacement of President Lincoln's Greenbacks with debt based notes.  They had lasted for 132 years.

1996

Ever wondered why all the world's production seems to be moving to China?  In a report entitled, "China's Economy Toward the 21st Century," released this year, it predicts that the per capita income in China in 2010, will be approximately 735 dollars.  This is less than 30 dollars higher than the World Bank definition of a low income country.

1997

Less than two months before Tony Blair came to power in England, another interesting entry can be found in HANSARD, 5th March 1997, volume 578, No. 68, columns 1869-1871, in which the Earl of Caithness is recorded as having stated,

"The next government must grasp the nettle, accept their responsibility for controlling the money supply and change from our debt-based monetary system.  My Lords, will they?  If they do not, our monetary system will break us and the sorry legacy we are already leaving our children will be a disaster."

On 6 May, only four days after Tony Blair's election as Prime Minister, his Chancellor of the Exchequer, Gordon Brown, announces he is going to give full independence from political control to the Bank of England.

In his 1997 book, The Grand Chessboard, Zbigniew Brzezinski reveals that Germany is the largest shareholder in the World Bank.  When you bear in mind that bankers of the Rothschild bloodline were said to own Germany, "lock, stock and barrel," at the end of World War I, it is not difficult to see who controls the World Bank now.

1998

The IMF eliminate food and fuel subsidies for the poor in Indonesia.  At the same time the IMF soaked up tens of billions of dollars to save Indonesia's financiers or rather the international banks from whom they had borrowed.

A document leaks out of the World Bank, called, "Master Plan for Brazil."  In it it spells out five requirements to ensure a flexible public sector workforce.  These are as follows:

  • Reduce Salary/Benefits
  • Reduce Pensions
  • Increase Work Hours
  • Reduce Job Stability
  • Reduce Employment

1999

In Brazil, Rio's privatized electric company named, "Rio Light," is responsible for repeated blackouts in neighborhoods.  The company blames the weather in the Pacific Ocean for the blackouts, when Rio is on the Atlantic.  The blackouts wouldn't have anything to do with the fact that after privatization Rio Light axed 40% of the company's workforce would it?  No problem for Rio Light, as a result of that their share price went up 33%.

2000

The IMF require Argentina to cut the government budget deficit from its current $5.3 billion to $4.1 billion the following year, 2001.  At that point unemployment was running at 20% of the working population.  They then upped the ante and demanded an elimination of the deficit.  The IMF had some ideas of how this could be achieved.  Cut the government's emergency employment program from $200 a month to $160 a month.

They also asked for an across the board 12 - 15% cut in salaries for civil servants and the cutting of pensions to the elderly by 13%.  By December of 2001, middle class Argentineans sick of literally hunting the streets for garbage to eat, started burning down Buenos Aires.  In January Argentina devalued the Peso wiping out the value of many common people's savings accounts.  Dismayed that they can't rape that country further, James Wolfensohn, President of the World Bank, states,

"Almost all major utilities have been privatized."

How do they control the unrest within the population?  Let me see, an Argentinean bus driver, a thirty seven year old father of five, lost his job as a bus driver from a company that owed him 9 months pay.  During a demonstration against this and other injustices perpetrated upon him and the population, the military police shot him dead with a bullet through the head.

In Tanzania with approximately 1.3 million people dying of AIDS, the World Bank and the IMF decided to require Tanzania to charge for what were previously free hospital appointments.  They also ordered Tanzania to charge school fees for their previously free education system then expressed surprise when school enrolment dropped from 80% to 66%.

The IMF and World Bank have been in charge of Tanzania's economy since 1985 during which time Tanzania's GDP dropped from $309 to $210 per capita, standards of literacy fell and the rate of abject poverty increased to envelop 51% of the population.When the IMF and World Bank took charge in 1985, Tanzania was a socialist nation.  In June 2000 the World Bank reported arrogantly,

"One legacy of socialism is that most people continue to believe the State has a fundamental role in promoting development and providing social services."

There is rioting in Bolivia after the World Bank drastically increase the price of water.  The World Bank claim this is necessary to provide for desperately needed repairs and expansion.  This is poppycock, my own water supplier is Wessex Water, a privatized water company that was actually owned by Enron!  Since privatization (England was the first country to privatize the public water supply), the quality dropped and the prices exploded.

Almost all privatized water companies in Britain have consistently failed to meet government targets on leakages.

2001

Professor Joseph Stiglitz, former Chief Economist of the World Bank, and former Chairman of President Clinton's Council of Economic Advisers, goes public over the World Bank's, "Four Step Strategy," which is designed to enslave nations to the bankers.  I summarize this below,

Step One:  Privatization. 
This is actually where national leaders are offered 10% commissions to their secret Swiss bank accounts in exchange for them trimming a few billion dollars off the sale price of national assets.  Bribery and corruption, pure and simple.

Step Two:  Capital Market Liberalization.  
This is the repealing any laws that taxes money going over its borders.  Stiglitz calls this the, "hot money," cycle.  Initially cash comes in from abroad to speculate in real estate and currency, then when the economy in that country starts to look promising, this outside wealth is pulled straight out again, causing the economy to collapse.

The nation then requires IMF help and the IMF provides it under the pretext that they raise interest rates anywhere from 30% to 80%.  This happened in Indonesia and Brazil, also in other Asian and Latin American nations.  These higher interest rates consequently impoverish a country, demolishing property values, savaging industrial production and draining national treasuries.

Step Three:  Market Based Pricing.  
This is where the prices of food, water and domestic gas are raised which predictably leads to social unrest in the respective nation, now more commonly referred to as, "IMF Riots."  These riots cause the flight of capital and government bankruptcies.  This benefits the foreign corporations as the nations remaining assets can be purchased at rock bottom prices.

Step Four:  Free Trade.  
This is where international corporations burst into Asia, Latin America and Africa, whilst at the same time Europe and America barricade their own markets against third world agriculture.  They also impose extortionate tariffs which these countries have to pay for branded pharmaceuticals, causing soaring rates in death and disease

There are a lot of losers in this system, but a few winners - bankers.  In fact the IMF and World Bank have made the sale of electricity, water, telephone and gas systems a condition of loans to every developing nation.  This is estimated at 4 trillion dollars of publicly owned assets.

In September of this year, Professor Joseph Stiglitz is awarded the Nobel Prize in economics.

2002

On April 12th every major paper in the USA runs a story that Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez had resigned as he was, "unpopular and dictatorial."  In fact he had been kidnapped under a coup, where he was imprisoned on an army base.  Following sympathy from the guards, the coup falls apart and President Chavez is back in his office one day later.  Interestingly he has video evidence that whilst he was imprisoned on that base a United States military attaché entered the base.

President Chavez, demonized by the controlled western media, gives milk and housing to the poor, and gives land not used for production by big plantation owners for more than two years, to those without land.  His big crime however, was in passing a petroleum law that doubled the royalty taxes from 16% to 30% on new oil discoveries, which affected Exxon Mobil and other international oil operators.

He also took full control of the state oil company, PDVSA, which before was nominally owned by the government, but in actual fact was in thrall to these international oil operators.  Not only that but President Chavez is also the President of OPEC (Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries).  The main reason is, however, that President Chavez fully rejects the World Bank's, "Four Step Strategy," and plan to reduce wages of the people for the benefit of the bankers.

Indeed President Chavez has increased the minimum wage by 20%, which has increased the purchasing power of the lower paid workers and strengthened the economy.  His minister, Miguel Bustamante Madriz, fully aware of the danger Venezuela poses to the bankers when people contrast the fact it wouldn't let them in, for example, with Argentina who did, stated,

"America can't let us stay in power.  We are an exception to the new globalization order.  If we succeed, we are an example to all the Americas."

2006

America and Britain is now at war in both Afghanistan and Iraq, and looking toward an invasion of Iran.  As I mentioned before the greatest debt generator of them all is war.  This has pushed America to the brink of financial collapse.  This timeline is intended as a record of the past, but before you look at the conclusions, you may like to look at one person's prediction for the near future in this mind-blowing article. 

Conclusions

In my research, I have discovered those critics who currently condemn the monetary system almost universally suggest that the only solution is to restore a gold backed currency.  I don't think any readers of this timeline can be in any doubt, that such a system will be open to abuse by those very people who abuse it today.  Indeed if we introduced a currency backed by chairs, I believe we would find ourselves with nothing to sit on!

The only monetary system that seems to have worked in history is one which is backed by the goodwill of a government and is debt free, such as President Lincoln's, "Greenbacks."  Fortunately, the Nobel Peace Prize winning economist, Milton Friedman came up with an ingenious solution of wresting back control of the money supply from the bankers, paying off all outstanding debt, and preventing inflation or deflation whilst this process is completed.  I summarize this below.

Using America as the example here, Friedman suggests that debt free United States notes be issued to pay off the United States Bonds (debts) on the open market.  In conjunction with this, the reserve requirements of the day to day bank the regular person banks with, be proportionally raised so the mount of money in circulation remains constant.

As those people holding bonds are paid off in United States notes, they will deposit the money in the bank they bank with, thus making available the currency then needed by these banks to increase their reserves.  Once all these United States bonds are paid off with United States notes, the banks will be at 100% reserve banking instead of the fractional reserve system and then fractional reserve banking can be outlawed.

If necessary, the remaining liabilities of financial institutions could be assumed or acquired by the United States government in a one-off operation.  Therefore these institutions would eventually be paid off with United States notes for the purpose of keeping the total money supply stable.

The Federal Reserve Act of 1913 and the National Banking Act of 1864 must also be repealed and all monetary power transferred back to the Treasury Department.  The effects of this will be seen very soon by the average person as their taxes would start to go down as they would no longer be paying interest on debt based money to a handful of central bankers.

A law must be passed to ensure that no banker or any person in any way affiliated with financial institutions, be allowed to regulate banking.  Also the United States must withdraw from all international debt based central banking operations ie. the IMF; the BIS; and the World Bank.

If all the countries of the world adopted the conclusions above, then humanity will at last be free of these central bankers and their debt based currency.  It's a lovely idea, but first we have to get it past our corrupt politicians many of whom are quite aware of the scam that plays us on a daily basis, however rather than do the job we have elected them to do, they keep their mouths shut and instead look after themselves and their families, whilst the rest of us continue to be exploited.

"For what will it profit men that a more prudent distribution and use of riches make it possible for them to gain even the whole world, if thereby they suffer the loss of their own souls?  What will it profit to teach them sound principles in economics, if they permit themselves to be so swept away by selfishness, by unbridled and sordid greed, that, 'hearing the Commandments of the Lord, they do all things contrary."

Pope Pius XI

Sources

The Life Of William Ewart Gladstone

John Morley

1903

Secrets Of The Federal Reserve

Eustace Mullins

1952

The Great Crash 1929

John Kenneth Gailbraith

1955

F. D. R. My Exploited Father-In-Law

Curtis B. Dall

1967

Collective speeches of Congressman Louis T. McFadden

Louis T. McFadden

1970

A Monetary History of the United States, 1867-1960

Milton Friedman and Anna J. Schwartz

1971

None Dare Call It Conspiracy

Gary Allen

1972

Tragedy & Hope:  A History of the World in Our Time

Carroll Quigley

1975

The Truth in Money Book

Theodore R. Thoren and Richard F. Warner

1984

The Grand Chessboard

Zbigniew Brzezinski

1997

The Creature from Jekyll Island:  A Second Look at the Federal Reserve - 3rd Edition

G. Edward Griffin

1998

The Money Changers

Patrick S. J. Carmack

1998

The Shadows of Power:  The Council on Foreign Relations and the American Decline - 2002 Edition

James Perloff

2002

Globalization and Its Discontents

Joseph E. Stiglitz

2003



                                       THE GRAND CHESSBOARD
                                                            by ZBIGNIEW BRZEZINSKI

                                                              http://www.takeoverworld.info/Grand_Chessboard.pdf

                                                                      EU Membership: Application to Accession

A European country submits an application for membership to the Council of the European Union (the Council).
The Council asks the Commission to deliver an opinion about the application.
The Commission delivers an opinion about the application to the Council.
The Council decides unanimously to open negotiations for accession.
The Commission proposes, and the Council adopts unanimously, positions to be taken by the Union vis-a-vis the Applicants in accession negotiations.
The Union, represented by the Council President, conducts negotiations with the Applicant.
Agreement reached between Union and Applicant on a Draft Treaty of Accession.
Accession Treaty submitted to the Council and the European Parliament.
European Parliament delivers its assent to the Accession Treaty by an absolute majority.
The Council approves the Accession Treaty unanimously.

Member States and Applicants formally sign the Accession Treaty.
Member States and Applicants ratify the Accession Treaty
After ratification, the Accession Agreement goes into effect.

Prepared by C.S.I.S. US-EU-Poland Action Commission

"Harvard political scientist Samuel P. Huntington is right in boldly
asserting:

'A world without U.S. primacy will be a world with more violence and disorder and less democracy and economic growth than a world where the United States continues to have more influence than any other country in shaping global affairs. The sustained international primacy of the United States is central to the welfare and security of Americans and to the future of freedom, democracy, open economies, and international order in the world.'


                                                               THE GRAND CHESSBOARD by ZBIGNIEW BRZEZINSKI
                                       
                                                     
 American Primacy and Its - Geostrategic Imperatives

For my students—to help them shape tomorrow's world

CONTENTS
List of Maps ix
List of Charts and Tables xi
Introduction: Superpower Politics xiii
1 Hegemony of a New Type 3
The Short Road to Global Supremacy 3
The First Global Power 10
The American Global System 24
2 The Eurasian Chessboard 30
Geopolitics and Geostrategy 37
Geostrategic Players and Geopolitical Pivots 40
Critical Choices and Potential Challenges 48
3 The Democratic Bridgehead 57
Grandeur and Redemption 61
America's Central Objective 71
Europe's Historic Timetable 81
4 The Black Hole 87
Russia's New Geopolitical Setting 87
Geostrategic Phantasmagoria 96
The Dilemma of the One Alternative 118
5 The Eurasian Balkans 123
The Ethnic Cauldron 125
The Multiple Contest 135
Neither Dominion Nor Exclusion1
 148
6 The Far Eastern Anchor 151
China: Not Global but Regional 158
Japan: Not Regional but International 173
America's Geostrategic Adjustment 185
7 Conclusion 194
A Geostrategy for Eurasia 197
A Trans-Eurasian Security System 208
Beyond the Last Global Superpower 209
Index 217

MAPS

The Sino-Soviet Bloc and Three Central
Strategic Fronts 7
The Roman Empire at Its Height 11
The Manchu Empire at Its Height 14
Approximate Scope of Mongol Imperial Control, 1280 16
European Global Supremacy, 1900 18
British Paramountcy, 1860-1914 20
American Global Supremacy 22
The World's Geopolitically Central Continent
and Its Vital Peripheries 32
The Eurasian Chessboard 34
The Global Zone of Percolating Violence 53
France's and Germany's Geopolitical Orbits
of Special Interest 64
Is This Really "Europe"? 82
Beyond 2010: The Critical Core of Europe's Security 85

Loss of Ideological Control
and Imperial Retrenchment 94
Russian Military Bases in the Former Soviet Space 108
The Eurasian Balkans 124
Major Ethnic Groups in Central Asia 126
The Turkic Ethnolinguistic Zone 137
The Competitive Interests of Russia, Turkey, and Iran 138
Caspian-Mediterranean Oil Export Pipelines 146
Boundary and Territorial Disputes in East Asia 155
Potential Scope of China's Sphere of Influence
and Collision Points 167
Overlap Between a Greater China and an
American-Japanese Anti-China Coalition 184

LIST OF CHARTS AND TABLES
The Continents: Area 33
The Continents: Population 33
The Continents: GNP 33
European Organizations 58
EU Membership: Application to Accession 83
Demographic Data for the Eurasian Balkans 127
Asian Armed Forces 156

                                                                                  Initial Note:
Cultural domination has been an underappreciated facet of American global power. Whatever one may think of its aesthetic values, America's mass culture exercises a magnetic appeal, especially on the world's youth. Its attraction may be derived from the hedonistic quality of the lifestyle it projects, but its global appeal is undeniable. American television programs and films account for
about three-fourths of the global market. American popular music is equally dominant, while American fads, eating habits, and even clothing are increasingly imitated worldwide.
 The language of the Internet is English, and an overwhelming proportion of the global computer chatter also originates from America, influencing the content of global conversation. 
Lastly, America has become a Mecca for those seeking advanced education, with approximately half a million foreign students flocking to the United States, with many of the ablest never returning home. Graduates from American universities are to be found in almost every Cabinet on every continent.The style of many foreign democratic politicians also increasingly emulates the American. Not only did John F. Kennedy find eager imitators abroad, but even more recent (and less glorified) American political leaders have become the object of careful study and political imitation. Politicians from cultures as disparate as the Japanese and the British (for example, the Japanese prime minister of the mid-1990s, Ryutaro Hashimoto, and the British prime minister, Tony Blair—and note the "Tony," imitative of "Jimmy" Carter, "Bill" Clinton, or "Bob" Dole) find it perfectly appropriate to copy Bill Clinton's homey mannerisms, populist common touch, and public relations techniques.
Democratic ideals, associated with the American political tradition, further reinforce what some perceive as America's "cultural imperialism." In the age of the most massive spread of the democratic form of government, the American political experience tends to serve as a standard for emulation. The spreading emphasis worldwide on the centrality of a written constitution and on the supremacy of law over political expediency, no matter how short-changed in practice, has drawn upon the strength of American constitutionalism.

 In recent times, the adoption by the former Communist countries of civilian supremacy over the military (especially as a precondition for NATO membership) has also been very heavily influenced by the U.S. system of civilmilitary
relations.
The appeal and impact of the democratic American political system has also been accompanied by the growing attraction of the American entrepreneurial economic model, which stresses global free trade and uninhibited competition. As the Western welfare state, including its German emphasis on "codetermination"
between entrepreneurs and trade unions, begins to lose its economic momentum, more Europeans are voicing the opinion that the more competitive and even ruthless American economic culture has to be emulated if Europe is not to fall further behind. Even in Japan, greater individualism in economic behavior is becoming recognized as a necessary concomitant of economic success.

The American emphasis on political democracy and economic development thus combines to convey a simple ideological message that appeals to many: the quest for individual success enhances freedom while generating wealth.
 
The resulting blend of idealism and egoism is a potent combination. 
Individual self-fulfillment is said to be a God-given right that at the same time can benefit others by setting an example and by generating wealth. It is a doctrine that attracts the energetic, the ambitious, and the highly competitive.
As the imitation of American ways gradually pervades the world, it creates a more congenial setting for the exercise of the indirect
and seemingly consensual American hegemony. And as in the case of the domestic American system, that hegemony involves a complex structure of interlocking institutions and procedures, designed to generate consensus and obscure asymmetries in power and influence. American global supremacy is thus buttressed by an elaborate system of alliances and coalitions that literally
span the globe.
The Atlantic alliance, epitomized institutionally by NATO, links the most productive and influential states of Europe to America,
making the United States a key participant even in intra-European affairs. The bilateral political and military ties with Japan bind the most powerful Asian economy to the United States, with Japan remaining (at least for the time being) essentially an American protectorate.
America also participates in such nascent trans-Pacific multilateral organizations as the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation
Forum (APEC), making itself a key participant in that region's affairs. The Western Hemisphere is generally shielded from outside
influences, enabling America to play the central role in existing hemispheric multilateral organizations. Special security arrangements
in the Persian Gulf, especially after the brief punitive mission in 1991 against Iraq, have made that economically vital region into an American military preserve. Even the former Soviet space is permeated by various American-sponsored arrangements for closer cooperation with NATO, such as the Partnership for Peace.
In addition, one must consider as part of the American system the global web of specialized organizations, especially the "international"
financial institutions. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank can be said to represent "global" interests, and their constituency may be construed as the world. In reality, however, they are heavily American dominated and their origins are traceable to American initiative, particularly the Bretton Woods Conference of 1944.

                                                                                   

 THE GRAND CHESSBOARD 
                     by ZBIGNIEW BRZEZINSKI

                                                              http://www.takeoverworld.info/Grand_Chessboard.pdf

    EU Membership: Application to Accession


A European country submits an application for membership to the Council of the European Union (the Council).

The Council asks the Commission to deliver an opinion about the application.

The Commission delivers an opinion about the application to the Council.

The Council decides unanimously to open negotiations for accession.

The Commission proposes, and the Council adopts unanimously, positions to be taken by the Union vis-a-vis the Applicants in accession negotiations.

The Union, represented by the Council President, conducts negotiations with the Applicant.

Agreement reached between Union and Applicant on a Draft Treaty of Accession.

Accession Treaty submitted to the Council and the European Parliament.

European Parliament delivers its assent to the Accession Treaty by an absolute majority.

The Council approves the Accession Treaty unanimously.

Member States and Applicants formally sign the Accession Treaty.

Member States and Applicants ratify the Accession Treaty 
After ratification, the Accession Agreement goes into effect.


Prepared by C.S.I.S. US-EU-Poland Action Commission

"Harvard political scientist Samuel P. Huntington is right in boldly

asserting:

'A world without U.S. primacy will be a world with more violence and disorder and less democracy and economic growth than a world where the United States continues to have more influence than any other country in shaping global affairs. The sustained international primacy of the United States is central to the welfare and security of Americans and to the future of freedom, democracy, open economies, and international order in the world.'

                  THE GRAND CHESSBOARD

              by ZBIGNIEW BRZEZINSKI

                                       
             
 American Primacy and Its - Geostrategic Imperatives

For my students—to help them shape tomorrow's world

CONTENTS

List of Maps ix

List of Charts and Tables xi

Introduction: Superpower Politics xiii

1 Hegemony of a New Type 3

The Short Road to Global Supremacy 3

The First Global Power 10

The American Global System 24

2 The Eurasian Chessboard 30

Geopolitics and Geostrategy 37

Geostrategic Players and Geopolitical Pivots 40

Critical Choices and Potential Challenges 48

3 The Democratic Bridgehead 57

Grandeur and Redemption 61

America's Central Objective 71

Europe's Historic Timetable 81

4 The Black Hole 87

Russia's New Geopolitical Setting 87

Geostrategic Phantasmagoria 96

The Dilemma of the One Alternative 118

5 The Eurasian Balkans 123

The Ethnic Cauldron 125

The Multiple Contest 135

Neither Dominion Nor Exclusion1

 148

6 The Far Eastern Anchor 151

China: Not Global but Regional 158

Japan: Not Regional but International 173

America's Geostrategic Adjustment 185

7 Conclusion 194

A Geostrategy for Eurasia 197

A Trans-Eurasian Security System 208

Beyond the Last Global Superpower 209

Index 217

MAPS

The Sino-Soviet Bloc and Three Central

Strategic Fronts 7

The Roman Empire at Its Height 11

The Manchu Empire at Its Height 14

Approximate Scope of Mongol Imperial Control, 1280 16

European Global Supremacy, 1900 18

British Paramountcy, 1860-1914 20

American Global Supremacy 22

The World's Geopolitically Central Continent

and Its Vital Peripheries 32

The Eurasian Chessboard 34

The Global Zone of Percolating Violence 53

France's and Germany's Geopolitical Orbits

of Special Interest 64

Is This Really "Europe"? 82

Beyond 2010: The Critical Core of Europe's Security 85

Loss of Ideological Control

and Imperial Retrenchment 94

Russian Military Bases in the Former Soviet Space 108

The Eurasian Balkans 124

Major Ethnic Groups in Central Asia 126

The Turkic Ethnolinguistic Zone 137

The Competitive Interests of Russia, Turkey, and Iran 138

Caspian-Mediterranean Oil Export Pipelines 146

Boundary and Territorial Disputes in East Asia 155

Potential Scope of China's Sphere of Influence

and Collision Points 167

Overlap Between a Greater China and an

American-Japanese Anti-China Coalition 184

LIST OF CHARTS AND TABLES

The Continents: Area 33

The Continents: Population 33

The Continents: GNP 33

European Organizations 58

EU Membership: Application to Accession 83

Demographic Data for the Eurasian Balkans 127

Asian Armed Forces 156

                                                                                  Initial Note:

Cultural domination has been an underappreciated facet of American global power. Whatever one may think of its aesthetic values, America's mass culture exercises a magnetic appeal, especially on the world's youth. Its attraction may be derived from the hedonistic quality of the lifestyle it projects, but its global appeal is undeniable. American television programs and films account for

about three-fourths of the global market. American popular music is equally dominant, while American fads, eating habits, and even clothing are increasingly imitated worldwide.

 The language of the Internet is English, and an overwhelming proportion of the global computer chatter also originates from America, influencing the content of global conversation. 

Lastly, America has become a Mecca for those seeking advanced education, with approximately half a million foreign students flocking to the United States, with many of the ablest never returning home. Graduates from American universities are to be found in almost every Cabinet on every continent.The style of many foreign democratic politicians also increasingly emulates the American. Not only did John F. Kennedy find eager imitators abroad, but even more recent (and less glorified) American political leaders have become the object of careful study and political imitation. Politicians from cultures as disparate as the Japanese and the British (for example, the Japanese prime minister of the mid-1990s, Ryutaro Hashimoto, and the British prime minister, Tony Blair—and note the "Tony," imitative of "Jimmy" Carter, "Bill" Clinton, or "Bob" Dole) find it perfectly appropriate to copy Bill Clinton's homey mannerisms, populist common touch, and public relations techniques.

Democratic ideals, associated with the American political tradition, further reinforce what some perceive as America's "cultural imperialism." In the age of the most massive spread of the democratic form of government, the American political experience tends to serve as a standard for emulation. The spreading emphasis worldwide on the centrality of a written constitution and on the supremacy of law over political expediency, no matter how short-changed in practice, has drawn upon the strength of American constitutionalism.

 In recent times, the adoption by the former Communist countries of civilian supremacy over the military (especially as a precondition for NATO membership) has also been very heavily influenced by the U.S. system of civilmilitary

relations.

The appeal and impact of the democratic American political system has also been accompanied by the growing attraction of the American entrepreneurial economic model, which stresses global free trade and uninhibited competition. As the Western welfare state, including its German emphasis on "codetermination"

between entrepreneurs and trade unions, begins to lose its economic momentum, more Europeans are voicing the opinion that the more competitive and even ruthless American economic culture has to be emulated if Europe is not to fall further behind. Even in Japan, greater individualism in economic behavior is becoming recognized as a necessary concomitant of economic success.

The American emphasis on political democracy and economic development thus combines to convey a simple ideological message that appeals to many: the quest for individual success enhances freedom while generating wealth.

 

The resulting blend of idealism and egoism is a potent combination. 

Individual self-fulfillment is said to be a God-given right that at the same time can benefit others by setting an example and by generating wealth. It is a doctrine that attracts the energetic, the ambitious, and the highly competitive.

As the imitation of American ways gradually pervades the world, it creates a more congenial setting for the exercise of the indirect

and seemingly consensual American hegemony. And as in the case of the domestic American system, that hegemony involves a complex structure of interlocking institutions and procedures, designed to generate consensus and obscure asymmetries in power and influence. American global supremacy is thus buttressed by an elaborate system of alliances and coalitions that literally

span the globe.

The Atlantic alliance, epitomized institutionally by NATO, links the most productive and influential states of Europe to America,

making the United States a key participant even in intra-European affairs. The bilateral political and military ties with Japan bind the most powerful Asian economy to the United States, with Japan remaining (at least for the time being) essentially an American protectorate.

America also participates in such nascent trans-Pacific multilateral organizations as the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation

Forum (APEC), making itself a key participant in that region's affairs. The Western Hemisphere is generally shielded from outside

influences, enabling America to play the central role in existing hemispheric multilateral organizations. Special security arrangements

in the Persian Gulf, especially after the brief punitive mission in 1991 against Iraq, have made that economically vital region into an American military preserve. Even the former Soviet space is permeated by various American-sponsored arrangements for closer cooperation with NATO, such as the Partnership for Peace.

In addition, one must consider as part of the American system the global web of specialized organizations, especially the "international"

financial institutions. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank can be said to represent "global" interests, and their constituency may be construed as the world. In reality, however, they are heavily American dominated and their origins are traceable to American initiative, particularly the Bretton Woods Conference of 1944.

                           INTRODUCTION

        Superpower Politics

EVER SINCE THE CONTINENTS started interacting politically, some five hundred years ago, Eurasia has been the center of world power. In different ways, at different times, the peoples Inhabiting Eurasia—though mostly those from its Western European periphery—penetrated and dominated the world's other regions as individual Eurasian states attained the special status and enjoyed the privileges of being the world's premier powers.

The last decade of the twentieth century has witnessed a tectonic shift in world affairs. For the first time ever, a non-Eurasian power has emerged not only as the key arbiter of Eurasian power relations but also as the world's paramount power. The defeat and collapse of the Soviet Union was the final step in the rapid ascendance of a Western Hemisphere power, the United States, as the sole and, indeed, the first truly global power.

Eurasia, however, retains Its geopolitical importance. Not only is its western periphery—Europe—still the location of much of the world's political and economic power, but its eastern region— Asia—has lately become a vital center of economic growth and rising political influence. Hence, the issue of how a globally engaged America copes with the complex Eurasian power relationships— and particularly whether it prevents the emergence of a dominant

and antagonistic Eurasian power—remains central to America's capacity to exercise global primacy.


It follows that—in addition to cultivating the various novel dimensions of power (technology, communications, information, as well as trade and finance)—American foreign policy must remain concerned with the geopolitical dimension and must employ its influence in Eurasia in a manner that creates a stable continental equilibrium, with the United States as the political arbiter.


Eurasia is thus the chessboard on which the struggle for global primacy continues to be played, and that struggle involves geostrategy—the strategic management of geopolitical interests. It is noteworthy that as recently as 1940 two aspirants to global power, Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin, agreed explicitly (in the secret negotiations of November of that year) that America should be excluded from Eurasia. 

Each realized that the injection of American power into Eurasia would preclude his ambitions regarding global domination. Each shared the assumption that Eurasia is the center of the world and that he who controls Eurasia controls the world.

 A half century later, the issue has been redefined: will America's primacy in Eurasia endure, and to what ends might it be applied?


The ultimate objective of American policy should be benign and visionary: to shape a truly cooperative global community, in keeping with long-range trends and with the fundamental interests of humankind. But in the meantime, it is imperative that no Eurasian challenger emerges, capable of dominating Eurasia and thus also of challenging America. The formulation of a comprehensive and integrated Eurasian geostrategy is therefore the purpose of this book.

                                                    Zbigniew Brzezinski

                                                        Washington, DC.

                                                      April 1997

  THE GRAND CHESSBOARD

                                                                             CHAPTER 1

                 Hegemony of a New Type

HEGEMONY is AS OLD AS MANKIND. But America's current global supremacy is distinctive in the rapidity of its emergence, in its global scope, and in the manner of its exercise. In the course of a single century, America has transformed itself—and has also been transformed by international dynamics—from a country relatively isolated in the Western Hemisphere into a power of unprecedented worldwide reach and grasp.


THE SHORT ROAD TO GLOBAL SUPREMACY

The Spanish-American War in 1898 was America's first overseas war of conquest. It thrust American power far into the Pacific, beyond Hawaii to the Philippines. By the turn of the century, Americanb strategists were already busy developing doctrines for a two-ocean naval supremacy, and the American navy had begun to challenge the notion that Britain "rules the waves." American claims of a special status as the sole guardian of the Western Hemisphere's security—proclaimed earlier in the century by the Monroe Doctrine and subsequently justified by America's alleged "manifest destiny"—were

even further enhanced by the construction of the Panama Canal, which facilitated naval domination over both the

Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.


The basis for America's expanding geopolitical ambitions was  provided by the rapid industrialization of the country's economy. By the outbreak of World War I, America's growing economic might already accounted for about 33 percent of global GNP, which displaced Great Britain as the world's leading industrial power. This remarkable economic dynamism was fostered by a culture that favored experimentation and innovation. America's political institutions and free market economy created unprecedented opportunities for ambitious and iconoclastic inventors, who were not inhibited from pursuing their personal dreams by archaic privileges or rigid social hierarchies. In brief, national culture was uniquely congenial to economic growth, and by attracting and quickly assimilating the most talented individuals from abroad, the culture also facilitated the expansion of national power.


World War I provided the first occasion for the massive projection of American military force into Europe. A heretofore relatively isolated power promptly transported several hundred thousand of its troops across the Atlantic—a transoceanic military expedition unprecedented in its size and scope, which signaled the emergence of a new major player in the international arena. Just as important, the war also prompted the first major American diplomatic effort to apply American principles in seeking a solution to Europe's international problems. Woodrow Wilson's famous Fourteen Points represented the injection into European geopolitics of American idealism, reinforced by American might. (A decade and a half earlier, the United States had played a leading role in settling a Far Eastern conflict between Russia and Japan, thereby also asserting its growing international stature.) The fusion of American idealism and American power thus made itself fully felt on the world scene.

Strictly speaking, however, World War I was still predominantly a European war, not a global one. But its self-destructive character marked the beginning of the end of Europe's political, economic, and cultural preponderance over the rest of the world. In the course of the war, no single European power was able to prevail decisively—and the war's outcome was heavily influenced by the entrance into the conflict of the rising non-European power, America.

Thereafter, Europe would become increasingly the object, rather than the subject, of global power politics.

However, this brief burst of American global leadership did not produce a continuing American engagement in world affairs. Instead, America quickly retreated into a self-gratifying combination of isolationism and idealism. Although by the mid-twenties and early thirties totalitarianism was gathering strength on the European continent, American power—by then including a powerful two-ocean fleet that clearly outmatched the British navy—remained disengaged. Americans preferred to be bystanders to global politics.

Consistent with that predisposition was the American concept of security, based on a view of America as a continental island. American strategy focused on sheltering its shores and was thus narrowly national in scope, with little thought given to international or global considerations. The critical international players were still the European powers and, increasingly, Japan.

The European era in world politics came to a final end in the course of World War II, the first truly global war. Fought on three continents simultaneously, with the Atlantic and the Pacific Oceans also heavily contested, its global dimension was symbolically demonstrated when British and Japanese soldiers—representing, respectively, a remote Western European island and a similarly remote East Asian island—collided thousands of miles from their homes on the Indian-Burmese frontier. Europe and Asia had become a single battlefield.

Had the war's outcome been a clear-cut victory for Nazi Germany, a single European power might then have emerged as globally preponderant. (Japan's victory in the Pacific would have gained for that nation the dominant Far Eastern role, but in all probability, Japan would still have remained only a regional hegemon.)

Instead, Germany's defeat was sealed largely by the two extra-European victors, the United States and the Soviet Union, which became the successors to Europe's unfulfilled quest for global supremacy.

The next fifty years were dominated by the bipolar American Soviet contest for global supremacy. In some respects, the contest between the United States and the Soviet Union represented the fulfillment of the geopoliticians' fondest theories: it pitted the world's leading maritime power, dominant over both the Atlantic and the Pacific Oceans, against the world's leading land power, paramount on the Eurasian heartland (with the Sino-Soviet bloc encompassing a space remarkably reminiscent of the scope of the Mongol Empire). The geopolitical dimension could not have been clearer: North America versus Eurasia, with the world at stake.

The winner would truly dominate the globe. There was no one else to stand in the way, once victory was finally grasped.

Each rival projected worldwide an ideological appeal that was infused with historical optimism, that justified for each the necessary exertions while reinforcing its conviction in inevitable victory.

Each rival was clearly dominant within its own space—unlike the imperial European aspirants to global hegemony, none of whichever quite succeeded in asserting decisive preponderance within Europe itself. And each used its ideology to reinforce its hold over its respective vassals and tributaries, in a manner somewhat reminiscent of the age of religious warfare.

The combination of global geopolitical scope and the proclaimed universality of the competing dogmas gave the contest unprecedented intensity. But an additional factor—also imbued with global implications—made the contest truly unique. The advent of nuclear weapons meant that a head-on war, of a classical type, between the two principal contestants would not only spell their mutual destruction but could unleash lethal consequences for a significant portion of humanity. The intensity of the conflict was thus simultaneously subjected to extraordinary self-restraint on the part of both rivals.

In the geopolitical realm, the conflict was waged largely on the peripheries of Eurasia itself. The Sino-Soviet bloc dominated most of Eurasia but did not control its peripheries. North America succeeded in entrenching itself on both the extreme western and extreme eastern shores of the great Eurasian continent. The defense of these continental bridgeheads (epitomized on the western "front" by the Berlin blockade and on the eastern by the Korean War) was thus the first strategic test of what came to be known as

the Cold War. In the Cold War's final phase, a third defensive "front"—the southern—appeared on Eurasia's map (see map above). The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan precipitated a two-pronged American response: direct U.S. assistance to the native resistance in Afghanistan in order to bog down the Soviet army; and a large-scale buildup of the U.S. military presence In the Persian Gulf as a deterrent to any further southward projection of Soviet political or military power. The United States committed itself to the defense of the Persian Gulf region, on a par with its western and eastern Eurasian security interests.

The successful containment by North America of the Eurasian bloc's efforts to gain effective sway over all of Eurasia—with both sides deterred until the very end from a direct military collision for fear of a nuclear war—meant that the outcome of the contest was eventually decided by nonmilitary means. Political vitality, ideological flexibility, economic dynamism, and cultural appeal became the decisive dimensions.

The American-led coalition retained its unity, whereas the Sino-Soviet bloc split within less than two decades. In part, this was due to the democratic coalition's greater flexibility, in contrast to the hierarchical and dogmatic—but also brittle—character of the Communist camp. The former involved shared values, but without a formal doctrinal format. The latter emphasized dogmatic orthodoxy, with only one valid interpretative center. America's principal vassals were also significantly weaker than America, whereas the Soviet Union could not indefinitely treat China as a subordinate. The outcome was also due to the fact that the American side proved to be economically and technologically much more dynamic, whereas the Soviet Union gradually stagnated and could not effectively compete either in economic growth or in military technology. Economic decay in turn fostered ideological demoralization.

In fact, Soviet military power—and the fear it inspired among westerners—for a long time obscured the essential asymmetry between the two contestants. America was simply much richer, technologically much more advanced, militarily more resilient and innovative, socially more creative and appealing. Ideological constraints also sapped the creative potential of the Soviet Union, making its system increasingly rigid and its economy increasingly wasteful and technologically less competitive. As long as a mutually destructive war did not break out, in a protracted competition the scales had to tip eventually in America's favor.

The final outcome was also significantly influenced by cultural considerations. The American-led coalition, by and large, accepted as positive many attributes of America's political and social culture. America's two most important allies on the western and eastem peripheries of the Eurasian continent, Germany and Japan, both recovered their economic health in the context of almost unbridled admiration for all things American. America was widely perceived as representing the future, as a society worthy of admiration and deserving of emulation.

In contrast, Russia was held in cultural contempt by most of its Central European vassals and even more so by its principal and increasingly assertive eastern ally, China. For the Central Europeans, Russian domination meant isolation from what the Central Europeans considered their philosophical and cultural home: Western Europe and its Christian religious traditions. Worse than that, it meant domination by a people whom the Central Europeans, often unjustly, considered their cultural inferior.

The Chinese, for whom the word "Russia" means "the hungry land," were even more openly contemptuous. Although initially the Chinese had only quietly contested Moscow's claims of universality for the Soviet model, within a decade following the Chinese Communist revolution they mounted an assertive challenge to Moscow's ideological primacy and even began to express openly their traditional contempt for the neighboring northern barbarians.

Finally, within the Soviet Union itself, the 50 percent of the population that was non-Russian eventually also rejected Moscow's domination. The gradual political awakening of the non-Russians meant that the Ukrainians, Georgians, Armenians, and Azeris began to view Soviet power as a form of alien imperial domination by a people to whom they did not feel culturally inferior. In Central Asia, national aspirations may have been weaker, but here these peoples were fueled in addition by a gradually rising sense of Islamic identity, intensified by the knowledge of the ongoing decolonization elsewhere.

Like so many empires before it, the Soviet Union eventually imploded and fragmented, falling victim not so much to a direct military defeat as to disintegration accelerated by economic and social strains. Its fate confirmed a scholar's apt observation that [ejmpires are inherently politically unstable because subordinate units almost always prefer greater autonomy, and counter-elites in such units almost always act, upon opportunity, to obtain greater autonomy. In this sense, empires do not fall; rather, they fall apart, usually very slowly, though sometimes remarkably quickly.'

'Donald Puchala. "The History of the Future of International Relations,"

Ethics and International Affairs 8 (1994):183.

THE FIRST GLOBAL POWER

The collapse of its rival left the United States in a unique position. It became simultaneously the first and the only truly global power. And yet America's global supremacy is reminiscent in some ways of earlier empires, notwithstanding their more confined regional scope. These empires based their power on a hierarchy of vassals, tributaries, protectorates, and colonies, with those on the outside generally viewed as barbarians. To some degree, that anachronistic terminoJogy is not altogether inappropriate for some of the states currently within the American orbit. As in the past, the exercise of American "imperial" power is derived in large measure from superior organization, from the ability to mobilize vast economic and technological resources promptly for military purposes, from  the vague but significant cultural appeal of the American way of life, and from the sheer dynamism and inherent competitiveness of the American social and political elites.

Earlier empires, too, partook of these attributes. Rome comes first to mind. Its empire was established over roughly two and a half centuries through sustained territorial expansion northward and then both westward and southeastward, as well as through the assertion of effective maritime control over the entire shoreline of the Mediterranean Sea. In geographic scope, it reached its high point around the year A.D. 211 (see map on page 11). Rome's was a centralized polity and a single self-sufficient economy. Its imperial power was exercised deliberately and purposefully through a complex system of political and economic organization.

A strategically designed system of roads and naval routes, originating from the capital city, permitted the rapid redeployment and concentration—in the event of a major security threat—of the Roman legions stationed in the various vassal states and tributary provinces.

At the empire's apex, the Roman legions deployed abroad numbered nu less than three hundred thousand men—a remarkable force, made all the more lethal by the Roman superiority in tactics and armaments as well as by the center's ability to direct relatively rapid redeployment. Qt is striking to note that in 1996, the vastly more populous supreme power, America, was protecting the outer reaches of its dominion by stationing 296,000 professional soldiers overseas.)

Rome's imperial power, however, was also derived from an important psychological reality. Civis Romanus sum—"I am a Roman citizen"—was the highest possible self-definition, a source of pride, and an aspiration for many. Eventually granted even to those not of Roman birth, the exalted status of the Roman citizen was an expression of cultural superiority that justified the imperial power's sense of mission. It not only legitimated Rome's rule, but it also inclined those subject to it to desire assimilation and inclusion in the imperial structure. Cultural superiority, taken for granted by the rulers and conceded by the subjugated, thus reinforced imperial power.

That supreme, and largely uncontested, imperial power lasted about three hundred years. With the exception of the challenge posed at one stage by nearby Carthage and on the eastern fringes by the Parthian Empire, the outside world was largely barbaric, not well organized, capable for most of the time only of sporadic attacks, and culturally patently inferior. As long as the empire was able to maintain internal vitality and unity, the outside world was non competitive.

Three major causes led to the eventual collapse of the Roman Empire. First, the empire became too large to be governed from a single center, but splitting it into western and eastern halves automatically destroyed the monopolistic character of its power.

Second, at the same time, the prolonged period of imperial hubris generated a cultural hedonism that gradually sapped the political elite's will to greatness. Third, sustained inflation also undermined the capacity of the system to sustain itself without social sacrifice, which the citizens were no longer prepared to make. Cultural decay, political division, and financial inflation conspired to make Rome vulnerable even to the barbarians in its near abroad.

By contemporary standards, Rome was not truly a global power but a regional one. However, given the sense of isolation prevailing at the time between the various continents of the globe, its regional power was self-contained and isolated, with no immediate or even distant rival. The Roman Empire was thus a world unto itself, with its superior political organization and cultural superiority making it a precursor of later imperial systems of even greater geographic scope.

Even so, the Roman Empire was not unique. The Roman and the Chinese empires emerged almost contemporaneously, though neither was aware of the other. By the year 221 B.C. (the time of the Punic Wars between Rome and Carthage), the unification by Chin' of the existing seven states Into the first Chinese empire had prompted the construction of the Great Wall in northern China, to seal off the inner kingdom from the barbarian world beyond. The subsequent Han Empire, which had started to emerge by 140 B.C., was even more impressive in scope and organization. By the onset of the Christian era, no fewer than 57 million people were subject to its authority. That huge number, itself unprecedented, testified to extraordinarily effective central control, exercised through a centralized and punitive bureaucracy. Imperial sway extended to today's Korea, parts of Mongolia, and most of today's coastal China. However, rather like Rome, the Han Empire also became afflicted by internal ills, and its eventual collapse was accelerated by its division in A.D. 220 into three independent realms.

China's further history involved cycles of reunification and expansion, followed by decay and fragmentation. More than once, China succeeded in establishing imperial systems that were self contained, isolated, and unchallenged externally by any organized rivals. The tripartite division of the Han realm was reversed in A.D. 589, with something akin to an imperial system re-emerging. But the period of China's greatest imperial self-assertion came under the Manchus, specifically during the early Ch'ing dynasty. By the eighteenth century, China was once again a full-fledged empire, with the imperial center surrounded by vassal and tributary states, including today's Korea, Indochina, Thailand, Burma, and Nepal. China's sway thus extended from today's Russian Far East all the way across southern Siberia to Lake Baikal and into contemporary Kazakstan, then southward toward the Indian Ocean, and then back east across Laos and northern Vietnam (see map on page 14).

As in the Roman case, the empire was a complex financial, economic, educational, and security organization. Control over the large territory and the more than 300 million people living within it was exercised through all these means, with a strong emphasis on centralized political authority, supported by a remarkably effective courier service. The entire empire was demarcated into four zones, radiating from Peking and delimiting areas that could be reached by courier within one week, two weeks, three weeks, and four weeks, respectively. A centralized bureaucracy, professionally trained and competitively selected, provided the sinews of unity.

That unity was reinforced, legitimated, and sustained—again, as in the case of Rome—by a strongly felt and deeply ingrainedsense of cultural superiority that was augmented by Confucianism,  an imperially expedient philosophy, with its stress on harmony, hierarchy,and discipline. China—the Celestial Empire—was seen as the center of the universe, with only barbarians on its peripheries and beyond. To be Chinese meant to be cultured, and for that reason, the rest of the world owed China its due deference. That special sense of superiority permeated the response given by the Chinese emperor—even in the phase of China's growing decline, in the late eighteenth century—to King George III of Great Britain, whose emissaries had attempted to inveigle China into a trading relationship by offering some British industrial products as goodwill gifts:

We, by the Grace of Heaven, Emperor, instruct the King of England to take note of our charge:

The Celestial Empire, ruling all within the four seas . .. does not value rare and precious things . . . nor do we have the slightest need of your country's manufactures. Hence we ... have commanded your tribute envoys to return safely home. You, 0 King, should simply act in conformity with our wishes by strengthening your loyalty and swearing perpetual obedience.

The decline and fall of the several Chinese empires was also primarily due to internal factors. Mongol and later occidental "barbarians" prevailed because internal fatigue, decay, hedonism, and loss of economic as well as military creativity sapped and then accelerated the collapse of Chinese will. Outside powers exploited China's internal malaise—Britain in the Opium War of 1839-1842, Japan a century later—which, in turn, generated the profound sense of cultural humiliation that has motivated the Chinese throughout the twentieth century, a humiliation all the more intense because of the collision between their ingrained sense of cultural superiority and the demeaning political realities of postimperial China.

Much as in the case of Rome, imperial China would be classified today as a regional power. But in its heyday, China had no global peer, in the sense that no other power was capable of challenging its imperial status or even of resisting its further expansion if that had been the Chinese inclination. The Chinese system was self-contained and self-sustaining, based primarily on a shared ethnic identity, with relatively limited projection of central power over ethnically alien and geographically peripheral tributaries.

The large and dominant ethnic core made it possible for China to achieve periodic imperial restoration. In that respect, China was not quite unlike other empires, in which numerically small but hegemonically motivated peoples were able for a time to impose and maintain domination over much larger ethnically alien populations. However, once the domination of such small-core empires was undermined, imperial restoration was out of the question.

To find a somewhat closer analogy to today's definition of a global power, we must turn to the remarkable phenomenon of the Mongol Empire. Its emergence was achieved through an intense struggle with major and well-organized opponents. Among those defeated were the kingdoms of Poland and Hungary, the forces of the Holy Roman Empire, several Russian and Rus' principalities, the Caliphate of Baghdad, and later, even the Sung dynasty of China.

Genghis Khan and his successors, by defeating their regional rivals, established centralized control over the territory that latter day scholars of geopolitics have identified as the global heartland, or the pivot for world power. Their Eurasian continental empire ranged from the shores of the China Sea to Anatolia in Asia Minorand to Centra] Europe (see map). It was not until the heyday of the Stalinist Sino-Soviet bloc that the Mongol Empire on the Eurasian continent was finally matched, insofar as the scope of centralized control over contiguous territory is concerned.

The Roman, Chinese, and Mongol empires were regional precursors of subsequent aspirants to global power. In the case of Rome and China, as already noted, their imperial structures were highly developed, both politically and economically, while the widespread acceptance of the cultural superiority of the center exercised an important cementing role. In contrast, the Mongol Empire sustained political control by relying more directly on military conquest followed by adaptation (and even assimilation) to local conditions.

Mongol imperial power was largely based on military domination.

Achieved through the brilliant and ruthless application of superior military tactics that combined a remarkable capacity for rapid movement of forces with their timely concentration, Mongol rule entailed no organized economic or financial system, nor was Mongol authority derived from any assertive sense of cultural superiority. The Mongol rulers were too thin numerically to represent a self-regenerating ruling class, and in any case, the absence of a defined and self-conscious sense of cultural or even ethnic superiority deprived the imperial elite of the needed subjective confidence.

In fact, the Mongol rulers proved quite susceptible to gradual assimilation by the often culturally more advanced peoples they had conquered. Thus, one of the grandsons of Genghis Khan, who had become the emperor of the Chinese part of the great Khan's realm, became a fervent propagator of Confucianism; another became a devout Muslim in his capacity as the sultan of Persia; and a third became the culturally Persian ruler of Central Asia.

It was that factor—assimilation of the rulers by the ruled because of the absence of a dominant political culture—as well as unresolved problems of succession to the great Khan who had founded the empire, that caused the empire's eventual demise. The Mongol realm had become too big to be governed from a single center, but the solution attempted—dividing the empire into several self-contained parts—prompted still more rapid local assimilation and accelerated the imperial disintegration. After lasting two centuries, from 1206 to 1405, the world's largest land-based empire disappeared without a trace.

Thereafter, Europe became both the locus of global power and the focus of the main struggles for global power. Indeed, in the course of approximately three centuries, the small northwestern periphery of the Eurasian continent attained—through the projection

of maritime power and for the first time ever—genuine global domination as European power reached, and asserted itself on, every continent of the globe. It is noteworthy that the Western European imperial hegemons were demographically not very numerous, especially when compared to the numbers effectively subjugated. Yet by the beginning of the twentieth century, outside of the Western Hemisphere (which two centuries earlier had also been subject to Western European control and which was inhabited predominantly by European emigrants and their descendants), only China, Russia, the Ottoman Empire, and Ethiopia were free of Western Europe's domination (see map on page 18).

However, Western European domination was not tantamount to the attainment of global power by Western Europe. The essential reality was that of Europe's civilizational global supremacy and of fragmented European continental power. Unlike the land conquest of the Eurasian heartland by the Mongols or by the subsequent Russian Empire, European overseas imperialism was attained through ceaseless transoceanic exploration and the expansion of maritime trade. This process, however, also involved a continuous struggle among the leading European states not only for the overseas dominions but for hegemony within Europe itself. The geopolitically consequential fact was that Europe's global hegemony did not derive from hegemony in Europe by any single European power.

Broadly speaking, until the middle of the seventeenth century, Spain was the paramount European power. By the late fifteenth century, it had also emerged as a major overseas imperial power, entertaining global ambitions. Religion served as a unifying doctrine and as a source of imperial missionary zeal. Indeed, it took papal arbitration between Spain and its maritime rival, Portugal, to codify a formal division of the world into Spanish and Portuguese colonial spheres in the Treaties of Tordesilla (1494) and Saragossa (1529). Nonetheless, faced by English, French, and Dutch challenges,b Spain was never able to assert genuine supremacy, either in Western Europe itself or across the oceans.

Spain's preeminence gradually gave way to that of France. Until 1815, France was the dominant European power, though continuously checked by its European rivals, both on the continent and overseas. Under Napoleon, France came close to establishing true hegemony over Europe. Had it succeeded, it might have also gained the status of the dominant global power. However, its defeat by a European coalition reestablished the continental balance of power.

For the next century, until World War I, Great Britain exercised global maritime domination as London became the world's principal financial and trading center and the British navy "ruled the waves." Great Britain was clearly paramount overseas, but like the earlier European aspirants to global hegemony, the British Empire could not single-handedly dominate Europe. Instead, Britain relied on an intricate balance-of-power diplomacy and eventually on an Anglo-French entente to prevent continental domination by either Russia or Germany.

The overseas British Empire was initially acquired through a combination of exploration, trade, and conquest. But much like its Roman and Chinese predecessors or its French and Spanish rivals, it also derived a great deal of its staying power from the perception of British cultural superiority. That superiority was not only a matter of subjective arrogance on the part of the imperial ruling class but was a perspective shared by many of the non-British subjects.

In the words of South Africa's first black president, Nelson Mandela: "I was brought up in a British school, and at the time Britain was the home of everything that was best in the world. I have not discarded the influence which Britain and British history and culture exercised on us." Cultural superiority, successfully asserted and quietly conceded, had the effect of reducing the need to rely on large military forces to maintain the power of the imperial center. By 1914, only a few thousand British military personnel and civil servants controlled about 11 million square miles and almost400 million non-British peoples (see map on page 20).

In brief, Rome exercised its sway largely through superior military organization and cultural appeal. China relied heavily on an efficient bureaucracy to rule an empire based on shared ethnic identity, reinforcing its control through a highly developed sense of cultural superiority. The Mongol Empire combined advanced military tactics for conquest with an inclination toward assimilation as the basis for rule. The British (as well as the Spanish, Dutch, and French) gained preeminence as their flag followed their trade, their control likewise reinforced by superior military organization and cultural assertiveness. But none of these empires were truly global. Even Great Britain was not a truly global power. It did not control Europe but only balanced it. A stable Europe was crucial to British international preeminence, and Europe's self-destruction

Inevitably marked the end of British primacy In contrast, the scope and pervasiveness of American global power today are unique. Not only does the United States control all of the world's oceans and seas, but it has developed an assertive military capability for amphibious shore control that enables it to project its power inland in politically significant ways.

Its military legions are firmly perched on the western and eastern extremities of Eurasia, and they also control the Persian Gulf. American vassals and tributaries, some yearning to be embraced by even more formal ties to Washington, dot the entire Eurasian continent, as the map on page 22 shows America's economic dynamism provides the necessary precondition for the exercise of global primacy. Initially, immediately after World War II, America's economy stood apart from all others, accounting alone for more than 50 percent of the world's GNP. The economic recovery of Western Europe and Japan, followed by the wider phenomenon of Asia's economic dynamism, meant that the American share of global GNP eventually had to shrink from the disproportionately high levels of the immediate post war era.

Nonetheless, by the time the subsequent Cold War had ended, America's share of global GNP, and more specifically its share of the world's manufacturing output, had stabilized at about 30 percent, a level that had been the norm for most of this century, apart from those exceptional years immediately after World War II.

More important, America has maintained and has even widened its lead in exploiting the latest scientific breakthroughs for military purposes, thereby creating a technologically peerless military establishment, the only one with effective global reach. All the while, it has maintained its strong competitive advantage in the economically decisive information technologies. American mastery in the cutting-edge sectors of tomorrow's economy suggests that American technological domination is not likely to be undone soon, especially given that in the economically decisive fields, Americans are maintaining or even widening their advantage in productivity over their Western European and Japanese rivals.

To be sure, Russia and China are powers that resent this American hegemony. In early 1996, they jointly stated as much in the course of a visit to Beijing by Russia's President Boris Yeltsin. Moreover, they possess nuclear arsenals that could threaten vital U.S. interests. But the brutal fact is that for the time being, and for some time to come, although they can initiate a suicidal nuclear war, neither one of them can win it. Lacking the ability to project forces over long distances in order to impose their political will and being technologically much more backward than America, they do not have the means to exercise—nor soon attain—sustained political clout worldwide.


In brief, America stands supreme in the four decisive domains of global power, militarily, it has an unmatched global reach; economically, it remains the main locomotive of global growth, even if challenged in some aspects by Japan" and Germany (neither of which enjoys the other attributes of global might); technologically, it retains the overall lead in the cutting-edge areas of innovation; and culturally, despite some crassness, it enjoys an appeal that is unrivaled, especially among the world's youth—all of which gives the United States a political clout that no other state comes close to matching. It is the combination of all four that makes America the only comprehensive global superpower.


     THE AMERICAN  GLOBAL SYSTEM


Although America's international preeminence unavoidably evokes similarities to earlier imperial systems, the differences are more essential.

They go beyond the question of territorial scope. American global power is exercised through a global system of distinctively American design that mirrors the domestic American experience. 


Central to that domestic experience is the pluralistic character of both the American society and its political system.


The earlier empires were built by aristocratic political elitesand were in most cases ruled by essentially authoritarian or absolutist regimes. The bulk of the populations of the imperial states were either politically indifferent or, in more recent times, infected by imperialist emotions and symbols. The quest for national glory, "the white man's burden," "la mission civilisatrlce," not to speak of the opportunities for personal profit—all served to mobilize support

for imperial adventures and to sustain essentially hierarchical imperial power pyramids.


The attitude of the American public toward the external projection of American power has been much more ambivalent. The pub-lie supported America's engagement in World War II largely because of the shock effect of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.


The engagement of the United States in the Cold War was initially endorsed more reluctantly, until the Berlin blockade and the subsequent Korean War.

 After the Cold War had ended, the emergence of the United States as the single global power did not evoke much public gloating but rather elicited an inclination toward a more limited definition of American responsibilities abroad. Public opinion polls conducted in 1995 and 1996 indicated a general public

preference for "sharing" global power with others, rather than for its monopolistic exercise.

Because of these domestic factors, the American global system emphasizes the technique of co-optation (as in the case of defeated rivals—Germany, Japan, and lately even Russia) to a much greater extent than the earlier imperial systems did. It likewise relies heavily on the indirect exercise of influence on dependent foreign elites, while drawing much benefit from the appeal of its democratic principles and institutions. All of the foregoing are reinforced by the massive but intangible impact of the American domination of global communications, popular entertainment, and mass culture and by the potentially very tangible clout of America's technological edge and global military reach. 

Cultural domination has been an underappreciated facet of American global power. Whatever one may think of its aesthetic values, America's mass culture exercises a magnetic appeal, especially on the world's youth. Its attraction may be derived from the hedonistic quality of the lifestyle it projects, but its global appeal is undeniable. 

American television programs and films account for about three-fourths of the global market. American popular music is equally dominant, while American fads, eating habits, and even clothing are increasingly imitated worldwide. The language of the Internet is English, and an overwhelming proportion of the global computer chatter also originates from America, influencing the content of global conversation.


 Lastly, America has become a Mecca for those seeking advanced education, with approximately half a million foreign students flocking to the United States, with many of the ablest never returning home. Graduates from American universities are to be found in almost every Cabinet on every

continent.The style of many foreign democratic politicians also increasinglemulates the American. Not only did John F. Kennedy find eager

imitators abroad, but even more recent (and less glorified) American political leaders have become the object of careful study and political imitation. Politicians from cultures as disparate as the Japanese and the British (for example, the Japanese prime ministerof the mid-1990s, Ryutaro Hashimoto, and the British prime minister, Tony Blair—and note the "Tony," imitative of "Jimmy" Carter, "Bill" Clinton, or "Bob" Dole) find it perfectly appropriate to copy

Bill Clinton's homey mannerisms, populist common touch, and public relations techniques.


Democratic ideals, associated with the American political tradition,further reinforce what some perceive as America's "cultural imperialism." In the age of the most massive spread of the democratic form of government, the American political experience tends to serve as a standard for emulation. The spreading emphasis worldwide on the centrality of a written constitution and on the supremacy of law over political expediency, no matter how short-changed in practice, has drawn upon the strength of American constitutionalism. In recent times, the adoption by the former Communist countries of civilian supremacy over the military (especially as a precondition for NATO membership) has also been very heavily influenced by the U.S. system of civilmilitary relations.


The appeal and impact of the democratic American political system has also been accompanied by the growing attraction of the American entrepreneurial economic model, which stresses global free trade and uninhibited competition. As the Western welfare state, including its German emphasis on "codetermination" between entrepreneurs and trade unions, begins to lose its economic momentum, more Europeans are voicing the opinion that the more competitive and even ruthless American economic culture has to be emulated if Europe is not to fall further behind. Even in Japan, greater individualism in economic behavior is becoming recognized as a necessary concomitant of economic success.


The American emphasis on political democracy and economic development thus combines to convey a simple ideological message that appeals to many: the quest for individual success enhances freedom while generating wealth. The resulting blend of idealism and egoism is a potent combination. Individual self-fulfillment is said to be a God-given right that at the same time can benefit others by setting an example and by generating wealth. It is a doctrine that attracts the energetic, the ambitious, and the highly competitive.


As the imitation of American ways gradually pervades the world, it creates a more congenial setting for the exercise of the indirect and seemingly consensual American hegemony. And as in the case of the domestic American system, that hegemony involves a complex structure of interlocking institutions and procedures, designed to generate consensus and obscure asymmetries in power and influence. American global supremacy is thus buttressed by an elaborate system of alliances and coalitions that literally span the globe.


The Atlantic alliance, epitomized institutionally by NATO, links the most productive and influential states of Europe to America, making the United States a key participant even in intra-European affairs. The bilateral political and military ties with Japan bind the most powerful Asian economy to the United States, with Japan remaining (at least for the time being) essentially an American protectorate.

America also participates in such nascent trans-Pacific multilateral organizations as the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum (APEC), making itself a key participant in that region's affairs. The Western Hemisphere is generally shielded from outside influences, enabling America to play the central role in existing hemispheric multilateral organizations. Special security arrangements in the Persian Gulf, especially after the brief punitive mission

in 1991 against Iraq, have made that economically vital region into an American military preserve. Even the former Soviet space is permeated by various American-sponsored arrangements for closer cooperation with NATO, such as the Partnership for Peace.


In addition, one must consider as part of the American system the global web of specialized organizations, especially the "international"

financial institutions. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank can be said to represent "global" interests, and their constituency may be construed as the world. In reality, however, they are heavily American dominated and their origins are traceable to American initiative, particularly the Bretton Woods Conference of 1944.

Unlike earlier empires, this vast and complex global system is not a hierarchical pyramid. Rather, America stands at the center of an interlocking universe, one in which power is exercised through continuous bargaining, dialogue, diffusion, and quest for formal consensus, even though that power originates ultimately from a single source, namely, Washington, D.C. And that is where the power game has to be played, and played according to America's

domestic rules. Perhaps the highest compliment that the world pays to the centrality of the democratic process in American global hegemony is the degree to which foreign countries are themselves drawn into the domestic American political bargaining.


To the extent that they can, foreign governments strive to mobilize those Americans with whom they share a special ethnic or religious identity. Most foreign governments also employ American lobbyists to advance their case, especially in Congress, in addition to approximately one thousand special foreign interest groups registered as active in America's capital. American ethnic communities also strive to influence U.S. foreign policy, with the Jewish, Greek, and Armenian lobbies standing out as the most effectively organized. 

American supremacy has thus produced a new international order that not only replicates but institutionalizes abroad many of the features of the American system itself. Its basic features include

• a collective security system, including integrated command and forces (NATO, the U.S.-Japan Security Treaty, and so forth);

• regional economic cooperation (APEC, NAFTA [North American

Free Trade Agreement]) and specialized global cooperative institutions (the World Bank, IMF, WTO [World Trade Organization]);

" procedures that emphasize consensual decision making, even if dominated by the United States;

• a preference for democratic membership within key alliances;

• a rudimentary global constitutional and judicial structure

(ranging from the World Court to a special tribunal to try

Bosnian war crimes).

Most of that system emerged during the Cold War, as part ofb America's effort to contain its global rival, the Soviet Union. It was thus ready-made for global application, once that rival faltered and America emerged as the first and only global power. Its essence has been well encapsulated by the political scientist G. John Ikenberry:

It was hegemonic in the sense that it was centered around the United States and reflected American-styled political mechanisms and organizing principles. It was a liberal order in that it was legitimate and marked by reciprocal interactions. Europeans [one may also add, the Japanese] were able to reconstruct

and integrate their societies and economies in ways that were congenial with American hegemony but also with room to experiment with their own autonomous and semi-independent political systems ... The evolution of this complex system served to "domesticate" relations among the major Western

states. There have been tense conflicts between these states from time to time, but the important point is that conflict has been contained within a deeply embedded, stable, and increasingly articulated political order.... The threat of war is off the


table.2

Currently, this unprecedented American global hegemony has no rival. But will it remain unchallenged in the years to come?

From his paper "Creating Liberal Order: The Origins and Persistence of

the Postwar Western Settlement," University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia,

November 1995






Promotional Video One of the film- The Great AmericanNovel
 

Who Runs The World? Solid Proof That A Core Group Of Wealthy Elitists Is Pulling The Strings
Michael Snyder
Economic Collapse
Jan 30, 2013

Does a shadowy group of obscenely wealthy elitists control the world?  Do men and women with enormous amounts of money really run the world from behind the scenes?  The answer might surprise you.  Most of us tend to think of money as a convenient way to conduct transactions, but the truth is that it also represents power and control.  And today we live in a neo-fuedalist system in which the super rich pull all the strings.  When I am talking about the ultra-wealthy, I am not just talking about people that have a few million dollars.  As you will see later in this article, the ultra-wealthy have enough money sitting in offshore banks to buy all of the goods and services produced in the United States during the course of an entire year and still be able to pay off the entire U.S. national debt.  That is an amount of money so large that it is almost incomprehensible.  Under this ne0-feudalist system, all the rest of us are debt slaves, including our own governments.  Just look around – everyone is drowning in debt, and all of that debt is making the ultra-wealthy even wealthier.  But the ultra-wealthy don’t just sit on all of that wealth.  They use some of it to dominate the affairs of the nations.  The ultra-wealthy own virtually every major bank and every major corporation on the planet.  They use a vast network of secret societies, think tanks and charitable organizations to advance their agendas and to keep their members in line.  They control how we view the world through their ownership of the media and their dominance over our education system.  They fund the campaigns of most of our politicians and they exert a tremendous amount of influence over international organizations such as the United Nations, the IMF, the World Bank and the WTO.  When you step back and take a look at the big picture, there is little doubt about who runs the world.  It is just that most people don’t want to admit the truth.
The ultra-wealthy don’t run down and put their money in the local bank like you and I do.  Instead, they tend to stash their assets in places where they won’t be taxed such as the Cayman Islands.  According to a report that was released last summer, the global elite have up to 32 TRILLION dollars stashed in offshore banks around the globe.
U.S. GDP for 2011 was about 15 trillion dollars, and the U.S. national debt is sitting at about 16 trillion dollars, so you could add them both together and you still wouldn’t hit 32 trillion dollars.
And of course that does not even count the money that is stashed in other locations that the study did not account for, and it does not count all of the wealth that the global elite have in hard assets such as real estate, precious metals, art, yachts, etc.
The global elite have really hoarded an incredible amount of wealth in these troubled times.  The following is from an article on the Huffington Post website
Rich individuals and their families have as much as $32 trillion of hidden financial assets in offshore tax havens, representing up to $280 billion in lost income tax revenues, according to research published on Sunday.
The study estimating the extent of global private financial wealth held in offshore accounts – excluding non-financial assets such as real estate, gold, yachts and racehorses – puts the sum at between $21 and $32 trillion.
The research was carried out for pressure group Tax Justice Network, which campaigns against tax havens, by James Henry, former chief economist at consultants McKinsey & Co.
He used data from the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, United Nations and central banks.
But as I mentioned previously, the global elite just don’t have a lot of money.  They also basically own just about every major bank and every major corporation on the entire planet.

Please read the full story on Who Really Runs the World further down this INLNews.com web page...
thank you for taking the time for reading this important information....#



Who Are The Rothschilds?


The Famous Balfour Letter to  Dear Lord Rothschild,
I have much pleasure in conveying to you, on behalf of His Majesty's Government, the following declaration of sympathy with Jewish Zionist aspirations which has been submitted to, and approved by, the Cabinet.
His Majesty's Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.
I should be grateful if you would bring this declaration to the knowledge of the Zionist Federation.
Yours sincerely,
Arthur James Balfour


Hitler's American Business Partners 

. “Getting along with their own business“

The secret pact of Standard Oil with the Nazis and why Adolf

Eichmann was silenced

The Russian Revolution installed a new global order. Until 1917, the Europeans were in command of the world. Then the US corporates wanted to get in the global business, above all, John D. Rockefeller who founded Standard Oil in 1870. In 1879 he merged the Vacuum Company and many other firms until1911, when the Trust was desolved and broken into many smaller companies. But the Rockefeller family maintained power in the oil business.

At that time, petroleum was produced in two places, in Texas and in Baku, in the

Caucasus. The Russian oilfields were owned by the Nobel and Rothschild families who lost their assets with October Revolution. “In summer 1918, Mr. Nobel flew from the Soviets and begged the German emperor Wilhelm to help him to conquer his assets back”, says the historian Dietrich Eichholtz. But thinking about “conquer” wasn’t possible with an unarmed German Republic.

The interest of the Rockefeller family were identical with the interest of Deutsche Bank.

And after WW1, their shares of the „Turkish Petroleum Company“ were transferred as „enemy property“ to France. For many years, the Deutsche Bank tried to litigate against this expropriation, but finally they realized that there wouldn’t be any chance on the legal front. There is strong evidence to suggest that approximately in 1927, Deutsche Bank and Standard Oil made a secret pact aimed at bringing Hitler to power in order to conquer the Oil of Baku. Standard Oil promised to supply the fuel.

1927, Standard Oil and IG Farben founded the company „Standard IG Farben“;

president was the oil dealer William Farish from Texas. Standard passed to IG Farben the patents about the coal hydrogenation processes and the Germans gave them the patents how to manufacture synthetic rubber. In the same year, 1927, the young Adolf Eichmann, close friend of Ernest Kaltenbrunner (chief of Hitler’s Gestapo), was hired by the Vacuum Oil Company in Austria, a relation with future.

While the European powers wanted to avoid growth of German industry after WW1,

US invested huge sums in Germany and never ratified the Versailles Treaty. They sold German bonds in the US financial market. One of the most important was the"Union Banking Corporation" of George H. Walker. He named his son-in-law, Prescott Bush, grandfather of US president George W. Bush, director of the firm. And he made great business with the Germans, before and after 1933. In the board of his „Walkers American Shipping and Commerce Company“ with its Hamburg-America Line was Emil Helfferich, member of „Freundeskreis Reichsführer- SS“ and until end of WW2 President of Deutsch-Amerikanische Petroleum Gesellschaft, later ESSO, and Vacuum Oil Company in Hamburg.
Read full story further down this INL News page


Rumours are rife that Building Magante Len Buckeridge 

http://inlnews.com/LenBuckeridgeDiesAged_77.php

was Murdered at 77 year old...read  INL News.com

http://inlnews.com/LenBuckeridgeDiesAged_77.php

http://inlnews.com/ChineseTriadsInAustralia.php

Businessman Cleans Gangs Millions

A High Profile businessman has been laundering millions of euros stolen during a spree of nationwide robberies.

http://inlnews.com/MoneyLaundering-Ireland.php

A prolific burglary gang have linked up with well-known figure to profit form their operation.....The well known businessman- who is a household name ... which is the capital city of Ireland – has become a major target for .... the Organised Crime Unit, the Criminal assets Bureau and National Drugs Unit…A Source said: “These gang members are well-known to police …. they need someone who appears to be a legitimate businessman to launder the money,” “And that’s what this individual and some of his closest associates do – they are pumping the money into building projects and other such ventures while the general public don’t suspect a thing….”…..read the full story  in the INLNews.com website

http://inlnews.com/MoneyLaundering-Ireland.php


Also read in INL News.com about: Meeting Malaysia's notorious triads
“I admit that I am a bad guy, and that I'm a gangster “..Ah Hing
As part of the BBC's Who Runs Your World? series, Jonathan Kent in Kuala Lumpur looks at 
how Malaysia's notorious triad gangs are run.

http://inlnews.com/ChineseTriadsInAustralia.php

Ah Hing
Ah Hing says he makes deals with politicians and policemen



“..We have some cases where [those owing debts] have been assaulted…”… Michael Chong, Malaysian
 Chinese Association



Len Buckeridge.....
 "..a man that built an image of being a man who was above the law..."



 Len Buckeridge, Australia's 19th richest person, with an estimated pwersonal wealth of over $3 billion, has died on Monday at 8am at his dest at hope of a alleged heart attack, at the age of 77, ... Len Buckeridge construction materials and home building business, Buckeridge Group of Companies, known as BGC has an estimated yearly turnover of in excess of $160 billion dollars.... with many multi-million large lucrative government building and supply contracts awarded to BGC over the years.

Len Buckeridge

On Tuesday, Australia lost one of its most successful and colourful business people. Aged 77, Len Buckeridge, the former shoeless war child from England who built the Buckeridge Group of Companies into a manufacturing and construction empire suffered a suspected heart attack and died.

Updated | Outspoken building mogul Len Buckeridge, the founder of the Buckeridge Group with an estimated wealth of $2.1 billion, has died from a suspected heart attack at his Perth home.

Prominent West Australian businessman Len Buckeridge has died aged 77. 
The self-made billionaire behind the Buckeridge Group of Companies died at his home in the 
Perth suburb of Peppermint Grove this morning.
A desire to provide low-cost housing led to the creation of BGC (Buckeridge Group of Companies), which in 2013 had an estimated turnover of $160 billion per year ... BGC had always seemed to end up withlucrative large government building and building supply contracts, along with controlling the lion's shares of residential and commercial building companies in Western Australia and over 20 building manufacture and supply companies. Many of the BGC companies were built from the ground up on empty blocks of land that were not always zoned at the time for the purpose the businesses needed,  with the help of massive capital injections in the 1980's and 1990's onwards from the family of  Siok Pauk Koh, who is the mother of Julian Ambrose, who in Len Buckeridge started a de-facto relationship with in the late 1980's, and divorsed his original wife. Len Buckeridge's attitude was rules were meant for mugs, and simply built houses and factories where he wanted, when he wanted and how he wanted and argued the rules, building approvals and zoning after the buildings were completed and businesses already operating... one particular case that is well know, is when Len Buckeridge had a massive legal battle with the Mosman Park Shire Council, when Len Buckeridge completed ignore the original building plans for his two new Swan River frontage duplex homes in Johnson Parade, Mosman Park, that were approved by the Mosman Park Shire Council, and built the two duplex homes about the legal and approved hight limits, blocking Len Buckeridge's neighbours Swan River views. When neighbours forced the Mosman Shire Council to take Len Buckeridge to court to enforce Len Buckeridge to remove his new home and rebuild it according tot the original shire approved plans and for the council to fine Len Buckeridhe the maximum fine of $5,000 a day for building an illegal building... Len Buckeridge managed to just receive a fine, but was never forced by the courts or the council to remove the illegally built house....
Len Buckeridge was reported by the West Australian newspaper as "..a man that built an image of being a man who was above the law..."
A tell all book about the otherside of the life and times of Len Buckeridge and the way be built up BGC from a small company building cheap flats in Battle Street, Mosmans Park to cater for the battlers of society .... to being Australia's 19th richest man, with his BGC Group of Companies turning over each year in excess of $160 billion a year, has been written which will be published by the the INL News Group unless the rights are purchased Len Buckeridge's family to stop the book being published and made into a feature film... titled,
 " 60 years of Living Next Door to Billionaire Building Magnate Len Buckeridge..."

which describes in great detail, with no holes barred .... what is was like for this one family that lived next door to Len Buckeridge from the early 1950's onwards .... 

The INL News Group had written in 2013 prior to Len Buckeridge's untimely death, to Len Buckeridge and his family and Len Buckeridge's Perth, Western Australia family solicitor Michael Hotchkin of Hotchin Hanly Solicitors based on the 1st Floor of the BGC Centre, 28 The Esplanade, Perth, Western Australia, Tel: +61 8 9218770 Fax: +61 8 9218777, email: hothan@iinet.net.au, and to Len Buckeridge's other solicitors and barristers, Corrs Westgarth and Chambers and Barrister Nicolas Dillon offering to sell the book and film rights to Len Buckeridge's family for $100 million ....then they could chose not to allow the puiblication of the book and not to allow the film to be made, or publish and make the film and make a billion dollars in doing so..

 
                            Please email any inquiries, information and/or requests regarding this proposed publication 
                            and/or any other matters, stories and information concerning Len Buckerdge and BGC to
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Everything you have ever been told is a lie...

  • In the early 1990's the  Rothschild puppet Obama was being created by the Chicago / B'nai Brith / Ford Foundation / CIA machine as BCCI / Capcom is being investigated and prosecuted  reference   and First American v. al Nahyan   Visar.csustan.edu  Sandstorm2.pdf MINUTES OF THE MEETING WITH PRICE WATERHOUSE 1988 page and  Hartmann pic1Hartmann pic2 These files are Absolute Proof that Alfred Hartmann (BCCI) worked for Rothschilds The internet has been 'cleansed' of almost all traces of Hartmann's involvement with Rothschild and BCCI, except these files.  MORE BELOW  cadc  FAS Rappaport / Hartmann
  • Official BCCI Congressional Report BCCI's criminality included fraud by BCCI and BCCI customers involving billions of dollars; money laundering in Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Americas; BCCI's bribery of officials in most of those locations; support of terrorism, arms trafficking, and the sale of nuclear technologies; management of prostitution; the commission and facilitation of income tax evasion, smuggling, and illegal immigration; illicit purchases of banks and real estate; and a panoply of financial crimes limited only by the imagination of its officers and customers.  Official BCCI Congressional Report / Rothschild connections hidden in plain site.  Paul Helliwell
  • First American v. al Nahyan  see Sidley Austin defended SHEIKH RASHID BIN SAEED AL MAKTOUM in this law suit ( 1990's CNNbillionaires) and also gave Barack Obama a job ), see Li ka Shing, Edward Bronfman, Pritzker,   Wikipedia History of Dubai, horse racing.Leadership in Islamic Finance search Maktoum
  • SurrenderingIslam The primary conduit for CIA funds to the Mujahideen fighting in Afghanistan would be the Bank of Credit and Commerce International, BCCI. BCCI, the first Third World multinational bank, which was created in 1972 by Pakistani banker Agha Hasan Abedi, was initially funded by Sheikh Zayed of Abu Dhabi, in anticipation of the petrodollar bonanza of the oil crisis.  and the Wall Street Journal"BCCI's role in assisting the U.S. to fund the Mujaheddin guerrillas fighting the Soviet occupation is drawing increasing attention. The bank's role began to surface in the mid-1980's when stories appeared in the New York Times showing how American security operatives used Oman as a staging post for Arab funds. This was confirmed in the Wall Street Journal of 23 October 1991  and FASUK Parliament Publications Sheikh Zayed of Abu Dhabi  WTPOTUSResearch  FAS Rappaport / Hartmann
  • Tarpley Mr Auchi has attracted attention at Westminster because of his closeness to politicians and the Establishment. He says that his brother was executed by Saddam Hussein’s regime. His business partners in Britain have included Lord Steel of Aikwood, the former Liberal leader, and Keith Vaz, the Labour MP and Home Affairs Committee chairman. On the 20th anniversary of his business in 1999, Mr Auchi received a greeting card signed by 130 politicians, including Tony Blair, William Hague and Charles Kennedy, who were then leaders of their respective parties.
008 IllinoisPaytoPlay By Andrew Walden (Hawai'i Free Press) “Nadhmi Auchi, seen here with the Governor of Illinois, Rob Blagojevich (middle) at a 2004 Chicago dinner in Auchi's honor arranged by Antonin Rezko  All three men have been convicted of corruption related charges (Auchi 2003, Rezko 2008, Blagojevich 2009)  ...  “A British-Iraqi billionaire lent millions of dollars to Barack Obama's fundraiser (dual US-Syrian citizen Tony Rezko) just weeks before an imprudent land deal that has returned to haunt the presidential contender, an investigation by The Times discloses. The money transfer raises the question of whether funds from  Nadhmi Auchi, one of Britain’s wealthiest men, helped Mr. Obama buy his mock Georgian mansion in Chicago.” -- The Times of London February 26, 2008 The Auchi-Rezko-Obama connection came to public attention with federal marshals pounding on the door of Tony Rezko’s Wilmette Chicago mansion in the early morning of January 28, 2008. They hauled Rezko to jail after his bail was revoked for concealing a $3.5 million Auchi loan from the court. The Times outlines the story in two sentences. It should be of tremendous interest to the American public and the world. But there is more to this story than run-of-the mill political corruption. Nadhmi Auchi is alleged to have a long affiliation with Iraqi Baathism and Saddam Hussein—which his attorneys deny. How close were they? According to a 1960 US Embassy report, Auchi was convicted along with Saddam by an Iraqi court for his part in a failed 1959 assassination attempt against then-Iraqi Prime Minister Qassim. For his crime, Auchi earned a sentence of “three years rigorous imprisonment.”    Times.UK  .. articles have been deleted for the TimesOnline 
but copies exist.
Connect Rothschild to Khashoggi





John Perkins was an Economic Hitman for the CIA and MI6 and America






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Who Runs The World?
Solid Proof That A Core Group Of Wealthy Elitists .....
Is Pulling The Strings



Michael Snyder
Economic Collapse
Jan 30, 2013

Does a shadowy group of obscenely wealthy elitists control the world?  Do men and women with enormous amounts of money really run the world from behind the scenes?  The answer might surprise you.  Most of us tend to think of money as a convenient way to conduct transactions, but the truth is that it also represents power and control.  And today we live in a neo-fuedalist system in which the super rich pull all the strings.  When I am talking about the ultra-wealthy, I am not just talking about people that have a few million dollars.  As you will see later in this article, the ultra-wealthy have enough money sitting in offshore banks to buy all of the goods and services produced in the United States during the course of an entire year and still be able to pay off the entire U.S. national debt.  That is an amount of money so large that it is almost incomprehensible.  Under this ne0-feudalist system, all the rest of us are debt slaves, including our own governments.  Just look around – everyone is drowning in debt, and all of that debt is making the ultra-wealthy even wealthier.  But the ultra-wealthy don’t just sit on all of that wealth.  They use some of it to dominate the affairs of the nations.  The ultra-wealthy own virtually every major bank and every major corporation on the planet.  They use a vast network of secret societies, think tanks and charitable organizations to advance their agendas and to keep their members in line.  They control how we view the world through their ownership of the media and their dominance over our education system.  They fund the campaigns of most of our politicians and they exert a tremendous amount of influence over international organizations such as the United Nations, the IMF, the World Bank and the WTO.  When you step back and take a look at the big picture, there is little doubt about who runs the world.  It is just that most people don’t want to admit the truth.
The ultra-wealthy don’t run down and put their money in the local bank like you and I do.  Instead, they tend to stash their assets in places where they won’t be taxed such as the Cayman Islands.  According to a report that was released last summer, the global elite have up to 32 TRILLION dollars stashed in offshore banks around the globe.
U.S. GDP for 2011 was about 15 trillion dollars, and the U.S. national debt is sitting at about 16 trillion dollars, so you could add them both together and you still wouldn’t hit 32 trillion dollars.
And of course that does not even count the money that is stashed in other locations that the study did not account for, and it does not count all of the wealth that the global elite have in hard assets such as real estate, precious metals, art, yachts, etc.
The global elite have really hoarded an incredible amount of wealth in these troubled times.  The following is from an article on the Huffington Post website
Rich individuals and their families have as much as $32 trillion of hidden financial assets in offshore tax havens, representing up to $280 billion in lost income tax revenues, according to research published on Sunday.
The study estimating the extent of global private financial wealth held in offshore accounts – excluding non-financial assets such as real estate, gold, yachts and racehorses – puts the sum at between $21 and $32 trillion.
The research was carried out for pressure group Tax Justice Network, which campaigns against tax havens, by James Henry, former chief economist at consultants McKinsey & Co.
He used data from the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, United Nations and central banks.
But as I mentioned previously, the global elite just don’t have a lot of money.  They also basically own just about every major bank and every major corporation on the entire planet.
According to an outstanding NewScientist article, a study of more than 40,000 transnational corporations conducted by the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich discovered that a very small core group of huge banks and giant predator corporations dominate the entire global economic system…
An analysis of the relationships between 43,000 transnational corporations has identified a relatively small group of companies, mainly banks, with disproportionate power over the global economy.
The researchers found that this core group consists of just 147 very tightly knit companies…
When the team further untangled the web of ownership, it found much of it tracked back to a “super-entity” of 147 even more tightly knit companies – all of their ownership was held by other members of the super-entity – that controlled 40 per cent of the total wealth in the network. “In effect, less than 1 per cent of the companies were able to control 40 per cent of the entire network,” says Glattfelder. Most were financial institutions. The top 20 included Barclays Bank, JPMorgan Chase & Co, and The Goldman Sachs Group.
The following are the top 25 banks and corporations at the heart of this “super-entity”.  You will recognize many of the names on the list…
1. Barclays plc
2. Capital Group Companies Inc
3. FMR Corporation
4. AXA
5. State Street Corporation
6. JP Morgan Chase & Co
7. Legal & General Group plc
8. Vanguard Group Inc
9. UBS AG
10. Merrill Lynch & Co Inc
11. Wellington Management Co LLP
12. Deutsche Bank AG
13. Franklin Resources Inc
14. Credit Suisse Group
15. Walton Enterprises LLC
16. Bank of New York Mellon Corp
17. Natixis
18. Goldman Sachs Group Inc
19. T Rowe Price Group Inc
20. Legg Mason Inc
21. Morgan Stanley
22. Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc
23. Northern Trust Corporation
24. Société Générale
25. Bank of America Corporation
The ultra-wealthy elite often hide behind layers and layers of ownership, but the truth is that thanks to interlocking corporate relationships, the elite basically control almost every Fortune 500 corporation.
The amount of power and control that this gives them is hard to describe.
Unfortunately, this same group of people have been running things for a very long time.  For example, New York City Mayor John F. Hylan said the following during a speech all the way back in 1922
The real menace of our Republic is the invisible government, which like a giant octopus sprawls its slimy legs over our cities, states and nation. To depart from mere generalizations, let me say that at the head of this octopus are the Rockefeller-Standard Oil interests and a small group of powerful banking houses generally referred to as the international bankers. The little coterie of powerful international bankers virtually run the United States government for their own selfish purposes.
They practically control both parties, write political platforms, make catspaws of party leaders, use the leading men of private organizations, and resort to every device to place in nomination for high public office only such candidates as will be amenable to the dictates of corrupt big business.
These international bankers and Rockefeller-Standard Oil interests control the majority of the newspapers and magazines in this country. They use the columns of these papers to club into submission or drive out of office public officials who refuse to do the bidding of the powerful corrupt cliques which compose the invisible government. It operates under cover of a self-created screen [and] seizes our executive officers, legislative bodies, schools, courts, newspapers and every agency created for the public protection.
These international bankers created the central banks of the world (including the Federal Reserve), and they use those central banks to get the governments of the world ensnared in endless cycles of debtfrom which there is no escape.  Government debt is a way to “legitimately” take money from all of us, transfer it to the government, and then transfer it into the pockets of the ultra-wealthy.
Today, Barack Obama and almost all members of Congress absolutely refuse to criticize the Fed, but in the past there have been some brave members of Congress that have been willing to take a stand.  For example, the following quote is from a speech that Congressman Louis T. McFadden delivered to the U.S. House of Representatives on June 10, 1932
Mr. Chairman, we have in this country one of the most corrupt institutions the world has ever known. I refer to the Federal Reserve Board and the Federal Reserve Banks. The Federal Reserve Board, a Government board, has cheated the Government of the United States and the people of the United States out of enough money to pay the national debt. The depredations and iniquities of the Federal Reserve Board has cost this country enough money to pay the national debt several times over. This evil institution has impoverished and ruined the people of the United States, has bankrupted itself, and has practically bankrupted our Government. It has done this through the defects of the law under which it operates, through the maladministration of that law by the Federal Reserve Board, and through the corrupt practices of the moneyed vultures who control it.
Sadly, most Americans still believe that the Federal Reserve is a “federal agency”, but that is simply not correct.  The following comes from factcheck.org
The stockholders in the 12 regional Federal Reserve Banks are the privately owned banks that fall under the Federal Reserve System. These include all national banks (chartered by the federal government) and those state-chartered banks that wish to join and meet certain requirements. About 38 percent of the nation’s more than 8,000 banks are members of the system, and thus own the Fed banks.
According to researchers that have looked into the ownership of the big Wall Street banks that dominate the Fed, the same names keep coming up over and over: the Rockefellers, the Rothschilds, the Warburgs, the Lazards, the Schiffs and the royal families of Europe.
But ultra-wealthy international bankers have not just done this kind of thing in the United States.  Their goal was to create a global financial system that they would dominate and control.  Just check out what Georgetown University history professor Carroll Quigley once wrote
[T]he powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent private meetings and conferences. The apex of the system was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basle, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world’s central banks which were themselves private corporations.
Sadly, most Americans have never even heard of the Bank for International Settlements, but it is at the very heart of the global financial system.  The following is from Wikipedia
As an organization of central banks, the BIS seeks to make monetary policy more predictable and transparent among its 58 member central banks. While monetary policy is determined by each sovereign nation, it is subject to central and private banking scrutiny and potentially to speculation that affects foreign exchange rates and especially the fate of export economies. Failures to keep monetary policy in line with reality and make monetary reforms in time, preferably as a simultaneous policy among all 58 member banks and also involving the International Monetary Fund, have historically led to losses in the billions as banks try to maintain a policy using open market methods that have proven to be based on unrealistic assumptions.
The ultra-wealthy have also played a major role in establishing other important international institutions such as the United Nations, the IMF, the World Bank and the WTO.  In fact, the land for the United Nations headquarters in New York City was purchased and donated by John D. Rockefeller.
The international bankers are “internationalists” and they are very proud of that fact.
The elite also dominate the education system in the United States.  Over the years, the Rockefeller Foundation and other elitist organizations have poured massive amounts of money into Ivy League schools.  Today, Ivy League schools are considered to be the standard against which all other colleges and universities in America are measured, and the last four U.S. presidents were educated at Ivy League schools.
The elite also exert a tremendous amount of influence through various secret societies (Skull and Bones, the Freemasons, etc.), through some very powerful think tanks and social clubs (the Council on Foreign Relations, the Trilateral Commission, the Bilderberg Group, the Bohemian Grove, Chatham House, etc.), and through a vast network of charities and non-governmental organizations (the Rockefeller Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the World Wildlife Fund, etc.).
But for a moment, I want to focus on the power the elite have over the media.  In a previous article, I detailed how just six monolithic corporate giants control most of what we watch, hear and read every single day.  These giant corporations own television networks, cable channels, movie studios, newspapers, magazines, publishing houses, music labels and even many of our favorite websites.
Considering the fact that the average American watches 153 hours of television a month, the influence of these six giant corporations should not be underestimated.  The following are just some of the media companies that these corporate giants own…
Time Warner
Home Box Office (HBO)
Time Inc.
Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.
Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.
CW Network (partial ownership)
TMZ
New Line Cinema
Time Warner Cable
Cinemax
Cartoon Network
TBS
TNT
America Online
MapQuest
Moviefone
Castle Rock
Sports Illustrated
Fortune
Marie Claire
People Magazine
Walt Disney
ABC Television Network
Disney Publishing
ESPN Inc.
Disney Channel
SOAPnet
A&E
Lifetime
Buena Vista Home Entertainment
Buena Vista Theatrical Productions
Buena Vista Records
Disney Records
Hollywood Records
Miramax Films
Touchstone Pictures
Walt Disney Pictures
Pixar Animation Studios
Buena Vista Games
Hyperion Books
Viacom
Paramount Pictures
Paramount Home Entertainment
Black Entertainment Television (BET)
Comedy Central
Country Music Television (CMT)
Logo
MTV
MTV Canada
MTV2
Nick Magazine
Nick at Nite
Nick Jr.
Nickelodeon
Noggin
Spike TV
The Movie Channel
TV Land
VH1
News Corporation
Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
Fox Television Stations
The New York Post
Fox Searchlight Pictures
Beliefnet
Fox Business Network
Fox Kids Europe
Fox News Channel
Fox Sports Net
Fox Television Network
FX
My Network TV
MySpace
News Limited News
Phoenix InfoNews Channel
Phoenix Movies Channel
Sky PerfecTV
Speed Channel
STAR TV India
STAR TV Taiwan
STAR World
Times Higher Education Supplement Magazine
Times Literary Supplement Magazine
Times of London
20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
20th Century Fox International
20th Century Fox Studios
20th Century Fox Television
BSkyB
DIRECTV
The Wall Street Journal
Fox Broadcasting Company
Fox Interactive Media
FOXTEL
HarperCollins Publishers
The National Geographic Channel
National Rugby League
News Interactive
News Outdoor
Radio Veronica
ReganBooks
Sky Italia
Sky Radio Denmark
Sky Radio Germany
Sky Radio Netherlands
STAR
Zondervan
CBS Corporation
CBS News
CBS Sports
CBS Television Network
CNET
Showtime
TV.com
CBS Radio Inc. (130 stations)
CBS Consumer Products
CBS Outdoor
CW Network (50% ownership)
Infinity Broadcasting
Simon & Schuster (Pocket Books, Scribner)
Westwood One Radio Network
NBC Universal
Bravo
CNBC
NBC News
MSNBC
NBC Sports
NBC Television Network
Oxygen
SciFi Magazine
Syfy (Sci Fi Channel)
Telemundo
USA Network
Weather Channel
Focus Features
NBC Universal Television Distribution
NBC Universal Television Studio
Paxson Communications (partial ownership)
Trio
Universal Parks & Resorts
Universal Pictures
Universal Studio Home Video
And of course the elite own most of our politicians as well.  The following is a quote from journalist Lewis Lapham
“The shaping of the will of Congress and the choosing of the American president has become a privilege reserved to the country’s equestrian classes, a.k.a. the 20% of the population that holds 93% of the wealth, the happy few who run the corporations and the banks, own and operate the news and entertainment media, compose the laws and govern the universities, control the philanthropic foundations, the policy institutes, the casinos, and the sports arenas.”
Have you ever wondered why things never seem to change in Washington D.C. no matter who we vote for?
Well, it is because both parties are owned by the establishment.
It would be nice to think that the American people are in control of who runs things in the U.S., but that is not how it works in the real world.
In the real world, the politician that raises more money wins more than 80 percent of the time in national races.
Our politicians are not stupid – they are going to be very good to the people that can give them the giant piles of money that they need for their campaigns.  And the people that can do that are the ultra-wealthy and the giant corporations that the ultra-wealthy control.
Are you starting to get the picture?
There is a reason why the ultra-wealthy are referred to as “the establishment”.  They have set up a system that greatly benefits them and that allows them to pull the strings.
So who runs the world?
They do.  In fact, they even admit as much.
David Rockefeller wrote the following in his 2003 book entitled “Memoirs”
“For more than a century, ideological extremists at either end of the political spectrum have seized upon well-publicized incidents such as my encounter with Castro to attack the Rockefeller family for the inordinate influence they claim we wield over American political and economic institutions. Some even believe we are part of a secret cabal working against the best interests of the United States, characterizing my family and me as ‘internationalists’ and of conspiring with others around the world to build a more integrated global political and economic structure — one world, if you will. If that is the charge, I stand guilty, and I am proud of it.”
There is so much more that could be said about all of this.  In fact, an entire library of books could be written about the power and the influence of the ultra-wealthy international bankers that run the world.
But hopefully this is enough to at least get some conversations started.
So what do you think about all of this?  Please feel free to post a comment with your thoughts below…
 

This article was posted: Wednesday, January 30, 2013 at 5:41 am



Secret to Prism success: Even bigger data seizure

What makes Prism shine? National Security Agency's megadata collection from Internet pipeline


 
FILE - In this Jan. 31, 2008, file photo President Bush waves after signing a 15-day extension of the Protect America Act after a speech in Las Vegas. Sternly prodding Congress, Bush told lawmakers they were jeopardizing the nation's safety by failing to lock in the government eavesdropping law. When the Protect America Act made warrantless wiretapping legal, lawyers and executives at major technology companies knew what was about to happen. They didn't know that its passage gave birth to a top-secret NSA program, officially labeled US-98XN. It was known as Prism. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)" alt="
FILE - In this Jan. 31, 2008, file photo President Bush waves after signing a 15-day extension of the Protect America Act after a speech in Las Vegas. Sternly prodding Congress, Bush told lawmakers they were jeopardizing the nation's safety by failing to lock in the government eavesdropping law. When the Protect America Act made warrantless wiretapping legal, lawyers and executives at major technology companies knew what was about to happen. They didn't know that its passage gave birth to a top-secret NSA program, officially labeled US-98XN. It was known as Prism. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)" src="http://l1.yimg.com/bt/api/res/1.2/qoiw6NYvNvd.hOcyTj6XDQ--/YXBwaWQ9eW5ld3M7Y2g9MjQ2Mjtjcj0xO2N3PTM2MDA7ZHg9MDtkeT0wO2ZpPXVsY3JvcDtoPTQzMTtxPTg1O3c9NjMw/http://globalfinance.zenfs.com/images/US_AHTTP_AP_HEADLINES_BUSINESS/d2a9eaf40bfdd414340f6a706700bd69_original.jpg" width="630" height="431"
Associated Press -
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FILE - In this Jan. 31, 2008, file photo President Bush waves after signing a 15-day extension of the Protect America Act after a speech in Las Vegas. Sternly prodding Congress, Bush told lawmakers they were jeopardizing the nation's safety by failing to lock in the government eavesdropping law. When the Protect America Act made warrantless wiretapping legal, lawyers and executives at major technology companies knew what was about to happen. They didn't know that its passage gave birth to a top-secret NSA program, officially labeled US-98XN. It was known as Prism. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) -- In the months and early years after 9/11, FBI agents began showing up at Microsoft Corp. more frequently than before, armed with court orders demanding information on customers.
Around the world, government spies and eavesdroppers were tracking the email and Internet addresses used by suspected terrorists. Often, those trails led to the world's largest software company and, at the time, largest email provider.
The agents wanted email archives, account information, practically everything, and quickly. Engineers compiled the data, sometimes by hand, and delivered it to the government.
Often there was no easy way to tell if the information belonged to foreigners or Americans. So much data was changing hands that one former Microsoft employee recalls that the engineers were anxious about whether the company should cooperate.
Inside Microsoft, some called it "Hoovering" — not after the vacuum cleaner, but after J. Edgar Hoover, the first FBI director, who gathered dirt on countless Americans.
This frenetic, manual process was the forerunner to Prism, the recently revealed highly classified National Security Agency program that seizes records from Internet companies. As laws changed and technology improved, the government and industry moved toward a streamlined, electronic process, which required less time from the companies and provided the government data in a more standard format.
The revelation of Prism this month by the Washington Post and Guardian newspapers has touched off the latest round in a decade-long debate over what limits to impose on government eavesdropping, which the Obama administration says is essential to keep the nation safe.
But interviews with more than a dozen current and former government and technology officials and outside experts show that, while Prism has attracted the recent attention, the program actually is a relatively small part of a much more expansive and intrusive eavesdropping effort.
Americans who disapprove of the government reading their emails have more to worry about from a different and larger NSA effort that snatches data as it passes through the fiber optic cables that make up the Internet's backbone. That program, which has been known for years, copies Internet traffic as it enters and leaves the United States, then routes it to the NSA for analysis.
Whether by clever choice or coincidence, Prism appears to do what its name suggests. Like a triangular piece of glass, Prism takes large beams of data and helps the government find discrete, manageable strands of information.
The fact that it is productive is not surprising; documents show it is one of the major sources for what ends up in the president's daily briefing. Prism makes sense of the cacophony of the Internet's raw feed. It provides the government with names, addresses, conversation histories and entire archives of email inboxes.
Many of the people interviewed for this report insisted on anonymity because they were not authorized to publicly discuss a classified, continuing effort. But those interviews, along with public statements and the few public documents available, show there are two vital components to Prism's success.
The first is how the government works closely with the companies that keep people perpetually connected to each other and the world. That story line has attracted the most attention so far.
The second and far murkier one is how Prism fits into a larger U.S. wiretapping program in place for years.
___
Deep in the oceans, hundreds of cables carry much of the world's phone and Internet traffic. Since at least the early 1970s, the NSA has been tapping foreign cables. It doesn't need permission. That's its job.
But Internet data doesn't care about borders. Send an email from Pakistan to Afghanistan and it might pass through a mail server in the United States, the same computer that handles messages to and from Americans. The NSA is prohibited from spying on Americans or anyone inside the United States. That's the FBI's job and it requires a warrant.
Despite that prohibition, shortly after the Sept. 11 attacks, President George W. Bush secretly authorized the NSA to plug into the fiber optic cables that enter and leave the United States, knowing it would give the government unprecedented, warrantless access to Americans' private conversations.
Tapping into those cables allows the NSA access to monitor emails, telephone calls, video chats, websites, bank transactions and more. It takes powerful computers to decrypt, store and analyze all this information, but the information is all there, zipping by at the speed of light.
"You have to assume everything is being collected," said Bruce Schneier, who has been studying and writing about cryptography and computer security for two decades.
The New York Times disclosed the existence of this effort in 2005. In 2006, former AT&T technician Mark Klein revealed that the company had allowed the NSA to install a computer at its San Francisco switching center, a spot where fiber optic cables enter the U.S.
What followed was the most significant debate over domestic surveillance since the 1975 Church Committee, a special Senate committee led by Sen. Frank Church, D-Idaho, reined in the CIA and FBI for spying on Americans.
Unlike the recent debate over Prism, however, there were no visual aids, no easy-to-follow charts explaining that the government was sweeping up millions of emails and listening to phone calls of people accused of no wrongdoing.
The Bush administration called it the "Terrorist Surveillance Program" and said it was keeping the United States safe.
"This program has produced intelligence for us that has been very valuable in the global war on terror, both in terms of saving lives and breaking up plots directed at the United States," Vice President Dick Cheney said at the time.
The government has said it minimizes all conversations and emails involving Americans. Exactly what that means remains classified. But former U.S. officials familiar with the process say it allows the government to keep the information as long as it is labeled as belonging to an American and stored in a special, restricted part of a computer.
That means Americans' personal emails can live in government computers, but analysts can't access, read or listen to them unless the emails become relevant to a national security investigation.
The government doesn't automatically delete the data, officials said, because an email or phone conversation that seems innocuous today might be significant a year from now.
What's unclear to the public is how long the government keeps the data. That is significant because the U.S. someday will have a new enemy. Two decades from now, the government could have a trove of American emails and phone records it can tap to investigative whatever Congress declares a threat to national security.
The Bush administration shut down its warrantless wiretapping program in 2007 but endorsed a new law, the Protect America Act, which allowed the wiretapping to continue with changes: The NSAgenerally would have to explain its techniques and targets to a secret court in Washington, but individual warrants would not be required.
Congress approved it, with Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., in the midst of a campaign for president, voting against it.
"This administration also puts forward a false choice between the liberties we cherish and the security we provide," Obama said in a speech two days before that vote. "I will provide our intelligence and law enforcement agencies with the tools they need to track and take out the terrorists without undermining our Constitution and our freedom."
___
When the Protect America Act made warrantless wiretapping legal, lawyers and executives at major technology companies knew what was about to happen.
One expert in national security law, who is directly familiar with how Internet companies dealt with the government during that period, recalls conversations in which technology officials worried aloud that the government would trample on Americans' constitutional right against unlawful searches, and that the companies would be called on to help.
The logistics were about to get daunting, too.
For years, the companies had been handling requests from the FBI. Now Congress had given the NSA the authority to take information without warrants. Though the companies didn't know it, the passage of the Protect America Act gave birth to a top-secret NSA program, officially called US-98XN.
It was known as Prism. Though many details are still unknown, it worked like this:
Every year, the attorney general and the director of national intelligence spell out in a classified document how the government plans to gather intelligence on foreigners overseas.
By law, the certification can be broad. The government isn't required to identify specific targets or places.
A federal judge, in a secret order, approves the plan.
With that, the government can issue "directives" to Internet companies to turn over information.
While the court provides the government with broad authority to seize records, the directives themselves typically are specific, said one former associate general counsel at a major Internet company. They identify a specific target or groups of targets. Other company officials recall similar experiences.
All adamantly denied turning over the kind of broad swaths of data that many people believed when the Prism documents were first released.
"We only ever comply with orders for requests about specific accounts or identifiers," Microsoft said in a statement.
Facebook said it received between 9,000 and 10,000 demands requests for data from all government agencies in the second half of last year. The social media company said fewer than 19,000 users were targeted.
How many of those were related to national security is unclear, and likely classified. The numbers suggest each request typically related to one or two people, not a vast range of users.
Tech company officials were unaware there was a program named Prism. Even former law enforcement and counterterrorism officials who were on the job when the program went live and were aware of its capabilities said this past week that they didn't know what it was called.
What the NSA called Prism, the companies knew as a streamlined system that automated and simplified the "Hoovering" from years earlier, the former assistant general counsel said. The companies, he said, wanted to reduce their workload. The government wanted the data in a structured, consistent format that was easy to search.
Any company in the communications business can expect a visit, said Mike Janke, CEO of Silent Circle, a company that advertises software for secure, encrypted conversations. The government is eager to find easy ways around security.
"They do this every two to three years," said Janke, who said government agents have approached his company but left empty-handed because his computer servers store little information. "They ask for the moon."
That often creates tension between the government and a technology industry with a reputation for having a civil libertarian bent. Companies occasionally argue to limit what the government takes. Yahoo even went to court and lost in a classified ruling in 2008, The New York Times reported Friday.
"The notion that Yahoo gives any federal agency vast or unfettered access to our users' records is categorically false," Ron Bell, the company's general counsel, said recently.
Under Prism, the delivery process varied by company.
Google, for instance, says it makes secure file transfers. Others use contractors or have set up stand-alone systems. Some have set up user interfaces making it easier for the government, according to a security expert familiar with the process.
Every company involved denied the most sensational assertion in the Prism documents: that the NSA pulled data "directly from the servers" of Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, AOL and more.
Technology experts and a former government official say that phrasing, taken from a PowerPoint slide describing the program, was likely meant to differentiate Prism's neatly organized, company-provided data from the unstructured information snatched out of the Internet's major pipelines.
In slide made public by the newspapers, NSA analysts were encouraged to use data coming from both Prism and from the fiber-optic cables.
Prism, as its name suggests, helps narrow and focus the stream. If eavesdroppers spot a suspicious email among the torrent of data pouring into the United States, analysts can use information from Internet companies to pinpoint the user.
With Prism, the government gets a user's entire email inbox. Every email, including contacts with American citizens, becomes government property.
Once the NSA has an inbox, it can search its huge archives for information about everyone with whom the target communicated. All those people can be investigated, too.
That's one example of how emails belonging to Americans can become swept up in the hunt.
In that way, Prism helps justify specific, potentially personal searches. But it's the broader operation on the Internet fiber optics cables that actually captures the data, experts agree.
"I'm much more frightened and concerned about real-time monitoring on the Internet backbone," said Wolf Ruzicka, CEO of EastBanc Technologies, a Washington software company. "I cannot think of anything, outside of a face-to-face conversation, that they could not have access to."
One unanswered question, according to a former technology executive at one of the companies involved, is whether the government can use the data from Prism to work backward.
For example, not every company archives instant message conversations, chat room exchanges or videoconferences. But if Prism provided general details, known as metadata, about when a user began chatting, could the government "rewind" its copy of the global Internet stream, find the conversation and replay it in full?
That would take enormous computing, storage and code-breaking power. It's possible the NSA could use supercomputers to decrypt some transmissions, but it's unlikely it would have the ability to do that in volume. In other words, it would help to know what messages to zero in on.
Whether the government has that power and whether it uses Prism this way remains a closely guarded secret.
___
A few months after Obama took office in 2009, the surveillance debate reignited in Congress because the NSA had crossed the line. Eavesdroppers, it turned out, had been using their warrantless wiretap authority to intercept far more emails and phone calls of Americans than they were supposed to.
Obama, no longer opposed to the wiretapping, made unspecified changes to the process. The government said the problems were fixed.
"I came in with a healthy skepticism about these programs," Obama explained recently. "My team evaluated them. We scrubbed them thoroughly. We actually expanded some of the oversight, increased some of the safeguards."
Years after decrying Bush for it, Obama said Americans did have to make tough choices in the name of safety.
"You can't have 100 percent security and also then have 100 percent privacy and zero inconvenience," the president said.
Obama's administration, echoing his predecessor's, credited the surveillance with disrupting several terrorist attacks. Leading figures from the Bush administration who endured criticism during Obama's candidacy have applauded the president for keeping the surveillance intact.
Jason Weinstein, who recently left the Justice Department as head of its cybercrime and intellectual property section, said it's no surprise Obama continued the eavesdropping.
"You can't expect a president to not use a legal tool that Congress has given him to protect the country," he said. "So, Congress has given him the tool. The president's using it. And the courts are saying 'The way you're using it is OK.' That's checks and balances at work."
Schneier, the author and security expert, said it doesn't really matter how Prism works, technically. Just assume the government collects everything, he said.
He said it doesn't matter what the government and the companies say, either. It's spycraft, after all.
"Everyone is playing word games," he said. "No one is telling the truth."
Associated Press writers Eileen Sullivan, Peter Svensonn, Adam Goldman, Michael Liedtke and Monika Mathur contributed to this report.
___
Contact the AP's Washington investigative team at DCinvestigations@ap.org
US whistleblower Edward Snowden 'will fight extradition'
 
Edward Snowden (picture courtesy of the Guardian) says he wants Hong Kong to decide his fate


How surveillance came to light
  1. 5 June: The Guardian reports that the National Security Agency (NSA) is collecting the telephone records of millions of US customers of Verizon under a top secret court order
  2. 6 June: The Guardian and The Washington Post report that the NSA and the FBI are tapping into US Internet companies to track online communication in a programme known as Prism
  3. 7 June: The Guardian reports President Obama has asked intelligence agencies to draw up a list of potential overseas targets for US cyber-attacks
  4. 7 June: President Obama defends the programmes, saying they are closely overseen by Congress and the courts
  5. 8 June: US director of national intelligence James Clapper calls the leaks "literally gut-wrenching"
  6. 9 June: The Guardian names former CIA technical worker Edward Snowden as the source of the leaks
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  3. Profile: Edward Snowden

The ex-CIA employee who leaked secret US surveillance details has vowed in an interview to fight any attempt to extradite him from Hong Kong.
Edward Snowden told the South China Morning Post: "I'm neither traitor nor hero. I'm an American."
It is the first interview he has given since disappearing from his hotel room in Hong Kong on Monday.
His leaks led to revelations that the US is systematically seizing vast amounts of phone and web data.
Mr Snowden left Hawaii for Hong Kong shortly before the highly sensitive leaks surfaced.
Start Quote
I do not currently feel safe due to the pressure the US government is applying to Hong Kong”
Edward Snowden
"I am not here to hide from justice; I am here to reveal criminality," Mr Snowden told the Post, which said the interview was carried out in a secret location in Hong Kong.
"My intention is to ask the courts and people of Hong Kong to decide my fate."
US 'bullying'
The information leaked by Mr Snowden has undoubtedly angered the US government, but so far he has not been charged by the authorities, nor is he the subject of an extradition request.
Hong Kong has an extradition treaty with the US, although analysts say any attempts to bring Mr Snowden to America may take months and could be blocked by Beijing.
The Post quoted Mr Snowden as saying that he had several opportunities to leave Hong Kong, but that he "would rather stay and fight the United States government in the courts, because I have faith in Hong Kong's rule of law."
He also accused Washington of "bullying the Hong Kong government".
"I do not currently feel safe due to the pressure the US government is applying to Hong Kong, but I feel that Hong Kong itself has a strong civil tradition that whistleblowers should not fear," he said.
And when asked whether he had been offered asylum by Russia, he replied: "My only comment is that I am glad there are governments that refuse to be intimidated by great power".
After Mr Snowden's leaks, which led to a series of articles in the Guardian and Washington Post newspapers, US officials confirmed the existence of a secret programme to draw data from the internet, codenamed Prism.
The Office of the Director of National Intelligence gave details of the programme last week.
According to the office's statement, Prism is simply an internal computer system, and not a data-mining programme.
But Washington is coming under increasing pressure from many different quarters to end the practice.
The American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit on Tuesday, challenging the legality of the programme.
Separately, a coalition of more than 80 rights groups and internet companies have launched a website, StopWatching.Us, which has called on Congress to launch a full investigation.
And the EU's justice commissioner has written to the US attorney general, questioning him about Prism, and saying she was concerned America's efforts "could have grave adverse consequences for the fundamental rights of EU citizens".
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  1. About these results
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Rory Cellan-Jones reports on what is known about Prism
It is believed the US is pursuing a criminal investigation, but no extradition request has yet been filed.
The Chinese territory has an extradition treaty with the US, although analysts say any attempts to bring Mr Snowden to America may take months and could be blocked by Beijing.
A petition posted on the White House website calling for Mr Snowden's immediate pardon has gathered more than 30,000 signatures.
However, an opinion poll commissioned by the Washington Post suggests a majority of Americans think government monitoring of phone records is acceptable if the aim is to fight terrorism.
Mr Snowden's revelations have led to allegations that the UK's electronic surveillance agency, GCHQ, used the US system to spy on British citizens.
US spy leaker Edward Snowden leaves Hong Kong hotel

“ ...I do not want to live in a world where everything I do and say is recorded.....” Edward Snowden
  1. Profile: Edward Snowden
  2. Could Hong Kong shelter Snowden?
  3. Q&A: Prism and privacy

Major US security leaks
  1. Pentagon papers, 1971: Daniel Ellsberg leaks study showing the government had knowledge it was unlikely to win Vietnam war
  2. Watergate, 1972: Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein reveal extent of cover-up over burglary at Democrat National Committee HQ
  3. Iran-Contra affair, 1986: Iranian cleric reveals illegal US arms sales to Iran, the proceeds of which are later used to fund Nicaraguan Contras
  4. Valerie Plame, 2003: Ms Plame is revealed to be an undercover CIA agent, ending her covert career
  5. Abu Ghraib, 2004: Publication of pictures showing abuse of detainees at Iraq prison by US officials turns initial media reports of abuse into full-blown scandal
  6. Bradley Manning, 2010: The soldier downloads thousands of classified documents from military servers and hands them over to Wikileaks
  1. US leaks that shook the world
  2. What can you learn from phone records?
  3. Just how much do the spooks know?

Beijing correspondent Damian Grammaticus says China would not want to deal with any extradition of Snowden to the US
11 June 2013 
An ex-CIA employee who leaked details of US top-secret phone and internet surveillance has disappeared from his hotel in Hong Kong.
World media reaction
  1. The Liberation Daily in China has harsh words for President Obama: "Five years ago, Obama came to power waving an anti-George W Bush banner. Five years later, he is still exactly the same as George W Bush on invasion of privacy issues."
  2. Russia's Izvestiya compares the revelations to a dystopian novel: "The frightening reality of the 21st Century is that the world has become a house with glass walls, notions of 'personal secrets' and 'confidential information' are turning into fiction before our very eyes."
  3. India's Tribune is more forgiving: "The 9/11 terrorist attacks have changed the environment where cyber snooping is now defendable, even acceptable."

Related Stories
  1. Q&A: Prism and privacy
  2. UK: Intelligence agencies within law
  3. How much do the spooks know?
Major US security leaks
  1. Pentagon papers, 1971: Daniel Ellsberg leaks study showing the government had knowledge it was unlikely to win Vietnam war
  2. Watergate, 1972: Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein reveal extent of cover-up over burglary at Democrat National Committee HQ
  3. Iran-Contra affair, 1986: Iranian cleric reveals illegal US arms sales to Iran, the proceeds of which are later used to fund Nicaraguan Contras
  4. Valerie Plame, 2003: Ms Plame is revealed to be an undercover CIA agent, ending her covert career
  5. Abu Ghraib, 2004: Publication of pictures showing abuse of detainees at Iraq prison by US officials turns initial media reports of abuse into full-blown scandal
  6. Bradley Manning, 2010: The soldier downloads thousands of classified documents from military servers and hands them over to Wikileaks
  1. US leaks that shook the world
  2. What can you learn from phone records?
  3. Just how much do the spooks know?

Edward Snowden, 29, checked out from his hotel on Monday and his whereabouts are unknown, but he is believed to be still in Hong Kong.
Earlier, he said he had an "obligation to help free people from oppression".
His leaks led to revelations that the US is systematically seizing vast amounts of phone and web data.
The programme, known as Prism, is run by the US National Security Agency (NSA).
The Office of the Director of National Intelligence gave details of the programme last week after Mr Snowden's leaks led to a series of articles in the Guardian and Washington Post newspapers.
According to the office's statement, Prism is simply an internal computer system, and not a data-mining programme.
However, such data seizures could break the laws of other countries, and could also break US law if they accidentally capture communications of US citizens.
Transatlantic fallout
Hong Kong's broadcaster RTHK said Mr Snowden checked out of the Mira hotel in Kowloon on Monday, and Reuters news agency quoted hotel staff as saying that he had left at noon.
Ewen MacAskill, one of the Guardian journalists who broke the story, told the BBC he believed Mr Snowden was still in Hong Kong.


Rory Cellan-Jones reports on what is known about Prism
It is believed the US is pursuing a criminal investigation, but no extradition request has yet been filed.
The Chinese territory has an extradition treaty with the US, although analysts say any attempts to bring Mr Snowden to America may take months and could be blocked by Beijing.
A petition posted on the White House website calling for Mr Snowden's immediate pardon has gathered more than 30,000 signatures.
However, an opinion poll commissioned by the Washington Post suggests a majority of Americans think government monitoring of phone records is acceptable if the aim is to fight terrorism.
Mr Snowden's revelations have led to allegations that the UK's electronic surveillance agency, GCHQ, used the US system to spy on British citizens.
Foreign Secretary William Hague cancelled a trip to Washington to address the UK parliament on Monday and deny the claims.
The journalists involved in the story were first contacted by Mr Snowden at the start of the year.
Filmmaker Laura Poitras told Salon Magazine how Mr Snowden sent her an email saying: "I want to get your encryption key and let's get on a secure channel.
"I have some information in the intelligence community, and it won't be a waste of your time."
Ms Poitras ultimately filmed the interview with two Guardian reporters.
Mr Snowden told the journalists: "The NSA has built an infrastructure that allows it to intercept almost everything. With this capability, the vast majority of human communications are automatically ingested without targeting.
"I don't want to live in a society that does these sort of things. I do not want to live in a world where everything I do and say is recorded."
Booz Allen Hamilton confirmed in a statement Mr Snowden had been an employee for less than three months.
"If accurate, this action represents a grave violation of the code of conduct and core values of our firm," the statement said.
The first of the leaks came out on Wednesday night, when the Guardian reported a US secret court had ordered phone company Verizon to hand over to the NSA millions of records on telephone call "metadata".
The metadata include the numbers of both phones on a call, its duration, time, date and location (for mobiles, determined by which mobile signal towers relayed the call or text).
Under the Prism system, officials apply to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Court (Fisa) to gain access to communications.
Officials are obliged to show the Fisa court that any "target" is outside of the US, and there is a "foreign intelligence purpose" for the seizure, such as terrorism or nuclear proliferation.
However, details of such targets and subsequent requests made to US technology companies are secret.
On Thursday, the Washington Post and Guardian said the NSA tapped directly into the servers of nine internet firms including Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Yahoo to track online communication in a programme known as Prism.
All the internet companies denied giving the US government "direct access" to their servers, and said they had never heard of the Prism programme.
But in separate statements the firms variously said they complied with lawful requests to supply information on an individual basis.
Prism was authorised under changes to US surveillance laws passed under President George W Bush, and renewed last year under Barack Obama.
Mr Obama has defended the surveillance programmes, saying that nobody was listening to calls between American citizens.
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Transatlantic fallout
Hong Kong's broadcaster RTHK said Mr Snowden checked out of the Mira hotel in Kowloon on Monday, and Reuters news agency quoted hotel staff as saying that he had left at noon.
Ewen MacAskill, one of the Guardian journalists who broke the story, told the BBC he believed Mr Snowden was still in Hong Kong.
"If accurate, this action represents a grave violation of the code of conduct and core values of our firm," the statement said.
The first of the leaks came out on Wednesday night, when the Guardian reported a US secret court had ordered phone company Verizon to hand over to the NSA millions of records on telephone call "metadata".
The metadata include the numbers of both phones on a call, its duration, time, date and location (for mobiles, determined by which mobile signal towers relayed the call or text).
Under the Prism system, officials apply to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Court (Fisa) to gain access to communications.
Officials are obliged to show the Fisa court that any "target" is outside of the US, and there is a "foreign intelligence purpose" for the seizure, such as terrorism or nuclear proliferation.
However, details of such targets and subsequent requests made to US technology companies are secret.
On Thursday, the Washington Post and Guardian said the NSA tapped directly into the servers of nine internet firms including Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Yahoo to track online communication in a programme known as Prism.
All the internet companies denied giving the US government "direct access" to their servers, and said they had never heard of the Prism programme.
But in separate statements the firms variously said they complied with lawful requests to supply information on an individual basis.
Prism was authorised under changes to US surveillance laws passed under President George W Bush, and renewed last year under Barack Obama.
Mr Obama has defended the surveillance programmes, saying that nobody was listening to calls between American citizens.
More on This Story
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    11 JUNE 2013, US & CANADA
  3. Whistleblower: US 'Leviathan' Watch

    10 JUNE 2013, US & CANADA
Cannot play media. You do not have the correct version of the flash player. Download the correct version
Rory Cellan-Jones reports on what is known about Prism
It is believed the US is pursuing a criminal investigation, but no extradition request has yet been filed.
The Chinese territory has an extradition treaty with the US, although analysts say any attempts to bring Mr Snowden to America may take months and could be blocked by Beijing.
A petition posted on the White House website calling for Mr Snowden's immediate pardon has gathered more than 30,000 signatures.
However, an opinion poll commissioned by the Washington Post suggests a majority of Americans think government monitoring of phone records is acceptable if the aim is to fight terrorism.
Mr Snowden's revelations have led to allegations that the UK's electronic surveillance agency, GCHQ, used the US system to spy on British citizens.
Foreign Secretary William Hague cancelled a trip to Washington to address the UK parliament on Monday and deny the claims.
The journalists involved in the story were first contacted by Mr Snowden at the start of the year.
Filmmaker Laura Poitras told Salon Magazine how Mr Snowden sent her an email saying: "I want to get your encryption key and let's get on a secure channel.
"I have some information in the intelligence community, and it won't be a waste of your time."
Ms Poitras ultimately filmed the interview with two Guardian reporters.
Mr Snowden told the journalists: "The NSA has built an infrastructure that allows it to intercept almost everything. With this capability, the vast majority of human communications are automatically ingested without targeting.
"I don't want to live in a society that does these sort of things. I do not want to live in a world where everything I do and say is recorded."
 
Eric Holder says leak to AP was 'very serious'
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Eric Holder: "It put the American people at risk, and that is not hyperbole"
Related Stories
  1. Q&A: AP phone records seizure
  2. AP condemns US phone records seizure
US Attorney General Eric Holder has said the leak that prompted the seizure of Associated Press (AP) phone records put the US at risk.
The AP has said the justice department secretly seized records of outgoing calls from more than 20 phone lines.
The seizure is believed to be linked to a probe into whether an AP story about a foiled terror plot was based on a leak of classified information.
The news agency called the seizure a "massive and unprecedented intrusion".
On Tuesday, Mr Holder said he had removed himself early on from the investigation that led to the records subpoena out of "an abundance of caution", because he wanted to avoid any conflict of interest.
He said he had been interviewed by the FBI in June 2012 in connection with the investigation into a possible leak of classified information.
'No possible justification'
The phone records were obtained for April and May last year, covering a period when AP published an article about a CIA operation in Yemen disrupting an al-Qaeda plot to blow up a US-bound airplane around the anniversary of the killing of Osama Bin Laden.
Start Quote
It put the American people at risk, and that is not hyperbole”
Eric Holder
US Attorney General
The May 2012 story was potentially embarrassing to the US authorities, coming shortly after they had informed the public there was nothing to suggest any such attack had been planned, say correspondents.
Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, the attorney general said: "I have been a prosecutor since 1976 and I have to say that this is among, if not the most serious, it is within the top two or three most serious leaks that I have ever seen.
"It put the American people at risk, and that is not hyperbole. It put the American people at risk. And trying to determine who was responsible for that I think required very aggressive action."
He told reporters the decision to go ahead with the Associated Press records subpoena was taken under the supervision of Deputy Attorney General James Cole after he removed himself from the inquiry.
The justice department has provided no specific explanation for the scope of the seizure. AP chief executive Gary Pruitt wrote in a letter there could be "no possible justification for such an overbroad collection".
In a response to Mr Pruitt on Tuesday, Deputy Attorney James Cole said such records were only subpoenaed after "all other reasonable investigative steps have been taken".
He said in the AP case this had included "conducting over 550 interviews and reviewing tens of thousands of documents".
Mr Cole said the content of the calls had not been part of the seizure.
Records for the phone lines of five reporters and an editor who were involved in the AP story were among those obtained.
AP said the seizure of records included general switchboard numbers and a fax line at its offices in New York, Hartford, in Connecticut, Washington DC and the US House of Representatives.
The story has prompted fierce criticism from both Republicans and President Barack Obama's Democrats in Washington, raising questions about how the White House is balancing the need for national security with privacy rights.
White House spokesman Jay Carney said earlier on Tuesday that Mr Obama had no knowledge of the justice department's actions on the AP subpoena other than what he had read in press reports.
Mr Carney said: "I can tell you that the president feels strongly that we need... the press to be able to be unfettered in its pursuit of investigative journalism.
"And he is also mindful of the need for secret and classified information to remain secret and classified in order to protect our national security interests."
News organisations are typically notified in advance if the government seeks such information and are given time to negotiate or go to court to block the seizure. The AP says it was first informed of the matter on Friday after the fact.
The Obama administration has aggressively investigated disclosures of classified information to the media, bringing more cases against people suspected of leaking such material than any previous administration, correspondents say.
Mr Holder himself appointed two US attorneys to investigate leaks related to national security, including the Yemen plot and cyberwarfare revelations in June 2012.
Some Republicans criticised the move as not enough, calling for the attorney general to appoint a special prosecutor.
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  1. Q&A: AP phone records seizure
    15 MAY 2013, US & CANADA
  2. AP condemns US phone records seizure
    14 MAY 2013, US & CANADA

14 May 2013 
Associated Press condemns US telephone record seizure
pastedGraphic_60.pdf
The government would not say why it sought the Associated Press telephone records
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  1. Al-Qaeda bomb 'foiled by insider'
The Associated Press has described the US government's secret seizure of its journalists' telephone records as a "massive and unprecedented intrusion".
Chief executive Gary Pruitt said AP was told on Friday the justice department had gathered records of outgoing calls from more than 20 phone lines.
Mr Pruitt said there could be "no possible justification for such an overbroad collection".
The justice department has provided no explanation for the seizure.
However, officials have previously said the US Attorney's Office in the District of Columbia was conducting a criminal investigation into information contained in an AP story last year.
Published in May 2012, the article was about a CIA operation in Yemen that foiled an al-Qaeda plot to blow up a US-bound airplane.
Confidential sources
The story was embarrassing to the government, coming shortly after it had informed the public that there was nothing to suggest any such attack had been planned, says the BBC's David Willis in Washington.
Start Quote
I am very troubled by these allegations and want to hear the government's explanation”
Senator Patrick Leahy
Judiciary Committee chairman
Records for the phone numbers of five reporters and an editor who were involved in the AP story were among those obtained in April and May 2012.
AP said the seizure of records for general switchboard numbers and a fax line at its offices in New York, Hartford, in Connecticut, Washington DC and the House of Representatives was unusual and largely unprecedented.
"There can be no possible justification for such an overbroad collection of the telephone communications of the Associated Press and its reporters," Mr Pruitt wrote in a letter to US Attorney General Eric Holder.
"These records potentially reveal communications with confidential sources across all of the newsgathering activities undertaken by the AP during a two-month period, provide a road map to AP's newsgathering operations, and disclose information about AP's activities and operations that the government has no conceivable right to know."
It is not clear if the records seized included incoming calls or the duration of the calls. Nor is it clear whether a judge or grand jury approved the subpoenas.
News organisations are normally notified in advance if the government is seeking such information and are given time to negotiate.
The Obama administration has aggressively investigated disclosures of classified information to the media, bringing more cases against people suspected of leaking such material than any previous administration, our correspondent adds.
'Press intimidation'
Darrell Issa, the Republican chairman of the investigative House of Representatives Oversight and Government Reform Committee, criticised the seizure of records.
"They had an obligation to look for every other way to get it before they intruded on the freedom of the press," he told CNN.
Senator Patrick Leahy, the Democratic chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said in a statement emailed to AP: "I am very troubled by these allegations and want to hear the government's explanation."
The American Civil Liberties Union accused the Obama administration of "press intimidation".
In a statement, the US Attorney's Office in the District of Columbia insisted it took seriously its obligations to "follow all applicable laws, federal regulations, and Department of Justice policies".
"Those regulations require us to make every reasonable effort to obtain information through alternative means before even considering a subpoena for the phone records of a member of the media," it said.
"Because we value the freedom of the press, we are always careful and deliberative in seeking to strike the right balance between the public interest in the free flow of information and the public interest in the fair and effective administration of our criminal laws," it added.
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  1. Al-Qaeda bomb 'foiled by insider'
    08 MAY 2012, US & CANADA

Related Internet links
  1. Associated Press
  2. US Attorney's Office - District of Columbia


US spy chief Clapper defends Prism and phone surveillance

Mr Clapper said there were "numerous inaccuracies" in the report on internet servers being tapped
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  3. Why for the NSA every call matters
US spy chief James Clapper has strongly defended government surveillance programmes after revelations of phone records being collected and internet servers being tapped.
He said disclosure of a secret court document on phone record collection threatened "irreversible harm".
Revelations of an alleged programme to tap into servers of nine internet firms were "reprehensible", he said.
Internet firms deny giving government agents access to their servers.
The director of US national intelligence said he wanted to reassure Americans that the intelligence community was committed to respecting their civil liberties and privacy.
WHAT THE PAPERS SAY
  1. The Washington Post says one of the many things still unclear about the phone surveillance programme is why Americans didn't know about it. In an editorial, the paper says the public needs more explanation to be able to make a reasonable assessment of whether such programmes are worth the security benefits.
  1. The New York Times says President Barack Obama "is proving the truism that the executive branch will use any power it is given and very likely abuse it". The Patriot Act should be sharply curtailed if not repealed, it says.
  1. The Los Angeles Times says this week's disclosures underscore how US intelligence and law enforcement now "secretly glean vast amounts of information from communications technology".
  2. The San Francisco Chronicle says the collection of phone records "conducted with only the barest legal oversight" is "another policy disappointment from a president who came to office promising to ease the worst of the panicky, ill-considered policies launched after the Sept. 11 attacks 13 years ago".
  1. What can you learn from phone records?
  2. US media review: NSA revelations
He issued a strong-worded statement late on Thursday, after the UK's Guardian newspaper said a secret court order had required phone company Verizon to hand over its records to the National Security Agency (NSA) on an "ongoing daily basis".
That report was followed by revelations in both the Washington Post and Guardian that US agencies tapped directly into the servers of nine internet firms to track people in a programme known as Prism.
The reports about Prism will raise fresh questions about how far the US government should encroach on citizens' privacy in the interests of national security.
The NSA confirmed that it had been secretly collecting millions of phone records. But Mr Clapper said the "unauthorized disclosure... threatens potentially long-lasting and irreversible harm to our ability to identify and respond to the many threats facing our nation".
The article omitted "key information" about the use of the records "to prevent terrorist attacks and the numerous safeguards that protect privacy and civil liberties".
He said reports about Prism contained "numerous inaccuracies". While admitting the government collected communications from internet firms, he said the policy only targets "non-US persons".
'Variety of threats'
Prism was reportedly developed in 2007 out of a programme of domestic surveillance without warrants that was set up by President George W Bush after the 9/11 attacks.
Analysis
Technology correspondent
What this highlights is the way we now entrust our data and our privacy almost entirely to American companies, storing it in their "clouds" - vast data centres located in the US.
  1. Read more from Rory
Prism reportedly does not collect user data, but is able to pull out material that matches a set of search terms.
Mr Clapper said the communications-collection programme was "designed to facilitate the acquisition of foreign intelligence information concerning non-US persons located outside the United States".
"It cannot be used to intentionally target any US citizen, any other US person, or anyone located within the United States," he added.
Mr Clapper said the programme, under Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, was recently reauthorised by Congress after hearings and debate.
Start Quote
If the government has a broader voluntary national security program to gather customer data we don't participate in it”
Microsoft statement
"Information collected under this program is among the most important and valuable foreign intelligence information we collect, and is used to protect our nation from a wide variety of threats," he added.
But while US citizens were not intended to be the targets of surveillance, the Washington Post says large quantities of content from Americans are nevertheless screened in order to track or learn more about the target.
The data gathered through Prism has grown to become a major contributor to the president's daily briefing and accounts for almost one in seven intelligence reports, it adds.
The Washington Post named the nine companies participating in the programme as Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, PalTalk, AOL, Skype, YouTube and Apple.
I may have been wiretapped
In 2006 I was a plaintiff in an American Civil Liberties Union lawsuit against the government over a domestic spying programme. Other plaintiffs include the late Christopher Hitchens, and James Bamford, the author of a book, The Shadow Factory, about the NSA.
The lawsuit stated that NSA officials may have eavesdropped on us illegally - and that the warrantless wiretapping programme should come to a halt. In 2007 an appeals court said that we could not prove that our calls had been monitored. As a result it did not have standing. The suit was dismissed.
-Tara McKelvey
  1. Read more
Microsoft said in a statement to the BBC that it only turned over customer data when given a legally binding order, and only complied with orders for specific accounts.
"If the government has a broader voluntary national security program to gather customer data we don't participate in it," Microsoft said.
Meanwhile, Yahoo, Apple and Facebook said they did not give the government direct access to their servers.
In a statement, Google said: "Google does not have a 'back door' for the government to access private user data."
On Wednesday, it emerged that the NSA was collecting the phone records of tens of millions of Americans, after the Guardian published a secret order for the Verizon phone company to hand over its records.
What the NSA found out
  1. The numbers of both people on the phone call
  2. How long the call lasts
  3. The time that the call is placed
A senior congressman, House intelligence committee chairman Mike Rogers, told reporters that collecting Americans' phone records was legal, authorised by Congress and had not been abused by the Obama administration.
He also said it had prevented a "significant" attack on the US "within the past few years", but declined to offer more information.
The order requires Verizon - one of the largest phone companies in the US - to disclose to the NSA the metadata of all calls it processes, both domestic and international, in which at least one party is in the US.
Such metadata includes telephone numbers, calling card numbers, the serial numbers of phones used and the time and duration of calls. It does not include the content of a call or the callers' addresses or financial information.
As surveillance practices come under scrutiny in the US, a new system to monitor phone and internet connections in India is being criticised as "chilling" by New York-based group Human Rights Watch (HRW).
The Central Monitoring System (CMS) enables authorities to follow all online activities, phone calls text messages and social media conversations.
The Indian government said in December 2012 the system would "lawfully intercept internet and telephone services". But HRW says the system by-passes service providers in a country that has no privacy law to protect people from arbitrary intrusions.
In the UK on Wednesday, a committee of MPs criticised a decision to allow Chinese firms such as Huawei to become embedded in British network infrastructure without the knowledge and scrutiny of ministers.
Huawei - which denies close ties with the Chinese state - signed a 2005 telecoms deal with BT to supply equipment for a £10bn major network upgrade.

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  1. What can you learn from people's phone records?
    07 JUNE 2013, US & CANADA
  2. Cellan-Jones: Outsourcing privacy?
    07 JUNE 2013, TECHNOLOGY
  3. Why for the NSA every call matters
    06 JUNE 2013, WORLD
  4. US confirms phone records collection
    06 JUNE 2013, US & CANADA
  5. Holder: AP leak was 'very serious'
    15 MAY 2013, US & CANADA
  6. Q&A: AP phone records seizure
    15 MAY 2013, US & CANADA
Comments

Comment number
615. Corky
7TH JUNE 2013 - 16:17 As an outsider looking in, the USA always promotes itself as a free and righteous country. An ardent counterbalance to the old totalitarian socialist regimes in the Soviet Union.

In reality, the USA appears to be run by a cabal of paranoid, authoritarian tyrants. When these people say it's a free country, they mean some people [them] are "more free" than others.


Comment number
579. Stephen of Woking
7TH JUNE 2013 - 15:37 The state needs the surveillance tools to deal on our behalf with very dangerous people. The people need to remain free from the suffocation of an over-bearing state. Where is the right balance in respect of the Internet? There probability isn't one. So I believe we need to be more interested in defining the checks and balances than precisely what gets monitored.


Comment number
574. Wandalust1956
7TH JUNE 2013 - 15:34 This, is what you get if you demand to know why "our" police/security services "allow" people who may be extermists to go about their business and then attack a man in the street with machetes. Be careful what you wish for....and "mind how you go"...


Comment number
106. Minnie Q Mouse
7TH JUNE 2013 - 10:45 We, the common people, ARE the state, and we must never hand over our rights to all-powerful, all-knowing rulers.
In Soviet Russia, in East Germany, freedom was seriously curtailed in the name of state security.
Of course we fear terrorism, but we have more to fear from power-crazed poiticians. History tells us so.


Comment number
45. Sally says you are free
7TH JUNE 2013 - 9:59 Without a warrant, regardless if you're innocent, we're going to open your personal letters. So much for "The Land of the Free"
What did Washington, Jefferson and Paine fight for?!

"Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves."
~William Pitt, youngest ever British Prime Minister.
Speech in the House of Commons, 1783.

8 May 2012
Al-Qaeda Yemen plane bomb plot foiled by 'insider'
 
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White House counter-terrorism advisor John Brennan refused to reveal how the bomb plot was broken up
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A plot by al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula to attack a US-bound plane using an updated "underwear bomb" was foiled by an insider infiltrating a terror cell, US officials say.
The seized device is being examined by the FBI in Quantico, Virginia, while the source is said to have left Yemen.
The White House says the bomb was never an "active threat".
Meanwhile, a senior US congressman has linked the plot to an al-Qaeda leader killed in Yemen on Sunday.
Fahd al-Quso, a senior figure in Yemen-based al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) was killed by a drone strike.
In a separate development on Tuesday a Pentagon spokesman said the US had restarted military training with security forces in Yemen, which had been put on hold because of political unrest.
"We have begun to reintroduce small numbers of trainers into Yemen," Captain John Kirby told reporters, adding that they had been sent for "routine military-to-military co-operation".
Saudi tip
Speaking on Tuesday, White House counter-terrorism chief John Brennan would not be drawn on the nature of the operation to seize the device, instead describing the aim of the FBI investigation into the device.
"Now we're trying to make sure that we take the measures that we need to prevent any other type of IED [improvised explosive device], similarly constructed, from getting through security procedures," Mr Brennan said.
Without giving specifics, the US says multiple overseas intelligence agencies were involved in the operation to seize the device.
'Bomb plot': Unanswered Questions
  1. Unclear who the would-be bomber is or whether he/she is in custody
  2. Country where alleged device was seized as yet unspecified
  3. No information on how the alleged plot was intercepted
  4. Exact composition of alleged device unclear, although said to contain no metal parts and designed to escape detection by magnetometers at airport security
Reports did not detail which foreign agencies the insider was working with.
However, reports have linked the device to a Saudi-born al-Qaeda bomb-maker, Ibrahim al-Asiri, previously named as a key figure in the 2009 underwear bomb plot.
A US intelligence source told CNN the latest plan was thwarted two weeks ago following a tip from Saudi Arabia, heightening suggestions that Saudi intelligence operatives could have been involved.
Senior Yemeni officials say the government in Sanaa has no information on this particular plot, Reuters news agency reported on Tuesday.
As details of the plot emerged in the US, officials said it appeared that AQAP leaders in Yemen had instructed a suicide bomber to board any flight of his choosing to the US with the bomb under his clothes.
However, he had been stopped before reaching an airport.
Reports say no target had been chosen and no plane tickets purchased by the time the alleged plot was foiled.
Christmas Day attack
Speaking late on Monday, Republican Congressman Peter King said late on Monday that the operation was linked to the strike that killed al-Quso.
"I was told by the White House that they are connected, that they are part of the same operation," he said.
 
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The US said the Detroit 2009 attack could have caused major damage
Al-Quso was a leader of AQAP based in Yemen, and the US offered a $5m (£3.1m) reward for information leading to his capture or death.
US officials told ABC News that that al-Quso was planning an attack similar to a failed 2009 attempt to blow up a passenger plane.
The alleged device seized from the Yemen cells shares some features with the bomb sewn into the underwear of would-be suicide bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab during that attempt, officials said.
The Nigerian was arrested when his device failed to explode fully while on a plane bound for Detroit on Christmas Day 2009.
A US intelligence official said the latest device bore the "hallmarks" of the 2009 underwear bomb, which was built by the Saudi militant Ibrahim al-Asiri.
Reports said it was an improved model, with a more effective detonation system; it has no metal parts and probably would not have been detected by most airport security magnetometers.
It is not even clear if it would have been found by the body scanners that have been installed in some US airports after that attempted attack three years ago.
The US Transport Security Administration has sent reminders to some international airports and airlines that liquid explosives or regular explosives could be hidden inside people's bodies, clothes or in printer cartridges, the Associated Press reports.
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  1. ITV.com 'Double agent' would-be bomber
  2. Reuters UK Would-be suicide bomber was informant
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  4. Yahoo! UK and Ireland Would-be suicide bomber was planted,
  5. Zambia Post US 'foils new underwear bomb plot' by al-Qaeda in Yemen 

  1. US: Syria 'used chemical weapons'
    Syrian forces under President Bashar al-Assad have used chemical weapons "on a small scale" against the opposition rebels, the White House says.
  1. US Supreme Court bans DNA patents 
  2. FBI head pledges action over leaks

13 June 2013

US Supreme Court says human DNA cannot be patented
 
Around 40% of the human genome is subject to patents, researchers say
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Human genes may not be patented, but artificially copied DNA can be claimed as intellectual property, the US Supreme Court has ruled unanimously.
The court quashed patents held by a Utah-based firm on two genes linked to breast and ovarian cancer.
The opinion said DNA came from nature and was not eligible for patenting.
The US biotechnology industry had warned any blanket ban on such patents would jeopardise huge investment in gene research and therapies.
"We hold that a naturally occurring DNA segment is a product of nature and not patent eligible merely because it has been isolated," Justice Clarence Thomas wrote in Thursday's opinion.
But his ruling said that synthetic molecules known as complementary DNA can be patented "because it is not naturally occurring".
'Different chemical structure'
Myriad Genetics, the company at the heart of the lawsuit, saw its shares rise after Thursday's compromise decision.
Analysis
Jason Palmer
Science reporter, BBC News
The key to Thursday's ruling is an interpretation of how much modification of a natural product makes it an invention. But what is at stake is the development of an industry that makes good use of our genetic material. Absolute dominion over the use of a snippet of genetic information might stifle competition, but leaving it as a gift of nature free of commerce could deter innovation.
Yet the ruling leaves it possible to patent "artificial DNA". A number of results in recent years have shown how adept scientists have become at synthesising these genetic titbits - making them from scratch and even seeing them "evolve" in the lab. In the nascent field of what is called synthetic biology, this kind of research may offer just as much potential access to the inner workings of our cells, and those of every living thing.
The legal battle was prompted by a lawsuit from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in 2009 that centred on whether companies should be able to patent genes.
Currently, researchers and private companies work to isolate genes in order to use them in tests for gene-related illnesses, and in emerging gene therapies.
The genes at the centre of the lawsuit are linked to breast and ovarian cancer. Myriad Genetics developed a pioneering test to look for mutations in those genes that might increase the risk of developing cancer.
Myriad, based in Salt Lake City, argued that the genes in question had been "isolated" by the company, making them products of human ingenuity and therefore patentable.
But the ACLU argued that genes are products of nature, and therefore cannot be patented under US laws.
In 2010 a New York federal court ruled in favour of the ACLU.
But an appeals court on two separate occasions sided with Myriad. It said DNA isolated from the human body had a "markedly different chemical structure" from other human genetic material.
Thursday's Supreme Court ruling largely sided with the ACLU.
"Genes and the information they encode are not patent eligible... simply because they have been isolated from the surrounding genetic material," Justice Thomas wrote.
 
The Supreme Court's ruling trumps those by an appeals court in favour of Myriad Genetics
In a concurring opinion, Justice Antonin Scalia wrote "the portion of the DNA isolated from its natural state sought to be patented is identical to that portion of the DNA in its natural state".
Sandra Park, a lawyer for the ACLU, welcomed the decision.
"Because of this ruling, patients will have greater access to genetic testing and scientists can engage in research on these genes without fear of being sued," she said.
Universities and medical research firms have been able to claim intellectual property over human genes for nearly three decades.
According to researchers at Weill Cornell Medical College in the US, patents now cover some 40% of the human genome.
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  3. Yahoo! UK and Ireland U.S. top court bars patents on human 
  4. Telegraph US Supreme Court rules businesses cannot patent human genes 
  5. Financial Times* US court rules synthetic genes patentable


5 May 2013
Q&A: AP phone records seizure
Washington is in uproar after it emerged US justice officials secretly obtained phone records belonging to one of the world's largest news agencies. What exactly is going on?
What records did the US Department of Justice seize?
It obtained records listing the outgoing calls for the work and personal telephone numbers of five reporters and an editor who were involved in an Associated Press (AP) story about a foiled terror plot, according to the news agency's lawyers.
They say the seizure included general switchboard numbers and a fax line for its offices in New York, Hartford, in Connecticut, Washington DC and the US House of Representatives.
The US justice department has said it did not seek the actual content of any calls. In total, records of 20 telephone lines for April and May last year were obtained.
Why did they do that?
It is understood that the records were seized as part of a justice department investigation into whether someone leaked classified information to AP for its article about the foiled terror plot.
In June 2012, a month after the report's publication, US Attorney General Eric Holder ordered two prosecutors to pursue separate leak inquiries, the subject of which he did not identify.
The launch of those investigations followed calls by Congress to crack down on national security leaks after the AP article in question, and following a New York Times expose on a computer virus that sabotaged Iran's nuclear centrifuges.
What was AP's story about?
On 7 May 2012, AP published an article about a CIA operation to disrupt an al-Qaeda plot in Yemen to blow up a US-bound airplane, close to the one-year anniversary of Osama Bin Laden's death.
The AP story - sourced to unnamed "US officials" - said the plot was an "upgrade" of the failed underwear plane bombing plot over Detroit on Christmas Day 2009. The news agency said officials had asked it not to publish the report.
It came after the White House told the public it had "no credible information that terrorist organisations, including al-Qaeda, are plotting attacks in the US to coincide with the anniversary of Bin Laden's death".
Was there a plot?
It appears so. In February this year, CIA Director John Brennan was questioned about the matter by the Senate intelligence committee.
He said "we had inside control of the plot and the device was never a threat to the American public".
US and European authorities later said the conspiracy had been exposed because of an informant planted by MI5, Britain's counter-terrorism agency.
Is the phone records seizure unusual?
Yes. AP said it first learned what had happened through a letter it received from the US Attorney for the District of Columbia last week.
Generally, news organisations are approached before the seizure of such records, and given an opportunity to negotiate or attempt to quash the subpoena on legal grounds. No such warning was issued in this case.
The office of the US Attorney for DC said it was common to notify a news organisation of a subpoena in advance, "unless doing so would pose a substantial threat to the integrity of the investigation".
How is AP responding?
AP wrote a letter of protest on 13 May to the justice department, accusing it of a "massive and unprecedented intrusion" into how media organisations gather news.
AP's chief executive has demanded the return of the phone records and destruction of all copies. The justice department refused. The reporters who worked on the Yemen article are not covering the current story.
The former chief of AP's Washington bureau, Ron Fournier, told MSNBC: "These folks at the Associated Press are now going to double down on investigating the White House. They're not going to be intimidated."
Is the leak inquiry big?
Apparently so. The justice department said its investigators had conducted more than 550 interviews and reviewed tens of thousands of documents, even before seizing AP's phone records.
Mr Holder said he was questioned by the FBI in June 2012. The US attorney general removed himself "early on" from the inquiry out of "an abundance of caution", to avoid any conflict of interest, he said.
CIA Director John Brennan acknowledged during his Senate confirmation hearing he had also been interviewed by investigators. He told Congress he had not disclosed any classified information.
Why the focus on leaks?
The Obama administration has taken a hard line on revealing classified government information. Six officials have been prosecuted, compared with three under all previous US presidents combined.
They include a former CIA officer, John Kiriakou, who was convicted in February 2012 of leaking details about the interrogation of Abu Zubaydah, a suspected al-Qaeda financier.
The US attorney general said AP's Yemen story was a "very grave leak". Republicans are calling for him to quit, but last year they demanded a crackdown on leaks, accusing the White House of leaks to boost Mr Obama's national security credentials before November's election.

6 June 2013

US confirms Verizon phone records collection

 
The court order was described by one civil rights group as "beyond Orwellian"
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The US National Security Agency (NSA) is collecting the telephone records of tens of millions of Americans, US officials have confirmed.
The practice, first reported by the Guardian newspaper, has been used to stop a "significant" terrorist attack on the US, a senior congressman said.
On Wednesday, the newspaper published the secret order directing the Verizon company to hand over telephone data.
Civil liberties groups said the details of the report were "stunning".
Senior US Senator Dianne Feinstein on Thursday confirmed the secret court order was a three-month renewal of an ongoing practice.
US House intelligence committee chairman Mike Rogers told reporters collecting Americans' phone records was legal, authorised by Congress and had not been abused by the Obama administration.
He said it had prevented a "significant" attack on the US "within the past few years" but declined to offer more information.
Later, White House spokesman Josh Earnest described the practice as a "critical tool" enabling US authorities to monitor suspected terrorists.
'Indefensible'
Analysis
 
Paul Adams
BBC News, Washington
After years of allegations, lawsuits and sporadic, vaguely-worded warnings from members of Congress, finally there is a piece of hard evidence, a window into the reality of post-9/11 intelligence surveillance.
The breadth of this dragnet is breathtaking. The thought that the phone records of millions, this reporter included, have been collected on an order of the secretive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court is a little creepy, to say the least.
Should we demand action to stop it? Some civil rights activists say absolutely.
Such behaviour, they argue, simply runs counter to the letter of the Fourth Amendment to the US Constitution, which says there has to be "probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized", before any of this can happen.
The reality is that since 9/11, the national security establishment and telecommunications firms, with the aid of Congress, have constructed a new surveillance environment.
We just haven't been told about it.
The security agencies and Verizon have not commented.
The document published by the Guardian was signed by Judge Roger Vinson of the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court on 25 April and lasts until 19 July.
It falls under a section of the Bush-era Patriot Act, which allows access to business records for "foreign intelligence and international terrorism investigations".
The order requires Verizon - one of the largest phone companies in the US - to disclose to the NSA the metadata of all calls it processes, both domestic and international, in which at least one party is in the US.
Such metadata includes telephone numbers, calling card numbers, the serial numbers of phones used and the time and duration of calls. It does not include the content of a call or the callers' addresses or financial information.
The White House has emphasised the court order did not authorise US government agents to listen in on Americans' telephone conversations.
But the government could request a wiretap of specific suspicious numbers from the court, which would allow the government to monitor the calls in real time, record and store them.
The measure also contains a gagging order, requiring that "no person shall disclose to any other person that the FBI or NSA has sought or obtained tangible things under this Order".
Reaction for and against the practice has cut across party lines.
"To simply say in a blanket way that millions and millions of Americans are going to have their phone records checked by the US government is to my mind indefensible and unacceptable," Senator Bernie Sanders, a liberal independent, said.
Republican Senator Rand Paul said in a statement he would introduce a bill to prevent security agencies from searching phone records without probable cause on Friday.
But Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said he had no problem with the practice.
"If we don't do it, we're crazy," he said. "If you're not getting a call from a terrorist organisation, you've got nothing to worry about."
'Millions of people'
The court order
 
  1. Verizon is required to hand over data "on an ongoing, daily basis" until 19 July
  2. Covers all local and domestic US phone calls, and calls from the US abroad, but not calls made wholly in foreign countries
  3. Metadata to be provided includes telephone numbers, handset identifying numbers, calling cards used and the time and duration of calls
  4. Prohibits disclosure of the order's existence
Mark Rumold, a staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, told the BBC the court order covered the telephone calls of "millions and millions of people".
He said the law provided for narrower ways for US officials to gain access to the calls of persons of interest and those who contact them.
"This isn't that," Mr Rumold said.
"I believe the NSA has a running map of domestic communications" enabling officials to track the phone calls of foreign targets to US numbers and then any subsequent calls placed from those numbers.
The EFF has suspected authorities had been conducting such surveillance for years. A report appeared in the USA Today newspaper in 2006.
Mr Rumold believes the firms do not challenge these orders.
The US government has previously said obtaining metadata does not require a warrant because it does not constitute personal information.
But rights groups have fiercely criticised the order, with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) describing it as "beyond Orwellian".
"It provides further evidence of the extent to which basic democratic rights are being surrendered in secret to the demands of unaccountable intelligence agencies," said Jameel Jaffer, ACLU's deputy legal director.
'Stunned'
Two Democratic senators have been pressing the Obama administration to clarify the scope of its public surveillance.
Last year, Mark Udall and Ron Wyden wrote to US Attorney General Eric Holder saying they believed "most Americans would be stunned" by the government's "secret legal interpretations" of the Patriot Act.
The White House came under heavy criticism last month after papers were leaked showing it had gathered the phone records of journalists at the Associated Press.
The story prompted questions from both Republicans and Democrats in Washington about how the White House was balancing the need for national security with privacy rights.
The Obama administration has aggressively investigated disclosures of classified information to the media, bringing more cases against people suspected of leaking such material than any previous administration, correspondents say.

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Drake: 'Wheels came off' the US intelligence programme
 
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8 May 2013 Last updated at 12:30
Thomas Drake is a former senior official at the highly-secretive National Security Agency.
He was accused of passing on information to a journalist about a government computer programme he considered wasteful.
After the government's case against him fell through, he pleaded guilty to a minor charge of overstepping his authorisation when using a government computer and was sentenced to one year's probation.
Mr Drake said that following the 9/11 attacks, laws passed against the electronic surveillance of US citizens without a warrant, except under certain circumstances, were bypassed.
"Not only did the wheels came off, we were in an entirely different vehicle," he said. He added that "aspects of a secret surveillance state have begun to manifest" in the US.
You can watch the full interview on BBC World News on Wednesday 8 May at 14:30 and 20:30 GMT and on the BBC News Channel on Thursday 9 May at 00:30 BST.
Is the US government at war with whistleblowers?
By Tom Burridge
BBC News, Washington
16 July 2011
 
Bradley Manning, accused of passing secret files to Wikileaks, is in a military prison
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  2. Who is Julian Assange?
The Obama administration is facing criticism for prosecutions brought under the US Espionage Act against government employees accused of leaking sensitive information. Some accuse the US government of over-reacting, following the release of files by Wikileaks.
When Steve Rosen spotted two men walking up his drive early one morning in August 2004, he thought they were evangelicals from a local church.
In fact, they were FBI agents who had come to his home in the US state of Maryland to inform him he was being prosecuted for receiving and passing on classified information.
''You could have knocked me over with a feather," Mr Rosen said. ''I hadn't the remotest clue what they were talking about.''
At the time he was working for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (Aipac), a powerful Washington DC-based pro-Israel lobbying group.
The FBI had been following him for five years and monitoring his conversations.
'Sham'
One of his sources, included in the charges against him, was Pentagon intelligence analyst Lawrence Franklin.
 
Thomas Drake, former NSA employee, was the latest to be prosecuted under the Espionage Act
Five years later, the Department of Justice's case against Steve Rosen and his Aipac colleague and co-defendant Keith Weisman collapsed. The prosecution was unable to show they had criminal intent.
"If we had had a trial we would have been able to show in great detail what a sham this prosecution was," he said.
"They tried to criminalise innocent, constitutionally protected activity and it was very wrong what they did."
Mr Rosen's prosecution came under the Bush administration.
But Mark Feldstein, professor of media at the University of Maryland, sees a worrying trend of espionage prosecutions since President Obama took office.
"To everyone's surprise, the Obama administration has escalated the war against whistleblowers and the attacks on information that journalists and the public were depending on to get evidence of wrongdoing by powerful institutions and individuals," Prof Feldstein says.
'Vindictive and malicious'
On Friday, Thomas Drake, a former senior official at the National Security Agency, a highly secretive US spy agency, was sentenced to one year's probation, after the Department of Justice's case against him collapsed.
He had been accused of passing on information to a journalist about a government computer programme he considered wasteful.
Start Quote
So much information is improperly classified ”
Abbe Lowell
Lawyer
After the government's case against him fell through, he pleaded guilty to a minor charge of overstepping his authorisation when using a government computer.
Outside court, Mr Drake said the government's prosecution had been "vindictive and malicious".
According his lawyer Jesselyn Radack, the charge that he passed on secret information was a ''bald-faced lie''.
Critics say the US classification system is often arbitrary, with documents often often stamped ''classified'' when the content is not secret or that sensitive. The system is now under review by the US government.
'No real purpose'
Last year Steven Kim, an employee with a US state department contractor, was accused of leaking top secret information about US policy toward North Korea to a journalist.
His lawyer, Abbe Lowell, says the information his client is accused of passing on wasn't eye-catching, let alone secret.
US Espionage Act
  1. Set up in 1917, the statute is US equivalent of UK's Official Secrets Act
  2. The law was designed to prohibit wrongful distribution of information related to national defence
  3. Department of Justice, especially under Obama administration, has interpreted Espionage Act in broader terms
  4. Espionage Act was always meant to deal with classic espionage
  5. Unclear if Act was meant to deal with cases of benign leaks by whistleblowers
Source: Steve Vladeck, professor of law, American University
''The US government has a very legitimate interest in protecting the real national security secrets of our nation," Mr Lowell said.
"The problem is that so much information is improperly classified that you can't distinguish between the real national secrets and those that just have a stamp on it that says secret."
Even PJ Crowley, a former spokesman at the US state department says too much government information is classified.
In March, Mr Crowley resigned from the government after he publicly criticised the Pentagon for its treatment of Bradley Manning, a US soldier currently held in a military prison on charges he passed thousands of classified documents to Wikileaks.
Mr Crowley draws a strong distinction between Wikileaks, a website that has published tens of thousands of secret US diplomatic cables, and whistleblowing.
He believes Mr Assange's website irresponsibly published vast amounts of information and that much of it had no real purpose.
'Government's paranoia'
The whistleblowing issue is being discussed at the heart of the US government. In April Mr Obama held a meeting with several groups campaigning for greater transparency in government.
Espionage Act prosecutions
  1. 2004 Aipac officials Steve Rosen and Keith Weisman arrested, case later collapses
  2. 2009 State Department analyst Steven Kim
  3. 2010 Former NSA employee Thomas Drake
Danielle Brian, executive director of the Project on Government Oversight, attended the meeting and said she was had felt generally positive about Mr Obama's tone.
But she said that when she raised her concerns about prosecutions against potential whistleblowers, he leaned forward and told her he disagreed.
The Department of Justice said government employees concerned about national security policies have official channels for complaint available to them.
But campaigners for greater transparency in government worry that legitimate leaking by government officials may be one of the unintended victims of the Wikileaks case.
Prof Feldstein of the University of Maryland says it has ''stoked the government's paranoia on national security'' and empowered the Obama administration ''to feel more justified in going after whistleblowers.''
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'Wikileaks' soldier Bradley Manning to be moved
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19 April 2011 Last updated at 23:36
The US soldier accused of leaking secret government documents later published by the Wikileaks website is to be moved to a military prison in Kansas.
Pte First Class Bradley Manning has been held pending court martial at a Marine Corps base in Virginia.
At a press conference at the Pentagon on Tuesday, defence department general counsel Jeh Johnson said he would be moved to Fort Leavenworth imminently.
July 2011 Last updated at 10:59

Who is Julian Assange?
By Nick Bryant
BBC News, Sydney
 
Stainless Steel Rat is an outside-the-courtroom drama
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Who is Julian Assange?
That nettlesome question - which has intrigued and perplexed since the founder of WikiLeaks first gained global prominence - lies at the heart of a play about his life which has just opened in Sydney.
Is he merely a geek with a flair for computer programming or the most consequential revolutionary Australian of our time? Or both?
In a theatre strewn with mock-ups of thousands of leaked classified documents, Stainless Steel Rat challenges the audience to decide for themselves.
The play tells the story through the lens of a band of fictional film-makers shooting a movie about Mr Assange's life.
It assembles a cast of characters that includes US President Barack Obama, Russian leader Dmitry Medvedev, Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard and human rights lawyer Geoffrey Robertson.
Bradley Manning - the US soldier who is alleged to have passed tens of thousands of classified documents to Assange - is also featured.
Other characters include Mr Assange's mother, Christine, and his son, Daniel, both of whom live in Australia, the land of Mr Assange's birth.
Written by Melbourne playwright Ron Elisha, the play focuses on eight months of his life during which he is fighting extradition to Sweden, where he faces sexual assault allegations.
This is not a courtroom drama, but rather an outside-the-courtroom drama.
Platinum blond
From a cell in Wandsworth prison to the bedroom of the Australian prime minister in Canberra, it explores the motives of those determined to silence him and of those who view him as a champion of free speech and transparency.
 
Stainless Steel Rat runs at Sydney's York Theatre until 17 July
Assange is portrayed as a megalomaniac - paranoid, self-righteous, weirdly charismatic, angry, fragile and chronically vain.
When he discovers, for instance, that Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, has been selected as Time magazine's Person of the Year, he explodes.
Not lacking in self-confidence, he believes he is one of the most significant figures of the past 500 years.
"My life is about depriving government of its chief means to power," he says at one point in the play - and he clearly believes he has achieved that goal.
The play's star, Darren Weller, has dyed his hair platinum white in preparation, and says he is regularly mistaken in the street for Julian Assange.
Start Quote
What the playwright has done is present a whole range of factors or elements that make up Julian Assange - and you put it together yourself”
Wayne Harrison
Director
He has also tried to capture the different shades of Assange's enigmatic personality, and many of the internal contradictions.
The play has been called rapid response theatre - an attempt to transfer a story from the headlines to the stage as quickly as possible.
What the play isn't is judgemental.
"What the playwright has done is present a whole range of factors or elements that make up Julian Assange - and you put it together yourself," says the director Wayne Harrison.
'"Most people, when they come to see the play, will be pro-him or anti-him in some way. And maybe we can alter that perception in some way, or reinforce it."
Perhaps the most powerful scenes in the play come in the sharp interchange between Assange and his lawyer Geoffrey Robertson.
Played out in a cell in Wandsworth prison, it becomes a duel in which Assange's digital fluency and hi-tech know-how are pitted against Robertson's erudition and droll humour.
Elusive figure
Theatre critics might have problems with the device that the playwright has deployed - the idea of actors playing actors, playing the main protagonists.
The play portrays Mr Obama in a very negative light and is merciless in its rendering of Julia Gillard, the Australian prime minister.
There are laughs aplenty and, in parts, the scripting is quite brilliant.
"This isn't Facebook," says this fictional Assange at one point.
"I'm not in the business of making friends."
In another exchange, Geoffrey Robertson notes: "In cyberspace, nobody can hear you leak."
Assange, meanwhile, remains an elusive figure with the script never quite managing to corner him.
Who is Julian Assange? This play provides many of the answers, but by no means all.
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Related Internet links
  1. Stainless Steel Rat
6 June 2013


Who, what, why: What can you learn from people's phone records?
 
The National Security Agency has been tracking the phone calls of millions of Americans. So what can they learn about people using this information?
Verizon has been handing over records of their customers to the National Security Agency (NSA).
In response, some customers are checking their Call History screens. They are trying to sort out who has called them and when.
The answer
  1. The numbers of both people on the phone call
  2. How long the call lasts
  3. The time that the call is placed
They are also wondering what the government can find out about them?
The Guardian article is based on a top-secret court order. The court order states that Verizon has to relinquish information that reveals approximately where calls are made, as well as how long the calls last and the phone numbers of both parties on the line.
It is unclear whether text messages are included.
In addition, officials will not examine the content of the calls - or what people are talking about on the phone.
"The order reprinted in the article does not allow the government to listen in on anyone's telephone calls," a senior government official explained.
The content of phone conversations - what people say to each other when they are on the phone - is protected by the Fourth Amendment of the US Constitution, which forbids unreasonable searches.
But if information is shared with a third party, such as a phone company, it is fair game, says Robert Chesney, a University of Texas School of Law professor who specialises in national security.
That means that information about phone calls - such as their timing and duration - can be scooped up by government officials.
NSA officials could (at least in theory) determine the kinds of businesses that an individual calls - and how often. These officials could also develop a picture of an individual's daily life, based on their phone activity.
It is unlikely that analysts will examine data from individuals, though. The analysts are instead likely to look at the information in a broad way, studying the data to see if they can find patterns of phone calls in a geographic area or during a specific time frame.
The collection of this information is legal. It falls under the 2001 Patriot Act, which was written to help prevent another terrorist attack.
Government officials believe that the collection of information from Americans - even personal data such as phone calls - is a useful tool.
"Getting phone information from phone companies - I wouldn't say it's routine, but it's done frequently during investigations," says Richard Wolf, a spokesman for the Federal Bureau of Investigation, in Baltimore.
"This programme was used to stop a terrorist attack in the US," said Mike Rogers, chairman of the House intelligence committee, describing the NSA activities. "We know that."
Stephen Saltzburg, a law professor at George Washington University in Washington DC, says that officials can use the information from phone records to detect patterns of behaviour.
I may have been wiretapped
In 2006 I was a plaintiff in an American Civil Liberties Union lawsuit against the government over a domestic spying programme. Other plaintiffs include the late Christopher Hitchens, and James Bamford, the author of a book, The Shadow Factory, about the NSA.
The lawsuit stated that NSA officials may have eavesdropped on us illegally - and that the warrantless wiretapping programme should come to a halt. In 2007 an appeals court said that we could not prove that our calls had been monitored. As a result it did not have standing. The suit was dismissed.
-Tara McKelvey
  1. Read more
These patterns could help show where terrorists may be hiding out - and reveal if they are planning an attack.
NSA officials may, for example, could look at phone calls from people in the US to individuals in Yemen and Pakistan, Saltzburg explains, naming two countries that counterterrorism officials have paid close attention to in recent years.
US-directed drone strikes have killed dozens of terrorists in these regions under the Obama administration.
Experts say that information gleaned from phone records could help in counterterrorism efforts.
"You've got to believe that there is a telephone list that's like a no-fly list," Saltzburg says. In other words, officials may be looking for certain kinds of phone numbers.
"They have very sophisticated software and have probably worked out ways to identify patterns," he says.
Moreover, Saltzburg says, US analysts may be working with intelligence agencies in Saudi Arabia and in other countries to see if they can track down terrorists through the phone records.
Still, most of the information that is collected is probably not necessary.
"No-one would believe that they are identifying a high percentage of conversations that involve a threat to the US," says Saltzburg. "But even a small percentage can be helpful."
Who, what, why?
 
A part of BBC News Magazine, Who, What, Why? aims to answer questions behind the headlines
Despite the claims of officials that the programme is an effective way to fight terrorists, some people are unconvinced.
"Many people get alarmed if they think the government is keeping track of phone numbers - there is the fear of Big Brother," says Saltzburg. "In truth the government doesn't have the resources to act that way."
And many people - like Saltzburg - are taking the news of the NSA programme in stride. When a journalist asks the best way to reach him, for example, he rattles off a number.
"That's my cell phone," Saltzburg says, "and you can give it to the government, if you want."

Why for the NSA every call matters

The revelation that the National Security Agency (NSA), America's eavesdropping organisation, had asked mobile phone operator Verizon for phone information relating to millions of customers highlights the growing importance of "communications data" in intelligence and forensics work.
Critical to an understanding of these techniques, which have been in use by the NSA on a large scale since 2005, and which the British security authorities would like to employ on the same scale, is that these methods do not in the main relate to what is being said, simply to the details of communications such as which phone number was called by a particular subscriber and for how long.
It was in Iraq, acting in support of the secret Joint Special Operations Command, that the NSA started to record the details of every phone call made in the country. They did not have enough translators to listen to the vast majority of these calls or to assess their possible value, that was not the point.
What they found was that within months their bulk database of call details would allow them to break open terrorist networks with dramatic speed.
Landing by helicopter to raid a target, teams from Delta Force or the SAS would find telephones, sometimes prized from the hands of dead men dressed in suicide vests.
The number might never have been registered before as one of interest, but within seconds NSA experts could discover every call made on it for months before, mapping the dead bomber's connections with other individuals. This was only possible because of the blanket recording of all call details.
The use of what special operators in Iraq referred to simply as "the database" quickly grew so refined that software was developed to map networks (spotting that some numbers relevant to only one member, for example, might be family members) and that a portable, laptop-sized, terminal tapping into it started to be carried on raids.
By 2006 teams of special operators using the terminal could hit one member of an al-Qaeda cell, and hunched over the computer in a half destroyed Iraqi house, find other members through the database, fix the location of these phones and perform a "bounce on", jumping back into their helicopters to raid the next target.
Seeing the extraordinary effects of these techniques in the field, the NSA sought to apply them to domestic communications from 2006 onwards. Since the recording of this data does not include the content of the conversations, it can be extended to US citizens more easily and does not require a warrant.
It soon became apparent to people at the eavesdropping organisation that collecting information on this scale, relating to tens of millions of calls each day, and then keeping it for months or even years would require a vast new data centre to store the information.
So it began work on its $2bn Utah facility, where a ribbon cutting ceremony was held this week.
British intelligence people working in Iraq with the UK special operators (the task forces codenamed Black, Knight, and Spartan) saw these techniques and were duly impressed. They too wanted to apply them in the domestic counter-terrorist or criminal arenas.
It had in fact been the practise for many years (since the 1984 Telecommunications Act, for example) for British operators to keep customers' "billing information" for access by the government and for this to be possible without the same level of legal proof or suspicion as eavesdropping on the calls themselves.
The moves to put broad categories of "communications data" into the so called "snoopers' charter" represents an evolution of this.

Diplomatic and defence editor, Newsnight
  1. More from Mark
17:41 UK time, Tuesday, 11 June 2013
Newsnight's defence editor Mark Urban explains why a measure once advertised as a means of getting people around the negotiating table has become a way of prolonging the Syria conflict.

Comments
 
  1. All Comments (29)

  1. Comment number
    29. daliaga
    8TH JUNE 2013 - 0:16 I believe NSA surveillance powers (the dream of any left or right wing dictator) at this point have become an existential challenge to American freedom!


    28. Rik
    7TH JUNE 2013 - 20:15 Go offline, reject FB, remove Skype, FB video calling, Yahoo, Google, IE, Microsoft, anything that has anything to do with the American spies. Reject all things USA and to do with internet. They are watching, and you are not one of the, free of that land. I am ashamed that I speak the same language. The big tuneout, watch these internet conivers tumble, sell your shares in all of them, switch off.


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    Comment number
    27. Andrew
    7TH JUNE 2013 - 19:52 The US has a written Constitution, the Fourth amendment to which requires not just judicial approval but probable cause for search and seizure. Since there can be no "probable cause" for mass surveillance, it violates the Constitution, and is thus illegal.



    26. anna
    7TH JUNE 2013 - 18:26 There is nothing stopping the "authorities" to go from monitoring to whom calls are made to looking at the content of the calls themselves. It's more than likely that this is already happening. Since one knows certain people in these agencies, one observes that they are not always the sort of people one would trust. In other words, who is to determine who is trustworthy enough to have info.



    Comment number
    25. blitzkrieg11
    7TH JUNE 2013 - 17:47 This makes complete sense and is not a snooper's charter. You are not spying on communications, you are observing communications networks. Most of us just phone Aunt Molly, or bro & sis & a few friends, so what have we got to worry about.

Edward Snowden Is Completely Wrong

 National Journal 
Is he a hero—the most important whistle-blower in U.S. history, as Pentagon Papers leaker Daniel Ellsberg called him? Or is Edward Snowden a flat-out traitor and a very deluded young man? The 29-year-old contractor at the center of the biggest national security scandal in years is eloquent and impressively intelligent, having risen from high school dropout and security guard at the National Security Agency to uber systems administrator at the CIA. Snowdenalso appears to have acted genuinely out of conscience, because it’s clear he could have sold what he knows for quite a lot of money, taken down “the surveillance structure in an afternoon” (as he declared in an interview), or revealed undercover assets that might “have cost lives. Instead, Snowden, a product of the federal government ecosystem who grew up in the D.C. suburbs, says he has sacrificed his own “very comfortable” life to expose what he calls Washington’s “architecture of oppression.”
What’s not clear is why Snowden thought that revealing the NSA’s surveillance methods would change very much in our government or society, except to make it much harder for the NSA, the CIA, and defense and intelligence contractors to hire anyone like him in the future.
That process, if little else, must now change. Snowden will likely be charged with espionage, or worse. Washington will massively revamp its vetting procedures, especially for giant contractors such as Booz Allen Hamilton, which has grown fat on a diet of government work and appeared to hire Snowden in Hawaii at a generous salary of $120,000 almost as an afterthought. Contracts like the one he worked on—to help the government analyze an overwhelming stream of data—represented 99 percent of its revenue, most of them related to the NSA.
Other than tightened security clearances, though, the startling revelations of the past several days will probably alter very little in the lives of Americans or the way the government works in a data-driven world. That’s not just because, apart from a few outraged senators—Democrats Ron Wyden of Oregon and Mark Udall of Colorado and libertarian Republican Rand Paul of Kentucky—almost the entire U.S. government, from the White House to Congress to the judiciary, has come out in support of the NSA program of collecting troves of telephone data and personal Internet information, using the servers and telecommunications systems of America’s biggest companies. If the mandarins of official Washington don’t amend their conduct, it’s because Americans aren’t asking them to.

A NEW CONCEPT OF PRIVACY

The reason may not be entirely obvious at first. In the past decade, our very concept of privacy has changed to the point that we’re less likely to see information-sharing as a violation of our personal liberty. In an era when our daily lives are already networked, we have E-ZPasses that give us access to the fast lane in exchange for keeping the government informed about where we drive. We shop online despite knowing that the commercial world will track our buying preferences. We share our personal reflections and habits not only with Facebook and Google but also (albeit sometimes inadvertently) with thousands of online marketers who want our information. All of this means Americans are less likely to erupt in outrage today over one more eye on their behavior. “One thing I find amusing is the absolute terror of Big Brother, when we’ve all already gone and said, ‘Cuff me,’ to Little Brother,” jokes John Arquilla, an intelligence expert at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, Calif.
The latest Allstate/National Journal Heartland Monitor Poll bears this out. Americans are vaguely aware of these slowly eroding walls of privacy, and 55 percent say they are worried about the overall accumulation of personal information about them “by businesses, law enforcement, government, individuals, and other groups.” The survey also found that an overwhelming majority of Americans believe that business, government, social-media sites, and other groups are accessing their most personal information without their consent. Even so, for the most part, they accept it as an unavoidable modern phenomenon. Most younger and college-educated people—in contrast to Snowden—take a benign view of these changes.
Despite the press treatment of the NSA story, which judging from editorial opinion has come out largely on Snowden’s side, most Americans appear relatively unperturbed. A Pew Research Center/Washington Post poll conducted last weekend found that 56 percent of Americans believe NSA access to the call records of millions of Americans is an “acceptable” way for the federal government to investigate terrorism. An even bigger majority, 62 percent, said it was more important for the government to investigate terrorist threats than it was to safeguard personal privacy. That explains why soft queasiness has not congealed into hard political outrage.
Another problem for the alarmists: No evidence suggests that the worst fears of people like Snowden have ever been realized. In his interview with The Guardian, which broke the story along with The Washington Post, Snowden warned that the NSA’s accumulation of personal data “increases every year consistently by orders of magnitude to where it’s getting to the point where you don’t have to have done anything wrong. You simply have to eventually fall under suspicion from somebody.”
In a state with no checks and balances, that is a possibility. But even the American Civil Liberties Union, which has called NSA surveillance “a stone’s throw away from an Orwellian state,” admits it knows of no cases where anything even remotely Orwellian has happened. Nor can any opponent of NSA surveillance point to a Kafkaesque Joseph K. who has appeared in an American courtroom on mysterious charges trumped up from government surveillance. Several civil-liberties advocates, asked to cite a single case of abuse of information, all paused for long seconds and could not cite any.
There is also great misunderstanding about how the NSA system works and whether such abuse could even happen in the future. It’s unclear if the government will be capable of accessing and misusing the vast array of personal data it is accumulating, as Snowden predicts. The NSA appears primarily to use computer algorithms to sift through its database for patterns that may be possible clues to terrorist plots. The government says it is not eavesdropping on our phone calls or voyeuristically reading our e-mails. Instead, it tracks the “metadata” of phone calls—whom we call and when, the duration of those conversations—and uses computer algorithms to trawl its databases for phone patterns or e-mail and search keywords that may be clues to terrorist plots. It can also map networks by linking known operatives with potential new suspects. If something stands out as suspicious, agents are still required by law to obtain a court order to look into the data they have in their storehouses. Officials must show “probable cause” and adhere to the principle of “minimization,” by which the government commits to reducing as much as possible the inadvertent vacuuming up of information on citizens instead of foreigners—the real target of the NSA’s PRISM program. The program, according to Director ofNational Intelligence James Clapper, has had success. He told NBC that tracking a suspicious communication from Pakistan to a person in Colorado allowed officials to identify a terrorist cell in New York City that wanted to bomb its subway system in the fall of 2009.
Indeed, the scandal is perhaps narrower in scope than it’s made out to be. “The only novel legal development that I see in that area is the government says, ‘We know there’s relevant information in there—if we don’t get it now it will be gone; we won’t be able to find it when we need it. So we’ll gather it now and then we’ll search it only when we have a good basis for the search to be done,’ ” says Stewart Baker, who was the first assistant secretary for policy at the Homeland Security Department and is a former NSA general counsel. “The courts are still involved. They say, ‘You put it in a safe place, lock it up, come to me when you want to search it.’ If you’re serious about ways to make [counterterrorism] work and still protect privacy, it seems like a pretty good compromise.”
Baker says the government built in as many controls and oversights as it could think of. “Two different presidents from two different parties with very different perspectives. Two different Intelligence committees led by two different parties. A dozen judges chosen from among the life-appointed judiciary. None of them thought this was legally problematic,” Baker says. “And one guy says, ‘Yeah, I disagree, so I’m going to blow it up.’ If the insistence is, ‘It only satisfies me if it’s out in public,’ then we’re not talking about intelligence-gathering. We’re not even talking about law enforcement. We’re talking about research. And I’m not sure you can run a large country in a dangerous world just by doing open-source research.”
Other advocates of the NSA operation s