The trial date for 9/11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed and his cohorts for their role in the September 11, 2001 attacks, which were responsible for the deaths of 2,976 people, has been finally set.
For January 11, 2021.
Wrap your heads around that for a moment. Kids who were born the year of the worst terror attack on U.S. soil are now applying for colleges and signing up for Selective Service. They’ll be able to vote in the next presidential election.
For those of us who went the through the painful process of covering the evolution of the U.S. military tribunal at “Camp Justice” at Guantanamo Bay, the announcement that a date has been “set” means very little. Most observers don’t think it’ll happen, not in January 2021 or ever. Why?
The U.S. military and the CIA took KSM and other high-level detainees who later spent time at the infamous GTMO off the battlefield and into “black” interrogation sites that most Americans would rather forget ever existed. They tortured these individuals for information before bringing them to GTMO and then tortured them some more. Anyone who does not believe that has been living in a politically warped state of denial for the last 18 years.
If it hadn’t happened, the U.S. military might have had a lot more than a handful of convictions (out of the hundreds of detainees who have rotated in and out of the prison). Out of the handful of convictions at Camp Justice, most have been overturned in the last several years. The record of this tribunal is pathetic. The only thing truly accomplished here is the U.S. military ecosystem flourishing a short hop from the Cuban mainland. What was supposed to be temporary has been made permanent, like all things in the American military-industrial complex.
We know now that many of the detainees at Guantanamo at its peak were low-level Taliban fighters, Al Qaeda lackeys, or worse, they were innocent souls who were at the wrong place at the right time. Many were turned in for money or revenge. Most of those men have long been repatriated. As of 2018, 40 remain.
With the death of Osama bin Laden, KSM remains the highest-level 9/11 suspect alive. He is not only charged with orchestrating the plots that brought down the Twin Towers in New York City and blasting a hole in the Pentagon, but is accused of personally beheadingWall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl in 2002. But when he was captured in Pakistan in 2003 he was taken to different black sites for months and subjected to the CIA extreme interrogation techniques that the Bush Administration had approved early in the war. He was reportedly waterboarded 183 times.
Now, nearly 17 years after his arrest, there is still no closure for the victims. Compare that to the tidy conviction of Zacarias Moussaoui, who was tried as the “20th hijacker” on felony conspiracy charges in federal civilian court in 2006. He’s now tucked away at a Supermax prison.
But the hardliners in the Bush Administration balked at trying more 9/11 suspects in civilian courts. They said Americans wouldn’t be safe with suspects so near, that the military tribunals were better equipped to handle these special terrorism cases. I’m sure they thought the optics were better: Who better to put these terrorist-fighters away than stern military justices on an island surrounded by soldiers and barbed wire?
Turns out on each point they were wrong, big time. Leaving out the legal morass and boatload of other administrative issues that have plagued the court, the biggest reason for the logjam is torture. Thanks to their zeal in exercising extreme techniques likely honed from a 60-year-old playbook—like waterboarding, sensory/sleep-deprivation, beatings, electric shocks and more—U.S. authorities still can’t seal the deal. And Americans lose again.
A federal court ruling last Tuesday dismissing a Democratic National Committee (DNC) civil suit against Julian Assange “with prejudice” was a devastating indictment of the US ruling elite’s campaign to destroy the WikiLeaks founder. It exposed as a fraud the entire “Russiagate” conspiracy theory peddled by the Democratic Party, the corporate media and the intelligence agencies for the past three years.
The decision, by Judge John Koeltl of the US District Court for the Southern District of New York, rejected the smears that Assange “colluded” with Russia. It upheld his status as a journalist and publisher and dismissed claims that WikiLeaks’ 2016 publication of leaked emails from the DNC was “illegal.”
Despite the significance of the ruling, and its clear newsworthiness, it has been subjected to an almost complete blackout by the entire media in the US and internationally.
The universal silence on the court decision—extending from the New York Times (which buried a six-paragraph report on the ruling on page 25) and the Washington Post, to “alternative” outlets such as the Intercept, the television evening news programs and the publications of the pseudo-left—can be described only as a coordinated political conspiracy.
Its aim is to suppress any discussion of the court’s exposure of the slanders used to malign and isolate Assange, and to justify the unprecedented international pursuit of him over WikiLeaks’ exposure of US war crimes, surveillance operations and diplomatic conspiracies.
The New York Times, the Washington Post and other corporate outlets have relentlessly smeared Assange as a “Russian agent” and depicted him as the linchpin of a conspiracy hatched in Moscow to deprive Democratic Party candidate Hillary Clinton of the presidency in the 2016 US elections.
Now that their claims have been subjected to judicial review and exposed as a tissue of lies and fabrications, they have adopted a policy of radio silence. There is no question that if the court ruling had been in favour of the DNC, it would have been greeted with banner headlines and wall-to-wall coverage.
The response exposes these publications as state propagandists and active participants in the campaign by the Democratic Party, the Trump administration and the entire ruling elite to condemn Assange for the rest of his life to an American prison for the “crime” of publishing the truth.
The editors and senior writers at these outlets, such as New York Times editorial page editor James Bennet, are in constant contact with the CIA and other intelligence agencies. Behind the scenes, they work out an editorial line that will advance the interests of the Wall Street banks and the military-intelligence apparatus. At the same time, they decide what news and information they will hide from the American and world population.
The efforts by the mainstream news outlets to bury the ruling presents a clear example of the type of media manipulation that has led millions of people to seek alternative sources of news on the internet, of which WikiLeaks is itself an example.
Judge Koeltl’s decision made plain the anti-democratic and dictatorial logic of the DNC case against Assange. He warned: “If WikiLeaks could be held liable for publishing documents concerning the DNC’s political, financial and voter-engagement strategies simply because the DNC labels them ‘secret’ and trade secrets, then so could any newspaper or other media outlet.” This, he stated, would “override the First Amendment” protection to freedom of the press mandated by the US Constitution.
Koeltl’s finding was an absolute vindication of Assange and WikiLeaks’ 2016 publications exposing the attempts by the DNC to rig the Democratic Party primaries against self-declared “democratic socialist” Bernie Sanders in favour of Hillary Clinton.
The judge found these releases, together with the publication of Clinton’s secret speeches to Wall Street banks, in which she pledged to be their representative, were “matters of the highest public concern.” They “allowed the American electorate to look behind the curtain of one of the two major political parties in the United States during a presidential election.”
Koeltl, moreover, found there was no evidence to justify the DNC’s assertion that WikiLeaks had colluded with the Russian state to obtain the material. Assange and WikiLeaks have always maintained that the documents were not provided to them by the Putin regime.
The ruling demonstrated the flagrant illegality of the US vendetta against Assange. The slander that he was operating as a “Russian agent” to “interfere” in US politics was used by the American government and its intelligence agencies to pressure the Ecuadorian regime to sever Assange’s internet access in 2016, and again in 2018. It served as a central pretext for its illegal termination in April of his political asylum in the embassy building.
The judgment was also an implicit exposure of the lawlessness of the attempts by the Trump administration, with the full support of the Democrats, to extradite Assange from Britain, so that he can be prosecuted on 18 US charges, including 17 espionage counts, carrying a maximum sentence of 175 years’ imprisonment.
The Trump administration and the Justice Department are claiming that it was illegal for WikiLeaks and Assange to publish US army war logs from Iraq and Afghanistan, hundreds of thousands of diplomatic cables and other documents exposing US war crimes and intrigues, provided by the courageous whistleblower Chelsea Manning.
Koeltl’s ruling, however, reasserted the fundamental democratic principle that WikiLeaks had a right to publish the 2016 DNC documents, even if they had been obtained by the Russian government, or any other entity, illegally.
The clear implication is that even if Manning’s decision to leak US military and diplomatic documents was a violation of the law, WikiLeaks’ publication of them was not. The publication of both the 2010 and the 2016 leaks was constitutionally protected journalistic activity.
Koeltl further undermined the claims of the Trump administration, the Democrats and the media that Assange is a “hacker,” undeserving of First Amendment protections. The judge repeatedly referred to Assange as a “journalist” and WikiLeaks as a “publisher.”
In other words, the attempt to extradite Assange to the US and prosecute him is a frontal assault on the US Constitution and press freedom. In its disregard for domestic and international law, it can be described only as an extraordinary rendition operation, similar to the kidnappings and torture operations conducted by the CIA.
The hostile response to Koeltl’s ruling on the part of the entire political and media establishment, in the US and internationally, demonstrates that this conspiracy will not be defeated by plaintive appeals to the governments, political parties and media corporations that have spearheaded the assault on Assange’s legal and democratic rights.
All of them are using the persecution of Assange as a test case for the imposition of ever-more authoritarian measures, aimed at suppressing mounting popular hostility to war, social inequality and an assault on democratic rights.
What is required is the development of a mass movement from below, to mobilise the immense social and political power of the working class internationally to secure Assange’s liberty and to defend all democratic rights.
To take forward this critical struggle, the WSWS and the International Committee of the Fourth International last month called for the formation of a Global Defence Committee to free Assange and the courageous whistleblower Chelsea Manning. All workers, young people and supporters of democratic rights should contact the WSWS today to take up the fight to free Assange and Manning!
“A virtual life sentence for former child sex slave Cyntoia Brown stands in marked contrast to the light slap on the wrist for billionaire serial abuser Jeffrey Epstein,” he wrote. “But it is not surprising in a society that treats people differently based on race, class, and gender.”
Cyntoia Brown was originally sentenced to life in prison for killing her sex trafficker when she was only 16.
(CD) — Child sex trafficking victim Cyntoia Brown was released from prison on Wednesday—a development welcomed by human rights advocates who said her case underscores the need to fix the nation’s criminal justice system.
Now 31 years old, Brown was originally sentenced to life in prison for killing one of the men who solicited her for sex when she was a 16-year-old child.
In January, then-Gov. Bill Haslam (R-Tenn.) commuted her sentence following pressure from human rights groups, thousands of Americans who signed petitions and wrote letters, and celebrities who helped bring attention to her case.
“This victory belongs to Cyntoia, her community, and to the thousands of people including local organizers and advocates who stepped in to demand justice,” said online racial justice organization Color of Change on Twitter on Wednesday.
“Cyntoia’s story,” the group continued, “provides a glimpse into the lives of the thousands of women and girls currently locked up behind bars largely due to survival strategies.”
It also provides a glimpse of how justice is meted out, as commentator David A. Love noted in 2018.
“A virtual life sentence for former child sex slave Cyntoia Brown stands in marked contrast to the light slap on the wrist for billionaire serial abuser Jeffrey Epstein,” he wrote. “But it is not surprising in a society that treats people differently based on race, class, and gender.
“More action must be taken to protect young, vulnerable sex trafficking victims in our country,” Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law president and executive director Kristen Clarke tweeted. “Child trafficking victims deserve support and safety, not incarceration.”
Brown spent more than 14 years behind bars.
Brown said in a statement this week that she looks “forward to using my experiences to help other women and girls suffering abuse and exploitation.”
Though now out of prison, Brown is still under state control.
The Tennessee Department of Correction said she will be on parole for 10 years. During that time, she must maintain employment or enrollment in classes, attend regular counseling, and do community service.
The ACLU previously denounced the additional decade as “excessive.”
“Cyntoia never should have been sentenced so harshly to begin with,” the rights group said in January, “and we can’t lose sight of the fact that she is still receiving an excessive 10 years probation.”
The views in this article may not reflect the editorial policy of The Mind Unleashed.
The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) is cracking down on the multi-billion dollar business of human trafficking in the U.S.
In June, 1,700 people were arrested nationwide for allegedly committing child sex and exploitation crimes as part of a nationwide DOJ initiative called, “Operation Broken Heart.”
“As the perception of sexual exploitation of children continues to move from windowless vans in back alleys to Dark Web sites on the Internet, the investigation and prosecution of these vile crimes must continue to evolve,” said Bobby L. Christine, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia.
“We are determined, with our law enforcement partners, to find these criminals wherever they try to hide and protect the innocent from victimization.”
This operation, conducted during April and May by the Internet Crimes Against Children task forces, resulted in the arrests of nearly 1,700 suspected online child sex offenders. The task forces identified 308 offenders and 357 child victims.
The task forces investigated more than 18,500 complaints of technology-facilitated crimes targeting children and delivered more than 2,150 presentations on Internet safety to over 201,000 youth and adults nationwide, the DOJ reports.
Human trafficking crimes, defined in Title 18, Chapter 77 of federal law, involve “the act of compelling or coercing a person’s labor, services, or commercial sex acts,” according to the DOJ’s website.
“The coercion can be subtle or overt, physical or psychological, but it must be used to coerce a victim into performing labor, services, or commercial sex acts.”
Prior to Operation Broken Heart, the DOJ’s human trafficking enforcement website reads like a rap sheet of criminals arrested nationwide.
In June, a Tampa man was arrested and charged with trafficking two teen girls; a Houston man was convicted of sex trafficking adult women by force; a federal judge sentenced a man to life in prison for forcing women and children to engage in commercial sex acts in Chicago and the suburbs.
In May, a federal jury convicted 27-year-old Houston resident and member of The Sauce Factory for conspiracy and sex trafficking.
In March, a former Stockton, California, a couple was convicted of human trafficking charges related to forced labor of foreign nationals; in New York, the founder of “NXIVM,” a purported self-help organization based in Albany, was arrested for sex trafficking and forced labor conspiracy.
His secret society allegedly branded women with his initials, and women served as his slaves whom he coerced into performing sex acts.
Between January and March 2019, nine defendants were sentenced to significant prison terms for sex trafficking and related offenses in Des Moines.
In February, two Delaware men pleaded guilty to sex trafficking a 15-year-old girl in Baltimore; in San Diego, the last of 12 members of a Westside Crips criminal street gang pleaded guilty to a racketeering conspiracy involving drug trafficking, sex trafficking, and other violent crimes.
In January, a leader of a Queens, N.Y.-based child sex trafficking ring was sentenced to 15 years in prison for trafficking a dozen minors in New York, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey, using Backpage to advertise underage girls for sex.
“Children are supposed to be protected by adults, not used as a means to make money,” William F. Sweeney, Jr., Assistant Director-in-Charge of the FBI’s New York Field Office said in a prepared statement.
According to the national hotline, HumanTraffickingHotline.org, there were 4,460 reported cases of human trafficking in 2017 from the calls the hotline received.
The 10 states with the highest number of reports of human trafficking are California, Texas, Florida, Ohio, New York, Michigan, Nevada, Georgia, Illinois, and Pennsylvania.
Of the top three, more than 800 human trafficking cases were reported in California. In Texas, 433 cases were reported, with the majority of victims being foreign nationals.
Of the 329 reported cases of human trafficking in Florida, 215 cases involved sex trafficking; 120 victims were minors and 277 victims were female.
Cape and Islands District Attorney Michael O’Keefe in Massachusetts announced Wednesday that his office was dropping its sexual assault case against prominent actor Kevin Spacey. The prosecution had little choice in the matter since the accuser in the case, William Little, refused to testify 10 days ago about a missing cellphone that the defense argued was essential to the actor’s claims of innocence.
When asked by Spacey’s lawyer whether he understood that deleting relevant text messages from his cellphone would be illegal, Little, after consulting with his family and legal counsel, pleaded the Fifth Amendment against self-incrimination, essentially bringing the pretrial hearing and the entire case to a halt. Spacey was accused of groping the then-18-year-old late at night in a Nantucket bar and restaurant in July 2016. The actor argued that the incident involved consensual flirtation.
Judge Thomas S. Barrett of Nantucket District Court indicated July 8 the case might well be dismissed if the accuser continued to refuse to testify. Barrett pointed out the case revolved around Little and that without him the Commonwealth of Massachusetts would “have a tough row to hoe.”
A July 17 press release from the Cape and Islands District Attorney’s Office explains, “On Sunday July 14, 2019 the complaining witness, family members, and the attorney for the complaining witness, met in the District Attorney’s office to further review the case in light of the development [the accuser’s refusal to testify]. The complaining witness was informed that if he chose to continue to invoke his Fifth Amendment right, the case would not be able to go forward. After a further period of reflection privately with his lawyer, the complaining witness elected not to waive his right under the Fifth Amendment.”
As a result, the District Attorney’s office entered a Nolle Prosequi, a voluntary withdrawal of charges against Spacey, “due to the unavailability of the complaining witness.”
The case against Spacey reeked of a politically motivated vendetta from the start.
The Nantucket allegation was launched with great fanfare in November 2018 by Little’s mother, Heather Unruh, a former local news anchor, at a widely publicized press conference in Boston. Unruh proclaimed that she “wanted to see Kevin Spacey go to jail. I want to have the hand of justice come down on him.”
Neither the family nor the authorities ever explained why it took the accuser 15 months to report the alleged assault to police. No objective observer would fail to be struck by the date of the original report, October 31, 2017. This was a few weeks after the #MeToo campaign erupted and only two days after actor Anthony Rapp accused Spacey in an interview of making inappropriate advances to him some 30 years previously, when he was 14 and Spacey was 26, fueling the sexual witch-hunt atmosphere.
Following the filing of charges in January 2019, prosecutors falsely contended that Little made his police report three months after the 2016 incident. However, the “lead investigator in the case…testified Monday [July 8] under questioning from Spacey’s defense attorney that the one-year difference was the result of a ‘typo.’ ” It would take a very naïve person to believe that the possibly suspicious date of Little’s initial police report, coming on the immediate heels of Rapp’s claims, was not a troubling detail to the police and prosecution.
The inability of the prosecution even to bring this miserable case to trial is a humiliating defeat not only for Massachusetts authorities and Unruh, but for the entire #MeToo witch-hunt.
The dropping of the charges against Spacey comes on top of Australian actor Geoffrey Rush’s victory in a defamation suit in April against Rupert Murdoch’s tabloid Daily Telegraph and its celebrity gossip columnist Jonathon Moran. The suit was filed in response to the newspaper’s claims that Rush had been guilty of “inappropriate” behavior towards a co-star in a production of King Lear, as well as its sensationalist publication of the allegations, characterizing Rush as “King Leer,” a “sexual predator” and a “pervert.”
The McCarthyite #MeToo campaign has proceeded largely through innuendo, gossip and unsubstantiated or anonymous denunciations fueled by media frenzy. When charges have been subjected to vigorous investigation and questioning, as in the Rush and Spacey cases, to this point they have evaporated.
The Nantucket case did not by itself destroy Spacey’s extraordinary acting career, but it played its own filthy part. Fantastically, FoxBusiness news lamented Wednesday that while the case against Spacey had fallen apart, “Netflix and Hollywood producers employing the actor [had] lost millions.” We shed no tears for the spineless executives at Netflix, producer of House of Cards, who immediately threw Spacey to the wolves in November 2017. The cowards and opportunists also include director Ridley Scott and Imperative Entertainment who cut the actor out of the already completed All the Money in the World and reshot his scenes with Christopher Plummer.
Following the Cape Cod district attorney’s decision to abandon the case, CBS News “legal expert” Rikki Klieman claimed the dropping of charges “in no way” meant that Spacey had been exonerated. Klieman herself first noted, “If you have a complaining witness who is allegedly a sexual assault victim, who is claiming the Fifth Amendment and is therefore is not going to testify, what have you got? You’ve got nothing.” How is the prosecution having “nothing” against the accused not an exoneration? Klieman attempted to explain: “The prosecution was simply faced with a case that by virtue of the alleged victim…taking the Fifth Amendment, they didn’t have a witness to say what happened.” The “alleged victim” took the Fifth Amendment after he was warned about the illegality of deleting possibly exculpatory evidence. The likelihood of his account of “what happened” being believed was poor.
By now, a great many people have seen through the #MeToo campaign. It never aroused great genuine public sympathy to begin with. The collective realization of self-involved, primarily female Hollywood performers—years after the fact in many cases—that they didn’t like the shabby, boorish way they may have been treated by studio executives and others or, worse still, what they themselves had consented to in the interests of advancing their careers, did not constitute a major national scandal or a cause that the mass of the population had any reason to adopt.
The #MeToo campaign and its leading spokespeople continue to remain conspicuously silent on the conditions of immigrant detainees, subject to systematic brutality and, in many appalling cases, sexual abuse.
The lack of interest in the conditions of working-class women is not accidental. Launched in the aftermath of the 2016 election, the sexual abuse hysteria was aimed from the outset by its Democratic Party and media initiators (Ronan Farrow and others) at whipping up susceptible layers of mostly middle-class professionals, diverting attention from the social crisis and doing everything possible to block a left-wing movement against the Trump administration. The #MeToo effort was intended to create a politically disoriented and toothless non-class, “across-the-board” movement that corporate warmongers such as Hillary Clinton (Farrow’s former boss at the State Department) could effortlessly adopt and promote, thus giving the Democrats breathing space and allowing them to mount their right-wing opposition to Trump, centered on the anti-Russian and other bogus issues.
The ganging up of the media, the police and prosecution and the political system against Spacey indicates something about the reactionary direction and underpinnings of this campaign.
Another indication of this social reality, and specifically of the sexual abuse crusade’s subjectivist, irrational side, is the announcement by actress Alyssa Milano, who initiated the #MeToo campaign with a tweet on October 15, 2017, that she was attending her first Democratic Party fundraiser of the 2020 election cycle, for self-help guru and raging idealist Marianne Williamson, one of the two-dozen Democratic candidates for the presidential nomination. A 1992 article by popular mathematics and popular science writer Martin Gardner reported that Williamson believed that the “Voice” she described in her book, A Course in Miracles, came from Jesus, that “nothing occurs outside our minds” and that “sickness is an illusion and does not actually exist.” According to the Los Angeles Times, she once told a group of HIV-positive disciples that the “AIDS virus is not more powerful than God.”
Despite the Spacey setback, the #MeToo witch-hunt, driven by powerful social forces, will proceed. Both the recent announcement by Netflix that it is was going ahead with a stand-up special with comedian Aziz Ansari and the news that fellow comedian Chris Hardwick was returning to San Diego Comic-Con have come under criticism. Ansari was accused by an anonymous woman in January 2018 of being sexually aggressive on a date, and Hardwick faced unsubstantiated allegations of abuse from an ex-girlfriend. Neither man came close to being charged with a crime, but that didn’t stop each of them from coming under career-threatening attacks.
False hope breeds crippling apathy – This is what I have to think to myself when I see the news media fervor over the second arrest of billionaire Jefferey Epstein, or similar events which in most cases end up fading into the background and forgotten. The public’s favorite distraction has always been to watch high profile people kicked out of their castles in the clouds, but I would point out that even when the globalists sacrifice one of their own in the public eye it is usually only to satiate the masses and their hunger for justice for a very short time. The system is not designed to root out evil; it is designed to obscure and perpetuate evil.
Epstein is a perfect example of this. He was already prosecuted on pedophilia charges over 12 years ago and received a “sweetheart” plea deal which allowed him to serve a mere 13 month sentence. How many child rapists get that kind of treatment in our court system? And what about the vast array of people (including political leaders) that were close friends and associates with Epstein during his “Lolita Express” days? Are we really to believe they knew nothing about what was going on? That they visited his island and never saw any wrongdoing?
Why didn’t they come forward immediately? Why did they wait until Epstein was already being prosecuted before they publicly admonished him? Is it because they were involved in the same activities? And if so, why have they not been prosecuted as well?
My point is, people should lower their expectations that justice will be served or that the “dominoes will fall” in the Epstein case. Also, keep in mind that James Comey’s daughter, Maureen Comey, will be on the prosecution team in the case, AND , Donald Trump’s Labor Secretary, Alexander Acosta, is the same man who brokered Epstein’s immunity deal. Like strands of malignant cancer, these people are wrapped around every facet of government.
But this is not just about Epstein, and as much as I would also like to see the guy hang for his crimes, I have to admit that this latest event is probably nothing more than another piece of theater meant to give the public false hope that the system is changing and that elitist criminals will be treated the same as any other criminal. How often does this ever happen?
How about the Bernie Madoff scandal? Madoff runs a Ponzi scheme that devoured $65 billion in client funds and he is sentenced to 150 years in prison, but JP Morgan, the bank that HELPED Madoff move his stolen money, got nothing more than a fine.
In the wake of the 2008 credit crash and the exposure of the fraudulent derivatives market, many people thought banker heads were going to roll, yet in the US only one banker, a little known executive at Credit Suisse named Kareem Sarageldin, actually served jail time. After admitting to fraud and inflating bond prices associated with mortgage backed securities, Sarageldin was sentenced to 30 months in prison.
The Financial Times went on to publish an article in 2018 on this matter, claiming they would “dispel the myth that no one was held accountable for the derivatives crash”. They came up with a list of 47 names. The article went on to admit that the vast majority of bankers arrested were in Iceland (where the prisons are like country clubs). The rest came primarily from low level banks or were mid-level employees. The number of CEO’s on the list is decidedly slim, and banks like JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs, the biggest perpetrators of derivatives fraud, are decidedly absent.
The base argument for these types of articles is in itself a kind of fraud. I don’t think that most people assume that “no one” was prosecuted over the fraud that helped create the crash of 2008, a crash the economy is still suffering from. I think that most people assume none of the elites at the top of the pyramid were prosecuted, and perhaps with the exception of former IMF managing director Rodrigo Rato in Spain who was only charged with credit card fraud, this assumption is a correct one.
The most egregious criminals are rarely ever touched by scandal or jail time because they stand in key positions within our system. You will never see central bankers in the Federal Reserve suffer punishment for consistently and deliberately fueling economic bubbles through artificially low interest rates and stimulus measures. You will never see them prosecuted for deliberately imploding these bubbles with perfectly timed liquidity tightening and interest rate hikes into economic weakness.
In fact, just this week Fed Chairman Jerome Powell told the Financial Services Committee that if Trump tried to fire him, he would simply ignore him and remain in his position for the full term. It is rather odd to me that almost no one in the alternative media covered his statement, perhaps because it runs contrary to the latest narrative that Powell is “afraid of Trump” and that Trump now has control of the Fed. This is nonsense. Even Trump’s own acting Chief of Staff noted that Trump “knows he does not have the authority to fire Powell”.
People who think the President chooses the Fed Chairman do not understand how the system actually works. The Fed board controls who the Chair is, and can simply vote to put whoever they wish in the position regardless of what the President does, according to Bill English, a former FOMC secretary and advisor to the Board. This means that Trump’s “choice” of Fed Chair is merely ceremonial. Trump has no power whatsoever over the central bank.
So why does this delusion persist? Again, because people become addicted to false hope. The banking elites will never be punished by the system they control. They would have to be punished by other means.
You will never see IMF heads punished for loan sharking nations into oblivion. Hell, the Bank for International Settlements laundered money for the Nazis and yet they were never punished and still exist to this day! The president of the BIS at the time, Thomas McKittrick, never faced prosecution after the war, went on to work for Chase Manhattan bank, and received a pleasant eulogy from The New York Times after his death in 1970, even though the New York Times also reported on admissions from the BIS that they had helped the Nazis.
Some might argue that this trend of one law for the people and no law for the money elite will finally change under Donald Trump’s presidency, but I find that sentiment to be highly naive. First and foremost, Trump is far too close the money elite to punish them, even if he wanted to. His extensive associations with Rothschild banking agent Wilber Ross, the man who bailed Trump out of his considerable debts in his Atlantic City casino project in the 1990s and who is now Commerce Secretary in Trump’s cabinet, sets a tone for Trump’s presidency that is NOT anti-banker or anti-globalist.
It should be clear to most people now that there will be no “draining of the swamp”, not even from the White House. Trump’s promises to seek prosecution of the Clintons for their criminal activities, which include mishandling of classified data, fraud, and a host of other repulsive behaviors, have fallen flat. Trump’s campaign position to hold the Federal Reserve accountable for the historic bubble they have inflated in stock markets through low interest rates and stimulus is gone. Now Trump takes credit for the bubble as if it is a good thing, and is demanding even more stimulus from the Fed.
And yet, there are still people out there that imagine this is all part of some elaborate ruse on Trump’s part; that he is playing a game of “4D Chess” with the globalists. I believe this insane delusion stems from a singular psychological malfunction that is suffered by many people – the idea that the system, no matter how corrupt, can be fixed from the inside.
Leftists believe this. Many conservatives believe this. Despite all evidence to the contrary, people WANT to imagine a world in which evil can be defeated if only the right people are put in place within the system. If they vote the right way, if they support the right party, if they rally around the right investigation, if they protest peacefully on the steps of Congress or on Wall Street, then the system will be forced to expel the evil and serve the populace once again.
I usually equate our current governmental framework to the “One Ring” from Lord Of The Rings, and I still think there is no better analogy. The core problem is that the system is not only run by corrupt people, it has also been built by them. The system as it stands today is a corruption machine that manufactures evil. Adding good people to an evil machine is not going to stop it. And, as with the One Ring, the people who think they can use an evil machine for good purposes often end up corrupted themselves. You cannot change it, you cannot exploit it for good, you can only destroy it.
In other words, conservatives in the liberty movement in particular need to throw out their illusions that the globalists will be defeated using the very systems the globalists created to serve their interests. And if you cannot change a corrupt system from the inside, then it must be dismantled from the outside and rebuilt from scratch. A constitutional framework and the Bill Of Rights can help in this effort, but these are laws on paper that cannot defend themselves. Without fierce vigilance on the part of the citizenry, laws and rights can be erased.
You will not hear the mainstream media or even much of the alternative media talk about the real solutions to elitist criminality or government corruption. You won’t hear about these solutions because they are hard; they require struggle and sacrifice. Voting is easy, which is why it does not work. Legislation is easy, which is why it does not work. And, protesting with signs on a street corner is easy, and it might spread the word on an issue, but ultimately it does not work. The corruption remains.
There are two options left; first, walk away peacefully from the system and build one that works on your own or with others of like-mind. If you are successful, then expect the corrupt system and the elites behind it to try and stop you. Second, when this happens, the only option left is to fight back and remove the threat. This is where we are inevitably headed, not because we want it, but because they will force the issue.
We can no longer deceive ourselves with notions of absorbing Washington D.C. or Wall Street and making them work for us. The hope that this is possible is poison, and the elites use that poison to weaken public resolve. While we sit around waiting for the system to police itself the Earth turns and they become more powerful. Without a dramatic change in our own strategy, without direct action on our part instead of action through political middlemen, I predict our situation will only become worse.
* * *
If you would like to support the work that Alt-Market does while also receiving content on advanced tactics for defeating the globalist agenda, subscribe to our exclusive newsletter The Wild Bunch Dispatch. Learn more about it HERE.
“As political and economic freedom diminishes, sexual freedom tends compensating to increase. And the dictator (unless he needs cannon fodder and families with which to colonize empty or conquered territories) will do well to encourage that freedom.”—Aldous Huxley, Brave New World
Anyone who believes differently hasn’t been paying attention.
Politics, religion, sports, government, entertainment, business, armed forces: it doesn’t matter what arena you’re talking about, they are all riddled with the kind of seedy, sleazy, decadent, dodgy, depraved, immoral, corrupt behavior that somehow gets a free pass when it involves the wealthy and powerful elite in America.
In this age of partisan politics and a deeply polarized populace, corruption—especially when it involves sexual debauchery, depravity and predatory behavior—has become the great equalizer.
But then there are the extra-ordinary men, such as Jeffrey Epstein, who belong to a powerful, wealthy, elite segment of society that operates according to their own rules or, rather, who are allowed to sidestep the rules that are used like a bludgeon on the rest of us.
As the Associated Press points out, “The arrest of the billionaire financier on child sex trafficking charges is raising questions about how much his high-powered associates knew about the hedge fund manager’s interactions with underage girls, and whether they turned a blind eye to potentially illegal conduct.”
It doesn’t matter whether you’re talking about a politician, an entertainment mogul, a corporate CEO or a police officer: give any one person (or government agency) too much power and allow him or her or it to believe that they are entitled, untouchable and will not be held accountable for their actions, and those powers will eventually be abused.
We’re seeing this dynamic play out every day in communities across America.
A cop shoots an unarmed citizen for no credible reason and gets away with it. A president employs executive orders to sidestep the Constitution and gets away with it. A government agency spies on its citizens’ communications and gets away with it. An entertainment mogul sexually harasses aspiring actresses and gets away with it. The U.S. military bombs a civilian hospital and gets away with it.
Abuse of power—and the ambition-fueled hypocrisy and deliberate disregard for misconduct that make those abuses possible—works the same whether you’re talking about sex crimes, government corruption, or the rule of law.
It’s the same old story all over again: man rises to power, man abuses power abominably, man intimidates and threatens anyone who challenges him with retaliation or worse, and man gets away with it because of a culture of compliance in which no one speaks up because they don’t want to lose their job or their money or their place among the elite.
It’s not just sexual predators that we have to worry about.
For every Jeffrey Epstein (or Bill Clinton or Harvey Weinstein or Roger Ailes or Bill Cosby or Donald Trump) who eventually gets called out for his sexual misbehavior, there are hundreds—thousands—of others in the American police state who are getting away with murder—in many cases, literally—simply because they can.
The cop who shoots the unarmed citizen first and asks questions later might get put on paid leave for a while or take a job with another police department, but that’s just a slap on the wrist. The shootings and SWAT team raids and excessive use of force will continue, because the police unions and the politicians and the courts won’t do a thing to stop it.
The war hawks who are making a profit by waging endless wars abroad, killing innocent civilians in hospitals and schools, and turning the American homeland into a domestic battlefield will continue to do so because neither the president nor the politicians will dare to challenge the military industrial complex.
The National Security Agency that carries out warrantless surveillance on Americans’ internet and phone communications will continue to do so, because the government doesn’t want to relinquish any of its ill-gotten powers and its total control of the populace.
Unless something changes in the way we deal with these ongoing, egregious abuses of power, the predators of the police state will continue to wreak havoc on our freedoms, our communities, and our lives.
Police officers will continue to shoot and kill unarmed citizens. Government agents—including local police—will continue to dress and act like soldiers on a battlefield. Bloated government agencies will continue to fleece taxpayers while eroding our liberties. Government technicians will continue to spy on our emails and phone calls. Government contractors will continue to make a killing by waging endless wars abroad.
And powerful men (and women) will continue to abuse the powers of their office by treating those around them as underlings and second-class citizens who are unworthy of dignity and respect and undeserving of the legal rights and protections that should be afforded to all Americans.
As Dacher Keltner, professor of psychology at the at the University of California, Berkeley, observed in the Harvard Business Review, “While people usually gain power through traits and actions that advance the interests of others, such as empathy, collaboration, openness, fairness, and sharing; when they start to feel powerful or enjoy a position of privilege, those qualities begin to fade. The powerful are more likely than other people to engage in rude, selfish, and unethical behavior.”
After conducting a series of experiments into the phenomenon of how power corrupts, Keltner concluded: “Just the random assignment of power, and all kinds of mischief ensues, and people will become impulsive. They eat more resources than is their fair share. They take more money. People become more unethical. They think unethical behavior is okay if they engage in it. People are more likely to stereotype. They’re more likely to stop attending to other people carefully.”
And absolute power corrupts absolutely.
However, it takes a culture of entitlement and a nation of compliant, willfully ignorant, politically divided citizens to provide the foundations of tyranny.
We need to restore the rule of law for all people, no exceptions.
Here’s what the rule of law means in a nutshell: it means that everyone is treated the same under the law, everyone is held equally accountable to abiding by the law, and no one is given a free pass based on their politics, their connections, their wealth, their status or any other bright line test used to confer special treatment on the elite.
This culture of compliance must stop.
The empowerment of petty tyrants and political gods must end.
The state of denial must cease.
Let’s not allow this Epstein sex scandal to become just another blip in the news cycle that goes away all too soon, only to be forgotten when another titillating news headline takes its place.
Sex trafficking, like so many of the evils in our midst, is a cultural disease that is rooted in the American police state’s heart of darkness. It speaks to a far-reaching corruption that stretches from the highest seats of power down to the most hidden corners and relies on our silence and our complicity to turn a blind eye to wrongdoing.
If we want to put an end to these wrongs, we must keep our eyes wide open.
“Our citizens should know the urgent facts…but they don’t because our media serves imperial, not popular interests. They lie, deceive, connive and suppress what everyone needs to know, substituting managed news misinformation and rubbish for hard truths…”—Oliver Stone