The Committee to Reform Democracy in California
Home The Website    Corruption Updates    The Database    The Archives    Link Clusters    Why    How to Help     Contact
Fight Corporate Media Liars


Posted: January 9-10, 2008, Draft edition

Previous Page: Page 144         All Archives               Next page: Page 146

Contact Us:

1) The Articles linked below were Abstracted from the sources cited. After the abstract there's analysis and commentary, links to related articles, and a link to the database with suggested search terms.

Goldman Sachs predicts recession

upi, 1-9-08



NEW YORK, Jan. 9 (UPI) -- Wall Street heavyweight Goldman Sachs on Wednesday predicted a recession in the United States this year and said the U.S. unemployment rate would rise.


Goldman Sachs said it also expected the Federal Reserve to continue cutting interest rates in an effort to restore growth, reported Wednesday.


The firm said the gross domestic product would contract by 1 percent during the second and third quarters of 2008, meeting the definition of a recession, which is two consecutive quarters of contraction.


For the year overall, GDP should increase by 0.8 percent, Goldman predicted. However, because of the sour economy, the Fed likely will have to lower its fed funds target rate to 2.5 percent from the current 4.25 percent.


Additionally, Goldman said it believed the domestic unemployment rate will increase to 6.5 percent, higher than the 5 percent the U.S. Labor Department reported last week.

Top of Page

Economists: US Economy Seen on Verge of Recession

By Barry Wood


VOA, 10 January 2008

UN Sees Risk of Global Recession

By Lisa Schlein


09 January 2008     



A new U.N. report says the risk of global economic recession is rising.  The report, by the U.N. Conference On Trade and Development, says international trade is expected to slow and the world economy to cool off.  Lisa Schlein reports for VOA at the launch of the report in Geneva.


World economic growth was robust last year.  The report notes more than 100 economies achieved three percent growth or more.  And growth in developing countries rose on average nearly seven percent.  Africa, it notes, grew by nearly six-percent and is expected to exceed that figure this year.


But, the U.N. Conference On Trade and Development says there is a clear danger of the world economy coming to a near standstill in 2008.  The report says this will hit many poor nations hard, slow world trade and put an end to the boom in commodity prices. 


Heiner Flassbeck is an official at the U.N. agency.  He says the major uncertainties for 2008 arise from the U.S. economy.


"We have seen already a crisis in the third quarter of last year, the so-called sub-prime crisis," he noted.  "This has sent some shock waves all around the world and these shock waves have had already a number of repercussions that could lead to a much worse outcome in 2008."


Top of Page

2) The Article linked below was Abstracted from the source cited.

Countrywide says foreclosures highest on record

Reuters, Jan 9, 2008 4:23pm EST


By Jonathan Stempel



NEW YORK (Reuters) - Countrywide Financial Corp, the largest U.S. mortgage lender, said on Wednesday that foreclosures and late payments rose in December to the highest on record, sending its shares tumbling for a second day to their lowest in nearly 13 years.


The shares closed down 43 cents, or 7.7 percent, at $5.12, bringing their two-day decline to 33 percent. They earlier fell to $4.43, a level not seen since April 1995.


Analysts attributed Wednesday's drop to deteriorating credit quality reflected in Countrywide's monthly operating report, and renewed concern the lender might not survive the housing crunch and could seek bankruptcy protection. On Tuesday, Countrywide rejected bankruptcy rumors.


"Virtually no one in the market is willing to cast a vote of confidence in this company's ability to extricate itself from its current heap of trouble," options analyst Rebecca Engmann Darst of Interactive Brokers Group wrote in a report.


Like many rivals, Calabasas, California-based Countrywide has been hurt by falling home prices, rising defaults and tight capital markets.


It now primarily makes smaller home loans considered less likely to default, after losing $1.2 billion in the third quarter. Chief Executive Angelo Mozilo has called the nation's housing slump the worst since the Great Depression.


Countrywide said the foreclosure rate for the 9.03 million mortgages on which it collects and processes payments doubled to 1.44 percent from 0.70 percent a year earlier, and rose from November's 1.28 percent. The delinquency rate rose to 7.20 percent of unpaid balances from 4.60 percent a year earlier.


December's rates were the highest since 2002, the earliest period for which data are available. Countrywide's mortgage servicing portfolio grew to $1.48 trillion, as homeowners prepaid fewer loans.

Top of Page

What's Really Going on Here?


era of easy money over, financial times, 1-2-08

Housing-credit crisis exposing the rotten core of American Markets and Economy, committee for democracy, 11-24-07

Top of Page

Also See:

fed minutes: fed confused, nyt, 1-9-08

econ slowing, market tanking, nyt, 1-9-08

Gold Soars, iht, 1-8-08

Fed Going wrong way, FT, (uk) 1-6-08

Fed Confused at brink of crisis, Times, (uk) 1-7-08

Credit Crisis: Brit Buyouts decline 80%, Times (uk) 1-7-08

US Jobs grind to halt, ft, (uk) 1-4-08

Recession? ft (uk) 1-2-08

era of easy money over, financial times, 1-2-08

Mortgage crisis de funding cities and states for years to come, lat, 12-31-07

Arnie predicts 14 bil shortfall, bee, 12-12

Extensive list of Economic abstracts


Search the Corruption Database under



Submit Comments Here

Please limit comments to 400 words, unless you write really well! Remember to include the Corruption Updates page number, and the article number on the page. Example: (82_1.)



All Archives

Top of Page

3) The Article linked below was Abstracted from the source cited.

South Asia hit by food shortages

People across South Asia are struggling to cope with a severe shortage of affordable wheat and rice.

bbc, 9 January 2008


There have been queues outside Pakistani shops in towns around the country, and flour prices have shot up.


Wheat flour is a staple foodstuff in Pakistan, where rotis or unleavened bread are eaten with almost every meal.


Last week Afghanistan appealed for foreign help to combat a wheat shortage while Bangladesh recently warned it faced a crisis over rice supplies.


Global wheat prices are at record highs. Problems have been compounded by crop failures in the northern hemisphere and an increase in demand from developing countries.


Afghan Commerce Minister Mohammad Amin Farhang said wheat shortages could lead to serious problems during the winter.


His call came amid rising discontent inside Afghanistan at the spiralling cost of wheat and other basic foods.



Afghanistan does not grow enough wheat to feed all its people and is partially dependent on imports.


On Thursday, the chief of the Bangladesh army, Gen Moeen U Ahmed, said that he was "very concerned" about the problem of rice supplies which he said must be redressed immediately.


Many people in the country have been hit hard by spiralling food prices, which in some cases have doubled over the last year, mostly because of damage caused by heavy monsoon rain.


A delegation from Bangladesh is now in India to discuss importing rice to offset the shortages.

Top of Page


4) The Article linked below was Abstracted from the source cited.

China's farms struggle to meet growing demand

By Quentin Sommerville

BBC News, 1-5-08,  Henan


Top of Page

5) The Article linked below was Abstracted from the source cited.

China to Freeze Energy Prices in an Effort to Quell Worries About Inflation


nyt, January 10, 2008



BEIJING — Prime Minister Wen Jiabao responded Wednesday to growing public anxiety about inflation by announcing that China would freeze energy prices in the near term, even as international crude oil futures have continued to surge.


Inflation has hit an 11-year high in China, and a recent nationwide public opinion survey found that “rising prices of consumer goods” ranked as the top public concern, followed by income inequality and corruption.


The freezes were announced on the government’s main Web site after Mr. Wen presided over a meeting of the State Council to revise policies on price controls. But the controls are unlikely to get at the causes of China’s inflation — a currency policy that keeps the yuan artificially low and an overheated economy in which demand for goods and commodities often outstrips supply.


Under the new edict, prices of oil products, natural gas and electricity will be frozen in the near term. Rates for public water bills will also be frozen, as will the price of public transportation tickets.


The edict also called for stabilizing prices on medical services and for certain agricultural fertilizers. It ordered local governments to monitor prices closely and warned that punishments would be strengthened for those who violate government price-control policies.


Top of Page

What's Really Going on Here?

Alex Wierbinski, Berkeley, Ca., January 10, 2008

On april 6th, 2007 I predicted the major n. hemisphere crop declines and failures that are now rocking global wheat and rice markets. The secondary effects that rising feed prices have on meat and dairy prices are reverberating through our "globalized" economy.

I actually made this prediction in early january, after returning from two mid-winter hikes to the Sierra crest. I based the prediction on the devastating changes in the seasons that have robbed us of reliable or predictable seasonal rainfall, temperture, or duration. And the fact that 10-18' of snow was missing from the Sierras.

Extrapolating these changes in the weather of the nw us to make predictions about the weather in the rest of the world is impossible. But, it was easy to see that every climatic zone in the northern hemisphere is experiencing drastic shifts in seasonal onset, duration, and in the very character of their local seasons, all necessary for optimal crop production.

Although most of you live in the american consumer bubble, the changes in the natural world that your bubble depends on are about to pop your bubble.

The american assumption that life consists of the pursuit of wealth and power are about to catastrophically fail, as the physical consequences of our actions eliminate bountiful crops, water, and the basic elements of security for a couple of billion people.

Since our global empire was instrumental in bringing us to this desperate point, it is going to be amusing as we are hoisted on our own petard, globalism.

In this case "globalism" means that even if your town, county, or country grew enough food to maintain price and supply, the "market" demands that you will pay the highest price that the hungriest country is willing for pay for milk, bread, rice, meat, and corn, just to name a few of the foodstuffs that are skyrocketing in price.

As we have disreguarded other country's, and our own general welfare so that our corporate class could use the canard of "globalism" to pursue dominance, wealth, and luxury, so too will our welfare be sacrificed on the alter of "globalism" as other nation's wealth and power equals, and even exceeds, ours.

This crisis is an oppertunity. If you have followed the economy, you understand that the drop in the value of the dollar is pushing food prices up.  The change in seasons is adding environmentally-based crop failure to our ethically-based economic failure, promising to bring a real oppertunity to throw the corrupted tools of special interest greed out of our government, and restore our democratic republic. Let's make sure that this can never happen again.

Unfortunatly, at the present time neither our leaders or followers are willing to address, nor alter, the core cause of our impending economic and environmental disaster: irresponsible growth. But don't worry, nature is working on that problem. Once our fat consumers are denied consumption, I think they may wake up.

It's up to us to make the most out of the rising failures of our ethics and intelligence. That's why we must turn to politics. When we push the influence of wealth and power out of the center of our once-democratic government, the wisdom of our nation will do what our greedy corporate leaders never could do: make policy that represents the welfare of our people, rather than our corporations. That's why we must restore our bottom-up democracy.

Right now, n hemisphere winter crops look to be in real trouble. As the consequences of the change in the seasons deepen over the next few years, we are going to have the best chance to demonstrate that our corporate leadership are not only responsible for destroying our ecology, but to do so they had to kill our democratic republic.

Under the stolen banner of our flag the corporations and their alligned special interests tools have committed grave crimes against humanity, and endless war crimes. They have committeed too many crimes in our name to recount here.

Before we can stop our environmental destruction, we must take our government back from the special interests, corporations, and corrupted politicians who are using our govenment as a weapon against the rights of man and nature.

Here's a couple more predictions: The downturns in n. hemisphere crop production are here to stay. Normal yeilds, and normal seasons, will be the exception, rather than the rule.

Subsequent food shortages are going to destabilize regimes around the world. As each new environmental disaster grows larger than the last, the us will become even more reviled around the free world than it already is.

Tie this togeter with our economic irresponsibility, and our failed military actions in the middle-east, and there is a good chance that a powerful alliance of anti-fascist nations from every continent will join together to curb the political influence of america's "globalized" empire, work to deny us energy and labor resources, and attempt to make us pay back the trillions we owe them.

Top of Page

Also See:


Search the Corruption Database under


Submit Comments Here

Please limit comments to 400 words, unless you write really well! Remember to include the Corruption Updates page number, and the article number on the page. Example: (82_1.)



All Archives

Top of Page

6) The Article linked below was Abstracted from the source cited.

Rules tightened for China workers

China is tightening control of its migrant population ahead of the Beijing Olympic Games this summer.

bbc, Wednesday, 9 January 2008


Chinese migrant workers will have to declare their political affiliations when registering for residency permits.


A human rights organisation said this is part of China's efforts to identify and drive out "unwanted people" from the capital before the games.


Correspondents say China wants to avoid embarrassing anti- government protests during the games.


"This is part of Beijing's efforts to get rid of the capital's unwanted people ahead of the Olympics"

Human Rights Watch



The new notice asks migrants to state whether they are party members, members of the Communist Youth League, ordinary citizens or members of non-communist parties.


In China there are eight of these other parties, although they are completely under the control of the Communists.


In a related move, police have also organised random checks of people's identification cards at subway stations.


Top of Page

What's Really Going on Here?

american survaillence technology goes to work in china

Alex Wierbinski, Berkeley, Ca., January 10, 2008

As the articles below indicate, wall street has been financing american companies, some of which are fronts for chinese companies, to deliever and deploy police state technology to the nominally communiust chinese police state.

The article above indicates one of the uses the chinese state is applying this technolgy: tracking and controlling the domestic movements of the peasant worker masses. Add to this the deployment of a highly sophisticated massive video survalliance system capable of face recognition, individual and group tracking, and voila, the state can track your every movement.

China is building is a survailliance system not only capable of allowing the centralized state to control society during normal times, but this system will be a powerful weapon to neutralize any manifestations of popular dissent before they get started. Yahoo has been very helpful on that front, ferriting out thought crime on the chinese internet before these thoughts could blossom into ideas, and really cause problems.

If any protest against the nasty nature of the chinese police state does get going, the techinal systems the us has provided china will allow the state to attack the dissenters with the highest degree of efficency.

Do we really want to be the supplier of choice for police states, authoritarian governments, and police states around the world?

Too late. We already are.

see: it's 1984 in china

Top of Page

Also See:

Corruption Updates 41, 9th article on the Page, "China jails editor for subversion"

Group calls on China to define 'state secret,' lat, 6-12-08

Mexico to boost tapping of phones and e-mail with U.S. aid, lat, May 25, 2007

Corruption Updates 92, 4th article on the page, Chinese Government Covers up Party Participation in Slavery

Corruption Updates 101, 1st article on the page, Abuses Belie China Pledge on Rights, Critics Say

Corruption Updates 101, 2nd article on the Page, In China, a High-Tech Plan to Track People

China: Yahoo assists police state, sf chron, 8-27-07

Corruption Updates 105, 10th article on the Page, US Provides Police State Technology to Mexican Police State

Corruption Updates 113, 9th article on the Page, Wall St. Funds China’s Police State Surveillance Boom

China Finds American Allies for Security, NYT, December 28, 2007

Eased Rules on Tech Sales to China Questioned, NYT, 1-2-07

Moving in China? Be sure to register with the State, bbc, 1-9-08


Search the Corruption Database under



Submit Comments Here

Please limit comments to 400 words, unless you write really well! Remember to include the Corruption Updates page number, and the article number on the page. Example: (82_1.)



All Archives

Top of Page

7) The Article linked below was Abstracted from the source cited.

China 'plans to send troops into North Korea'

By Richard Spencer in Beijing

Last Updated: 9:58am GMT 09/01/2008


China is planning to send troops into North Korea to restore order and secure its nuclear arsenal in the event of the regime’s collapse.


According to a new report, Beijing would send in the People’s Liberation Army if it felt threatened by a rapid breakdown in Kim Jong-il’s rule over the country.      

China would consider acting unilaterally, the report indicated


China would seek to win the backing of the United Nations first, but would be prepared to act unilaterally if necessary.


“If the international community did not react in a timely manner as the internal order in North Korea deteriorated rapidly, China would seek to take the initiative in restoring stability,” said the report by two Washington think-tanks.


The report said that there were disagreements among its sources as to whether China still wished to preserve its “special relationship” with North Korea, the only country with which it has a formal, mutual defence alliance.


But they agreed that Beijing would neither intervene to replace Kim Jong-il, nor to prevent him being replaced by others.


The Chinese government’s prime concern was stability, though there was thought to be no immediate danger of a breakdown.


Shi Yinhong, a professor of international relations at Beijing’s People’s University, said the plan might have been drawn up when the North Korean regime was under greater pressure than now.


Top of Page

What's Really Going on Here?

Alex Wierbinski, Berkeley, Ca., September 7, 2007

China has become a Bushiean Corporate Fascist dreamland. China's Commie Government possesses unlimited power over individuals, business, and governmental authority. And they are greedy for wealth, power, and prestige, just like our leaders. They disregard their Constitution and laws, just like our leaders. China's ambition is to apply their power to expand their influence across South Asia.

China has transformed itself into a nearly perfect capitalist state dedicated to profit. Internally, China has not worked out the relationship between political and economic power, between their rising robber baron elite, and the "commie" political elite.

Externally, the terms of China's relationships with American power, and our allies and enemies around the Middle-East, have not been worked out at all. What is certain is that China has made generous trade deals with Iran, Sudan, Venezuela, and Russia which appear to be attempting to both enhance Chinese access to resources while simultaneously checking the reach of American power.

After 30 years of wildly increased Corporate Profits taken by moving American manufacturing capacity to China, the Chinese are entering the world power game with enough wealth, manufacturing power and diplomatic influence to seriously affect the global balance of power.

Our greed has influenced and guided the creation of a monster in China, and it is unfortunate that the Chinese are going to enter the world power game on the brutal terms we have been maintaining for the last 40 years.

Top of Page

Also See:

Corruption Update 38, 4th article on page, "WILL PROMISES OF “FUTURE WEALTH” KEEP PEASANTS FROM REVOLTING?

Corruption Updates 40, 3rd article on page, “China passes new law on property

Corruption Updates 45, 6th article on page,  China to U.S.: Halt Taiwan weapon sales

Corruption Updates 61, 3rd article on page,  Pentagon Worries About China Weapon Test

Corruption Updates 61, 4th article on page,  US fears grow over China military

Search the Corruption Database under



Submit Comments Here

Please limit comments to 400 words, unless you write really well! Remember to include the Corruption Updates page number, and the article number on the page. Example: (82_1.)



All Archives

Top of Page

8) The Article linked below was Abstracted from the source cited.

Federal Judge Won't Review Destruction Of CIA Videotapes

By Dan Eggen

Washington Post Staff Writer

Thursday, January 10, 2008; Page A03


 federal judge yesterday declined to order a special review of the CIA's destruction of interrogation videotapes, saying that there is no evidence the Bush administration defied court orders and that Justice Department prosecutors should be allowed to proceed with their own investigation into the matter.


U.S. District Judge Henry H. Kennedy Jr. said in a three-page ruling in Washington that a group of inmates held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, "offer nothing to support their assertion that a judicial inquiry" is necessary into the tape destruction. He said neither of the detainees whose interrogations were taped and later destroyed has an apparent connection to the prisoners who were demanding the review.


Kennedy also wrote that he expects the Justice Department "will follow the facts wherever they may lead and live up to the assurances it made to this court."


The ruling was a blow to plaintiffs attorneys, defense lawyers and civil liberties groups who have sought to challenge the administration's credibility in court over its admitted destruction of the interrogation videotapes in 2005.


The CIA destroyed hundreds of hours of CIA videotape showing coercive interrogation tactics used on two senior al-Qaeda suspects in 2002: Zayn al-Abidin Muhammed Hussein, known as Abu Zubaida, and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri. CIA Director Michael V. Hayden said the tapes had been destroyed to protect the identities of interrogators, but other CIA officials have said they were destroyed to protect the interrogators from potential prosecution.


The Justice Department announced last week that it had opened a criminal investigation into the tapes' destruction. The House intelligence committee has also launched its own inquiry and has issued a subpoena to Jose Rodriguez, the former CIA clandestine operations chief who agency officials said ordered the tapes' destruction.


Officials at the Justice Department, which had urged the court to stay out of the case, declined to comment.

During a Dec. 22 hearing, Remes told Kennedy that the tape destruction showed that the administration was willing to destroy evidence of possible torture and that the court should find out what else could be missing. The plaintiffs specifically worried that the CIA might have destroyed material subject to a court order.


But in his ruling, Kennedy said there was no evidence of wrongdoing. He noted that the destroyed tapes were not even recorded at Guantanamo Bay.


The impact of the ruling on other cases is unclear. New York lawyer Jonathan Hafetz, for example, has filed a similar claim in Washington seeking information about the tapes on behalf of Qatari detainee Jarallah al-Marri and others. But Hafetz said his motion was based on the government's obligation to preserve all potentially relevant evidence for a future criminal case, whether or not it is specifically covered by a court order.


Top of Page

What's Really Going on Here?

Torture Tapes?

Alex Wierbinski, Berkeley, Ca., January, 2008

You've got to be kidding. If I have this straight, the president and his appartus have worked really hard to claim there is a world-wide war, on "terror," that allows the president to ignore international law, the rules of war, and the soveregnity of nations.

In layman's terms this means they are kidnapping, secretly detaining, torturing, and running drumhead tribunals. And they made video tapes?

These guys are not the brightest bulbs in the box.

Although this particular ruling may be technically correct, in that the making and destruction of these particular tapes may not directly affect these particular plantiffs, the very existance of these tapes casts a deep shadow of doubt over the admissibality any information garnered from every "interrogation" of "detainees" under the color of our authority.

The very existance of these tapes raises doubts if all evidence held by the government was shared with the few victims that have been brought before the bar. The existance and destruction of these torture tapes casts doubt over the honesty and justice of the whole terror war.

It is uncertain if all of our "detainees" in our terror war are not themselves victims of offences against humanity and the geneva conventions, whether or not they are themselves guilty of any offences.

We have yet to see if the real plantiffs, the american people and their representative, will appear at the bar of justice to demand an accounting of the deeds done by this criminal government in our name.

It is clear that the CIA witheld these tapes from the 911 comission. It is clear that these tapes destroy any legitimate legal case against the two torture victims who were the subjects of these gross relics of our torture crimes. The torture has not stopped for these two men, who are now being held under inhumane conditions at gitmo.

This ruling by kennedy makes it is abundantly clear that the judicial branch of "our" government has granted the executive branch leeway that our Constitution wisely denied.

U.S. District Judge Henry H. Kennedy Jr. said that he expects that the justice department to investigate cia crimes that were authorized at the highest level of the justice department and white house. That appears highly unlikely on its face.

Has he had his head stuffed up his ass for the past fifty years? If Kennedy had listened to mukasey's confirmation hearings, he would understand that mukasey advocated and defended unlimited presidential powers. This makes a full independent investigation by the justice department highly unlikely.

Even more disturbing is the fact that the justice department directly participated in crafting legal justifications for torture. This places the justice department in the position of acting as one part of the executive branch investigating iteself, and the cia, a fellow executive branch agency.

Kennedy's expectation of a fair investigation is an unreasonable expectation, and fails to address the responsibility of the judicial branch to check the excesses of the executive and congressional branches.

But I must return to my original contention: Are they kidding? These fuckers actually made torture tapes? Sounds like an expensive way to make pornography for cheney.

U.S. District Judge Henry H. Kennedy Jr. has failed to do his duty to put everything that comes before his court to the smell test. The claims of the plantiffs raise a terrible stench over the question of discovery in every terror war case, as well as the veracity of any evidence presented by our government.

Kennedy did nothing to stifle the stink.

After coming out of kennedy's court , the our crimes smell worse that ever.

Top of Page

Also See:

Justice opens criminal investigation of torture tapes, lat, 1-2-08

Wagons circled at CIA over tapes' demise, lAT, 12-23-07

Judge Orders CIA to Explain Torture Tape destruction, ap, 12-19-07

White House involved in Torture Tape Destruction, nyt, 12-19-07

Senate Probes CIA Torture Tape Destruction LAT 12-12

CIA Destroys evidence of Torture, Guardian 12-7-07


I added these links to this list, Just to make the connection between us policy and torture that existed long before bush came to power:

Egypt Torture Cover up, bbc 12-11-07,    Egypt secret trials ok with Bush, bbc, 4-26-07


Who's investigating itself? The Executive Branch!

Who Will Defend the President's Crimes Now? The Senate, by confirming Our New Attorney General

AG Mukasey Defies Congress, lat, 12-14-07

What did they expect? Mukasey's confirmation testimony supported:

the Unitary President



Congress sells out 4th amendment, tolerates Torture, and takes impeachment off the table: The Corporate fascist Police State reveals itself


Cheney institutes torture in '02, wp, 6-25-07

How the Torture program was designed, Vanity Fair, 6-17-07

Essay: American Revolution Outlawed by Congress early nov

H.R. 1955: Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007. The "Harmon is a traitor Act" passed congress 10-29

Search the Corruption Database under

Submit Comments Here

Please limit comments to 400 words, unless you write really well! Remember to include the Corruption Updates page number, and the article number on the page. Example: (82_1.)


All Archives

Top of Page

9) The Article linked below was Abstracted from the source cited.

$20 million suit in police torture case

upi, 1-10-08



CHICAGO, Jan. 10 (UPI) -- The Chicago City Council approved nearly $20 million in settlements for four men allegedly tortured into murder confessions by a former police commander.


Council members Wednesday unanimously approved settlements that could reach $19.8 million for four men who said retired police Cmdr. Jon Burge and his fellow detectives tortured them into making confessions, the Chicago Tribune reported Thursday.


The four men involved in the case were all pardoned from death row in January 2003 by Republican Gov. George Ryan. Councilman Ed Smith thanked Ryan during the hearing, saying the case put a "black eye on the city." Ryan is currently serving a 6 1/2 year sentence for corruption at a federal prison facility in Wisconsin.


Investigators suspect Burge and his officers used electric shocks, suffocation and other alleged torture tactics on scores of suspects in the 1980s. U.S. Atty. Patrick Fitzgerald opened a perjury investigation against Burge and his detectives following the expiring of the statute of limitations in the case.


The City Council said it was "a disgrace" that Burge is freely living in Florida and collects a city pension.

Top of Page

What's Really Going on Here?

Torture here, Torture there, Torture everwhere

Alex Wierbinski, Berkeley, Ca., January 11, 2008

Our use of torture, both domestic and foreign, spans and stains the entirity of our history.

The puritans rolled stones, rather large stones, over those convicted of witchcraft. This assured a rather slow and painful death. Occassionaly, the puritans slaughtered indians. The frontiersmen taught the indians how to scalp. The southerners had a system of slavery that institutionalized torture.

Virtually all early amercans visited unimaginable horrors on the indians, as the floods of westward moving "settlers" generated a moving frontier of blood as they entered "new" lands, until they had killed off any indians who resisted the taking of their lands. Then the "settler" wave continued to move westward.

This rather ugly history had its flip-side. Roger Williams departed puritan boston, and founded rhode island, in part because of his presumption that the indians had land rigths. Later, the royal government tried to keep the "settlers" and indians apart, and that contributed to the revolution. The Southern slave-holders had a dedicated opposition, and we are still working that one out.

The indians pretty much just got, and keep getting fucked, up to this day.

Once the industrial revolution and the massive influx of immigrants killed off our farmer democracy, the resulting industrial aristocracy engaged their new power in the contest for empire and global domination. Our torture would no longer be limited to our own shores.

The result was the spanish-american war, and we went to town with that one. The atrocities we committed in the phillipines are legendary. cuba ended up under a series of brutal dictatorships that used every means of repression possible until castro's revolution ended our reign of terror in cuba.

Between 1898 and now, our government has committed war crimes and crimes against humanity in central and south america, china, korea, vietnam, and a host of other countries.

The "successful" applications of american force produced corporate states like korea, tawian, and (by a different path) japan.

Our unsuccessful applications of force have resulted in the emergence of independent nations hostil to our manipulations and interventions in their domestic and regional affairs.

Iran, iraq, syria, chavez, and morales present the spectre of the middle-east, along with south and central america, breaking out of our sphere of domination. Imagine people running their own affairs. South asia now sits under the lengthening shadow of china, and india is firmly in control of its own destiny.

Our open acknowledgement that we use kidnapping, secret prisons, and torture is only new because it is the first time we have admitted that we use torture as an instrument of state. Prior to bush, we did it in secret, or through proxies. And we always denied it.

Our government is so comfortable with our long term secret use of torture that they actually made videos, along with a paper trail of "findings," and I'm sure there is a record of intense communications between the white house, the pentagon, and the torture chambers.

I fully expect that our record-keeping equals that of the Nazis, and will provide ample evidence for future courts to consider. But much of the responsibility for making that happen lays with us, the citizens who have been busy producing and consuming as our empire commits all types of crimes around the world.

Our present political system routienly uses bribery to assure that the politicians who man our government will steal our money and hide their crimes behind a false propriety. It has been an easy transition for our politicians to add stealing our rights to stealing our money.

To restore our core values, consisting of our individual rights protected by a checked and balanced democratic framework, we must remove and punish every person who has committed crimes in our name, under our flag. The only way we can take our govenment back is to completly end the bribery that has a death grip around the throat of our democracy.

This requires that every citizen come together to mutually protect each other's rights. We must understand that our rights are secure only when the rights of each citizen is secure.

We can only secure each other's rights by first restoring our democracy. The link between the voter and their representatives has been broken. Wealthy individuals working with corporate and private special interests have displaced the voter as the primairy funder of our candidates and representatives.

This has resulted in politicians who have twisted our govenment into a weapon against democracy and freedom here, and around the world. Our talk of democracy and freedom is a joke. Our actions speak much louder that our words, and define us as hypocrytes and criminals. We have not had a government that has risen out of our citizenry, nor represented the interests of our citizens, for well over a hunderd years.

We must repair our broken democracy if we want to have a chance of ending the abuses of power by our parties, politicians, and our government, here at home and around the world.

Top of Page

Also See:

“Once Upon a time, they called me a Terrorist too,” 12-9-05 (pdf report on black panther torture, n orleans, 1973)

article abstract link list


Search the Corruption Database under




Submit Your Comments Here

Please limit comments or essay to 400 words, unless you write really well! Remember to include the Corruption Updates page number, and the article number that you are referring to. Example: (82_1.)


All Archives

Top of Page

10) The Article linked below was Abstracted from the source cited.

Ashcroft firm's no-bid deal probed

upi, 1-10-08


WASHINGTON, Jan. 10 (UPI) -- Former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft's Washington consulting firm is under investigation regarding a large New Jersey contract awarded without bidding.


Attorney General Michael Mukasey said there were concerns of favoritism in the 18-month deal made last fall in which the Ashcroft Group is to receive $28 million and $52 million, the New York Times reported.


The contract involves a third-party -- the Ashcroft Group -- monitoring Zimmer Holdings, a medical supply company in Indiana, as part of an out-of-court settlement reached in New Jersey.


New Jersey's top prosecutor, U.S. Attorney Christopher Christie, struck the deal without outside bidding. Christie worked for Ashcroft between 2002 and 2005, which prompted the inquiry, the report said.


Justice Department officials told the Times the internal inquiry by the Criminal Division began several weeks ago and no public announcement was made.

Top of Page

What's Really Going on Here?

Alex Wierbinski, Berkeley, Ca., January 11, 2008

It's hard to tell if this is just normal corruption, or something more sinister. Is this a payoff for silence about the war crimes and crimes against humanity ascroft observed during his tenure as ag?

I found this blog which lists the cases of political corruption prosecuted in nj by christie's office. It's pretty extensive, but nj is pretty corrupt. Ironically, most of the cases involve bribery payments for steering contracts towards the briber.

In christie's case, we can see the payoff, the contract that was steered to ascroft. But we can only imagine what he did for the money.

So far we have not heard a word out of ashcroft's mouth about the crimes committed against our constitution on his watch.

And after this major payoff, we probably never will.

Top of Page

Also See:

Notes Detail Pressure on Ashcroft Over Spying, NYT, August 17, 2007


Search the Corruption Database under


Illegal spying




Submit Comments Here

Limit comments to 400 words, unless you write really well! Remember to include the Corruption Updates page number, and the article number on the page. Example: (82_1.)

Previous page: Page 144                 Next page: Page 146

Contact Us:


All Archives

Top of Page

Today's Headlines

1] three recession predictions: Goldman, VOA, and UN

2] countrywide going down

3] south asian food shortages

4] China's farms struggle to meet growing demand

5] China institutes price controls on energy, food

6] Chinese police state tightens grip on peasants-with american police state technology

7] China's N korea emergency plan: Take open control

8] Fed Judge backs off Torture Tape Case

9] Big payoff for chicago torture frame-up victims

10] Ashcroft paid off