US State Department Claims Blackwater Corporation Gave Military Training in Colombia Without Agency's Permission
Blackwater, a corporation that specializes in providing military-style training and support to other businesses and governments, recently entered into a $42 million civil settlement with the State Department this month after the agency found that the company violated international arms trafficking and export regulations no less than 288 times.
The settlement is mainly focused on the company's business dealings in Iraq and Afghanistan, but within a 41-page document (PDF) of the State Department's findings on the case, the agency also claims that Blackwater provided at least one unauthorized military training in Colombia in 2005, allegedly in violation of International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR).
By Brenda Norrell
Updated Aug. 24, 2010
It appears no one was listening at the US State Department’s Listening Conferences this year, when Native Americans offered testimony on human rights for a report to the United Nations.
The US Periodic Review on Human Rights released Monday, Aug. 23, shows the Obama Administration giving itself a glossy, positive review on the issue of Native Americans and human rights to the United Nations Human Rights Council.
However, the release of the final document proves Russell Means was accurate when he described the Listening Conferences as a “Smokescreen.”
“Once again, the occupation government of the United States of America has trotted out its dogs and ponies to provide a smokescreen and diversion from its continuing crimes against the indigenous peoples and nations of the Western Hemisphere,” Means said in March.
The US report to the UN fails to describe the ongoing environmental genocide, where corporations in collusion with the US government target Indian country with power plants, coal mines and oil and gas wells.
Un resumen de nuestras redes en línea hasta el 23 de agosto de 2010
23 de agosto de 2010
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Mexican Border Town’s Industrial Parks Have Become a “Green Zone” in the Drug War
The screaming headlines and shocking images that invade our lives daily from south of the U.S. border might lead many of us to believe that Juarez, Mexico, is a dying city bleeding out from a thousand cuts of daily narco-war violence.
The Mexican border city has seen more than 1,900 murders so far this year alone and in excess of 6,200 since January 2008, when the violence escalated with the arrival of the Mexican military to provide “protection” to the residents of the city.
But if Juarez is truly being killed off by the bloodshed spawned by the narco-trafficking trade, then why is that violence not affecting the entire city – where some 10,000 small businesses have closed their doors since 2008 due, in large part, to a wave of burglaries, kidnappings, extortion and murders that has washed over the city during the past two and a half years?
There is often an exception to most rules, and in the case of Juarez, the rule of violence does not extend to its industrial zones, which are home to some 360 maquiladora factories that employ more than 190,000 people.
CIA Acquired the Pirated Software for Use in Drone Program, Lawsuit Claims
A small Massachusetts tech company scored a significant victory in court this week in a lawsuit in which the CIA has been accused of purchasing pirated software code for its Predator Drone program.
A judge in Suffolk County Superior Court in Boston ruled that a breach-of-contract claim filed against the company, Intelligent Integration Systems Inc., or IISI, by Marlborough, Mass-.based computer maker Netezza Corp. should be dismissed. In fact, the judge’s ruling states, it was Netezza that improperly terminated its contract with IISI.
In addition, the judge ruled that IISI was not required to develop software for a new data-warehouse computer that Netezza had allegedly sold to the CIA for use in the agency’s drone program.
On the heels of the Mexican president’s recent statements favoring a debate to examine drug legalization, Felipe Calderón today reiterated that the current policy of having the Armed Forces enforce the drug laws will continue until his term ends in late 2012.
The daily El Universal quotes the president from a speech at the military base known as Campo Marte as saying:
"What we need is that once this policing stage is over, is for the federal and local authorities to have the strength and the force to be there in absence of the Army. Today, unfortunately, that can't be done…
“My commitment to security will remain until the last day of my government, and if to fulfill that commitment I have to order the Armed Forces as mandated by the Constitution, I will continue doing so.”
Speaking at Campo Marte in Mexico City, Calderón stated that the Mexican Army is likely to continue to battling drug trafficking groups in the country until his term ends in November 2012.
Since 2006, Calderón has deployed the Armed Forces in drug enforcement and drug war related violence has correspondingly increased. An estimated 28,000 people have been killed as casualties of the war on drugs since Calderón took office, and 2010 is could be the deadliest year yet, with more than 7,000 lives lost since January 1. That's almost the total casualty rate for 2009. In fact, the only place in the country that has been immune from the rapid surge in violence is Mexico City, a federal district where the Army is prohibited from law enforcement activities.
Narco News has also reported that there have been more human rights complaints against the military during Calderón’s administration than every before. Out of the 4,035 complaints that have been reported since 2006, 56 members of the armed services have been disciplined since that time.
Un resumen de nuestras redes en línea hasta el 16 de agosto de 2010
16 de agosto de 2010
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By Brenda Norrell
Photo: The Invisibles
TUCSON -- The women and children are raped. They are kidnapped. Those who can not remember the names of their relatives in the United States with money, have the tips of their tongues cut off. Those who can not pay the kidnappers are tortured, chopped into pieces and their bodies burned in boiling pots of diesel oil. Some are still alive when they are thrown in.
The Mexican government knows this, but does nothing to stop it.
These are the “Invisibles.”
These are the stories of migrants traveling on foot from southern Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. They are traveling north through Mexico, risking their lives to help their families.
Declassified documents from the Nixon government reveal the tactics used to free one of its officials
Yesterday the National Security Archive, an independent organization devoted to shining a light on information related to national security in the United States, released a series of declassified documents from the Richard Nixon administration, which show the strategy that was was used to try and avoid the death of its United States Agency for International Development (USAID) director Dan Mitrione in Uruguay, by threatening to kill guerrilla leaders of the Uruguayan National Liberation Movement -Tupamaros (MLN in Spanish initials).
Mitrione had been kidnapped by the MLN on July 31, 1970. The guerillas accused him of training the Uruguayan police and military in counterinsurgency warfare, which the South American country had lived through since the late 1960s. That day, the guerrillas kidnapped him at his home while pretending to be workers with the telephone company who had come to repair a phone line. In exchange for the liberation of Mitrione, the MLN demanded the release of 150 of their own prisoners.
Son desclasificados documentos en donde el gobierno de Nixon revela la táctica usada para la liberación de su agente
12 de agosto de 2010
El día de ayer, el Archivo en Seguridad Nacional (NSA, por sus siglas en inglés), organización independiente que se dedica a esclarecer información sobre seguridad nacional en los Estados Unidos, dio a conocer en una serie de documentos desclasificados del gobierno de Richard Nixon (1969-1974) donde se revela la estrategia utilizada para tratar de evitar la muerte del director de la Oficina de Seguridad Pública de la Agencia para el Desarrollo Internacional de los Estados Unidos (USAID, por sus siglas en inglés), Dan Mitrione, en Uruguay, mediante la amenaza de matar a dirigentes de la guerrilla uruguaya Movimiento de Liberación Nacional- Tupamaros (MLN)
Mitrione había sido secuestrado por el MLN el 31 de julio de 1970. La guerrilla uruguaya lo acusaba de entrenar a la policía y militares uruguayos en la guerra contrainsurgente que el país sudamericano vivía desde fines de los años 60. Ese 31 de julio la guerrilla lo secuestró en su hogar fingiendo ser trabajadores de la compañia telefónica que venían a reparar la línea telefónica. A cambio de la liberación de Mitrione, el MLN pedía la excarcelación de 150 presos tupamaros.
While a recent Narco News report states that the Central Intelligence Agency may be using faulty “hacked” programming code made for operating its unmanned Predator drone aircraft, there's also the matter of the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency, which is seeking to strengthen its partnership with the Department of Defense (DOD) to better monitor the US-Mexico border with surveillance drones.
Retired Air Force Major General Michael C. Kostelnik, who is now assistant commissioner to the Border Patrol's Air and Marine office, stated before a House of Representatives subcommittee last month that three specific DOD programs “are being tested or adopted” by the Border Patrol to enhance homeland security operations.
The first program, according to Kostelnik, “would provide CBP with a radar capability with active, near-real time vehicle and dismounted change detection, to support border ground operations, especially in areas subject to high levels of border violence.” In other words, the agency would be able to use DOD radar for its drone aircraft to better see what's happening on the ground.
Al Gore went to great lengths to avoid the press when he traveled to Mexico to give a speech last week—so much so that journalists trying to cover the event were given a memo with 7 commandments drafted—reporters were told—by Gore's representatives to block the media from getting anywhere near the lecture.
The speech took place in the state of Mexico's capital city of Toluca, where Gore was invited by state Governor Enrique Peña Nieto, a main contender in Mexico's 2012 presidential elections and a member of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI in Spanish initials), which until 2000 had ruled the country for 7 decades.
The Narco News Team was in the press room in Toluca, and obtained the memo, which was originally written in Spanish and included in press packets given to journalists trying to cover the event.
Litigation pits trade secrets against alleged government-contracting abuses
A lawsuit pending in Suffolk County Superior Court in Boston offers a detailed snapshot of a facet of the CIA’s operations inside the United States, specifically what appears to be Agency contracting practices that make veracity the victim of subterfuge.
The litigation involves a breach of contract dispute between two high-tech companies — one a publicly traded computer hardware firm called Netezza Corp. and the other a small, privately owned software firm called Intelligent Integration Systems Inc., or IISI. Both are based in Massachusetts.
The litigation, pending since November 2009, is complex, and has received scant media attention, other than from an online financial publication called thestreet.com, which published a story [link here] last month about the case.
The lawsuit revolves around a series of claims and counterclaims related to a sophisticated, analytical software program developed by IISI that is capable of integrating at high speeds spatial data, such as maps and visual images, with non-visual data, such as names and phone numbers.