After Defending Media Censorship and Abuses During Crisis, Ex-Clinton Official Now Working For Lobo Government
Lanny Davis (pictured right), the former Clinton White House official who was behind a lobbying blitz to support the coup d’etat that happened in Honduras in 2009 is back in action. This time instead of being paid by business interests behind the coup he is now providing his services to the current Honduran government that came to power as a result of the crisis.
In a recent press release, Davis' firm Lanny J. Davis & Associates announced that it has been hired to cook up a public relations campaign for the Honduras government, headed by coup-supporter President Porfirio “Pepe” Lobo. Assisting in this effort will be Josh Block, another Clinton administration official who is an ex-spokesman for the US Agency for International Development.
"I hope to help the Government of Honduras and President Porfirio Lobo strengthen U.S.-Honduran relations by emphasizing that Honduras remains a loyal ally of the United States and a stable constitutional democracy governed by the rule of law," Davis is quoted saying in the release.
During the crisis Davis, a close associate of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, was hired by the Business Council of Latin America to support the ousting of democratically-elected President Manuel Zelaya on Capitol Hill. Despite the fact that the coup was called “illegal” by the State Department, Davis served as the figurehead for the business interests backing the de facto government, all while it was shutting down media outlets, banning civil liberties, and committing human rights abuses.
When the State Department backed off from its anti-coup stance to support November 2009 presidential elections in Honduras, Davis disappeared from the media limelight and later started his own public relations firm. Lobo was declared the winner of the race, despite intimidation and fraud that was documented during the voting. After winning an election where more than half of the voters stayed home, Lobo gave amnesty to everyone involved in plotting the coup.
The reappearance of Davis and his new partnership with Lobo only provides more evidence that the Honduras government is merely an extension of the coup regime.
Leaked State Department Cable Also Reveals Armed Forces Battling “Cartels” on Thin Legal Ground
In the ever-escalating war on drugs, it appears Mexican narco-traffickers may not be the only combatants breaking the law of the land.
Mexico's Secretary of Defense and the head of U.S. National Intelligence met in October 2009 to discuss, among other matters, the lack of justification under Mexican law for President Felipe Calderon's deployment of Mexican military in his battle against the “drug cartels,” according to a U.S. State Department cable released by Wikileaks.
Mexican Officials Were Desperate to Produce a “Tangible Success” in Narcotics Fight and Save President Felipe Calderón's Political Legacy
Citing the “pervasive, debilitating fear” that has griped Mexico due to increasing violence with the drug war, high-ranking officials in the Felipe Calderón administration urged the United States in September 2009 to help them target drug trafficking groups in border cities like Ciudad Juarez and Tijuana in order to save the political legacy of President Felipe Calderón, according to a confidential memo sent from the US Embassy-Mexico City and obtained by WikiLeaks.
Nearly four years after Calderón declared war on Mexico's drug trafficking groups, Mexico's Undersecretary for Governance Gerónimo Gutiérrez told officials with the US Justice Department and the State Department in a Mexico City meeting that he feared losing the drug war if a “tangible success” could not be shown to the Mexican people in the next 18 months leading up to the country's presidential elections.
“We have 18 months," Gutiérrez is quoted as saying in the cable. "And if we do not produce a tangible success that is recognizable to the Mexican people, it will be difficult to sustain the confrontation into the next administration."
Document Calls for Obtaining “Fingerprints, Facial Images, Iris Scans and DNA” on Nation’s Political Leaders
A State Department cable dated March 24, 2008, that is part of the most recent Wikileaks government-document data dump offers an interesting insight into the intelligence collection priorities of the U.S. government under the final year of the Bush administration.
Leaked Cable, Early During Coup, Defined Removal of President Manuel Zelaya as Illegitimate
Former Mexican cop's lawyer says litigation should be filed by year’s end
The Department of Homeland Security will soon have to deal with some dirty laundry from the House of Death mass-murder case that its leadership likely hoped would be well buried by now.
Terms of Agreement “To Remain Confidential”
An explosive lawsuit alleging that Boston-area tech company Netezza Corp. sold computer hardware loaded with “hacked,” faulty software to the CIA for use in the agency’s Predator Drone program has now disappear from public view.
Targeting Heads of Hydra-like “Cartels” Is Futile Strategy
Arturo Beltran Leyva, a former leader in the Sinaloa drug trafficking organization who split off a few years back to form his own narco-trafficking “cartel,” was gunned down last December by Mexican Navy forces at an upscale apartment complex.
Narco News Reported on Cargo-Package Security Threat Last Spring
The discovery Thursday evening of two packages rigged with explosives and destined via cargo jets for Jewish places of worship in Chicago prompted President Barack Obama to tell the nation today that U.S. authorities were addressing a “credible terrorist threat” against the nation.
Already, some in political opposition to the President are raising the specter of the terror plot being a ploy, an “October surprise.”
But the current threat linked to airborne packages should come as no surprise to readers of Narco News, which last May published a report about a whistleblower lawsuit that advanced serious allegations of security shortcomings involving a major air-cargo carrier.
Northern Command, With Help From State Department's Plan Mexico, Directs Attention Towards Mexico's Most Violent City
Last week a Narco News investigation revealed that a military unit created in 2002 for homeland defense missions called US Northern Command (NORTHCOM) had become more involved in assisting the Mexican military to wage the drug war. Now more information has come to light connecting the unit to a pilot program in the border city of Ciudad Juárez, which has become one of the deadliest cities in Mexico due to drug war related violence.
On Friday the Mexican daily Milenio published a story titled “US 'Intelligence Consultants' Arrive To Ciudad Juárez,” which earned a lot of media attention and was quickly spread around by wire services throughout the country. The article cites a document from the State Department that details a “joint pilot program in support of Mexico’s efforts to confront and reverse the violence that has plagued Ciudad Juárez,” with the hook that a least one “technical adviser” from the US government would be working on Mexican soil in the Juárez full time to assist in sharing intelligence between the two countries. This program came out of meetings held between both governments in January and February 2010, and it is a part of the State Department's Plan Mexico (also known as the Mérida Initiative), a 2008 security pact in which the United States provides training and equipment to Mexican law enforcement and the armed forces to wage the drug war.
What went unreported was NORTHCOM's involvement. According to the document cited by Milenio, which can be found online in English, a military group called the Joint Task Force North, a subordinate command of NORTHCOM located close to the US-Mexico border at Fort Bliss in Texas, helped give birth to the Juárez program. Through “a planning and coordinating mission established to support law enforcement agencies counter the flow of illegal drugs into the U.S along the Southwest border” the task force “hosted the Ciudad Juárez / El Paso Planning Initiative, a working group attended by members from U.S. local, state, and federal governments and Mexican federal and state government representatives, to establish the ways, ends, and means in developing a common assessment, approach, and execution structure to enhance public security.”
The military is also using Plan Mexico to fund encrypted communication methods for police forces in Juárez, and “cross border communications,” where radio links will be set up between law enforcement officials on both sides of the border, according to the document. The recent news of the military unit's involvement in this new Juárez program continues to add evidence to NORTHCOM's growing involvement in Mexico's drug war.
Massive Facility Would Serve Law Enforcers, Military and Their Drones
A company fronted by a former Navy SEAL is only a few weeks away from potentially gaining approval to develop a nearly 1,000-acre military and law enforcement training camp near the U.S. border in Southern California, less than a 20-minute drone flight from the sister border cities of San Diego and Tijuana.
Missive Inspires Yet More Intrigue
Narco News today received a very interesting e-mail from an intelligence agency seeking information about the ongoing CIA drone-code scandal that has surfaced in a lawsuit filed in a Boston court.
Mexican Federal Judge Frees 15 People Accused Of Participating In Infamous Killings That Left 45 People Dead
Las Abejas ("The Bees” in English), an indigenous civil society organization in Mexico, is denouncing the release of 15 prisoners responsible for a massacre committed by paramilitaries in the village of Acteal, Chiapas on December 22, 1997. Late last week, a federal judge announced that the inmates would be freed due to “good behavior,” despite being involved in the vicious killings that left 45 unarmed villagers dead on that day. Most of the victims were women and children.
Federal Report Cited By Office Contradicts Claims That Young People Are Using Marijuana At Younger Ages
On Thursday the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), headed by drug czar Gil Kerlikowske, issued a startling press release with the capitalized title “TEENS USING MARIJUANA AT YOUNGER AGES.” Citing the government's most recent National Survey on Drug Use and Health for 2009, the Office claimed that for marijuana, “the average age of initiation – first-time use of the drug − dropped from 17.8 in 2008 to 17.0 in 2009.”
After a closer look of the data cited by the ONDCP, the claim that teens today are currently using marijuana at younger ages is misleading. In fact, the same data shows that young people who recently tried marijuana are doing so at older ages.
Upon entering The Field this morning, I clicked too quickly and ended up in My Account instead of Recent Posts.
A personal News Flash: I've been a Co-Publisher for 2 years and 8 hours. My first $$ was in response to Al's need for admittance for the DNC Convention. Al and his analysis of the election was critical and helped me stay focused and organized. I still need that.