Saturday, February 21, 2009

Dennis Kucinich: During 2006 Stanford Investigation, SEC Told to "Stand Down" by "Unnamed Federal Agency"

"As Chairman of the Domestic Policy Subcommitee, I have sent a letter to the SEC asking for documents that relate to [the NY Times] report that they were told to 'stand down' rather than enforce the law against the Stanford Group going back to 2006. If this is true - and this is an official that is quoted - then we have the beginnings here of a massive scandal and we've got to get to the bottom of it," says Congressman Dennis Kucinich on Fox Business.
In fact, all indications are that Allen Stanford [pictured left] has been investing drug cartel money with CIA involvement. The CIA/DEA may have been taxing the Latin American "plazas," investing the "revenues" and using the dividends to fund covert operations. They even may have been raiding the fund, but this is conjecture based upon the CIA's notorious sense of entitlement and longstanding maverick attitude.

As mentioned in the interview, this is all reminiscent of the Iran-Contra Affair and the drug trafficking allowed by then Vice President George H. W. Bush during the Reagan years, a scheme concocted by the Contras themselves in order to fund their right-wing counterrevolution in Nicaragua [cf. Dark Alliance, by Gary Webb].

This same organizational structure has been indicated in the Afghanistan to Turkey opium/heroin pipeline revealed by Sibel Edmonds and Valery Plame, a fact that was suppressed with the cooperation of the mainstream media during the Bush Administration but reported by the Times OnLine in the U.K. Agencies now under the Homeland Security umbrella continue to "tax" the flow of drugs through the "plazas" (choke points like
Michoacán, Antigua & Barbuda, the West African narco-state of Guinea-Bissau and other African nations).

From West Africa, drugs are then transported
by the Russian-Israeli Mafia -- now partners in the Latin American drug trade -- into Europe, the Middle East and to Maldives before entering Mumbai, India, controlled by former CIA asset, now gangster and drug lord, Dawood Ibrahim.

The transfer point between the Latin American cartels and the Russian-Israeli Mafia is Antigua & Barbuda and other Caribbean Islands where Allen Stanford operates offshore banking activities. He has been accused by the FBI of operating money laundering activities for the drug underworld, but it is now becoming apparent, as Dennis Kucinich is insinuating, that Stanford may have a deeper involvement than that of investment banker, one that involves "deep cover" and perhaps a "taxman" status for which the DEA and CIA have become notorious since the days of Iran-Contra.

That CIA is using their underworld "tax revenues" to invest in stocks and money market funds in order to fund covert operations with the dividends is not outside the realm of the possible. And this may explain why "an unnamed agency" of the federal government stepped in to squelch the investigation of Stanford by the SEC in 2006.

There is much more to this story than has been revealed. Mexican President Felipe Calderón [pictured right] become suspect because of his efforts to eliminate the Gulf Cartel and the Sinaloa Cartel, allowing Michoacán room to breath and to consolidate control of the flow of cocaine from Colombia, Bolivia, Ecuador, Peru and Chili. From Michoacán's Pacific coast, the cocaine is then shipped north to the Sinaloa plaza before transport into the U.S. West Coast region, or it is transported across the narrow isthmus of Mexico for shipment to Antigua and Barbuda for redistribution into the American South, Southeast and Eastern Seaboard. Oil platforms in the Gulf of Mexico, some of which were established by the Bush family owned Zapata offshore oil interests, are used as drop-off points for smaller packages and then delivered by fast boats to points along the American Gulf Coast.

Both northern state cartels, the Tamaulipas (Gulf) and Sinaloa, have been involved in a war for control of the state of
Michoacán, Calderón's base of power and home state. In 2006, Calderón received help from Karl Rove in engineering a close election, in which accusations of election fraud still persist.

We commend Representative Dennis Kucinich for his continuing efforts to address corruption in government, a task for which he is getting little support from his peers. Few in Congress have his courage. For that matter, few in Congress enjoy his level of independence from the "power lobbies" that run Washington -- I'll leave it at that.


Saturday, February 14, 2009

Ron Paul's "What If" Speech

I don't agree with him on domestic policy. I'm a Progressive. But Ron Paul's questions regarding American foreign policy are profoundly insightful.


Friday, February 13, 2009

ACLU Action Alert; Investigate Reeves County Detention Center in West Texas


TAKE ACTION: Contact the Office of the Inspector General at the U.S. Department of Justice

The first two paragraphs below are supplied by the ACLU to be used in your plea if you choose. The paragraphs that follow [edited] were added by a former employee of The GEO Group, a private prison contractor who has become notorious for abuse and neglect at dozens of its facilities worldwide.

Please help these inmates. They are being exploited, neglected and abused by a corporatist system whose bottom line in profit. Moneys that should be applied to food and medical services, as well as rehabilitative educational programs, are being redirected to the company and county coffers. In the meantime, the human rights of these people (in this case non-violent foreign nationals being held in minimum security until their time is served after which they are deported) are being ignored.
To the Inspector General, U.S. Department of Justice:
As you are aware, RCDC, a federal Bureau of Prisons-contracted facility, has been the site of two multi-day riots since mid-December. Reports of inadequate medical care and other substandard conditions have been cited as a possible cause for both incidents.

One riot at any facility is troubling and rare, and because RCDC has been the site of two such incidents in as many months there is legitimate concern that serious problems within the facility may exist.
I used to work there, I know. But as a counselor I was seen as a "bleeding heart liberal." ALL of the money budgeted for substance abuse was diverted. I had zero funds to work with. I was even asked to provide fraudulent figures on the curriculum-based classes that were recommended by the federal contract, yet The GEO Group refused to purchase the specified curriculum with the excuse that our "local contract" permitted such leeway -- and even more basically, because the incarcerated population consisted of foreign nationals, not U.S. Citizens. Why then did they want me to commit fraud regarding the documentation of these classes?

Inmates used to complain to me that the night shift of corrections officers refused to come to their cells when inmates were pleading for emergency medical assistance. There were many medical emergencies exacerbated by this negligence -- as well as two deaths that I am aware of -- between 2004 and 2008, the time I worked there. The company made promises to address the inmates' issues, including food and recreation, yet nothing ever changed. Their unenlightened excuse was that these are foreign nationals and the taxpayers did not want to invest in rehabilitating foreigners. They were often accused of malingering but nothing could excuse the company's failure to investigate a crisis.

In a local television interview this morning, Sheriff Andy Gomez stated that these detainees receive better medical services than the general population of the town -- that "The GEO Group is doing a good job." Ironically, this is reminiscent of George W. Bush's remark in the wake of the Katrina debacle, "Good job, Brownie!" Incredulously, the sheriff even stated that the dental services were superior despite the fact that a dentist only comes in once a week and has time to see only 3-4 patients from a long waiting list. His disingenuous attempt at damage control comes after two weeks of stonewalling. Sheriff Gomez was simply repeating the sound bites given to him. Gomez, as well as the county commission on whose behalf he was speaking, is part of the problem -- Reeves County must share the cost for all these services -- they have been complicit in this gross medical neglect.

I urge you to investigate not only by interviewing current and former staff members; but also, by interviewing the inmates themselves. For obvious reasons, please do it in a way that protects their confidentiality. The privatization of prison services has led to abuse and neglect and the attitude of "warehousing" a population of human beings whose well being is sacrificed for the "bottom line."

Monday, February 2, 2009

Foreign Nationals Riot Again at Reeves County Detention Center: Claim Ongoing Medical Neligence

Prison under control after 10-hour riot
(Not what I'm hearing)
Stephanie Sanchez / El Paso Times Staff
Posted: 02/02/2009 12:00:00 AM MST

EL PASO -- A riot at the Reeves County Detention Center in Pecos [Texas] was under control 10 hours after it started and no injuries were reported, a Reeves County Sheriff's Office dispatcher said Sunday.

At about 2 p.m. Sunday, dispatch personnel said the situation was under control but it was still unknown what prompted the riot. During the riot, inmates set fires to the booking room, kitchen, infirmary and other areas of the detention center that houses as many as 2,080 inmates.

About 700 inmates were transported to a Sierra Blanca detention center for housing because sleep quarters were destroyed. Dispatch personnel said no injuries were reported, but several news accounts state three inmates were hospitalized.

The detention center, which is about 260 miles east of El Paso, is a low security level facility. This is the second violent outbreak in two months.
The GEO Group is lying to the press about this riot. They know very well what caused it. It is not the first or the second or the third time inmates have rioted over medical negligence. This is ongoing. I used to work there. They have failed medical audit after federal audit. The detainees are begging for medical services and are not getting them. They are sometimes ignored outright by lazy, under-staffed, overworked, over-tired, stressed out corrections officers who sometimes refuse to go to their cell-doors to even hear their complaints. Or, when they put in a written request, they are put on a long waiting list for services while they continue to suffer. The medical department is under funded and under-staffed. Dental services are nearly non-existent. The dentist only comes once a week and only sees from 3-5 patients. If an inmate has an abscess he is likely to suffer for days or weeks. The last riot (in December) occurred when an inmate died under conditions of neglect despite pleas for help in the night. He was ignored.

The bottom line for The GEO Group is the Almighty Dollar.

There are two major factors that lead to recidivism: poor education (including job skills) and a history of substance abuse. When I worked there as a CD Counselor my budget was ZERO. The Education budget had been slashed as well. They had no vocational training whatsoever. Medical services bordered on "crimes against humanity."

All of this is due to the "redirection" of funds by The GEO Group and by Reeves County officials at the local level, funds that have been allocated by the Feds for these vital rehabilitative services but never make it to target services that only operate as shells. Indeed, the federal government is funding a multimillion dollar shell game perpetrated by the private prison industry not just in Pecos but all over the country. To say there is poor oversight by federal contract monitors falls short of the reality. GEO is extremely well connected in Washington. I'd bet dollars to bananas that the local maintenance kick-backs that began in Pecos ten-years ago are still going on. And the food stinks.

This is Billy Sol Estes country. Some things never change.

Local administrators rationalize the abuse and neglect of those they warehouse by pointing out that the detainees are "foreign nationals" and don't deserve the amenities afforded to incarcerated U.S. citizens -- that "the taxpayers don't want to feed, house, treat and pay for 'illegal aliens' to get an education they'll just take back to their foreign countries." But the truth is that their "redneck reasoning" is used to justify or enable corporatist profiteering.

Administrators of private prisons do not care about rehabilitation; they WANT recidivism.
Dick Cheney is a major share holder in private prisons and every other government service he could privatize. The GEO Group has been involved in scandal after "riotous" scandal yet they keep getting contracts. "Follow the money."

Obama says he wants to bring change yet he hasn't said a word about the privatization of government services that went on under Bush and Cheney [READ: Corporatism & Cronyism].

View Larger Map
Reeves County Detention Center, Pecos, Texas
Run by The GEO Group