From a 2010 CNN news report, Afghanistan's president Hamid Karzai speaks of receiving cash payments from Iran, the United States, and "other friendly nations."
For over a decade the CIA has been delivering money to the offices of Afghanistan’s president, Hamid Karzai, in the shadiest ways possible: suitcases, backpacks, and plastic bags full of cash. The New York Times reports that tens of millions of dollars have gone to Karzai’s office. And it doesn’t seem like the CIA is getting what it wants for its money: much of it is used to pay off warlords and politicians, many with ties to the drug trade, fueling the corruption U.S. diplomats have been trying to fight. “The biggest source of corruption in Afghanistan,” an American official told the Times, “was the United States.”
For more than a decade, wads of American dollars packed into suitcases, backpacks and, on occasion, plastic shopping bags have been dropped off every month or so at the offices of Afghanistan’s president — courtesy of the Central Intelligence Agency.
All told, tens of millions of dollars have flowed from the C.I.A. to the office of President Hamid Karzai, according to current and former advisers to the Afghan leader.
“We called it ‘ghost money,’ ” said Khalil Roman, who served as Mr. Karzai’s deputy chief of staff from 2002 until 2005. “It came in secret, and it left in secret.”
The C.I.A., which declined to comment for this article, has long been known to support some relatives and close aides of Mr. Karzai. But the new accounts of off-the-books cash delivered directly to his office show payments on a vaster scale, and with a far greater impact on everyday governing.
Moreover, there is little evidence that the payments bought the influence the C.I.A. sought. Instead, some American officials said, the cash has fueled corruption and empowered warlords, undermining Washington’s exit strategy from Afghanistan.
“The biggest source of corruption in Afghanistan,” one American official said, “was the United States.”
The United States was not alone in delivering cash to the president. Mr. Karzai acknowledged a few years ago that Iran regularly gave bags of cash to one of his top aides.
At the time, in 2010, American officials jumped on the payments as evidence of an aggressive Iranian campaign to buy influence and poison Afghanistan’s relations with the United States. What they did not say was that the C.I.A. was also plying the presidential palace with cash — and unlike the Iranians, it still is.
When word of the Iranian cash leaked out in October 2010, Mr. Karzai told reporters that he was grateful for it. He then added: “The United States is doing the same thing. They are providing cash to some of our offices.” (See the video above)
At the time, Mr. Karzai’s aides said he was referring to the billions in formal aid the United States gives. But the former adviser said in a recent interview that the president was in fact referring to the C.I.A.’s bags of cash.
"ALEC Rock" turns Schoolhouse Rock on its head in this instructional film illustrating how Washington really works. In the hands of the ALEC Exposed Project, "I'm just a bill on Capitol Hill" becomes "a bunch of corporations bribe politicians and together they secretly dictate policy."
"Inside Job" provides a comprehensive analysis of the global financial crisis of 2008, which at a cost over $20 trillion, caused millions of people to lose their jobs and homes in the worst recession since the Great Depression, and nearly resulted in a global financial collapse. Through exhaustive research and extensive interviews with key financial insiders, politicians, journalists, and academics, the film traces the rise of a rogue industry which has corrupted politics, regulation, and academia. It was made on location in the United States, Iceland, England, France, Singapore, and China.
The full-length video is about one hour and 50 minutes long.
This is your Moment of Clarity #152: Politicians keep telling us the jobs will come back, and they have a million ways to make it happen. But they are never going to come back. And the reasons are not what you might expect.
Members of Occupy Los Angeles say that recent efforts to clean the "skid row" area of the city are actually a ploy to eventually rid the area of its homeless population, so that a powerful group of lobbyists can begin efforts to help their clients realize plans to redevelop the area into profitable businesses.The CCA is a business group that lobbies city and state government to grease the wheels for development in downtown LA. They represent local businesses, as well as large corporations, such as Chevron, Walmart, Verizon, JP Morgan Chase & Co., Wells Fargo and Bank of America .
Police say that any property not placed in the city provided storage facility during the cleaning operations must be mobile, and kept moving all day long, until the one of the Injunctions kicks in at 9pm and people are allowed to sleep. At 6am, they must begin moving around again until the night. You can hear police explain in the video above "You cannot return to where you were, and you cannot stay where you are now." Come 9pm, the homeless have to find a new spot to sleep for the night because they are not allowed to return to the "cleaned" areas, and then each day the process begins again.
Occupy Los Angeles, LA CAN, Occupy the Hood, and Occupy Skid Row have all kept a presence in the area to protest the efforts of CCA, with Occupy LA reporting over this past weekend. From Occupy LA's website:
First thoughts written last night: ”4 Arrests in Midnight LAPD Raid on CCA Siege – Occupy Los Angeles – three of my best friends and roommates, and an unknown 4th man ARRESTED. Charges unknown. Police orchestrated tactical raid with 25+ cops, pepper spray out and batons were swinging. Captain Frank (at a compañera’s trial yesterday) pointed at her and said, “Don’t I know you?”. Another police officer told a fifth occupier that “You’re getting arrested tomorrow.”
I couldn’t move, trapped inside a tent and seeing silhouettes of gum-chewing cops, fidgety and in war-mode. LAPD’s true colors emerging.
You want to talk targeted kidnappings and terror? Cops were laughing as they pushed and hit us. Laughing as they sent 3 snatch squads and took my friends in the dead of night.”
We’re traumatized and enraged. Three of my roommates were snatched by LAPD last night. Bails are $50,000, $25,000, and $10,000…. they’ve been some of the most visible organizers with the siege on the Central City Association (1%’s lobby here in Los Angeles) for nearly a month. They have all been harassed, intimidated, brutalized, and arrested by the LAPD before. They have all been occupying for months and are inspiring in their defiance and rejection of the oppressive status quo.
The arrests began over alleged chalk drawings, despite the 9th circuit court decision of Mackinney vs. Neilson that states, “No chalk would damage a sidewalk.”
Since May 29, occupiers and homeless advocates have camped out each night in front of the CCA’s offices in downtown, as part of an ongoing “siege” protest that was originally only meant to last seven days. The action was coordinated by Occupy Los Angeles, Occupy the Hood, Occupy Skid Row and the Los Angeles Community Action Network.
Obviously, occupiers, who would prefer government to be free of corporate influences, are ideologically opposed to the lobby group. In fact, one could say the CCA is Occupy LA’s local archenemy.
Heather Meyer, an occupier who has been camping out in front of the CCA, said the lobby is “behind everything that is oppressive.” She cites as an example the groups opposition to the recently passed “Responsible Banking” ordinance, which requires banks doing business with the city to turn over information on loans and foreclosure activity and making it readily available to the public.
“They are the lobbyists for the one percent,” she said. “They are the epitome of money in politics.”
The CCA has done more than support bankers to irritate occupiers. The CCA also successfully opposed community efforts to block the construction of a Walmart in Chinatown. They helped kill a city ordinance that would have required hotels to keep their employees 90 days after a change of hotel ownership, according to their website.
As further evidence of the power the lobbyists at CCA wield, the report cites CCA announcing their intentions earlier this year to further lobby for more police resources for the skid row area. The LAPD soon after announcing 40 more officers being sent in to patrol despite there only being a “minor uptick in reported crime” in a neighborhood that “still reports some of the lowest crime levels in the city,” according to the Downtown News.
To explain the decision to respond so strongly to a minor uptick in crime, the LAPD stated:
In recent months, the department has been fielding more complaints from residents and businesses about aggressive panhandling and people sleeping on the sidewalk during the day, he said.
“We are having an increase in quality of life issues and we don’t want to lose any ground that we’ve gained in that area,” Perez said. “We want to stop the problem before it explodes. We’re just being proactive in our analysis and response to the area and understanding it.”
Interestingly enough, it sounds as if the increase in complaints began around the time CCA announced it would begin lobbying for more police...
If you continue to read the Downtown News article, it really does a great job of making skid row sound bad. I've seen it, it's a depressing and disturbing area that seems like you've crossed some great divide into an undeveloped nation. So many people with nowhere else to call home. Then it finishes with a quote from CCA's CEO:
“There hasn’t been an area in the entire county of Los Angeles that has not benefited from making Downtown come alive,” said Schatz. “When people are sleeping on the streets… it affects our ability to continue to attract investment and continue to make this Downtown thrive.”
As I read that quote, it didn't sound to me as if what happens to the people of skid row was a priority, or even a concern at all.
I'll keep you posted on any updates on the situation.
WHERE: Lakeview Elementary School, 746 Grand Avenue, Oakland CA 94610 WHAT: Sit-in Protest To Reverse Closures of Oakland Public Schools WHEN: Beginning Friday, June 15 at 1:00 p.m. PST WHO: Teachers, parents, students, allies, and all who believe in public education
At the end of this school year, the Oakland Unified School District plans to close five public elementary schools and hand children’s school buildings over to private charter schools and district administration offices. Hundreds of the displaced students have been placed by the district in elementary schools that are 10 miles away, and the school district has offered no guarantee that transportation will be provided for families. In response…
Oakland Parents and Teachers Are Sitting-in to Keep Neighborhood Schools Open!
We Need Your Support!!!
On June 15th, after the last day of school, Oakland parents and teachers will sit in at Lakeview Elementary demanding that the district keep all neighborhood schools open. The district has not listened to lawsuits, pleas from parents and teachers, or protests. We know the money exists, but still they insist on closing flatland schools serving predominantly black and brown children. We say no more excuses! We’re keeping the schools open the last way left to us, by sitting-in. But we cannot do this alone. We need your support! Demand the district and the politicians give us full funding for quality education in neighborhood public schools. Join the fight for our kids’ futures!
Don’t Close the 5 Schools! Keep All Neighborhood Schools Open! Children’s Needs Before Administration’s!
Stop Attacks on Teachers and School Workers! Teacher Conditions=Student Conditions.
Refuse to Pay the Unjust State Debt!
Fully Fund Quality Public Education for All Students!
Support the People’s School for Public Education:
Friday 6/15 @ 1:00pm – Community Speakout & BBQ Friday 6/15 @ 4:00pm – Rally to Kick-Off Sit-In Saturday 6/16 @ 2:00pm – People’s School Solidarity Rally Every Night starting Friday @ 9:00 – Solidarity Watch
Join our work committees to organize for this action – Email education4the99 [at] gmail.com to get involved!
On Monday, the 18th, we will be starting a free, week-long social justice summer program for our kids – Email education4the99[at]gmail.com for more info and to enroll your child.
Spread the word – Tell your friends and family!
The following are the Principles Of Action for Lakeview Elementary. This is a parent, teacher, and student led action. Please respect and abide by their principles:
Refer all interviews to parents, teachers, and people directly impacted by education struggle who are on a sit-in committee (they will be wearing a special shirt).
Do not confront the police.
No Black Bloc tactics.
No Drugs or Alcohol. This is intended to be a children and family atmosphere.
No Violence No destruction of property.
People sitting in will be people directly affected by education struggle and who work on a sit-in committee (wearing special shirts).
This is a peaceful action.
For more information, and to get involved: and education4the99.wordpress.com
This hard-hitting investigation of the 1% at its very worst is the latest from acclaimed director Robert Greenwald. Charles and David Koch are using their billions to put a stranglehold on American democracy. What are we going to do about it?
I was in Madison, Wisconsin when the citizens took over the statehouse and it was one of the most amazing events I've witnessed. I saw firsthand the power of regular people coming together in unity to fight back against corrupt politicians and corporate influence. I'm honored to add my voice to this historic campaign to recall Scott Walker and rebuild Wisconsin.
"You're Fired" was directed by Paradise Gray and stars Silas Russell as "Scott Walker"
Yeah, it's time for a Recall
Untied we stand divided we fall
We tired of being treated like we small
You forgot you work for us and we the boss
So let's tell Scott Walker you're fired
Go clean out ya desk cause you're fired
Cash that last check cause you're fired
You don't wanna show us respect now you're fired
On 12 May people around the world will rise up again responding to the global call for action. In London, protesters will visit those who gambled with their futures and deliver their very own personal messages to them.
"Our city has lost its pride. It’s been stolen. Our politicians, regulators and those who were meant to be looking after things sold us out. Who is benefiting?"
So begins Occupy London's call to action, issued for May 12, when "people around the world will rise up again responding to the global call for action that marks the birth of the indignados movement."
The video they've created is an invitation to occupy London, home to plenty of 1 percenters, the banksters "who gambled with our pensions and savings, created financial nonsense to make money out of thin air, paid hundreds of thousands to wine and dine with our ‘elected’ representatives, were bailed out, evaded billions in taxes and secured 40% of the world’s wealth for themselves.
"On 12 May, we’ll deliver our very own personal messages to them. Be creative: come dressed as your least favorite banker, tax evader, corporate tycoon, politician, vampire squid, and company CEO. Bring stickers, monopoly money, caution tape, placards, faux awards, pots, pans, bullhorns, conches, tents, stereos, war horns or any other “random acts of kindness” you like."
This post-May Day action is still in the planning stages, so if you have any ideas for guerilla theatre or other creative direct action, go here.
[This video is a shocking compilation of various instances of police brutality, including the shooting death of Oscar Grant. Please be warned of the graphic violence before viewing.]
An Anonymous message:
No corporate police officials where harmed during the making of this video only serfs get killed or harmed.
Its time to realize the elite have enslaved us all while using costumed thugs to make you fall into line even with brute force and the thugs never face criminal charges because there is a law for slaves and one for masters, who gave police fake powers over humans? Politicians who have no power over us because they are there to serve us not oppress us, so wake up, they tell police they can have all the toys and powers they want all they must do is serve the corporate elite while being funded by the people.
The United States and UK has growing problem with police abuse, brutality, and corruption. It is essential for civilians to document their encounters with police officers to ensure transparency, accountability, and safety to all of those involved.
Police departments have, for too long, tried to bully, intimidate, threaten, arrest, or otherwise harass law abiding citizens from recording the activities of law enforcement in public. Enough is enough! It is time for all of us to take a stand and expose police brutality when we witness it and as they refuse to be held accountable we must now disarm them when we see them acting outside the law we have a duty to unite and strip them of their weapons and costume and send a message to the elite that their hired thugs will no longer be tolerated in a civil society we will police ourselves without the need for revenue raising agents..
If you see something, film something, the freedom of press begins with you!