Friday, December 08, 2006

Military Commissions Act: A Precursor To Tyranny?

by Chuck Baldwin December 5, 2006
In an interview with nationally syndicated radio talk show host Alex Jones, Rep. Ron Paul of Texas recently discussed President Bush's support for the Military Commissions Act. During the interview, Paul said that "the law officially allows for citizen concentration camp facilities."
Paul also warned that "the Military Commissions Act and the Defense Authorization Act . . . essentially wipes out Habeas Corpus."
Paul continued by noting, "Right now we don't have concentration camps, but . . . the authority has been given so that concentration camps can come without Habeas Corpus." He then said, "If they can lock you up, what good is freedom of speech or what good is a gun?"
Couple the implementation of the Military Commissions Act with the already-passed USA Patriot Act and all the legalities necessary to completely eviscerate America's constitutionally-protected liberties are in place. Think of it. Without firing a shot or dropping a bomb, President George W. Bush has done more to strip the American people of their liberties than all the world's despots and dictators combined!
Consider further the recent statements of former house speaker Newt Gingrich. According to the (Manchester, NH) Union Leader, "Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich yesterday [Monday, Nov. 27] in Manchester said the country will be forced to reexamine freedom of speech to meet the threat of terrorism.
"Gingrich, speaking at a Manchester awards banquet, said a 'different set of rules' may be needed to reduce terrorists' ability to use the Internet and free speech to recruit and get out their message."
Of course, Mr. Gingrich did not say how he plans to reduce people's free speech rights. Neither did he say a word about the fact that our greatest potential for terrorism is coming in the form of an invasion of illegal aliens across our southern border, and that it has been the words and policies of one George W. Bush that have mostly contributed to this threat.
Will someone please tell me how expunging the free speech of the American people is going to make the United States safer? And, pray tell, why are our brave troops fighting and dying in Iraq and Afghanistan, ostensibly to "promote democracy," if the same political leaders who sent them to the Middle East are working to shrink democracy here at home?
Ladies and gentlemen, please wake up! Under the leadership of President George W. Bush, rights and freedoms that have been lost to you include your right to an attorney, your right to know the charges being levied against you, the right to a speedy trial, the right to trial by a jury of your peers, the right to not be subjected to torture, the right to not have your home and personal items searched and seized without warrant, the right to not have your personal conversations (including letters and email) intercepted without court order, and the right to not incriminate yourself, just to name a few. And now we learn that our government has authorized and is planning to build "concentration camp facilities."
Furthermore, just because you or I have not yet been personally subjected to this tyranny, does not mean that we won't be! The seeds are already planted; the die is already cast. The time to act is not when you are being carted off to an "undisclosed location." By then, it is too late.
Thank God for Congressman Ron Paul. If it weren't for him, there would be practically no one on Capitol Hill willing to sound the alarm for the American people. I wish someone could convince him to run for President of the United States on the Constitution Party ticket. The GOP would never support his candidacy for president, but the CP would welcome him with open arms. And, given the American people's frustration with both major parties, a serious third party challenge is very possible in 2008.
In the meantime, the power establishment in Washington, D.C., continues to undermine our Constitution and fritter away our freedoms.

NOTE: I was suspect, so checked the Act language itself. Sure enough, those that would have us believe it is meant for "alien" (non-US citizens) only, are missing that oddly in one key section the word alien is used. However, in another section which lays out the definition of "unlawful enemy combantants" the language is much more broad and does not use the narrowing clarifier of "alien."

A U.S. citizen may be an unlawful enemy combatant under section 948a.
Section 948a(1) defines an unlawful enemy combatant as
"(i) a person who has engaged in hostilities or who has purposefully and materially supported hostilities against the United States or its co-belligerents who is not a lawful enemy combatant (including a person who is part of the Taliban, al Qaeda, or associated forces; or
(ii) a person who, before, on, or after the date of the enactment of the Military Commissions Act of 2006, has been determined to be an unlawful enemy combatant by a Combatant Status Review Tribunal or another competent tribunal established under the authority of the President or the Secretary of Defense."

Section 948b states that "[t]his chapter establishes procedures governing the use of military commissions to try alien unlawful enemy combatants."
What confuses and allows some to claim citizens have nothing to be concerned further about is this clause, where again we see
Sec. 948c. Persons subject to military commissions`Any alien unlawful enemy combatant is subject to trial by military commission under this chapter.'

So the MCA's procedures apply only to aliens; not to citizens. Nevertheless, Congress has declared that persons falling into the definition in 948a are unlawful enemy combatants whether they are aliens or citizens.
Why does this matter, if the military commission procedures in the MCA don't apply to citizens? The answer is that the government might seek to detain citizens as unlawful enemy combatants using the new definition in section 948a.
Hamdi v. Rumsfeld states that the President had authority to detain enemy combatants according to the laws of war based on a fairly narrow definition of the term "enemy combatant":
for purposes of this case, the "enemy combatant" that [the government] is seeking to detain is an individual who, it alleges, was " 'part of or supporting forces hostile to the United States or coalition partners' " in Afghanistan and who " 'engaged in an armed conflict against the United States' " there. Brief for Respondents 3. We therefore answer only the narrow question before us: whether the detention of citizens falling within that definition is authorized.The MCA greatly expands the definition of enemy combatants, because it greatly expands the definition of "unlawful enemy combatants." If the government may detain any enemy combatants, a fortiori it may detain unlawful ones. The new definition is fuzzy: it includes citizens who "materially support" hostilities against the U.S. or whom the DoD says are unlawful enemy combatants.
Hamdi, however, states that citizens have the right under the Due Process Clause to contest their designation as enemy combatants. Because section 948a(1)(ii) purports to make determinations of enemy combatant status conclusive, it is unconstitutional to that extent. Moreover, some applications of "material support" in section 948(1)(i) would violate the Due Process Clause or the First Amendment.
But even putting those cases to one side, the new definition is still troubling: there would be many cases where the new definition is not otherwise unconstitutional but sweeps up people who pose no serious threat to national security. For example, suppose a person knowingly lets an al Qaeda operative stay at their house overnight. That person may be in violation of federal law, but it's hardly clear that the government should have the right to detain such a person indefinitely in a military prison without Bill of Rights protections until the end of the War on Terror, whenever that is. The problem with 948a(1) is that it may place Congress's stamp of approval on a definition of "unlawful enemy combatant" that is far too broad and that allows the government to move a wide swath of citizens outside of the normal procedural protections of the criminal justice system and into a parallel system where the Bill of Rights does not apply.
One last point: Section 7(a) of the MCA strips habeas and federal court jurisdiction with respect to aliens. It does not strip jurisdiction with respect to citizens.
However, what if the DoD determines that a U.S. citizen is an alien in a Combatant Status Review Tribunal, claims that its determination is conclusive under section 948a(1)(ii) and ships the person off to Guantanamo? As I noted before, section 948a(1)(ii) is probably unconstitutional to the extent that it suggests that DoD determinations are conclusive. The citizen should still have the right to prove that he is a citizen in a habeas proceeding, and a court must determine that question in order to determine whether it has jurisdiction. To the extent that the MCA would prevent such a determination, it is unconstitutional.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Russia's Interest in Litvinenko

Stratfor: Geopolitical Intelligence Report - November 29, 2006>>> Russia's Interest in Litvinenko>> By George Friedman>> The recent death of a former Russian intelligence agent, Alexander> Litvinenko, apparently after being poisoned with polonium-210,> raises three interesting questions. First: Was he poisoned by the> Russian Federal Security Service (FSB), the successor to the KGB?> Second: If so, what were they trying to achieve? Third: Why were> they using polonium-210, instead of other poisons the KGB used in> the past? In short, the question is, what in the world is going on?>> Litvinenko would seem to have cut a traditional figure in Russian> and Soviet history, at least on the surface. The first part of his> life was spent as a functionary of the state. Then, for reasons> that are not altogether clear, he became an exile and a strident> critic of the state he had served. He published two books that made> explosive allegations about the FSB and President Vladimir Putin,> and he recently had been investigating the shooting death of a> Russian journalist, Anna Politkovskaya, who also was a critic of> the Putin government. Clearly, he was intent on stirring up trouble> for Moscow.>> Russian and Soviet tradition on this is clear: Turncoats like> Litvinenko must be dealt with, for two reasons. First, they> represent an ongoing embarrassment to the state. And second, if> they are permitted to continue with their criticisms, they will> encourage other dissidents -- making it appear that, having once> worked for the FSB, you can settle safely in a city like London and> hurl thunderbolts at the motherland with impunity. The state must> demonstrate that this will not be permitted -- that turncoats will> be dealt with no matter what the circumstances.>> The death of Litvinenko, then, certainly makes sense from a> political perspective. But it is the perspective of the old Soviet > Union -- not of the new Russia that many believed was being born,> slowly and painfully, with economic opening some 15 years ago. This> does not mean, however, that the killing would not serve a purpose> for the Russian administration, in the current geopolitical> context.>> For years, we have been forecasting and following the> transformation of Russia under Vladimir Putin. Putin became> president of Russia to reverse the catastrophe of the Yeltsin> years. Under communism, Russia led an empire that was relatively> poor but enormously powerful in the international system. After the> fall of communism, Russia lost its empire, stopped being enormously> powerful, and became even poorer than before. Though Westerners> celebrated the fall of communism and the Soviet Union, these turned> out to be, for most Russians, a catastrophe with few mitigating> tradeoffs.>> Obviously, the new Russia was of enormous benefit to a small class> of entrepreneurs, led by what became known as the oligarchs. These> men appeared to be the cutting edge of capitalism in Russia. They> were nothing of the sort. They were simply people who knew how to> game the chaos of the fall of communism, figuring out how to> reverse Soviet expropriation with private expropriation. The> ability to turn state property into their own property represented> free enterprise only to the most superficial or cynical viewers.>> The West was filled with both in the 1990s. Many academics and> journalists saw the process going on in Russia as the painful birth> of a new liberal democracy. Western financial interests saw it as a> tremendous opportunity to tap into the enormous value of a> collapsing empire. The critical thing is that the creation of> value, the justification of capitalism, was not what was going on.> Rather, the expropriation of existing value was the name of the> game. Bankers loved it, analysts misunderstood it and the Russians> were crushed by it.>> It was this kind of chaos into which Putin stepped when he became> president, and which he has slowly, inexorably, been bringing to> heel for several years. This is the context in which Litvinenko's> death -- which, admittedly, raises many questions -- must be> understood.>> The Andropov Doctrine>> Let's go back to Yuri Andropov, who was the legendary head of the> KGB in the 1970s and early 1980s, and the man who first realized> that the Soviet Union was in massive trouble. Of all the> institutions in the world, the KGB alone had the clearest idea of> the condition of the Soviet Union. Andropov realized in the early> 1980s that the Soviet economy was failing and that, with economic> failure, it would collapse. Andropov knew that the exploitation of> Western innovation had always been vital to the Soviet economy. The> KGB had been tasked with economic and technical espionage in the> West. Rather than developing their own technology, in many> instances, the Soviets innovated by stealing Western technology via> the KGB, essentially using the KGB as an research and development> system. Andropov understood just how badly the Soviet Union needed> this innovation and how inefficient the Soviet kleptocracy was.>> Andropov engineered a new concept. If the Soviet Union was to> survive, it had to forge a new relationship with the West. The> regime needed not only Western technology, but also Western-style> management systems and, above all, Western capital. Andropov> realized that so long as the Soviet Union was perceived as a> geopolitical threat to the West and, particularly, to the United > States, this transfer was not going to take place. Therefore, the> Soviet Union had to shift its global strategy and stop threatening> Western geopolitical interests.>> The Andropov doctrine argued that the Soviet Union could not> survive if it did not end, or at least mitigate, the Cold War.> Furthermore, if it was to entice Western investment and utilize> that investment efficiently, it needed to do two things. First,> there had to be a restructuring of the Soviet economy> (perestroika). Second, the Soviet system had to be opened to accept> innovation (glasnost). Andropov's dream for the Soviet Union never> really took hold during his lifetime, as he died several months> after becoming the Soviet leader. He was replaced by a nonentity,> Konstantin Chernenko, who also died after a short time in office.> And then there was Mikhail Gorbachev, who came to embody the KGB's> strategy.>> Gorbachev was clearly perceived by the West as a reformer, which he> certainly was. But less clear to the West were his motives for> reform. He was in favor of glasnost and perestroika, but not> because he rejected the Soviet system. Rather, Gorbachev embraced> these because, like the KGB, he was desperately trying to save the> system. Gorbachev pursued the core vision of Yuri Andropov -- and> by the time he took over, he was the last hope for that vision. His> task was to end the Cold War and trade geopolitical concessions for> economic relations with the West.>> It was a well-thought-out policy, but it was ultimately a desperate> one -- and it failed. In conceding Central Europe, allowing it to> break away without Soviet resistance, Gorbachev lost control of the> entire empire, and it collapsed. At that point, the economic> restructuring went out of control, and openness became the cover> for chaos -- with the rising oligarchs and others looting the state> for personal gain. But one thing remained: The KGB, both as an> institution and as a group of individuals, continued to operate.>> Saving the System: A Motive for Murder?>> As a young KGB operative, Vladimir Putin was a follower of> Andropov. Like Andropov, Putin was committed to the restructuring> of the Soviet Union in order to save it. He was a foot soldier in> that process.>> Putin and his FSB faction realized in the late 1990s that, however> lucrative the economic opening process might have been for some,> the net effect on Russia was catastrophic. Unlike the oligarchs,> many of whom were indifferent to the fate of Russia, Putin> understood that the path they were on would only lead to another> revolution -- one even more catastrophic than the first. Outside of> Moscow and St. Petersburg, there was hunger and desperation. The> conditions for disaster were all there.>> Putin also realized that Russia had not reaped the sought-after> payoff with its loss of prestige and power in the world. Russia had> traded geopolitics but had not gotten sufficient benefits in> return. This was driven home during the Kosovo crisis, when the> United States treated fundamental Russian interests in the Balkans> with indifference and contempt. It was clear to Putin by then that> Boris Yeltsin had to go. And go he did, with Putin taking over.>> Putin is a creation of Andropov. In his bones, he believes in the> need for a close economic relationship with the West. But his> motives are not those of the oligarchs, and certainly not those of> the West. His goal, like that of the KGB, is the preservation and> reconstruction of the Russian state. For Putin, perestroika and> glasnost were tactical necessities that caused a strategic> disaster. He came into office with the intention of reversing that> disaster. He continued to believe in the need for openness and> restructuring, but only as a means toward the end of Russian power,> not as an end in itself.>> For Putin, the only solution to Russian chaos was the reassertion> of Russian value. The state was the center of Russian society, and> the intelligence apparatus was the center of the Russian state.> Thus, Putin embarked on a new, slowly implemented policy. First,> bring the oligarchs under control; don't necessarily destroy them,> but compel them to work in parallel with the state. Second,> increase Moscow's control over the outlying regions. Third,> recreate a Russian sphere of influence in the former Soviet Union.> Fourth, use the intelligence services internally to achieve these> ends and externally to reassert Russian global authority.>> None of these goals could be accomplished if a former intelligence> officer could betray the organs of the state and sit in London> hurling insults at Putin, the FSB and Russia. For a KGB man trained> by Andropov, this would show how far Russia had fallen. Something> would have to be done about it. Litvinenko's death, seen from this> standpoint, was a necessary and inevitable step if Putin's new> strategy to save the Russian state is to have meaning.>> Anomaly>> That, at least, is the logic. It makes sense that Litvinenko would> have been killed by the FSB. But there is an oddity: The KGB/FSB> have tended to use poison mostly in cases where they wanted someone> dead, but wanted to leave it unclear how he died and who killed> him. Poison traditionally has been used when someone wants to leave> a corpse in a way that would not incur an autopsy or, if a normal> autopsy is conducted, the real cause of death would not be> discovered (as the poisons used would rapidly degrade or leave the> body). When the KGB/FSB wanted someone dead, and wanted the world> to know why he had been killed -- or by whom -- they would use two> bullets to the brain. A professional hit leaves no ambiguity.>> The use of polonium-210 in this case, then, is very odd. First, it> took a long time to kill Litvinenko -- giving him plenty of time to> give interviews to the press and level charges against the Kremlin.> Second, there was no way to rationalize his death as a heart attack> or brain aneurysm. Radiation poisoning doesn't look like anything> but what it is. Third, polonium-210 is not widely available. It is> not something you pick up at your local pharmacy. The average> homicidal maniac would not be able to get hold of it or use it.>> So, we have a poisoning that was unmistakably deliberate.> Litvinenko was killed slowly, leaving him plenty of time to confirm> that he thought Putin did it. And the poison would be very> difficult to obtain by anyone other than a state agency. Whether it> was delivered from Russia -- something the Russians have denied --> or stolen and deployed in the United Kingdom, this is not something> to be tried at home, kids. So, there was a killing, designed to> look like what it was -- a sophisticated hit.>> This certainly raises questions among conspiracy theorists and> others. The linkage back to the Russian state appears so direct> that some might argue it points to other actors or factions out to> stir up trouble for Putin, rather than to Putin himself. Others> might say that Litvinenko was killed slowly, yet with an obvious> poisoning signature, so that he in effect could help broadcast the> Kremlin's message -- and cause other dissidents to think seriously> about their actions.>> We know only what everyone else knows about this case, and we are> working deductively. For all we know, Litvinenko had a very angry> former girlfriend who worked in a nuclear lab. But while that's> possible, one cannot dismiss the fact that his death -- in so> public a manner -- fits in directly with the logic of today's> Russia and the interests of Vladimir Putin and his group. It is not> that we know or necessarily believe Putin personally ordered a> killing, but we do know that, in the vast apparatus of the FSB,> giving such an order would not have been contrary to the current> inclinations of the leadership.>> And whatever the public's impression of the case might be, the> KGB/FSB has not suddenly returned to the scene. In fact, it never> left. Putin has been getting the system back under control for> years. The free-for-all over economic matters has ended, and Putin> has been restructuring the Russian economy for several years to> increase state control, without totally reversing openness. This> process, however, requires the existence of a highly disciplined> FSB -- and that is not compatible with someone like a Litvinenko> publicly criticizing the Kremlin from London. Litvinenko's death> would certainly make that point very clear.

Kremlin Poison

by J. R. Nyquist
It appears that the Kremlin has attempted to assassinate Russian defector Alexander Litvinenko, whose warnings to the West have been repeatedly cited in this column.
A former lieutenant colonel of the KGB/FSB, Litvinenko wrote a book titled Blowing Up Russia: Terror From Within. During an interview with Rzeczpospolita in July 2005 he explained that al Qaeda’s number two man, Ayman al-Zawahiri was trained by the FSB (KGB) in Russia along with other al Qaeda leaders. According to Litvinenko, “[there is] only one organization which has made terrorism the main tool of solving political problems.” And that organization, he said, “is the Russian special services.” The KGB trained terrorists all over the world. “The specially trained and prepared agents of the KGB,” said Litvinenko, “have organized murders and explosions, including explosions on tankers, the hijacking of passenger jets, attacks on diplomats, as well as state and commercial organizations worldwide.” Litvinenko added: “The bloodiest terrorists of the world were or are agents of the KGB-FSB. They are well known [like] Carlos Ilyich Ramiros, nicknamed ‘the Jackal,’ the late Yassir Arafat, Saddam Hussein … [and others].” According to Litvinenko, “All of them were trained by the KGB, received money from there, weapons and explosives….”
It is being reported that Litvinenko was poisoned with thallium, described by the Telegraph (UK) as a colorless and odorless liquid “that is often used to kill rats.” The poisoning occurred in London while Litvinenko was gathering information on the assassination of Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya. Litvinenko has argued that Chechen terrorism is a KGB-inspired provocation used to legitimize Putin’s dictatorship, and that Russia is pretending to fight terrorism with one hand while guiding it with the other. A man brave enough to risk his life to warn others, to lay an accusation against the most dangerous criminals in the world, deserves to be taken seriously. But the fact that his message has been systematically ignored, that no newspaper or politician will discuss his testimony concerning Ayman al-Zawahiri, is a sociological artifact of great significance. The Kremlin’s grand deception strategy has been effective, and there is no danger that the West will figure it out, because the truth is economically inconvenient for politicians and businessmen alike. Things have advanced so far that the Kremlin sees no danger in murdering people outright, as in the days of Stalin. In this way a message is sent to all writers, and all those with bits and pieces of the great puzzle.
The Russian strategy should be obvious by now. We know that China and Iran are being armed with Russian weapons – including Russian nuclear technology. Such moves deserve an explanation, but nobody wants an honest discussion of the problem. Given the economic logic of U.S. statesmanship, a confrontation with Russia is to be avoided. The Left/Right political divide paralyzes any and all realistic analysis because one side of this political divide is incapable of acknowledging a Russian threat while the other has attached itself to claims of victory and the prospect of “open” markets in “former” communist lands. We know that Russia is working to form various alliances with countries like Brazil, India, Venezuela, etc. We know that Russia and China have formed an intimate partnership, that they have conducted joint military exercises, and that China has been cultivating Mexico as a strategic partner. The balance of power is shifting, perhaps decisively, and the results of that shift may soon become apparent to everyone. The Iranian nuclear crisis serves to dramatize this shift. Three years ago President Bush would have bombed Iran. Today he is timid, hesitant and beleaguered. Many of the president’s supporters have turned against him. Perhaps President Bush realizes that a preemptive attack on Iran will divide the United States politically, with further consequences to the Republican Party.
Looking back at the long row of fallen dominoes, from South Africa and the Congo to Venezuela and Germany, the fall of the Israeli domino stands in prospect. The Israelis believe the neutralization of Iran’s nuclear project is essential to Israel’s security. Israeli analysts are already warning that Iran could destroy Israel without launching a single nuclear weapon, because many Israelis will leave Israel if Iran becomes a nuclear power. The morale of the Jewish state would suffer a crippling blow. But the plight of Israel does not move the American public. Just as the American consumer abandoned Vietnam to the Communists, some believe that Israel will be abandoned to the Islamists. Many observers expect that the Americans will not remain loyal to their allies, choosing instead to “cut and run” when things become difficult. After all, it was the Americans who abandoned Southeast Asia. It was the Americans who pushed for the Communist takeover of Rhodesia, and the Communist-ANC takeover of South Africa; and who allowed the Communist victories in Angola and Congo. The African Communists have won the long war for the mineral rich sub-Saharan region. And the Americans don’t care in the least. In fact, we are about to watch the United States Congress cut the legs out from under the government of Colombia as it struggles to contain a growing Communist insurgency.
The suicide of the West is happening before our eyes. From the assassination of Anna Politkovskaya to the poisoning of Alexander Litvinenko, from the fall of South Africa to the electoral victory of Daniel Ortega in Nicaragua, the same old Communists continue to kill their enemies as they advance from victory to victory. The KGB rules Russia openly, flooding China with weapons, encouraging Iran’s nuclear ambitions, arming Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan, subverting the Western alliance through economics, neutralizing Germany by way of German unification, undermining NATO as one Warsaw Pact country after another joins under false democratic colors. Do the Americans have eyes? Do they have sense?
Yesterday American strategy was based on a false victory. Today the logic of retreat takes hold as the party of retreat takes Congress. In terms of Iran’s WMDs, American politicians see no other choice than to sacrifice Israel to the “peace process.” It will prove to be a slow and grinding death, similar to that of white South Africa. The grim prospect is so real that former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has already compared his country’s fate to that of Czechoslovakia (sold out to appease Hitler). The West will do nothing to punish Vladimir Putin for assassinating and intimidating journalists, for poisoning Alexander Litvinenko. The West will do nothing about the Iranian bomb. The Americans will eventually leave Iraq, and America’s cities will be attacked by nuclear weapons. In this sequence one failure leads to another. Weakness, lack of resolve, stupidity and incompetence add up to defeat.
From outward appearances it would seem that the old Soviet Union has returned. A thing crucified, dead and buried has been resurrected. Four weeks after Vladimir Putin’s re-election, a procession led by the Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church arrived at the Church of Christ the Redeemer in Moscow. In keeping with ancient tradition the doors of the church were shut, symbolizing the sealed cave where Christ’s body was placed following crucifixion. “After midnight,” noted Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya, “the Orthodox faithful taking part in the procession await the opening of the church doors. The patriarch stands on the steps at their head and is the first to enter the empty temple where the Resurrection of Christ has already occurred.” In due course the Patriarch offered up a prayer, the doors of the Church of Christ the Redeemer were opened and out stepped President Vladimir Putin. If any Christians were present for this ceremony they offered no protest to this blatant sacrilege. The woman who reported this event for the benefit of Western readers has since been assassinated. The KGB defector who was investigating the circumstances of her death has been poisoned (i.e., Litvinenko). The West thinks it an amusing spy story, something out of fiction. But the situation is hardly amusing. As Russian dissident Yuri Yarim-Agaev recently explained to Jamie Glazov of, “That in foreign policy, the U.S. remains for them [Russia] enemy number one, and that they would support anyone who tries to undermine American power whether it be North Korea, Iran, you name it. That in domestic policy they consider their major enemies democracy, human rights, and the free market, and they will try to suppress them by all means, and the bring back under their control most parts of the former Soviet Union.”
Russia is a big player, despite what we’ve been told about “the fall of communism.” The Kremlin now acts boldly, in the open, so that every Russian understands. It is a case of terrorism. It is a case of instilling fear. Writers are being killed, and now intelligence defectors have been targeted. Decisive cards are being played, and the international press, the public and many politicians are clueless.
© 2006 Jeffrey R. Nyquist

Many unaware of plan to replace dollar with N. American currency

London stock trader urges move to 'amero'Says many unaware of plan to replace dollar with N. American currency
Posted: November 28, 20061:00 a.m. Eastern
By Jerome R. Corsi© 2006
In an interview with CNBC, a vice president for a prominent London investment firm yesterday urged a move away from the dollar to the "amero," a coming North American currency, he said, that "will have a big impact on everybody's life, in Canada, the U.S. and Mexico."
Steve Previs, a vice president at Jefferies International Ltd., explained the Amero "is the proposed new currency for the North American Community which is being developed right now between Canada, the U.S. and Mexico."
The aim, he said, according to a transcript provided by CNBC to WND, is to make a "borderless community, much like the European Union, with the U.S. dollar, the Canadian dollar and the Mexican peso being replaced by the amero."
Previs told the television audience many Canadians are "upset" about the amero. Most Americans outside of Texas largely are unaware of the amero or the plans to integrate North America, Previs observed, claiming many are just "putting their head in the sand" over the plans.

CNBC asked Previs whether he thought NAFTA was "working and doing enough."
He replied: "Until it created a lot of illegal immigrants coming across the border. I don't know. You get the pros and cons on NAFTA. For some people it is a good thing, and for other people it has been a disaster."
The speculation on the future of a new North American currency came amid a major U.S. dollar sell-off worldwide that began last week.
Yesterday, the dollar also reached new multi-month low against the euro, breaking through the $1.30 per euro technical high that had held since April 2005.
At the same time, the Chinese central bank set the yuan at 7.0402 per dollar, the highest level since Beijing established a new currency exchange system in 2005 that severed China's previous policy of tying the value of the yuan to the U.S. dollar.
Many analysts worldwide attributed the dramatic fall in the value of the U.S. dollar at least partially to China's announcement last week that it would seek to diversify its foreign exchange currency holdings away from the U.S. dollar. China recently has crossed the threshold of holding $1 trillion in U.S. dollar foreign-exchange reserves, surpassing Japan as the largest holder in the world.
Barry Ritholtz, chief market strategist for Ritholtz Research & Analytics in New York City, in a phone interview with WND, characterized today's downward move of the dollar as "wackage," a new word he coined to convey that the dollar is being "whacked" in this current market movement.
Ritholtz told WND that yesterday's downward move "was a major market correction that points to the risk of subsequent downside to the dollar."
Asked whether he would characterize the dollar's downside move as signaling a possible collapse, Mr Ritholtz told WND, "Not yet."
Ritholtz pointed out market professionals had long looked at a dollar collapse as a "low probability event," but the recent fall suggests "the probabilities have increased of a major dollar correction, or even of a collapse."
U.S. trade imbalances with China have hit a record $228 billion this year, largely reflecting a surging flow of containers from China with retail goods headed for the U.S. mass market.
Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez is in Bejing leading a trade delegation of more than two dozen U.S. business executives.
"The future should be focused on exporting to China," Guiterrez told reporters in Bejing, noting that this year, U.S. exports to China are up 34 percent on a year-to-year basis, surpassing last year's gain of 20 percent.
One way to improve the U.S. trade imbalance may be to ease up on restrictions of exporting high-tech products and allowing technology transfers to China, a move likely to be politically charged in the U.S.
The decline in value of the dollar will also make U.S. exports more attractive and Chinese exports to the U.S. more expensive.
In February 2007, a virtually unprecedented top-level U.S. economic mission is scheduled to travel to China. Included in the mission are Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, Jr., Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke.
Previs declined to be interviewed for this article, telling WND in an e-mail he did not want to be quoted directly in any article that may express a political point of view.